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maxpain's picture
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Faulty dac or faulty files?

Hello to everyone! A couple of months ago I upgraded my soundcard to a suposely much better one with great reviews and testings,advertised for its great dac and snr...good op pamps etc...But when I installed it on my pc...I started to mention something strange. I am playing music through asio,the soundcard its connected with rca cables to the logiteck z 5500 (a I am going to upgrade to an amplifier and some real stereo speakers soon but for now thats my seutp).Anyway when I am playing mostly mp3's but some flacs too...there seems to be some kind of distortion on the sound...like the sound the old radio does when you don't have the knob in the right stations but somewhere between.That doesent happen with all the music files and it doesent happen when I am listening music with internet radio or watching a movie on my pc.If the soundcard was fautly would be doing this in every sound that would came out of it wouldnt it? Do you think that its maby my speakers that doesnt play along with the soundcard?Could be the mp3's and its poor quality?Or can my soundcard being faulty maby doesent work on some frequecnies? Thank you in advanced for your answers...

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

Go to the manufactures website and download the latest drivers to see if this fixes the problem.

Make sure you are not sending too high an output to your speakers thus overloading their input. (Most speakers have their own volume control, so set it one third up then adjust the PC volume to give a nice balanced level)

Try another set of speakers if possible.

If the above still fails, there is probably a forum that relates to the manufactures products, so have a look through there or post the question on it.

Hope this helps

Bill

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

Thank you for your reply,I have tried to update my drivers.I forgot to mention that when I am lowering the sound level on my player (Foobar) this problem dissapears if I reduce the volume on -3 or -5 db.If i reduce the volume using the speakers knob the problem is still there.What do you mean by hight output? You mean not to have foobar at 100%? If this is the case why that doesent happen with all my music or movies but just with some mp3s and flacs? Do you think that this problem will go away with better speakers?

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

A good quality sound card will usually give a higher output signal than a cheaper one, and they can sometimes overload consumer grade amplified speakers. (That reducing the level in foobar solves the problem confirms this)

You will unlikely to be using foobar for watching films etc., so the output of these will probably be lower by default. (Hence you get no problem with them)

A pro quality active speaker system will solve the problem, but as you can pre-set the volume in foobar to -3db or less, then I wouldn’t worry about it.

Hope this helps

Bill

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

It really helps! Thank you...I was starting to think that my soundcard is problematic.This happens when I am playing music from youtube too.Can this overloading damage the spears?

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

maxpain wrote:

I forgot to mention that when I am lowering the sound level on my player (Foobar) this problem dissapears if I reduce the volume on -3 or -5 db.If i reduce the volume using the speakers knob the problem is still there.

This sounds like the sound card may be clipping at high volume settings for some reason. I'm not sure what could be causing this problem but it shouldn't be happening. It might be worth contacting the soundcard manufacturer to see what they say.

 

Have you tried a different music player to Foobar? Do you still hear the distortion with Windows Media Player or iTunes?

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

maxpain wrote:

Can this overloading damage the spears?

An audio signal that's clipping will damage speakers at a much lower volume than an audio signal that's not clipping. This is because a clipping signal causes the amplifier to supply a brief DC current to the speakers instead of the usual AC current which you normally get with music. DC current burns out the voice coil in the speakers much easier than AC current does.

 

Your speakers should be fine so long as you keep the Logitech speaker volume low when you hear the clipping distortion. Be carful not to turn them up whenever the signal is clipping though.

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

abacus wrote:

A good quality sound card will usually give a higher output signal than a cheaper one, and they can sometimes overload consumer grade amplified speakers. (That reducing the level in foobar solves the problem confirms this)

I don't think this is the problem. It sounds like the signal is clipping not the speakers amplifer. From what maxpain describes the sound is still distorted even when the Logitech speaker volume is turned down (see post 2). The clipping only stops when the audio into the soundcard is reduced which suggests that the problem is caused by the soundcard or software.

 

abacus wrote:

A pro quality active speaker system will solve the problem, but as you can pre-set the volume in foobar to -3db or less, then I wouldn’t worry about it.

I disagree. If the signal is clipping then you will continue to have the same problem no matter what amp/speaker you use.

