Scarlatti shows "no input" message issue


My friend own a Scarlatti DAC and a CD/SACD transport. I helped him to solve an issue but no success. On Saturday, at power on the DAC shows “no input” message and no way to make it connect to the transport. As he is not easy with English I post here hoping for support to sort out of this issue.

We checked cables for loose connections at first, then made a factory reset but no change. We navigate in the menu and click on the “signal generator” but no sound. The DAC is already packed and ready to be sent for repair.

Any ideas to sort out of this issue before the sending of the DAC for repair? It is silly not to have music during Xmas…


Vincent from France (Bordeaux)

If you haven’t already done so, please check with some other transports too.

There are several issues that can cause this.

To try to help we need further information though. The multi box dCS processors have numerous modes of connection and other features such as various synch modes.This makes a diagnosis by messages difficult.

Is the Scarlatti something recently acquired by your friend from the used market or has it been working fine until this issue arose? If it is a used pair , do you have the user manuals?

How are the transport and DAC connected? Are both dual AES and IEEE1394 ( firewire) interconnects in place? Has the correct incoming source interconnect been selected using the DAC front panel menu?

Is the transport the only source connected? If not what else is used?

Can you see from the transport’s front panel display if it is reading CDs or SACDs ? If yes to the latter will it read both SACD and SACD hybrid discs?

What synch mode has been selected ( see DAC front panel display)? If “M” has been selected for synch mode on DAC , has the required wordclclock cable between DAC and transport been fitted?

It may be a fault that requires return for service e.g. given the age of the transport . However it could just be that it is incorrectly configured.

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The Scarlatti has been working fine until this issue arose last Saturday when I came to visit my friend. He powered on his hifi to make me listen a CD but this “no input” message was displayed.

The transport is the only source connected to the DAC. It is connected in dual AES, coaxial and the wordclock cable between DAC and transport is also fitted. We selected different types of inputs but it showed “No inputs”. We then connected the DAC to the transport with a Toslink cable and selected Toslink input but same “No input” message.

My friend has all user manuals. We navigate in the DAC menu and tried : factory reset and signal generator function. I unsderstand that by activating the signal generator function the DAC outputs itself an audio signal, no need for a source right? We got no sound, the DAC was dead silent.

We know that the preamp and the amp connected behind the DAC are good because when I disconnected/connected from the DAC analog outputs the cable that goes to the preamp we heard pops and clicks which mean that the preamp and amp work fine.

I am afraid that the DAC must be returned for service. Thanks for your replies. I will feedback when the issue will be solved.


Thanks Vincent.

On current dCS models ( and I think on earlier ones) , there needs to be a physical connection for the display to indicate the chosen interface . However " No Input" from boot up may appear if at first there is no signal from the source. e.g. a CD isn’t selected. I was therefore worried that your friend’s issue might have been that the transport was not working as it is now old .The OPU is a long term consumable as the laser power reduces so at some point it will need replacing.

I am still not sure about your choice of synch mode but assume given the set up that it is Master (M).

Your use of the signal generator menu could be telling though. From here it does now sadly look like the lack of test tones from using signal generator functions may mean that it needs professional servicing. However I can’t see that would itself produce a " No Input" warning.

look forward to hearing how you get on .

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Vincent, I have a further thought on why you have “No Input” and selecting Signal Generator still shows a " No Input " display.

If the transport is not functioning you will see a “No Input” message displayed on the DAC. The signal generator does not use any input so no message should be displayed if it is selected but does not work. However :

“Signal Generator” is a heading in the menu and does not select a function itself. You need to then open the Signal Generator sub-menu and make a selection from the three options offered: Channel Check ,Phase Check or Burn In. Which did you pick? If you did not do this there won’t be any tone but " No Input" will still be displayed if the transport has failed.



We did so many trials to trouble shoot I do not remember for sure but I remember that we went thru the signal generator sub-menu and tries options offered. I will ask my friend to do the test again before sending the DAC for service. We also, for sure, powered ON/OFF the DAC while the transport was playing a CD.

