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Streaming from Raspberry Pi usb to Topping D30 dac - occasional annoying clicks

Cugel

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Joined
Apr 6, 2019
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#1
Greetings everyone.

Long time reader here. I followed many of the recommendations found here at ASR and in my recent spate of cost-effective updates to my system installed a Topping D30 to which I stream audio over USB. I have occasional clicks that can be really irritating and intrude on an otherwise blissful listening session.

Suggestions for how I tackle this would be much appreciated!

System Overview for context:
Amazon music (iPhone)-> (via airplay) to raspbrerry pi 2 -> (via usb) to Topping D30 DAC -> (via monoprice rca cables) to Atom amp -> (via monoprice rca cables) to miniDSP 2x4 -> (via rca) Adcom 2535 4-channel amp -> (via rca) Linkwitz lx mini speakers

The pi runs moode audio - the music streams at 16/44.1 but in the moode interface I had to change the bit depth from 16 to 32 bits to get the DAC to output any sound for me. I enabled the usb fix in the moode interface also which addresses a similar issue.

The JDS Labs Atom is used as an inexpensive premplifier (and I also use it as a headphone amp).

I use the usb cable provided by Topping.

My speakers are extremely revealing, and seem to demand very high quality sources. The speakers have an external active corssover (the minDSP 2x4) and need to have sperate signals going to the tweeters and woofers, so all 4 channels of the amp are required and used.

Amazon music is set to maximum quality and is downloaded to my phone and I believe is encoded at ~300 kbps.

I play music at low to moderate volumes only.

Symptoms:
Occasional (one or two) clicks per song during "quiet" passages in my music (pink floyd and other bands with a lot of ambient-style space in their music). Symptoms were much, much worse when I had the sounds routed through a denon x3400h (replaces the Atom amp in the above signal chain). Since I obtained the Atom and removed the denon from the signal chain the issue has subsided significantly, but can still be heard. 99% perfection.

Debugging:
I have noted that the problem persists when:
I use my headphones connected to the Atom, so the wiring to/from the amplifier, the amplifier itself, and speaker wiring are non-issues
I replaced the stock topping usb cable to a thicker usb cable I had to hand

Other Data Points:
Before streaming to the DAC I used rca audio output from a HifiBerry DAC+ Pro on the pi and there wasn't an audio issue. Given Archimago's findings of bit-perfect streaming via usb from the raspberry pi 3 (I use a pi 2 and not a 3) I wonder what the issue could be?

Playing cds on a (very cheap) sony blu ray via optical to the DAC eliminates the noises. It is this fact in particular that makes me look at the raspberry pi itself as a likely culprit.

Next Up in order that I will do next:
  1. Stream from mac to the DAC via usb - this excludes the pi from the system entirely as factor, and acts as confirmation of what I found when playing cds on the blu ray player.
  2. Ordered a sd-card to replaced moode audio with RuneAudio or Volumio - this excludes moode audio software as a factor
  3. Thinking of ordering a new power supply for the raspberry pi. I use the "cana kit" power supply. Very low hopes for this one.
  4. Obtain a streaming device to replace the pi, which would be expensive and against my value for money philosophy. I really, really, really don't want to do this.

Many thanks for reading this far, and thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
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#2
Clicks and pops mid-song mean the PI isn't keeping the output buffers to the DAC full. The PI4 has a dedicated bus for USB. Upgrading that would be step one for me.
 

Cugel

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Joined
Apr 6, 2019
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#3
Thanks for your response and suggestion. I acted in your suggestion and the pi 4 seems to be working perfectly, as far as I can tell after an hour or two of listening. More listening needed to confirm
 
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