" There is no advantage being "able" to go to 11 (ie: past full up) but never doing it, because "if" you did you’d blow your system up."
If it’s loud enough for you, you have enough gain, and better rotation on the volume control as well, instead of being stuck somewhere between 7o’clock and 10o’clock for your listening and never being able to use from 10 o’clock to 5 o’clock.
More gain DOES NOT! make a system sound better, if anything it’s worse as the noise comes up, as your chopping back (sacrificing) the source volume with the volume control just so the preamp gain stage can make it back up again, one should always use the "the full signal level" from the source if possible, this way noise is kept at a minimum.
EG: What the use of taking a Ferrari to redline in all gears, if your foot’s on the brake, knowing it’s not as fast or free revving if your foot wasn’t on the brake??.
That’s what your doing by reducing the source level a lot just so you can make it back up again with the extra gain of the preamp, why not just reduce the source level a little to where you need it? and not add more gain/noise/distortion.