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Arcam rPac troubles

Hey. I'm new to the forums and in fact to Hi-Fi equipment. I've just started a setup of my own, spending much more than I'd initially planned. Anyway - I bought a Marantz PM6004, Monitor Audio BX2's and an Arcam rPac (ran out of money for a turntable). 

 

So far everything is sounding pretty damn good. The rPac however lets out a one second burst of static then cuts out when I change applications on my mac or when nothing is playing. The only way to then get it to work again is unplug it and plug it back in (it's usb powered).

This isn't a problem with the DAC exactly, I can run sound out through soundflower software on my computer with no trouble but using the standard ouput settings or using bitperfect it's prone to these cut outs. I can't take the DAC back as it obviously isn't faulty (works fine under windows too). I'm not sure what could be causing the problem though, there are very few options when setting up the DAC. it's just a box and the only mac settins are sample rate settings which don't make a difference to the cutting out.

Thought I should try asking you guys just to see if you had any suggestions as to what it could be or similar problems that you found solutions to. I uninstalled soundflower and tried that, apart from that I can't think of any software i have that would affect sound outupt.

 

Thanks for any help.

Anonymous
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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

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Anonymous
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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Hi,

I am getting similar cut-outs and found this on Amazon:

Coming from a Fiio E10, I needed a second DAC-Headphone amplifier and an upgrade. I found the upgrade as this thing sounds amazing, but it has two problems: Occassionally, quite often it stops playing after a somewhat electric sounding cut-off. Also, rarer, it starts a quick toc-toc-toc sound. In both cases, unplugging and plugging again the usb cable fixes the problem. Firmware issues? I don't know, if it goes on I'll have to contact Arcam, not very easy as I live in Greece...
After advice from commentors, problem solved. It was a matter of not enough USB power. Change of port and cable, and everything went smooth. Very happy with it!

I am going to try swapping ports, or buying a powered usb hub to plug it into.

Anonymous
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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Just to add some more info:  I check and I had a USB-powered hard drive also plugged into my Mac.  I ejected it, and since that point I have not been able to make the rpac cut out.  Before I could make it cut out within a couple of minutes just by clicking between different tracks or sources.  Will report back if this changes!

P.S. I swear it even sounds better, too!

Anonymous
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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Hmm I was considering getting one of these for my Mac and I do have an external USB hard-drive (two, in fact). Which model of hard-drive are you using?

Anonymous
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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Unfortunately I have that unplugged now and still having trouble with cut-outs.

It seems the advice is (if this happens) to run it off a powered USB hub:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R14OV6L5FACNQS

I'll try this and see if it works for me.

Edit: maybe I should have started there, but having looked on the Arcam website, they talk about this problem at the end of the FAQ:

http://www.arcam.co.uk/_ugc/file/tor_files/common/Arcam_DAC-FAQ_iss3.pdf

 

Anonymous
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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

I use one of the front USBs on my PC and the rPac works a treat. Previously it kept cutting out on most of the rear ones......

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Has anyone got any suggestions for a decent powered USB hub from an iMac to the rPac?

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

I've spent a while on this. I found that the rPAC works fine with Foobar2000 but not Spotify, so established it's a software issue.  I have done a lot of web research and testing.

Here's what fixed it for me:

Having played around with a lot of things I have found that updating Realtek drivers for the HD audio built into my ASUS netbook and main laptop (Acer) using the ones from Realtek (latest) rather than those approved by ASUS/Acer, disabling all internal audio devices and running Spotify in High Priority fixes it.

 The audio devices must be disabled under "System Devices" in device manager rather than only under "Sound, Video and Game Controllers" for this to work.

This problem is reported with other USB DACs and doesn't always result in complete crash of the USB DAC, it can be popping and clicking and all sorts of things can cause it but usually it's misbehaving drivers. However, which drivers is variable though anecdotal evidence based on forum scouting suggests clashes with Realtek drivers are common.  To track down problems checking the machines latency is a good idea. I used DPC Latency Checker.

If you want to automate Spotify (or any other player causing issues) in high priority it's enough by creating a batch file with the command:

Start "Spotify" /high "C:\[location of spotify]\Spotify\spotify.exe"

If you want Spotify to open on startup then uncheck the box in the preferences to do that and instead and the .bat file to the startup folder under the start menu.

