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  1. #1
    Senior Member pablolie's Avatar
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    Optimal Volume Level with SB Touch

    I have a rather high powered amp. If I turn the Benchmark DAC2 to 100% volume the SB Touch can't play at more than 55. I tend to keep the DAC2 at 50% and that allows me to crank the Touch volume up to 80 (that's entertainingly loud but not annoyingly loud), but typically more like 72.

    Do those setting impact sound quality, in your opinion?
    ...pablo
    Server: Virtual Machine (on VMware Workstation) running Ubuntu 18.04 + LMS 7.9.1
    System: SB Touch -optical-> Benchmark DAC2HGC -AnalysisPlus Oval Copper XLR-> NAD M22 Power Amp -AnalysisPlus Black Mesh Oval-> KEF Reference 1
    Other Rooms: 2x SB Boom; 1x SB Radio; 1x SB Classic-> NAD D7050 -> Totem DreamCatcher + Velodyne Minivee Sub
    Computer audio: workstation -USB-> audioengine D1 -> Grado RS1/Shure 1540

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablolie View Post
    I have a rather high powered amp. If I turn the Benchmark DAC2 to 100% volume the SB Touch can't play at more than 55. I tend to keep the DAC2 at 50% and that allows me to crank the Touch volume up to 80 (that's entertainingly loud but not annoyingly loud), but typically more like 72.

    Do those setting impact sound quality, in your opinion?
    Digital Output volume from SB Touch should be ideally not reduced. There is even a set-up in LMS (Volume control) to keep the volume always on 100%.
    Up to 90% (incl replay gain) might be acceptable.
    Why don't you go to lower volume level with the DAC as this is the reducing the analog output w/o any qualitiy impact? Like preamp.
    Living Room: piCorePlayer 5.0.0 on rPi 3B+ & Allo DigiOne & 1TB USB (LMS 8.0.0 & Squeezelite) & Keces DC-116, Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock, Rega DAC R, Rotel RB-1070, Rotel RC-1070 or Fezz Titania Signature, Klipsch Forte III
    Bedroom: Boom / Workspace: Boom / Kitchen: Radio

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by pablolie View Post
    I have a rather high powered amp. If I turn the Benchmark DAC2 to 100% volume the SB Touch can't play at more than 55. I tend to keep the DAC2 at 50% and that allows me to crank the Touch volume up to 80 (that's entertainingly loud but not annoyingly loud), but typically more like 72.

    Do those setting impact sound quality, in your opinion?
    Here’s a link to an old discussion on that topic
    https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...l=1#post645562

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
    Here’s a link to an old discussion on that topic
    https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...l=1#post645562
    and the takeaway from that thread is that having your touch digital volume at around 60 or higher means that your not losing anything (because the touch can do digital volume control using 24 bits essentially). I have my amp/preamp volume set such that I'm usually at 70 or above on the Touch.
    Home: VBA2.5 4TB or rPi4B/pCP6.1/4TB>LMS 7.9.3>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: rPi4B/pCP6.1/4TB>LMS 7.9.3>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (ethernet except Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>foobar2000
    The Wild: rPi3B+/pCP4.0, hifiberry Dac+Pro, 4TB USB (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone11 & iPadAir3 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64)
    Files: Ripping: dbpoweramp > FLAC; Post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes; Streaming: Spotify

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by garym View Post
    and the takeaway from that thread is that having your touch digital volume at around 60 or higher means that your not losing anything (because the touch can do digital volume control using 24 bits essentially). I have my amp/preamp volume set such that I'm usually at 70 or above on the Touch.
    I think this is an interesting question. I had read somewhere in these forums that on the SB Touch, that every 1% back off from 100% is equivalent to 0.5 dB. So, I currently set my SB Touch to 88%, or a 6 dB back off. I think this is equivalent to a 1 bit shift in the 24 bit samples coming out of the Touch, so there should be no loss. I have found that for some of the music I listen to, that running the Touch at full output results in distortion that I can sometimes discern. I suspect it is the result of pushing my DAC to full output. I think a slightly reduced level in the stream feeding my DAC takes care of this. I rely on the analog volume control in my preamp for controlling volume in my system. Leaving the DAC output high allows me to use a lower gain in my preamp, and I believe that results in a lower noise floor. So in my system, it is a trade off between THD and noise. I prefer a little bit of noise which I don't notice anyway, to distortion.

    Long story ... short story is that my SB Touch is set to 88%.
    Living Room: SB Touch + DIY PSU > CI Audio VDA.2 DAC + VAC.1 PSU > VRX.1 cables > Emotiva XSP-1 Gen 2 preamp + XPA-DR2 amp > Blue Jeans cables > B&W 804 speakers
    Laptop: System76 Galago + Ubuntu 16.04 + Squeezelite + Vivaldi/Material Skin > Emotiva Little Ego DAC > Grado PS500 headphones
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    Server: Puget Systems Serenity + Ubuntu 18.04 + LMS 8.0
    Music: Personal FLAC, Radio Paradise FLAC, Qobuz, Spotify

  6. #6
    Senior Member pablolie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the informative and helpful responses - as always.
    ...pablo
    Server: Virtual Machine (on VMware Workstation) running Ubuntu 18.04 + LMS 7.9.1
    System: SB Touch -optical-> Benchmark DAC2HGC -AnalysisPlus Oval Copper XLR-> NAD M22 Power Amp -AnalysisPlus Black Mesh Oval-> KEF Reference 1
    Other Rooms: 2x SB Boom; 1x SB Radio; 1x SB Classic-> NAD D7050 -> Totem DreamCatcher + Velodyne Minivee Sub
    Computer audio: workstation -USB-> audioengine D1 -> Grado RS1/Shure 1540

  7. #7
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    Lower the power amp sensitivity. Voltage dvider maybe?

  8. #8
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    In previous discussions I was told that with the Touch anything above 40 with 16 bit source has no rounding errors.

    But with 24 bit source any volume reduction will have rounding errors.

    The DAC2 has HGC i.e. volume is analogue for analogue inputs but digitial for digital. The DAC2 also has digital head room so I think there's no benefit to digitally attenuating beforehand. So I'd just run the Touch at 100% and use the DAC2 volume control, at least that way I wouldn't need to worry about 16 bit vs 24 bit source files.
    Check it, add to it! http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/

    SB Touch

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    If we are talking two digital volume controls I’ll bet the benchmark is the better implementation and if it has headroom just use one volume control.

    I have an older Meridian pre/pro wo suspect of not having any headroom for intersample overs , so I upsample and attenuate -3.5 dB in Squeezelite before sending it to the Meridian and then uses its digital volume control.

    In LMS the volume for this player is set to fixed.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Rasbery PI digi+ MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
    Bedroom/Office: Boom
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    (spares Touch, SB3, reciever ,controller )
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Or have missed some finer point on how the benchmark works ?

    While at it why not look at the whole gain structure. DAC2 is driving active speakers? A power amp ?
    If the sensitivity is adjustable at that end I would make it so the 100% on DAC2 would represent maximum enjoyable loudness with the quintets recordings you listen to .
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Main hifi: Rasbery PI digi+ MeridianG68J MeridianHD621 MeridianG98DH 2 x MeridianDSP5200 MeridianDSP5200HC 2 xMeridianDSP3100 +Rel Stadium 3 sub.
    Bedroom/Office: Boom
    Loggia: Raspi hifiberry dac + Adams
    Bathroom : Radio (with battery)
    iPad with iPengHD & SqueezePad
    (spares Touch, SB3, reciever ,controller )
    server Intel NUC Esxi VM Linux mint 18 LMS 7.9.2

    http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

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