Volume issue with DSD over DoP (SW Volume Control)

I don’t have a pre-amp in my chain so I use Software Volume Control.

When I play DSD files over DoP to my Northsrar DAC that supports up to DSD128, the volume is not adjustable on iOS App and plays at 100% level (though I set the volume limit to about 40%). So I have to use DSD to PCM option.

I have the same issue on both Audirvana 3.5 and Studio.

Has anyone else noticed this? And is there a fix?

You can’t apply software volume control when using DoP.


If a DAC (any DAC) is in pure DSD mode, the volume can not be adjusted via software. This is not an issue/bug with Audirvana nor your DAC. This is simply a limitation in the DSD format. That is also the reason why most recording studio’s do not record in DSD format directly but in PCM.

If you want to adjust the volume of DSD directly (without conversion to PCM), the only solution is to use a pre-amp, because it can not be done in software.


Or by a dac which also contains a hardware volume control possibility!!!

Thanks guys. This clears it up!

Then could you guys please explain the opposite effect - when I use my macbook to play DSD (DoP 1.1) it allows me to adjust volume. DAC indicates this is really DSD mode (when I use explicit conversion to PCM, it shows PCM mode as expected). How can it be possible then?

Equipment: MBP2021, DAC - Xduoo Link

Doesn’t your DAC just have an analog volume control that is controlled by Audirvana?

If it’s controlled by Audirvana, it wouldn’t be analog, surely.

Why? Audirvana controls the analog volume control of an amplifier/DAC for me. Any DAC that allows the host to operate its volume control can accommodate this. It doesn’t matter much that it’s analog.

Ok, my DAC has analog volume control, Audirvana volume control has no effect.

Volume Control
Physical: Yes
Virtual: Yes

According to the Debug info your DAC should support it. So not the Audirvana own software volume control, but operating the volume control of the DAC.

Now I am confused… If I’m not using the software volume control in Audirvana, what software control would I be using?
My DAC has analog volume control…

Something is probably going wrong in the communication between us😉.

I’m not saying you use volume control. But it is possible to control the volume control of your DAC with Audirvana.

Whether you want that is another question.

And I am saying that that option has no effect on my DAC - OK so I found my mistake, I am upsampling to DSD, so software volume has no effect, when I de-activate upsampling, it works…
My bad!


That’s my BTA 30… That’s only for Bluetooth as required, my DAC for regular listening is an iFi DAC

Which iFi exactly? And that gives you the DSD ‘thud’, right?

The iFi does not have the option for volume control, but you already knew that. :wink:

The iFi has analog volume control.
The noise is not the DAC.
The noise is not because of upsampling to DSD.
The noise is when I use the Waves Abbey Road Studio 3 plug in.

To adjust the output level of a 1-bit DSD signal, it is decimated to DXD (352.8kHz) and then modulated to the original DSD sample rate again… This is the only practical way to employ digital volume control…

So, to keep the DSD signal un-fettered, an analog volume control is the only way… This is why in post-production, native DSD tracks must be routed through an analog mixer, or decimated to DXD for digital post-production editing in a DAW.