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Old 29th December 2011, 09:18 AM   #1051
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that TC Electronics vol control looks nice, worth remembering.
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Old 29th December 2011, 09:26 AM   #1052
Tom4s is offline Tom4s  Luxembourg
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If you're interested don't wait too long or else it will only be something to remember! TC are known to quickly pull any product that doesn't sell enough. At this price, it might well be a loss leader, intended as a promotion to make people aware of their company.
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Old 29th December 2011, 09:48 AM   #1053
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@StigErik, you do know that this means that you never ever use the full bit resolution of your DAC? In fact, at low listening levels you would introduce lo-fi "bit crunching" distortion. I now see why you wanted to decrease the Ncore input sensitivity... In your situation I think I would set the DAC at full scale output and use a passive volume control, such as this little unit. or perhaps this one. (Amazing prices for balanced volume controls.)
This is not a problem. Most source signals are 16 bit anyway. With an effective DAC resolution of approx 20 bits (120 dB), that means I can still attenuate 4 bits - that is 24 dB - before I loose any DAC resolution and the signal starts to bury itself into the noise floor. With an analog volume control, you also loose resolution, of the same reason.

The dynamic range of my listening room is no more than 14-15 bits anyway....

Having said that, its a good idea to place the signal in the most linear range of the DAC, that is as far up to 0dBFS as possible.
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Old 29th December 2011, 09:52 AM   #1054
tiki is offline tiki  Germany
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Hello Tom,
12.9V is roughly 10dB below maximum (low distortion) out voltage. So you may lose that amount from the DAC resolution, which begins at >100dB typically (depending on the DAC type of course, the THD+N figures are of much more interest ).
You'll never reach that dynamic range in a normal listening room. As I "believe", just this type of distortion will remain clearly below the hearing threshold.
Cheers, Timo

edit:
nearly double post, sorry
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Old 29th December 2011, 10:31 AM   #1055
Tom4s is offline Tom4s  Luxembourg
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You'll never reach that dynamic range in a normal listening room.
Ah, yes. Those passive monitor controllers are for audio mixing, video editing, etc. I.e. for intense listening in environments that are not normal listening rooms. In those situations many producers and engineers prefer to attenuate in the analog domain.
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Old 29th December 2011, 10:45 AM   #1056
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Not to mention that some modern DACs feature sophisticated internal volume controls with such resolution that they can be considered "lossless" for a big part of their operation.
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Old 29th December 2011, 12:11 PM   #1057
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Originally Posted by StigErik View Post
This is not a problem. Most source signals are 16 bit anyway. With an effective DAC resolution of approx 20 bits (120 dB), that means I can still attenuate 4 bits - that is 24 dB - before I loose any DAC resolution and the signal starts to bury itself into the noise floor. With an analog volume control, you also loose resolution, of the same reason.

The dynamic range of my listening room is no more than 14-15 bits anyway....

Having said that, its a good idea to place the signal in the most linear range of the DAC, that is as far up to 0dBFS as possible.
If you're concerned about quantizing distortion after a digital volume control, you could always dither the signal before it hits the DAC. Even more fun: oversample before adding frequency shaped dither - most modern DACs can handle 192 kHz, so you can hide dither above the audible spectrum and still get its benefits.
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Old 29th December 2011, 12:56 PM   #1058
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StigErik View Post
This is not a problem. Most source signals are 16 bit anyway. With an effective DAC resolution of approx 20 bits (120 dB), that means I can still attenuate 4 bits - that is 24 dB - before I loose any DAC resolution and the signal starts to bury itself into the noise floor. With an analog volume control, you also loose resolution, of the same reason.

The dynamic range of my listening room is no more than 14-15 bits anyway....

Having said that, its a good idea to place the signal in the most linear range of the DAC, that is as far up to 0dBFS as possible.
as long as you are scaling the 16 bit input to enter the DAC as 20 bit all is ok. to be frank, I would only worry about truncation with high-end systems, I would bet that most cheap to medium-priced systems aren't good enough to make the difference between 14 and 16 bits discernible. that is not to say that one should throw away bits if attenuation can be solved otherwise.
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Old 29th December 2011, 07:40 PM   #1059
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I would have hoped (selfishly...) that more nCore 400 first adopters would have posted their perspectives on sound quality by now. What are these people doing? Taking vacation or something?!

Stig, thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts and an even bigger shout out to Bruno for taking the time to post on this forum and make the nCore 400 available to the DIY market.
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Old 29th December 2011, 09:59 PM   #1060
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I agree earflappin.

I an anxious to hear from others about their NCore opinions. Sort of a moot issue for me since I have already placed my order, but it would make me feel a little better about my decision if others were posting with high praise.

My UCD400HG with H x R monoblocks are awfully good and I am hoping the NCore will be an upgrade worth the time and expense.
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