A volume controller should only be pointed at a single device. The behavior as described, from my understanding, has volume control happening simultaneously on 2 devices (the DAC and the Spotify GUI). That is just silly.
But that’s not what’s happening. So it’s not silly. The volume control in the application is only changing the volume of the hardware device it’s controlling. In this case, it’s the Directstream. The application is slave to the volume of the hardware player. If I change the volume with my PS Audio remote control for the DAC, the volume in the application (Roon, JRiver, Spotify) adjusts with it to reflect the volume level of the hardware device, not some form of software volume control. So the application just mirrors what the hardware device says the volume is and you have the option to control it in either place. It’s reasonably easy to implement as the devices can talk to each other over the network. They do this, presumably, to make sure audio quality is not lost. More often than not, the hardware you’re listening on will do volume control better than what can be achieved in software within these applications. And in this case, the Directstream has lossless volume control so it works out well.
I must admit I have not seen how you would set that up in Roon, at least. I’m only familiar with having DSP volume on (adjustable in Roon) or off (fixed at 100%) and haven’t known of any way to affect the physical volume setting on the DS via the software. I have accidentally swiped the volume control in mConnect with the DS set at 100…that sucked for a few seconds : ). Is this unique to Spotify and JRiver?
I’m with you. The volume of the Spotify GUI stays fixed (say 100%), independent of what’s happening with the volume at the DAC end.
In Roon, see here:
Under volume control you can set “fixed” or “device volume” and when set this way it allows you to control the volume of your Directstream within the Roon application if you want. Both options are still lossless (as long as you have DSP disabled) as both options still only allow the Directstream to control the volume. Think of this as just another remote control option to set the volume of your DAC. This is not a “volume control” as I think Brodric was thinking it was.
I also appreciate software/firmware which allows setting a limit on the volume. It is much easier to make a mistake with a virtual interface than when turning a physical knob.
Interesting. It’s also possible to do that setting on my USB Zone, and it behaves the same in Roon in terms of a volume slider showing up, but it does not affect the DS. So this is a Bridge thing.
Paul/Ted - are you guys aware of this? Sounds like a good way for someone to blow up their speakers and blame you…? Is this something Convers has enabled?
Yes, this is a Bridge thing. It’s more of a DLNA/UPnP type thing really as they all seem to have this control if you want to use it. The speaker blowing up issue is why I originally started talking about this. When I use Spotify Connect and my Direcstream, there is a bug that happens. When I select the Directstream as my Spotify Connect device it will immediately being playing music (the last played track to be more specific) so if I had the volume at 100% or close to it there is a potential issue where damaged speakers could happen. With the other applications I don’t see this as an issue because you can disable this type of control (as I’ve shown you) but also because music will only start to play when I choose to start it.
Overall, I think this is how it should be though as software volume control in these applications will degrade sound quality. I mean, this is no different than someone setting “fixed” in Roon and accidentally forgetting to turn the volume down on the DAC. This almost seems like a more dangerous setting because fixed means it’s always telling it to play as loud as possible. You just need to be careful.
Right, thanks. My current issue with regard to volume on the DS is that I’m not using a pre since Redcloud came out. So having the limit settings is nice. Still would prefer having a pre - but in the midst of moving, so I’m putting that one off for now.
Plus I tend to prefer the sound of my USB chain, and so don’t use the Bridge a lot. But having a remote volume control for the DS from the iPad is huge.
Yeah, a lot of this seems to be setup dependent. I’m not using a pre-amp either. The Directstream’s volume control acts as my pre-amp. Lucky for me, I’m only using a 25 wpc Class A single ended amp, so even at 100% I don’t think it would damage my speakers. But I suspect for most others it could do some damage.
Mine’s balanced and 10x the power, so much above 60 is lethal in most instances. I prefer my sources and DAC at 100% or thereabouts controlled with a pre. But my VTL is both single-ended and tubed, which are two things I have less patience for these days. ; )
So it is currently sidelined. Don’t think I’ll sell it though. Love the thing.
