Using LeedH to replace in-line attenuators?

I wonder, could I replace my Rothwell 15db in-line physical attenuators (needed as my amp is way too sensitive to input for some strange reason - Heed Obelisk) with a setting in the LeedH volume in the Lumin App? I have a Lumin U1 Mini and wondered if this would be a sonic advantage over the Rothwells?

I don’t like using software slider volume controls so really I would like to just set LeedH volume and leave it, using the amp volume control as usual - is that possible without then running the risk of changing this setting inadvertently using the Roon app or even the device volume controls? My previous DAC (RME) had a ‘fixed volume’ tick box that enabled this but my Denafrips doesn’t have any DSP adjustment.

Looking at it’s 700mV input sensitivity explains your problem - nothing strange about that at all :wink:


In Lumin app, please set Max Volume % to 70, and compare it with the Rothwell. Please compare and report.

After setting the Max Volume %, you can only lower the digital volume further, not higher. So it’s safe.

With the Max Volume % at 70, even Roon volume is 100, your actual volume is still 100 * 70% = 70.

By keeping the amp volume at a high level, there is a possibility that you may gain further sonic improvement using the Leedh processing volume - just adjust the volume in Roon as usual.


Its free to try if you want to A/B it so trust your ears.

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I’m on it Peter - I’ll do a comparison later and report back… :blush:

I know! What were they thinking of when most of todays equipment outputs 2 volts!! If my sums are right (by no mens guaranteed!) my Denafrips Ares outputs 1.54 x that… :roll_eyes:

Your DAC actually outputs about π times your amplifier’s max input spec.

On the plus side, dropping the analogue output signal with the attenuator also drops the output stage noise by the same ratio; something you won’t get by doing it in the digital domain, however well implemented it may be.
Question is, can you hear that difference at all… so I guess, you’ve got plenty to test and tinker…

Ok, well after a quick test tonight I prefer the Rothwell attenuators to the 70% LeedH volume reduction, that might not be a reflection on the latter, more likely I like what the attenuators do to the sound… it was less hard somehow maybe. But these things are very subjective and the time it takes to switch off components in order to swap physical leads in and out (not a great idea for my DAC so I hear anyway) and make comparisons makes it hard to actually be sure.

One thing I did think of, as the attenuators are physically in line then would they be reducing the actual voltage to the input circuits of the amp? If so maybe the hardness when they aren’t in line is overload, but maybe digital volume adjustment has the same effect?

Anyway, the amp is likely my next upgrade so let’s not worry for now, it was just a thought and nice to try it out… thanks for the help and advice :blush:

Yes, that’s the working principle of any kind of attenuation.

Attenuating in the analogue or digital domain both reduce the voltage, so no overload, as long as adjusted to the same loudness.
Now, that’s true as long as there’s no considerable DC offset at the DAC analogue output, which would be considered a defect.

Keep it the way it sounds best to you…

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Great, yes indeed! It does prove the principle however - I simply turned on volume and LeedH in the Lumin app, then reduced the slider (also in Lumin app settings) to 70%. I checked in Roon device settings and made no change, left volume at ‘fixed’. This worked perfectly as a way of reducing output to the amp without having a volume slider to mess up in the Roon app itself.