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New Mac Mini is stutterng on playback


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I've just setup my new Mac Mini which is the latest version running 10.10.4 with the 1.4GHZ i5 CPU and 4GB RAM. I've installed the latest version of JRMC but when I play any FLAC files or open a radio stream the playback stutters like crazy. I moved the Concero back over to my old Mac Mini which is running the same version of JRMC and this plays back OK. I've also tried using variuos USB cables with the new Mini but nothing makes any difference. I've compared settings in JRMC in both Macs and they are the same.

 

Mac Mini > JRMC > USB > Resonessence Concero DAC > Pre Amp

 

Any ideas what to look at next?

System 1

Audio Note OTO SE Phono

Audio Note AN-j He

Mac Mini 2015 OSX 10.11, Roon

Chord Hugo

Systemdek iix 900 / Audio Note Arm One v2 / Goldring 1042

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I had lots of stuttering problems with USB on my Mac running OSX. I could see on my output device that it wasn't receiving regular data and would be getting data in big chunks that overloaded the buffer, resulting in the stuttering sound as it continually filled and emptied. Eventually I resorted to running Windows and JRMC.

 

Which OS do you use ?

if OSX, do you have several devices using USB ?

Aurender X100L > Audiophilleo USB/SPDIF > Devialet 200 > Verity Audio Parsifal Ovation

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I think I've found the issue now, if I uncheck integer mode in the DAC options it plays ok.

 

Only thing connected to the Mac via USB is the DAC and I'm only using it for JRMC. I'm not using itunes and all my music is stored externally on a QNAP NAS.

System 1

Audio Note OTO SE Phono

Audio Note AN-j He

Mac Mini 2015 OSX 10.11, Roon

Chord Hugo

Systemdek iix 900 / Audio Note Arm One v2 / Goldring 1042

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I think I've found the issue now, if I uncheck integer mode in the DAC options it plays ok.

 

Only thing connected to the Mac via USB is the DAC and I'm only using it for JRMC. I'm not using itunes and all my music is stored externally on a QNAP NAS.

 

Which DAC USB interface driver are you using? If your looking for the best sound and lowest CPU load use the ASIO driver. But I'm not sure if it will sync the hardware volume control with Jriver using ASIO if that's important to you.

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I'm using the default driver for the resonessence but it shouldn't make any difference as it worked in integer mode with my 6 year old Mac Mini Ok and that only had a core2duo CPU and 2 GB RAM.

System 1

Audio Note OTO SE Phono

Audio Note AN-j He

Mac Mini 2015 OSX 10.11, Roon

Chord Hugo

Systemdek iix 900 / Audio Note Arm One v2 / Goldring 1042

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I'm using the default driver for the resonessence but it shouldn't make any difference as it worked in integer mode with my 6 year old Mac Mini Ok and that only had a core2duo CPU and 2 GB RAM.

 

But it does make a difference in sound quality no matter what computer your using. ASIO provides a more direct link into the DAC than the default. I've extensively compared all modes using my Mirus connected to $30000 worth of amp and highly revealing speakers. ASIO is the hands down winner. You get the benefit of the more direct link, as well as reduced CPU load.

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I had trouble with the USB 3.0 ports on a Mac Mini with my DAC in that the Mini would not recognize the DAC at times (most of the time). I ended up using a USB 2.0 hub in between the Mini and the DAC and that solved the problem.

 

If you have even a cheap $10 USB hub, you can test it out easy enough. If that works, then you might consider something like a Schiit Wyrd. The downside, besides having to buy the Wyrd, is you need another USB cable. Another alternative may be the Uptone REGEN which acts like a USB hub.

 

Yes, I know that USB 3.0 is SUPPOSED to be backward compatible with USB 2.0 not that was not the case in my situation. I got the solution from another CA member so I am not the only one to experience this.

Eric


Ubuntu Linux box (i7-12700K, 12 cores, 32GB RAM, Intel X520-DA1 NIC, HQP Desktop) > fiber > MikroTik CRS305-1G-4S+ > fiber > fitlet2 (HQP Embedded OS - NAA) > T+A DAC8 DSD > Rogue Audio DragoN > Klipsch La Scala — digital volume control with HQP, DSP with HQP convolution 

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But it does make a difference in sound quality no matter what computer your using. ASIO provides a more direct link into the DAC than the default. I've extensively compared all modes using my Mirus connected to $30000 worth of amp and highly revealing speakers. ASIO is the hands down winner. You get the benefit of the more direct link, as well as reduced CPU load.

 

How can one bit perfect driver sound better than another bit perfect driver? are you suggesting that the ASIO driver is somehow adding some better 1's and 0's into the stream, perhaps it is throwing in a smidge of Jazz which can only improve any music.

 

I've been monitoring the CPU usage and JRMC is using on average 1.5% during playback so I don't see any advantage in reducing that.

