Hi again,
further clarification...the ESS SABRE 9038 does oversampling therefore the software volume control is comparable to a hardware one.
so ask yourself if you really need a hardware volume controller...

some interesting reading:

The digital volume control in the ESS Sabre DAC owes its performance to the availability of a wide internal data path. Using a 32-bit data path, the truncation error (or lack of truncation error) that results from digital attenuation does not reduces the SNR of the DAC.
The message here is that 32-bit digital volume control can beat or match most analog volume controls unless they can beat the -135dB number. (or -132dB in stereo configuration). Note also that DNR is the same weather in voltage or current mode; only THD is enhanced in current mode.