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Rega DAC will not lock in spdif converter signal using Audirvana Plus


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I have a thread going in the DAC forum but this issue has morphed into something that probably belongs here. Here is my sordid story. Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

My current set-up is 2009 MacMini - Mapleshade USB - MF Vlink (original) - Black Cat Silverstar digital cable - Rega DAC

 

 

Bel Canto mLink # 1 problem

I wanted to upgrade the vLink so I purchased the Bel Canto mLink. Unfortunately, the Rega DAC could not lock in the signal. The sound goes in and out and the red button on the DAC indicating that a signal is locked flashes. It is very strange. I tried two different digital cables and two different usb cables but got the same result. I also tried different usb ports. When I plug the old vLink back in, everything works. Bel Canto could not offer any solutions.

 

Bel Canto mLink #2 problem

i then got a replacement unit shipped but had the exact same problem. The unit is clearly not defective but I figured that there was something about the Bel Canto that wasn't compatible somewhere.

 

Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 problem

Tonight my v-Link 192 arrived. After much anticipation it was pretty disappointing to have the same thing happen. The V-Link indicates that the signal from the USB is locked in. However, the DAC continues to flash that the signal is intermittent.

 

Since the original vLink works with no issues, I assume that there is something in my Mountain Lion or Audirvana setup that the Rega DAC doesn't like. It is a NOS DAC so I wondered if the upsampling was causing an issue. I changed Audirvana settings to no upsampling but it didn't help. There is probably a simple solution but I am clearly not capable of finding it.

 

Any suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks.

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I have a thread going in the DAC forum but this issue has morphed into something that probably belongs here. Here is my sordid story. Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

My current set-up is 2009 MacMini - Mapleshade USB - MF Vlink (original) - Black Cat Silverstar digital cable - Rega DAC

 

 

Bel Canto mLink # 1 problem

I wanted to upgrade the vLink so I purchased the Bel Canto mLink. Unfortunately, the Rega DAC could not lock in the signal. The sound goes in and out and the red button on the DAC indicating that a signal is locked flashes. It is very strange. I tried two different digital cables and two different usb cables but got the same result. I also tried different usb ports. When I plug the old vLink back in, everything works. Bel Canto could not offer any solutions.

 

Bel Canto mLink #2 problem

i then got a replacement unit shipped but had the exact same problem. The unit is clearly not defective but I figured that there was something about the Bel Canto that wasn't compatible somewhere.

 

Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 problem

Tonight my v-Link 192 arrived. After much anticipation it was pretty disappointing to have the same thing happen. The V-Link indicates that the signal from the USB is locked in. However, the DAC continues to flash that the signal is intermittent.

 

Since the original vLink works with no issues, I assume that there is something in my Mountain Lion or Audirvana setup that the Rega DAC doesn't like. It is a NOS DAC so I wondered if the upsampling was causing an issue. I changed Audirvana settings to no upsampling but it didn't help. There is probably a simple solution but I am clearly not capable of finding it.

 

Any suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks.

 

Very strange. I've used a MF VLink 192 with 2 DACs and it has been problem free. For experimental purposes, try going to Audirvana+ Preferences>Audio System and change the bridge settings at the bottom. Try max sample limit 96k (like the old Vlink limit) and see if it plays. Then try 176.4k. Then 192k.

You can try changing the spl rate switching latency too.

Do you have a mini optical cable? What happens when you connect the Mac (headphone jack is a optical out too) directly to the Rega and use Audirvana for playback?

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Thanks for the input. I did try changing the sample rate to 96 kHz and the latency sampling but it did not work either. I don't have an optical cord so I can't try that. This is very weird to say the least.

Could it be that the SPDIF input of your DAC or the BlackCat cable are defective?

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Correct me if I`m wrong, I think the original V-link output is not galvanically isolated but the V-link 192 is. Is the Bel -Canto output also galvanically isolated? If so it could be some type of grounding problem that is occurring. Is your Rega DAC mains cable grounded?

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Correct me if I`m wrong, I think the original V-link output is not galvanically isolated but the V-link 192 is. Is the Bel -Canto output also galvanically isolated? If so it could be some type of grounding problem that is occurring. Is your Rega DAC mains cable grounded?

