Reducing DSD Gain with Preamp

I recently stumbled across a post about reducing the DSD gain when using it with a preamp. I tried this, and WOW, what a noticeable improvement! The DSD has never sounded better. (Was fixed at 100, currently using it fixed at 77.)

I’m wondering, how does PS Audio set the gains between the DSD and BHK Pre, in the demo room(s)?

I can’t help but also wonder, is there a possibility that the output transformers in the DSD are happier with the reduced gain? I understand that there was some cost savings done regarding the transformers, in that they were downgraded from the prototype. Just wondering, is there a possibility of some slight saturation going on, at the highest output levels? I ask because there is a subtle coloration that seems to be gone - with the reduced gain.

Don’t overthink it. Twist the knobs and enjoy. On a source basis (your various hardware sources), and on a by-album basis within those sources.

If you want to go down the rabbit holes many here have dug, explore the Forums.

There are no set gains here in Boulder, or anywhere else. It is system and taste dependent.

Though I can/would say that Snowmass may benefit from DS gain reduction more than Windom.


For what it is worth, Paul likes the BHK Preamp at 53 or above. So tailor you DSD gain to give you that output range.

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Yeah, I swear the DSD volume in the IRS room is always changing. Sometimes it’s at 100, other times it’s around 78-80. I think everyone has their preference.

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