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Topping D90SE Noise When Playing DSD Files

Dubesaur

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Hello All,

When playing DSD files on the D90SE, when a song finishes and another starts, a relatively low-level but still audible static/noise sound starts playing constantly, whether music is playing or not, whether PCM or DSD files. This static continues until I turn the D90SE off and on again. The sound is perfectly clean when playing PCM files. I've been using Audirvana and JRiver to play DSD files and they both have this issue.

Interesting observations:
- The static/noise only starts when a file finishes and another is loaded. Jumping to a new song before the current one ends does not introduce any noise/static.
- The static ends only by resetting the device.
- The issue only happens with Topping's ASIO driver. There is no issue with WASAPI.
- The issue happens on both old and new drivers/firmware.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

Jimster480

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Hello All,

When playing DSD files on the D90SE, when a song finishes and another starts, a relatively low-level but still audible static/noise sound starts playing constantly, whether music is playing or not, whether PCM or DSD files. This static continues until I turn the D90SE off and on again. The sound is perfectly clean when playing PCM files. I've been using Audirvana and JRiver to play DSD files and they both have this issue.

Interesting observations:
- The static/noise only starts when a file finishes and another is loaded. Jumping to a new song before the current one ends does not introduce any noise/static.
- The static ends only by resetting the device.
- The issue only happens with Topping's ASIO driver. There is no issue with WASAPI.
- The issue happens on both old and new drivers/firmware.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
So the sound happens constantly once you have loaded any DSD file, And it never stops until you literally power cycle the device? It might be a driver issue something to tag the topping engineers in and have them take a look at
 

Snoopy

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There seem to be more people with such problems.

Why does everything topping releases seem to be like a beta version of a product that needs either several firmware updates or a hardware revision?
 

Jimster480

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There seem to be more people with such problems.

Why does everything topping releases seem to be like a beta version of a product that needs either several firmware updates or a hardware revision?
Most products these days need updates after they come out. As the products get more complex so do the updates. Manufacturers can only test so many things before they release them.

What's important is that they are actually doing these updates and fixing the problems.
Since there are many inherently broken products on the market which are never fixed by their manufacturers.

Also when it comes to things like DSD; I would imagine that about 1% of people are actually using DSD and this is part of the reason why things are not perfect. When you figure that there is very little DSD music especially native DSD music and no streaming service supports DSD I would imagine that not much testing can even be done on DSD music.
This would especially be the case when you are talking about something like switching between DSD and PCM back and forth in the same Playlist.
So overtime as these bugs are found then the manufacturer creates lists of things to test for in future products
I can tell you this as a software engineer myself that in my own products I learn about what affects my customers and then I test for it in future products.
Sometimes I invest in computer hardware that I have no intention of using on a regular basis but I specifically used to test for compatibility for customers.
 
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sq225917

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Let's not forget, there is no lincensed dsd software player... so blaming a dac manufacturer for part of the chain....
 

Snoopy

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Let's not forget, there is no lincensed dsd software player... so blaming a dac manufacturer for part of the chain....
I'm streaming DSD 512 and pcm 768 through Roon just fine. There is no issue at all when switching between DSD and pcm.
Even my cheap Smsl d300 has no problems with that.

Topping should manage that just as fine.
DSD is not that popular but it still gets used.
 

sq225917

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So there's no issue with your dac and Roon. But the OP isn't using Roon.

Maybe there would be an issue if your source and software was the same as his? We don't know.

My point is, there's no manufacturer sponsored standard for software dsd playback, because it was never intended by sony, so how can we know the fault is Topping's ?
 

Jimster480

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So there's no issue with your dac and Roon. But the OP isn't using Roon.

Maybe there would be an issue if your source and software was the same as his? We don't know.

My point is, there's no manufacturer sponsored standard for software dsd playback, because it was never intended by sony, so how can we know the fault is Topping's ?
Well just as a third party I would say that the problem is toppings when their Hardware is the one that doesn't work properly
 

sq225917

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And I'm saying unless he's tried multiple dacs it's illogical to lay blame with one part of the system. If only the Topping clicked, then sure I'd agree, but that's yet unproven
 

gkrnn

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I am having largely the same issues as has been described in this thread. I only have the unit one week and hoped that Topping had solved the issue by now.

I decided to do some testing to determine when the static sounding noise occurred and have summarised in the table attached. OK means no static noise, whereas Bad indicates the presence of this noise. I tested in 4V and 5V output mode, for USB input and coaxial input and various PCM bitrates and DSD. As a comparison I have used my current DX7 Pro in the same set-up and with the same or comparable settings and have not been able to observe the same static noise.

It would be interesting to see if other people see comparable trends. As far as my testing has gone it seems to point in the direction of the (digital) volume control which seems to get in erroneous conditions at higher bitrates. But then again, that is a wild guess as I don't know (much about) the architecture of the device.

1665510777112.png
 

Sokel

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Let's not forget, there is no lincensed dsd software player... so blaming a dac manufacturer for part of the chain....
Here's poor little Khadas Tone1 playing DSD512 in foobar with zero problems.
(I think it shares the same USB interface,XMOS208)

DSD512.PNG
 

evan123

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Let's not forget, there is no lincensed dsd software player... so blaming a dac manufacturer for part of the chain....
Of course playback is more than just the DAC, but there is plenty of licensed commercial DSD music available for download, eg. NativeDSD, Pentatone, and there are plenty of licensed commercial software players with DSD playback eg. Audirvāna, Roon, HQPlayer. If you were referring to legality of ripping your own SACD for personal use via software playback, it is completely legal where I am; I’m sorry if it’s more questionable where you are.

