Volume Control by Roon for a USB connected DAC (Modi 2 by Schiit) [Answered]

I would like to have sound volume control in reach from the Roon application.
My configuration is as follows:
PC with windows 10.
USB connection to a DAC (Modi 2 by Schiit). Ad-hoc driver for Modi by Microsoft 11/04/2018.
To clarify the situation I have disabled the other Audio drivers on this the PC (Sound Blaster Recon3Di).
When in Roon I chose the following : ==> Audio/Connected to this PC ==> USB Modi Device Wasapi.
Unfortunatly I cannot set variable sound levels in Roon. Thus I need to go to the hifi amp to adjust the sound.
How can this be avoided?
Thank you.

Hi @Jacques_DRISCART ---- Thank you for the post!

Being as the Schiit Modi 2 does not have a volume control knob on the device you are not going to be able to control the volume in Roon as desired. I have Schiit Biforst at home and I have the DAC attached to a pre-amp + amp combo and adjust the volume levels as needed. Much like you are doing now.

You can try the following however:

  • Using the “DSP volume” which can be found in the “device setup” window. Just note the only thing to be aware of with this setting is that if other application play to the sound card and the amplifier’s volume is too high this can potentially overload your speakers.

  • You can also try making use of the “volume leveling” feature in Roon.


Eric, Thank you for this comprehensive answer. As a novice I appreciate this.
My hifi amp is at arms length of my desk chair so I will keep using real buttons for control. :smiley:

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Software or digital Volume control is only good for up to about -10dB attenuation unless you own a high performance DAC. You will lose a lot of DAC performance above that. Channel balance and SNR will suffer.

The Schiit Modi has only -104 dB SNR to begin with (a performance that was typical for electronics in the 90’s).

So -30 dB digital will drop your SNR to -74 dB which is way below 16 bit red book CD capability (96dB).

If you bought a high performance DAC with SNR around -130 dB then -30 dB attenuation would not matter as the performance would still be as good as CD quality. Top quality DACs perform around 22 bits resolution!

Of course if you listen to compressed pop/rock then it may not be a significant issue…

Analog volume control reduces noise as well as signal! Above modest amounts of digital attenuation, Analog is much preferred. Good analog volume control can be a challenge too - so choose your equipment carefully!!!