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Searching for an answer to this question has been fruitless...please advise:


What do you set your HTPC volume at for PCM / SPDIF output?


I know that sounds like a ridiculous question, but my digital audio over HDMI from my HD3850 OR over the digital out of my Audigy 2 is VERY loud compared to any of my other HDMI sources.


When I playback mp3 from Vista Media Center, it approches being twice as loud as any of my other HDMI sources attached to my Onkyo 805.


From a digital pre/out perspective, what should the volume be set to on the HTPC for optimum quality on the decoding side of playback?


100?


50?


There is no detectable distortion when I set it to 100, but IMHO it sounds better when set to ~60 or 70, which more closely matches the input signal strength from my HR20 (HDMI) and Toshiba A30 (HDMI).


Is there a rule of thumb here?
 

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For S/PDIF output you should have it at 100% on all controls (100% or defeated volume control in the application and 100% on the overall Windows slider). If you change it, it's no longer "bit perfect" (well if it was to begin with depending on what OS and soundcard and app you are using).


Unless the volume change is really annoying, I would leave it at 100% and adjust the volume on the receiver side for best quality.


However if you need to adjust it because you often switch sources not remembering the PC is louder (thus getting a blasting, lol), then just playback a CD or something that can be played back on both the PC and another A/V device and match the volume by lowering the Windows slider.
 
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