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Man, I just bought one of these. Luckily not for full retail price, but ugh. Still hurts.
In any case, to anyone who has one of these, I have a question I think I know the answer to but wish to confirm: You can't use the amp if you only want to output to balanced out, correct? As in, I can use the amp (and therefore gain) if I want it to output to headphones only or headphones and balanced out, but not just balanced out? That kinda sucks because I don't want it to only be capable of blasting at full gain; I'd prefer to have one volume knob be the volume knob I need, not to remember to turn system volume down most of the way if I switch to balanced out only. I suppose I could unplug my headphones if I don't want it to output to them but still use the volume control, but that's a kind of lousy solution, especially since you have to cycle through the modes and therefore pass over FULL GAIN MODE
I understand why you wouldn't be able to adjust volume while it's in DAC only mode, but I just wish I could keep it in amp mode and only output to XLR so I don't have to awkwardly compromise convenience.
Well, I think most people including myself would prefer it bypass the volume control in line out mode to avoid possible audio quality degradation going through the volume control. To get what you want, either they have to change the current line out mode that will make others unhappy or they have to add a new line out mode with volume control. While the engineering effort to add a new mode may not be that difficult, it still require effort and more testing, which adds to the cost.
It couldn't possibly add that much cost to just have a toggle that cuts off output to the headphones, could it? I mean, I'm stupid about these things so maybe I'm wrong, but it already has the functionality I'm looking for. When it's on HP+DAC mode, the line out absolutely goes through volume control, it just also outputs to the headphones. I guess I could just have my headphones play to nobody when I want to use my studio monitors and not worry about it? It's just kind of a bummer to improve my setup in one way but also make it kind of a hassle in another, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.
I think the remote lets you go to any of the modes directly, if that helps you. That way you don't have to pass through full gain each time.