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Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 digital DAC

Discussion in 'audio' started by miero, May 9, 2017.

  1. MagnusH

    MagnusH Well-Known Member

    Once the clicking noise starts, they seem to go on. I can get back to no-clicking by pausing in Roon until the DAC is released (the blue star in Roon disappears), and then play again.
     
  2. gahabana

    gahabana Active Member

    hi @MagnusH, @JohnW,
    play-pause produces very very faint clicks on my setup ... so yes, if you do that a lot (play pause) it can get very annoying ... but it's really nothing compared to clicks i hear when sample-rate changes ....
    Am little disappointed that it takes such a long time to address that via FW upgrade, but JohnW am happy you are truly looking into it. I Don't know how any of the reviewers that gave it EISA award and who can hear big difference between MQA and nonMQA did not hear clicks between various materials ... ;) anyhow hopefully some muting will fix it and if it can't be done, ill really need to say farewall to cute awesome little box :(

    thank you !
     
  3. gahabana

    gahabana Active Member

    btw @JohnW - 1 out of 15 may or may not be livable for some... i want to drive amp directly and only if VOLUME of those clicks can always be much lower ... i can live with it (even 15 out of 15) but it always scares me that speakers/tweeters will die though i think 'pop' is short and should not do that and it's just annoying ... hopefully :)
     
  4. MagnusH

    MagnusH Well-Known Member

    I agree about the volume of the sample rate clicks, if I listen to music with low volume at night, those clicks can still be very loud, much louder than the music.

    I don't play-pause a lot, its just a convenient way to get to hear the clicks. They tend to show themselves between tunes, or after playing a while, without play/pause. That's how I heard them in the first place. But if the music is busy, they can be hard to hear so need calm music (soft acoustic for example).

    I am, like you, surprised that the reviews didn't mention this, or that this was news to John when we discovered them. I'm guessing that the first version (due to HW or SW changes) didn't have those clicks.
     
  5. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    Play/Pause should NOT change sample rate (if it does then its the problem with the source device) - and to be honest for most users it will not be an issue because most rarely change "BASE" sample rate.

    The DAC is not responsible for any clicks between Play / Pause - that the job of the Data being sent to the unit. The DAC does not Mute or in anyway process the DATA that would cause pops between silences (Play / Pause is just "zero" data).

    The ESS sample rate change is a BUG in the ESS DAC, we have mitigated the issue over the weekend.... hopefully we can improve further.
     
  6. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    We only drive Amps directly - and I feel its really its not such a problem as being made out - with the DAC's in use in the lab for over a past year and we have never notice the clicks.
     
  7. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    Do you realise I'm doing this for free? Pro-ect have not offered to pay us, also the issue appears related to an ESS design issue...

    I have 100 odd PFM'er about to kill me if I don't deliver some designs this side of Christmas - we have spent 3 days on the issue... Time I'm not paid for - nor can I afford!

    Pro-Ject have sold a significant number of these DAC's now, with very little complaint (your the only one to raise the issue) - I'm trying to be as helpful as I can and work on the issue when time allows (I simply don't have the time) :)
     
  8. MagnusH

    MagnusH Well-Known Member

    Ok, just to clarify, the DSD clicks are during music, and are very faint. I heard them first at start of tunes, when the music was soft. The play/pause trick just seem to trigger them so its easier to reproduce, but the clicks appear after you press play.

    These clicks are very different from clicks when changing sample rate, which occur when the DAC is not playing anything and are many times louder.
     
  9. Julf

    Julf Evil brother of Mark V Shaney

    Fair enough, but it kind of raises the issue of who is really responsible for what part of the design - what portion of the total design is your intellectual property that you are more or less responsible for, and how much is the intellectual property of chip and technology designers (like ESS)?
     
  10. MagnusH

    MagnusH Well-Known Member

    Well, I can't speak for other users, I would guess the majority is using the DAC together with Spotify and none of the issues discussed here applies. But there are issues for using the DAC for some, for me personally the DSD clicks are most serious (I up-sample everything to DSD to get improved sound, and as a work around for the sample-rate clicks).

    Obviously its the responsible of Pro-Ject to take responsible for what they sell, and I would think its in their interest to fix these issues for future sells and reviews. Maybe they should have a representative here we could speak to?

    Having said this, I think the DAC sounds fantastic (except the clicks :D ) and is a very feature packed and neat DAC, perfect for desktop use below the monitor.
     
  11. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    Dont get me wrong, I'll do our best to resolve any design issue with our designs - but I object to being told "I'm surprised at the time it takes" when we are doing this on our own backs.

    If this was a mass issue for Pro-Ject then for sure Pro-ject would approach us formally to work on the issue - its just not been a serious issue for them so far (DSD channel swap is stupid and needs to be corrected).

    edit:-

    Just spoken with Dustin the designer at ESS who has been very very helpful as usual (Thank you Dustin) :)

    Its is a confirmed bug with the IC, but there is a workaround that "should" resolve the issue, so as soon as I have Dustin's Email we will try it out - so there is hope :)
     
  12. MagnusH

    MagnusH Well-Known Member

    Ill take that bet, I have faith in ESS :eek:

    Ask them about the very faint clicks during DSD playback as well, maybe its a known issue for them.
     
  13. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    I did, and its not a known issue (so at this time unlikely) - if we can repeat it here in the lab its most likely the XMOS (as I cannot image we have the same software setup as your PC).

    But, we first need to see if we can recreate it...
     
  14. gahabana

    gahabana Active Member

    @JohnW,
    i had no idea that it is 'altruism' that drives you. Sorry about that.
    for what it matters, i did go to Pro-ject website few days after i purchased the DAC and i have submitted the issue (then i went on this forum).
    They haven't bothered to respond at all.
    You have and still do :)

    thank you for that !
     
  15. MagnusH

    MagnusH Well-Known Member

    I use Roon on Windows 10, and the faint clicks can be heard in soft parts of a DSD tune occasionally, but the pause-play-pause-play trick seems to trigger them (right after last play, I get many clicks). You need to listen to a quiet part of a tune though, or they will be hard to hear (the beginning of Telegraph Road by Dire Straits for example).

    I have asked Roon about it, for all I know this might be a Roon issue although I doubt its on all DACs or it would be a more known bug.
     
  16. MagnusH

    MagnusH Well-Known Member

    Same here, sent an email to them 2 weeks ago, no reply so far. And I could not find a support email, so I sent it to info@project-audio.com

    They really need to add some support channels (emails, forums).
     
  17. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    We have managed to replicate something similar (which is the first step) - we will now need to workout where the issue is...
     
  18. MagnusH

    MagnusH Well-Known Member

    Nice! Did you replicate them in Roon or some other player? If not in Roon, I can report it on the Roon forum so they don't need to bother about it.
     
  19. JohnW

    JohnW Trade: Lakewest

    We don't use Roon - so for sure its not a Roon issue.
     
  20. Julf

    Julf Evil brother of Mark V Shaney

    I totally understand - my point was more on the lines of how much you can actually do about the issue, and how much has to be done by people like ESS who are responsible for the technology.
     

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