Suggestion for an enhancement to DirectStream’s volume/attenuator control

Since I have high efficiency speakers, I listen with the 20dB attenuator engaged as much as possible because this results in the lowest noise floor.

However, I do periodically encounter recordings for which the ideal volume is just beyond ‘106’, and I need to disengage the attenuator. Of course, I first have to reduce the volume to ~ 60 to avoid blasting the sound.

It struck me that it would be very convenient if toggling the attenuator via the ‘filter’ button would automatically adjust the software volume setting so that the output loudness would remain comparable to what it was with the previous attenuator position.

Not only would the chances of accidentally blowing up the speakers be eliminated, but one would in effect have a continuous volume control between the two attenuator ranges.

I was wondering if this is something that would be possible to implement as part of a future firmware update.


Good idea.

Very good idea.

Interesting thought.

It would however frustrate those who use the attenuator as a semi-mute button.

Good idea. The downside is that you forget that you have invoked the Filter button. I suggest a small icon on the display saying that the -20dB attenuator is active. Shouldn’t be a huge problem to do a workaround. It isn’t even needed if you find the sound level satsifactory, however it could alter the volume sweet spot of your preamp if you use one.

“The downside is that you forget that you have invoked the Filter button”

That’s hard to discern even today (except, in my case, by listening for the noise floor), so a visual icon would indeed be helpful.

“Hard to discern” meaning you have difficulty hearing -20dB?

you have difficulty hearing -20dB

No. What I meant was that if the DS is playing, it’s hard to be sure of the filter status, since a particular playback level could have been achieved by a combination of either of the attenuator settings and a suitable volume setting.

The status can of course be deduced - either by checking the volume (if the volume is 100 and the sound is not unbearably loud this likely means that the attenuator is in; conversely if the volume is set to a relatively low number but the sound is quite loud it’s likely the attenuator is not in), or, as I said, in my case by listening for the noise floor.

Got it. Makes perfect sense.

I find the sound of having the -20 in completely kills the sound, dynamics, etc.

lowering the volume sounds much better.