Toslink/iTunes into DAC, Why not use iTunes volume

Hi, I have am using iTunes > Airport Expresss > toslink > tube DAC/pre. There is no remote for my preamp/DAC. I have switched off the equalizer, crossfade, etc on iTunes.

It sounds the same to me if, as everyone suggests, you turn the iTunes volume to full and use the preamp volume control or simply control the volume with iTUnes (since I don't have a remote with my preamp). I find it really convenient to use the volume control on iTunes.

Does using the volume control on my iTunes negate the DAC in my preamp?

I assume since I use a toslink out of my Airport express, it bypasses the AEx DAC.

Has anyone used a jitter reducer, like a Monarchy DIP with such a setup? Is it worth it?

It sounds good to me with the way I have it now, just curious if it could be better and gleaning from the experience of others ..Thanks in advance.
Using the Itunes volume control is a no no. It's fine for background music, but not good if you want to hear all that is there. You can go to Benchmark's website and read up on why it's not the best way to go. Better to use an analog or separate volume control and leave the Itunes volume at 100% output.

The Monarchy DIP worked nicely with my setups in the past. Going USB direct I didn't need it any more. It does seemingly increase the output of the music. How it does it?..I have no idea.
Hi, that's what I'm wondering about. Does using the iTunes volume control "negate" or result in the bypass of your "expensive" separate/wunder DAC?

I'm not a technical guy, but I can't see how that can be. Thanks for the response though Gmood.

What do you mean "increase" the output of music... like volume?
No using the Itunes volume doesn't bypass the Dac. It just gives the Dac less bits to work with when it is used.

When I used the Monarchy, I noticed the bass became more prominent or profound as well as the entire frequency range.
There was just simply more of everything. Images became more defined in the sound stage.

I owned the Classic monarchy and the upsampler. I preferred the upsampler model. The top end was softer, not rounded just not razor edged like the classic DIP was in my system. This is before I went to an upsampling Dac with its own jitter rejection.

Your X-Dac has one of the lowest measured jitters recorded by Stereophile. It is also an upsampler. You could always try out a Classic Monarchy for cheap to see if it boosts the signal from your airport..I'm sure it will. I'm not sure I would run the upsampling Monarchy into a Dac that upsamples though. Just doesn't make much sense too me.

For $100 used it is a no brainer if you have a perceived weak digital output. That is the one thing the Monarchy DIPs don't run short on..they have some serious balls on the digital outputs.
Thanks for the explanation.

I don't have a X-DAC (that's Musical Fidelity right). I have a Monarchy M24. Not sure if it upsamples. It doesn't have a remote unfortunately, and I have a roommate that works nights....

It sounds good to my ears right now. Convenience vs sound quality. I am getting a glass toslink cable (VanDenHul Optocoupler). See if that makes a difference on jitter.
Sorry Elf73,
I got you confused with another poster. OK well you could use either Monarchy DIP then. I think your unit oversamples. The cable thing is fine ..its not going too make as much difference as the Monarchy DIP though. A toslink won't make up for a weak output. You won't know what you're missing until you hear it.

I think there's a member on Agon that uses a Monarchy DIP and some other units similar with his Airport unit. I can't remember his username at the moment though.

Now I remember it is Rbstehno . Maybe he'll chime in.
I am not sure about this....prior to setting my DAC attentuator from "max" to "variable" I used the iTunes volume control and found it very good. I did so after reading the info in the Benchmark Media newsletter:


It says the following: "The Volume Control in iTunes v7 is very-high quality under both operating system. It is very well designed and operates at 24-bits for audio devices that support 24-bit operation. The end user should not hesitate to use the volume control in iTunes 7.x under either operating system."

Thanks for the link Xenithon...appreciate it.