• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

How to setup volume chain? PC>DAC>Active monitors

Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
0
#1
Hi guys, I'm very pleased after reading Amir's review that my schiit modi 3 measures very well. However, a lot of the information can be too technical for me. What's the best way to setup my volume so it sounds the best? I run tidal via optical to my Modi, then RCA out to my jbl 305p (active monitors). Since modi lacks a volume control I use Windows volume to control how loud I'd like it. Is this incorrect? Should I be maxed out at 100% on windows?

Settings: windows 24bit/192khz output
 

RayDunzl

Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
9,961
Likes
8,368
Location
Riverview FL
#2
Although you could measure a difference, unless the setting in Windows is extremely low, I'd think you're unlikely to hear a difference.

My 308s are maxed, and I use whatever digital attenuation is available along the way, be it windows, miniDSP, the DAC, the DEQ2496, or typically, at the analog preamp, since it is most convenient (works with the TV remote), not because it sounds better..

I wouldn't worry about it if you can't hear a trouble.

Here's a visual of reducing a music signal digitally by a factor of 1/1000th

Hint: that's a lot...

1559345541940.png
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
1,977
Likes
1,763
Location
SoCal
#3
Hi guys, I'm very pleased after reading Amir's review that my schiit modi 3 measures very well. However, a lot of the information can be too technical for me. What's the best way to setup my volume so it sounds the best? I run tidal via optical to my Modi, then RCA out to my jbl 305p (active monitors). Since modi lacks a volume control I use Windows volume to control how loud I'd like it. Is this incorrect? Should I be maxed out at 100% on windows?

Settings: windows 24bit/192khz output
Anyone knows if Modi 3 has digital volume control? If so, connect it over usb to your PC and follow the steps in this article to enable WASAPI Exclusive mode (ignore the JRiver part) and make sure "Force Volume" is checked - you will use the volume in Tidal that will control the volume on the Modi 3 itself which should be the ideal scenario, if Modi 3 implements it properly that is.

Important: lower the volume on your monitors before you try it, if Modi doesn't have internal digital volume control you will get full scale signal sent to your speakers. If you determine it works - moving the volume slider in Tidal app changes the volume you can crank up the knob on the monitors so you get a usable volume range.

https://inspiringheadphones.com/are-you-getting-the-best-out-of-tidal-hifi/
 
Last edited:
OP
A
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
0
Thread Starter #5
Although you could measure a difference, unless the setting in Windows is extremely low, I'd think you're unlikely to hear a difference.

My 308s are maxed, and I use whatever digital attenuation is available along the way, be it windows, miniDSP, the DAC, the DEQ2496, or typically, at the analog preamp, since it is most convenient (works with the TV remote), not because it sounds better..

I wouldn't worry about it if you can't hear a trouble.

Here's a visual of reducing a music signal digitally by a factor of 1/1000th

Hint: that's a lot...

View attachment 27056
I typically have windows volume anywhere from 30-50. Is that high enough? Also, don't you get insane hissing from having your 308's maxed?? I figure the gain noise would be too much. Ideally, I think would be to have windows at 100% and adjust volume from JBLs but that's too inconvenient...

Side note: is 24bit/192khz fine? Or should I lower to 24bit/44.1khz since I think Tidal streams at 16bit/44.1khz
 
OP
A
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
0
Thread Starter #6
Anyone knows if Modi 3 has digital volume control? If so, connect it over usb to your PC and follow the steps in this article to enable WASAPI Exclusive mode (ignore the JRiver part) and make sure "Force Volume" is checked - you will use the volume in Tidal that will control the volume on the Modi 3 itself which should be the ideal scenario, if Modi 3 implements it properly that is.

Important: lower the volume on your monitors before you try it, if Modi doesn't have internal digital volume control you will get full scale signal sent to your speakers. If you determine it works - moving the volume slider in Tidal app changes the volume you can crank up the knob on the monitors so you get a usable volume range.

https://inspiringheadphones.com/are-you-getting-the-best-out-of-tidal-hifi/
I thought about doing this, but wouldn't that make windows sound absolutely blaring my ear drums out? Or, either I wouldn't be able to hear any windows sounds at all... which is not preferred
 
OP
A
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
0
Thread Starter #7
I think the "Schiit way" is to add a Sys.
I want to, but at the same time I'm trying not to alter the sound in any way... I feel like I could hear a difference. I have the Magni 3 and was using the preouts on it and the volume knob but I felt it actually sounded way worse than just the Modi by itself.
 

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
1,977
Likes
1,763
Location
SoCal
#9
I thought about doing this, but wouldn't that make windows sound absolutely blaring my ear drums out? Or, either I wouldn't be able to hear any windows sounds at all... which is not preferred
It's the latter. If it's a laptop you could set the default sound device to be the built-in sound card and get widows sounds through laptop speakers. But if you're after the best quality for Tidal WASAPI exclusive /forced volume is the way. You can try it and compare with what you're doing now, if you don't hear any differences then there's no real reason to change anything.
 

RayDunzl

Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
9,961
Likes
8,368
Location
Riverview FL
#10
I typically have windows volume anywhere from 30-50. Is that high enough?
It's too bad they chose to use %.

It can be converted in the "Sounds" dialogs - right click the Levels slider to get % or dB.

On my Win10 machine, for a USB output to a Topping D10:

100% = -0 dB
70% = -5.4dB
50% = -10.5 dB
30% = -18.3 dB
20% = -24.4 dB
0% = -127db
 

JohnYang1997

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Manufacturer
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
4,289
Likes
6,393
Location
China
#11
First, set everything except the monitor to maximum.
Second, set monitor to the maximum level that you will be listening.
Third, if you use analog preamp/attenuator, use analog preamp to control volume. If not, use Windows or anything else to control the volume.
 

Blumlein 88

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
9,644
Likes
12,879
#12
It's too bad they chose to use %.

It can be converted in the "Sounds" dialogs - right click the Levels slider to get % or dB.

On my Win10 machine, for a USB output to a Topping D10:

100% = -0 dB
70% = -5.4dB
50% = -10.5 dB
30% = -18.3 dB
20% = -24.4 dB
0% = -127db
I've never looked at this in detail. So I assumed 50% was fifty percent voltage or -6 db. Looks like they are calling it based upon the idea 10 db sounds twice as loud. Looks like 25% would be near -20 db. So it is a pscyhoacoustical percentage. Who knew?
 

BillG

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,424
Likes
1,620
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
#13
I set Windows and the media player's output to 100% now and control volume from my integrated amp's remote control or volume knob. Prior to that, I'd just use whatever was most convenient and I never noticed a degradation in sound quality... :cool:
 
Last edited:
OP
A
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
0
Thread Starter #14
It's too bad they chose to use %.

It can be converted in the "Sounds" dialogs - right click the Levels slider to get % or dB.

On my Win10 machine, for a USB output to a Topping D10:

100% = -0 dB
70% = -5.4dB
50% = -10.5 dB
30% = -18.3 dB
20% = -24.4 dB
0% = -127db
So I can go far below 20% without seeing any quality loss? I think -60db is around between 2% for me
 
Last edited:

RayDunzl

Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
9,961
Likes
8,368
Location
Riverview FL
#15
So I can go far below 20% without seeing any quality loss?
I can't perceive what you perceive - don't have your setup or your ears here.

Adjusting the 308 volume knob last night, about 7 clicks off max = -6db, 10 clicks -10dB (not precise on my part)... If that reduces the hiss driving you insane, do it.

So, if your max Windows volume has been 50%, -10dBfs, set the volume knob on the speakers to 5 1/2 (about -10dB SPL) and turn Windows to 100% (or whatever is appropriate).

Play around with it and see what you like best...

If still concerned about quality, get some measurement tools and really drive yourself insane.
 
Top Bottom