Setting Output Levels on DS

I have just taken delivery of my new DS but the QSG has left me somewhat uncertain about how to configure the DS output when using an external pre-amp. “Adjusting the output level” on pg 6 doesn’t tell me what I need to know, i.e. what is the “pass-through” volume setting?

In the DS there isn’t really a pass thru volume setting. The volume multiply is always there no matter what volume is selected. In general with a preamp you’d like to have the highest signal from your sources that your preamp can handle without overload/distortion which is almost always 100 on the DS. Some people prefer to have their sources matched in level before the preamp so they can switch back and forth without adjustment. In that case it’s fine to set your volume on the DS down somewhat from 100 without any distortion/loss of precision etc.

Thanks Ted. I had the DS set to vol = 100 when playing a few CD, then with the same source I played a BR and it was way too loud and I had to turn the DS volume down. With the source connected directly to the pre-amp I can switch between BR/CD playback without needing to tweak the volume, but when the DS was between the source and pre-amp I needed to crank the volume down when switching to BR playback after the volume was set for CD. As if the DS output gain varies whether the source is 44.1/16 or 48/24, which had me thinking if there could be a volume offset feature that will change the output volume setting automatically on the fly when changes in input resolution are detected.

The DS only has one volume control and no offsets. If the source material has reasonable levels you might need to check your downmixing settings on the player - you might be mixing multiple channels to stereo for example or you might have some sort of DSP…

I just created a couple of files differing only in their sample rates and resolution depth. I played each back and measured the SPL level of each.

The DS plays them back at identical volume.

Can’t you just use the DS -20dB switch?

In my installation the DS is just a box that requires no interaction, just a single I/O and fixed volume output. I’d like to keep it that way. Given the above comments obviously my source player is outputting BR and CD content at different levels.

Are all Blu-Rays significantly louder than all CDs, or just the one you tried?

Every type of optical disc has some loud releases, some soft, some in between, etc.

In Kaleidescape I can adjust the source player output levels dependent on content type, so I’ll just play with those settings to see if I can tame the volume imbalance.

My new DS has just passed 25 hours burn-in and it’s just spun its first piece of sonic magic…

Are all Blu-Rays significantly louder than all CDs, or just the one you tried?

What input(s) are you using?