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Emotiva Stealth DC-1 DAC - Page 15

post #211 of 794

I'm actually pretty upset right now. My XDA-2 died within 2 days, and now the DC-1 has buzzing (albeit very quiet - but there should be NO BUZZING!) I think I might just return it and be done with Emotiva for good.

post #212 of 794

Do you hear a very quiet buzz/hum when you have USB set to Asynchronous and have the music off, or during a pause in music?

post #213 of 794
With the volume ar +12db, only the very faintest with my HD 600's.
post #214 of 794

See, with my volume at only 0.00dB, it is quite noticeable - very quiet, but immediately noticeable when you switch from Synchronous to Asynchronous.

 

Right now I am just using a standard USB cable. I ordered a "good" one that is supposed to be well shielded. Could that be my problem? What's weird is that I get NO buzzing in synchronous mode. I thought that the whole idea of asynchronous mode was to remove any of that distortion or "jitter".


Edited by subsonic1050 - 1/9/14 at 12:32pm
post #215 of 794
You must have super sensitive phones?
post #216 of 794

Well, I mean they are good - but by no means the top tier. I have Hifiman HE-400 cans. I didn't get any buzzing in them with the XDA-2 in asynchronous mode that I noticed.

post #217 of 794

Try calling Emo customer support, or posting on the Emo forum.  They have much more information on the unit than we do.  It sounds to me like either a connection problem or a defective unit, but Emo should be able to walk you through the troubleshooting procedures, and if they don't work, you should send it back to them.

post #218 of 794
Quote:
Originally Posted by subsonic1050 View Post

Just got my DC-1 today. Honestly, I am pretty disappointed with it. The highs are fairly harsh, and at times sound almost like static. I am also getting a distinct buzz when the USB is set to "Asynchronous" mode (very quiet, but definitely present with no music playing). I do not get the same buzz when it is set to "Synchronous" mode.



 



Does this sound like a defect, or is this the way they are? I wish I had them to compare side by side, but I almost feel like the XDA-2 sounded better.


 

It sounds like you have a defective unit, as that is not normal behavior. There should be no buzzing weather or not you select snych or asynch mode. Please call Emotiva at (615)790-6754 and they will get you taken care of. Also, have you tried using the USB cable that Emo sends along with the DC-1?


Good luck. smily_headphones1.gif

EDIT: I have some noise when using earbuds with the DC-1 and turning the volume to a high level while the music is paused. However, I wouldn't consider this a "buzz", more just the usual amp noise that you would normally hear from high sensetivity speakers at a high volume with music paused. You cannot hear this at any volume when music is playing. I am 100% sure it is nothing more than amp noise, however, as the DAC and preamp sections are dead quiet, and the volume of the noise changes with the volume of the headphone amp. The noise sounds a bit like white noise, and is not even audible unless I turn up VERY loud and pause the music.


I know the DAC and preamp sections are 100% quiet as I tested the DC-1 into my main system before ever hooking it to my pc, and I currently have it connected to my main system (and am using it as a DAC+preamp) and have zero noise issues with it.

Current setup is as follows:

Asus laptop (Foobar in Wasapi mode)>Emotiva USB cable>DC-1>Emotiva X-Series XLR cables>Emotiva XPA-1 amps>Monoprice 12g speaker wire (in a bi-wire configuration)>Bowers & Wilkins 684 speakers.

No noise, no buzzing, (using Sync or Asynch doesn't cause mine to buzz) no odd quirks. It just works, and sounds, excellent IMO.
Edited by painted klown - 1/9/14 at 2:10pm
post #219 of 794
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post
 

FedEx normally has a $10 brokerage charge (which is better than the outlandish fees that UPS charges). If you have an account, they skip the $10. At least that's how it's worked for me the last few times. I don't think I've ordered anything that triggers additional fees, or maybe I've just lucked out.

 

Getting my HE-6 into the country... now that was expensive. Probably just over $2k all said and done :(

 

:blink: That's ridiculous. That's a LCD-3. I love Canada Post and USPS. UPS, Fedex, DHL can vary from time to time. Although UPS is by far the worst IME.

post #220 of 794

This is definitely a very noticeable buzz, and the volume doesn't even have to be very loud - I can hear it all the way down to -5.00 on the volume scale. It is also clearly related to the asynchronous mode on the unit. I can have it on synchronous - no buzz, then change it, immediately the buzz is present. I have switched it back and forth a bunch of times, and it is ALWAYS there in asynchronous mode, and never in synchronous mode. It also immediately goes away if the USB cable is unplugged - leading me to believe it might be some sort of ground issue, but since it is not present in synchronous mode I am not sure...

 

I did contact Emo today - they said it should definitely not be doing that. He also told me that they have had a few people report similar problems with both the DC-1 AND the XDA-2. He thought that a USB isolator should fix it, but admitted that it shouldn't be happening in the first place. I haven't tried the USB cable Emotiva sent because it is too short, but that would be odd if it were the problem, since I used the same cable with the XDA-2 and it had no problems, and neither does THIS unit with the same cable in synchronous mode.

