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Coax out "skips"

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Jeff K, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Jeff K

    Jeff K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    834
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have an Onix XCD-99. It's a nicely made, fairly heavy piece with a solid quiet transport, R-core transformer, etc. I want to use the digital out to utilize the better DAC in my Parasound Halo Integrated. The trouble is that it sounds like it's skipping. It's not actually skipping because its analog outs work fine. It's more like a synchronization error.

    My other CD player's and a DVD player's digital coax work fine, so the Hint isn't the problem. The Onix has no optical output. Any ideas as to what the culprit in the Onix might be?
     

     

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  2. imral3

    imral3 Super Member

    Messages:
    2,325
    Location:
    Blackwood, New Jersey
    Sounds like you just started using the coaxial output - did you check it for oxidation? Try another coax cable?
     
  3. FileFixer

    FileFixer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    Location:
    Zagreb/Croatia
    Try to measure output voltage on SPDIF OUT connector. Maximum voltage must not exceed 0.6V (P-P).
     
  4. jlb2

    jlb2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    844
    This 0.6V level is only valid when the output is loaded with 75 ohms - remember, SPDIF uses video coaxial cables, and has the same impedance requirements. Just measuring the output level will tell you neither that, nor the output impedance which is at least as important - and sometimes overlooked even by reputable manufacturers.

    As for the upper and lower voltage limits, they completely depend on the specifics of the devices at each end of the line and I've had quite a few surprises. A digital audio link is very difficult to measure without specific equipment, so I would just suggest that by far the most common sources of problems are the cable and the connectors, and that you should try using an ordinary video cable, RG59, KX6A or just good old antenna cable, with good quality RCA connectors. If you still have problems in these conditions, then you can start suspecting the machines.
     
  5. Jeff K

    Jeff K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    834
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for the replies. Sorry, I watched my post for a few days and kind of thought I wasn’t going to get one.

    Anyway, I have tried two different 75 ohm digital coax cables. One of which is a Blue Jean cables digital coax. Both work on the other players I mentioned. I have to believe it’s an electronic component within the Onix.
     
  6. jlb2

    jlb2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    844
    Do you have another SPDIF receiver that you could use to confirm that the problem is your Onix and not some idiosyncrasy in your amplifier? Some machines, including some pro grade machines, have design some serious flaws. I personally have a Sony PCM2700 whose SPDIF output transform has a wrong turn ratio, resulting in a low output level that causes the same kind of problem that you have. I could never figure out how they could make such a blunder, but I had to replace the transformer with lowly resistors to achieve reliable connection. It is possible that your Onix has the same sort of problem, but it will be hard to tell without proper measurements.
     
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  7. RichPA

    RichPA Don't drive angry Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

    It's been a while, but with some older digital gear I encountered transport/DAC combinations that just would not work, though each piece worked fine with other gear. The best explanation I found was that small differences in clock rates prevented a solid lock (suggested by one of the manufacturers). I know that's not helpful, but it at least might explain what's happening.
     
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  8. Jeff K

    Jeff K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    834
    Location:
    Michigan
    Unfortunately, no. I did have an HK990 integrated that was so unreliable that I finally threw it in the dumpster after dumping hundreds into repairs. The Parasound is joy in comparison. The fact that the HD990 cdp and Pioneer Elite dvd player synch perfectly leads me to believe the Onix is to blame.
     

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