Outlaw RR2150 Phono Gain w/ DL-160 - 40db or 55db?

The phono section on my Outlaw RR2150 amp will allow me to increase the gain from around 40db to 55db at 47k-ohms. Either of which is appropriate for the DL-160.

When I've got it at 40db I have to increase the volume knob from around 8:00 to 11:00 to get the same relative volume compared to a cd; at 55db the volumes are close at 8:00 but the phono section seems to actually be a bit louder. Noise (hiss) through the amp in phono-mode is virtually none existent in either mode unless I crank the volume to 3:00 or so (with nothing playing, of course).

Are there any advantages or disadvantages to either scenario, more or less gain in the phono section? It doesn't bother me to have to turn the volume knob up more in phono mode.

BTW, the DL-160 seems about as loud as the prior at440mla I was running. Surprising since the outputs are so different.
BTW, the DL-160 seems about as loud as the prior at440mla I was running. Surprising since the outputs are so different.
I had the same experience. When I switched from the 4mV output Shure M97xE to the DL160, I expected to have to goose the volume knob for the same perceived volume, but to my surprise didn't have to at all.

In fact, although the average volume seems about the same between the two carts, volume peaks sound better with the Denon. I guess that could be a number of things -- better trackability, MC design, better quality overall, more headroom for the phono section?

I don't know, but I like it.
There is a bit of controversy surrounding the actual output of the Denon DL 160. On the Needledoctor site, Jerry Raskin actually says he has measured the output of the 160 at 2.2 mV as opposed to the stated 1.6 from Denon.

If indeed it is 2.2 mV (and your assertion that it is relatively close in terms of volume to the AT 440 mla would seem to suggest this), then 40 db is about 3 db light, but 55 db would be about 9 db too high. Based on this (but only you can decide based on sound quality) I would stick with the 40 db setting; I would think that the 55 db setting would put you into, or on the verge of overload and compromise your sound quality much more than running 3 db short.

Cranking to 11 AM for volume is nothing to worry about-I very often run between 11 and 1 PM (depending on the record and just how loudly I want to listen). I would think that at 8 PM, obtaining CD like volumes is putting you in an overload situation.
Thanks for the responses.

My gut feeling has been to keep it at the lower setting. The DL-160 sounds fantastic through the phono-stage. I'm extremely impressed with the cartridge and, especially, the quality of the RR2150's stage.