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I got a new USB DAC yesterday - asynchronous technology. Easy to configure, etc. Windows XP, HOME computer. Computer does no other chores per se - ie just for playing music. Not on internet


I get an intermittent "spitting" noise. Occurs even while computer is making other (not form music player) sounds (Sign on tones of Windows for example) and thus is not tied to my music software, per se.


Sounds last ~ 0.1 seconds. Not related to any particular piece of music - occur randomly, intermittently.


Is this expected nature of asynchronous USB devices?


Any help/advice/guidance/resolution appreciated.


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Player is MediaMonkey via Direct output and Wave output plug ins. Both had issues but I don't think it is MediaMonkey as I had issues with just Windows sounds with MediaMonkey not even running.


I am not convinced it did have something to do with my cabling or perhaps imperfect/loose terminations.


I have contacted the rep for the product and will see if they have an answer. They are investigating.


I prefer not to mention the product as I think a product can get "hammered" unfairly for what may be my set up error or my faulty equipment.


The answer I was hoping for was "that this is not the nature of USB DACs"



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Moved the USB to someone else's computer and music system.


Device played flawlessly. My friend did note a spitting sound about 30' AFTER the music player was shut down. The PC was still on and hooked to the preamp via the DAC but no music was playing. Computer was "apparently" idling.


Are there "computer noises - errant sounds" that might be leaking through the USB? I heard "spitting noise" at Windows boot with the opening tones of Windows - no music was playing, however.


Is there any way to turn off sounds via the USB EXCEPT DESIRED MUSIC.


What I am asking, I think, is: are there extraneous computer generated sounds that can come through via the USB (in a correctly working computer).


If so, could this contribute to increased noise floor generally?

If so, can they be snuffed out?




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Have you looked at a different player solution that would allow for running WASAPI in exclusive mode, like foobar2000 or J.River? It seems to be a more bit perfect solution until MediaMonkey comes out with support for WASAPI, which I understand will be in the next version. This link will also show where to turn off the computer sounds.



Plinius SA-Reference, EMM Labs DCC2/CDSD, Soliloquy 6.5 Full Range Speakers, Mac Mini, Pure Music, dB Audio Labs Essential USB Cable, Empirical Audio Offramp 4 with Turboclocks & Hynes Regulator upgrades - Power Conditioning & Cabling by Silver Circle Audio

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So, after further testing:


The DAC appears to be working correctly in another system. My system is otherwise working correctly


The DAC designer thought my computer was "underpowered" as a cause of the probem. It is an HP Presario 2100 laptop - 5 years old or so; Max memory allowed is 1 GB. This is a 1.6 GB processor I think


WINDOWS XP Home, MediaMonkey and mainly FLAC files. I use NAS drives and require driver software to communicate with the drives. No music is actually on the laptop. Computer seems to work otherwise.


No other programs are knowingly activated (except VNC server)


I upgraded memory from 512 to 1024. This definitely decreased the frequency of "spitting noise" but did not totally snuff it out. I used MSCONFIG to deactivate some stuff I am not actively doing anyway (wireless, Google toolbar, etc). No further help. Communications are 100% wired - no wireless. No Internet usage by this PC.


Looks like I may have to spring for a new computer. :>(


My question is, however, should 1 GB RAM be enough to just play music?


The only thing (I think) I am doing with the computer is playing music and using the VNC server (so I can control it from elsewhere). Stopping the VNC did not help much.


A secondary question is how much memory is realistically needed just to play music. I ask this question in anticipation of having to get another PC. (I know the answer is partly "as much as possible" but ther must be a reasonable generalization for a computer not being used for other simultaneous tasks)




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You've probably looked into this already but just in case you overlooked it:


Check your settings in Windows. Do you have the output stream set at too high a quality i.e. 24bit 192 khz while trying to play 16 bit 44khz material?


Set your output to 2 channel - 16 bit (CD Quality) and try that.




HP Pavillion> J River Media 15> Arcam RDAC > NAD C162> NAD 2400 > Totem Sttafs

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