I've managed to reproduce the problem today, using only one amp at a time. I've made a few tests to better understand what's going on. Here's what I found out :
- when using Amarra 2.4, I can hear faint cracks when adjusting the volume knob of the V800, and it gets weirder, the main sound of the Mac. But not when adjusting the volume within Amarra itself (which is a different control than the mac's volume control). The nature of the cracks is slightly different for some unknown reason.
- when using Decibel, I can hear faint cracks of a slightly different nature when adjusting either the two volume controls within Decibel, or the V800 volume control.
So I'm not quite sure the V800 is at fault here, my Mac may have a part in it. I'll try now different power situations (battery or plugged in, ground vs lift, different plug outlets, etc.).
EDIT : now this is getting straight to the top of my weirdest problems with audio gear.
1) So I've established the amp + headphones aren't the direct source of the problem, by using at different times the Stax and the Sennheiser systems.
2) I've tried changing all jumpers inside the V800, it did nothing.
3) I've tried to change from a power outlet to another, it did nothing. I'll try in another room and even on different plugs.
4) I've confirmed that it happens when using either Amarra or Decibels. In Amarra, it happens if either a) I change the V800's volume, or the main computer volume (which is still usable). There is no crackling that I can hear with Amarra's volume control. With Decibels, it happens with all its volume settings (the two of them), and the V800's volume control.
5) Weirdly, it only happens when changing volume, but even weirder if there is a substantial amount of bass on a track. As an example, nothing happens when there is no music playing, or if i'm playing the beginning of Kenji Kawai's Ghost In The Shell soundtrack. Crackling occurs when changing volume if I'm playing Zion from Fluke (Matrix soundtrack), or the well-known Angel from Massive Attack. The crackling noise starts to become indiscernible when the tracks gets busier, but I assume it's still there. That's very confusing, as crackling only with bass frequencies is something that's baffling me since it seems the issue comes from the digital domain.
6) I haven't noticed any drop in SQ once the volume is set.
7) Wether the mac is charging, charged, or using the battery has no influence at all.
8) Both USB ports produce the same result.
9) I can't remember it happening straight since I got the V800, I believe it only started 2 days ago.
10) It happened before I upgraded to Amarra 2.4, so upgrading the software did not mess anything up on the computer.
11) Restarting the computer did nothing.
Edited by MayaTlab - 5/6/12 at 10:10am