System 1

Audio Note OTO SE Phono

Audio Note AN-j He

Mac Mini 2015 OSX 10.11, Roon

Chord Hugo

Systemdek iix 900 / Audio Note Arm One v2 / Goldring 1042

Link to comment
I had trouble with the USB 3.0 ports on a Mac Mini with my DAC in that the Mini would not recognize the DAC at times (most of the time). I ended up using a USB 2.0 hub in between the Mini and the DAC and that solved the problem.

 

If you have even a cheap $10 USB hub, you can test it out easy enough. If that works, then you might consider something like a Schiit Wyrd. The downside, besides having to buy the Wyrd, is you need another USB cable. Another alternative may be the Uptone REGEN which acts like a USB hub.

 

Yes, I know that USB 3.0 is SUPPOSED to be backward compatible with USB 2.0 not that was not the case in my situation. I got the solution from another CA member so I am not the only one to experience this.

 

It doesn't seem to have any issues recognising the DAC just working with integer mode enabled. Have just got the old iMac out of the cupboard (early 2009 model) and that plays back fine with integer mode enabled.

 

I guess it could be a USB 3 issue as neither of old Macs have it.

System 1

Audio Note OTO SE Phono

Audio Note AN-j He

Mac Mini 2015 OSX 10.11, Roon

Chord Hugo

Systemdek iix 900 / Audio Note Arm One v2 / Goldring 1042

Link to comment
How can one bit perfect driver sound better than another bit perfect driver? are you suggesting that the ASIO driver is somehow adding some better 1's and 0's into the stream, perhaps it is throwing in a smidge of Jazz which can only improve any music.

 

I've been monitoring the CPU usage and JRMC is using on average 1.5% during playback so I don't see any advantage in reducing that.

 

There's more to it than you think. But I'm not going to claim to know all of the details. I use my ears when I test and the ASIO driver sounds best.

 

There's a reason that these drivers are constantly being updated with improvements. If they were all perfect from the first bit perfect versions, I guess they should have just stopped there. But for some reason the sound keeps improving with every update. How can that be when "bit perfect is bit perfect"?

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There's more to it than you think. But I'm not going to claim to know all of the details. I use my ears when I test and the ASIO driver sounds best.

 

There's a reason that these drivers are constantly being updated with improvements. If they were all perfect from the first bit perfect versions, I guess they should have just stopped there. But for some reason the sound keeps improving with every update. How can that be when "bit perfect is bit perfect"?

 

The operating system changes, so the drivers need to be updated. The change you hear is subjective; it may or may not be demonstrably real, and it may or may not be an improvement.

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I've just setup my new Mac Mini which is the latest version running 10.10.4 with the 1.4GHZ i5 CPU and 4GB RAM. I've installed the latest version of JRMC but when I play any FLAC files or open a radio stream the playback stutters like crazy. I moved the Concero back over to my old Mac Mini which is running the same version of JRMC and this plays back OK. I've also tried using variuos USB cables with the new Mini but nothing makes any difference. I've compared settings in JRMC in both Macs and they are the same.

 

Mac Mini > JRMC > USB > Resonessence Concero DAC > Pre Amp

 

Any ideas what to look at next?

 

 

Try resetting NVRAM: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063

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The operating system changes, so the drivers need to be updated. The change you hear is subjective; it may or may not be demonstrably real, and it may or may not be an improvement.

 

Everyone I've demoed both modes with prefers ASIO without even telling them which mode it's on. So I guess we must all be idiots.

 

And tweaks to the drivers aren't just made because of operating system changes. They are made for sound as well. Most companies use the thesycon usb driver's for their USB interfaces. It's true that they don't optimize their drivers to perfection like companies such as Exasound. But If you are a Exasound owner you would know that there's a clear improvement in sound with most of their updates.

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I have just had major issues with MAC computers and traced the issue to the later chipset used by Apple in their computers. It seems they changed them sometime in the last year or so and the issue you describe is exactly what was happening. First of all we figured it was to do with USB 2 & 3 but wasn't at all. I managed to find a MAC Mini that was 2012 (the same as one I use myself) and problem sorted. I have tried all the later computers I can and all suffer the same breakup issue. I suggest trying a different DAC and no doubt the issue will be resolved or get an earlier device as I managed. I hope this helps.

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Everyone I've demoed both modes with prefers ASIO without even telling them which more it's on. So I guess we must all be idiots.

 

And tweaks to the drivers aren't just made because of operating system changes. They are made for sound as well. Most companies use the thesycon usb driver's for their USB interfaces. It's true that they don't optimize their drivers to perfection like companies such as Exasound. But If you are a Exasound owner you would know that there's a clear improvement in sound with most of their updates.

 

 

Do you really think software engineers sit around tweaking driver software code and assessing the audio quality subjectively?

 

What does ASIO have to do with the OP's question, BTW?

