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Author Topic: Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC  (Read 9565 times)

jlyness

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Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC
« on: September 10, 2014, 06:17:57 pm »

I know this kind of question has been asked before, but I can't seem to find a clear answer reviewing this and other threads (here and over at Computer Audiophile): I am having terrible trouble with pops when playing DSD tracks (when switching DSD sample rates, or when full-stopping a playing track). There were minor clicks when I used the Schiit Loki DAC, but the pops with the iFI micro iDSD are much louder. The SQ is amazing, butů Anyone found any MC19 settings (for mac, thus no WASABI, no ASIO driver) that reduce or eliminate this problem? Many thanks.

Matt had suggested to me that I increase the buffering under Device Settings. I set the device settings software buffering to the maximum (500 ms), as recommended by iFi. I also tried maximum hardware buffering (as well as maximum power of two). This seems to have improved, maybe eliminated, the "pop" on playing a track starting up from a stopped MC. But the pop remains, loud and annoying, whenever a track is stopped (not paused), and whenever a track ends on segue to the next track, if and only if the next track is a change in file type (from DSD to PCM or vice versa).
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JimH

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Re: Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 06:38:39 pm »

Some devices don't work well when the bitrate and sample rate change.

Try adjusting the buffer both up and down.

Try MC's option for playing leading silence.

You can work around the problem by resampling everything to the same bitrate and samplerate.  Use MC's DSP Studio > Output settings.
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jlyness

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Re: Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 06:55:45 pm »

I have tried playing with the buffer up and down the ranges offered in MC19, without being able to get my problem better than described above.

The problem is not when sample rate or bit rate change within PCM, or within DSD, it is only when switching to or from DSD (that is, from or to PCM).

iFi on their website claim the problem has to do with (most) software media players not compensating for DSD's inability to go to zero the way PCM does; they say the fix is and must be in the media player software.

I didn't have this problem with the Schiit Loki, because that was DSD only.

I understand the workaround you suggest (I could have everything output as either PCM or DSD over DoP), but that defeats the purpose of a high quality DAC that can handle both PCM and DSD conversions to analog/sound.
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jlyness

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Re: Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 06:56:46 pm »

Sorry, I now see I am posting the same problem as recent thread started by Rob_C.
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JimH

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Re: Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2014, 02:32:09 pm »

Did you try the leading silence option?
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6233638

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Re: Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2014, 02:55:36 pm »

Some devices don't work well when the bitrate and sample rate change.
My Benchmark DAC2 is supposed to be silent for all format changes. (bit-depth, sample rate etc.)
With Media Center, it is only silent when changing PCM formats, and pops when switching to/from DSD.
 
They say it's a software issue, not the hardware. The problem got worse when switching from 18 to 19. (no different in 20 on PC thus far)
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jlyness

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Re: Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2014, 09:22:02 pm »

Did you try the leading silence option?


Yes, I did try checking and unchecking the box about leading silence. For me, increasing the buffer has improved the pop on starting a track (from a stopped player) to manageable levels, but the pop at the end (whether stopping play or on segue to a non-DSD track) is untouched. iFi's comment to Rob_C, mentioned in the other thread, makes sense to me, that the software player needs to insert silence at the end (as well as, perhaps, the beginning) of DSD play.
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jlyness

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Re: Popping sound with iFi micro iDSD DAC
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 06:03:55 pm »

Update: iFi released a firmware update for the iDSD micro DAC, that they say includes a "workaround" for the pop noises. Works great with MC19 and MC20, no complaints from me now on this issue.
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