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Topping d50 as preamp for active speakers and d30 volume control

AM88

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#1
I need to buy a dac to use with my active speakers.
Is it possible to use d50 as a preamp ? I will be using them with these ...https://avihifi.com/products.html#dm5
I was initially thinking of buying the d30 , as I had a passive volume control but that has just gone bust. Could you use the computers (OSX) volume control to adjust the rca ouput from the d30 to the active speakers and not use a preamp?
 
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graz_lag

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#2
Within the bit-accurate playback configuration, which is recommended for an USB-DAC setup, you do not have volume control within the player ...
 

Krunok

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#3
Within the bit-accurate playback configuration, which is recommended for an USB-DAC setup, you do not have volume control within the player ...
Not true.

Practically all players offer digital volume control which will work via ASIO/WASAPI for PCM playback. Digital volume control will of course change bits so speaking of bit-accurate playback in context of digital volume control makes absolutely no sense.

@AM88 , the answer to your question regarding software volume control with D30 is yes, you can. You can either use volume control within the player or you can use ASIO volume controls. Avoid using Windows volume control at all cost.
 

AM88

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#4
Not true.

Practically all players offer digital volume control which will work via ASIO/WASAPI for PCM playback. Digital volume control will of course change bits so speaking of bit-accurate playback in context of digital volume control makes absolutely no sense.

@AM88 , the answer to your question regarding software volume control with D30 is yes, you can. You can either use volume control within the player or you can use ASIO volume controls. Avoid using Windows volume control at all cost.
@Krunok Thanks I'm not so worried about "lossed bits" of music using digital volume control especially on OSX.
I was more worried about the volume function being unhighlighted and not being able to be used and just sending a full signal through the usb. That happens sometimes to some dacs I think.
 

Krunok

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#5
@Krunok Thanks I'm not so worried about "lossed bits" of music using digital volume control especially on OSX.
I was more worried about the volume function being unhighlighted and not being able to be used and just sending a full signal through the usb. That happens sometimes to some dacs I think.
As far as I know you can definitely use volume control with CoreAudio.

More info here.
 

AM88

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#6
As far as I know you can definitely use volume control with CoreAudio.

More info here.
Thanks for the info. I might just try the d30 rather than the d50 as the price is almost half and for me the preamp was the only thing that justified the price difference. I probably wouldn't be able to distinguish either in terms of SQ.
 

Krunok

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#7
Thanks for the info. I might just try the d30 rather than the d50 as the price is almost half and for me the preamp was the only thing that justified the price difference. I probably wouldn't be able to distinguish either in terms of SQ.
Exactly.
 

devil_bik

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#8
It(d50 or d30) could act as a volume controler but that is not the best way to playback . Digital volume control harms the dynamic range badly . The DACs are not designed to do this job .
 
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#10
Educate yourself before making such statements.
That was an interesting read, but what I got from it is that analog volume controls are still superior within the audio framework. I'm not knocking digital volume control, no one could honestly argue that a potentiometer has better channel matching or lower noise than DVC. A relay-controlled resistor ladder is still the best option out there for the "ultimate" in attenuation in every category except price. What ESS and other companies are doing with digital controls is amazing, and I'm excited for the next generation (64 bit) of DAC implementations. I think 64 bit architecture will give us something that beats analog with no hand-wringing.
 

Roen

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#11
Educate yourself before making such statements.
Out of context quote!

Analog still better? • In fact, yes it is. – As long as the analog volume control has a noise floor better than the DAC noise floor, the analog one will win
 

graz_lag

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#12
... Digital volume control will of course change bits so speaking of bit-accurate playback in context of digital volume control makes absolutely no sense ...
I'm not interested, but most of all, I do not want my players get their dirty hands on the digital volume control.
What I want is the bit-accurate playback.
Tant pis for you if you like the other way instead.
 

AM88

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#13
. A relay-controlled resistor ladder is still the best option out there for the "ultimate" in attenuation in every category except price.
Do you have an example of one of those? I used to use thishttp://www.goldpt.com/sa1x.html but after 9 years it stopped working which is why I’m looking for an alternative or replacement. I have seen some digital volume controls on eBay based on a pga 2310/2311 chip which look reasonable as well as some stepped attenuators and smd Dact types. In principal I have no problems using my mac/dac volume but am just worried about accidentally blowing my speakers with a careless swipe as they have no gain or volume control at all.
 

Hypnotoad

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#14
I have a couple of power amps and thought of doing the same thing, that is controlling the volume via the digital control in Audacious, and when you think about it, if you are using an integrated amp the signal is going through all those extra stages (on my Yamaha receiver though it has a "direct" switch which bypasses some of those). IMO the direct approach must be better, and if you want piece of mind and/or "bit perfect" then go with the stepped attenuator between the DAC and power amp, then what would I know.
 
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#15
I'm not aware of any complete, standalone commercial products, but I know of a few DIY kits.

http://electronics.dantimax.dk/Kits/Selectors_-_attenuators/index.html

http://www.tentlabsshop.com/DetailServlet?detailID=1580

https://www.ebay.com/itm/128-steps-...ol-kit-w-highly-reliable-relays-/222656131577

http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/control/jt.aspx

The twisted pear and tent labs versions are both available assembled and tested as complete modules. I didn't want to deal with wiring something like that up (extra power supply for the relays, etc), so I went with a GlassWare A3 (completely passive) and haven't missed the remote. That thing was very easy to build and setup, though for my next project I'm going for the twisted pear DIY module.
 
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#16
Sometimes a mix of convenience and fidelity is nice.. If you have a stepped attenuator somewhere in the chain you can use it to place bounds around your digital volume use and thereby minimize the loss of dynamic range/resolution. That way you can use your feet less and your fingers more and your ears might still be happy. 8)
 

k3nb5t

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#17
Avoid using Windows volume control at all cost.
@Krunok : I would like to know, what is the basis for this recommendation? I'm not trying to be combative. I'm still learning, and this is a topic that has been on my mind recently. I'm on the hunt for data and/or sources.
 

Ron Texas

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#18
The D30 has a digital volume control which follows the windows volume control. It is not a passive volume control.
 
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