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Little Dot DAC_i XLR hiss?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I just received my Little Dot DAC_I couple days ago, been using it with TOSLINK in from my computer, and RCA out to my Mackie HR624 MK2 monitors for music listening. Today I got a chance to try out XLR connection, problem is, when I used a pair of iCan 6ft XLR there is a hiss, noticeable from near-field distance when nothing is being played, then I switched to a pair of Audio Quest Viper XLR, same problem.


The RCA output > RCA input never had this noise, even tho there is a really tiny hiss in the background but barely noticeable. 


Anyone got any experience?

post #2 of 10

XLR generally have a higher output than the RCA. Do you still have the hiss when the TOSLINK is disconnected?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Found it, problem is the TOSLINK, but why doesn't the RCA have noise and XLR do? how do i solve it?

post #4 of 10

Like I said before you have more gain output using the XLR which means that the very slight tinny hiss you were getting from the RCA is being amplified for the higher output of the XLR outputs. The problem seems to be with your computer. If you getting the hiss without playing any music then the DAC in the computer is picking up noise and adding to the digital signal on the TOSLINK because once you remove the TOSLINK the hiss stops. Computers can generate a great deal of electrical noise that the DAC can pick up and add to the signal. A higher quality power supply might help in SOME cases or a better sound card may help. It all depends on the quality of parts you are using on your computer to get better signal to noise ratio. Do you have access to another computer or laptop that you can try with  Little Dot DAC_I on?

post #5 of 10

In your computer  (Windows) you can try muting everything except Master Volume and Wave and see if that will make a difference. 

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I went a head and got a sound card, didn't help, tried the USB input on my DAC_I, didn't help, as long as I am using XLR there is a hiss, could it be my monitors?

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Found out the problem at the hifi shop, its the dac xlr problem
post #8 of 10

Are you using XLR to RCA cables?

If so, then make sure the cables are wired properly otherwise you'll likely get the hiss you are hearing.


For this cable, the RCA will connect to XLR pins 2 (HOT) and 1 (GROUND).  Pin 3 should not be used at all.

This means you'll end up with a 6dB loss - but this is normal for RCA.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Tesing cables:
Generic XLR male to female 1.8m
AudioQuest Viper XLR male to female 1.0m

Generic RCA cables 2.0m
Morrow Audio MA1 RCA 1.0m
Kimber Tonik RCA 2.0m
post #10 of 10

Well I'm glad you found out that the problem is with your particular unit.

Did the shop replace it with another?


BTW, I just noticed that you're from Markham.  I'm from north Scarborough o2smile.gif

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