Distorted sound from Topping E30ii Lite

In one of my setups I recently combined a Rpi4 running Ropieee with a Topping E30ii Lite. I’m happy with it.

But ever so often the sound was getting distorted and I needed to reboot Rpi, Topping and Rock to get going again. I thought I was fiddling to much with the audio settings, so I reset the Topping and removed all DSP, but now it is still distorted, and stays distorted.
I tried with another Rpi running rooextend and roon bridge, but I’m getting the same distortion.

Any ideas what I’m doing wrong or how I could troubleshoot this?

Hi @bernardb50

How is the RPi and Topping being powered?

What amplification is the Topping DAC connected to?

Give us a screenshot of your signal path and also set up the clipping indicator to indicate such instances, as in screenshot from the Roon help pages.

Thanks for helping me out! I’ve started digging a bit:
@AMT : power supply is done through the stock AC/DC power supplies.
@SukieInTheGraveyard : amplification is done by a Yamaha RS700 stereo amp, had it over 10 years, never had any issues with it. They are powering a pare of B&W’s.
@Marin_Weigel : it doesn’t seem to help much; these are the different screenshot with all the smarts enabled and disabled. Still the same. :fearful:

But I must admit I recently replaced an older Sony LCD TV by a LG smart TV in this room. Due to “esthetics” everything lives together and is powered by a single mains cable. (TV, DAC, Amp, Unifi AP switch with WIFI, RPI with rooExtend, Rpi with Ropieee, DVD player(not much used) and cable decoder… I know right that’s a lot :face_with_peeking_eye:).

At first I thought it was the TV, but unplugging it doesn’t change the distortion. For the moment the TV is not playing through the amp.

But I’m now at the stage that I compared the headphones out to the speakers. The headphones out doesn’t have this distortion!

As you can imagine there’s a lot of hidden speaker wiring going on, so I must dig further into that.
I hope I did not damage the amplifier when replacing the TV and trying to tidy up things…

From my experience with both RPi 4 and the Topping E30 I’d suggest the below for power adaptors.

RPi: 5volt 3amp minimum
Topping: 5volt 2amp minimum

Also try a different USB cable between the RPi and DAC.

To rule out the DAC, are you able to run your Roon Server through it?

To rule out the RPi another DAC would be needed.

The next time you hear the distortion, before trying the above, touch the metal casing of the DAC. Does the noise/distortion stop. I’m very curious on this and will explain when you post back your findings.

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I was aiming at detecting digital clipping, especially with upsampling, but bare bones should not digitally clip - oh well.

But your Topping has a pre amp mode, so try setting this up and lower the output level into your Yamaha, since its input might be overdriven into clipping in the analog domain - of course you could also set Roon’s headroom value ever more negative until distortion goes away.

That’s all just clinging to straws while trying to find the problem.
Maybe, you could try to describe the distortion sound and its occurrence in a more graphical way, because it might be something else happening, entirely

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The amperage ratings are as suggested. I switched the USB-cable, no solution. The NUC running Rock is in the utilities room, I can’t run a USB cable to the DAC.
BUT I quickly hooked up a pair of JBL Control One’s to the speaker B channel with short speaker cables and these sound alright. So I’m beginning to think the “build-in-to-the-wall speaker cables” on the A channel are picking up some sort of distortion.
The distortion sound is in the high mids and high frequencies. And it seems to be variable.

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And so it continues … after swapping speakers and speaker channels around it now seems as if 1 of 2 B&W speakers is having an issue.

As usual I was blaming the new stuff first… :roll_eyes: