Originally Posted by mikemercer
THIS WAS BAD DESIGN
Hmmm... That sounds a little harsh. I cannot reproduce this problem when using a Geek Out 450 on a MacBook Pro - no matter how I have the Geek Out set up, playing stuff directly from iTunes, Spotify, or by using Audirvana+, I can't get the volume to jump to maximum no matter how much or in which combinations I play with the up/down buttons on the Geek Out, or with the volume sliders in the menu bar or in the various music playback apps - the caveat being that the master/system volume slider on the MacBook is never at 100%. From everything I've read, this appears to be a Microsoft Windows-only issue?
I know that it's no excuse, but I think we have to remember the context in which the Geek Out was designed and brought to market: If I understand correctly, Light Harmonic / LHLabs at the time consisted of Larry Ho, Gavin Fish, and maybe one or two other people? It appears as if all of their testing was done on Mac OS X. A working Windows driver wasn't even released until after the first batch of Geek Outs had been shipped out to some of the luckier KickStarter backers, so it appears as if Windows compatibility was a low priority, and probably didn't get a lot of testing before being released. Given those circumstances, it would be pretty hard to predict this problem in the lab before the product shipped.
If the volume worked as intended (designed) by LHLabs, pushing the volume down button on the Geek Out would just lower the volume, right? So, this isn't necessarily bad design - it's a bug, either in the firmware of the Geek Out, or in the Windows driver. I've read that Larry is working on a firmware fix for this, which should be available soon. Perhaps you are saying that having volume buttons on the Geek Out in the first place was the poor design decision? I guess I could almost agree with that, but in the context of LHLabs, this appears to be part of the personality of all of the LHLabs products - they appear to want to give their customers as much choice as possible. I think perhaps they may be paying too much attention to what everyone over at the LHLabs Geek Force forums is clamoring for, and as a result their products could be compromised by trying to do too much (but I'm just as likely to be wrong - we will need to wait and see for the Geek Pulse/Wave/Blue/Stream/LPS/[enter crowd-funding scheme of the day here]...).
but - HOW MANY PEEPS STILL HAVEN'T GOT THEIRS???
I'm still waiting for my pre-ordered Geek Out 450 (ordered in January, credit card charged in March). I got so tired of waiting and impatient that I purchased another one from a Kickstarter backer who had received several and put one of his extras up for sale. Part of my impatience is YOUR FAULT, Mr. Mercer, due to your extremely positive review of the Geek Out 1000 .
I've had it for a week now, and I am extremely satisfied with it: the sound quality that I'm getting out of it just absolutely blows away the built-in DAC and weak headphone amp in my mid-2009 17" MacBook Pro (listening through PSB M4U 1's). Due to my limited/newby experience with this stuff, the only other dedicated DAC/Amp that I can compare it to is a NuForce Icon iDo (connected to an iPhone 5s), and all I need to say about that comparison is that the iDo isn't getting used anymore.
Now that you've had your Geek Out 1000 for over three months, are you still as happy with it as you were when you first reviewed it? When you need to use a portable USB DAC/amp, what do you throw in your bag with your laptop and headphones? The Geek Out? ALO Island? HRT microStreamer? Dragonfly? All four?