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Old 02-12-2018, 03:20 PM
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Default MCD1100 DAC - Annoying Noise Between Songs

I have multiple DAC units, the DAC in MCD1100 is my second favorite (PS Audio DSD is my favorite BTW). However, there is an annoying problem which has been bothering me.

I use Mac Mini to feed music from Roon to this DAC through USB. The issue happens in every single gap between songs: a faint whistle like sound (~half second).

In the beginning I thought it was one of the common issues when a DAC switches sample rates, so I changed setting in Roon to mute for a second when the "switching" happens, but it did not help. Then I realized the noise does not come from speakers. It's from the inside of MCD1100 instead!!!

The noise sounds like something a CD player gives when a CD is just inserted. To me, it's more "mechanical" rather than "digital". It's very low in volume but still sensible.

Any ideas?

Last edited by SAPHANA; 02-12-2018 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:43 PM
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I have D1100 that I use with my Aurender music server via usb and do not have that problem if that helps . Try using a different usb source to rule out if it’s ypur Mac mini
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1KW View Post
I have D1100 that I use with my Aurender music server via usb and do not have that problem if that helps . Try using a different usb source to rule out if it’s ypur Mac mini
Thank you 1KW for the suggestion. I tried the following two different connections, which still involve Mac Mini & USB:

1. Utilize another DAC:
Mac Mini --> USB --> Oppo 105D --> XLR (Analog) --> Preamp
Result: no noise.

2. Utilize another digital input:
Mac Mini --> USB --> Oppo 105D --> Optical --> MCD1100
Result: no noise.

I think these two testings ruled out Mac/USB as the root cause.

It seems to me the issue has something to do with MCD1100's USB input...

Last edited by SAPHANA; 02-12-2018 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:11 AM
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Do you have another computer you can try?
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:05 AM
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Which software do you use with your mac mini ? If it's Audivarna, I had the problem, there is settings in the pref menu to avoid this.
Hope it helps.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1KW View Post
Do you have another computer you can try?
I did try a PC (Intel NUC), but could not have the DAC setup. Windows 10 does not recognize the MCD110 DAC, and I could not find any drivers to download from Mcintosh.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blatrie View Post
Which software do you use with your mac mini ? If it's Audivarna, I had the problem, there is settings in the pref menu to avoid this.
Hope it helps.
I use Roon. As I mentioned, I did change the similar settings in Roon as in Audirvarna, but the noise persists.

However, I do have Audirvana+ installed on the same Mac Mini, so I just tried it and did not hear the noise!

I found a similar issue complaining "clicks" between songs on Roon's community web site, but unfortunately there are no conclusions/solutions yet.

Last edited by SAPHANA; 02-13-2018 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:19 AM
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Based on the findings so far, it seems Roon has something to do with the issue. However the odd thing is: the issue does not exist when using another DAC... In fact, it only exists when the combination is Roon+MCD1100+USB.

Last edited by SAPHANA; 02-13-2018 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:52 PM
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UPDATE
----------
I guess I know the reason now.

I omitted an important information in my original post because I though it's irrelevant, but it turned out to be relevant: the issue happens when streaming Tidal through Roon.

I had been using this system for streaming Tidal via Roon only, and never tried to play music from my own library.

Today I started to think the issue might be related to how Roon deals with gaps, and how MCD1100's DAC responds to signals from USB. So I tested it using my FLAC files stored in Roon's library. Amazingly no noise between songs, and the same noise only appears when the whole album ends.

My theory:
- Roon deals with gaps for tracks from Tidal and my local library differently, even though they are both in FLAC format, and both in lossless redbook CD quality;
- The problem only happens when Roon stops sending the signals then starts again. If Roon sends the signals continuously regardless whether there's gap or not, there won't be noise;
- The issue only happens to MCD1100's DAC instead of my other DACs, because MCD1100 gives noise when its DAC stop receiving signals from USB.
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