My Fulla is noisy as Schitt...

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by shipsupt, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    I don't remember it having so much background noise. Did I put it in simulated vinyl mode? Snap, crackle, pop... ok that's a little exaggeration, but you get the point.

    Do I need to decrapify my lousy work computer USB or might there be something up with the little Fulla?
     
  2. Malabargold

    Malabargold Flipper

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    It might be hard to find something that can make a difference without costing more than the Fulla itself :confused:

    Did you test it on a different computer/port?
     
  3. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Not on a different computer, but several ports on this POS.

    I've got a few de-crap options sitting around doing nothing: Wyrd and Audiophilleo 1 w/Purepower.

    It's sort of a temporary set up while I change my office rig out. Just trying to confirm is there is something up with it or if it's not uncommon to get some background noise.
     
  4. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    it has some hiss with sensitive IEMs, but otherwise it's generally quiet?
     
  5. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    With due respect, I don't think this personalized question deserves its own thread and have flagged it for removal to the All Purpose Advice Thread. We wouldn't tolerate a thread like this from a Rando, so we should hold ourselves to the same standard.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    For the record, I generally don't mind new questions threads from Randos if these questions address concerns to a wider audience. Maybe a better approach might be sub-forum specific questions threads.
     
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  7. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    WIth due respect, go fuck yourself. Chris has earned the right to post whatever he fucking wants.
     
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  8. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    @zonto, I feel Chris is not really asking for random advice about a bunch of different products to buy.

    He is expressing genuine concern about a problem and would like to see if someone can pitch possible solutions to it.

    I know @schiit is around and can help with the issue.

    We do discourage threads about "Tell me what to buy" because they tend to contribute more noise than signal (which is why there is a useful and appropriate thread for this). IMO this is not the case. Solving a real issue increases signal significantly. Also, Chris is a pretty senior member of SBAF, and I have never seen him abuse his position. Besides the fact that I feel Chris is not bending any policies, we are not strict about our policies here either. Remember, only the Sith deal in absolutes. (BTW @zonto, I do appreciate when people flag issues and we do the best we can to resolve them)

    I personally cannot help, because I don't have a Fulla. I think they are using an LT high current buffer and an AKM DAC. I'm not familiar with the particular high current buffer, so I'm even less help here. But I'm definitively interested on what comes out of the resolution of this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
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  9. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    I have associated little audible pops and ticks with USB data buffer management in the past... decrapifying might help with that but seems like a lousy long term solution that would exceed the cost of the Fulla. Is this MacOS and are you running other CPU or memory intensive processes at the same time? Is your music software doing any processing, upsampling, etc? Try to turn all that shit off and just see if things improve as a first stab at it.
     
  10. zonto

    zonto Friend

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    I meant no offense with my comment and have conveyed this privately to @shipsupt. I've conversed with him on numerous other issues privately and have nothing but respect for him.

    I stand by my assertion, but understand if this is to be viewed as a USB issues thread going forward. We've had a similar back-and-forth in the Bifrost Multibit thread. The best thing to do is email Schiit's support specialist Nick (as confirmed by @schiit on the linked post). Other resources:
     
  11. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I would assert that he might get more USB expertise here than emailing Schiit's support.

    @shipsupt what machine are you using? Try other computers then stick a usb decrapifier in there. Not sure how the audiophilleo works, but I am familiar with the Wyrd. Try that, it will be better than a powered USB hub.
     
  12. kevnin

    kevnin #facetweeting - Friend

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    I have a super-cheap Windows tablet I've used as a source and it gets this exact issue sometimes. When it happens rebooting the tablet makes the problem go away, at least for a while.

    In my case this happened even though I was running through both a Wyrd and an SU-1. Which makes sense, if the computer is dropping chunks of data at its end then no amount of decrapification is going to restore that data.

    Unfortunately if your computer is really a POS there may be no solution other than to get a better one. You could try disabling as many software processes as possible, but if it's a work machine it may be running a bunch of security/maintenance stuff that you can't get rid of.
     
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  13. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Thanks brother. I really appreciate the thought.

    That said, I've not been as active here as of late and obviously need to get up to speed on some of the new etiquette.
     
  14. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Thanks. Levono running Windows. I do, very occasionly, get a little digital stumble that seems to be a data issue that is not really bothersome.

    The noise is more like a static.
     
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  15. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Yessir. I have a few ideas on some troubleshooting to narrow down the issues. I'll bring in my Macbook tomorrow so I can test that next to the Levona as well.
     
  16. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Yep... work computer, so I use it out of pure convienience. I am sure it's running a bunch of crap in the background. I was already having conversations with a few members about setting up an independent listening rig at work to avoid these headaches.
     
  17. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Thanks everyone for offering some advice. I've got what I need.

    For the price, if I isolate the problem down to the Fulla it will just be a write off. That would be too bad, because it's always been an enjoyable little unit to listent to. Fingers crossed that it's just a POS computer.

    Mods.... this thread needs to be decrapified. Too much drama for my taste. Please nuke it when you have a chance.
     
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  18. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    The new etiquette is to discuss shitposts, who can make them, and where they can be made. The noise about the noise might be about to get worse than the noise. Except, of course, when it is fun.

    About your noise, and without knowledge of the Fulla: testing on different machines is essential.

    Is your work machine a laptop? It could have a lousy, noisy power supply.

    Crackles and pops can suggest DPC latency. This is not the sort of latency that audiophools think matters, but a very real problem that gets in the way of continuous, clean audio playback. Google for diagnostic tools and suggestions. It is said that it can be traced to specific hardware or drivers, but my horrible experience with it ended with getting a new machine.
     
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  19. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Given than this thread will now come up in searches for people having similar problems, it's worth having a crack at it.

    Essentially, wot 'ee said, but to clarify- there are two sorts of noise under suspicion here..

    The first is RF/EMI style noise, probably coming down the USB cable (probably on the Vbus line), and producing good old-fashioned analogue interference that makes it all the way to the output. I have seen a few complaints that the Fulla is vulnerable to noise from the host like this, so we can't rule it out. Sadly, fixing this would involve using a less noisy computer, or a decrapifier, which would probably cost more than the Fulla (e.g. the Wyrd, which supplies its own clean Vbus on the output, rather than passing though the potentially noisy VBus of the host).

    The second common cause of noise with USB is popping caused by data underruns. USB 1 and 2 generally both require the host to actively clock data onto the bus, rather than it happening automagically with DMA. If the host is under too much load, or is being hogged by something, it can fail to clock data onto the bus in time, which means the stream of data to the DAC "runs out" temporarily, resulting in a sudden amplitude change and thus a pop. If the machine is running out of CPU time, that can be an obvious culprit. Get rid of background stuff sucking CPU, or dial down the settings of the foreground app that's running out of steam.

    If CPU load is low, this can still happen, oddly. Sometimes, especially on laptops, when the CPU load is quite low, power management clocks stuff down to such a degree that it can degrade USB performance. If the noise sounds like buffer underrun "pop" sounds, rather than analogue domain interference, and the machine seems to not be working very hard, it may be worth dialling back the power management.

    USB audio can be painful, especially under windows. I have, on a few occasions, had to de-crud laptops belonging to DJs, because they were suffering awful underruns in Traktor or Serato, and popping away. That sounds pretty bad when you're hooked up to a large PA system :cool:


    Oh, and of course, always try a totally different USB cable first, just in case. It's an easy, stupid potential fix.
     
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  20. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    @TwoEars suggested this diagnostic tool.
     

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