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I stream music from a Hard Drive via AirPlay to three different rooms. A MacBook Pro in room 1 is an AirPlay target and outputs via USB to the DAC2 and on to a headphone setup. It works perfectly. The other two rooms are also AirPlay targets thanks to two Airport Expresses each leading to their own audio system.

 

Feeling nerdy one day, I swapped DACs and moved the W4S into room 2, an AEx room. I connected a Toslink cable and streamed music. No go! The readout on the DAC2 showed 44.1k and then [----] alternately over and over. The music stopped and started. I called tech support (Clint).

 

He knew of this problem and said it was ‘too much jitter’ coming from the AEx and the Sabre chip in the DAC2 couldn’t lock onto it. He said that this had been a problem with early units (of the AEx) and was cleared up in later ones. I’m using the newest one, an AppleTV shape white square (ver. 3). He had as yet no experience with this new model.

 

As an experiment just now, I tried the DAC2 in room 3 which still has the ‘N’ version of the AEx that plugs directly into an outlet (ver. 2). Sure enough, the signal locked and it played perfectly.

 

Is this a warning? Can anyone else confirm this?

 

 

In room 2 the Headroom Ultra Desktop Amp I use was unfazed by the switch from AEx ver. 2 to ver. 3. But it doesn’t use the Sabre chip. I think this is a matter of concern as there are a number of DACs now that do use this chip. Would they all be incompatible with this newest AEx?


Edited by themouse - 9/10/12 at 4:45am