NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions

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RafaPolit

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NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« on: 17 Nov 2017, 03:04 am »
Hey friends,

Received a new NuPrime uDSD today on the mail.

I hooked it up to my computer and my studio m-audio monitors (as well as some Incase headphones).

The sound is a clear improvement over my on-board audio (a nice Asus ROG Hero VII motherboard with Sonic Studio audio chipset).  Guitars sound considerably more natural (as opposed to the nasal quality of the on-board sound).  Everything has more separation: you can hear each independent instrument much clearer than with the on-board sound.  Really clear sound as reported in many places.

I have two questions / issues, one is really not a big issue, the other is really almost a deal breaker.

  • The first issue is that I was unable to accomplish DSD (either native or via DoP) from Windows 10 and Foobar 2000, no matter how many variations of the same tutorials I followed.  I know there have been driver issues with the recent windows updates, but I would have liked the option.  Nevertheless, I can live with PCM on my computer, I have my Rpi3 serving DSD to my DAC-10 / ST-10 combo for when I need the 'cleaner' format (as opposed to on-the-fly PCM conversion inside the computer.
  • The second issue though is really a problem, and I haven't read a single person with that issue on my research, so I may have gotten a defective unit:  both via the RCA connections AND the headphones, there is intermittent pink noise on the left channel.  With headphones (my headphones at least) it is only audible at the the 4 o'clock position and onwards, but via the RCA connections its obvious all the time, no  matter the computer volume (it seems self-generated). For the purpose of knowing if this was PC related or a 'native' issue to the uDSD I tried two other computers: a Linux laptop and an old Mac book Pro.  The noise is present in all of them, and, as I said, it is not dependent upon the volume: at 0 volume, or a 100% volume, it sounds the same.

Obviously, when music is sounding, the issue is barely noticeable... only on very quiet passages.  But for a PC 'sound card', everything needs to be dead silent until you  decide to put out some music, you cannot live with a shhhh, shhh, shhh, intermittent sound all the time until you start playing music.

Has anyone experienced this issue with the uDSD?  Any chance it will 'go away'? :(  I was really excited about the sound quality, but I am saddened about this issue.

At any rate, hope someone has good news to me regarding this issue!

Best regards,
Rafa.

Nidri17

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #1 on: 17 Nov 2017, 05:08 am »
My uDSD has never had a noise problem like you describe.
And since it's evident on different PC's,
I would ask for a replacement.

rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #2 on: 17 Nov 2017, 06:01 am »
Also no problem with DSD playback on uDSD.  To confirm whether it could have been your foobar setup, try JRiver Media Center and check the DAC's FAQ.
For the noise issue, try with another computer.

RafaPolit

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #3 on: 17 Nov 2017, 06:12 am »
For the noise issue, try with another computer.

I did!  :cry: 3 different computers with 3 different Os's: windows 10, Ubuntu 16 and Mac OSX, all with the same noise issue.

I'll try jMedia for the DSD.

Thanks,
Rafa.

RafaPolit

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #4 on: 17 Nov 2017, 12:59 pm »
Also: is the volume knob only supposed to control the headphone volume? I was hopping that it would control the back analog outputs as well, but it doesn't, back volume is controlled via the computer.  Is that how it is supposed to work?  That could be another indication of a faulty unit.

Thank for the info,
Rafa.

RafaPolit

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #5 on: 17 Nov 2017, 02:06 pm »
To confirm whether it could have been your foobar setup, try JRiver Media Center and check the DAC's FAQ...
I have done this, the blue button for DSD on the uDSD does indeed turn blue, but the output sound is constant, really LOUD noise from both channels.  Never a hint of music sound.

I have tried with all native values (1x, 2x, and 4x) as well as DoP with the ASIO driver configured without the DoP check, with the DoP check, with the most significant 24 bits checked and without it.  No combination produces any sound via DSD.

I am running out of options :(

Any further help is most appreciated!  Best regards,
Rafa.

slash71

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #6 on: 17 Nov 2017, 03:41 pm »
Also: is the volume knob only supposed to control the headphone volume? I was hopping that it would control the back analog outputs as well, but it doesn't, back volume is controlled via the computer.  Is that how it is supposed to work?  That could be another indication of a faulty unit.

Thank for the info,
Rafa.

no, the analog rca is separated output  not managed by volume knob ..

rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #7 on: 17 Nov 2017, 04:08 pm »
Are you saying that you are only experiencing problem play DSD? That is definitely due to the setup.
Please confirm. If it is just DSD play back, I will "walk" you through the JRiver settings.

slash71

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #8 on: 17 Nov 2017, 04:11 pm »

I have two questions / issues, one is really not a big issue, the other is really almost a deal breaker.

  • The first issue is that I was unable to accomplish DSD (either native or via DoP) from Windows 10 and Foobar 2000, no matter how many variations of the same tutorials I followed.  I know there have been driver issues with the recent windows updates, but I would have liked the option.  Nevertheless, I can live with PCM on my computer, I have my Rpi3 serving DSD to my DAC-10 / ST-10 combo for when I need the 'cleaner' format (as opposed to on-the-fly PCM conversion inside the computer.

sorry but I don't use windows/foobar anymore , but with HQP I was able to play any type of x4 DSD using uDSD


  • The second issue though is really a problem, and I haven't read a single person with that issue on my research, so I may have gotten a defective unit:  both via the RCA connections AND the headphones, there is intermittent pink noise on the left channel.  With headphones (my headphones at least) it is only audible at the the 4 o'clock position and onwards, but via the RCA connections its obvious all the time, no  matter the computer volume (it seems self-generated). For the purpose of knowing if this was PC related or a 'native' issue to the uDSD I tried two other computers: a Linux laptop and an old Mac book Pro.  The noise is present in all of them, and, as I said, it is not dependent upon the volume: at 0 volume, or a 100% volume, it sounds the same.

