Stereo Balance Not Centered

I have Vivaldi CLOCK-UPSAMPLER-DAC. This feeds to a Boulder amp, no preamp. I stream QoBuz or Tidal (via ROON or Mosaic) or CDs from ROON via network connection. I also listen to TV connected via toslink plugged into the upsampler. I set the DCS components to DUAL AES. The problem is the balance - the TV from toslink is perfectly balanced between the speakers. The music from the network is not centered and skewed to right. I am confident this problem is not caused by the streaming. I’ve tried CLONE MODE & DXD LOCK and results were the same. Any suggestions on where to look?

Interesting problem. :thinking:

If I may ask, how are you recognising that it’s not [c]entered, by ear, or something else? And can you name a particular album/track where that effect is most prominent?

So I can’t try this out as I am traveling but page 36 of those Rossini manual says you can adjust balance. Is it possible that the balance is adjusted per input? So maybe see what the setting is for toslink and then change inputs and see?

I am assuming something similar for Vivaldi in settings.

Guys - I do have the balance centered. And it does seem to be all music coming from ROON or Mosaic is slightly shifted to the right. Yet TV (toslink) is always dead center. Its interesting how great some of the TV audio is. Netflix seems to have best audio, some of which has stunning depth and bass detail. Netflix Katyla was exceptional. Listening to this system makes me not want surround sound. I wonder if my balance issue has something to do with DUAL AES not working correctly with the network input? I’ll try using single AES and see if it differs.

By simply turning different cables on 1 side left and right you can draw the conclusion where the problem is, right? It’s that simple.

1 Like

I did reverse cable from upsampler to DAC and nothing changed. Then I power cycled DAC and UPSAMPLER, disabled DUAL AES, then reenabled DUAL AES and that seems to have made a difference. I have in the past had issues were the system would play in mono and playing with the DUAL AES settings would correct the situation. It almost seems like the UP and/or DAC get in a funny state.

1 Like

Problem solved. I have custom power cables for the Vivaldi stack. I removed the shield from the DAC cable and the problem is gone. I assume the shield was clamping the electromagnetic field which in turn limited the power the cables could deliver to the DCS equipment. I spent a few hours comparing the shielded cables to the unshielded and it was convincing that with my cables the shields seriously degraded the sound. I now have all 3 DCS components receiving power from 10 AWG unshielded cables, same cables I have been using but with the shields removed.

1 Like

What happens when you use the dCS supplied power cables?

Good question. I’ll do that asap and post results. Give me a week or so to get it done.

I did a comparison and the low cost ($200) shielded cable had a very negative impact on sound that appeared as “grit” hanging onto voices and instruments - reminded me of how a cheap DAC sounds. The expensive custom built cable had a massive braided shield over 10 awg wire with the shield tied to the wall plug ground (not tied to the equipment ground). This was very clean sound but stereo balance was wrong and music lacked impact. When I removed the braided shield the sound was great and what I would expect from the system, it even sounds cleaner then the dealer’s demo system which has $$$$ cables and $125k speakers. With rubber duck power cables the sound was also good, but I do think my custom AC power cables do sound better.

Also worth mentioning, my interconnects and speaker cables are top of the line Iconoclast. I did a side by side comparison with the Iconoclast silver speaker cables to a set of $20,000 flat speaker cables, going back and forth for a month or more, and could not detect a difference between the two sets - the only difference being $17,000 which helped soften the blow of the Vivaldi.

"the low cost ($200) shielded cable "

This being the dCS supplied cable from the factory?

No, the low cost shielded was a purchased cable.