DSD DAC output

In a thread in this forum Ted Smith wrote:

“The output voltage of the balanced outputs of the DS at a volume setting of 100 is about 2.818VRMS (just about 8VP-P) is just a little lower than many CD players (many CD players are 4VRMS balanced and 2VRMS single ended.”

Though I don’t hear numbers this seems to ring true for my DSD DAC.

The product page says this however:


Which is the most accurate? Thanks.

The product page is wrong (and confusing.)

The high setting and balanced (with volume at 100) is 2.818 VRMS, and unbalanced is 1.414 VRMS.

The Low setting lowers the output by 20dB, i.e. by a factor of 10. So the low level setting for balanced is 0.282 VRMS and for single ended is 0.141 VRMS.

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Thanks Ted!

Ted’s right. The way we have it listed is confusing. I just fixed it.

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This caused me a lot of grief (and $$$) because of low gain in the chain.
Thanks for fixing it in the spec. It was about time.
What remains is a higher gain on the DAC itself. 2.8V is way too low for XLR in my case.
I can appreciate that this might not be easy. One remedy was to buy a new $7k preamp with 20dB gain, but I still miss some headroom to be on the safe side.

If we’re in the mood to update product specs… I could be mistaken but I thought that a couple of updates ago Ted changed the output section to run at quad DSD rate rather than double. @tedsmith is that right?

Yep, in Huron everything is upsampled to 56.448MHz and then back to DSD256 (11.2896MHz) for output.

My preamp allows for variable gain settings by input (0dB, +6dB, +12dB, or +18dB). On the XLR input to which the DS is connected, I am at +18dB. By way of comparison, the XLR input to which my OPPO UDP-205 is connected is set at +12dB.