High frequency distortion

This is an odd one. Using Vivaldi DAC/Upsampler/Clock fed by Roon (local USB files), EtherREGEN switch, pair of Shunyata Omega cables. DAC feeds Spectral pre to Spectral mono blocks to Wilson Alexia 2 speakers. Recently playing music I will notice a “tizzy” high frequency sound from say a string section. That got my attention! For example at about 5 minutes into the 1st movement of Beethoven’s 4th symphony, Thielemann conducting.

Thought to look into Roon server (Nucleus) as the possible culprit. Checked it and replayed but same symptoms.

On the assumption that if it were only noticed for such a narrow frequency band, maybe it had to do with this 48k 24bit conversion. So, I powered off/on the Upsampler. When I replayed the track it returned to “normal”. Not only was the apparent tizzy sound gone but the overall playback was smoother/quieter/musical.

Any idea how restarting the Upsampler may have “fixed” things? Are there means available to take snapshots of the system (Upsampler)? Maybe trap/trace? What I should have noted at the time was anything that was out of the ordinary shown on the Upsampler’s display.

Hi Steve,

Thank you for sharing the details of this issue you’ve experienced.

Has this issue reoccurred at all?

Also, can you describe how you have your Clock configured?

Best regards,

Not since I restarted the Upsampler. The Vivaldi Clock is configured as follows:

AC / Dither Group 1 Dither Group2 (both enabled) / RS232 Mode T

I have been using a Cybershaft OP21A master clock as reference for a year without any issues.

In checking with my dealer they are not surprised that I had such a problem. Their advice in future when I detect any similar playback problems is to restart all dCS devices in the stack.

What is a USB file ? Do you mean that your Nucleus running Roon Core is connected to Vivaldi upsampler by USB.? Network connection is preferable.

Sorry for my poor choice of word construction. The Roon Nucleus has 2 USB ports. I have two 8 TB drives, each of which is attached to one of these ports. The drives house all my music. The Roon Nucleus is wired via Ethernet cable (Shunyata Omega) to the etherREGEN switch which in turn is wired out via another Omega Ethernet cable to the Vivaldi Upsampler.

Thanks for the clarification.

This may or may not have relevance for your issue but I ran a system for some years relying upon external USB HDD drives for storage. I found that the drives could impact the resulting sound ( string sound being a major consideration for me). In no particular order three factors affected this. The first being brand of drive, second the power supply for 3.5" drives and finally the cable connecting drive to computer. For most external drives the cable as supplied is the cheapest that the manufacturer can get away with. Unfortunately mini USB 3 to USB A is not a configuration that most audiophile cable brands cater for though Audioquest do make one using their Carbon wire. I found it pretty good in practice. 2.5" portable drives powered via the USB 5 volt bus resulted in sound that was nigh on unlistenable IMO.

I suspect I am courting " it can’t make any difference, it is just delivering data files" responses. Unfortunately my now quite extensive experience does not support this view.

Understand your points and I have been using Western Digital 8TB drives which are not only running at lower RPM but are exceedingly quiet. As for USB cables I’ve had good success with both WireWorld and Cardas Micro to USB-A. And though using WD power supplies I’ve at least got these plugged into a Shunyata power conditioner to minimize noise. I had initially used a Synology NAS for storage but found directly attached drives both quieter and easier to manage. I keep multiple backups, so drive failure is not a concern.

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Silence was also a major factor for me when I switched to using a Melco as NAS . I too keep multiple backups - it has to be the best policy.