'Another' Volume Question

Despite numerous volume-related questions, I don’t see this question answered anywhere. Hope someone can clear this up.

I am new to Audirvana (trial, but plan to purchase). I am using Windows 10. I have noticed that the volume slider in Audirvana (with Software Volume Control DISABLED) is directly tied to the Windows playback volume slider. However, 100% on both the Windows volume and Audirvana slider is reported at +6db in Audirvana. It is my understanding that the Windows slider provides 0db at 100%, based on Microsoft support. Why is it reported in Audirvana as +6db?

I want all the volume control to be left to my DAC/AMP combo box (USB). To obtain the highest SQ, should the Audirvana/Windows volume sliders be set to 100%? Or Should the Audirvana slider be set to 0db (yields 71% on Windows volume slider)? Keeping in mind, this is with Audirvana Software Volume Control disabled.

It’s related to DSD to PCM conversion. Without the 6dB boost it would be too silent.

This is what I initially thought, but when setting “convert DSD to PCM with boost of” to a number other than the default 6dB (Such as 0) the slider still displays 6.0dB at 100%. Does this mean it is an interface error or that it really isn’t related to that setting as you mentioned?

Also, unless I am mistaken, I am not even using DSD so why should/would the slider’s interface default to telling me +6.0dB is 100% volume level in relation to Windows? Again, despite the DSD to PCM boost being set to any number, besides 6.

Don’t know, but if you want to have bit perfect playback, keep the software volume control disabled.

I understand the merits of keeping in-built software volume control disabled, but I am not convinced that you will have bit-perfect playback even with it disabled IF the default Audirvana/Windows slider is not set appropriately. If 100% is set and that does correspond to a +6.0dB boost then is clipping not a concern? And if you set the Slider to 0dB (71% in Windows 10) then you’re basically reducing bit depth.

This discrepancy should be cleared up. I am actually rather surprised it hasn’t been asked before, especially since the majority view seems to be disabling software volume control and that leaves you with this +6.0db 100% slider that is tied to Windows irrespective of the possible relation to the DSD to PCM conversion settings and it’s value.

Bump… does no one know?

Hello @CrazyDiamond,

the information you get for volume in Audirvana comes directly from your DAC driver so if you have any volume boost, it might be a choice of the manufacturer of your DAC.

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I now see that some other devices report 100% on Windows as being 0.0db in Audirvana, thank you for that.

EDIT: I still don’t understand if my DAC is “driverless” where the +6.0db is coming from. Is it “baked in” somehow? I’m using a Mayflower ARC and trying to determine the best volume settings for SQ.

From the ARC amp/dac engineer:

" ARC total gain = DAC + Amp. Amp gain is fixed at 2.6dB.
With the gain switch set to high, DAC gain = 0dB. With the gain switch set to low, DAC gain = -6dB.

The ARC DAC has a 4.2V output when gain is set to high, add the amp gain and this results in 5.65V out at the jack (1W into 32Ohm)."

So I am still not sure why it shows as +6.0db on the Audirvana slider. Changing the physical gain switch doesn’t affect the reported number either.

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