PWD DAC II Volume Question

For the best SQ what volume setting on the DAC should be used when connected ta a preamp ?

I’ve read that it should be set at 100, but here’s what I don’t understand.

If 100 is correct for outputting to a preamp, wouldn’t the same setting be way too much if I outputted the PWD directly into my power amp ?


The PWD incorporates a very good digital volume control. As a general rule of thumb, there is no loss of resolution down to about 50 on the volume control. Lower than this still sounds good however.

Turn the volume down to zero before connecting the PWD to an amp, turn on the amp and start turning up the volume. You are absolutely correct that you do not want to run the PWD directly into an amp at 100. :slight_smile:

Thanks, got it.

@parisphoto - The PWD has a lot of gain, and was designed to be the only output stage needed before a power amp. For some who have sensitive amps and speakers, it is too much (me for example - I cannot go about 35 or so), and others prefer the sound with a pre-amp depending on their setup. Experiment, but just watch the volume if you output direct to a poweramp so you don’t have smoking speaker drivers!!

I also have a problem with max PWD volume levels around 35-40 over the bridge. Has anyone got a quality answer for this. I’m thinking about using a stepped attenuator but probably just need a fixed value resistor. Any thoughts are welcome.

A resistor switch network will certainly work, but then one loses the very low output impedance (<1 ohm) of the PWD.

That’s a good point. Maybe a transformer volume control would be better?

This strikes me as even more problematic; variable impedance with frequency, other potential issues of various responses with frequency, and expensive as high quality transformers do not come cheap.

I would try buying/building a simple high quality resistor network see if the sound is better with it or without it.

I would like the PWD to have a couple of gain settings pre-attenuation but, unfortunately, this was not included.


looking here :wink:

very interesting about Gainsettings

Best Regards