Amazon Music Exclusive Mode Distortion
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FinBen

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Hi! I've just set my computer up for decent audio as follows:

Laptop -> Schiit Modi 3 -> Schiit Heresy -> AKG K702

I'm using this lot to stream from Amazon Music HD, which works perfectly until I enable exclusive mode which immediately introduces incredibly obvious and unpleasant distortion, more noticeable in some tracks than others (I noticed it most prominently in a track from Tubular Bells III, 'Top Of The Morning'...).

I've tried High/Low Gain to no avail, then plugging directly into the laptop headphone output, which removes the problem, and a different headphone amp which doesn't sound nearly as good but also doesn't exhibit the same distortion. This has allowed me to rule out the Modi as being the issue at least, so it seems a very, very specific and strange interaction between Exclusive Mode and the Heresy, presumably to do with the output of the Amazon Music desktop app being set to maximum and the amp throwing a wobbly over that!

Anyone have any experience of this? I know that Exclusive Mode currently doesn't offer much anyway, but it's such an odd problem that I'd just like to know whether anyone else has encountered it and can offer any advice?

Many thanks,

Ben
 
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tomb

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Yes, I've had experience with it, but not with the equipment you specify.

Forgive my disagreement with your assessment of the situation, but there is nothing but an analog connection between the Modi and the amp (whatever it is). IMHO, the only way Exclusive Mode can cause an effect in the sound, is through your laptop's connection to the Modi DAC (I assume through USB). Exclusive mode can also cause very intermittent issues, so I suspect some of your troubleshooting is corrupted by the randomness.

Since by definition, you are inhibiting all the other interrupts received by the Operating System, the drivers for USB (and sound) must be very well tamed. In my case, I found a DAC to start clicking after switching through several music selections, especially high-definition music files. The click was audible at low volumes, but consistent. Yet, music would still play. Switching the DAC off and back on would immediately remove the clicking. This only happened in Exclusive Mode and was somewhat repeatable. In non-Exclusive Mode, I have yet to experience that issue with the same equipment.

I believe these issues involve the higher-res files because they're out of the mainstream CD-Redbook standards and almost always require separate drivers for the particular DAC.
 
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FinBen

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Thanks very much for your insight, I'm a long-time computer nerd but first time audio hardware fiddler, so I'll experiment with my setup bearing in mind what you've said!

It's my first time here, so your response is much appreciated and it's jolly nice to know the community here is so helpful even to newcomers!

Many thanks,

Ben

P. S. Love the Fireball XL5 picture, just introducing my son to Thunderbirds and the like so it brings back many fond memories!
 
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tomb

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Thanks very much for your insight, I'm a long-time computer nerd but first time audio hardware fiddler, so I'll experiment with my setup bearing in mind what you've said!

It's my first time here, so your response is much appreciated and it's jolly nice to know the community here is so helpful even to newcomers!

Many thanks,

Ben

P. S. Love the Fireball XL5 picture, just introducing my son to Thunderbirds and the like so it brings back many fond memories!
Holy cow! Believe it or not, you are the very first person to notice and know my avatar!

Paraphrasing what Venus always said, "Everyone else is such a tootie!" :wink:
 
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