I suspect, even if you drive a 25 wpc amplifier to clipping you might damage your speakers.
It depends on the type of music I’m playing. Newer music is mixed louder. But I typically play older music at or close to 100% for critical listening as this is the only way to get it close to realistic sound levels. No damage. But it’s possible that music mixed louder on newer albums at 100% could do some damage. My speakers aren’t crazy efficient (86dB) so that helps too.
BTW, Seegs - Thanks for turning me on to that! : )
Using 3.6.2, artwork does not work with Audirvana on Mac, and the progress bar never moves - same symptoms as with Roon, so these symptoms aren’t Roon’s fault.
I think it’s been well established now that the problems are ConversDigital fault, which PS Audio missed before releasing it, and they are both in the process of fixing it.
What Brodric says about clipping is 100% true, I have fried a tweeter by clipping a 15wpc amp.
PS re the whole Mac/Windows Mconnect issue… has anybody tried it on a virtual windows machine on a Mac? I am not a Mac guy so cannot volunteer. In any event, just a quick observation from someone who, like many others here, has worked in the software industry. Whether or not to outsource and use (either as shipped or modified) pre-existing solutions can be a tough call. Personally, I have always been the guy who argued strenuously for the merits of keeping development resources in-house. But it isn’t always possible, especially for a smaller company like PS Audio. By going with Mconnect PSA got what has proven so far (the current firmware issues nothwithstanding) to be a very good solution, and without having to hire developers and keep them on the payroll whether as regular employees or long-term consultants. The downside of course is that they can’t exert total control over what the vendor allocates resources to. I was one of the early Bridge beta testers, and the pain of some of PSA’s early outsourcing decisions is still firmly in my mind. But ultimately, any choice has upsides and downsides. I think Paul and company probably made the right choice in this case all in all, but I hope the Mac issues do get addressed (assuming that the virtual machine apps don’t run Mconnect, anyway.)
Let’s assume the software does work in a Windows VM on the Mac. That means the Mac person needs to buy a copy of Windows and the VM software. Then they need to to figure out how to use Windows if they don’t already know. That is not really a practical solution for the average macOS user.
So, Seegs, again, thanks.
How effed up is it that I now “prefer” using the Bridge input, not necessarily for SQ, but for functionality that Roon provided via a nice DNLA Volume interface? Actually, not effed up at all.
I will admit that, at the moment in my listening life, I am fully in a “doing stuff while music is on” mode, vs. “Sitting in the Sweet Spot critically evaluating SQ differences.” Mode. So it’s apples and oranges as far as that goes, but to me it points up a Single Major issue regarding functionality of the software/hardware.
I had been bummed for a while - maybe a couple of decades or so (though I didn’t fully realize it until now with respect to the DSJ) about the fact that I really don’t care for traditional physical remotes - really never have, come to think of it, despite going through boxes of them, including the latest and greatest programmable/smart remote - except in certain specific instances.
Clunky, you have to find it, you have to find the button you want, it may or may not light up in the dark, you have to point it in the right direction, the button layout on every one ever made is different (including from the same manufacturer) so good luck with muscle memory, you may not be in line of sight, or you may have to buy and deploy another solution to allow pointing it anywhere, etc. Etc.
[This is all coming from a real-world, low-end remote control solution POV, which I think is where most of us live. I used to work in Custom Install for a while where every room in the X-Million-dollar house had a proprietary wireless touchscreen device sitting around that could basically control anything in the house - multiple zone music, video, cameras, alarms, HVAC, etc… This was pre-Apple devices being integrated into the closed/walled/fenced system.]
For the last maybe year or so, due to changes, the Rack has been Not in the Line of Sight of a remote in any case. Why can’t I control the DSJ volume, etc. from my main music interface - the iPad running Roon/Tidal?
Now I can.
Just sayin’. And my case is but one of many.