Volume control in Linux

UPDATE: I purchased a Schiit Audio Saga Stereo Pre-Amplifier, $50 more than my budget but it seems like a good fit.


I have ROCK running (core and output) on a fanless Skull Canyon NUC with an ifi Micro iDSD BL connected to it’s USB, if i select “Use Device Controls” for Volume I get “Volume control is Fixed”.

It looks like iDSD doesn’t support USB hardware volume.

From memory my Geek Pulse does USB volume on Mac but doesn’t appear to on ROCK.

I don’t have a preamp, my DAC currently connects directly to monoblock power amplifiers.

What are people doing for volume control?

Has anyone seen a high quality analog remote volume control to go between the DAC and the monoblocks, network based would be great, integration with Roon external volume control would be icing on the cake, that doesn’t cost the earth?

Or do I separate the output function from the NUC, could I get remote volume control that way:

  • Different OS with Geek Pulse?
  • Something else?

Budget for a solution is $300.

I want to avoid the DSP volume as it triggers a DSD -> PCM conversion.

I mean I could build something with an networked MCU and an ALPS motorized potentiometer, maybe controlled through home automation (MQTT).