Arcam rDAC - sound drop outs and "clicking noise"

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by RickDastardly, Sep 5, 2012.

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  1. RickDastardly

    RickDastardly
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    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: Sep 5, 2012
  2. RickDastardly

    RickDastardly
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    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.
     
  3. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall
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    Sounds like it could be a connection problem, have you tried a new/different cable?
    Also clean the contacts of dust etc
     
  4. RickDastardly

    RickDastardly
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    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?
     
  5. RickDastardly

    RickDastardly
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    Plus this behaviour here makes me think that it is a bigger problem and not related to the USB cable.
     
  6. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall
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    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.
     
  7. RickDastardly

    RickDastardly
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    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.
     
  8. PenguinHiFi

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    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
     
  9. RickDastardly

    RickDastardly
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    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:
     
  10. rpsx

    rpsx
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    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!
     
  11. RickDastardly

    RickDastardly
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    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.
     
  12. cjohnson6

    cjohnson6
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    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.
     
  13. Robertsteady

    Robertsteady
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    Hi Rick , still not the clicking problems with your R dac??? Because i have now the same problem!!

    greets from Rob (the netherlands)
     
  14. fuzzybk

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    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.
     
  15. Robertsteady

    Robertsteady
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    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.
     
  16. Robertsteady

    Robertsteady
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    It worked just for a few hours, i will contact Arcam about this problem!!
     
  17. fuzzybk

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    Thanks Robertsteady.
     
  18. fuzzybk

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    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.
     
  19. fuzzybk

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    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.
     
  20. Robertsteady

    Robertsteady
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    I am still waiting for mine RDAC, it is still by Arcam. I hope the also return another one!
     
  21. fuzzybk

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

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    Clicking noise in my case was removed by using ASIO4ALL driver. I hope it helps someone.
    Cheers
     
  23. Alan Bee

    Alan Bee
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    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.
     
  24. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    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!
     
  25. RickDastardly

    RickDastardly
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    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.
     
  26. Timmy C

    Timmy C
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    Power cycling solved the issue for me yesterday and it was fine for the rest of the day. As long as it doesn't get any worse then I can live with the occasional power cycle. I just hope it's not gonna continue getting worse to the point where it has to join the others in the the Arcam graveyard in my loft!
     
  27. spudnica

    spudnica
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    In my case I replace Win7 with UBUNTU, and now using pulseaduo with CMUS as music player and all works great. The issue is my PC.
     
  28. Cuzzlor

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    Same problem here, I get the clicking and sound drop-outs both while playing music wirelessly via rWave dongle from my computer AND via my tuner through coax. So the issue doesn't seem to be related to the input, just the crappy device itself. Such a shame because I find the sound to be excellent but this issue is super annoying!!!
     
  29. timmermc

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    Gentlemen, here is my story, hopefully it will be of some help... I bought a second hand rDac about a year ago and it was for months working fine with the switched PSU. I enjoyed very much the sound of this little DAC, so one day my thought was: maybe lets upgrade it by a better Linear-PSU.
    So I bought the Squeese-upgrade linear Supply to replace the switched PSU, all was fine for a while but suddenly afters months of use the rDAC started clicking and sound drops-out for a nanosecond.
    To make a long story short, I tried every possible sollution, changing USB-cable, Analog cables, opened the unit to check the solder points... till I suddenly moved by hand the DC connector plug on the back of the rDac when it was in use, and I could made the clicking by moving it myself. I opened the unit again to check the solder points on the 2.1G female plug but everything was well soldered. The fault was coming from the male plug itself, I soldered a new male 2.1G plug on the wire from the PSU and now is everything working fine.

    I searched several suppliers for a solid and excellent plug (not a plastic one, to find at your local electronics shop) and found a very good one: Oyaide PL03B at this parts supplier.

    The DC-connection from the PSU to rDac is now very rock solid and reliable. The clicks are gone!

    I'm enjoying the rDac again and the build and components are exceptional for the price, but at Arcam they made some big saving on the DC site by delivering a cheap switched supply, who I find not exceptable.
    Squeese did better with building a LPSU for this Arcam, strong lay-out and good grade components but again a third grade minimalistic delivery of on-build DC male connector.

    I have by no means any connection with the part supplier of Oyaide or Squeese.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  30. Cuzzlor

    Cuzzlor
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    Follow up story. I sent mine back to Arcam (via the shop) for repair. It has now returned and after a week appears to be working great with no drop-outs / clicks!!! Unfortunately I didn't find out what they did to fix it. Perhaps they just swapped the power supply?
     

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