MD-10 usb dac volume setting

Hello all and happy holidays,

I have the Musiland MD-10 USB DAC in my system running with a YBA design YA201 Integrated AMP and Quad 22L2 Speakers as well.

The MD-10 has RCA analog outputs that are volume controlled. The question I have is what volume level do you set the MD-10 at for outputting to a integrated amp? I have it set at -10 right now and it sounds good but wondering if that is to much or too little. 0 being max volume seems really to loud and possibly distorting. nalog output on the MD-10 says 3 volts RMS.

Also,I have been keeping my amp at almost 0 and controlling volume with computer. Is this the best setup or should I use my amp volume or Dac to control speaker volume. A

I'm not sure what kind of computer you're using, but I know on a mac it's recommended, when using a USB DAC, that you leave the computer volume all the way up and then use the amp/dac to control the volume. I think in general you're best leave the volume of the dac all the way up too which is probably the setting for unity gain and then using the integrated for all volume controls.
Mimberman has it right IMHO. Going into a preamp or integrated, the only case in which I would choose to lower the computer's (or the DAC's) output level at all would be if the final output from the DAC were too much for the amp or preamp's input.

Here's how I would check. Set your computer to max output, your DAC to the same, then see how much travel you have on the YBA's volume control before it gets too loud. If you are up to 11 or 12 o'clock before the too-much point, you're probably OK. If you only get to 9:00 or less, you should reduce the input level.

If you want a measurement to back this up, go to your YBA's spec sheet. Find out the YBA's maximum input level for full output. If it's less than 3 volts (that's your DAC's max output level), reduce the MD-10's output level till it matches the YBA's input, but keep your computer's output at max.

You may have to ask a technician to tell you what setting on the MD-10's analog outputs corresponds to your YBA's input.
Tobias's approach is exactly what I should have wrote, heh. Good stuff.