music files breaking up sometimes (SSD)

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
This is an odd problem that tells me maybe I need to know more about how an SSD works -- or maybe I've just got a bad one. I have a USB cable run from a 1 TB Samsung 860 Evo in an Inateck powered enclosure that contains music folders/files (flac, mp3, etc.) to an Oppo 203 CD/DVD player. Over the last several months, during the time since I got this SSD, sometimes when I start any of an album's files, the sound breaks up, with a little bit to a lot of crackling, the latter so bad the music can't even be heard through it. But two minutes or ten minutes later or the next listening session, the same files play fine -- or maybe don't. At the same time, I can go to another album and that will usually play cleanly or, less often, have the same crackling. I've swapped USB cables and Inateck cases and checked connections.

I'd never had this problem with previous smaller SSDs in the same location, and just now didn't have any trying a 256gb Samsung 850 Pro, although it probably wasn't long enough to call conclusive. The connections on both ends are USB 3.0, while the cables are 2.0, but that hasn't made a difference in the past and they should be backwards compatible, right?. With the SSD, I ran chkdsk and found no errors, but decided to do a full reformat and reload. Same result. Before I deal with this as warranty issue, is there something about the way an SSD works that would lend it to this and hit and miss phenomenon? Or does it just seem like I have a bad one? Thanks,
 

Libnok

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
102
Very strange issue. My first inclination would be to guess that you may be getting some RF interference and that the USB cable is acting as an antenna. What other steps can you take to eliminate variables? Do you still have the smaller SSD?
 

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
I don't see how RFI could be at play; otherwise it'd always be so. Plus nothing else is doing this -- video music files on the same SSD, via a USB flash drive, USB or TV. Yes, I've got a few smaller ones - 125 to 480 gb, SanDisk and Samsung. Unless I'm completely missing something, it's either got to be the SSD itself or something about USB 2 and 3.
 

Libnok

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
102
Not so, every year RF bands are changing. You never know if a digital station in the area has started to use a particular band that affects your gear. Again, that's my initial thoughts as I've worked in RF. It could also be that the powered enclosure isn't supplying enough power or is failing in some way. Or, maybe the decoder chip in the unit is going bad, although unlikely as I would suspect it would cease to work at all.

When you say crackling, I don't know if that could be digital noise anyway. I've heard a bad digital signal and and really it sounds distinctly jumbled. Is there a way you can post a sound clip?

Also, can you give exact model numbers for the devices so that I may look up specs, it may be helpful.
 

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
If if's RFI, why on one file/files and not with others played seconds afterward, and back and forth? That, in addition to the history is why RFI doesn't seem a plausible explanation to me. I've posted a recording of full breakup at https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqsCKHVTj0ydpm2ySV97q8Vohi_5?e=05ZtSF.

Related eqpt:
- Source end, a Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM).
- SSD Enclosure: Inateck 2.5 Hard Drive Enclosure, USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Case, UASP Supported, FE2002
- Destination: highly modified (to digital only) Oppo 203. https://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-udp-203/. Cable connected in rear port.


Cable connecting the two (do not lay against other cables):
- previously: TotalDac USB Cable/Filter - http://www.totaldac.com/cables-eng.htm (scroll down) - ~1m, USB 1 to 2.0 compatible

- currently: FTA Callisto (~1m) - https://www.finaltouchaudio.com/usb-cables (USB 2.0) or a 280mm Curious Cable similar to https://curiouscables.com/shop/ols/products/curious-evolved-regen-link-200mm (waiting to hear USB version, 2.0 or 3.0).
 

Libnok

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
102
Well upon hearing the issue I doubt that it's RFI either. But, to be honest I've never heard any type of digital distortion like that. It sounds like a plastic container being dragged down the street by the wind.

The setup you're using is far more high end than I was imagining in my head. I don't see how the USB generation could be playing a role in this, if it were speed related, I'd assume it would pause while buffering. I also don't see how the SSD would have any affect, it's simply a storage device.

This is beyond my knowledge but maybe now that you've posted all of the particulars someone with some insight may be able to see it and offer up possible solutions.
 

Bassman99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
451
Do you have the ability to take the SSD and put in into another pc to rule out anything else from that systems other components in the signal path?
 

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
Just to be clear, this is not a PC set up, but part of a living room non-computer audio system. The Oppo feeds a tube dac, then a tube preamp and finally powered speakers. My first thought was tubes, but my checking those aside, since everything works fine the vast majority of the time -- everything including (USB file) videos and cable TV, whose audio runs through the Oppo -- it doesn't make sense that the problem is a tube or a component's electronics. Ok, how about the Oppo? Again, the same behavior leads me away from it, though I suppose it's possible that something inside has gone fickle on me.

To answer your question more directly, I copy the files from my Win 10 PC to the SSD, and did the dskchk, reformatting and re-copying from that. If that's what you mean. In addition, some files that have been throwing the crackling more often than others play fine on the desktop via foobar.
 

