DSD Volume

Hi everyone

I’m running a roon core into my DSD / BHK pre. By accident I lowered the volume on the DSD and I’m finding with the volume on the DSD down at 95 the overall sound quality seems a little better.

Has anyone else found this?

Keen to hear other thoughts on this. Definitely worth a try if you are using a DSD.


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I run my volume at 90, seems to work best for me.

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I seem to remember a discussion where the optimum pre-amp performance was achieved with the volume control between 11 and 1 o’clock, while using the DAC to control listening level. But I generally like the DAC at 85-90. Give it a try and see what works for you. It has something to do with its performance sweet spot. OMKM.

I’m doing exactly the same thing. The sound stage just sounds a bit more “relaxed” at 95 than what it does at 100. Exactly the same setup as well, DSD into BHK.

I’m a 96 guy. DAC into tube integrated.

Lots of info here.

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Most of that info was relevant with BHK pre and DSD when Snowmass was installed at the time of topic. I am sure many use a bit different preferences now with Windom.
Still system related as always,but I have settled now after a lot of going back and forward to use DSD around 90 and BHK pre at lower settings than boosting pre up to 75 or so and adjusting volume by DSD. My speakers are too efficient to get both BHK pre and dac to optimal settings range without way too loud sound.

Guess we need an update and new debate to settings with Windom ? :slightly_smiling_face: I think Ted said that with Windom it is better to use higher volume settings like 96 to 100,than with Snowmass around 80 or so. Still I feel like others said that it feels a bit stressed when volume is maxed out.

I am at 80 on the DSD and 53 on the Pre with 10dB attenuators to the monos to 99dB speakers.

Do you hear hiss with your Tekton´s because you use those attenuators or is it just to tame that efficiency down a bit?
Reason I ask is that another Tekton / PS Audio setup owner with BHK pre said he hears too much hiss,but in my system I don´t hear any hiss to my listening position.

I recall hearing slight hiss at 80/53 sitting 8ft away without the attenuators, but the reason I added them was it was too loud for normal listening. The 10dB drop brings the SPL down to normal for me while maximizing DSD gain and Pre noise level. Pre noise is higher at 52 than 53.

I looked out and maybe something like Rothwell -10db attenuators might work here too then to optimise gain. Have you noticed any degradation of sound using them,or does benefits in gain diminish loss of SQ using extra connectors ? Hate the idea to install extra “crappy” connectors in signal chain :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Here I set the DS as a digital pre amp with windom to 100 but with -20 dB attenuation to allow my Accuphase A-60 power regulates the gain achieving the best S/N with lower hiss at the volume level I like. A-60 has to be set to -3db to listem to Tidal/Room/ BridgeII.
To listen to OPPO 203/ OPPOMOD I2S HDMI signal I have to lower A-60 to its -12db gain keeping DS volume at 100 with -20 attenuation.

The Rothwell’s, which I use, do not seem to degrade the sound.

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In my setup I’ve found I prefer the DS@85, BHK preamp in the middle range between 30-53. I get slightly more preamp noise its the upper range of gain.

…but, I have Roon as a transport performing volume leveling to HQPe for noise shaping and convolution and up to 192PCM sometimes to NAA and then I2S to DS.

Volume leveling EBU-R128 typically between -6dB and -14dB. I need ~8dB for to avoid clipping post convolution.

My DIrect Stream Dac has started to jump down in volume when I am using variable output.

If I listen to 86 it jumps down to 51.

Can this be solved?

Look forward to hear Your feedback.

Love this forum…

fre. 28. maj 2021 02.51 skrev jazznut via PS Audio <psaudio@discoursemail.com>:

If you lock the DAC level instead of it being set to variable, this won’t happen.
Also, if you lock the DAC level through the settings, this also prevents it from happening.

i am using the DS DAC to control volume and set the pre-amp out to max. Which bypass the pre-amp volume control. My DS DAC output is between 40-65. the DS DAC input from Roon via USB and I2S from PST.

i found that it sounds better, because the note hang around a bit longer

i think, removing the volume control on pre-amp shorten the signal path
i would like to hear your experience