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Are db levels shown on DAC display after DAC chip processing?

yardcat

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I am trying to avoid any clipping inside my DAC chip. I run USB to Topping E50 DAC. Members are saying its best to attenuate the (digital) signal before it arrives at the DAC by -3.0 db to avoid internal clipping. May seem like a dumb question. Am I correct in assuming that the DAC display (orange numbers on E50) are showing the db levels after the DAC processing? So this DAC display is really only a 'volume' meter for the DACs preamp analogue and therefor cannot be relied upon to avoid internal clipping?

Unfortunately, With this assumption I need to constantly check that my PCs software (Pulseaudio) digital signal is attenuated by at least -3.0db. I often change software players (spotify, firefox, prime video) and all is run thru Linux Pulseaudio, which works, but I need to constantly fiddle with attenuating these software digital outputs to get that -3.0db 'volume' reduction.

I just wanted to make sure that that I cannot really rely on the DAC db display per se to avoid this DAC internal clipping issue. Thanks in advance and for this incredible forum!
 

cryptout

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I am trying to avoid any clipping inside my DAC chip. I run USB to Topping E50 DAC. Members are saying its best to attenuate the (digital) signal before it arrives at the DAC by -3.0 db to avoid internal clipping. May seem like a dumb question. Am I correct in assuming that the DAC display (orange numbers on E50) are showing the db levels after the DAC processing? So this DAC display is really only a 'volume' meter for the DACs preamp analogue and therefor cannot be relied upon to avoid internal clipping?

Unfortunately, With this assumption I need to constantly check that my PCs software (Pulseaudio) digital signal is attenuated by at least -3.0db. I often change software players (spotify, firefox, prime video) and all is run thru Linux Pulseaudio, which works, but I need to constantly fiddle with attenuating these software digital outputs to get that -3.0db 'volume' reduction.

I just wanted to make sure that that I cannot really rely on the DAC db display per se to avoid this DAC internal clipping issue. Thanks in advance and for this incredible forum!
I use Sonarworks (now called Sound ID) and attenuate there. There is also free software like Equalizer APO where you can do the same.
 

voodooless

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E50 volume control is digital, so setting it to -3 should do what you want.

The interval clipping that is talked about can be several things:
- if using DSP with gain, you’ll need to attenuate the signal by roughly the amount of gain to prevent clipping
- some DAC’s can generate intersample overs. This is byproduct of the oversampling filter, and in some cases it can lead to clipping. In many of those cases clipping is already an issue already anyway. Normally you would not need 3dB of attenuation. 1dB should already be fine.

So question is: what problem are you trying to fix?
 

solderdude

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I am trying to avoid any clipping inside my DAC chip. I run USB to Topping E50 DAC. Members are saying its best to attenuate the (digital) signal before it arrives at the DAC by -3.0 db to avoid internal clipping. May seem like a dumb question. Am I correct in assuming that the DAC display (orange numbers on E50) are showing the db levels after the DAC processing? So this DAC display is really only a 'volume' meter for the DACs preamp analogue and therefor cannot be relied upon to avoid internal clipping?

Unfortunately, With this assumption I need to constantly check that my PCs software (Pulseaudio) digital signal is attenuated by at least -3.0db. I often change software players (spotify, firefox, prime video) and all is run thru Linux Pulseaudio, which works, but I need to constantly fiddle with attenuating these software digital outputs to get that -3.0db 'volume' reduction.

I just wanted to make sure that that I cannot really rely on the DAC db display per se to avoid this DAC internal clipping issue. Thanks in advance and for this incredible forum!

It merely displays the setpoint of the attenuator. There is no 'measurement' of an input signal.
 

cryptout

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So question is: what problem are you trying to fix?
I think it's to avoid digital clipping when upsampling a source. I see that OP mentions Linux so my recommendation for Sonarworks or Equalizer APO is invalid. I'm not very familiar with Pulseaudio but with Alsa or MPD you can easily attenuate the volume.
 
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