Question Audiolab DAC / CD player (8200CD) dropping optical input momentarily

ben789

Novice Member
Hi folks,

Picked up an Audiolab DAC / CD player (8200CD) recently to go with my 8200A. Also to replace a little DAC I have that has problems. CD playback is fine and sounds very nice.

But of course, like most 2nd stuff I seem to buy these days, it has problems:

Hooked up to the optical output from my LG C9 (almost brand new) into the DAC function, it "locks" at 48kHz and seems to be working fine. But then I get intermittent momentary loss of "lock" and connection, causing a slight stutter in audio output. This happens fairly frequently (like every minute or so) streaming output (like youtube), but less frequently when playing digital files (both audio and video) from a USB stick (although its kind raondom). Same with a Panasonic TV decoder. It does not seem to be a problem when I play a CD through the DAC from an external CD player, using the same cable. Almost like direct streaming services are worse.

However, I have an ancient Onkyo system (from 2000!) with built-in DAC that decodes without issue from the same AV sources (and cable).

So, I guess the optical inputs on the 8200CD are knackered? Either that or it is very picky with optical feed?

Any advice or suggestions that I could try to improve the situation? Maybe a different cable? Does this sound like a problem with age, or incompatibility? Any way to diagnose it more fully?

Thanks
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Excellent machines and very good dacs too.

I’d suggest you try altering the bandwidth settings for your digital inputs to High bandwidth.

If that works the try Medium to see if that works.

Also, quite importantly too (and first), make certain that the LG and the Panasonic are not abusing the digital signal.

No DSP, no upsampling, no anything. Everything that can effect the digital output from both should be manually switched off and not left on ’auto’ or the equivalent.

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ben789

Novice Member
Awesome, thanks for posting. I'm not familiar with this unit so I didn't know about the bandwidth adjustment. Looks like it's fixed!
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Good stuff sir. :thumbsup:

I loved my CDQ, which is essentially the same but with three analogue inputs.

Glad it’s sorted out.

I’d still check both the tvs and the Panasonics digital output settings, just to make certain you’re getting a strong, unmolested signal.
 

ben789

Novice Member
Thanks - yes I've also gone though the TV output and I think I've turned off anything that looks unnecessary. "Medium" bandwidth setting seems to have cured the TV output. Great to have an cheap fix for once!
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I’m not surprised at the tv decoders crap output. Many are.

But a new LG tv should be better, near perfect in fact. Odd.

But, as you say, a cheap, quick and painless fix is always cheery.
 

ben789

Novice Member
I agree - the TV is not exactly low end, and while I would otherwise give it 5/5, I think it loses a point for this. (I was about to spend $150 on a jitter corrector this problem).
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I wouldn’t necessarily be too quick to whip a star off the tv.

It could be simply too ‘tight’ a tolerance, as it were, on the Audiolabs Dac.

I seem to recall John Westlake saying it was a conscious decision to do it that way when he was designing it, as it made for a better dac sound.
 

ben789

Novice Member
Is there some advantage of having a tighter tolerance? Or put the other way around, some loss of information or other downside to having a looser tolerance? For example, my cheap DAC works fine with both TV and TV decoder. I assume this implies it has a looser tolerance (fixed - it is not adjustable AFAIK).
 

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