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Do you really think software engineers sit around tweaking driver software code and assessing the audio quality subjectively?

 

What does ASIO have to do with the OP's question, BTW?

 

There's reasons why the tweaks improve sound, I just don't know all the fine details. Email George at Exasound and he will explain.

 

I was just offering advice on the method of how I have my DAC setup, and the way I feel it preformed best. I thought maybe if he try's this way, the problem might stop. He mentioned integer mode triggered the problems and there's no integer mode option for ASIO.

 

Some people appreciate helpful feedback. Others think they know better already and close their minds to possibilities that are beyond their scope of awareness.

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I think I've found the issue now, if I uncheck integer mode in the DAC options it plays ok.

 

Only thing connected to the Mac via USB is the DAC and I'm only using it for JRMC. I'm not using itunes and all my music is stored externally on a QNAP NAS.

 

Another possibility is it might be due to OS X 10.10.3 (or earlier) networking problems. Apple introduced a new protocol for 10.10, and it works so poorly they finally gave up and reverted in 10.10.4, so if you are running 10.10 and aren't updated to 10.10.4, try that.

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You are absolutely correct. I just missed the part where you explained how to get an ASIO driver working on Mac OS X.

 

You are absolutely correct. I didn't explain that because they don't have a OSX ASIO driver. I was explaining how to setup in Windows, my mistake.

 

You can always install windows on the Mac mini with Bootcamp.

 

 

Exasound came up with a ASIO for OSX driver and it absolutely kills the core audio driver. It's proof that OSX core audio is a compromise vs ASIO.

 

Here's a quote from the Exasound site on their ASIO driver.

 

 

Core Audio has inconsistent and sometimes absent support for Integer Mode, Exclusive Mode, and new audio formats like DSD. High-end audio companies have developed proprietary solutions like DSD over PCM (DoP) to work around the Core Audio limitations. Unfortunately, DoP causes 30 to 50 percent overhead. In addition, the DoP implementation for DSD256 requires support for PCM at 705.6kHz and 768kHz. Such sampling rates are a real challenge for both computer CPU and USB audio interface.

 

Besides support for DoP, exaSound developed a better solution and on March 22, 2014 announced an extension to the ASIO standard to make it available again on Mac.

 

Native ASIO DSD on Mac offers many benefits for audiophile-grade music playback:

True asynchronous operation. With Core Audio the Mac is always the master, the DAC works as a slave device. With ASIO the DAC is the master. (Which makes you wonder if that was the reason why ASIO was removed from OS X :)

Simple and reliable support for Integer and Exclusive Mode. ASIO always works in Exclusive Mode.

Improved performance - CPU load for native DSD is much lower compared to DoP. Older computers can play high-sampling rates DSD.

Improved reliability - DoP has to switch to PCM mode if a marker byte is lost.

Faster seamless transitions from PCM to DSD within the same playlist.

 

 

Hope this clears up why ASIO is superior. So until Resonessence comes up with a OSX ASIO driver I'd use Windows.

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The change you hear is subjective; it may or may not be demonstrably real, and it may or may not be an improvement.

 

The EMI/RFI concomitant with the processing profile, as well as the method of memory storage/access all have significant effects on the final sound.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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They built a couple of things of interest to us Mac OS X users, but when I emailed them about these, I got no reply.

 

Exasound came up with a ASIO for OSX driver and it absolutely kills the core audio driver. It's proof that OSX core audio is a compromise vs ASIO.

 

Here's a quote from the Exasound site on their ASIO driver.

 

 

Core Audio has inconsistent and sometimes absent support for Integer Mode, Exclusive Mode, and new audio formats like DSD. High-end audio companies have developed proprietary solutions like DSD over PCM (DoP) to work around the Core Audio limitations. Unfortunately, DoP causes 30 to 50 percent overhead. In addition, the DoP implementation for DSD256 requires support for PCM at 705.6kHz and 768kHz. Such sampling rates are a real challenge for both computer CPU and USB audio interface.

 

Besides support for DoP, exaSound developed a better solution and on March 22, 2014 announced an extension to the ASIO standard to make it available again on Mac.

 

Native ASIO DSD on Mac offers many benefits for audiophile-grade music playback:

True asynchronous operation. With Core Audio the Mac is always the master, the DAC works as a slave device. With ASIO the DAC is the master. (Which makes you wonder if that was the reason why ASIO was removed from OS X :)

Simple and reliable support for Integer and Exclusive Mode. ASIO always works in Exclusive Mode.

Improved performance - CPU load for native DSD is much lower compared to DoP. Older computers can play high-sampling rates DSD.

Improved reliability - DoP has to switch to PCM mode if a marker byte is lost.

Faster seamless transitions from PCM to DSD within the same playlist.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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Do you really think software engineers sit around tweaking driver software code and assessing the audio quality subjectively??

 

Some do.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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