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iFi SPDIF iPurifier - nasty static when no signal

  1. dunkyboy
    I recently decided to ditch my Mac Mini music server and replace it with an AirPort Express (802.11g) as digital source into my Audio Note system (long story), via AirPlay. Fed directly into my Audio Note DAC3 (circa 2000 vintage) via TOSlink optical cable, the AirPort Express sounds noticeably flat, soft, and boring compared to the Mac Mini (that was via Peachtree X1 USB-SPDIF converter fed by an iFi iUSB, with iTunes+BitPerfect).

    So I bought an iFi SPDIF iPurifier. And it sounds GREAT! It makes a startlingly large improvement over the stock AirPort Express. I love it. EXCEPT... when the music stops, I get a nasty loud digital static sound. It happens when there's nothing playing, or if I pause the music for more than a few seconds. The red (RedBook) light on the iPurifier goes out and my DAC's signal lock lights go nuts, flickering on and off between 44/48KHz and EMP/DEMP. Goes away whenever there's music or sound of any kind playing.

    I contacted iFi, and they suggested replacing the unit in case it was defective. Tried that - new unit is the same. :frowning2:

    I tried a newer AirPort Express (802.11n) - same.

    I tried different TOSlink cables. I tried the optical out of the iPurifier (was using the coax out before).

    Nothing seems to help. I have to assume the way the iPurifier outputs no-signal is just incompatible with my DAC. (The AirPort on its own doesn't have this problem at all.)

    So now I can't bear to go back to using the AirPort without the iPurifier. And I can't bear to "manage" the static, by changing inputs/volume, avoiding pausing, etc.

    Help! Anyone have any ideas to try to get the iPurifier working? Something in between the AirPort and the iPurifier? Or between the iPurifier and my DAC?

    Or is there anything else that does what the iPurifier does? I considered the Wyred 4 Sound Remedy, but it apparently always outputs 96KHz no matter what, and my venerable DAC can't handle above 48KHz (also it costs $400!) Is there anything else?

    Another alternative would be to try another AirPlay streaming device (without iPurifier), but from what I can gather none of them is known for having especially high-quality SPDIF output?

    (I very much want to keep the DAC, as it's one of the best I've heard, and I've heard a lot!)

    Thanks for any ideas,
  2. ostewart
    @iFi audio anything you can help with?

    Also @dunkyboy matrix audio have just bought out a nice new USB to spdif converter, the X-Spdif 2. Might be worth looking in to.
  3. dunkyboy
    Thanks! Plenty of good USB->SPDIF converters out there, but this is for an AirPort Express, so needs to take optical SPDIF. :-/

  4. 007shark76
    Have you tried not using the included iPower and feed it 5V from the Airport Express USB port?
  5. dunkyboy
    Wow, I had not considered that - is it something you've tried? Will give it a go when I get home, and report back.

  6. 007shark76
    I had the iPower hooked up with the iDefender which created static going into my Modi Multibit. So it might be worth a shot in your case.
  7. dunkyboy
    Tried it - no joy. :frowning2: Same static as before.
  8. gvl2016
    Old thread but same issue here when using a iPurifier with a Chromecast Audio. Has there been any resolution to this? Thankfully no audible noise from the speakers here but my DAC goes crazy blinking the lights and occasionally an internal relay clicks very rapidly.
  9. grokit
    Just taking a shot: Has anybody tried an iPurifier between a CD transport and a Schiit Bifrost or Gungnir?

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