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CD Transport/DAC issues - Audiolab 9000CDT


Mar 21, 2022

I'm having a CD transport/DAC problem and I'm not sure what to do.

I recently bought an Audiolab 9000CDT. Out of the box I was very happy with this sturdy unit and its tray loading mechanism. When I powered it up out of standby the next day I had an issue with having crackling and popping sounds alongside error indications on my Benchmark DAC3B.

The issue seems to resolve by turning the transport on and off again.

It happens when the transport has been in standby for a 'while'. I've tried connecting the transport using coaxial and optical at the same time. When the issue is occuring it happens with both outputs.

While it is happening I can connect a different player with a digital output and that works just fine.

So, I bought a Topping E30 mkii to see if it happens with another DAC. It doesn't. The E30 will output audio just fine while the DAC3B has the issue at the same time. This was done using a coaxial output to the E30 and optical to the DAC3B.

Again turning on and off again seems to fix the issue until the transport is left again.

The DAC3B has so far worked fine with my previous transport a 6000CDT (which I swapped out due to disc scratching), an old Rotel RCD-971 I've had for 25 years and a Sony HD disc player. It also works with a Cyrus CDi that I had questions about in another post I made a while ago.

I'm not sure where to go from here. I can't really prove the transport is at fault if it seems to work with other DACs. And I can't really be sure about my DAC3B even though it seems to be ok with every other source I've used.

I don't have any proper test equipment to see what going on with the transport output while I'm having the issue. And because of where I live seeking a professionals help would also be very difficult.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Major Contributor
Nov 6, 2018
You have pretty much narrowed it down to the 9000CDT being the culprit. My best guess as to what's out of spec whenever the unit wakes up after it has been in standby for "a while" is something clock-related... either an entirely unlocked PLL or a sample rate that deviates too much from standard values for the DAC3B to be able to lock onto it (which might sport an SPDIF receiver with VCXOs as possible with the AK4114 - this gives superb jitter performance but the pulling range of a VCXO is invariably very narrow).

Since this model appears to be quite new, I would contact Audiolab. This might be an honest bug fixable with a firmware update, or the result of firmware corruption.

I might also pester the good folks at Benchmark.

If you want to investigate further for yourself, a portable shortwave receiver with SSB capability or perhaps a small SDR would come in handy.


New Member
Jan 10, 2024
Buttlep, I am having the same problem. While I am sorry you are having the issue, I was glad to find out that I was not alone, and/or doing something wrong.

I received the first of two units from Audio Advisor in mid-December and started having what I first thought was occasional "skipping." Sure enough, shutting the unit off, but only with the main power switch in the back, usually resolved the issue.

When the problem persisted, I decided to return the unit and obtained a second sample. I just received the second unit on Jan 2. Oddly, the problem did not occur on the first playing of the (2nd) unit. Subsequently the problem of skipping started to recur.

It got so bad that sometimes I am getting only silence at start of disk play, despite the player indicating the disk was spinning. I've been in touch with my sales rep, Caleb, at Audio Advisor, and now have also informed the manufacturer of the issue using their web form. Caleb said he is also going to speak with his Audiolab rep.

I use the LKS DA-004 DAC, which has given me nothing but great sound without issue with every digital source with which it has been used, including other disk players.

What is most frustrating is that when playing, the unit is fantastic. I don't know what is out there at this comparable price point.

What did you end up doing?


Major Contributor
May 27, 2021
There's really "excuse" for that unless you have a defective or damaged disc. My $100 Blu-Ray player works fine with CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays. But it only has HDMI out which might not be convenient for everybody.
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