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Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital: MQA HW decoding at reasonable cost


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2 hours ago, arcman said:

I did not see anything about a new update. It’s just the current updated does not see the unit. 

 

I think the firmware updater checks for your current firmware version, and gets confused when you're already updated to the latest. That would change if they release a new update.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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After the last Windows 10 update my S2 dac stopped working.   Looking around and trying a few things it seemed that the 384K upsampling setting I was using had been dropped and that is why the dac stopped functioning.  Scratching my head about the hows and whys of this.  Anybody have any information, really sounded good at 384K.  Now the highest upsampling is 96K.  Have not listened long enough to say good or bad at 96K.

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Hi!

 

I am having issues decoding TIDAL Masters:

 

- 1st some songs (like Taylor Swift's Lover) turned on and off the MQA decoding. Always the same songs.

- Then some albums (like The Beattles' Abbey Road) were not decoded as MQA.

- Now none MASTER album is decoded as MQA.

 

I have tried using different laptops and cables but I have the same issues.

 

Anyone having the same issues? I have reached to MQA and they say is not any issues in TIDAL.

 

Thanks!

 

Javier

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4 hours ago, TomETS said:

After the last Windows 10 update my S2 dac stopped working.   Looking around and trying a few things it seemed that the 384K upsampling setting I was using had been dropped and that is why the dac stopped functioning.  Scratching my head about the hows and whys of this.  Anybody have any information, really sounded good at 384K.  Now the highest upsampling is 96K.  Have not listened long enough to say good or bad at 96K.

 

Try reinstalling the Pro-Ject driver. You might also look at the sound settings after you do that.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Javier:

 

My solutions to MQA problems:

 

In More Settings:

 

Use Exclusive Mode : On

Force Volume: On

Enable software decoding (MQB purple light fix a lot of issues)

 

Then I cancelled Tidal, gave up on MQA and got Amazon Music High Res.  Was running Windows upsampling at 384K (problem in repair described above.). Cheaper than Tidal with an Amazon prime account.  Sounds good, at least at 384K.

 

Tom

 

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12 hours ago, TomETS said:

Javier:

 

My solutions to MQA problems:

 

In More Settings:

 

Use Exclusive Mode : On

Force Volume: On

Enable software decoding (MQB purple light fix a lot of issues)

 

Then I cancelled Tidal, gave up on MQA and got Amazon Music High Res.  Was running Windows upsampling at 384K (problem in repair described above.). Cheaper than Tidal with an Amazon prime account.  Sounds good, at least at 384K.

 

Tom

 

 

Thanks Tom, 

 

I have done everything and still the same....

 

I have even tried Amazon now, High Res doesn't look to be available in Spain...

 

So I have launched Qobuz to see if they have improved and they have a new 25€/month subscription... it sounds great and better High Res catalogue than TIDAL MASTER's... so I think I have to say goodbye to TIDAL after a few years.

 

Thanks!

 

J

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Referring to the changes in Windows moving me from 384K to 96K:  I reinstalled the drivers and got no change.  After two day where the computer had been restarted and some usb cables switched around I looked at the dac and the display said 384K.  ??? All the up-scaling options were again available in Windows.  I'll take it, but weird Windows stuff.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

So what is the consensus on the best (non battery) power upgrade for the s2? When I first got the unit a couple years back, people mentioned the ifi power cable (around $50 I believe). I'm not interested in battery power. 

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On 10/19/2019 at 7:29 PM, arcman said:

So what is the consensus on the best (non battery) power upgrade for the s2? When I first got the unit a couple years back, people mentioned the ifi power cable (around $50 I believe). I'm not interested in battery power. 

 

The consensus is that there is no consensus. 🙂 The recommendation of the designer of the S2D should of course be given great weight, and he has argued for linear power supplies. Having said that, the iFi iPower is not linear but iFi argues it's just as good, and some on this thread have reported good results with other iFi switching power supplies. IMHO much depends on how clean the power is at your location. I use a $9 linear wall-wart.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all, 

 

My new Usbridge Sig and Shanti installed. First impression a league better than my previous Usbridge feeded  by Sbooster and IfiPower.
 

