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lpv's picture
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completely puzzled !!!
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Hi all.

Would you please watch this video I've made. I recently bought Rotel RA-11 with Kef Q300. I've posted some questions on this forum how to set up my amp and speakers to work with Macbook Pro. I'm completely puzzled with what I can here from the speakers. Here's the video to demonstrate 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhnZ7J8lSjQ&feature=youtu.be

Soud enhancer on mac is switched off, no equalizer, just bass +4 and trable +4 on Rotel ... and I'm getting this weird clipping on high and low frequencies. So last few days instead of enjoy the music I'm woried to even turn any music on. This is happening with majority of tracks. What I'm doing wrong?

I'm using new cables for speakers as well as new optical cable to connect mac with amp...

with the old, cheap and simple sony amp and speakers I could turn on sound enhancer on mac and do whatever I want with eq settings and never got any clippling/ distortion.. with rotel and kef I can't even think of sound enhancer to be on and need to be very carefull with eq in itunes.. in the best world just turn it off... but then the music sounds dull, lifeless... 

is it something faulty? any component of my new hi hi? 

it's not something I expected !

any help please? advice?

lpv's picture
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RE: completely puzzled !!!

sorry for my poor english Smile

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

Have you tried using the other optical input ont he Rotel?

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

Not sure what it is I should be listening for. Am I missing the distortion because it sounds like part of the song to me?

Does it happen at all volumes? How high do you have the volume. What happens when you turn bass and treble back to 0? I'm guessing it is due to a having the bass and treble turned up (shouldn't really be necessary) combined with having the volume too high (many modern amps I've used are at maximim volume by 12 o'clock on the dial, so may already be clipping at that point, especially if you've turned the tone controls up.

Stuff.

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

lpv wrote:

Hi all.

Would you please watch this video I've made. I recently bought Rotel RA-11 with Kef Q300. I've posted some questions on this forum how to set up my amp and speakers to work with Macbook Pro. I'm completely puzzled with what I can here from the speakers. Here's the video to demonstrate 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhnZ7J8lSjQ&feature=youtu.be

Soud enhancer on mac is switched off, no equalizer, just bass +4 and trable +4 on Rotel ... and I'm getting this weird clipping on high and low frequencies. So last few days instead of enjoy the music I'm woried to even turn any music on. This is happening with majority of tracks. What I'm doing wrong?

I'm using new cables for speakers as well as new optical cable to connect mac with amp...

with the old, cheap and simple sony amp and speakers I could turn on sound enhancer on mac and do whatever I want with eq settings and never got any clippling/ distortion.. with rotel and kef I can't even think of sound enhancer to be on and need to be very carefull with eq in itunes.. in the best world just turn it off... but then the music sounds dull, lifeless... 

is it something faulty? any component of my new hi hi? 

it's not something I expected !

any help please? advice?

It definitely sounds like clipping and is most likely amplifier related, rather than the Mac. Check settings in 'Audio Midi setup' first though (Applicatins>Utilities>Audio MIDI Setup).

You need to try and balance the computer system volume with the amp volume to eliminate it. Try increasing the iTunes and system volume to max and controlling the volume with the amp alone first. Next, then try controlling the volume from iTunes, with the 'Max' setting being at the loudest volume you are likely to listen at, this might for example be at the 09:00 position on the amp.

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

First of all... it happens all volumes. Volume goes up to 100. I've recorded this video on volume 10 settings. Same happening on second optical input. 

The clipping It is not part of the song. In ' Audio Midi Setup' I've got: 44,1 khz and 16 bit. I'm using optical input on my Rotel to take advantage of built in DAC. Connecting mac with amp this way I have to use toslink so I can't control mac volume because it's disabled when used with toslink. 

... but hang on.. Overdose - you're right ! turning down itines volume to about 75% helped !!!

invaluable help from what's hi fi forum !!!

Many thanks !

[ that's why I asked in first palce for help with connection and set up here] Smile

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

If you look on the itunes or Mac forums you will lots about the best settings.

 

Do you have this problem with spotify?

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

I'm not using Spotify so can't comment on that...

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

lpv wrote:

I'm not using Spotify so can't comment on that...

 

Free trial for 6 months. I had some clicking sounds on certain sites but none on spotify or if I play them via something like Windows Media player, that is on internet radio. 

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

Do you have another source you can connect by optical?  You really shouldn't have to turn the volume down in iTunes to stop the clipping sound.  I've had 4 different Macs connected by optical to various DACs, always with the iTunes volume at full, and never had this problem.

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

My first suggestion would be to play some music in another app. Don't do OSX so haven't a clue what. But that would rule out the computer and rule in a setting in itunes.

Then you can take it from there.

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RE: completely puzzled !!!
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RE: completely puzzled !!!

lpv wrote:

First of all... it happens all volumes. Volume goes up to 100. I've recorded this video on volume 10 settings. Same happening on second optical input. 

The clipping It is not part of the song. In ' Audio Midi Setup' I've got: 44,1 khz and 16 bit. I'm using optical input on my Rotel to take advantage of built in DAC. Connecting mac with amp this way I have to use toslink so I can't control mac volume because it's disabled when used with toslink. 

... but hang on.. Overdose - you're right ! turning down itines volume to about 75% helped !!!

invaluable help from what's hi fi forum !!!

Many thanks !

[ that's why I asked in first palce for help with connection and set up here] Smile

No, that is not correct. The volume control is digital and is system controlled whether you use the analogue or digital audio out through the headphone socket. It sounds like the DAC/preamp stage in the Rotel is the problem.

Try EQ in iTunes and set the amp tone controls to mid position. EQ on the fly until you get the sound you like, you can monitor for clipping at the same time.

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

 

I did connect cd transport via optical to amp so it uses rotel's amp internal DAC and there was no clipping. 

I did try Vlc and same problem as with itunes.. turning volume down in both players by 25% solved problem.. 

do you really think amp or dac may be faulty?

I did play with different eq settings but on some tracks even with eq off there's still lots of clipping when itunes volume is set to maximum.. 

one more thing - when used 3,5mm audio cable on mac end and amp line inputs ( bypassing rotel's DAC) there's no clipping and sound is lower quality

 

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

It am fairly sure now that the output from the Mac/iTunes is a touch too much for the Rotel and its preamp section is being overdriven. I had a similar problem in the past with an audio interface. iTunes must have less attenuation at higher settings, particularly on Macs and so will provide a signal higher than some preamps can handle.

Simply leave the iTunes at a predetermined volume below clipping and control the volume with the amp remote. This is probably the only way to solve the problem quickly, cheaply and easily.

Edit: Songbird is another media player for Mac OSX and it has a higher signal attenuation at max volume, so does not cause the clipping issue (at least it didn't for me). You could try it to eliminate the computer as a problem. At any rate, it's not really a fault, more a limitation that can be worked around.

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RE: completely puzzled !!!

thanks overdose ! that seems to be the best solution... I'll try songbird as well. 

now the amp and the speakers sound as they should Smile

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