Understanding DS level 92 vs. 100

In the thread about modding the DS, Ted has posted about using a volume level of 92 as optimum. (The DS II won’t have the same issue).

The funny thing is before reading any of this I felt if I had to lower the DS from 100, where I where I normally play it, 92 seemed to sound better than other levels. I really thought it was my imagination, as how could 92 be the magic volume number, but perhaps I’m not as deluded as I thought I was.

In recently playing with 92 vs. 100, I still feel like 100 sounds better, and I’m wondering what others have found. BTW I’m using an excellent all tube preamp with a hand built discrete volume control.

You can check the long discussion here

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and this one from Apr-11:
“The exact DS volume that sounds best also depends on the music you listen to. 92 (on Windom) is the lowest you’ll need to go for any music. If you listen to quieter music (or less compressed music), the DS volume can go up…”

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I’ve always listened to my DSJ at 100. I don’t notice any difference if I lower it to 92 and then increase the BHK pre to compensate. :man_shrugging:


I have listen at 92 for a few months, and I found if I lower by 10 to 82 then adjusting the pre volume higher I did not like it. But increase higher than 92 I also did not hear any improvement. So maybe 92 or higher is the where the DS should set (Sunlight version).

I agree with you. It’s one of those things that is so subtle, I have to really listen out for a difference. Like @Craig_Burgess mentioned in a different thread, once the music starts playing, I get distracted and just start enjoying the music!


I’ve always preferred the sound of my DSD with the attenuator engaged, and the digital volume at 100. This lets me keep the volume on my BHK Pre at or above 53, which to me sounds best. If I need to lower volume below normal listening levels, I do it with the DSD, not the BHK.

I’ve read numerous opinions regarding the DSD output setting, and most seem to prefer the high level, but in my system it’s too bright/forward on high. I’ve even tried running it on the high setting, with the volume backed off to 92, or 89, etc…, but it never sounds as good as the low setting, with DSD volume at 100, and BHK volume at or above 53.

What amp are you running?

Interesting. I run the DS DAC at 92 into a CJ CA200. It’s a control amplifier meaning a passive preamp (stepped resistors at .67 dB per click) in front of the amp portion and while setting the DAC to 100 sounds okay at 92 it has a more refined sound if that makes any sense.

I’d been using Sunlight since day 1 and was quite happy. Some mention in another thread about Windom so I reloaded that. I’d forgotten how good it is/was. Not quite as detailed on my system but quite musical. After a short while I forget which firmware I’m running and just enjoy the music or movie or whatever.

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Krell FPB-600c.

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