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Soncoz LA-QXD1 sound glitches on coax input

gfinlays

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#1
I received this unit yesterday from Amazon UK. I've flashed the latest firmware for maximum volume as it plays into an integrated amplifier. Every couple of minutes or so, there's a glitch in the sound output (sounds like what you'd get with a scratch on a CD). DAC is fed from a Bluesound Node 2i via coax. Have tried a number of different power supplies, all 2 Amp+ capable. It does it with Roon streaming from my library, Qobuz and Tidal and also does it when streaming directly from my music library (stored on Synology RS3617xs, with a 20Gb/s fiber connection to a Dell X1052P switch). My previous DAC (Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100) plays just fine with no issues. Anyone experienced anything like this and have any ideas?
 
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Feyire

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#2
Have you tried any of the other inputs on the DAC, such as USB or Toslink/Optical? Does the problem occur there as well?

@Ben1987 will probably chime in when he has time.
 
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gfinlays

gfinlays

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Thread Starter #3
I've tried the Toslink as well and I'm still having the same issue. I found a new Audio clock trim setting in BluOS which I tried disabling, but it didn't remedy the issue.
 
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gfinlays

gfinlays

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Thread Starter #4
Well, I think I've made some progress. I tried a bunch of different charger adapters and so far an old Sony phone charger which delivers up to 1500mA is performing best. I still have the occasional glitch, but much less frequently. It definitely seems to be a power supply related issue. Going to try powering it from a power bank today to see if that resolves the issue and have ordered a Raspberry Pi PSU which will arrive tomorrow. Would be curious if anyone has any thoughts on why the power supply seems to make so much difference. I have a reasonable understanding of electrics and some electronics, but smps and smart chargers are beyond me. Otherwise, I'm loving this little DAC. I'm certain there are sonic improvements over the DACMagic 100 - subtle, but nonetheless very real.
 

Sashoir

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#6
I don't know whether this is helpful to anyone, but I experience the same/similar problems.

From what I can tell, the usb-c power inputs are not very robust, to put it mildly. I've a vast selection of 5 volt/1 ampere usb power supplies, only two of which will play nicely with the LA-QXD1 (I've two of them-the DACs, that is). Interestingly, I've more than one of both of the supplies that work (one Amazon and one Samsung), but only the two I'm currently using work. None of my powerboards with nominally 5V1A usb sockets will give them what they want (although I did get a spectacular ground loop). Both units took endless fiddling to "align" the usb power input cables so that contact wasn't intermittent. I'm in London, so very humid air at the moment, but I've had quite nasty little static shocks from both units. I got the same drop-outs with optical and usb as coaxial inputs (my actual use-case), and all could be coaxed (no pun intended) to proper functioning when holding the usb c power cable dead still and swearing under my breath.

I have no idea whether the units' pickiness has to do with how still the feeding supply keeps the cable, or whether these supplies are generally manufactured to a less exacting tolerance than the DACs require. "Common sense" suggests the former, but I'm pretty ignorant of this sort of thing.

I'm contemplating buying one of those "audio" power supplies like the topping P50 if I can find some short, stiff usb-c cables to keep everything in position to see if that helps. I shall post here if that works.

It's something of a shame (to me, at least), that the lion's share of the user manual was devoted to glowing test results, rather than the traditional "user manual" and troubleshooting parts.
 

Sashoir

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#8
Thank you, Sonali, for the recommendation. My thinking with the topping unit was to trade three mains sockets for one (I've a use for the 15V DC out on that unit as well) and three cables running through the cabinet grommet from the mains outlet to one.
 
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#9
Just take 5V iFi iPower. It delivers 2.5A and sounds better, than many linear ps ...

https://ifi-audio.com/products/ipower/
it sounds better? like You put Your headphone plug into it? measured it? or what is it that sounds better now? please don't spread misinformation. also qxd1 does not need more than one amperage on the input, so 2.5A is an overkill in that case. 1uV of noise is hard to believe if You ask me, but who knows… exactly – who knows? any evidence?

I got the same drop-outs with optical and usb as coaxial inputs (my actual use-case), and all could be coaxed (no pun intended) to proper functioning when holding the usb c power cable dead still and swearing under my breath.
this is strange. there is clearly something wrong with Your power output/adapter. i bought that apple 1A adapter (A1400 based on https://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerIndex UK.html ) inclusively for soncos. adapter itself is plugged into circuit noise cancelling power strip (emi and rfi i guess). have You read about EMI interference that stops this devices continuous playback? sadly some users experienced it. You can find more on it in one of the big la-qxd1 threads. for me so far it's an uninterrupted experience – stable, no hiss, no problems when other devices are running near by.
 
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Sashoir

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#10
Dear Alekksander, thank you for your reply. I don't believe the interruptions I've experienced are interference-based (though I could be wrong).

There may be something "wrong" with my AC power supply (though I very much doubt it) or my AC/DC adaptors (also doubtful, but slightly less so), but my best hypothesis is loose connections.

I have had some other problems (such as power on but no input able to be selected), so I'd not be astonished at QC issues in the manufacturing process.
 
