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Oppo HA-1 Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by aamefford, May 7, 2014.
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  1. MattTCG
    I'm using optical and by-passing usb alltogether. I checked out that card you mention. Looks like a huge waste money imo. FWIW, I've been building custom pc's for 15 years. 
     
  2. SharpEars
    If by optical you mean TOSLINK, that's one of the worst ways to do digital audio communication due to its bandwidth limitations, especially beyond 44.1/16 (See: http://www.theabsolutesound.com/answers/204/ for more info). If not, then what do you mean by optical?
     
  3. SharpEars
    This is a question for OPPO / HasturTheYellow : What is the impedance of the single-ended and balanced outputs on the back of the HA-1 unit. I am considering using a passive pre-amp for volume control in between the OPPO and a power amplifier and would like to take the HA-1's output impedance values into account.
     
    Textual diagram of intended operation:
     
    OPPO HA-1 (stereo XLR balanced outputs on the back) -> Passive pre-amp/volume control (balanced in to balanced out) -> Power amplifier (balanced in)
     
  4. avraham

    I have the exact same setup, Retina MacBook Pro using Audirvana to Oppo HA-1 via USB cable.  No cracking and popping.  I suspect there is a problem within the Mac.  If you are close to an Apple Store you may want them to check your MacBook.
     
  5. Aikanaro
    No cracking / popping either using a Windows desktop and both the Stock USB cable and a Cardas USB cable
     
  6. Scarfin
    I have no problems when running Windows on my MacBook Pro via BootCamp. And that's why I don't believe it's a hardware problem. I have absolutely no idea what causes the problem.
     
  7. Aikanaro
    do you have any way of reinstalling codecs and drivers on your mac partition and can you maybe try out other audio playback software? not really a mac user but just my two cents, hope it helps somehow
     
  8. Scarfin
    Shouldn't HA-1 change the sampling frequenzy automatically? I was playing Spotify Premium on Windows and Oppo's status screen showed "PCM 44.1 / 16". No popping/cracking at all.
     
    Went back to OS X, opened Spotify and the audio format was "PCM 96 / 32". I hear pops and cracks. I stopped the softare and now it shows "PCM 96 / 16". I don't think that Spotify Premium plays music at these frequenzies.
     
    But I'm a newbie so I have no idea if this affects the sound. Anyway, this is really annoying because usually everthing just works on OS X.
     
  9. Scarfin
    Sorry about the double post.
     
    ScreenShot2014-08-13at22.03.55.png
    Could someone with a MacBook Pro check their audio settings? Above is mine. Go to "Applications -> Utilities -> Audio Midi Setup". What should the "Format" be?
     
    And below is my Audirvana setup. I have no idea what I'm doing.
     
    ScreenShot2014-08-13at22.04.28.png
     
    ScreenShot2014-08-13at22.05.19.png
    ScreenShot2014-08-13at22.13.45.png
     
  10. avraham

    Under Audio Devices, Source: Default, I was set @ 44100.0Hz - No pops (noise), I reset to 96000.0Hz, still no noise.  Under Audirvana Preferences -> Audio System -> Native DSD Capability change to DSD over PCM Standard 1.0  See if that makes a difference.
     
  11. JML
    There are reports on various web forums of pops and cracks within audio playback from just about every aftermarket software player, and they seem to be isolated instances.  If you search, you'll find them.  They're rare events, but appear to be valid problems.  I have a MacBook Pro Retina running Mavericks, with a 2.6Ghz processor and 16G of RAM, with AIF files and Audirvana, and have no problems at all with sound quality on my HA-1 (see my earlier post).  No problems with a Meridian Explorer, either.  Your settings look OK (but on my system, Audirvana doesn't actually shut down Time Machine, a bug I've reported but which is unlikely to be fixed as Damian is focusing on Audirvana 2.0).
     
    I'd set the Midi setup for 44.1/16 and then try turning off the Audirvana optimization (to test it out), reduce the RAM to 8G, toggle the bit-perfect settings, reboot, and then if the noise persists look at what else you have connected to your computer.  That 5m/16' USB cable is a likely problem, esp. if you reused it from before and it had any sharp kinks that might have damaged the cable.  Even if it is not damaged, 10 feet is probably the longest you should run with any USB 2.0 cable, because the signal strength drops precipitously after that.  You may have interference getting into a poorly-shielded or damaged USB cable, from some nearby electrical component (another drive, printer, etc.).  
     
    Audirvana is a Mac-only player, and there is an Audirvana forum you can consult.  Remember that under Windows you're using a totally different software environment.  
     
  12. Scarfin
    Thanks, JML.

    My Retina MacBook Pro is a Late '13 model (2.3GHz, 512Gb SSD, 16Gb RAM, NVidia 750M). Do you have the dual graphic card setup, too? I'm asking because I found this thread from Apple's forums: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4396002?start=105&tstart=0

    People are having the same audio issue with Retina models with dual graphic cards. It seems to be a software issue with Intel (the integrated graphic card) drivers. If this is the cause, it's absolutely unacceptable for a machine this expensive.

    Also, the length of the USB cable was my first thought but in that case, shouldn't the popping/cracking be present on Windows/BootCamp, too? The build quality of the cable is also pretty decent (golded connectors, high speed and it's brand new).
     
  13. JML
    My MacBook Pro is a late 2013 one, too.  All recent MacBook Pros have had dual graphics cards.  I had set my old and new MacBooks to use the dedicated graphics card (turning off the automatic graphics switching in the Energy Saver setting) because of a different issue I had with my old MacBook Pro and some software.  I'd rather have the better card running anyway, because I don't worry about the battery-powered runtime difference.  The obvious question to ask is if you turn off the graphics card switching, does it stop the pops and crackles?   
     
    The USB 2.0 spec says nothing longer than 5m/16' because of power & signal loss, unless you have a hub to boost the output.  The MacBook Pro model we're talking about has two USB 3.0 hubs/ports.  The one on the right is likely to be better-sounding as it has only the card reader on that bus.  The left side hub has the keyboard, trackpad, etc. on it.  There may also be issues with one having more available power than the other (there are reports about port differences like that).
     
    I'm using a USB 2.0 powered industrial hub in my setup, which moots the AC power issue.  (I'm trying to find a workable USB 3.0 hub, which is another issue for another forum....)
     
  14. lac29
    Has anyone compared this with a Violectric stack (V200/V800)?
     
  15. Scarfin
    JML, that would explain a lot. In the link I posted, the problem went away when using the dedicated graphics card only. On Windows via BootCamp, the dedicated card is used by default so that would explain the lack of pops and cracks. Can you try to use your integrated card to see if the problem occurs? I'll try to disable the "automatic graphic switching" later when I'll get back to home. Damn I hope it solves the problem even though the machine probably gets hotter and louder with the 750M. Apple better fix this with OS X Yosemite.
     
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