Questions about optimizing DS volume with preamp


#1

One of the first things I did with the DS was to adjust the DS volume settings so my preamp would match the way I had it set with the PWD. I did that, but then started thinking about whether there was a way to “make it better”. My Pass preamp has a volume control that goes through 31 detents to reach full volume. With the PWD in place “normal” listening levels were with the preamp at 13; not a very wide range. Now, I could have lowered the PWD volume to get greater range on the preamp, but I adjusted the PWD volume at the time to match the DAC I was using before that. I know.tmi_gif

So here’s the thing. I want to maybe get past that “have to have things set the way they were before” approach, but there is a bit more flexibility with the DS. Questions:

  1. How low a volume setting can I use on the DS before I begin losing anything? For example, I decided to see how low I’d have to set the DS if I wanted “normal” listening to be at 18 on the preamp. I had to set the DS to 79. Seems like you wouldn’t want it that low, given other options.

  2. Would I be better off using the Low Output setting on the DS? If I did that I would probably have to switch my preamp to its higher gain setting.


#2
tony22 said

One of the first things I did with the DS was to adjust the DS volume settings so my preamp would match the way I had it set with the PWD. I did that, but then started thinking about whether there was a way to “make it better”. My Pass preamp has a volume control that goes through 31 detents to reach full volume. With the PWD in place “normal” listening levels were with the preamp at 13; not a very wide range. Now, I could have lowered the PWD volume to get greater range on the preamp, but I adjusted the PWD volume at the time to match the DAC I was using before that. I know.tmi_gif

So here’s the thing. I want to maybe get past that “have to have things set the way they were before” approach, but there is a bit more flexibility with the DS. Questions:

  1. How low a volume setting can I use on the DS before I begin losing anything? For example, I decided to see how low I’d have to set the DS if I wanted “normal” listening to be at 18 on the preamp. I had to set the DS to 79. Seems like you wouldn’t want it that low, given other options.

  2. Would I be better off using the Low Output setting on the DS? If I did that I would probably have to switch my preamp to its higher gain setting.


79 is just about -10dB, not that much (about a factor of three in voltage)

Engaging the 20dB attenuator is like turning the volume down by 40 ticks.

My recommendation is that you engage the 20dB attenuator if you find that you never want the DS volume above 60.

The DS analog S/N is approx. 120dB, taking the volume to 60 reduces this analog S/N to approx. 100dB S/N - using the 20dB attenuator gets that 20dB back. Still “only” 100dB S/N is deeper than you can typically listen into music.


#3
Ted Smith said

Engaging the 20dB attenuator is like turning the volume down by 40 ticks.

Yes, but this is not in the digital domain, IIUC.


#4
tony22 said
Ted Smith said

Engaging the 20dB attenuator is like turning the volume down by 40 ticks.

Yes, but this is not in the digital domain, IIUC.


Yep, precisely the point - sorry that my wording wasn’t clear.

#5

I thoroughly enjoy using the DS DAC as a preamp but would like to adjust the bass down a tad. The system is being used with a Pangea XLR between the DS DAC and M700s. Has anyone found an XLR that emphasis the mid range a little more. Please disregard my question about the Pangea XLR. I just played the DS DAC to M700s for the first time since installing the Huron update…all is right…thanks Ted Smith!!!