But I use the 5v, 1a second power supply to feed my Project Pre Box  S2  digital too with the Shanti supply.  I my opinion UsbBridge Sig and Project makes 1 + 1 = 3

 

Ps. I use the Usbridge Os-DietPi as NAA for HQ- Player 4.1.2 in combination with the Uptone USB Regen and shunted (JS) smps. 

Next step might be to upgrade to USB to the Uptone USB Regen and Lp2 power supply.

 

Dear Allo you have done a very nice step in development.😄

 

Ps. 2 Allo support told me for the time being not to update the latest DietPi version!

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  • 2 months later...

Is there anyway to increase the output in the S2D? Some tracks, even MQA ones in tidal has good output. But most tracks are too low. Even in ITunes. Like it can’t drive my amp and speakers. I have my sensitivity gain on my amps maxed out. And the S2D up 0. Still sounds low. But there is some tracks are just loud that I have to turn down.

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1 hour ago, Rhed6 said:

Is there anyway to increase the output in the S2D? Some tracks, even MQA ones in tidal has good output. But most tracks are too low. Even in ITunes. Like it can’t drive my amp and speakers. I have my sensitivity gain on my amps maxed out. And the S2D up 0. Still sounds low. But there is some tracks are just loud that I have to turn down.

 

It has normal line level output voltage of about 2V just like other line level devices.

 

Maybe you have software volume set to lower somewhere?

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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  • 3 months later...

Howdy y’all,

 

I seem to be having a similar issue as some other folks on this thread, but nothing I’ve read seems to solve my issue.

 

I have a Pre Box S2 Digital DAC. When I connect the DAC to my Mac computers (I’ve tried 3 different Macs) via USB and play MQA songs from Tidal, the “USB” icon on the LCD screen on the DAC turns from white to red, and displays an “MQA” icon.

 

However, when I connect the DAC to my Windows 10 PC via USB and play the same songs, the “USB” icon remains white and no “MQA” icon appears. I’m concerned that the DAC is not hardware decoding MQA tracks from Tidal on my Windows PC as it is with my Macs.

 

I have done the following:

- Per the DAC manual, I have downloaded and installed the latest Windows driver.

- I’ve followed these steps and set these settings per the manual:

 

→ Control Panel → Hardware and Sound → Sound → Playback: select Speaker/ProJect Pre Box S2 Digital

→ Properties → Supported formats: make sure nothing is assigned

→ Level → Sound: setting must be 100

→ Enhancements: disable all enhancements → Advanced → Default Format: set to studio quality 24/192

 

- The DAC is connected via USB to the computer directly (no hubs).

- The DAC is connected to power.

- In Tidal, I have the Pre Box S2 Digital selected under “Sound Output” (the speaker icon), and under “More settings,” the following are set:

— Use Exclusive Mode: OFF

— Force Volume: OFF

— Passthrough MQA: ON

 

Manual I am following:

https://www.project-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Manual_Pre-Box-S2-Digital.pdf

 

My first guess is that, per the manual, selecting the “Default Format” value to “Studio Quality 24/192” is upsampling/downsampling all tracks to that format—and also not hardware decoding MQA—regardless of the format of the source track. Another reason I believe this to be so is that the LCD screen on the DAC—at the same time it is not displaying the MQA icon—displays “192” in the lower right corner, always (regardless of what track is playing, MQA or not—it says this for every song I play). To be clear: even when I’m not playing a 24/192 track.

 

Any thoughts?

 

I’m hoping there’s a way to—in Windows 10 settings and/or the Windows driver/app—tell the DAC to automatically detect the quality of each source track as they are played (some will be 24/192 MQA, some 16/48 not MQA, etc. etc.), and have the DAC play at that quality (as my Macs appear to be doing)? The most important thing here is to ensure the DAC is in fact hardware decoding MQA tracks from Tidal / other sources. It would make sense that if it was doing this, the “USB” icon would turn red and the “MQA” icon would appear, which it’s not.

 

Thanks y’all!

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@Miska + @left channel YOU ARE THE BEST.

 

That fixed it. (Turned Use Exclusive Mode: ON and Force Volume: ON.)

 

Can't believe I didn't think to try this... Then again, on my Macs, I don't need to enable these two settings in order for MQA to appear—though, from the sounds of it, I should be. And definitely will from now on.

 

Very much appreciate y'all! 🕺🏻

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