iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020)
Processor Name:6-Core Intel Core i5
Processor Speed:3.3 GHz
L2 Cache (per Core):256 KB
L3 Cache:12 MB
OpSys: Mac Monterey 12.2.1
Music on 6TB external HD drive via USB 3
Google/Nest mesh (incoming 200 mbps speed)
I have tried the following – none of which solved it
A) iMac core->long USB cable (15 ft) → Gustard X16 DAC
B) Same as above but with better USB cable
C) iMac core → WiFi–> Raspi 3/DietPi → Short USB cable–>Gustard X16
d) iMac core → Ehernet–> Raspi4/Ropieee 2.2 → short USB cable → Gustard X16
Current configuration is D)
Occasionally, I get white noise when playing DSD. Usually it is DSD 64. I was pretty much convinced it was my USB cable and first bought better cables (twice) and then I went through the various setups above (A to D) without success. This never happens with MQA, FLAC, etc. Only DSD. Or DSD upsampling of FLAC, etc. If I switch to non DSD music - MQA, FLAC, etc…it works fine. If I switch to any DSD it pours out white noise again. If I turn the DAC power off and on, everything works again for a few days or weeks before it happens again.
Then I thought it was the DAC and I contacted the manufacturer. They sent me a new DAC with the latest firmware and it did the same thing.
I have tried various settings in Roon. Native and DSD over PCM and various resync delays.
Instead of playing DSD music from my library (on hard drive) I tried upsampling non-DSD files (CD quality from Tidal) to DSD using Roon. And I got white noise again.
When this happens - I can fix it in two ways. I can turn the DAC on and off or in the case of upsampling, switching to PCM rather than DSD works.
When it is fixed, I have no trouble playing any DSD for a while. Sometimes it works great for a week or two, but eventually it happens again.
I have a video showing this and can probably share via You Tube unless you can give me another way.
Then I searched the Roon community and several times white noise comes up with DAC makes other than Gustard (for instance Topping). Maybe the same chip? Don’t know. But that points to something other than the Gustard.
I know a few people on line with the same hardware setup as me (except the core computer) and have not had this problem and have the same Roon device settings as I have.
I have tried
DSD over DoP
Sync delays (several up to 4000)
Numerous different settings with upsampling.
WiFi vs ethernet vs direct USB
So what can it be? The iMac? I use the computer browser and the core at the same time frequently. I was going to buy a Mac Mini for a stand alone core but that’s getting expensive for a troubleshooting step.
UPDATE: I made a brief video of the problem here