Audio Artifacts


I have a 6 week old PWDII which is driving me crazy with audio artifacts. I listen through LCD 3’s which is my preferred choice for many reasons. If my DAC is set to NativeX there is very audible noise in between tracks when switching from 96 to 88. In other words if I am listening to a track at a sample rate of 96 and want to switch to a track at 88 the DAC will, during the switch, make very audible noises - like someone trying to tune in a station on a short wave radio. It goes away immediately once the track is started. This happens very apparently when I’m using Coax from a PC. It is completely mitigated when using a USB connection. However, even on a MAC USB connection I can hear the same audible noise when switching from 192 to 96. This ALL happens when using NativeX. If I switch to Native all of the above noise is gone. Am I alone with this anomaly or is it something inherent and future fixable with the PWDII? (firmware 2.2.0, PC’s and Mac’s).

Any help or advice is appreciated.



as far as I know this used to happen only with older firmwares (2.0.x) - are you 100% sure you have really 2.2.0 ?


Absolutely… I sampled a 2.3.0 version which crashed. I reverted back to 2.2.0.


there is no version 2.3.0 of PWD firmware to my knowledge, are we talking about the same firmware? where did you download the 2.2.0 from? are you able to confirm via the bridge webpage the fw version?


2.3.0 is a beta version and not stable - at least for me. I had to ask Marcus for 2.2.0 as I had no backup. He also supplied me with 2.0.2 which I have not tried. What I really want to know is if this anomaly is consistent with all DACs or just mine. I confirmed the FW from the front LCD info.


I can switch sampling rates with impunity while using both the S/PDIF input and USB, as well as via I2S. This is true with both 2.0.2 and 2.2.0.


Thank you for the response. Did you use the COAX input? I have no issues with either USB or Optical… just COAX. The noise is very apparent and annoying. Optical is a no go for me as its limited to 96 sample rate. USB, while quiet, requires an additional interface for better SQ - like Jplay. Jplay has its own issues but can have superior SQ. COAX has superior SQ right out of the box but noise issues. I’m going through this exercise because I really like the Jriver interface which requires a PC (Mac is in its primitive stages). Mac, using Pure Music is trouble free and great SQ but I’m tied to iTunes… which I would really like to get away from. My unit is going to service for an unrelated issue and I can have it checked out for this noise issue but wanted to be sure that it wasn’t endemic to all PWDII’s.

Thanks much…


Yes, S/PDIF coax/RCA.

You indicate the noise is “very audible.” Thus, I assume it takes no effort to hear it,speakers or headphones. I’ll do some explicit experimenting when I get a chance.

Does it occur primarily when switching from 96 to 88.2 and back?


The noise (like tuning in a station on a shortwave radio - sine wave going from maybe 1k to 6k back and forth) is very apparent. It goes from left to right or right to left while the Dac is changing the sample rate. I usually test by starting out with a 96 track and double clicking an 88 sample rate track. The noise is always there. This is using Jriver, Wasabi - event style through an HT Claro pass through Spdif. I’ve zeroed in on the Dac as being the culprit because I can switch from NativeX to Native and all noise is gone… and track changes are smoother.

Thanks for your help… if this is common then PS should fix it. If its just me then, for sure, PS should fix it.


@vjbelle the AM tuning noise you describe is affecting most (or all) PWD users with PWD firmware 2.0.2 / 2.0.3 , but 2.2.0 solved this issue to all but you, so I believe it’s problem with your PWD only.

BTW despite the AM tuning noises I am staying with 2.0.2 (and Native-X) as it sounds best in my setup, actually I find the AM noise amusing - kind of ritual of preparation of sample rate change :wink:


I still have it too but only when switching to/from 192 and or WAV via the bridge. I rarely us USB and never s/pdif so it might be there too? I suspect it is somewhere in the DAC switching firmware that is supposed to “mute” between switches.

Sorry I cannot suggest anything but a fresh install of 2.2.0 since you have a Newer unit.



Well, my unit is on its way back to PS for an LCD issue and I’ve emailed Marcus and asked if he could look into this - since he’ll have the unit there. It would make sense that the firmware would mute between switches but then this ‘muting’ would only be necessary for NativeX as Native is completely silent - or maybe Native is operating properly by muting between sample rate changes and NativeX is noisy because of a muting fault. I do hope it gets sorted out. I could have purchased anything within reason and decided to park my money here because of the community involvement.

Thanks for posting…



I just put together a mini “album” of the same 10 seconds of the King’s Singers at 44.1, 88.2 and 96. My PWD (2.2.0) happily plays through it. There is a click when playback switches from 88.2 to 96.

This is with WAV files via coax S/PDIF.



do you have any 192?


I should probably add that the audio artifacts that I heard lasted for an easy 2 - 3 seconds… all while switching from 96 to 88 while in NativeX. I never had an issue going to 192 or 44. I also think, at least to my ears, that RCA Coax has the cleanest/most appreciable SQ compared to other inputs with the Native Asio using PSAudio driver being the worst… very dull compared to other methods. I can’t speak for what others are hearing. I also noted that EMM, which I tried, had a very interesting and slightly bright SQ but the interface was a little clunky… don’t mean to step on any toes… All of this pertains to the PC world. The Mac world is another ballgame.


Gordon said: do you have any 192?

Yes, but I did not specifically test 192 or 176.4 in this scenario. I created the various test files with iZotope 64bit SRC and put together a little "album" with the various tracks.


Do you hear a relay clicking within the PWD when changing sampling rates? Mine does, which I assume mutes things between sample rate changes to prevent such a noise. I didn’t test coax specifically, but I assume that relay click should happen between sample rate switching in NativeX mode for any interface.


The audible clicking of relays within the PWD are normal and I don’t know if they are actually changing the sample rate and/or also muting between sample rate changes. I’m hopeful PS will sort this out.


Not to worry. It’s just the gears in the analog section. Try double clutching the remote. :smiley: