Disable iTunes volume control for remote speakers

I have a PS Audio DLIII that does not have a volume control like a Bel Canto DAC I was considering auditioning. I recently sold my integrated and bought a power amp and HT processor.

But to try a very direct route from iMac to dac to power amp, bypassing the HT processor, I unchecked the above setting in iTunes preferences, fed the digital output from my iMac direct to dac, then fed the dac's xlr outputs direct to power amp balanced inputs. I was please to hear a purity unlike I have heard before in digital audio.

The external dac is clearly superior to the internal one in the ht processor, but only by a small margin, particularly in the bass region.

Does anyone know of any drawbacks to using such a setting? I cannot find much information on Apple website. It would seem the volume is being controlled in the digital domain and thus eliminating the drawbacks of analog volume control.

Any thoughts appreciated; T.I.A.

Typically an analog volume control would be considered superior to a digital volume control because the digital VC throws out bits in order to create the lower volume signal. The only time the bitstream would be pure and correct to the original is at full volume. I think there are various degrees of quality with digital VC/signal processing and some may be better than others, but analog is typically mentioned as the preferred method.

However, if you like what you are hearing, run with it! Your opinion is the only one that counts for anything.

Lastly, I'm using digital VC in my system with satisfactory results. My modified Oppo 970 DVD play has remote controlled variable volume (digital domain volume control) and it is fine for me. I've owned other dedicated CD players and DACs that had analog domain VC built in and I don't hear any significant difference.



Thanks for tips and response; food for thought. I like the idea of a player with volume control digital or analog for that matter. My reference player has none so unable to configure the same way as iTunes. How do you rate the Oppo for all around universal play?


My Oppo has level-2 mods from Ric Shultz at EVS (www.tweakaudio.com). It is an excellent all around universal player and benefits by having an internal volume control so I can connect it directly to the power amp in my 2-channel audio only system. I also connect it via component video and digital cable into my HT setup that is in the same room.

The Oppo is a very versatile unit and I consider it an excellent value. In its EVS modified form it is really a giant killer. I replaced my Sony DVP-NS999ES DVD player and my $3500 dedicated CD player. I gave up very little or nothing sonically and gained in versatility.