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Best volume setting in a chain of a streamer, DAC, Amp?

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Mehdiem

Mehdiem

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Leave the input as it should be 2V...

Edit: if you wish you can reduce it with ADI for 2 dB additionally but you really don't have nead for that with it.

How/where can I check what the input is at? I don't know such a menu? Is this somewhere in Yamaha setting?

RE RME: How can I change this within ADI? menu? I cannot find such a reference there either
 

mudy

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When AVR is not in pure direct mode, it usually will digitalize the input then go through DSP and its internal DAC.
 

Helicopter

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How/where can I check what the input is at? I don't know such a menu? Is this somewhere in Yamaha setting?

RE RME: How can I change this within ADI? menu? I cannot find such a reference there either
I'd play a 60Hz sine wave and measure the output with a multimeter, or just put it at max or a little below max after looking at the manufacturer specs for input and output voltages. I usually do the latter.
 

ZolaIII

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Leave line out from DAC on default (which should be 2V), put the volume trim down to - 7 for the line you use on your Yamaha and crank it up (volume). That's about it.
 
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Mehdiem

Mehdiem

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Leave line out from DAC on default (which should be 2V)

The rest of your explanation makes sense to me, but I don't get this! I just don't understand, where can I tweak or confirm this 2V thing? Which menu? Where does it show this parameter?
 

ZolaIII

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@Mehdiem as much as I understand ADI's reference level is 1V - 0 dB but I don't know if you can leave it like that (if you can that put volume trim - 6 which would be most ideal). I know you can set it to: - 5, +1, +7 and +13 dB.
So use calculator from there. It should be +1 on ADI and - 7 dB on Yamaha and also try with - 5 on ADI and - 1 dB on Yamaha. That should be 500~600 mV into Yamaha main amplifier stage (as much as I know math).
 
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ZolaIII

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ZolaIII

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For everyone else having Yamaha or other amp with preferred 500 mV input.
If you use internal DAC or any other one with standard 2V line out you won't be able to achieve target (you can if it has volume control but don't worry Yamaha AB class amps have additional 10~23% headroom just don't crank it all the way up with higher input). Put the volume trim all the way down - 10 dB that will give you 631 mV input power. You need - 12 dB to get from 2V to 500 mV. On optical inputs adjust it at source to - 2 (cutting it to 1585 mV) and with volume trim - 10 dB. Depending on your DAC's performance and behaviour when you cut it's voltage try to lower it as little as you can on the DAC side and more with volume trim.
I hope this will be helpful to others asking the same question who don't have such exotic DAC as ADI-2. I still say best upgrade path is to feed your Yamaha trough it's optical inputs (it's dead silent like that and don't have any self hum [it's hum not his so you can't hear it if you are even 20 cm away from speakers]).
Best regards and enjoy listening good music on your equipment.
 
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AnalogSteph

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Depending on how the Node handles volume normalization, it may be advisable to dial in -2..-3 dB there.

The Ref Level setting closest to 2 Vrms on the RME is +7 dBu (~1.73 Vrms).

This setup offers more than enough settings to be thoroughly confusing.
Notably, the Yamaha offers:
* volume
* input level trim (mainly intended to get multiple different sources to a similar level)
* loudness (presumably Yamaha style, i.e. loudness knob becomes main volume knob once in use)
while the RME has
* volume
* loudness (custom, tied to volume setting, here's an alternative approach to setting it up)

In case this was not clear, the point of a loudness function is counteracting Fletcher-Munson with EQ so that things subjectively keep sounding the same at different volume levels. In traditional hi-fi (except Yamaha) this was usually tied to volume pot setting, which rarely works the way it is supposed to unless input level happens to be exactly what the equipment designer intended.

You should probably decide between using either the RME's facilities with the Yamaha being a dumb power amp, or the Yamaha's facilities with the RME being a dumb line-level DAC. The former variant may exhibit too much output noise once the Yamaha is turned up far enough to cover maximum volume needs, but trying it won't cost you anything. The RME is easily good enough to drive a pure power amp directly.
 

ZolaIII

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@AnalogSteph even with ADI-2 (which is rather good with lo loads SNR but not great) it's recommendable to do it more on Yamahas end (volume trim) simply because you can. And +7 ADI and - 10 volume trim gets you exactly there (a tad above actually). It's funny how rudimental Yamaha futures are actually great (ISO 226 and volume trim). The bass is at 50 Hz and trable is on 20 KHz if someone asks.
 
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Mehdiem

Mehdiem

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Depending on how the Node handles volume normalization, it may be advisable to dial in -2..-3 dB there.

The Ref Level setting closest to 2 Vrms on the RME is +7 dBu (~1.73 Vrms).

This setup offers more than enough settings to be thoroughly confusing.
Notably, the Yamaha offers:
* volume
* input level trim (mainly intended to get multiple different sources to a similar level)
* loudness (presumably Yamaha style, i.e. loudness knob becomes main volume knob once in use)
while the RME has
* volume
* loudness (custom, tied to volume setting, here's an alternative approach to setting it up)

In case this was not clear, the point of a loudness function is counteracting Fletcher-Munson with EQ so that things subjectively keep sounding the same at different volume levels. In traditional hi-fi (except Yamaha) this was usually tied to volume pot setting, which rarely works the way it is supposed to unless input level happens to be exactly what the equipment designer intended.

You should probably decide between using either the RME's facilities with the Yamaha being a dumb power amp, or the Yamaha's facilities with the RME being a dumb line-level DAC. The former variant may exhibit too much output noise once the Yamaha is turned up far enough to cover maximum volume needs, but trying it won't cost you anything. The RME is easily good enough to drive a pure power amp directly.

Thanks for tapping on very important points regarding the complexity of this setup and confusion on dealing with many variables.

This is my adjusted setting now:

- I set Node to -2dB
- RME Coax Ref Level +7db (change from previously -5db default)
- RME Loudness active
- Yamaha volume Trime -7db. Pure direct off. Loudness flat. Main Volume Knob 0db


I chose not to use Yamaha optical to be able to take advantage of RME DAC and EQ.

My only concerns are:

(1) RME says Loudness Feature might not work as intended if you turn off the Auto Reference Level. And I had to turn it off to tweak from -5db to +7db. Please see the manual as attached.

(2) Should I keep the Yamaha main volume at 0db, and set RME at a lower level (now around -20 db with all of the above changes) or alternatively lower the Yamaha to, let say, -10db and increase the volume on RME by 10bd? Which scenario makes more sense, or if there would be a net-effect?

(3) Node has a feature called "Replay Gain" which attempts to play all the tracks around the same level by normalizing it. Should I leave this active? (I know, I know, this has nohthing to do with the above issue. But I was curious and thought it would be effective to ask here)
 

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