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Starting Point Systems portable NOS DAC

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by cjg888, Mar 12, 2014.
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  1. Jimster480
    Make sure that the sample rate inside of the audio control panel hasn't been set to something that the DAC cannot understand.
  2. gvl2016
    I had a similar issue on Windows with only one particular laptop but a powered hub helped. Maybe try a different USB port. Double check if somehow the DAC is being sent a format it cannot support, i.e. more than 96kHz/16 bit.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  3. Textfeud
    No issue until the update. Powered hub doesn’t help. When I have the DAC selected at sound preference the OS won’t even plag Youtube vids. It just stays at the zero second mark. Same with the Apple Music. When I switch to computerspeaker no issue...
  4. gvl2016
    Does the sampling frequency indicator light up on the DAC? I was thinking may be somehow new OS is sending a signal not compatible with the DAC. Is there a way to check in settings? I'm not familiar with Macs.
  5. Textfeud
    I think so yes. It's on USB and everything is recognized on the Mac. Just when I press play nothing happens with every platform. So weird. Hopefully somebody else has a Mac too and can test it for me.
  6. kvik
  7. Textfeud
    No it’s just with the DAC not when playing directly through the Macbook speakers. No issues in audio/midi, everything set fins. DAC recognized. I don’t understand.
  8. Textfeud
    Tried it on another Mac with High Sierra and the exact same problem occurs. The DAC is being recognized, but no matter what platform I use (iTunes, Youtube) when I have the DAC chosen it won't even play. So for instance on Youtube the video won't play. On iTunes the music won't play. I'm lost :frowning2:
  9. kvik
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  10. leggoslave
    I'm on High Sierra and can confirm this. DAC recognised but only computer noise is heard through USB.

    I have long ago eschewed direct USB playback anyway and have been using DDCs for a few years now. Currently using a SINGxer F-1 via S/PDIF into the DAC3. There are cheaper alternatives like the Audio Breeze U8 which work just as well.

    If you want to stay with direct USB I guess Christophe has to perhaps write a new driver for High Sierra. Apple's less likely to do anything about it IMO.
  11. gvl2016
    Likely not a driver but a firmware update for his apparently not fully UAC1 compliant USB audio interface implementation. However it's unclear if the DACs firmware is field upgradeable.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  12. GearMe
    Same here...no issues with coax. Also, it might be placebo, but I swear it sounds better than USB. :L3000:
  13. gvl2016
    I heard back from Christophe regarding Android support. According to him a f/w update that is intended to address Linux issues is in the works, he hopes this update will help with Android as well. I would think it could help with the issues on High Sierra too. The DAC is in fact field-upgradeable which is good news but requires Windows for that. Let's hope he has enough cycles to get it done.
    Haden2866 likes this.
  14. automojo
    New to this site, been on Ak for years. Really enjoyed this thread.
    I have tried a number of DAC's in my system, including 3 Schiit MB's, and settled on NOS, or NOS like (tubed Maverick Audio D1 Plus w/upgrades and Tesla Tube/Sparko upgrades).
    Speakers in both my system are upgraded ESS AMT3's w/Great Heils, and upgraded bass drivers and crossovers. H/K amplification/preamps.
    The transient response of this speaker is excellent, with sealed bass (my mods), and sealed transition/midbass driver. Low ESR crossovers my mods). The Great Heil speaks for itself in speed and accuracy. Braced and vibration treated enclosures (my mods).
    I was intrigued by the DAC3, as I have been using a Project DAC Box S Fl, that except for the quad 1543T chips, and lack of USB input and batteries, is very much the same design philosophy. Built like a solid tank. It benefits from being on a hour or so before listening. I think these chips like to be warm and stabilized. The FL, and DAC 3 are deadly quiet in all modes. The Maverick D1 is pretty good too.
    Surprising the Maverick sounds very close to both of these, with the Project with the most refinement. Again, they both have to be left on for at least a hour, otherwise the sound is off. I think a outboard power supply is a must. Stable voltage, and quiet.
    The USB Disrupter ( clean outboard USB power supply that cuts the computers 5 volt off completely at the DAC) is a worthy investment. But I found the biggest difference on the Maverick D1, and keep it on that. As with the D1, if found the DAC benefits from a USB cable that TOTALLY isolates the signal and power wire. The Wireworld Ultraviolet does this, and makes a huge difference on the USB. It now sounds just like the optical and coax. The Wireworld Chroma does this as well, at a less expensive price, with out a silver signal wire.
    I would highly recommend this to all DAC 3 owners. Its night and day. Get them on Amazon.
    I do think NOS really requires the right system. I never have felt the treble lacking, of soft in any way. Just the opposite. The flow of all the frequencies is very much like how you would hear it live. The tone and flow. I would not necessarily call it analog. just natural, detailed and satisfying. Like listening to a good life performance, that's setup well.
    So I have to question some saying it's not a accurate portrayal of the program material. It depends on your taste. I find super high def audio to sound totally unnatural. It's addicting at first, like Schiit MB DACS. But you find yourself listening less and less to your system. So what's the point?
    To me that speaks of negatives types of distortion, that are having a huge impact on the listening experience.
    At $118 plus shipping it's a real bargain IMHO. The FL runs you $299. The Maverick D1, slightly more with upgrades (it's also more of a preamp).
    I think specs are a starting point. With NOS the real distortion takes place out of the audio band, not in the 20-20 range.
    I also agree with the poster on having a quiet system, and power lines. It can make a big difference it what your hearing.
    Again, I can't stress enough the isolated power wire in the USB cable.
    I never thought it would make such a huge difference. More then any interconnect swap I have made over the years.
    As well as letting the 1543T chip warm up, and stabilize before you listen to it. It sounds much different cold.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
    Haden2866 and richard51 like this.
  15. starence
    I just received my DAC 3 a couple days ago, and I'm really enjoying it. At first I tried it with an Eitr, but it seems to sound better with USB straight from my desktop. With shipping, I paid a little under $140 for the DAC 3, and for the price it's outstanding. I'm not sure yet if I prefer it to the Mimby, but it's in the same league. The only issue I have with the DAC 3 is the elevated bass, it can be a bit much with some music.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
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