DSD Volume Level Issues

I recently purchased a DSD and are finding that I am having to bring volume levels up to 75-90 to achieve normal listening levels? No preamp involved. Amp (Ayre V-5xe) supplies 150 watts - 8ohm into 7 ohm Vandersteen’s, so not a power issue. Please advise - thanks!

Srg, I assume you are using RCA outs? The issue is the DSD’s single-ended output voltage is only 1.4V, definitely on the low side. You would definitely benefit from a preamp. Do you know the input sensitivity of your Ayre V-5xe? How many volts does it need to achieve full volume?

If you are able to achieve normal volume levels at 75 to 90 this strikes me as perfect. You enjoy the volume you want, coupled with excellent S/N.


Why is that a problem?
IS the attentuator engaged?
What is the gain of the amp?

If you are not already doing so, try the DS’s XLR outputs, which would double the voltage of the RCA outputs from @ 1.4v to @ 2.8v. If that is still not enough gain, then you may want to try an active preamp (I am using the DS Sr.'s XLR outputs into my preamp, and then the preamp’s RCA outputs; I have my preamp set to +18dB on the XLR inputs used by the DS Sr.).

Hi Jeff, thanks for the advice. Sorry for the late reply, was working on the system. I am using RCA outs. I’m a newbie here, so please bear with my naiveté. Not sure of input sensitivity on the amp or volts needed to achieve full volume. Specs show100 kΩ – unbalanced inputs. I switched out the Ayre for a old classe and when connected to the DSD and DMP had some volume issues. Thanks!

Hi Elk, thanks for the help. I have other friends who use the same DSD and never approach that volume level. I’m a newbie to this, but just doesn’t seem correct.

RonP, thanks for the reply! Attentuator is not engaged. Amp gain is 26 dB.

Hi bootzilla, thanks for the reply! I have XLR’s coming and will use try your advice with those. I don’t have a pream, want to just use DSD for that purpose.

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This will likely help.

Jeff, thanks again for your advice.

Every system has a different gain structure. The volume needed on the DSD varies with amp sensitivity and speaker sensitivity.

Thanks Elk, appreciate the knowledge. I have a huge learning curve in front of me.

We all do. :slight_smile:

Ask away - there are many knowledgeable people here to help. I keep learning from others.

Ted has already explained the reason for why the DS has so low output volume (Volts).
I also have problems with this.