Sonos & M-DAC bitperfect test?

garysan

Active Member
Just connected up my M-DAC to my new Sonos connect and tried the M-DAC bitperfect test which has failed.

Passed ok over USB connected directly to my iMac but with the Sonos it doesn't seem to wanna play ball. I've tried optical and coax but had same result.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Is there anyway to get it to pass?
 

therixonator

Active Member
Just connected up my M-DAC to my new Sonos connect and tried the M-DAC bitperfect test which has failed.

Passed ok over USB connected directly to my iMac but with the Sonos it doesn't seem to wanna play ball. I've tried optical and coax but had same result.

Can anyone shed any light on this? Is there anyway to get it to pass?

Yes it can pass, I've got mine to pass. Change the volume to fixed level and that should do it.
 

garysan

Active Member
Thanks for the reply but I already have it set to fixed :(

Any other ideas? It says 24bit/44.1khz on the display. Pretty sure it said 16bit whilst it was connected to my iMac...

Yes it can pass, I've got mine to pass. Change the volume to fixed level and that should do it.
 

therixonator

Active Member
Well the mdac display will be telling the truth so it means Sonos must be doing some fiddling. Have you had a good look through all the sonos options? I would have a look myself but I'm away for a week.
 

garysan

Active Member
Had a good look through Sonos Prefs but couldn't find anything that looked like it might help. Not a huge amount in there actually. Certainly nothing regarding bitrates, compression, etc.
 
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RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Are you using M-DAC's own test files?

AFAIK, Sonos doesn't support anything over 16 bit so if you're feeding it with the 24/96 file, it won't handle it perfectly.
 

therixonator

Active Member
You get an error when you try to play anything 24bit so it won't be that.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
How are you connecting to the Sonos to play the file? It may be something further back is corrupting the signal before the Sonos.
 

garysan

Active Member
Are you using M-DAC's own test files?

AFAIK, Sonos doesn't support anything over 16 bit so if you're feeding it with the 24/96 file, it won't handle it perfectly.

I'm using M-DAC's own 16/44.1 test file - same file that previously worked when I had direct USB connection direct to iMac.

How are you connecting to the Sonos to play the file? It may be something further back is corrupting the signal before the Sonos.

I have iMac wirelessly connected to Airport Xtreme, the Sonos Bridge is connected directly to fiber router (as is Airport) and Sonos Connect is connected to M-DAC via coax (although have also tried optical with same result).
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Have you tried the Mac's optical output into the Sonos directly to remove the wireless and Lan hops from the equation.
 

garysan

Active Member
Have you tried the Mac's optical output into the Sonos directly to remove the wireless and Lan hops from the equation.

Yes, works perfectly and shows 16bit/44.1khz which is what I was expecting to see but when connected to the Sonos it shows 24bit/44.1khz...
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Right confused now as you have given two answers to one question. I would check your itunes settings to make sure there are no sound enhancements on, vol is max and output is set to 16/44. Then connect iMac optical->sonos->Mdac
 

garysan

Active Member
I didn't think I did...

Connected directly to iMac via optical it passes test perfectly. When connected to Sonos it fails (via optical or coax). When connected directly to iMac it reads 16bit/44.1khz (volume is set to max on iTunes, crossfade, sound enhancer and sound check are all off). When it is connected to Sonos, the MDAC display reads 24bit/44.1khz. Volume is set to 'fixed' on Sonos.
 
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garysan

Active Member
Have you tried the Mac's optical output into the Sonos directly to remove the wireless and Lan hops from the equation.

Sorry Larkone, just re-read your post and realised what I'd NOT read... Will try this and report back.

EDIT: The Sonos doesn't have an optical in.
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
What format files are we talking about here? Presumably not FLAC is you've been previously been playing them via iTunes?

The Sonos will be reading the files straight from the iMac's shared disk, so iTunes setting aren't doing to do affect anything when Sonos is playing.

EDIT - OK, I see the M-DAC bitperfect test actually use a Java app to generate 'special' .WAV files that the M-DAC recognises in some way for the test.

OP, I'd try regenerating the files, make sure you delete the hi-rez one to avoid confusion and don't let iTunes attempt to index the files, that app has a bad habit of rewriting meta-data into source files.
 
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therixonator

Active Member
EDIT: The Sonos doesn't have an optical in.

Yeah it only has an analogue line in, its not designed for computer input use so you can't do that test.

I think it has to either be a Sonos output setting or an Mdac input/processing setting. If you think you've exhausted the sonos options get in touch with John Westlake over at pink fish media. Post on the thread "Mdac first listen part XIX" and ask him if there is any setting on the mdac that can cause a fail. He's the designer so if anyone will know it will be him. He's a very helpful man and the thread is full of knowledgeable mdac users.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
OK strange one as the Sonos is only supposed to support 16/44 - a question for their support department I think. Might also be worth asking on Pinkfishmedia as there is a whole section on the Mdac.
 

therixonator

Active Member
EDIT - OK, I see the M-DAC bitperfect test actually use a Java app to generate 'special' .WAV files that the M-DAC recognises in some way.

I think John did that little bit of code to generate them on the fly to guarantee no chance of file corruption.
 

therixonator

Active Member
OK strange one as the Sonos is only supposed to support 16/44 - a question for their support department I think. Might also be worth asking on Pinkfishmedia as there is a whole section on the Mdac.

It does only support 16bit. It won't physically play anything higher, you get an error saying file format not supported and it skips to the next track.

But any kind of volume fiddling is done in the digital domain in 24bit so it will send a 24bit signal to the mdac when this happens. Replay gain and normalisation all will do the same but I don't think Sonos has these options.

To the OP just to rule this out. You are definitely on fixed volume and not max volume aren't you?
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Another thing to check - if you rip a CD to 16/44, ensure itunes is set to 16/44 does the mDac still say 24/44? If not then possibly the test files are being generated wrong.
 

garysan

Active Member
To the OP just to rule this out. You are definitely on fixed volume and not max volume aren't you?

Yes, definitely on fixed volume for the Sonos Connect. Also was on full volume when testing in iTunes previously as if I dropped the volume the M-DAC would display 24bit/44.1khz instead of 16bit and promptly fail.

I seem to remember a setting in Sonos (when I was first setting it up) that had an option for something like iTunes' Soundcheck to normalise volume across different recordings. Does anyone know how I can check to see what this is set at as I can't find it in the normal Preferences?
 

therixonator

Active Member
itunes is not involved in the generation or the playback of the testfiles though.
 

garysan

Active Member
The Sonos will be reading the files straight from the iMac's shared disk, so iTunes setting aren't doing to do affect anything when Sonos is playing.

Another thing to check - if you rip a CD to 16/44, ensure itunes is set to 16/44 does the mDac still say 24/44? If not then possibly the test files are being generated wrong.

Test files must have been generated correctly as they test perfectly when played through iTunes > iMac > M-DAC (display reads 16bit/44.1khz).
 

garysan

Active Member
I just eliminated my WiFi (from causing the problem) by using AirTunes down to an AirportExpress I had hanging about. Connected the AE via it's optical out to the M-DAC and it passed the bitperfect test (M-DAC display showed 16bit/44.1khz).

The problem seems to lie with the Sonos somehow...
 
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therixonator

Active Member
I've just posted on the sonos forum to see if there are any other settings that can affect bit perfect output.
 

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