The user interface lacks of feedback message so it is very confusing. For example, we went thru the menu options > DAC settings > factory reset then push on menu button to validate the command and we waited…no message told us that the command was executed and completed. A feedback message such as “factory reset completed” or “factory reset successful” or simply “Done” would help users. If software revison is planned on the DAC please think about including feedback messages in the user’s interface.

Thanks for your very detailed replies, we really appreciate your help,

Best regards,



Here is some feedback and I am glad to tell that the Scarlatti DAC and transporter work fine now. We think that the issue was due to settings being lost.

Here is what was made. At first the DAC was connected to another CD drive with a single digital interconnect cable and it locks immediatly to the source. After a week or so working flawlessly it was returned to my friend’s home and connected back to the Scarlatti transport as it was connected before i.e all digital connections excepted IEEE1394. Transport and DAC was set up step by step according to user’s manuals and they work like a charm .

My friend observes that the settings (DAC and Transport) are lost if he does not use his system for 3 or 4 days. Why is it like that ? According to my friend the settings were not lost prior to this “no input” message issue. No explanations were found in user’s manual. Any idea ?


Basically they are not normally lost. I do not use my Vivaldi every day or even every week nor did I use my Paganini ( functions the same as Scarlatti) without it often being switched off for periods as long as you mention. Nothing was lost.

So there may be a fault or something is being done ( maybe unconsciously) to cancel the settings’ memory.

Thinks; the connection to the third party CD drive would almost certainly have to have been using the S/Pdif port on the DAC. Was the connection to the Scarlatti transport via another interface, single or dual AES for example? From this distance it just looks as if the correct input via the menu had not been selected when your friend had the problem.

Hi Pete,

Thank you for your reply.

I am new to dCS products. Your reply confirms what I have in my mind that settings should not normally be lost during power off. Accordig to my friend, the lost of settings arose recently followed later by the “no input” message issue. Clearly there is a problem here.

Do you know how settings are kept in memory? Is there an internal battery or capacitor that powers a memory chip ? No such (replaceable) parts are mentionned in the user’s manual or do we overlook it ?


Firstly to underline my earlier point; dCS products do not lose settings that they have been designed to remember. I have been using dCS for well over 20 years and have been contributing to this forum for some years. If the loss of settings was even slightly common then the period over which it could have occured would have produced numerous complaints from many owners. I am aware only of one instance - yours :wink:

Scarlatti has been out of production for around 9 years and you say that your friend is new to it. Therefore it could be a private sale. I ask as without a dealer you need to fave figured out 4 manuals’ worth of complex instructions. I have been familiar with these products for a long time yet, even after all of these years, I still get things wrong from time to time :slightly_frowning_face:. I know that this is boring but ensure that the manuals are fully understood.

Yes, even with regard to the above, faults do occur. That still may be the case here though I haven’t heard of this one before. However a component failure would be my final expectation.

My view is that this kind of issue is most likely to arise from setting the configuration of the system incorrectly especially as , since you ask, there are no user replaceable parts like internal batteries.

Some dCS products do have an internal battery, however:

I don’t know if the Scarlatti DAC has one. You need to ask @James or @Phil .

Thanks Erno. I haven’t seen this before , however ,as you say, @James or @Phil would need to advise.

Hi Pete,

Yes, the Scarlatti DAC DOES have a battery …


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Thanks Phil, but given the query from Vincent, could the user replace it ( even if he could open the case) or would it need returning to a dealer?

Hi Pete,

There are no user replaceable parts and from the original posting it would seem that the unit is already boxed and being returned for service … I’d not be at all certain that it is a battery issue given the fault description so that may well be a bit of a wild goose chase.

Merry Xmas all…


Thanks Phil and I think that whatever the OP’s issue is caused by it is now going to have to be returned.

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