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Okay so I just received the Aune X7S which I bought used online. I paired it with my Micca Origen+ to use the DAC from that. I'm using this with my 6XX now and it sounds great. I'm just using 1/4" for now as I don't have an XLR cable. But I just want to make sure I'm using it right. I have both the Micca and Aune on low gain, both the Macbook Pro volume and Micca volume are at max and I'm adjusting the volume on the Aune. Gets plenty loud on low gain so I can't see myself switching to medium gain and hell no to using high gain on the Aune. But should I have the Micca on max volume?
The line-level output at the rear of the Micca shouldn't be impacted by the volume knob, and set it to low gain, and set to high gain on the X7S for best performance with the 6XX.
The volume knob on the Micca controls the volume for both the headphone out on the front as well as the audio output on the rear. There is a switch on the front to choose which output to use. The Micca is set to low gain. If I set the Aune to high gain I will destroy my headphones and my ears. It's way too much power. Even medium gain is potentially too high. The X7S is definitely a very powerful amp. As for sound quality I really can't tell the difference no matter which headphone output I use. I've tried using the headphones direct from my Macbook Pro, the Micca and the Aune. There perhaps is a slight improvement using the DAC in the Micca compared to my Mac but it's not a night and day difference. Now granted I'm not using FLAC or ALAC files. Just 256Kbps AAC. Maybe that's why there is no noticeable sound improvement.
High gain on the X7S shouldn't cause that high of a listening volume, they aren't that powerful and have just enough power for the 6XX. Sounds like there is clipping somewhere. Likely cause is your Micca, volume controls shouldn't impact line-out, they should be fixed volume. At 1.7v fixed line-out, you should get proper volumes out of the X7S high gain. Your best bet is to contact Micca and get an answer on passthrough volume, or just replace the Micca with something like a DFR or Aune T1.
Okay so I set the gain on the Aune to medium and the volume is plenty loud at 10 o'clock on the dial. Micca is at max volume on low gain. Switched the Aune to high gain and the volume dial is at 9 o'clock and more than loud enough.