That aside, all the above software and more will generate DSD output from PCM source, so the number of DSD-enabled users is potentially massive. As a result I wish DSD was included in DAC testing more often (specifically @amirm and @WolfX-700 who are testing heroes) to help identify DSD-specific issues in DACs, and we know that the vendors react to @amirm’s tests. I’m sure only one test case would be needed to verify, not the exhaustive set normally run, using a current test file converted to at least DSD64 and DSD256 (most popular and supported formats) and one DSD test with fs=48k to verify it is supported/supported correctly (because some DACs will support, but it’s rare to find in specifications).

Separately it would also be interesting to see if claims that software PCM->DSD conversion and upscaling achieves measurably better analog results over letting the DAC convert PCM. If it makes an objective difference more people would use DSD, and if it doesn’t then we can attenuate some noise :)
 
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evan123

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The problem I am having with DSD playback is dropouts; the sound is interrupted, I see my DACs switch from DSD to PCM and back to DSD, and then playback resumes. I’m using DoP over USB on a MacBook Air M2, so plenty of power, and Audirvāna. I can also reproduce with native DSD over uPNP from Audirvāna to Volumio.

I have not seen people posting this problem so I wonder if it is DAC firmware/USB interface related, as both my DACs are Topping (D10s, E30) — same XU208 so same USB interface and potentially very similar firmware, different DAC chip, both in DAC mode. I have been wanting to move to an all-in-one DAC/headphone amp but I’m wanting to understand the root cause before I spend more money, as a lot of my source material is DSD. I’m particularly reluctant to buy another Topping with posts suggesting that they have unresolved DSD playback issues, although not necessarily the same issue that I am experiencing.

Is this a known issue with Topping DACs, or should
I look elsewhere in my playback chain?
 
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evan123

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Also, I have sometimes seen my E30 report current DSD rate as 45.1MHz (DSD1024), which is not supposed to be supported. I have only seen this with native DSD playback through Volumio, where I would normally be outputting DSD512. I’m assuming at this point the DAC is in a fault state. Anyone else notice this?
 

Sokel

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The problem I am having with DSD playback is dropouts; the sound is interrupted, I see my DACs switch from DSD to PCM and back to DSD, and then playback resumes. I’m using DoP over USB on a MacBook Air M2, so plenty of power, and Audirvāna. I can also reproduce with native DSD over uPNP from Audirvāna to Volumio.

I have not seen people posting this problem so I wonder if it is DAC firmware/USB interface related, as both my DACs are Topping (D10s, E30) — same XU208 so same USB interface and potentially very similar firmware, different DAC chip, both in DAC mode. I have been wanting to move to an all-in-one DAC/headphone amp but I’m wanting to understand the root cause before I spend more money, as a lot of my source material is DSD. I’m particularly reluctant to buy another Topping with posts suggesting that they have unresolved DSD playback issues, although not necessarily the same issue that I am experiencing.

Is this a known issue with Topping DACs, or should
I look elsewhere in my playback chain?
I would check a number of things first.
Long USB cables. (don't)
Volume control (always 100%)
Driver buffer setting.
Player buffer setting+general settings.

Are all of the above OK?

Edit:
Also DSD bypasses or sometimes conflicts with DSP.
All DSP must be after the dac.
Edit2:
Same with system wide EQ.
 

evan123

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I would check a number of things first.
Long USB cables. (don't)
Volume control (always 100%)
Driver buffer setting.
Player buffer setting+general settings.

Are all of the above OK?

Edit:
Also DSD bypasses or sometimes conflicts with DSP.
All DSP must be after the dac.
Edit2:
Same with system wide EQ.
Thanks for your response!

I have tried both “normal” (1-1.5m long) and a longer (maybe 3m) USB cable.

Volume set at 0db in Audirvana, DAC in DAC mode, and volume controlled at amp. No EQ or DSP, just processing PCM to DSD. I would normally process to DSD256 from
my Mac, but it also happens at DSD128, and with DSD source material. I have tried the standard and large CoreAudio I/O buffer. I don’t think there is a driver buffer that I can change on macOS?

From memory I have same issue with HQPlayer and Roon, but I would have to make some time to test again.

It’s almost like the computer and DAC become out of sync or maybe DAC does not receive data in time, DAC resets (from observation that DAC reports switching from DSD256 to PCM768 to DSD256), and then playback can continue?

Thanks again.
 

Sokel

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I don't play with mac,but there were always complains about DSD256 and DSD512 playback (which must be native) from MAC users,some dacs even use special drivers for mac to play such freqs (the ones using Amanero USB interface if I remember correctly).
 

evan123

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Interesting! It happens with DSD128 and 64 as well. Maybe I should look for a DAC with a non-XMOS USB interface.

Amanero is limited to DSD128; I have a lot of DSD256 sources. Maybe there is a reasonably priced performant DAC based on STM32 or other chips, but I have not found one yet. I think all the well-rated and reasonably-priced DACs here are XMOS.

I don’t think drivers exist for current macOS version (Big Sur).
 
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