To S. Andrea Sundaram,
I've read your articles for a while now and always enjoy them, so great work!
One thing you might consider, regarding volume control of digital sources, is what's done by Lyngdorf, and maybe NAD. They have products that control the volume by varying the current from the DAC, rather than by trimming bits from the signal. I might be saying this in a very clumsy way, so take your chances with what I say!
I heard a system driven by TacT gear back when, and it had astounding resolution even at low volume. It was a "musical" experience, quite true to the instruments on the recordings. TacT is a precursor company to Lyngdorf, and I'd guess that Lyngdorf has moved forward with that technology.
As I mentioned in the article, there are a number of ways in which to implement a digital volume control. They are all subject to the same limitations regarding dynamic range, but some most certainly do sound better than others. . . . S. Andrea Sundaram