Benchmark DAC USB Volume

I’m using a Benchmark DAC 3 HGC connected to a Mac Mini (10.11.6).

I thought that setting Volume Control Mode to ‘Use Device Controls’ would mean that Roon would send a signal to the DAC to control volume.

However, what happens is that if I reduce the volume in Roon to below 100 (even if it only drops to 99) there is no sound at all.

Any suggestions?

Mike, are you maybe playing DSD files ? when they reach DAC sometimes just by digitally (before DAC chip) if volume is reduced in the dac or in the roon endpoint or somewhere else its no longer readable by DAC.
I have older Benchmark DAC2 and that happens as well (as it does on other DACs).

However, if that happens with no conversion/upsampling to DSD with regular PCM material then something else is the issue …

It happens with any input - tried without upsampling to DSD i.e. just sent 44.1/16 Redbook to the DAC and exactly the same happens.

Even more odd is what happens if I try to use DSP volume - the Roon volume control slider can’t be changed and looks like this …

have you tried device settings in Roon so it sets the volume to the max upon startup (that might help) ?

on the other side - what i have been using is no volume control in roon at all but used remote with Benchmark DAC. like that the most. Have not only volume up/down and mute but also ‘dim’ which takes volume 20db down … so i never wanted to use Roon as that was most convenient.

on the other side, why not use Roon DSP for volume control … you won’t lose ‘bits’ for sure not on PCM material and on DSD - it would not have worked with digital control anyhow.

last but not least, if your endpoint it linux - login via ssg to endpoint and do alsamixir, select Benhcmark DAC (with F6) if not selected by default and check if under 1st two bars it tells ‘M’ (which means channels are muted). (ah i see you are using Mac directly to the DAC so ignore last paragraph :slight_smile:

hope some of this helps :slight_smile:


Thanks for the suggestions.

Fixed volume using Benchmark remote is fine - and that’s what I normally use - but was hoping to find a way of controlling volume from Roon. Using Roon DSP works fine (the oddity in my previous post disappeared when I restarted the DAC.

From some research it seems that what I was hoping to do - get Roon to change the DAC volume control - will only work if the DAC supports HID over USB (and also if the mapping of commands is correct). There’s a thread about it here:

I’ve emailed Benchmark to ask whether or not the DAC3 supports HID.

Did you hear from Benchmark?

I did hear from Benchmark. The DAC3 does not support HID.

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