 

In addition, the sound itself is suspect. While I don't have them side by side, both my wife and I think that the XDA-2 sounded better. For the most part, it sounds very clear, but I noticed that the highs seem very harsh - almost unpleasant to listen to, and I notice what almost seems like very quiet static in the highs on occasion. It could just be idiosyncrasies in the recordings that I never noticed before - but it doesn't sound good. If the XDA-2 had lasted more than 2 days I would still just be using that. As it is I am considering changing manufacturers altogether. While everyone else seems to have great luck, I have had two defective units in a row, which is about one more defect than I usually allow before moving on.

post #221 of 794

That sucks you have had such bad luck with Emo DACs man. :(

 

Obviously, I am a fan of the Emo brand, and have had great luck with my Emo gear.

 

If you don't like the sound of the DC-1 (plus considering the issue you are having) and you had bad luck with the XDA-2 prior, I can certainly understand your hesitation to stick with them for try number 3.

 

At this point, I understand 100% why you would be ready to move on to another brand of DAC. The bad part is that malfunctioning equipment, rather than overall performance, was the last nail in the coffin.

 

On the bright side, they will give you a full refund as long as you are still within the 30 day window (which I assume you are), so box 'er up and ship 'er back man. These things happen, and not any single piece of gear will please every customer. Heck, that's the reason the return window exists. Don't forget to give them a call to get an RMA # and instructions before shipping it back to them.

 

Good luck with your next DAC, no matter what brand you decide to try. :)

post #222 of 794
Quote:
Originally Posted by subsonic1050 View Post
 

This is definitely a very noticeable buzz, and the volume doesn't even have to be very loud - I can hear it all the way down to -5.00 on the volume scale. It is also clearly related to the asynchronous mode on the unit. I can have it on synchronous - no buzz, then change it, immediately the buzz is present. I have switched it back and forth a bunch of times, and it is ALWAYS there in asynchronous mode, and never in synchronous mode. It also immediately goes away if the USB cable is unplugged - leading me to believe it might be some sort of ground issue, but since it is not present in synchronous mode I am not sure...

 

I did contact Emo today - they said it should definitely not be doing that. He also told me that they have had a few people report similar problems with both the DC-1 AND the XDA-2. He thought that a USB isolator should fix it, but admitted that it shouldn't be happening in the first place. I haven't tried the USB cable Emotiva sent because it is too short, but that would be odd if it were the problem, since I used the same cable with the XDA-2 and it had no problems, and neither does THIS unit with the same cable in synchronous mode.

 

In addition, the sound itself is suspect. While I don't have them side by side, both my wife and I think that the XDA-2 sounded better. For the most part, it sounds very clear, but I noticed that the highs seem very harsh - almost unpleasant to listen to, and I notice what almost seems like very quiet static in the highs on occasion. It could just be idiosyncrasies in the recordings that I never noticed before - but it doesn't sound good. If the XDA-2 had lasted more than 2 days I would still just be using that. As it is I am considering changing manufacturers altogether. While everyone else seems to have great luck, I have had two defective units in a row, which is about one more defect than I usually allow before moving on.


Not only should you send it back, but they should pay return shipping for a defective unit.  There are too many alternatives out there for you to be unhappy with your choice, and for them to not make you whole.

post #223 of 794

Thanks guys - I appreciate it. I just listened to one of my reference tracks again, and there is definitely some static while it is playing music as well. I guess I will have to send it back!

post #224 of 794

Damn it I am getting USB noise.  I notice it mainly on my unbalanced speakers/amp and headphones.  For some reason my balanced monitors don't get the noise.  Unplugging the USB cable kills the noise.  I guess I am going to have to order a USB ground isolator, oh well!  I found one for $25.  Emotiva should have covered this in their design.  Still love the thing dearly.

post #225 of 794

Monkeyx - Try changing the it from Asynchronous mode to Synchronous mode if you haven't already done that. For some reason mine doesn't have the USB ground issue in Synchronous mode. 

 

I do have to issue a retraction of sorts on the DC-1. While I am DEFINITELY getting a USB ground noise as I previously mentioned, the static that I was hearing during music was apparently part of the recording. I have downloaded numerous versions of the same song (one of my reference tracks), and they all have the static sound. To be honest, that is pretty big praise for the DC-1. I have been using this as a reference track for 15 years, and I never had noticed this static until listening with the DC-1. I confirmed it was in the recording this weekend, when I listened to several DAC's at a local Hifi store (on HD800's as well). 

 

Still, the USB ground issue is very annoying. On my setup it is loud enough that you can hear it during quieter parts of songs. In addition, I just purchased a pair of HD800's, and the DC-1 is a bit lacking in power for them (although it is actually surprisingly powerful for the price). If it weren't for the fact that I got these new headphones, I might exchange my DC-1, but as it is I am just going to return it and get something better. As good as these Emotiva products can perform, their QC is horrendous (at least in my experience).

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