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gfinlays

gfinlays

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Thread Starter #11
Well, I persevered with lots of different power supply adapters, including a power bank and USB C Raspberry Pi power adapter. Still experiencing glitches during playback. Conversely, my DACMagic 100, which usually resides in my man cave, worked flawlessly, though it doesn't sound as good as the Soncoz. It shouldn't be so difficult to get a DAC to work straight out of the box, so sadly, I've packaged up the LA-QXD1 to return to Amazon for a refund. There seems to be a shortage of affordable DACs available at the moment to replace it, so I've bitten the bullet and ordered a Topping DX7 Pro. Also purchased the parts to make a headphone extension cable so I can listen to my trusty old Sennheiser HD580s whilst sitting on the sofa.
 
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#13
it sounds better? like You put Your headphone plug into it? measured it? or what is it that sounds better now? please don't spread misinformation. also qxd1 does not need more than one amperage on the input, so 2.5A is an overkill in that case. 1uV of noise is hard to believe if You ask me, but who knows… exactly – who knows? any evidence?


this is strange. there is clearly something wrong with Your power output/adapter. i bought that apple 1A adapter (A1400 based on https://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerIndex UK.html ) inclusively for soncos. adapter itself is plugged into circuit noise cancelling power strip (emi and rfi i guess). have You read about EMI interference that stops this devices continuous playback? sadly some users experienced it. You can find more on it in one of the big la-qxd1 threads. for me so far it's an uninterrupted experience – stable, no hiss, no problems when other devices are running near by.
spokojnie, wyluzuj, to tylko forum audio
 
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gfinlays

gfinlays

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Thread Starter #14
personal impressions of soncoz vs that 24 carat gold topping are welcome ;)
After a couple of days of listening to the DX7 Pro, sound-wise, there's nothing to choose between it and the Soncoz. However, the Topping is built like a tank - I was very surprised at its heft compared to the Soncoz. The display is a nice touch; you can see exactly what's going on. The headphone amp is also superb - deathly silent. Not a hint of hiss or hum and can easy drive a 300 ohm headphone to hearing damaging levels. No glitches like I had with the Soncoz and as it's man's powered via an IEC socket, there are no potential compatibility issues with power supplies. Very different beast from the Soncoz, and at its price point it represents undeniably fantastic value for money.
 
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#15
After a couple of days of listening to the DX7 Pro, sound-wise, there's nothing to choose between it and the Soncoz. However, the Topping is built like a tank - I was very surprised at its heft compared to the Soncoz. The display is a nice touch; you can see exactly what's going on. The headphone amp is also superb - deathly silent. Not a hint of hiss or hum and can easy drive a 300 ohm headphone to hearing damaging levels. No glitches like I had with the Soncoz and as it's man's powered via an IEC socket, there are no potential compatibility issues with power supplies. Very different beast from the Soncoz, and at its price point it represents undeniably fantastic value for money.
Comparing Soncoz LA-QXD1 with Topping DX7 pro is unfair. LA-QXD1 costs ~220USD and DX7 pro ~650USD. LA-QDX1 is absolutely phantastic for the price, i have it since May and i don't have any problem with it, but few days ago ordered Soncoz SGD1 hoping for even better sound quality ... :)
 
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gfinlays

gfinlays

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Thread Starter #16
Comparing Soncoz LA-QXD1 with Topping DX7 pro is unfair. LA-QXD1 costs ~220USD and DX7 pro ~650USD. LA-QDX1 is absolutely phantastic for the price, i have it since May and i don't have any problem with it, but few days ago ordered Soncoz SGD1 hoping for even better sound quality ... :)
I don't think it's that unfair - here in the UK, the Topping costs about 2.5 x what the Soncoz costs and they use similar DAC chips. The Topping includes a top-notch headphone amp with two balanced headphone connectors in additon to the 1/4" jack socket and also has a built-in PSU. It also has a wider range of hardware inputs including bluetooth. Taking all that into account makes the DAC portions broadly similar and their performance in that respect is on a par. I can't say the Topping sounds any better than the Soncoz, but it's definitely free of the glitches I had with the LA-QXD1. Maybe my unit was faulty....

I wouldn't expect much, if any audible difference between the LA-QXD1 and th SGD1, but the in-built power supply will certainly eliminate one uncertain variable.
 
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#17
I don't think it's that unfair - here in the UK, the Topping costs about 2.5 x what the Soncoz costs and they use similar DAC chips. The Topping includes a top-notch headphone amp with two balanced headphone connectors in additon to the 1/4" jack socket and also has a built-in PSU. It also has a wider range of hardware inputs including bluetooth. Taking all that into account makes the DAC portions broadly similar and their performance in that respect is on a par. I can't say the Topping sounds any better than the Soncoz, but it's definitely free of the glitches I had with the LA-QXD1. Maybe my unit was faulty....

I wouldn't expect much, if any audible difference between the LA-QXD1 and th SGD1, but the in-built power supply will certainly eliminate one uncertain variable.
Yes, you are absolutely right, it is fair to compare one DAC for 220$ with one for 650$ ... :)

How about comparing VW Golf for 22.000$ and Porsche for 65.000$ ?
 
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