I had to do all three things to sucessfully remove the issue. The Realtek drivers were causing all sorts of latency issues actually. You may not have Realtek.

It's a shame that the rPAC crashes completely, other DACs seem to just give noises which is also annoying. Can ARCAM update firmware? I don't know.

Good luck, it worked for me.

MG

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Just wondering if anyone here came up with a definitive answer to this rPac problem.

I bought mine at Christmas and it's been cutting out ever since then, randomly. I've emailed Arcam 3 times and never got a reply (great customer service Arcam) I still have the problem and I've tried everything to solve it. Mines running on an iMac, 2011 model by the way. Tried all the USB ports, with and without other stuff plugged in and on a powered hub, albeit a cheap one. 

What little I've managed to find out online is that the problem does exist for a few other people, going by the reviews I've seen on Amazon customer reviews and even a full review by a tester came across the problem when using Spotify. 

It would seem that not everyone has the problem and not all computers all the time, just some computers some of the time. 

I think pretty much everyone agrees, it does a great job at improving the sound but in my case at least, thats only when it works and I'm getting very furustrated with the bloody thing.  

Please can anyone help

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

I had the very same problem with my rPAC! Firstly, Arcam support are absolutely dreaful and should be ashamed to call themselves support. I chased them several times for a reply to my e-mails and their suggestions were utterly moronic when I finally did get a reply. Anyway, after much fiddling, I arrived at the conclusion this was to do with USB power. I mainly use my rPAC at work so I don't get any say in the computer I use so I tried various arrangements of USB ports and the other devices I had plugged in until a colleague suggested I try plugging the rPAC into my monitor, which has a built-in powered USB hub. Problem solved! Haven't had it cut out on me once ever since until I plugged it into a new laptop I bought for home which has USB 2.0 ports on the right hand side and USB 3.0 on the left. It would cut out continually on the USB 2.0 ports but never has with the USB 3.0 ports.

Hope that helps!

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Right, it would seem powered USB hubs are the answer. I've got a cheap ebay one already.

I'll get a decent Belkin or DLink one to go with that and give it a try.

And thanks Smile

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

I have had the same problem too; no response frm Arcam to two emails so have just telephoned them. They are aware of the problem and seem to think it is an Apple issue rather than a fault with the unit. Not sure whetehr to buy a powered USB hub as a solution as suggestewd here or sell the rPAC on and get a different usb style DAC. I seem to be listening to more music whilst working on the MAC that I might put some better hifi kit onto it. Shame about this arcam unit though and the lack of Arcam response.

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Just so you know. I've got an iMac plugged into the rPac connected to a Marantz PM6004 feeding a pair of Q Acoustics 2010i speakers. It's in a very small room/home office and when it's working it sounds great.

Since plugging it into the powered USB hub which is a very cheap no name one, the problems have largely gone and it works fine, most of the time. But not all the time. Still there is a random cut out from time to time. I'm going to buy a better hub which I'm hoping will cure the problem. 

Interesting that Arcam say they are aware of a problem and it's an Apple problem, not theirs. Does that mean rPacs are incompatible with Macs? or more accurately Macs are incompatible with rPacs. If so, surely they should say that to their customers?

 

 

 

 

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

Given that a Pc user has stated that he had problems, I'd say that the issue is not entirely isolated to Macs.

It seems that the rPac is very sensitive to the USB power voltage. If a USB port power is shared with another, then there might be power issues, enough even to upset the DAC it would seem.

If it doesn't work, then it is not fit for purpose and if the issue is definitively with Apple Macs, Arcam should state this officially to warn customers of the problem.

In any case, a refund is required.

Try an Epiphany E-DAC instead. They don't have the same reported problems.

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RE: Arcam rPac troubles

If I remember over the weekend I'll try it on a compaq laptop running Windows 7 and see whether the same problem occurs. I agree that if they (Arcam) know it is a problem occurring moire frequently with Macs  then potential customers should be informed of that.  I sent two emails to Arcam asking for some assistance and recieved no aknowledgement at all; that is either routinely poor or they didn't want to admit to a particular problem.

I'll send another email to Arcam  I think copying in the list of comments and complaints relating to this on the amazon site and see their response.

 

 

 

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