The Bel Canto is galvanically isolated. The DAC cable is grounded (to my knowledge). Is there something I should try on the DAC power cord?

 

I put this thread in the software forum hoping that there was some setting I had wrong in A+ or ML but the more I think about it I am coming to the opinion that the usb signal to the vLink is not strong enough to power it. I may try the ifi USB device to see if it helps.

 

Thanks for the reply. I don't have much expertise to contribute on this forum but it is great to have some interaction and get ideas.

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It does appear that the signal level is not high enough or there is a lot of electronic noise on the line between the vlink and the Rega that stops it from syncing the signal. You could try disconnecting the ground from the Rega power cord, although be aware that you are removing a basic safety feature. What does the output of the Rega connect to and is that grounded?

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It does appear that the signal level is not high enough or there is a lot of electronic noise on the line between the vlink and the Rega that stops it from syncing the signal. You could try disconnecting the ground from the Rega power cord, although be aware that you are removing a basic safety feature. What does the output of the Rega connect to and is that grounded?

I am not bold enough to disconnect the ground from the Rega cord. It connects to a power distributor with a Shunyata Venom Defender inserted on it. This outlet only has the DAc and preamp so should be relatively clean. I don't think there are any other major appliances on the circuit. I could try the Rega on another circuit to see if that does anything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress but not solved yet! I found that the audio MIDI settings on the Mac were set to 176,000. The DAC does not lock into this sample rate. In a Google search, I found that some early Rega DACs had trouble locking in 176. I suspect this is one of those DACS.

 

I was able to go into MIDI and change it to 192 and got the VLink 192 to lock the signal. Nirvana... But now there are still two major problems:

 

1) for some reason, Mountain Lion does not want to let me change it from 176. I literally had to make 20 attempts to get it to another setting.

 

2) as soon as I hit play in Audirvana, the sample rate jumped back to 176 and the DAc signal started sputtering.

 

Questions I have are:

 

1. Why won't the Mac let me easily change the default MIDI rate? Is this buggy? Would upgrading to Mavericks alleviate this?

 

2. Is there a setting in Audirvana that I also should be adjusting?

 

On the bright side, the issue seems closer to resolution and it doesn't seem to be a hardware issue. On the down side, I am still clueless on how to fix this. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Have you contacted Rega and asked about the 176.4 issue?

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Even if you purchased it second hand Rega (or their distributor) should apply the fix...

 

hi-fi avenue: Rega solves 176.4KHz file issue

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Awesome. Thank you so much for finding that for me.

 

In the meantime, if you set upsampling in Audirvana to upsample everything to 24/192, that might serve as a short term solution until you can get the Rega accept all sample rates.

Seagate 4TB Thunderbolt External > MacBook Pro 8 GB (Audirvana) > V-Link 192 > Peachtree iDac > Simaudio Moon 220i > Definitive Technology Mythos STS

Cables: Nordost Red Dawn Power, Kimber Power Kable 14, Analysis Plus Black Oval 9 speaker cable, Kimber Hero RCA Interconnects, Nordost Blue Heaven USB, Blue Jeans Cable Digital Coax

Headphones: Sennheiser HD 650, 598, Audeze LCD 2, DH Labs Silver Sonic Revelation RCA interconnects, Micromega Myzic amp

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My Exposure DAC, which has some construction similarities (e.g. same Wolfson chip) with the Rega, also has stuttering issues with 176khz. Unfortunately I'm not aware of any update. Luckily I barely have any 176 albums, but the DSD on the fly oversampling from Audirvana needs to go to 88 or 192.

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Thanks for both of your replies.

 

It would be really nice to get this working without having to send the Rega off for a repair. I guess I really don’t need 176 if I don’t upsample. My question is do I need to set the default rate in the OS MIDI or will Audirvana override that?

 

When I put the original v-Link in the system, the MIDI setting defaults to 96,000 but when I put the vLink192 in it defaults to 176,000.

 

I had thought I tried Audirvana with no upsampling but this didn’t work. Maybe there is something I need to do with the sequence. First, set the MIDI to any rate that locks in and then go to Audirvana and change the sample rate so that it doesn’t go to 176,000.

 

This certainly seems like a case where I didn’t set something correctly, so it should work somehow. I am looking forward to trying again tonight when I get home.

