Best settings between the DSD and BHK pre?

What would be the best settings between the ds dac and bhk
Pre volumes?

It depends. Try DS at 100 and wherever the BHK lands, then try the BHK at 53 and wherever the DS lands. Listen for a week at each, respectively. Your brain will tell you which you prefer. One has slightly more ease than the other. Fine tune from there if you wish.

With Windom perhaps the DS at 92 or below… (or higher if you never listen to full scale music.)

If you keep both remote volume controls at hand you’ll probably find the answer if you don’t worry about it and let your subconscious figure it out.

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Paul has stated that getting the BHK pre above the relay click at 53, offers the best performance. This dictates a DSD volume of 28 or so for my system. Being lossless Volume at the DSD, it works well for me.

I asked myself : Does the DS DAC sound its absolute best at 28? Also, is it possible to determine without looking into both power amp output & speaker sensitivity? Just curious.

Paul Said…

So I use my BAT VK50-SE Preamp like an overpriced Tube Buffer (I set the Volume to 100) and control overall Volume with the DSSr.'s Remote with the 20dB attenuator turned off.

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@tedsmith Ted, am I correct that the noise floor is constant in the DS and as we lower the volume, we get closer to it? And so, the noise floor becomes a greater factor in the overall output?


Yes. Still most things (like preamps) also have their own peculiarities, and hence more ideal and less ideal volume ranges. In Redcloud I made a change that got more detail at volumes below 84 (or so.) Above that the system was more like Huron. In Snowmass I raised that level to approx 94. (With quieter music those levels were correspondingly higher.)
The net effect is that some prefer the sound of the DS at slightly lower levels with their preamps at slightly higher levels. Others prefer the DS at the louder levels and their preamps at lower levels.
Tho I doubt that it happens much in practice, it’s also possible that one’s interconnects make a difference too. (After all, some people have different preferences about where to put their best interconnects.)


I recently started setting my BHK Pre to 53 and using the DS to adjust volume (usually 70-90) after reading brett66’s posts in the thread below.

It has made such a noticeable improvement that I’ve been listening to my favorite recordings in order to appreciate the difference. I’ve got some new discs to spin but I keep wondering what an old favorite sounds like after the change. I also like that using the DS for volume changes allows for a finer adjustment. I’m guessing the difference has more to do with the Pre sounding better after the second click than the DS at lower volumes. Either way this practice takes advantage of both. FYI my speaker sensitivity is 92db.