Author Topic: DAC-10H Gain Settings  (Read 1035 times)

Offline xenithon

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DAC-10H Gain Settings
« on: September 27, 2016, 09:32:47 PM »
Hi All. I am wondering if anyone has done extensive testing of the different gain settings on the DAC-10H and noticed any difference? That is, does it sound better with less gain but upping the volume? Or better with maximum gain and volume lower? Do you notice any more distortion and/or cleaner sound one way or the other; and with SE or balanced?
Joel / Achim - can you perhaps ask the guys at NuPrime? There is nothing in the manual other than the gain settings table/matrix as below. Might be useful info for any current or potential future owners of a DAC-10H.

Just to add, below are the actual output values from a NuPrime post over at AudioCircle:

@           single ended jack                       XLR balance headphone
32 ohm   2000mW                                  4000mW (R ch) + 4000mw (L ch)
50 ohm   1300mW                                  2600mW (R ch) + 2600mW (R ch)
100 ohm   800mW                                  1600mW (R ch) + 1600mW (L ch)
300 ohm   310mW                                  620mW (R ch) + 620mW (L ch)
600 ohm   160mW                                  320mW (R ch) + 320mW (L ch)

These numbers are on the LL setting. Applying gain:
- If gain set to HL (High gain for Unit gain & Low gain for Headphone gain) output values x 2
- If gain set to HH (High gain for Unit gain & High gain for headphone gain) output values x 4

« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 09:38:12 PM by xenithon »

Offline kamikazi

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Re: DAC-10H Gain Settings
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2016, 11:58:37 AM »
Traditionally the gain settings allow you to select a volume range on the analogue pot that is a comfortable range for the headphones you have attached and allows you to avoid channel imbalances at lower volume pot settings, I doubt it has any noticeable impact on sound quality unless you have very good hearing, but generally I'd prefer the idea of dithering in the digital domain to lower volume compared to analogue.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 12:01:07 PM by kamikazi »

Offline gavinbirss

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Re: DAC-10H Gain Settings
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2016, 01:38:18 PM »
Perhaps this feature (setting gain / low) will yield better results with sensitive IEM's and apart from requiring less power it should produce less background noise?

Switchable gain will allow adequate volume with a wider range of cans. More gain may produce more noise.
So less gain (enough) may yield better quality.

It may also be easy to misread the the output power vs gain.

Gain would certainly produce a larger voltage swing but this does not necessarily control output power.
The output power is merely a result of the balanced output. (quadrupled compared to single/ended)

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: DAC-10H Gain Settings
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2016, 03:03:37 PM »
It's complex.  If gain is really adjusted and perhaps done in the feedback loop it does affect presentation.  I have almost always liked devices running more gain and hence lower feedback.  Provided issues of noise and overload and balance  remain at bay. 

It could also be attenuation on the input.  Again depending on the source this can have a mild effect.

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