Volume control with DAC's and monitors
Dec 24, 2009 at 4:25 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

SilverBlade

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Since most DAC's don't have volume control, and most studio monitors do not have volume control, what do most of you guys use, besides the computer volume settings, to control the volume? I'd like an external way of controlling the volume. Would I need an amp for that? or a receiver? I know I'm a total noob on high end audio, I want to learn.
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 5:53 AM Post #3 of 11

Ham Sandwich

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You can use a standard home stereo pre-amp. They're generally unbalanced (regular RCA connections). Allows you multiple input switching and other conveniences.

There are studio monitor control stations. They're essentially pre-amps for the pro studio market. Generally can take either/both balanced or unbalanced. Generally have both multiple inputs along with multiple outputs (so you can have several different pairs of powered studio monitors connected). Flexible but studio oriented.

There are also passive volume control boxes. Musicians Friend has both the TC Electronic Level Pilot and the SMPro Audio Nano series. Some have both balanced and unbalanced connections. Others are balanced only (though you can use adapters to convert from balanced to unbalanced). ZZounds also has a selection of monitor control boxes.

A home audio style pre-amp is probably the easiest way. It's use and connections will be familiar to most people. The studio equipment can get a bit "studioish" and confusing.
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 6:10 AM Post #4 of 11

SilverBlade

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich /img/forum/go_quote.gif
A home audio style pre-amp is probably the easiest way. It's use and connections will be familiar to most people. The studio equipment can get a bit "studioish" and confusing.


This is exactly what I am looking for. Where do I get one of these?
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 8:41 AM Post #5 of 11

Armaegis

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Any music store or home theatre section of an electronics store should have it. That or order online.
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 9:20 AM Post #6 of 11

Ham Sandwich

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Any home stereo shop that sells separate components will have some preamps. They can get expensive. Several hundred to several thousand dollars.

eBay and Craigslist are also options to find used equipment.

TCC has an affordable little preamp that also happens to include a phono input so you could use a turntable. Other than that one I'm not sure what to suggest that would be in the affordable range. I don't follow that category much.

You should be able to find some good used preamps under $100 and new preamps similar to the TCC for under $100. I'm going to make the assumption that you're not after the expensive gear.
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM Post #8 of 11

SilverBlade

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Quote:

Originally Posted by .Sup /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I use TC Electronic Pilot. Very satisfied.


That's actually exactly what I've been looking for. Audio inputs, a volume knob, simple. Thanks!
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 7:59 PM Post #9 of 11

fenk

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As a pure souce,DAC like other equipment(e.g, CD player, transport) should not have volume control(pure lineout function).Most of studio souce have pre-amp function so it can drive more unit and their high level output can be used to transmit the signal in a long distance,and also,they get a volume control.Powered monitor often have no volume control because the internal amp is purely power amp.The much convenience that a volume control gives us,the much distortion it introduces in a system.Think about another trouble: a system with volume control in every stage
icon10.gif
..........a little bit confusing ha?
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 8:41 PM Post #10 of 11

Operandi

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Do you already have the DAC? If so something like the Firestone MASS looks ideal. If you need the DAC many of those have built in pre-amps like the Fubar III would work well but that is also a headphone amp.
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 10:25 PM Post #11 of 11

SilverBlade

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Operandi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Do you already have the DAC? If so something like the Firestone MASS looks ideal. If you need the DAC many of those have built in pre-amps like the Fubar III would work well but that is also a headphone amp.



No, I don't have the DAC. I'm looking into buying one in a month or so. Also, I want to get a DAC where I can return it. Living in Canada comes with horrendus import fees, so that's why I want to find local dealers.
 

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