Glitches and huge distorsion with RCA outputs on my Bartok


I have a transient issue with my Bartok (latest updates made in late December 2020).

When I power it on in dac/pre-amp mode, I sometimes hear glitches coming from its RCA outputs to the rest of my system, up to the loudspeakers.
Those glitches arise at the same time the M clock icon appears on the front panel, whether I’ve selected the USB or NETWORK inputs.
When I hit this issue, I just cannot use the Bartok at all, as the music played suffers huge distorsion.
I then have to power-it off and on again, until the “glitches at clock sync” disappears.
I can then put it on hold and wake it up for days, without hitting the issue again. It only appears after I completely switch it off (either by using the power button on the back, or by holding a few seconds the power button on the front).

Thanks for your help, and regards,


Erwan, looking at our other queries here it looks like you have something fundamentally wrong with your set up and/or how you have configured Bartok.

Could you give us a description of your system and how you have connected Bartok to it and the configuration settings you have made with Bartok.


The Bartok is out of the box, at its latest updates :

It is configured with its outputs in 2v, and F6 filter for 44.1kHz and F2 filter for 96kHz.
All the rest is default but the crossfeed setting I change quite often.

The Bartok is connected via Ethernet to an Orbi satellite, and via USB to a Mac Mini using Roon 1.7 (build 710). A Synology NAS with plenty of music is also connected to the same Network.

Bartok’s RCA outputs are connected to a McIntosh C70 preamp.
My main headphone is a Meze Empyrean connected to the balanced output on the front panel.

I’m having the issue while booting either on Ethernet or USB.
I tried disconnecting the USB and only keeping the Ethernet cable (resp disconnecting the Ethernet and only keeping the USB cable) and still hit the issue 1 time out of 5 on average.




I know that MESH networks have caused difficulties for some users in the past . I am no expert on networks so I can go no further but others may be able to offer advice.

As the issue can happen just connected with USB, Network cable being totally unplugged from the Bartok, the Mesh network isn’t the path to investigate here IMHO…

Ouch. This sounds awful!

You mention the Bartok’s RCA outputs — would be interesting to try some XLR-RCA adapters and run the Bartók from its balanced outputs and see if the problem happens there too. A pain in the arse, but it feels like a decent troubleshooting step at least. And since your problem sounds like it recurs often enough you might get some results quite quickly.

I was actually using XLR, but the sound was dull and moody from time to time (no bass).
Then I switched to RCA, and discovered that glitch issue (somewhat hidden from the XLR, producing a dull sound instead ???)…

Hmm. Interesting that you don’t get the same problem over XLR. Perhaps it’s a problem with the single-ended outputs.

The balanced outputs shouldn’t sound bad, though. The Bartok as a whole shouldn’t sound bad!

There’s something’s up with your system somewhere, Erwan! I’m not quite sure where to take it next, but it would probably involve a call to the dealer. I hope they’ll be more helpful than they were about tags. “Shorten the tags” is a rubbish approach.

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Erwan…I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but are you going RCA to RCA, and not RCA to XLR? Occasionally RCA to XLR can upset a system.