Originally Posted by kgulls
Surely though,the volume control on the Oppo will also digitise the signal,so there should be no difference between connecting directly or using the volume control on a pre-pro.
I am also running straight into powered speakers using the Oppo 95 - no pre amp / volume controller.
I definately hear an improvement versus my old set up which was into an KRK Ergo monitor controller. I notice a lot more detail being presented using the Oppo dac.
However there are three theorectical problems with this approach;
1. Loss of bit depth: seems effectively ruled out using 32bit dac
2. Clipping ie overloading your amplifier
3. Risk of volume reset/blowing speakers
I have talked about 1 and provided link before in previous page if you wish to look this up, but I was looking at monitor controllers in a studio/mastering forum and they were discussing a few mastering devices that use digital volume control only-after all it is the shortest signal length , as noted by previous poster, so it may not be a bad thing. The lower the signal is lowered digitally the more likely you are to be able to perceive this effect , which basically comes down to compression I think.
On 2 I may try a pair of inline attenuators to address this issue and also 1 and 3 to some extent.
I generally listen to CDs and FLAC at 50 out of 100 volume max which is -20db (each step from 0,5 .. 95,100 is 2db shift) but with blu ray and MKV I'm sometimes up at 80.
So I guess -10db attenuators are the best I can go with to max out at 75 of current levels.
To answer your question though, yes many pre/pros will do additional
AD/DA - for example if EQ is applied, but some people also use 'passive preamps' which are all analogue (even digitally controlled ones)