Volume and impact on S/N, bit length on DSD Jr

I have to reduce the output volume on my DSD JR when running it into my ARC LS28SE pre amp. I use balanced cables from the DSD JR to the pre amp and have to turn down the DSD JR volume to about 65 in order to have it be adequately quiet when the ARC pre volume is set to 1 (the lowest volume setting on the pre amp).

Is ther ea way to reduce the DSD Jr volume without compromising its S/N or bit length or sound quality? Does the “attenuation” button on the remote for the DSD JR reduce the volume in the digital or analog domain and which is preferable ? In order of least impactful to the sound quality what does @tedsmith suggest ? Use RCA cables from the DSD jr to the pre instead of XLR ? Reduce the volume with the volume knob on the DSD, attenuate via the “attenuate” button on the remote of the DSD? Or some combo of these ? Thanks

I don’t know the DSD Jr, but is there a setting to lower the voltage output? Something like 6V to 2V?

Here’s an example on a dCS Rossini:

I use the attenuator on my DSJr when feeding the BHK Pre. It was just too loud otherwise and didn’t give me much range on the volume knob.

Thanks, yes, my question is which method of reducing the DAC volume is least intrusive- does turning the knob down to -70 cut any bits or add any S/N ?

Does the “attenuation” button on the remote for the DSD Jr turn down the volume the same way as the knob or does it reduce it in the analog rather than the digital in which case maybe it’s less intrusive on degrading the signal ?


The attenuation button is a -20dB analog shunt to ground. It reduces both signal and noise from the output opamps at the same time, but has a slight sound quality penalty all of its own. Experiment and see if you like it.

With the attenuator engaged you’ll have a volume level very similar to a digital volume setting of 60 on the DAC without the attenuator, but your digital noise floor will be 20dB lower.

The digital volume control on the DS Jr is “lossless” in the sense that it still uses every bit of incoming digital information to calculate the outgoing waveform, but when reducing the volume you do push the waveform down into the digital noise floor which hovers at about -100dBFS. If you can’t hear that noise floor from your system when no music is playing then you don’t have to care about that.

So try with and without attenuator and see what you like the best.

Thanks ! Seems like trying to avoid using the attenuator and just bringing down the main volume as little as possible will keep the purest signal output to the pre amp. It’s the input sensitivity on the Audio Research preamp that’s the issue. For some reason- and maybe its intentional to mask any tube related noise- the ARC pre at it’s lowest volume setting still borders on being too loud with the DAC input. The Pass XP10 pre amp I’ve been using was fine. The Audio Research is the LS28SE.

thanks !

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