Any reason you don’t control volume with a proper preamp? I have a Lumin U1 mini which has volume control via a iPhone app and I never use that... I use the preamp remote volume control... And I love the sound of my Qutest... BTY, Lumin offers a Infrared Control Package with a remote...
streamers without built in dacs won’t have a volume control.... even in a modern digital front end, volume control occurs in the d-to-a conversion stage
if you are committed to using the chord qutest, you will need to alter music volume downstream of it... as the qutest is designed as a fixed output unit (you can set its operating output voltage at 1, 2 or 3v standard, but once selected, it cannot vary volume...)
@ddude003 no remote control on the integrated amp, thus the need to move upstream without loosing sound quality, @tksteingraber ifi specify not to use their volume control is a loss of quality will occur. I eard from an auralic reseller that with new steamer of higher quality, this option is possible without sacrificing sound and loss will be perceive during volume change and quality will come back instantly
I’m currently using the Lumin U2 and it’s built with their “Leedh Processing” which acts as a volume control. It’s one of those setups where you define a min/max range between it and the downstream devices and allows you to vary the output between. Honestly I’ve never tried it and this feature wasn’t a consideration for me when I purchased it. I set everything to native sampling, Leedh is turned off and volume is 100% going into my Dac. My ARC Ref 6 handles all of the attenuation to the amp.
I’m quite happy with my Auralic Aries G1, which has a digital volume control. However, I’ve never used the volume control, so I don’t know that my satisfaction means much to you.
Any digital volume control reduces dynamic range. If the volume attenuation is appreciable, that will be noticeable -- the sound will become a little flat. I don’t know of any streamers without DACs that have analog volume control -- that wouldn’t make sense. If I were in your shoes, I’d consider an inexpensive low-noise preamp like a Topping PRE90 to control volume in the analog domain.
The Topping was reviewed recently in Stereophile by Kal Rubinson, who is less easily swayed by audio jewelry than many reviewers.
I have the Leedh processing via ROON and my Lumin X1. I 100% am going to use this DAC direct to amp, a CODA #16. It sounds excellent. However, if I put the $2500 uber neutral Benchmark LA4 preamp into the system the volume is better at low levels. Mainly the progression on the Leedh is not as linear as on the LA4, which bugged me.
The Leedh is still the very best DAC based volume control I have heard. Though I have not heard volume controls on even higher cost DACs. If my goal of limiting boxes in my Livingroom was not the paramount concern, I would buy a second LA4 preamp and use it with the X1. The LA4 has made every single DAC I owned sound better.
BTW - I have 3 opticalRendu streamers. I will do some testing with the X1 streaming features to see if I can sell 1 of the 3 oR’s.