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Best volume/best SQ using digiatal control vs other volumn sources


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When you are dealing with a computer source for your music files, combined with digital sources (audirvana, HQP, etc.), what, IYO, is the best way to set the various volume levels on the software versus the hardware. In mu desktop setup, have volume controls on Audirvana (and or HQP) plus on the PC plus on the preamp (schiit asgard} plus on the speakers (Audioegen D6 manual control).

 

What's the best way to set the volume under these circumstances, to have the best musical fidelity?

 

As always, anyy input is appreciated!

Office desktop: iMac ((Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) (4 GHz Intel Core i7) (512GB SSD) (32GB Ram)) => USB (Kimber Kable USB Silver) => V-Link 192 USB Input => V-Link Coax Output (AQ Sidewinder) => Schiit Bifrost Multibit Coax Input => Schiit Bifrost Multibit RCA Output => Schitt Pyst => Schitt Asgard 2 => (Audioquest - Mini-3) => Audioengine HD6 (slave connected with Audioquest Type 4 cable) (Pangea AC-14 Power Cord) (IsoAcoustic L8R155 stands) => Audioquest Sidewinders => Audioengine S8 Subwoofer

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When you are dealing with a computer source for your music files, combined with digital sources (audirvana, HQP, etc.), what, IYO, is the best way to set the various volume levels on the software versus the hardware. In mu desktop setup, have volume controls on Audirvana (and or HQP) plus on the PC plus on the preamp (schiit asgard} plus on the speakers (Audioegen D6 manual control).

 

What's the best way to set the volume under these circumstances, to have the best musical fidelity?

 

As always, anyy input is appreciated!

 

Put all software and digital volume controls to 100% and use the analog volume control on your preamp.

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What's the best way to set the volume under these circumstances, to have the best musical fidelity?

 

As always, anyy input is appreciated!

 

I think this depends on your system. The best volume control I have used is the internal control built in the ESS Sabre dacs.

I have used expensive resistive, transformers, and optioisolators. The 9018 dac is more transparent.

A multi-bit dac does not have this functionality. Not enough bits to throw any away for attenuation.

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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Thanks for the responses!

 

What do you recommend the volume knob on the powered speakers be set to? Assuming all software and digital volume controls are set to 100% and I am using the analog volume control on the preamp...

 

(Holy Schiit Bifrost, I thought I was typing carefully last night... Wrong!!! ;) )

Office desktop: iMac ((Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) (4 GHz Intel Core i7) (512GB SSD) (32GB Ram)) => USB (Kimber Kable USB Silver) => V-Link 192 USB Input => V-Link Coax Output (AQ Sidewinder) => Schiit Bifrost Multibit Coax Input => Schiit Bifrost Multibit RCA Output => Schitt Pyst => Schitt Asgard 2 => (Audioquest - Mini-3) => Audioengine HD6 (slave connected with Audioquest Type 4 cable) (Pangea AC-14 Power Cord) (IsoAcoustic L8R155 stands) => Audioquest Sidewinders => Audioengine S8 Subwoofer

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Thanks for the responses!

 

What do you recommend the volume knob on the powered speakers be set to? Assuming all software and digital volume controls are set to 100% and I am using the analog volume control on the preamp...

 

(Holy Schiit Bifrost, I thought I was typing carefully last night... Wrong!!! ;) )

 

I think most powered speakers would exhibit some distortion at max power. I'd set the speakers at 50%-70% and use the preamp to fine-tune from there.

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Given that the digital components have more transparent attenuation, I would leave the speaker volumes at maximum. Better yet, bypass them.

 

For peace of mind you can either set maximum output of the digital VC to a certain number like -6dB, or remember not to blast yourself. And be sure to know the relative clipping input levels for the speakers and the maximum output level of the device which feeds them.

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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Thanks for the responses!

 

What do you recommend the volume knob on the powered speakers be set to? Assuming all software and digital volume controls are set to 100% and I am using the analog volume control on the preamp...

 

(Holy Schiit Bifrost, I thought I was typing carefully last night... Wrong!!! ;) )

 

Set it to whatever gives you the best range of control. There's a reason behind setting digital and software volume controls to max, but analog is different. Unless it says otherwise in your owners manual, set the gain controls on your speakers to whatever works best for your preamp.

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