A Couple Questions About Volume Level

First, the DS sounds very good right out of the box; I’ve only been playing it for an hour or so.

I notice that I have to turn the volume up higher on the DS to get the same level as I did with the PWDII set at lower volume levels. Is this normal? I drive my amp directly with the DS - as I did with the PWDII.

Also, in regard to lost bits (lost resolution), does the digital volume control in the DS act similar to that of the PWDII (i.e.: it has been recommended to run the PWD at or above ‘50’ on the volume so as to not ‘lose bits’).

Note: I’ve acknowledged elsewhere as to being late to the party - by about a year- but I’m exited to have the DS in my system, and I will likely be more active in the forum as I try to find out relevant info…I do scan the threads before asking though, but I may be asking questions already covered; so forgive me for beating any poor horses.



The PWD is a hotter than nominal for a source unit. The DS is a tad quieter than a nominal source (the balanced output is 3dB or 4dB lower than the PWD).

The DS does not loose bits no matter where the volume is set. However it, of course, has an analog noise floor. Thus, if you never have the volume set above 60 or so, you are better off using the 20dB attenuator with the volume set near 100. (The 20dB attenuator is implemented in the analog domain and lowers the analog noise floor as well by 20dB.)

Thanks Elk.

I guess I’d better look at the users manual…Goes against the ‘guys credo’ thoughnerd_gif

Well, I see there’s no way to boost the gain. Since most of the music I listen to seems to sound just right between 70 - 85, I’m not too disappointed. I do, however, miss the extra gain when playing the occasional classic 70’s hard rock; even at 100, it just can’t match the PWD for sheer power (gain). I don’t imagine a preamp in the mix would add gain/volume…would it?

I would think that many would do just what you want. Most pre-amps have a unity setting (where i/p V = o/p ) and its not normally at the maximum gain setting, more often somewhere around the middle of the available range.

In my set-up if I run the DS through the pre-amp I have to juggle the DS volume setting with the gain setting on the pre whereas if I run direct to power-amp I’m okay to go a lot higher on the DS digital volume before I worry about my speakers (ESL’s).

I don’t think the same holds for “passive” pre-amps though.

Correct. Any preamp other than a passive preamp (which are typically not much more than a source selector and volume control with maybe some buffering circuitry) will allow you to increase the volume above that of a direct connection.