Bassman99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
451
Just to be clear, this is not a PC set up, but part of a living room non-computer audio system. The Oppo feeds a tube dac, then a tube preamp and finally powered speakers. My first thought was tubes, but my checking those aside, since everything works fine the vast majority of the time -- everything including (USB file) videos and cable TV, whose audio runs through the Oppo -- it doesn't make sense that the problem is a tube or a component's electronics. Ok, how about the Oppo? Again, the same behavior leads me away from it, though I suppose it's possible that something inside has gone fickle on me.

To answer your question more directly, I copy the files from my Win 10 PC to the SSD, and did the dskchk, reformatting and re-copying from that. If that's what you mean. In addition, some files that have been throwing the crackling more often than others play fine on the desktop via foobar.
Could you put that ssd into your pc and play directly thru an HDMI to your tv to see if it still does it. It would eliminate everything besides the SSD.
I had a Denon Blu-Ray player that started having issues with certain movies even though all were the same format.
Ive had a dozen cd, dvd, and Blu-ray players easily and just the one ( the most expensive) had issues.
 

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
My desktop is on a different floor than the TV and my laptop doesn't have an HDMI port. I could load some music files on the laptop and play to the Oppo, although that would be going through a program such as foobar so it wouldn't be quite the same. I've been thinking of two other possibilities: either the enclosure's power feed is not proper in some way or the Oppo's two rear USB ports or the electronics working with them are apt to go on the fritz. Thinking back, I noticed some problems with one of them some time back, so I started using the other. Maybe it's caught up. The one thing I'm excluding are the files themselves, since if a "bad" file plays fine a few minutes later, then that wouldn't seem the problem.
 

Bassman99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
451
My desktop is on a different floor than the TV and my laptop doesn't have an HDMI port. I could load some music files on the laptop and play to the Oppo, although that would be going through a program such as foobar so it wouldn't be quite the same. I've been thinking of two other possibilities: either the enclosure's power feed is not proper in some way or the Oppo's two rear USB ports or the electronics working with them are apt to go on the fritz. Thinking back, I noticed some problems with one of them some time back, so I started using the other. Maybe it's caught up. The one thing I'm excluding are the files themselves, since if a "bad" file plays fine a few minutes later, then that wouldn't seem the problem.
Agreed bad files are always bad.
I hope you can resolve this issue!
Being without music is hard.
 

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
I may have figured it out. Nothing to do with the SSD . It appears to be in the Oppo's HDMI Format and LPCM Output settings. The first is between Auto, LPCM, Bitstream and Digital Off, while the latter is between 192K, 96K, 48K and Bitstream. For those interested, when my Oppo 203 was modified to digital only, I had a dac that used an HDMI cable for DSD, so I had the Format setting at Auto and LPCM Output at 192K. Later, I changed to a dac that doesn't use the HDMI format, but for my purposes just converts DSD to LPCM. For a reason I no longer recall but seemed good at the time, I changed the Format setting from Auto to LPCM, while leaving the LPCM Output at 192K. Based on testing with a number of files tonight, it seems that this single change kicked in the digital break up with some files. To get rid of it requires lowering the other setting to 48K (which loses both some openness in the music and some volume). Instead, setting the HDMI Format back to Auto seems to allow the 192K setting without digital break up. Well, so far...
 

Bassman99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
451
I may have figured it out. Nothing to do with the SSD . It appears to be in the Oppo's HDMI Format and LPCM Output settings. The first is between Auto, LPCM, Bitstream and Digital Off, while the latter is between 192K, 96K, 48K and Bitstream. For those interested, when my Oppo 203 was modified to digital only, I had a dac that used an HDMI cable for DSD, so I had the Format setting at Auto and LPCM Output at 192K. Later, I changed to a dac that doesn't use the HDMI format, but for my purposes just converts DSD to LPCM. For a reason I no longer recall but seemed good at the time, I changed the Format setting from Auto to LPCM, while leaving the LPCM Output at 192K. Based on testing with a number of files tonight, it seems that this single change kicked in the digital break up with some files. To get rid of it requires lowering the other setting to 48K (which loses both some openness in the music and some volume). Instead, setting the HDMI Format back to Auto seems to allow the 192K setting without digital break up. Well, so far...
Cool Im glad you figured it out. I guess forcing it to up-convert some files was the issue then?
 

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
I don't know what the HDMI Format setting actually does, but it doesn't appear that upscaling or upscaling alone was the problem, since the vast majority of files were playing cleanly at first or eventually. In fact, some of the files I tested last night that played badly were DSF, which if I understand the numbers correctly, would have needed down converting (please correct me if I got that wrong). Here is a list (br= bit rate, sr=sample rate, bd=bit depth):

1) DSD: br=5644, sr=2.8224
2) Flac: br=2648, sr=96, bd=24
3) Flac: br=2927, sr=96.0, bd=24
4) DSD: br=5644, sr=2.8224
5) Flac: br=1225, sr=88.2, bd=16
6) Flac: br=3066, sr=96, bd=24
 

