Qs on volume level on Direct Stream Senior

I know it may have been discussed in this forum in many post. But not able to pull out the right ones. So creating a new post.

I am recently trying to experiment with the volume level setting in DS Sr with prolonged listening. I have few Qs -

  1. Is this setup primarily to match sensitivity of the speakers ?
  2. With the Volume level being set as ‘low’ in DSS is one supposed to hear more clarity/better sound stage/image by increasing Pre-Amps volume (if yes not sure why) ?
  3. Is this the same configuration which will have more options in TSS (more than just high and low) ?

I am personally finding that if this one is set up as ‘low’ it is creating more defined/controlled/less fatiguing sound compared to the case when it is setup as ‘high’, especially with low quality mp3/aac/redbook files. I have McIntosh C2300 preamp, 2xMC275 power amps in monoblock setting, Sonus Fabre Cremona M Floor Standing speaker in a 10x14x11 room.

Any thoughts/comments ?


I think of low vs high on the DS being there to fine tune matching with the preamp, amp and speakers. With my two setups, I often find the low setting to work best best but there are times in my second setup where I switch to high for a little extra “oomph”. I always switch back to low after having a bit of fun.

Moral of the story for me is go with what sounds best to your ears and enjoy the music😊

The 20dB attenuator in the DS is there to allow it to integrate into more sensitive systems. This is most important when there is no preamp. But really in any system people should simply find the combination of DS volume, 20dB attenuator setting and preamp volume that they like best. At night I tend to set my preamp to it’s minimum and use the DS’s volume control and in the day I usually set the DS to 100 and use the preamp’s volume. With some previous software releases some liked the DS’s volume around, say, 85 to 90 and then using their preamp’s volume. With Windom 96 to 100 is probably the optimum for most systems.

The TSS will have a different implementation of the attenuator, it will allow 0, 6, 12, 18, 24 or 30 dB attenuation settings which should allow easier integration into more systems. It will also have the “standard” output levels of 4VRMS for balanced and 2VRMS for unbalanced. There will also be an option for 4VRMS for unbalanced too.


sheepishly asks… when can we expect the TSS? :blush:

The most recent thing I remember Paul posting was we’ll like it out by year’s end, but there’s a lot that could happen between now and then. I got the boards back a few days ago and they look good. So far no real problems, but see the TSS thread:


Yes, Ted’s correct but in our last engineering meeting it looks like TSS has been moved into the first quarter of 2021.

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