Noise issue running DS Sr. direct to power amp. Time to plumb in my Pre again?

Had my DS Snr couple of months now plumbed directly into my 300B SET power amp.
8 watts of goodness into 94 db efficient speakers give plenty of volume, dynamic enough to rattle the pictures on the wall at half volume, so all good.

Have had background noise though constantly from the dac, categorise it as hiss mainly, but also some electrical mush in there as well?
(Have a video I can upload of noise if need be)
Been reading about the inherant noise 1bit dacs can have compared to PCM, Ted’s given some great explainations on that, and Ive tried the suggested -20db filter switch, but even 100% (106) volume is quiet and lacks dtnamics in my system.

So will setting the Dac to to 100% with the -20db OFF and plumbing in my Densen DM-20 preamp have a positive effect?

At the moment unfortunately I have to say the Dac is quite noisy, even compared to £200 gbp ones Ive troubleshooted with.
The noise reminds me of the buzz my old plasma tv used to make, except this time through the speakers.
Not complaining guys, just looking for a solution if possible.

Run the DS strictly as a dac into my Pre to better suit my systems gain structure?
Would let me spin my vinyl again…no bad thing. :slight_smile:


I would try the preamp, which is what I do and without noise.

I have never had any success running DACs direct into valve (tube) power amplifiers and using the DAC volume control.

Whatever the reason, I got much clearer sound, less muddied bass, better sound staging and just generally more detail by using a pre amp.

After 40 years of using active pre amps (mostly valve ones) I ended up using Music First transformer volume control passive preamps and never looked back.

It also seems to be important to set the DAC output to somewhere near a normal output from a DAC ie 2v or thereabouts and then use the preamp to attenuate the volume.

Just as an aside, I use the same dac direct into solid state power amps with no issues and great results. Better in fact than using a preamp in that situation.

ive got my DS Sr direct to a ZOTL40 direct to 99dB voxativs. with redcloud its completely silent. i only noticed noise on a DSJ with huron.

When I use the DS JR into a pre I get 120 hz noise…the DS JR in in your shop now but they can’t seem to duplicate. With me it happened on two separate pre’s one SS one Tube. Attenuator in or out no matter.

hopefully they will figure it out. This may help the OP in this thread if they do figure it out.


hmmm interesting, maybe it is dependent on the software edition.