DAC's with volume control question

it's been a while since i researched/purchased DAC's. grabbed a new PS Audio PWDII w/Bridge about 10 years ago and it has kept me happy for a long time. need a short term replacement (meaning inexpensive) and am looking for info regarding current DAC's that can be used stand alone without a preamp for volume control.  the PWDII had a shortcoming that would do "something bad" when operated below 50% volume. losing bits or something like that??. 

my question is .... has this issue been resolved in general? 10 years is alot of time in the digital realm and would like to know if modern technology has eliminated this problem with volume control/loss of sound quality.

have three on the list but see nothing disclosed regarding volume control short comings. is it safe to assume no such issues exist anymore? thus not even mentioned?

this is a temporary replacement. probably only 1-1.5 years. don't want to add a preamp so my list is limited to inexpensive options with preamp/volume control so far 

Peach Tree Decco125 SKY
Cambridge CNX V2
Cambridge 851N

seems the 851N might be more of what i need but am concerned about mid-fi integrated preamp hardware making things sound worse. the CNX V2 seems to be more like my PWDII and is preamp-ish with volume control. no real dedicated/integrated preamp hardware. the CXN V2 has me concerned about the volume control having shortcomings like my PWDII.

thanks in advance for any help/input

I compared the volume control on the respected Benchmark DAC3 HGC (DAC/preamp) with the Benchmark DAC3B (no volume) + Benchmark LA4 preamp. The DAC3B + LA4 combo was so much better with volume,  especially at low volume levels. I only use a DAC for volume control when convenience factor out weighs sound quality, such as in my bedroom headphone system.
Own a RME ADI 2fs and the preamp volume is extremely smooth and if anything is maybe a little slow to ramp up and down but not complaining. The RME in my system as a preamp definitely has a wider range than my ModWright LS36.5 preamp. As far as the DAC in the Cambridge 851N, the RME will pounce all over the Cambridge... they’re not even in the same league. I own a Cambridge 851C, pretty sure same DAC, which is very good and I used to run my BS Vault 2 through. The RME is far better, especially if you throw out the switch power supply and add a linear supply. The RME has much more fine level detail, pace and bottom end punch over the Cambridge, and in comparison as good as the Cambridge is it sounds like good digital. The RME is very revealing but not aggressive or harsh but very neutral. Going direct without adding a preamp takes it to even another level. Highly recommend the current RME fs model. It might actually embarrass your much higher PS Audio... I bet it does.
yyzsantabarbara: went through 5 different preamps the first couple years of owning the PWDII. some higher end ones at that. Pass, Levinson, AR etc. none sounded bad but none sounded better. decided to go pre-amp-less and have been happy since. do plan on trying preamps again when i build my next/real listening room setup but right now, it's just simplicity, cost and get it done quick. like i mentioned above, this new system will be pushed to my living room once i have the time to to build one right in my listening room (research/auditions/much bigger money). this entire ordeal is do to my older system taking a crap on me. just purchased amp/speakers in a matter of days, sight unseen with minimal research. (adcome gfa875se and sonus faber sonetto viii's).  don't have the time to do it right so i'm just putting together a decent system to get me by for 1-1.5 years with minimal expense/effort. terrible timing but i gotta have some decent tunes until time allows me to do it right. 

adg101: that RME sounds like a nice one. got my work cut out for me when i do get around to building my listening room system.  so many different choices now-a-days compared to 2010 (streaming DAC's). but again, this will be a secondary system in my living room when all is said and done. plug and play/all in one/inexpensive/quick and easy is what i need now (with decent volume control)
could be wrong but i'd kinda expect any decent modern DAC to outshine a 10 year old PWDII. 10 years seems like such a long time in digital. i'll be a little disappointed if whatever inexpensive modern DAC/streamer i end up with doesn't sound as good/better then my old PWDII. maybe i'm expecting too much?. will find out soon enough. will consider separates (Dac/Streamer/Preamp) on the next system but gotta admit i do love a single box that dose everything good

unsound: output voltage doesn't seem to be a commonly disclosed spec. couldn't find it for the 851N. thx for the tip though....in case i do ever find it. =)

found this regarding the Cambridge 851N volume control.....

" Keeping the signal digital to the last moment makes it less susceptible to analogue deterioration, while a 32-bit SHARC DSP controls the volume output; by keeping the entire signal digital the best possible sound is achieved, even at very low volume levels.

jjss49: this kinda alludes to what you mentioned above regarding later in the chain?. but then "alludes to" vs stating/explaining are two different things. i have no clue what most of the above means. it just reminded me of what you pointed out. or is it just the typical marketing wanna-be spin?
They're talking about using the 851N in preamp mode. If you don't connect it to a preamp you are keeping the signal digital until the 851N converts it to analog then on to the amp. Instead of having 851N>Preamp>Amp you have 851N>Amp. They're claiming bypassing a preamp results in less deterioration. It does digital volume control in 32bit which is good there shouldn't be any audible resolution loss.