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vortex output levels

Some questions for Vortex users on this list on my newly purchased unit.
The factory presets all have output levels set at max (64), which seems
much too high for my setup (using it in the effects loop of my guitar
amp), as it overloads very easily, and is also very noisy. When I take
the output levels down to about 40-48, these problems disappear. Only
trouble is, I can only store these output levels in the 16 user presets.

Does anyone out there know if there is a way to store these lower output
levels in the factory presets? Do the units all come this way (with
output levels maxed)? Perhaps there is some sort of reset procedure?
I've serched the manual but can't find any info. Any digital reverb I've
ever used I've set the same way; output levels around 50-70%, (of course
this is much easier with knobs).

Also, I've noticed some digital noise when I use an expression pedal
(EV-5) to morph between some parameters—is this normal? Any help on
these questions would be greatly appreciated.