Obviously, when music is sounding, the issue is barely noticeable... only on very quiet passages.  But for a PC 'sound card', everything needs to be dead silent until you  decide to put out some music, you cannot live with a shhhh, shhh, shhh, intermittent sound all the time until you start playing music.

Has anyone experienced this issue with the uDSD?  Any chance it will 'go away'? :(  I was really excited about the sound quality, but I am saddened about this issue.

No , but I think is computer related noise ,  if you have one tray with another USB cable .. or with same source you can use with DAC10

RafaPolit

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #9 on: 17 Nov 2017, 05:27 pm »
Thanks for the answers, sorry if I havent been clear, as English is not my native language.

I have two separate problems.

------------------------------------
First: NOISE

- This is a mild but very hearable intermittent hisss, hisss, hisss on the left channel.
- This is present all the time, even when not playing any music, independent of format, OS or USB cable.
- This happens using both headphones or RCA output.
- The problem appears to be internal to the uDSD as it happens on THREE DIFFERENT COMPUTERS: one desktop PC with Windows 10, one Ubuntu laptop and one Mac Book Pro with Mac OSX, I have tried with two different USB cables.

So, it is not a problem with the computer, it is not a problem with the cable.  I can only infer it is a internal problem to the board.  I don't think its physical connections as it happens on both rear ports as well as headphones.

-------------------------------------

Second: DSD playback

I  agree this is probably configuration, but playing DSD with JRiver and all the configurations listed on the NuPrime PDF for DSD with JRiver (which by the way has an incorrect link on the new page design, I had to google it to find it) produces a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT type of noise: a very LOUD digital noise from both channels.  This is the typical noise of a DAC receiving a format it doesn't understand, just like when you send dolby signals to a PCM only device.  That type of noise. I would appreciate the walk through to have the proper configuration, although I am not a newbie in any way, I'm a software engineer, so please consider that the 'obvious' thing I may have probably already tried.  Of course, I could have missed something obvious.

------------------------------

There is very slim chance that both of this problems could be related and that the 'perpetual' mild noise is a residue of the same issue that is preventing the DSD from playing correctly, but I highly doubt it.

I could provide recordings of the different scenarios if it helps.

Thanks again, best regards,
Rafa.

RafaPolit

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #10 on: 17 Nov 2017, 05:53 pm »
Minor update:
I  hooked up the uDSD to my RPi3 configured for bit perfect audio and it does indeed play DSD, so the DSD issue is just a Windows configuration problem, which should not be an issue.

Still, the mild hshshs, hshshs, noise on the left channel is also present there (with a fourth computer and a differnt USB cable this time).

Rafa.

traver02

Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #11 on: 17 Nov 2017, 08:23 pm »
Hi,
very strange
I use the UDSD in a very simple setup

- laptop win 10
- 2 active speakers connected via rca
- no noise absolutely no nothing

i use 192Khz with Pianoteq to play classical music via a midi keyboard
works fine


rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #12 on: 22 Nov 2017, 10:11 pm »
Looks like you have a defective uDSD.  If I remember correctly, you got this free uDSD for writing the blog, email support@nuprimeaudio.com and I can ask the factory to send you another uDSD board (without the case or packaging).

triumph

Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #13 on: 3 Dec 2017, 05:55 am »
For the hiss thing. (sorry I'm late to the party...)

I noticed that when I first connect the USB cable to the uDSD, and it starts up, there is a hiss happening as it "boots up" (?).

So, I would venture that, apart from a defective unit, it might be a defective USB cable, or connection on the ports, especially an intermittent fluctuation on the 5v power through the USB cable, so the unit is constantly power down and up... maybe not enough to shut down completely, but cycle.

Before sending the unit away, try a different USB cable, and USB port and see if the situation is resolved or not.

Jeff

RafaPolit

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Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #14 on: 3 Dec 2017, 02:53 pm »
Thanks Jason for all the diligence with helping me get a working board.

The replacement board arrived on Friday, but I was not able to install it till yesterday.  I am happy to report that the new board has none of the symptoms I described for the first!  Dead silent with no noise all the way up to the highest headphone marks, and no noise through the back RCA terminals.  So all the problems are solved, and I have a nice sounding uDSD.

I was surprised to see that the replacement board hasn't got the golden USB B port, and the back panel is also printed differently, with (apparently) different brand back terminals.  This is more a curiosity rather than a problem.

A minor question: Can both parts of the board be just 'pulled apart' to replace the back panel with the one that came with the unit, or is there something soldered between the two boards?


...I noticed that when I first connect the USB cable to the uDSD, and it starts up, there is a hiss happening as it "boots up" (?)... Before sending the unit away, try a different USB cable, and USB port and see if the situation is resolved or not.

Jeff, as noted in previous posts, the issue happens with 3 different cables on 4 different computers, so no, that was not the issue at all.  Replacing the board with the same USB cable and USB port presents none of the issues. Thanks.

Best regards,
Rafa.

rustydoglim

Re: NuPrime uDSD first impressions and questions
« Reply #15 on: 6 Dec 2017, 04:47 pm »
For uDSD type of product, everything is soldered onto the board (especially the connectors) and the case just covers it.
Even on such a small board, there are hundreds of parts on it. From time to time, we replace the parts suppliers.
It is uncommon, but a small parts could be defective and not caught during production (where measurements all passed).