Does 3.5 naturally add gain?


I am sticking with audirvana 3.5, for the time being, to my ear it sounds warmer with more kick/impact to the bass when compared to AS. AS, however, seems to be more detailed and controlled when A/B-ing with 3.5.

So, I link to Tidal, audirvana being installed on mac mini connected to metrum acoustics onyx dac via a hiface2 usb/coax interface. I am currently burning-in a pair of Klipch Cornwalls (relatively high sensitivity speakers (102db/1w/1m)). Amp: Gato amp 150.

Here is my question: without reducing the maximum output volume by around 6db (particularly with MQA tracks), music can sound shouty with less body than to be expected. Does audirvana add around 6db gain naturally?

NB: I set to preserve dynamics, dsd 1.1, no upsampling and have noted MQAs sound more impactful, bassier, setting dac to renderer. I have seen people recommending ‘not MQA’, but definitely sounds leaner with this option.


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