Arcam rDAC - sound drop outs and "clicking noise"

RickDastardly

Active Member
I've been having a problem with my rDAC recently which is getting progressively worse. Often, during normal listening, the sound will drop-out momentarily. When the music is stopped, the rDAC emits an intermittent clicking sound, exactly like the sound of switching input modes on the rDAC. These clicks appear very random. Sometimes they occur in isolation, othertimes they occur in rapid succession so that it sounds like a machine gun. This clicking also occurs during the sound dropouts, but can't always be heard during the brief pauses in music. The green light indicating USB input is selected stays on, i.e. it does not flicker, turn to red or move to indicate another input has been selected. As I indicated, this seems to be happening more frequently, and this behaviour is the same no matter which USB port on my Mac mini is used to connect the rDAC. The rDAC is the only USB device connected to the Mac mini. The rest of my system is composed of:

Mac Mini > 0.75m Furutech Formula 2 USB > rDAC > Atlas Equator Superior interconnects > Denon AVR 3310.

The rDAC was purchased new around 6 months ago and did not exhibit this behaviour until about a month ago. By-passing the DAC and outputting the audio via hdmi to the amp works without any issues.

Has anyone else experienced such an issue, or heard of anything similar? I think I will take it back to my dealer at the weekend and see what they think.
 
Last edited:

RickDastardly

Active Member
I've also just discovered that it exhibits this behaviour when left on but with the source (i.e. the Mac Mini) switched off. There definitely seems to be a fault with it.
 

RickDastardly

Active Member
Sounds like it could be a connection problem, have you tried a new/different cable?
Also clean the contacts of dust etc
I don't have another back-up, but I will try and pick up another USB cable. Do USB cables have a habit of developing faults? I also do not see any change in the green light on the front of the rDAC, even when the sound drops out for several seconds. Surely if the USB connection was being lost, the light would turn red?
 

RickDastardly

Active Member
I've also just discovered that it exhibits this behaviour when left on but with the source (i.e. the Mac Mini) switched off. There definitely seems to be a fault with it.
Plus this behaviour here makes me think that it is a bigger problem and not related to the USB cable.
 

RickDastardly

Active Member
Probably not, but it's worth eliminating it from the enquiries imo. I thought you'd probably have loads lying around, I seem to get them with every device I buy.
I've got plenty of USB cables, but unfortunately only one that is A-B. I phoned my dealer today and he agrees that it sounds like a fault with the rDAC, especially considering the "mechanical" nature of the clicking noise it is making.

I'm going to take it into them on Saturday, and thy will have other USB cables we can try.
 

PenguinHiFi

Novice Member
Hi Rick,

Well just FYI, my rDAC went faulty 1 week after I got it.
As I bought that one in England and then went back to France, ARCAM refused to service it (or asked for delirious shipping charges to do that).
So it is sleeping in it's package after it worked only a week.

Anyways, the few I heard of it did really not impressed me.

My CD23T CD player sounds much better, and so does my Arcam DV139.
The only improvement I got, was for my Apple TV, but guess what : the Apple TV has probably the WORST analog output ever, so not really a miracle the ARCAM did a better job.

Regards.

FRED
 

RickDastardly

Active Member
Hi Rick,

Well just FYI, my rDAC went faulty 1 week after I got it.
As I bought that one in England and then went back to France, ARCAM refused to service it (or asked for delirious shipping charges to do that).
So it is sleeping in it's package after it worked only a week.

Anyways, the few I heard of it did really not impressed me.

My CD23T CD player sounds much better, and so does my Arcam DV139.
The only improvement I got, was for my Apple TV, but guess what : the Apple TV has probably the WORST analog output ever, so not really a miracle the ARCAM did a better job.

Regards.

FRED
Thanks Fred. Was it a similar issue to what I have described? It's a real shame that ARCAM weren't more helpful in getting your rDAC fixed. My rDAC sounded a bit ropey at first too, but did seem to improve once the hours clocked up. Not sure if that is evidence of a run-in period, or just me getting used to the sound. :laugh:
 

rpsx

Standard Member
hello. signed up just for this thread. seems to be the only one on the net at the moment.

unfortunately, what lead me here is exactly what is described by the OP. except, i am using mine via the optical output of my PS3. was working great for 2 months. then, out of the blue - i got the rapid-fire switching-input-like-click sound, with sound dropping in and out. turned it off, then back on, and worked fine. but, now a few days later, and it's doing it again. and, the on-off "solution" seems to "stick" less. already, within a 1 hour playback, and to do that twice.

just wondered if the OP had happened upon any solution that doesn't require sending it in for service. i bought mine on a return visit to the USA, and living in japan. so, would like to avoid shipping it out overseas so soon.

thanks!
 

RickDastardly

Active Member
Hi rpsx, and welcome to AVForums.

Unfortunately, I cannot say exactly what fixed my issue with the clicking noises. I was just about to take it back to my dealer, but thought i would try switching out the power supply unit. This seemed to fix the issue. I thought I'd confirm that it was the psu that was causing the issue, so I switched the original one back in. Strangely, I have not had the issue since.

