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Anonymous (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
What's the best way to deal with 'hot' digital sources...

I have a DAC (Stello) that sounds too rich/loud, to the point of distraction, i have very little flexibility with the volume control of my preamp. If I turned it down, the music sounds uninvolving and dull. What's the best way to tackle this problem? The ARC LS26 preamp has 3 different attenuation settings BUT I do loose sound quality if I attenuate the signal, my amp has a built-in attenuator (6dB). Should I try to match the attenuation levels between preamp and amp? I'm lost, also why do manufacturers do this, what's there to gain by having such a hot output? Is this a lame way to increase S/N ratio? Any help or comments will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Monty's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: What's the best way to deal with 'hot' digital sources...

Short of altering the circuitry or adding a tube buffer, the only thing I can think of is lowering the input level of the amp to see if your preamp's volume range can be increased. My thinking is that perhaps your preamp would give you increased channel separation that would outweigh the adding of circuitry by lowering your amp's input level.

If you have really sensitive speakers, you might just be chasing your tail.

I'm sure somebody with more knowledge than I could offer up something a bit more constructive. I would be curious to know how you resolve the issue or if you find the preferred combination of adjustments.

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