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Thanks for both of your replies.

 

It would be really nice to get this working without having to send the Rega off for a repair. I guess I really don’t need 176 if I don’t upsample. My question is do I need to set the default rate in the OS MIDI or will Audirvana override that?

 

When I put the original v-Link in the system, the MIDI setting defaults to 96,000 but when I put the vLink192 in it defaults to 176,000.

 

I had thought I tried Audirvana with no upsampling but this didn’t work. Maybe there is something I need to do with the sequence. First, set the MIDI to any rate that locks in and then go to Audirvana and change the sample rate so that it doesn’t go to 176,000.

 

This certainly seems like a case where I didn’t set something correctly, so it should work somehow. I am looking forward to trying again tonight when I get home.

 

If you don't upsample at all, then Audirvana will automatically change the sample rate to the native rate for each recording.

 

If you want to make sure that your system never tries to play a sample rate your DAC can't handle, then force upsampling to 24/96 or 24/192 depending on what your DAC can handle.

 

Everything you're adjusting will be in the Audirvana preferences. You should not ever need to go into your AudioMidi settings--Audirvana is managing all that for you whether you are upsampling or not.

 

For what it's worth, I would think of this as a short term solution. In the long run, not playing 176.4 would be a deal breaker for me, since you can get a Bitfrost or Peachtree iDac (in the same ballpark as the Rega, right?) for such a reasonable price.

Seagate 4TB Thunderbolt External > MacBook Pro 8 GB (Audirvana) > V-Link 192 > Peachtree iDac > Simaudio Moon 220i > Definitive Technology Mythos STS

Cables: Nordost Red Dawn Power, Kimber Power Kable 14, Analysis Plus Black Oval 9 speaker cable, Kimber Hero RCA Interconnects, Nordost Blue Heaven USB, Blue Jeans Cable Digital Coax

Headphones: Sennheiser HD 650, 598, Audeze LCD 2, DH Labs Silver Sonic Revelation RCA interconnects, Micromega Myzic amp

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THANK YOU!!!!!! I appreciate the guidance and can't believe I didn't figure this out earlier. I went into custom settings on preferences and made sue that none of the sample rates were set to 176.

 

i will probably keep the Rega for a while but this issue caused me to do a lot of research on DACS. I could probably get something used for $700 or $800 that would be a nice upgrade.

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THANK YOU!!!!!! I appreciate the guidance and can't believe I didn't figure this out earlier. I went into custom settings on preferences and made sue that none of the sample rates were set to 176.

 

i will probably keep the Rega for a while but this issue caused me to do a lot of research on DACS. I could probably get something used for $700 or $800 that would be a nice upgrade.

Keep us posted.

 

Keep in mind though, that while the digital section of the Rega may not be the latest technology, they've done quite a nice job on the analog side, and I personally think the latter is the more important part.

 

I don't want to stop you from spending money, but I'd hold off with an upgrade for another 1-2 years until you can get a DAC of the latest DSD-capable DAC generation used, and they really started to come out in 2013/14.

 

I'd be surprised if $800 would get you a significant upgrade sonically vs. a Rega with MF v-link192 right now.

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I'd be surprised if $800 would get you a significant upgrade sonically vs. a Rega with MF v-link192 right now.

 

I would agree. I was thinking of it as a lateral move sonically, but the ability to accept all sample rates up to 24/192 is a huge upgrade logistically. And obviously I'm nowhere near as educated on this stuff as many on the forum--I'm only speaking on this because my set up is similar, using the V-Link 192 to feed my Peachtree iDac. (Which you can get for $400-$600 on eBay and compares favorably to the Rega.)

Seagate 4TB Thunderbolt External > MacBook Pro 8 GB (Audirvana) > V-Link 192 > Peachtree iDac > Simaudio Moon 220i > Definitive Technology Mythos STS

Cables: Nordost Red Dawn Power, Kimber Power Kable 14, Analysis Plus Black Oval 9 speaker cable, Kimber Hero RCA Interconnects, Nordost Blue Heaven USB, Blue Jeans Cable Digital Coax

Headphones: Sennheiser HD 650, 598, Audeze LCD 2, DH Labs Silver Sonic Revelation RCA interconnects, Micromega Myzic amp

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