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  1. #1

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    Default Question - connecting powered speakers to DAC

    I just received a pair of powered monitors (Fostex PMO.4n) for my computer set-up. I'm connecting them to a HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC. Both the DAC and speakers have volume controls. This probably doesn't make much difference but how would you set the volume controls in this case. I'm thinking DAC volume on MAX (which I think would supply 2.2Vrms to the speakers amps) and then adjust listening volume from the speakers volume control?
    The speaker manual doesn't list any info on input voltages, it just says to "set the gain of both monitors at medium setting and slowly bring up the gain of the (mixing) console. Adjust the gain of both monitors for balance and for best SNR"
    ____________________________
    2 - channel system -
    Ming Da MC 88-C tube integrated, Parasound Halo A23, PS Audio PerfectWave MKII w/ bridge, Martin Logan Source speakers, Kimber 4TC, Gabriel Gold Rapture V3 IC's

    HT system -
    Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH, LG 60PK550 plasma, Panasonic DMP-BDT210 BDP, DTV HD receiver, SB Touch, 5 x Polk Audio RC85i
    Computer rig - Windows 7 PC running JRiver, M2Tech HiFace 2 w/external battery power, Grant Fidelity TubeDac 11, Fostex PMO.4n monitors

  2. #2

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    Default

    I believe you would want the DAC at max volume. I've heard a few complain about loss of details when using the volume control with the Sabre DAC.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  3. #3

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    Default

    Can you disable the volume control on the DAC, or set it to "fixed"? That would be preferable, but if you can't I agree with DSkip: max it out.

    Personally I would then set the monitors to a medium/high setting and control the volume with the computer because it's easier, but you could also max out the computer and physically adjust the monitors.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  4. #4

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    Default

    Actually you can bypass the DAC volume control by moving a jumper. So that's what you would suggest?
    ____________________________
    2 - channel system -
    Ming Da MC 88-C tube integrated, Parasound Halo A23, PS Audio PerfectWave MKII w/ bridge, Martin Logan Source speakers, Kimber 4TC, Gabriel Gold Rapture V3 IC's

    HT system -
    Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH, LG 60PK550 plasma, Panasonic DMP-BDT210 BDP, DTV HD receiver, SB Touch, 5 x Polk Audio RC85i
    Computer rig - Windows 7 PC running JRiver, M2Tech HiFace 2 w/external battery power, Grant Fidelity TubeDac 11, Fostex PMO.4n monitors

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon1952 View Post
    Actually you can bypass the DAC volume control by moving a jumper. So that's what you would suggest?
    Absolutely!
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  6. #6

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    Oops....looks like some soldering/un-soldering is involved ..... never mind. The components are way to small for me to want to mess with.
    ____________________________
    2 - channel system -
    Ming Da MC 88-C tube integrated, Parasound Halo A23, PS Audio PerfectWave MKII w/ bridge, Martin Logan Source speakers, Kimber 4TC, Gabriel Gold Rapture V3 IC's

    HT system -
    Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH, LG 60PK550 plasma, Panasonic DMP-BDT210 BDP, DTV HD receiver, SB Touch, 5 x Polk Audio RC85i
    Computer rig - Windows 7 PC running JRiver, M2Tech HiFace 2 w/external battery power, Grant Fidelity TubeDac 11, Fostex PMO.4n monitors

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon1952 View Post
    Oops....looks like some soldering/un-soldering is involved ..... never mind. The components are way to small for me to want to mess with.
    Yea in that case screw it. Run the volume all the way up and you'll be fine. Enjoy!
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    I've heard a few complain about loss of details when using the volume control with the Sabre DAC.
    If it were when using the 32 bit digital volume control in the ES9018 DAC chip, I would strongly disagree with losing any detail. Much depends on manufacturer configuration with any DAC chip. The ES9023 used in the HiFimeDIY is a 24 bit DAC chip and IIRC does not have any internal volume control. Lower bit digital volume control will lose detail. The datasheet of the ES9023 refers to an external resistor to customize output level.

    Here is a pdf doc by ESS explaining digital volume.

    http://www.esstech.com/pdf/digital-v...me-control.pdf
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
    Krell KSL Class A Pre w/ KSL Phono
    Krell Class A KSA-250
    Harmonic Technology Pro 9+
    Squeezebox Touch / Welborne Labs PS / I2S Out Mod
    Denon 3910 w/I2S/DSD Out
    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    Dynavector 17D3
    Shunyata Hydra (Original)
    NHT B-12d subs
    GIK Acoustic Treatments


    CP Showcase

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    If it were when using the 32 bit digital volume control in the ES9018 DAC chip, I would strongly disagree with losing any detail. Much depends on manufacturer configuration with any DAC chip. The ES9023 used in the HiFimeDIY is a 24 bit DAC chip and IIRC does not have any internal volume control. Lower bit digital volume control will lose detail. The datasheet of the ES9023 refers to an external resistor to customize output level.

    Here is a pdf doc by ESS explaining digital volume.

    http://www.esstech.com/pdf/digital-v...me-control.pdf
    Yep, seen it. Some out there still swear it sounds better running volume with a pre instead of using the DAC itself. I don't know and tend to believe it really doesn't, hence my fascination with the Oppo 105 as an all in one pre/source. Given his situation though, I'd likely just run it max volume and adjust other volumes first. Why not if the option is built in to your computer/speakers?
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  10. #10

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    Default

    My latest pre doesn't have remote volume so I was kind of forced into using the volume control in my ES9018 DIY DAC. (I added Ardunio I2C control of the DAC chip along with an Apple remote). I can't detect any loss of SQ using the 32 bit digital volume. And I am pretty fussy about a low noise floor and SQ.

    I agree with you all about dragons situation to set volume to max and use the speakers volume control.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
    Krell KSL Class A Pre w/ KSL Phono
    Krell Class A KSA-250
    Harmonic Technology Pro 9+
    Squeezebox Touch / Welborne Labs PS / I2S Out Mod
    Denon 3910 w/I2S/DSD Out
    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    Dynavector 17D3
    Shunyata Hydra (Original)
    NHT B-12d subs
    GIK Acoustic Treatments


    CP Showcase

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