I would recommend making sure your computer is up to date and clean all the connections. Let us know how you get on.
 

cjohnson6

Novice Member
Perhaps the internal oscillator isn't very stable, causing loss of sync. Power cycling might fix it as the circuits cool off for a white.. But it'll surely return.
 

Robertsteady

Novice Member
Hi rpsx, and welcome to AVForums.

Unfortunately, I cannot say exactly what fixed my issue with the clicking noises. I was just about to take it back to my dealer, but thought i would try switching out the power supply unit. This seemed to fix the issue. I thought I'd confirm that it was the psu that was causing the issue, so I switched the original one back in. Strangely, I have not had the issue since.

I would recommend making sure your computer is up to date and clean all the connections. Let us know how you get on.
Hi Rick , still not the clicking problems with your R dac??? Because i have now the same problem!!

greets from Rob (the netherlands)
 

fuzzybk

Member
I have the same problem with my rDAC. I use it for my Sonos Connect with a digital co ax cable. I took the unit to my dealer where they hooked it up and it worked just fine. The dealer said since the unit was unplugged for awhile it must have "rebooted" which fixed the clicking and dropouts issue. I haven't had time to put it back into my system to see if its still working. I will keep you guys updated.
 

Robertsteady

Novice Member
I have the same problem with my rDAC. I use it for my Sonos Connect with a digital co ax cable. I took the unit to my dealer where they hooked it up and it worked just fine. The dealer said since the unit was unplugged for awhile it must have "rebooted" which fixed the clicking and dropouts issue. I haven't had time to put it back into my system to see if its still working. I will keep you guys updated.
Yeah iff you have no problems in future than the solution is take the power of the R dac for awhile!!
I"ll try it also with my r dac.
 

fuzzybk

Member
Thanks Robertsteady.
 

fuzzybk

Member
Well I finally had time to connect my rDAC to my basement 2 channel system. Using a different digital co ax cable and rca interconnects the "clicking" problem and sound dropouts are still there. Off to Arcam for service.
 

fuzzybk

Member
Got my rDAC back from my dealer. Was told that ARCAM just gave me a new unit rather than fix my old one. Hooked up the new one and no problems so far. Let's hope it stays working.
 

Robertsteady

Novice Member
Got my rDAC back from my dealer. Was told that ARCAM just gave me a new unit rather than fix my old one. Hooked up the new one and no problems so far. Let's hope it stays working.
I am still waiting for mine RDAC, it is still by Arcam. I hope the also return another one!
 

fuzzybk

Member
I was secretly hoping they wouldn't have any more rDAC's available and I would get an irDAC instead. Oh well.
 

Alan Bee

Standard Member
My rdac kw started to do the same thing about two months ago.When I turned it on or selected an input source it would click randomly and provide no signal,regardless of input.Sometimes it would lose the signal and start clicking.This behavior was intermittent at first but got progressively worse as time went on.
Last week I took it back to the dealer I bought it from.They have a repair guy that does warranty repairs in house,my warranty is good until November 2014.I got it back yesterday and all seems to be fine.The repair guy said it was a cold solder joint.The connection for the antenna was loose as well so he tightened that up (had nothing to do with the clicking and dropouts).
Hopefully the rdac will be fine now for a reasonable lifespan.
 

Timmy C

Distinguished Member
One of my rdacs is doing the same thing and seemingly getting worse. Running a Squeezebox through it connected by coax. Pretty sure mine is out of warranty so anyone got an idea of repair costs?

For reasons I'm seriously questioning I've stayed pretty loyal to Arcam for 20 years now but this maybe the final straw for me. At some point I may write a post detailing my history of Arcam products I've had fail on me while not too far out of warranty periods...it's quite shocking...multiple failed CD player DAC's and transports, crackling volume/input controls on both integrated and pre amps, humming power amps, power amps that only fully power up when they feel like it, dead DVD player (although those last two I got fixed/replaced under the 5 year FMJ warranty) and now a clicking temperamental off board DAC to add to the list too!
 

RickDastardly

Active Member
One of my rdacs is doing the same thing and seemingly getting worse. Running a Squeezebox through it connected by coax. Pretty sure mine is out of warranty so anyone got an idea of repair costs?

For reasons I'm seriously questioning I've stayed pretty loyal to Arcam for 20 years now but this maybe the final straw for me. At some point I may write a post detailing my history of Arcam products I've had fail on me while not too far out of warranty periods...it's quite shocking...multiple failed CD player DAC's and transports, crackling volume/input controls on both integrated and pre amps, humming power amps, power amps that only fully power up when they feel like it, dead DVD player (although those last two I got fixed/replaced under the 5 year FMJ warranty) and now a clicking temperamental off board DAC to add to the list too!
I'm not sure about repair costs. My rDAC actually hasn't had this issue for well over a year now. I'm really not sure why, as nothing much has changed. Perhaps the source of the issue was my my Mac mini and not the rDAC. There have certainly been more changes with the Mac mini...OS X changes and updates to the playback software I use (audirvana plus). Whenever I did get the "clicking" issue, I used to just do some power cycling. Perhaps the fact that the Mac mini and rDAC are always on helps? Someone with more technical knowledge than me may be able to provide better insight. Anyway, I hope you manage to get it sorted.
 

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