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Old 12-27-2016, 08:40 PM
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Thumbs up Audio Research DAC9 Issue ... Update: working on the fix!

I received my DAC9 on Friday of last week and have been enjoying it until the response I got from Audio Research support today. Many of you may have seen my posts on another DAC9 thread and saw things were initially going well with the exception of DSD playback. On the Mac it doesn't work at all and it's been very spotty for me with JRiver on my new Dell XPS laptop with Windows 10. When I purchased the unit my dealer called Audio Research because we couldn't get the demo unit to play DSD either and the person my dealer talked to at Audio Research told him they knew about the issue and were working on it. Well, I thought I would log a ticket with support myself so they know a customer who purchased one is actually having the problem and expected to hear back that this is a known issue and they are working on it .... etc.

What I got back was ... Mac OS isn't capable of DSD playback on any DAC so it's not an issue with the DAC9. Case Closed.

Well ... it's news to me that you can't do DSD from a Mac because I've been doing that for a while sending it from Audirvana to the Oppo 105d and it works just fine using I think DoP 1.1 or something like that in the Audirvana settings.

Am I crazy or is Audio Research mistaken? Is it really possible Audio Research's position is DSD playback isn't possible from a Mac? I hear about a lot of people doing exactly that with Audirvana and other DAC's and the DAC9 claims to support DOP so I would think it's at least possible.

Sorry for the long lost post ... just hoping this will get Audio Research's attention and they respond to all of us so we know what the "Real" answer is. I've always heard great things about their support too ... I just didn't get any. I'm going to have a drink now! Happy new year guys and I'll let you know what happens in the coming days.

To be fair Audio Research emailed back and stated Native DSD playback from Mac isn't possible. That is true unless they write their own Asio driver for the Mac which I'm guessing they aren't going to do. I asked about DoP because the owners manual says very clearly it supports that and on JRiver on Windows it does work in DoP mode. Weird it won't work on the Mac even in DoP mode.

Update ... I seem to have fixed DSD playback in JRiver (Windows 10) getting it to show DSDX1 on the DAC9 and play reliably from my Dell pc after applying some missed patches. Still no luck with the Mac though. Hopefully the sunrise will bring better news!
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Last edited by gadawg; 12-28-2016 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Update Info
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:30 AM
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Just got off the phone early this morning with Audio Research and their engineering team along with their President. They absolutely said they are committed to bringing DSD playback to the Mac and that they are working on a fix as I type this. They made me feel completely confident that this will be resolved. To get a call from the President of the company and the engineering team showed me what others had always said about their commitment to excellence. So while DSD doesn't work yet I'm confident enough it will after speaking to them this morning I'll be keeping the unit I think for a Looong time!

55 hours and its still getting better!
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Old 12-28-2016, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadawg View Post
Just got off the phone early this morning with Audio Research and their engineering team along with their President. They absolutely said they are committed to bringing DSD playback to the Mac and that they are working on a fix as I type this. They made me feel completely confident that this will be resolved. To get a call from the President of the company and the engineering team showed me what others had always said about their commitment to excellence. So while DSD doesn't work yet I'm confident enough it will after speaking to them this morning I'll be keeping the unit I think for a Looong time!

55 hours and its still getting better!
Now that sounds like the ARC I know! Enjoy your DAC!
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:30 PM
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Kudos to a responsible company who is acting with world class integrity!

I look forward to reading how this ends happily for you.
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:06 PM
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Great news! ARC is a customer focused company. Full USB functioning (including DSD) was promised for Mac and Windows computers, so ARC will find a way to get it done. I hope they also follow through on full USB functioning (including DSD) for the Aurender music servers. Currently USB does not work on ARC DACs with Aurender.

Best,
Ken
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:43 PM
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I know they are working on a fix but could be many more months away as they are likely going to have to change out the USB card for one that is more Linux and Mac friendly. Could be similar to the Dac 8 upgrade program announced earlier this month. Mine works fine with Windows 10 and JRiver and plays all resolutions including DSD just fine. That said, I'm not really sure I care any more and here's why ... I brought home a Berkeley Alpha USB to demo and couldn't believe how much better it made the Dac9 sound. Now I'm not even sure I care about DSD any longer. What I noticed was that bass definition is much better, a little smoother highs overall while producing a MUCH larger sound stage in all directions and a more open midrange. I'm hearing things in recordings that I didn't even know was there!

I'm not sure if the Berkeley unit is that good, the USB card in the Dac9 has opportunities, or some combination of the two. Needless to say the Berkeley device isn''t going back to the store ... :-)

By the way ... at 200+ hours everything got a lot better for me around 160-180 hours. With the addition of the Berkeley unit I think I'm good, case closed ... for now at least ...
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Last edited by gadawg; 03-11-2017 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 03-11-2017, 02:14 PM
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I have two Berkeley usb converters in my systems. I have one connected to an ARC CD and an esoteric K03. I had an ARC DAC8 a few years ago and also used the Berkeley sub with it. I like sound of he Berkeley usb converter and don't have to deal with compatility issues with the players.

Rich
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:20 PM
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Thought I'd provide an update .... still no update on Mac DSD playback.

George
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:00 AM
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I just saw this thread and I guess I am not the only one having problems. Recently I posted a thread on my problems getting the USB inputs to work on my Reference CD-9. It works fine with Toslink but not USB. I'm also using JRiver with a Dell XPS-15 9550 high end laptop for USB playback.

Audio Research is sending me new PAL drivers, so I'll see if that fixes my problems.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:30 AM
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So ... still no update for DSD on Mac or Linux and Aurender support with the DAC9 still. Itís been over a year since I first spoke with them about this issue ... and while they did assure me it would be addressed I had no idea 13 months later Iíd still be waiting. So while Iím enjoying the sound with the Berkeley Alpha USB I HAD to buy to get it to work with an Aurender front end ... thinking about a substantial upgrade In a few months so it will be a mute point, but the resale on these units is much lower than normal. So, while itís a nice sounding unit I could not recommend and this will likely be the last Audio Research component I buy due to a total lack of any reasonable amount of customer care. Itís really too bad.

George
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