DS Jr volume setting

I read a while ago volume at 86 when used with a preamp.Other suggest less than 100.Don’t understand because always thought a digital volume should be wide open. Now that I add a tube preamp, sound improve a lot but the preamp gain is 20db and only can go 10 a clock.
Can you guys share your findings please?

You are always trading off headroom vs. S/N. With two devices only you can tell which sets of volumes work best in your system. Indeed some preamps loose just a little when they go from attenuating to amplifying, and conversely, for example, Redcloud had a problem with very dynamic or very loud music when the volume was too high, so going below 89 was good there.

I usually run with my DS volume near the max and adjust with the preamp volume control. If you are listening comfortably at a particular preamp volume setting there’s nothing wrong with lowering or raising the DS’s volume (the analog noise floor of the DS is fixed so noise doesn’t get louder when you lower or raise the volume.)

If you can manage to not worry about it and keep both remotes near your listening potision, your subconscious will find the preamp setting and the DS settings that sound the best after a week or two.


Thanks Ted,
My preamp does not have a remote and was thinking to find the range on DS Jr and use the remote while keeping the preamp at 12 a clock. So you’re saying with Snowmass volume could be wide open or low without affecting the sound? May I ask why are you keep it near the max?

The DS has a fixed analog noise floor. As long as at the volumes you want to listen that noise floor doesn’t intrude on the music any volume is fine. If you find that on some quiet material you hear unwanted noise, turn the DS up a little and the preamp down a little, you’ll find a setting that works. It just best to not be dogmatic about 9’oclock or 12’oclock etc. Since you have two volumes you can adjust you can just try 11’oclock or 1’oclock (or whatever) and see if you like one or the other better.

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May I ask why are you keep dac volume near the max? :slight_smile:

Another great piece of advice with the explanation of the science behind it. Thank you sir.

I have a good preamp with a low S/N ratio, using it’s attenuator is just fine. Keeping the DAC’s volume up keeps the music as far from the DAC’s fixed analog noise floor as possible.

But I don’t really worry about it too much, if the DS’s remote is more handy than the preamp’s I’ll use the DS’s remote.

Sometimes later a night when I don’t want to disturb anyone and my preamp is at the lowest non-mute setting I’ll have to turn the DS’s volume way down too. But that’s fine.

Now you will tell us what good preamp you have,Ted ?
Thanks again

I’ve posted my system before and I usually keep it up to date (tho it doesn’t change much these days, … Oops I haven’t updated the description with the P20):

Here’s an older review and overview of the Switchman:

I like the Switchman, tho it probably isn’t the best preamp in the world, there are precious few that match it’s design and features for multichannel audio. It has 4 input selects, each of which consists of 6 channels. Each of those 24 inputs are individually trimmable. One of the four inputs is unbalanced, two are balanced and the last has both. It’s controllable via a serial port (it’s normal control is wired via that port.) It supports solo like a mixing board.

I have a wired mod to send 1/2 of the center channel to the left front speaker and 1/2 to the right front speaker. I still get a rock solid phantom center and I don’t have to deal with the standard center channel on a video system compromises.

When you have time, could you please have a look at this:


I haven’t been following that thread because AFAIK it’s bridge or control/display software problem and it isn’t anything I have control over. Call PS Audio support if you aren’t getting any hints on the forum.

That should be an output selection that is on all decent quality AVR’s. It would certainly clean things up around the viewing area.

Yep, a friend suggested it to me and it worked better than I ever imagined it could. I expecially liked it since it was in the analog domain and thus worked well with my SACD players. You need front amps and speakers that can deliver the extra power effortlessly, but that was no problem with the equipment I already had.