I have always believed that a properly executed loudness control is a great thing. Using modern gear, I find the sound quality lacking until the spl is at 75dB or better. On my vintage amp, I feel the loudness contour is overblown at normal settings, but works very well if I engage muting (which is a -20dB switch, not a total mute) and turn up the volume to compensate. Naturally, the efficiency of the speakers also plays a role in this. Accordingly, I have always thought the variable loudness control, such as Yamaha uses for much of their stereo gear was a good way to go. I believe McIntosh and Denon may also offer a similar variable loudness control on at least some of their equipment at some point in time. Are there others? My real interest in this post is to get suggestions for a unit which has this feature. I have a good separate amp I could pair with a preamplifier or preamplifier section of a receiver, so that may be a good option. I would also consider used. When I look at used Yamahas, many have lots of pressure pad buttons, and I wonder how prone these are to getting dirty contacts? Thanks in advance for you comments on this.