Default volume for DS DAC

I hate to start out with a negative comment after receiving the new DSD, but a default volume of 100 is, quite frankly, irresponsible.

I’m scared I harmed my speakers because the volume was defaulted to all the way up when I cut the DAC on.

You really, really must change this as soon as possible.

Did your new DS show up with 100? Sorry about that.

This is likely where the technician last had it when they were testing it, but it is not the “default” setting.

The default setting for a DS is where it was last left on power down unless you have the Bridge input selected. If that is selected then there default is 50.

On the new PIC code we’re going to set the default on power up to 25 instead of where it was last set.

Thanks Paul. Sorry to gripe first thing out of the gate.

I think my speakers are ok, but that was startling. I haven’t had but a few minutes to listen. I would hate to get my new DAC in and then blow my Maggie tweeters. The fuse and a tweeter attenuator resistor was in, so I think I’m ok. I’ll test more later. From what I heard, I can say wow!, except for some grainyness in the vocals, but that could have been my paranoia about my speakers. :slight_smile:

I think of the unit is powered down, it should default again to a lower volume, your suggestion of 25 sounds good.

I received my new DSD today and it was set to 100 as well. Luckily, I plug my new gear in and power it up in my office with nothing else attached before inserting it in my system to make sure it initializes without error.

Thanks and again, sorry about that. I guess it never really came up before. Most people get their new DAC and turn it all on before playing music or, connect it to a preamp in which case it wants to be 100. I do apologize for giving you a start. I checked with production and they always set it to 100 as it’s part of the testing process to run everything at 100 on FST. And, whatever the last value was is what it remembers.

Thanks for letting us know, and as I mentioned, as soon as we release the updated version of Snowmass, hopefully this week, it’ll always default to 25 on power up.

For those using a preamp, it makes perfect sense to have an option to have it always remain at 100 or what was last set.

If you set it to 25 every time the power is turned on then this necessitates a volume adjustment on power up and would be a tedious unnecessary step for those using a preamp to control volume with the DS and their other sources.

Suggest more thought given to this.


I agree, should be easy to solve by keeping it set to use the last set value and be sure the tech to QCs it sets it to 25 before shipping. I predict there will then be ‘problems’ that the volume is too low.

Take home message, check all levels before pressing play.

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I’m with you two.

I would prefer last volume setting as well.

Please add a checkbox in the menue for us, the preamp users, who need always 100. Call it “fixed output” or soethimg like that. That would be really a great thing!

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Yes, it is always a problem to have any sort of default because we can’t make everyone happy. As much as we’d like to. Love to actually.

The DACs are designed to be left on 24/7 and the standby button used to protect connected equipment and quiet the display as if it were off. Used as they were intended this should never be a problem.

I think the safe route on turn on is to make sure the volume doesn’t surprise anyone. All things considered.

so - not to belabor this … but - if you set it to 25… Here is what will happen… Pre-amp owners will not realize it – and switch sources external to the DS - the owner would have cranked their pre-amp and… the other source will blow up the speakers instead of the DS … but only because they needed to crank it. My pre is analog - no digital read out - and you have to be on top of it to notice where the volume control is. (it has a remote volume control)…

Best bet for new owners going direct… I guess … wouldn’t the first thing you did was check where the volume is? Sorry - again not meaning to be critical of anyone - but yes - we all make mistakes… I’m just not sure you can ‘code for it’… Maybe a friendly reminder note in the box in Bold big print ‘CHECK YOUR VOLUME’ :slight_smile: … sometimes you just gotta be analog…


Is there any downside to leaving it on in standby?

How hot does it run inside the case at idle?

Obviously many electrolytic caps have a temperature dependent life span. As a rule of thumb, 10 degrees C less temperature can double that life span.

I know that leaving certain caps off for very long periods can be bad too - so I am not advocating power off for months at a time. So the issue isn’t black and white. However, if the cap design life is for example 40,000 hours, then turning the device off might make a meaningful difference to a user. (Might last 20 years instead of 5)

As with every volume control, one needs to check the level before playing music. This is the user’s responsibility.


Right - exactly - that is what I was trying to say ( we agree completely) … So - if PSA wanted to do SOMETHING… as opposed to trying to handle it with code or function … a piece of paper on the top of the unit in its box would possibly do it - without having to get into the mess… I like the way it works today … and if they chose to not do anything - I don’t see an issue there either… If they want to put it in the test plan on the units so the quality control dept include ‘turn down the volume on delivery’ as the final step…hey great … but that’s an internal thing… Continually dropping the volume on a hard re-boot increases the odds that a problem will actually occur - as you only fire up the unit once - out of the box… All i’m saying is - I don’t think the volume should drop on a hard re-boot to compensate for a first time usage issue - out of the box.


Agreed, although I see no need to include any sort of warning. I have yet to see a preamp, even entry level, which includes a specific instruction to turn down the volume before starting playback.

Habits can be useful when they actually have benefit… I trained myself to turn down the volume control completely on my preamp…after any listening session… It was much easier than learning how to tie my shoes. :wink:

haha… well I agree with you as well on that point as well Elk… I just don’t want the unit to move volume on me once I’ve got it set - and I am utilizing my main volume control on the pre… and it ‘seemed’ like paul was considering that on hard re-boot.

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While I understand the need for a device to remember the last volume setting, doing so after a hard reboot seems a bit excessive, especially when PS Audio equipment is designed to be left on. That said, I understand that some do completely turn their components off regularly, for whatever reason.

However, I personally have never, ever purchased a piece of electronic equipment that defaulted to full volume upon (very) first power-on. It is simply not a good practice for an audio equipment manufacturer to follow. I’m sure it happens regularly, but I’ve never seen it.

Perhaps the easiest solution is have the technicians set the volume before shipping. And the best solution would be to make it a user configurable setting. It seems like a very easy to implement solution.

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Thats exacly what happened to me after installing Snowmass. At first I thought something was broken. Anyway, now that i know, I can live with 50, 25 or even 0.

On the other hand, I ask myself what the problem is to integrate a checkbox with which you can set a fixed output level. In the programming languages I master, this is quick and easy to implement. Which does not necessarily apply to the OS of a DAC.