Using a Preamp or Not with PWD DAC

The manual clearly states and Paul’s couple of speech says that the preamp is a depriciated device and we should be very much ok with PWD’s digital volüme control and as in this case the source has adequate levels of output current that it can drive a power amp satisfactorily.

PWD’s digital volüme control is bit-perfect only on 100% volüme level right? So if we are to use it as a preamp too, we have a slightly loss of quality in the digital volüme control right? Adding a preamp with a superior analog volüme control, can it justify the added electronic’s, sockets, power cords impact on sound quality loss only to bypass the digital volume’s effect? I would like to get some insight regarding this.

DSD’s volüme control is as far as I know bit-perfect at all volüme levels? So how much do U think that it will have an advantage over PWD’s volüme control?

I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over the “why” in this situation. Paul prefers a preamp with both the PWD and DS as do many others here. All that really matters is which combination that you prefer. The PWD has a nice output stage that is superior to many source devices but it is likely not competitive with your modded Pass pre.

Thanks wglenn for the answer…

Do U think that all the extras associated with adding a preamp into the system, all that active circuitry of the preamp, an extra interconnect, an extra power cord and their combinational effect will not colorize the sound?

Please don’t get me wrong just that as faraş I see there are 2 camps WHO prefer absolute neutrality (getting as much as close to that actually) when reproducing the sound and ones who search for their sound (doesn’t have to be loyal to the recording to the instrument to an absolute reality… as long as they are satisfied with tthe sound of the system that is all it cares).

I prefer to be in the first camp and doesn’t whether if I prefer it less as long as I know that my system produces loyal to the source, recording instrument sound I am happy with it.

So when looking at things from this prespective I wonder if PWD or DS directly to power amp (although with the lesser quality of the digital volüme control (maybe not that much not an expert on this topic) would be a more true rendering of the produced sound? Cause I am quite sure that although I ennjoy the Pass’s 3D rendering and holographic presentation, the Pianos sound more bright like a tonky piano than they should…


I answered in your other thread:


I always thought a preamp was an improvement but I’m currently borrowing a PWD and I found it was clipping on 100 volume with a preamp. More noticeable on some preamps and integrated than others.

So, for a test I’ve connected it straight to my Emotiva A300 power amp , Klipsch Fortes and wow. So lush and effortless. Normally DACs connected direct to Amps (my CXN V2 for example) sound thin and sterile, but the PWD is magic. Bass is very commanding and percussive with drums, it also just flows beautifully.

Kinda changed my mine a bit. The size and weight of the PWD means there’s a decent power supply which much make a difference.