SPL Diamond DAC - no remote control

I was so excited about getting the new SPL Diamond DAC when I realized that unlike all their other units it does not have remote control capability. Their other units have some peculiarities that make them less than ideal for “consumer” level use, but this one takes the price. I just would really like to know what the thought process was when the conscious decision was made not to supply a pre-amplifier with remote control capabilities. 🤷‍♂️


When you buy a piece of Pro gear or gear from a company with Pro Roots they don't always think like a HiFi enthusiast.  Unfortunately that looks like the case here.   A great unit that no one had the insight to spec a remote volume in.  Would have been easy to do as they make that Alps pot in a motorized form factor.  

If it sounds great I hope the lack of remote doesn't keep you from selling or returning it.   

My CJ preamp had no remote.  That thing sounded great so I guess you could say I “lived with it” but that wasn’t the case at all.  I loved that preamp , it sounded better than the remote controlled pre it replaced.   I hated the volume push button thing.   

Love SPL equipment and they are outstanding. None of their Preamps/Headphone Amps come with a remote. They have the ability to use an IR remote once you program the unit (very simple process). None the less your particular unit does not have this feature. My DAC is simply that a DAC, No lights or switches (LessLoss). This may have been a better fit? https://spl.audio/en/spl-produkt/director-mk2/

It’s not even so much me as it is my wife. This system is in the living room and it’s hard enough to explain that she can’t control the sound from the app and has to use a remote. Walking up to the unit from one end to the other of a rather large room is a non-starter. 

One would think they would have learned from Benchmark’s introduction of the DAC 1 - also pro gear and I think their main competition. It did not take them long to add a remote after all the feedback from their customers. 

Because of their pro roots, they assume everyone is sitting at a mixing console where everything is in reach

Too bad her app can't change the volume.   I have to ask....  how does it sound?  

Also how are you getting your music ? Qobuz ?  Tidal?   

After an exceedingly long story it is in transit as an exchange for my Phonitor X that had developed an undetermined terminal issue. I was offered the X with the new 786xe DAC, but really wanted to try the 786 DAC with the 120v technology. I was going to use my XE as HPA and pair it up with a S800 amp. That amp is something special by the way  I have two of them. The quality of the sound is amazing they just can’t figure the connectivity options out for us mere audiophiles that add things like say subwoofers and bi-amping. 

I stream using mostly Qobuz using Auralic Aries G1’s with Roon. 

I thought about the Director as well, but it’s a lot more $ and not that functional for what it’s supposed to do being a full fledged pre-amp. It only has two outputs so if you want to connect a subwoofer and HPA you are out of luck. They opted for a tape loop instead of an additional output or two. I also note how they suggest you hook up their own HPA using unbalanced RCA when their amps are all balanced design. Why would they not add a balanced output so you can use their HPA’s the way they are designed to perform optimally?

Remotes are an absolute must for me. Preamp, phono preamp, dac, CD transport, tuner and loki max equalizer all have it. Nothing like tuning the sound to your specific ears from you listening chair if that's the way you enjoy music. Without them it takes forever to get it right, and the album is already half way through...

That alps pot is a cheap way out , you loose resolution it’s only a $25 item

resistor ladder , and relays are much better, I try to bring attention to this 

it’s just a good way to save $$. , my friend being a audio engineer 

proved this,inside the silver can2 plastic wipers with a conductive spray ,

plow level detail suffers a lot.

For me, I can’t/don’t use the dac as a preamp and it’s no big deal to get off my butt an press a button to switch from CD to streamer. It’s probably better for me to move once in awhile to press those buttons.😁

Maybe someday.

After a week with the Diamond I will live without the remote volume. It’s very special. I will write a separate post with more detailed impressions but bottom line is dynamic, silky smooth, dense, organic analog sound. Paired up with a SPL Performer amp I don’t think you will ever have to look back.