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Adjust volume via SSL2 audio interface or Topping L30II?


New Member
Oct 31, 2021
Hi all!

This is my first post here. I am a guitar player, pretty discerning about my guitar tone but not an audiophile expert in terms of headphones, headphone amps specifically, etc etc.

I recently begun using an SSL2 audio interface for my recordings. A fractal fm3 is used for guitar amp modelling, IRs, and goes into the SSL2.

One issue was that the headphone amp was not loud enough compared to what I'm used to. I did like the interface a lot though and ended up keeping it and coupling it with a Topping L30 II.

The monitor outs of the SSL are connected to the RCA inputs of the Topping via 2 splitter cables, like John Seaber describes in a blog post. All good, stereo signal fine.

But now I wonder what would be the advantages and disadvantages of handling my headphone volume from the Topping vs the SSL2.

It would be more convenient for me to handle volume from the SSL2. The pot is not at the front of the interface but above it. And the wheel knob is big, round, and feels higher quality than that of the topping. I'm anyway adjusting more controls on the interface on a regular basis, and it's just more convenient to use for this.

Do you see some disadvantages of controlling volume via the SSL2 as opposed to the final stage of the chain to the headphones, meaning the Topping? I'm not sure if the SSL2 monitor outs can overdrive the Topping inputs. At the very least, I'm not noticing much, even with the SSL2 monitor outs full on.

So far I've kept the topping headphone volume pot maxed out, but with the setting at "M", and adjusting volume via the SSl2 via its gigantic wheel.

Thank you
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