DAC Gain Question

Just a short bit of background. My B&M dealer was over a couple of weeks ago doing an initial setup of my new speakers. He was curious why I was running my DAC at less than full gain (I’m running Windom, with DS at around 83 and just adjusting the gain on BHK pre as needed), My response was simply that it sounded better to me than running the DAC at 100.

He replied that by running the DAC at less than full gain, I was “losing bits” and that was just “DAC math, just ask so and so.” My sales guy is fantastic to work with and definitely knows his stuff, but definitely doesn’t know much about PSAudio equipment.

Is there any truth/validity to his statement in general and specifically with respect to the DS DAC? I’ll always set it to whatever sounds best to me (less or more bits), but I care about the answer (1) because now I’m curious and (2) because he’s coming back next week to help me do some final tweaks to the speaker position and to audition a couple of different sets of power cables, so I’m wondering whether I should use the DAC at 100 as a starting point for that setup/audition and go from there.

Thanks in advance,

The DS doesn’t lose bits in the volume control. It is correct to find the levels of the DS and the preamp that sound the best to you. But if you haven’t checked, that level might have changed for you with Windom compared to Snowmass, perhaps even to 100.

Unlike most DACs the DS simply uses a multiply for volume and keeps all of the resultant bits all the way to the analog, so there’s no truncation, dither, or other loss of detail.


Thanks Ted. Much appreciated.

I’ve always run my DS volume at full tilt 100. I have it connected to a McIntosh MX122 A/V Processor.

Don’t know why but just thought I’d say that. :v: