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Serious question: Why do we need volume control on headphone amps?

sceune

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Sep 12, 2019
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Hello,

Since reading a chapter about digital volume control in the ADI-2 DAC manual, I use the following setup:

- DAC reference level to max. +13 dBu
- Volume on external headphone amplifier to max.

Any volume change would be controlled digitally via the DAC.

The manual also mentions a lot of disadvantages of analog volume control in general ...

I'm asking out of pure interest and not to offend anyone. Developers: Why do you still insist on the big fat analog volume pot with all its disadvantages?
There are also gain steps on the amp (low, mid, high) if more control is needed.
 
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Andysu

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They are accommodating dacs without volume control.

not amused with stormaudio at all no headphone and i had to get cheap this ,

398290192_10160953193700149_2868701510725688501_n.jpg
 

unpluggged

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Hello,

Since reading a chapter about digital volume control in the ADI-2 DAC manual, I use the following setup:

- DAC reference level to max. +13 dBu
- Volume on external headphone amplifier to max.
Now the question is why do you need an external headphone amp in your setup :rolleyes:
 

voodooless

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Any volume change would be controlled digitally via the DAC.
There are also gain steps on the amp (low, mid, high) if more control is needed.
You are in luck: the ADI-2 already has a hybrid volume control and automates all of this automagically for you.
 
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sceune

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You are in luck: the ADI-2 already has a hybrid volume control and automates all of this automagically for you.
I know. But my question was more about the basic design of headphone amplifiers. If you realize an external amp without the volume control, would this affect the technical performance in any way? Do you even get better measurements? It sounds like a strange question, but I'm interested in this.
 

DVDdoug

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Most power amps (speaker amps) have a volume/gain control, even if the everyday volume is often adjusted somewhere upstream.

it can be used for gain staging.

The manual also mentions a lot of disadvantages of analog volume control in general ...
And they don't mention any disadvantages to digital volume control? Almost everything in engineering & design has trade-offs. The "best" solution is probably digitally controlled analog gain/attenuation. I assume that's what's in my car (which has a continuous rotation rotary encoder instead of a pot). My AVR (most AVRs) has a rotary encoder but I don't know how the hardware/firmware is using it. it might be using DSP.

Convenience is often a BIG factor and if one device in the audio chain has a remote control, most people will use that.
 
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