Do you use the volume of your amp or source?

Discussion in 'DACs' started by o_rod, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. o_rod

    o_rod Member

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    Hey guys,
    One thing I've been thinking about lately is what people adjust for their volume?

    My PC is my source, it goes to my Soundblaster USB DAC then to my amp. So is it best to leave the PC the same volume and use the amp to raise volume, or leave the amp at max then use the source?
     
  2. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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    I use source at max,amp for volume.

    Eric
     
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  3. turnitdown

    turnitdown Well-worn member Subscriber

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  4. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Depends on the amp setup. My Denon only had gain control on the rear, no actual volume controls. I do volume on whatever is hooked up as it's preamp.

    In general I try to avoid redundant volume controls. I wish all usb dacs had a "reference level" seeings that disabled the volume control and fixed the output level at whatever maximizes the DAC performance.

    On my Audient iD14, I found that using -10dB set in software works best with my headphone amp. They recommend starting at -20dB and adjusting amp level to suit from there but I found that the extra 10dB on the input side kept me in a nice range volume setting wise on the amp.
     
  5. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    I use the amp with vinyl though it does mean getting up to do so.

    For digital content I usually adjust the volume on the media PC though soon I'll be moving to a Gieseler GroƟ DAC so I'll disable that in JRIVER and adjust with the DAC remote instead. :)
     
  6. BMWCCA

    BMWCCA AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'll preface by saying . . . I could be doing it wrong!

    I start with my pre-amp volume set about mid-range and then adjust the input attenuators (not volume controls) on my amps to what would be a reasonably loud level in my room. That gives me a working range on my pre-amp (and also prevents that theoretical 3-year-old who cranks up the volume control without an invitation from doing serious damage). Then I use my Emotiva DAC to adjust the listening level of all the sources fed into its various inputs using its remote from my listening position. No component is at "max". The Emotiva has a zero gain setting that is usually where I listen but I can mute or lower the sound with the remote which would otherwise not be possible in my vintage system. It sounds clean to me. :dunno:
     
  7. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    My source at full volume and use my pre-amp volume control. My amps have no input control, so it goes in at full input.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  8. Oerets

    Oerets AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Unless in a multiple amplifier, speaker configuration the control is max on the amplifier. Use the preamplifer for volume control.


    Barney
     
  9. o_rod

    o_rod Member

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    Interesting guys, thanks.

    Speakers with less power handling, i drop the amp to half or less and use the preamp to do the volume. This seems to stop distortion from overpowering and the speakers can go louder with no distortion...

    When i connect speakers with high power handling i raise the amps volume to 3/4+ and use the pre amp for adjustments...

    So basically i just use the amp volume knob to set the max amplification i think the speaker can takr without distorting then use the source for volume. Not sure if this makes sense but seems to work.
     
  10. Rockon1

    Rockon1 Active Member

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    With my computer I use my Scarlett 2i2 volume control. The JBL powered monitors stay at max. Bob
     
  11. elcoholic

    elcoholic AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I avoid and if possible disable software volume control in favor of hardware. Where possible I adjust volume at the preamp, integrated amp or receiver.
     
  12. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    I'm quite certain I am doing it wrong so whatever you do don't follow my lead here. I use the volume control in JRiver for most of my volume control. I have my preamp volume set at straight up 12 O,clock and the power amp levels at 40%. This affords me the luxury to lay back in my very comfy easy chair and if volume control is required I simply roll the little wheel on a cordless mouse to control the volume (usually between 50 and 75%). I keep everything so if I were to accidentally open the software volume to 100% nothing is going to get blown up.

    I am supposed to be hearing reduced SQ this way, but I'll be damned if I can hear it.. :dunno:
     
  13. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I think nowadays most good DACs don't really suffer for digital volume control.
     
  14. beanoil

    beanoil That's not how this works

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    Strictly for convenience, amp is at 50%, volume control handled by JRiver on the tablet.
     
  15. ldatlof

    ldatlof We are all steak Subscriber

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    Me too.
     

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