Question DAC crackling

Speaker123

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2021
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I have a Metrum Acoustics Octave MkII DAC. It appears to be creating a crackling sound from the speaker but I am unsure of the exact cause and if there are any solutions.

I stream via Laptop and then USB to the dac. This then goes to the amplifier and so on. I also use an if Zen blue for Bluetooth which can go through its internal dac straight to the amp or via the metrum dac through optical. When i go straight from the ifi blue to the amp I have no crackling. When I use the ifi optical out or usb from the laptop and go through the metrum dac I have crackling. The crackling it's self only comes through the right speaker, I have switched cables around and it still comes from the right channel.
The crackling noise only occurs before songs and after, when skipping, or if there is a quiet section in the music it starts crackling. When the music is loud there is no crackling at all and the dac works fine.

Anyone have any ideas? ls it just a damaged dac? Any fixes?
 

Dom

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2011
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Well, I think its a bit broken. You could look inside and see if its a bit of dust or something, and/or send it off to be fixed.

But i'm no engineer so I don't really know. 😊
 
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twinkletoes

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2021
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I have a Metrum Acoustics Octave MkII DAC. It appears to be creating a crackling sound from the speaker but I am unsure of the exact cause and if there are any solutions.

I stream via Laptop and then USB to the dac. This then goes to the amplifier and so on. I also use an if Zen blue for Bluetooth which can go through its internal dac straight to the amp or via the metrum dac through optical. When i go straight from the ifi blue to the amp I have no crackling. When I use the ifi optical out or usb from the laptop and go through the metrum dac I have crackling. The crackling it's self only comes through the right speaker, I have switched cables around and it still comes from the right channel.
The crackling noise only occurs before songs and after, when skipping, or if there is a quiet section in the music it starts crackling. When the music is loud there is no crackling at all and the dac works fine.

Anyone have any ideas? ls it just a damaged dac? Any fixes?
I looked at the title for this and thought you were asking about duck crackling! lol

Any how to the problem at hand.

I had a very similar problem with a naim dac V1 but that would sound crackly for a second or 2 and then no sound what so ever. Turn on and off and would remain stable. had 2 with exactly the same fault.

then had the same problem with a chord qutest.

When using my laptop (in battery mode), if there was a static build up and I touched the laptop the preceding jolt would ground itself straight down the USB cable into my chord qutest and dac V1 , luckily no harm done to qutest but killed the dac V1 this would sound absolutely horrendous. But this can also happen just touching the hifi and dac's seeming to be rather susceptible.

I now don't use ungrounded USB devices into my dac's, preferring no electrical connections where possible AKA optical toslink

Your problem has all the halls marks of a static jolt, unfortunately there is no fixing that.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
There are many reports of crackling in DACs connected to PCs. There seem to be many possible causes, and if you do a Google search you’ll see how common it is.

Scroll down a bit on this link and you’ll see quite a few things to check.


As I only use a dedicated streamer it’s one issue I don’t have, and this may be a major reason why such devices exist. Otherwise it’s pot luck with power supplies, bit rates, ground noise, etc.
 

Speaker123

Well-known member
Jan 18, 2021
8
0
1,520
I looked at the title for this and thought you were asking about duck crackling! lol

Any how to the problem at hand.

I had a very similar problem with a naim dac V1 but that would sound crackly for a second or 2 and then no sound what so ever. Turn on and off and would remain stable. had 2 with exactly the same fault.

then had the same problem with a chord qutest.

When using my laptop (in battery mode), if there was a static build up and I touched the laptop the preceding jolt would ground itself straight down the USB cable into my chord qutest and dac V1 , luckily no harm done to qutest but killed the dac V1 this would sound absolutely horrendous. But this can also happen just touching the hifi and dac's seeming to be rather susceptible.

I now don't use ungrounded USB devices into my dac's, preferring no electrical connections where possible AKA optical toslink

Your problem has all the halls marks of a static jolt, unfortunately there is no fixing that.
Thanks for the info, this is interesting and I will have a play around but is suspect as you say it could be too late.
 

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