Distortion in playback

Roon Core Machine

SonicTransporter i7 CDR gen 3 (new)

Networking Gear & Setup Details

(LAN cable) → Linksys LGS 108-AP internet switch → (LAN cable) → ultraRendu

Connected Audio Devices

Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt directly into ultraRendu

Number of Tracks in Library

10,000 tracks

Description of Issue

As I play music I get about 2 seconds of distortion each 2:10 or 3:40 (usually). The distortion only happens when I play music, and it sounds to me to be distortion of the music rather than noise superimposed onto the music. It happens both for playing music from the pre-installed internal hard drive and for internet radio. There is no noise if I pause the music.
The switch, LAN cables and audio cable are all new, and this is a new setup of the SonicTransporter/ulraRendu. The dragonfly cobalt DAC works fine with my iMac and headphones.
Can you tell anything from logsd, or do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

Hi @Hermie_Doering

Welcome to the Roon Community Forum.

I’m just a fellow Roon user but like to help where I can.

It’d be interesting to see a screenshot of your signal path.

Hi Menzies,

Thanks for that. Nothing untoward there.

As it’s classical music, could it be happening when the music is at louder sections of the music. I’m thinking clipping is the issue.

One way to see this clipping is to enable headroom in the DSP settings for your endpoint, but set it to 0 and activate the ‘show clipping in the signal path’.

Thanks for looking at this. It’s definitely not clipping, as it also happens during quiet periods of the music, and it is very regular, favouring 2:10 and 3:40 between bursts of noise. I have an mp4 of the sound, but I can’t attach it.
My feeling is that it has to do with buffering of the data stream, but I don’t understand enough to take the next step.

You’re not going to get clipping with no DSP active, which looking at signal path its not using any.

In the device settings for the zone you can adjust the USB buffer to see if it helps. You should not have to with a Dragonfly they are pretty plug and play. Do you only get this when using Roon from the Rendu ?

This is a new set up, and I have only used Roon. I’m not even sure how to try anything else, as my only goal was to play files using Roon.

It was. just a question to rule out if the issue is Roon or the playback gear.

Plug the Cobalt into you iMac and connect to your normal system. Play Roon to the iMac as of it were an endpoint.

Then plug the Cobalt in to the SonicTransporter i7 CDR gen 3 and connect to your normal system.

This will rule out or confirm a few things.

I’ve connected the Cobalt directly to the SonicTransporter, and the noises are gone. I guess the ultraRendu is defective, and I’ll get it replaced.
Here is the signal path now:

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