HiRes not played correctly to NorthStar DAC

My NorthStar DAC receives input from my Mac Mini (via COAX). Since a month, HiRes has issues. My input of my DAC starts plinking between 44,1 and 96 as it cant recognize the correct sample rate. Limiting the output in Audirvana to Lossless fixes this.

Im not sure what causes this… Any advice?

Hello @Sander_Kaa,

Can you send me a copy of the “Debug Info” while you have this issue? You can get it in Audirvana Settings>General>Debug Info

Note: By clicking on the Debug Info button, Audirvana automatically copies all its content, all you have to do is paste it in response to this message

Hi Damien!

Audirvana Mac Version 3.5.42 (3572)
macOS 10.13.4 with 16384MB RAM

Registered to [name]

SIGNAL PROCESSING:

Polarity Inversion:
	Globally: OFF
	Per track: ON
Effects plugins NOT ACTIVE

UPSAMPLING:
iZotope SRC not in use iZotope SRC filter parameters
Steepness = 150
Filter max length = 500000
Cut-Off (x Nyquist) = 100%
Anti-aliasing = 200
Phase = 100%

AUDIO VOLUME:
Max allowed volume: 100
Replay Gain: None
SW volume control: OFF

LIBRARY SETTINGS:
Sync list: 1 folders
Manual: (OFFLINE) /Volumes/Muziek/
iTunes/Music library synchronization: not synchronized
Library database path: /Users/SanderKarin/Library/Application Support/Audirvana/AudirvanaPlusDatabaseV2.sqlite

ACTIVE STREAMING SERVICES
Qobuz: Connected as Qobuz Studio

=================== AUDIO DEVICE ========================

Direct Mode audio path, buffer I/O frame size: 512

Max. memory for audio buffers: 11904MB

Local Audio Engine:
Exclusive access: Enabled
Integer mode: Enabled

Preferred device:
Built-in Output
Model UID:AppleHDA:33
UID:AppleHDAEngineOutput:1B,0,1,2:0

Active Sample Rate: 44.1kHz
Hog Mode is off

Bridge settings:
Sample rate limitation: none
Sample rate switching latency: 2s
Limit bitdepth to 24bit: OFF
Mute during sample rate change: OFF

Selected device:
Local audio device
ID 0x32 Built-in Output Manufacturer:Apple Inc.
Model UID:AppleHDA:33 UID:AppleHDAEngineOutput:1B,0,1,2:0

5 available sample rates up to 96000Hz
32000
44100
48000
88200
96000
Audio buffer frame size : 14 to 4096 frames
Current I/O buffer frame size : 512
Volume Control
Physical: No
Virtual: No
MQA capability
Auto-detect MQA devices: No
Not a MQA device, user set to not MQA
DSD capability: Unhandled
Device audio channels
Preferred stereo channels L:1 R:2
Channel bitmap: Ox3, layout:
Channel 0 mapped to 0
Channel 1 mapped to 1

Audio channels in use
Number of channels: 2
Use as stereo device only: No
Simple stereo device: Yes

1 output streams:
Number of active channels: 2, in 1 stream(s)
Channel #0 :Stream 0 channel 0
Channel #1 :Stream 0 channel 1

Stream ID 0x33 2 channels starting at 1
5 virtual formats:
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 44.1kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 32kHz

20 physical formats
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 44.1kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 24 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 32kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 20 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 20 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 20 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 20 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 44.1kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 20 little endian Signed Integer aligned low in 32bit 32kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 16 little endian Signed Integer 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 16 little endian Signed Integer 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 16 little endian Signed Integer 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 16 little endian Signed Integer 44.1kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 16 little endian Signed Integer 32kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 96kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 88.2kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 48kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 44.1kHz
2 ch Mixable linear PCM Interleaved 32 little endian Signed Float 32kHz

Local devices found : 2
Device #0: ID 0x32 Built-in Output Manufacturer: Apple Inc. Model UID: AppleHDA:33 UID: AppleHDAEngineOutput:1B,0,1,2:0
Device #1: ID 0x100 HDMI Manufacturer: Apple Inc. Model UID: AppleHDA:33 UID: AppleHDAEngineOutputDP:1B,3,1,2:0:{D94D-A204-01010101}

UPnP devices found : 0

Are you using an device to convert the signal from SPDIF to Coaxial?

I’m using the digital output of the Mac Mini to the Optical input of my DAC. I use a cable for this from the Atlas brand. A small plug is used to fit the cable into the mac mini as the optical out is hidden inside the headphone output of a mac mini of the type i have.

So short answer: No, i dont use a spdif to coax converter.

Have you tried with a different cable?

No, unfortunately I dont have any other digital cable.

Worth mentioning is that as soon as I limit the Qobuz output to lossless (instead of HiRes 96kHz) everything works OK. My DAC has some LEDs indicating the frequency of the input. As soon I use HiRes input via Qobuz the LED indicated no input is received, and sometimes shows 96kHz is received, which is the moment some fragments of sounds are audible. I’m no techie but can’t see how the cable can send 44,1 or 48kHz, but not 96kHz.

A testcase which suddenly pops up is whether I can play hires files via Audirvana from my music library. As I also have some troubles in my library currently I cannot play most of my files as the index seems to be corrupted. Will report back when I could test this.

Meanwhile I’m happy to hear other suggestions!

Try disabling the upsampling.

Upsampling is already disabled. I experienced my DAC, which upsamples the received input anyhow does that job better according to my ears.

Another test: higher resolution files from my library are played:

24 bit /48 kHz: good!
24 bit /44,1 kHz: good!
x bit/ 96 kHz and higher: same issue as with Qobuzz.

Also check my Audio Midi setting: inbuilt output, the one I use has selected:

2 channel, 24 bits, 44,1 KHz.

I’m not sure how and if Audio Midi Settings communicate with Audirvana at all, but can this setting maybe be an evil-do-er?

I didn’t have to change anything and I can play files of much higher resolution. It works up to 192KHz sampling rate without issues (max. supported by my DAC).

Have you tried with USB?

Yes, I will do that. Wasnt to fond about USB in the past, but for testing it’s more than fine.

Unfortunately USB doesnt work anymore as OS update broke my USB driver as this DAC needs a driver for USB.