Bassman99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
451
I don't know what the HDMI Format setting actually does, but it doesn't appear that upscaling or upscaling alone was the problem, since the vast majority of files were playing cleanly at first or eventually. In fact, some of the files I tested last night that played badly were DSF, which if I understand the numbers correctly, would have needed down converting (please correct me if I got that wrong). Here is a list (br= bit rate, sr=sample rate, bd=bit depth):

1) DSD: br=5644, sr=2.8224
2) Flac: br=2648, sr=96, bd=24
3) Flac: br=2927, sr=96.0, bd=24
4) DSD: br=5644, sr=2.8224
5) Flac: br=1225, sr=88.2, bd=16
6) Flac: br=3066, sr=96, bd=24

I am not familiar with most of that as Ive never ran audio through HDMI except as the computer does it by default to the tv.
Most of the music I listen to besides Pandora is through my old Denon via coax or optical. Other than that BT from my phone to a dedicated BT receiver since my older Amps don have it built in.
Its been a while since Ive listened thru tubes with that warmth they give!
 

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
I am not familiar with most of that as Ive never ran audio through HDMI except as the computer does it by default to the tv.
Most of the music I listen to besides Pandora is through my old Denon via coax or optical. Other than that BT from my phone to a dedicated BT receiver since my older Amps don have it built in.
Its been a while since Ive listened thru tubes with that warmth they give!

A week in with the change in settings and only two files have shown slight breakup the first time through, for reasons I've yet to figure out.

There's HDMI for audio here now except from cable box to Oppo. It's a myth about tubes that they are always warm. Generally, tube gear has a different sound than purely solid state, but that doesn't necessarily mean warm. That is, it's become common for the designer of gear to aim for "neutral" tonality or for the tubes themselves to have been designed for that kind of tone and an emphasis on "audiophile effects" over emotional draw. Since I like a modest degree of warmth, in choosing gear I was careful to ask about this, and fortunate enough that some developers and user forums have participants that appreciate the difference and don't need to exercise their egos about it. Still, along the way there have been specific tubes that have got me wanting to throw the system out the window.
 

Bassman99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Messages
451
A week in with the change in settings and only two files have shown slight breakup the first time through, for reasons I've yet to figure out.

There's HDMI for audio here now except from cable box to Oppo. It's a myth about tubes that they are always warm. Generally, tube gear has a different sound than purely solid state, but that doesn't necessarily mean warm. That is, it's become common for the designer of gear to aim for "neutral" tonality or for the tubes themselves to have been designed for that kind of tone and an emphasis on "audiophile effects" over emotional draw. Since I like a modest degree of warmth, in choosing gear I was careful to ask about this, and fortunate enough that some developers and user forums have participants that appreciate the difference and don't need to exercise their egos about it. Still, along the way there have been specific tubes that have got me wanting to throw the system out the window.
I bought a tube preamp from China like 6 yrs ago, and it was very nice actually. I liked the sound better even running through a solid state amp that didnt have a pre-amp.
 

jamesv

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
113
If you want even better Tube based audio, find some vintage kit, replace the capacitors, OpAmps and Google the model being modified and see what applications might need different Tubes, etc.

I have 3 x Bellari RP562’s modified by the guy that Builds amps for famous players, wasn’t too expensive, and used NOS/NIB RCA Command Line Matched pairs, with Analog Devices OpAmps. Incredible soft clip with maximum heat actually compresses the audio, which makes old Black Sabbath recordings really greasy.

These are Exciters, so the voltage is designed to boost frequencies less present in the mix. For recorded material noon on everything really adds a nice quality, but on my live Synth rig I heat the shit up.

All albums recorded in the 70s and early 80s, even 8 tracks have distortion all over the mixes. It’s natural and sublime, but you wouldn’t notice it until you listened to a perfectly re mastered digital version. Which sounds good, but lacking the distortion and noise from old consoles and tubed Amps.

Anyways, there models are 4-500 used, and 2-300 for NOS/NIB Tubes, 200 for a pro to modify.
If you perform live in a band it’s very noticeable and well worth the money, for listening to music being streamed like MP3’s, etc. You can get warm and hot variations, but the way lost or low level select frequencies gets boosted, even without much tube warmth added does shine up MP3’s/FLAC files that have previously been compressed.

8D922E3F-F531-42D6-B2C9-FDC2CD87AE20.jpeg
1532207F-8BFB-436D-B621-E2A34D9D0E46.jpeg
 

genegold99

Weaksauce
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
79
I finally figured out the source of the audio "break up." Between Oppo and dac I use an iFi SPDIF iPurifier. It's supposed to support up to 192 kHz and has up until recently. All my compatible DSD files having problem got me thinking about the iFi. It's a good little gizmo sonically, if used with a good LPS, not its junk wall wart. And there's a new (of course) more expensive version out. Unfortunately, these things never break down until after the warranty period.

jamesv I agree about replacing the capacitors. At some point, I may go up a model that does just that on the Supratek preamp and send the Lampi dac back to Poland to get the "golden" Atlantic version. For now, though, they are doing well.
 
Top