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Optimum Software Gain Level

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi folks. I have one question and I suspect the answer may be obvious, but not to me.

Here's my portable rig right now...

FLAC > Galaxy Note 3 > Neutron > Fiio E18 via OTG USB > V-Moda M -100.

Here's my question - what is the optimum gain level I should be using in the Neutron software, assuming I'm going to be using the volume control on the Fiio E18 DAC/amp to control the level at the headphones? Should it be 100%?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to any and all replies.
post #2 of 9

Bubbles please...


On a serious note, I don't think it matters.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Surely it must matter? I mean if I have the software gain set to 10% then I need to drive the amp much harder than if I have it set to 90%. No?
post #4 of 9

Yes, obviously, but I meant as far as sound quality goes.


Otherwise just keep software at 100% since you're going to be using the amp volume anyway. That seems like the logical thing? That is unless at very low volume on the amp, the overall volume is very high, then perhaps adjust the software side so that you get a wider range on the amp volume?

post #5 of 9
Player typically set at max. Use amp to adjust
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I think setting it to max is probably the way to go but I also see Elmoe's point as if the headphones were very sensitive there would not be much room to play with on the hardware control. Hmmm...

The Fiio E18 also has gain settings. I guess I'm looking to be using 'Lo' and 'Hi' would be for more difficult to drive loads.
Edited by Solrighal - 3/9/14 at 8:02am
post #7 of 9

100% is best but you won't really be losing quality unless you turn it down a lot and max out the amp.

post #8 of 9

I would tend to set it at 90% or so, just in case the player is prone to clipping at 100% output.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I bought a pair of AKG Q701's and now it has to be at max if I want to be able to use low gain on the amp. An odd thing I've found is that my physical volume switch on my phone will put the slider to '100' and the text will be white. If I do it on the software slider it goes to '100' but the text is in red. Weird.
Edited by Solrighal - 3/18/14 at 11:22am
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