USB DAC Stuttering / Freezing

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Windows 10
Dell XPS 13 (2019, 16gb ram, Intel i7-8565U, plugged in)
Roon 1.7 (511, 64bit)

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

WiFi

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Topping DX3 Pro DAC (USB - brand new!)

Description Of Issue

Hi,

I’m having a problem since adding a USB DAC to my Roon system. The audio breaks up fairly regularly (say 1-2 per album). Often, it just stutters and resumes playing. Sometimes it stops completely and I have to manually restart the track.

Other audio applications on my system (MediaMonkey, Foobar, VLC) don’t seem to present this problem.

I’m not sure if there’s a way to generate a log for someone to look at?

I suspect it’s something to do with Windows 10 set-up not prioritising audio output via USB? (I never had this problem using system output or Chromecast Audio.) But as it only happens in Roon, I wonder if there’s a way to get them to play nice?

The system is well stocked for RAM. CPU and memory use in Task Manager tend to top out at 50%, with CPU usually at about 20%.

Thanks.

Hello @bjg,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your report!

I have a few thoughts/questions:

  • What kind of media exhibits this behavior? Are you playing local library tracks, TIDAL tracks? Does this occur only with specific sample rates/bit-rates?

  • Have you tried using a different USB cable connecting to the DAC yet? Sometimes USB cables are defective so it’s good to rule this one out.

  • What does your Signal Path look like when this issue occurs? Can you please share a screenshot?

Hi @noris,

Thanks for the speedy reply.

Sorry, I meant to add these details last night on my original post but got distracted!

  • Yeah, I’m mostly playing local tracks – 90% 44.1 / 16 FLAC, some 320kbps mp3s and a TIDAL album every now and then. It doesn’t seem to matter.
  • Yeah, I’ve tried using different cables and ports. I even bought a USB-C to USB-B plug to go directly into the DAC (which came supplied with an older plug that had to go through my USB-C hub). Again, no difference.
  • And, signal path:
    image

HI @bjg,

Thanks for confirming the above. Let’s take a look at diagnostics next.

Before I go ahead and enable diagnostics mode for your account, can you please reproduce this behavior a few times and note the exact local time + date + track this issue occurs on?

E.g. Played Dark Side of the Moon at 12:51PM on 2/14/20 and it had stutters

Ok. Will do.

1 Like

Hi Noris,

I’ve noted a few hiccups…

14/2/20
8:01PM - Stutter - Vladislav Delay - Huone (FLAC)
10:01PM - Stutter - King Krule - Supermarche (MP3)
10:32 - Stutter - King Krule - Underclass (MP3)

15/2/20
11:57AM - Stutter - Tennis - Need Your Love (TIDAL)

17/02/20
12:33PM - Stuttered & Stopped - Bohren - Patchouli Blue (FLAC)

Thanks

1 Like

Hi @bjg,

Thanks for letting me know those timestamps. I have activated diagnostics mode for your Core and what this action does is automatically upload a log-set to our servers for analysis.

I can confirm that the logs have been received and I have requested analysis on the logs from the technical team. As soon as I have further information to share, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Also, although I don’t think it will affect your case specifically here, we just released a new version of Roon, please try upgrading to the latest one and if there’s any change in behavior do let me know, thanks!

Thanks! Updating now…

Hi @bjg,

Was there by any chance any change in behavior with the latest update?

I spoke to the technical team regarding your logs and we are seeing the following traces in your logs:

02/17 14:08:55 Trace: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] [lua@000000001CF5B268] [127.0.0.1:60430]  SENT [14] {"time":241986000,"status":"Success"}
02/17 14:08:55 Trace: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] [output/wasapi] [5- DX3 Pro] starting playback: now (200000000ns) + ns_per_buf(100000000) = 300000000ns > 241986000ns streamsample=0
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 3459 samples at 15390000 [2]
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15393459 [2]
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15397869 [2]
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15402279 [2]
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15406689 [2]
02/17 14:14:44 Trace: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] [lua@000000001CF5B268] [127.0.0.1:60430]  SENT [13] {"samples":21099,"status":"Dropout"}
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15411099 [2]
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15415509 [2]
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15419919 [2]
02/17 14:14:44 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15424329 [2]
02/17 14:14:45 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15428739 [2]
02/17 14:14:45 Trace: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] [lua@000000001CF5B268] [127.0.0.1:60430]  SENT [13] {"samples":22050,"status":"Dropout"}
02/17 14:14:45 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15433149 [2]
02/17 14:14:45 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15437559 [2]
02/17 14:14:45 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15441969 [2]
02/17 14:14:45 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15446379 [2]
02/17 14:14:45 Warn: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] dropout of 4410 samples at 15450789 [2]
02/17 14:14:45 Trace: [RAAT::DX3 Pro] [lua@000000001CF5B268] [127.0.0.1:60430]  SENT [13] {"samples":22050,"status":"Dropout"}

Roon is trying to send the audio to your DX3 zone, but the device appears to be dropping these packets.

Furthermore, we did a bit of investigation into this DAC and from the online sources we found, you are not the only one with similar issues regarding this DAC:

Topping is not a Roon Tested/Roon Ready DAC, and we don’t have this device in-house to confirm similar behavior on our end, so I would suggest that you reach out to Topping support as well and ask for their assistance regarding this issue.