I really like my PWDAC MKII but do find that I use volume levels of 40-50 quite often.
I know how important gain matching is and also losing resolution with a digital volume.
With the levels I use, should I be using a preamp?
What are your experiences?
A good preamp costs a lot of money :>)
At 50 any loss should not be audible to any but the absolutely most discerning ears listening to the quietest and most highly resolving systems possible. At 40 I think that few people should be able to hear any loss in quality and then probably only in an excellent system an in a critical listening mode. Below 40 I would ecpect losses to become more easily discernible and it is up to the listener ti determine how much it is and what it is worth to correct the problem. I would consider a passive attenuator as was discussed about two years ago. There are some that are quite good and cost a lot whole less than a preamp.
Other opinions are likely to differ from mine and I am curious to see what others say. Perhaps I will learn something.
During night i’m often listening between 23-32 and it’s still much better than using preamp (inside my integrated Electrocompaniet).
It seems the PWD really sounds best direct to amp. Maybe having costly high-end preamp would give better results but i do not possess one , so can’t comment
I’m curious what the other experienced users’ answers are. I’ll be driving an amp directly from the PWDII and using its digital volume control. My concern is about losing “bits”/resolution in the music and had looked at passives (notably the Lightspeed attenuator) as an option. Going to hold off until I listen to this config myself (waiting on a cable to arrive) and reading the good advice of folks here on what is the best configuration with no loss of fidelity here.
…i recently sold my $16K+ preamp after hearing how much better my PWD MKII sounded when connected directly to my Chalice Audio ‘Grail’ mono block SETs. i use the volume control through my ipad and it works great.i listen anywhere from 50 - 90 depending on what i am listening to…