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RE: Emotiva XDA-1 DAC/Pre as Preamp? Sound Quality

This part of the question rates its own answer...

The Emo XDA-1 (and many other DACs) has a true digital volume control. As with all digital volume controls, this means that, when you turn the volume way down, you lose bits of resolution (the same thing happens with quiet sounds recorded on a CD). The result is that, if you ended up with the volume on the XDA-1 way down, and the volume on a preamp it was plugged into turned way up, the combination might sound a slight bit harsh. This is simply a result of how digital volume controls work.

The bottom line is that, if you have a DAC plugged into a preamp (ANY DAC with a digital volume control), for absolute best sound quality leave the volume on the DAC set to full and use the volume control on the preamp. If you're using the XDA-1 as a preamp, odds are you won't notice anything amiss since, when the volume is set high it sounds perfect, and when the volume control is turned way down the music will be too quiet to notice the loss of resolution (just like you don't notice the quiet parts of a CD sounding grainy either).

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  • RE: Emotiva XDA-1 DAC/Pre as Preamp? Sound Quality - kLevkoff 20:56:14 05/29/12 (0)


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