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Arcam rPAC and Spotify - crashing problems

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 



I've recently bought an Arcam rPAC USB DAC. Generally I'm pleased with it, it does exactly what I want and sounds pretty good IMHO.


However, the rPAC crashes when playing Spotify. No problems with Foobar either using WASAPI or Direct Sound, even left for days playing. With Spotify it randomly (but frequently) produces a second (ish) of static then no sound until unplugged, then spotify closes and needs restarting. Since the behaviour is different between software sources it suggests a software issue to me.


I've read about this and looked it up on plenty of forums but found no solutions posted. I am determined to find a solution.


This only happens on my netbook, not my main laptop.


I have seen there are some reports and offers of solutions such as using powered hubs, this solution is not adequately portable and I doubt it's a power issue if it works OK with Foobar. I have tried changing the settings on the usb root hubs, updating drivers, different cables, disabling other USB devices, changing settings for power saving including the one for each USB hub. I've taken the measures suggested in teh FAQ on the Arcam website.


No joy though.


The netbook is an ASUS eee PC 1025C (it's not high spec but has a very good battery life) with Realtek HD audio installed, could there be a clash here? Or with the Nvidia display audio that works via the HDMI port? (I have tried disabling both of these without success) Perhaps there's an issue with the way windows (7 starter) is decoding the stream then upsampling for the DAC? Would different codecs help or does Spotify use it's own?


I would consider removing the Realtek stuff. Are there alternative generic drivers that may work?


If I solve this I'll post the answer.





(For reference I am using the rPAC with Grado SR80i headphones)

post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 

OK so here's the solution, for me at least.


Having played around with a lot of things I have found that updating the Realtek drivers for the HD audio built into the ASUS using the ones from Realtek (latest) rather than those approved by ASUS and also disabling all internal audio devices fixes it.


The audio devices must be disabled under "System Devices" in device manager rather than only under "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" for this to work.


This problem is reported with other USB DACs and doesn't always result in complete crash of the USB DAC, it can be popping and clicking and all sorts of things can cause it but usually it's misbehaving drivers. However, which drivers is variable though anecdotal evidence based on forum scouting suggests clashes with Realtek drivers are common.  To track down problems checking the machines latency is a good idea. I used DPC Latency Checker.



post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Oh and run Spotify in High Priority.....


you can create a shortcut using a batch file shortcut.bat for example with the following command inside:


Start "Spotify" /high "C:\location of spotify\Spotify\spotify.exe"

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