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

I used to own some Logitech Z5500 speakers. They have 500 watts and go bloody loud before they start destorting. There's no lack of dynamic headroom with these speakers.

 

ps Sorry for the multiple posts. I ment to click 'edit' but pressed the 'quote' button by mistake. :doh:

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

Thank you very much for your multiple and very explaining posts! The truth is that I havent tried other spears to see if they are clipping too. But I have tried other software and it has the same resaults. The most strange thing is..that this ''clipping'' sound is there only for a few songs...and...it in some cases...it can differ with two different versions of the same songs.I have the same song..both in 2 mp3 versions..one is clipping the other is not. But if it was the soundcards fault..wouldnt that be with every sound that was producing? How can it play movies and games very smoothly..and doing that only when I play some songs? I can hear metallica at 100% in foobar and preety loud on my speakers without any clipping at all..but when I am listenin to jonh lennon's imagine...there is the ''clipping''...i have noticed that this sounds are there mostly when it comes to piano rickordings...its strage for sure!

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

I would be very surprised if it was the sound card clipping as the drivers manage the card so that it can’t. (Hence the reason I said to make sure he has the latest drivers)

If you overload the amplifier in the speakers by putting too much signal into the pre-amp section then this will cause the distortion mentioned. (The way a computer sound card handles volume is totally different to how a Hi Fi Amplifier handles volume, hence you cannot impose one methodology on another)

I have been working with computers and sound for years, and the description given matches the observations in my first post. (Another set of speakers with a higher input rating (As are most pro speakers) will also solve the problem as the sound card will not overload the input)

Hope this helps

Bill

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

I am using the native asio drivers that my card has. My card is the Auzentech x-meridian 2g...unforetunately the company company is closded (i think) and the site is dead so I cant really download any newer drivers...I have the lastest wich are 2 years old.But I tought that asio are seperate drivers that their purpose is to bypass the windows kmixer and the soundcards drivers. So I did some experimenting and I played the same music file with foobar and with bsplayer...(wich i play my movies)..and the resault was clipping again with bs player too.But if it is my soundcard that is clipping..is there anything that I can to except turning down the volume in the player?

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

maxpain wrote:

Thank you very much for your multiple and very explaining posts! The truth is that I havent tried other spears to see if they are clipping too. But I have tried other software and it has the same resaults. The most strange thing is..that this ''clipping'' sound is there only for a few songs...and...it in some cases...it can differ with two different versions of the same songs.I have the same song..both in 2 mp3 versions..one is clipping the other is not.

If the distortion was on the recording it wouldn't disappear when you lower the volume on Foobar.

 

maxpain wrote:
...But if it was the soundcards fault..wouldnt that be with every sound that was producing? How can it play movies and games very smoothly..and doing that only when I play some songs? I can hear metallica at 100% in foobar and preety loud on my speakers without any clipping at all..but when I am listenin to jonh lennon's imagine...there is the ''clipping''...i have noticed that this sounds are there mostly when it comes to piano rickordings...its strage for sure!

Perplexing.  :?

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

abacus wrote:
If you overload the amplifier in the speakers by putting too much signal into the pre-amp section then this will cause the distortion mentioned. (The way a computer sound card handles volume is totally different to how a Hi Fi Amplifier handles volume, hence you cannot impose one methodology on another)

I have been working with computers and sound for years, and the description given matches the observations in my first post. (Another set of speakers with a higher input rating (As are most pro speakers) will also solve the problem as the sound card will not overload the input)

Hope this helps

Bill

Ahh yes. I see what you mean now.

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

Hehe...well..I guess hardware and software has their own ''unexplained'' things...I am going to try some other speakers...I am goind to download other drivers...but in the end if it doesent work out...I am going to selte for -5 db in foobar untill I get a new dac.One last thought I had is the possibility...that becaouse the logitechs has no tweeter...they are lacking very bad in the midrange...so could this be due to the dynamic range of the speakers? Again its just a thought.

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RE: Faulty dac or faulty files?

Yes it would be worth borrowing some other speakers to see if it fixes the problem. What abacus says does make sense, although it's a problem that I've never come across before myself with soundcards in the past.

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