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Too many volume knobs!! Help a noob out

sea

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Okay, I know this question has been answered to death in some form or another, but I can't wrap my head around it and I'm trying to learn.

In my bedside listening setup:
iPad pro --> SMSL su9n --> schiit magni 3

I have my iPad pro, which has the ios internal volume,
the su9n, which also has a volume control independent of the ipad,
and the schiit amp, which has an analog knob

now, should i max out the ipad volume? it is my understanding (if i'm wrong please do not hesitate to embarrass me in the replies, but have mercy i'm trying to learn :p) the usb out from ipad to dac is purely digital data, and there is no amplification so it shouldn't affect anything.

I have no idea what to do with the dac volume, and leave it at 50. (what is the dac volume control affecting? is like a preamp?)

Sometimes, I have to mess with the settings to avoid the low volume area of the knob on the schiit, as there's some horrible channel imbalance.

thank you to all reading :)
 

unpluggged

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Set volume to max on the iPad and on the Magni 3 (its volume control potentiometer is terrible), and adjust your volume on the DAC.
 

JSmith

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Set volume to max on the iPad and on the Magni 3 (its volume control potentiometer is terrible), and adjust your volume on the DAC.
Agree... however just remember to ensure the volume has not reset to max (default) on the DAC before turning on the hp amp.


JSmith
 

talkingbook

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> Set volume to max on the iPad and on the Magni 3 (its volume control potentiometer is terrible), and adjust your volume on the DAC.
> Agree... however just remember to ensure the volume has not reset to max (default) on the DAC before turning on the hp amp.

Seems inherently dangerous (there are threads about DACs getting reset to max and blowing out speakers). An alternative approach that seems safer:
1) initialization- set the ipad and DAC to max and then turn the amp up to the loudest volume you would ever want, a volume that is safe for the speakers. Don't touch the amp volume (lock it up!)
2) control volume by attenuating it with the DAC and/or iPad.
 
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sea

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What I do now is:
Ipad volume always max
Dac volume = used for actual volume control
Amp volume = left at zero when turning on the amp, and i adjust it to a spot where I can't notice channel imbalance. I think my unit is whack or something, on my not so sensitive mrspeakers aeon flow closed, it takes a lot of playing around with the knob to get to a point where the channel imbalance is not unbearable. But seems to be easier on my hd6xx to find a position on the knob where theres no issues.
On my focusrite solo (mic and headphone interface for my PC), it seems like the channel imbalance issue is only present on the low volume section of its knob.
actually a really frustrating problem, thinking of selling the magni and getting something with digital volume control
 

GXAlan

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What I do now is:
Ipad volume always max
Dac volume = used for actual volume control
Amp volume = left at zero when turning on the amp, and i adjust it to a spot where I can't notice channel imbalance. I think my unit is whack or something, on my not so sensitive mrspeakers aeon flow closed, it takes a lot of playing around with the knob to get to a point where the channel imbalance is not unbearable. But seems to be easier on my hd6xx to find a position on the knob where theres no issues.
On my focusrite solo (mic and headphone interface for my PC), it seems like the channel imbalance issue is only present on the low volume section of its knob.
actually a really frustrating problem, thinking of selling the magni and getting something with digital volume control
Channel balance is an issue with that amp, so you're doing it the right way with the gear you have.

Try to match the volume knob to where things are equal and then use the DAC to control volume since everything has super high SINAD now and digital decimation should be more than fine. Sending max volume from iPad gives your DAC a theoretical "bitperfect" source
 
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Steven Holt

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I don't disagree with any of the suggestions, but it may help you to read 'The Signal Chain', a paper written by one of the technical experts. It's in the 'audio reference library' subtopic section. It was very helpful to me.
 
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Why not use the iPad max > SMSL, then the fixed output of the SMSL ( by-passes the volume control ) = no volume issues > schitt, then you have line level input into the schiit, no problems.
 
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sea

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Why not use the iPad max > SMSL, then the fixed output of the SMSL ( by-passes the volume control ) = no volume issues > schitt, then you have line level input into the schiit, no problems.
The issue was that the schiit had pretty bad channel imbalance for around the first quarter of the knob. depending on what headphones I had plugged in, many times my volume out would have landed on the trouble spots for the schiit volume knob. but anyhow i've gotten sick of dealing with this issue and sold the schiit and got an sh9 instead, perfect channel matching on that.

what i do now:
max volume on ipad
fixed volume mode on dac
use sh9 to control volume
works a charm, and no issues getting volume low or high enough, since the sh9 has good channel matching and a large volume range
 
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