DS and McIntosh (2)...


#1

Hi guys. Some weeks ago, I upgraded my DS to Torreys Final from Yale. Since then, I’m experiencing a strange issue. My DS is connected to my McIntosh MA6600 integrated amp. I use the DS “simply” as a DAC for DSD and PCM songs. Volume is set to 100%. My favourite player is Audirvana 2.x on OSX.

Some times, during normal playing, it happen that the MA6600 gets off and on with no reason… (VMeters and the mini screen get turned off just for a moment …) Once it gets on, the miniscreen remains off, nor volume indication or source indication appear on it.
I tried to reset the microprocessor of the MA6600 like the user manual says… but I had to do it 3 or 4 times… Honestly, first 3 times I did it with the DS powered on and connected to the MA6600… it didn’t work. Last time I’ve reset the MA6600 with the DS OFF (from the rear button).
In addition, since then, I turn on the MA6600 for first (so far I didn’t take the “boot” sequence of my equipments into consideration…), then the DS and then the MacMini. I’ve no longer experienced the problem described above… but I’m not sure I’ve fixed it…

Is there an explanation to that such of issue? With Yale I’ve never had a similar problem… I experienced some sound drop out but the MA6600 had not that such of issue…
Thank you in advance.

Danilo


#2

Hi Danilo,

First I want to say that I don’t have an answer for your question. Do you mind answer a question from me?

Have you tried to use your DS to directly control the amp section of MA6600? ie, bypass the preamp section of the MA6600? If yes, did it work well? When I tried that on my luxman L-505u, it significantly raised the noise floor and also introduced a higher frequency noise.

Thanks,

Fred


#3

Did you try resetting when the DS was muted? That would help to narrow down whether there’s some sort of ground voltage offset between the DS and the amp or if the amp is reacting poorly to the ultrasonic noise from the DS. I don’t know of any differences between Torreys and a previous release that would cause symptoms like this.


#4
Ted Smith said Did you try resetting when the DS was muted? That would help to narrow down whether there's some sort of ground voltage offset between the DS and the amp or if the amp is reacting poorly to the ultrasonic noise from the DS. I don't know of any differences between Torreys and a previous release that would cause symptoms like this.
Hello Ted. Thank you so much for your answer.

Yes, last time I’ve reset the MA6600 I did it with the DS turned off from the rear button. Initially (maybe I did it wrong…), I did the reset with the DS “up and running” (but with no song playing) and it didn’t work. Since last reset, the situation is OK… I hope things continue this way…

Just one more question: do you suggest to keep the DS OFF or in STAND BY mode for optimal performaces before using it?

Thanks once again for supporting us!

Kind regards,

Danilo


#5
zheng4 said Hi Danilo,

First I want to say that I don’t have an answer for your question. Do you mind answer a question from me?

Have you tried to use your DS to directly control the amp section of MA6600? ie, bypass the preamp section of the MA6600? If yes, did it work well? When I tried that on my luxman L-505u, it significantly raised the noise floor and also introduced a higher frequency noise.

Thanks,

Fred


Hi Fred. I still haven’t done a test like that… but, yes… I’d like to try to use the DS at the maximum of its capability. Unfortunately, I’ve a sort of “rack” where I keep my equipments and it’s no simple to reach the rear panel of the MA6600… I’ll do it in a near future… mmm_gif

#6
Danilo Belardinelli said

Yes, last time I’ve reset the MA6600 I did it with the DS turned off from the rear button. Initially (maybe I did it wrong…), I did the reset with the DS “up and running” (but with no song playing) and it didn’t work. Since last reset, the situation is OK… I hope things continue this way…

Just one more question: do you suggest to keep the DS OFF or in STAND BY mode for optimal performaces before using it?

There's a difference between five states of the DS

The switch on the back is literal power switch - it physically disconnects all power.

The button on the upper left of the front is the standby button - it does a mute with relays and turns off the display but leaves the digital and analog cards powered up so they are at optimal temperature for playing.

The mute button on the remote (and the screen) does a software mute - it replaces the data with all 0’s.

Music paused or stopped - the DS is receiving all 0’s

Music playing.

Anyway I should have been more explicit and asked if you tried to reset your amp with the DS still powered on but the suspend button on the upper left of the front of the DS off (or using the OFF button on the remote.) In that state the DS is still powered on but there is a hardware short on the outputs - so there’s no ultrasonic noise on the outputs to possibly confuse downstream hardware.

Standby is designed to keep the DAC in optimal mode for playback. The button on the back will allow the DAC to cool and it will take a while to reach optimal temperature when that switch is turned back on.


#7

Thanks Ted! I’m doing some tests… I noticed the problem occurs on my MA6600 if I keep it unused for a long period of time… a week for example (in stand-by mode) or more… If every day I use my system, the problem disappears… It’s really a strange behaviour…

It seems that:

  • DS in stand-by (no muting before) and MA6600 in stand-by: MA6600 turned on for first, then DS turned on after a while, PROBLEM, I have to reset the processor of the MA6600.
  • DS off from the rear button and MA6600 in stand-by: MA6600 turned on for first, then DS turned on after a while, OK no problem
  • DS in stand-by (before I mute it) and MA6600 in stand-by: MA6600 turned on for first, then DS turned on after a while, OK no problem
The 3rd test must be repeated because I waited for only a couple of days...

I’ll keep you informed.

Cheers,


#8

Hello Ted. Since my last post I’ve made several tests… I couldn’t reproduce the problem systematically… so what’s came out from my activity is merely a hypotesis… At the moment the DS was reverted to Yale. I think the problem is caused by a audio dropout from the DS…

With Torreys the result is a sort of momentary "outage" of my MA6600 that can be reset with a MA6600 processor reset. When the problem occurs, the MA6600 get down for a while...
With Yale, the MA6600 is not affected at all from the DS failure and it doesn't need to be reset.
Once again: mine is merely a hypotesis... itwasntme_gif I cannot confirm this theory with confidence.
Anyway, it seems that this issue occurs if I leave the DS in standby for a long period of time, 3 or 4 days for example. Or for more.
It seems that if after any playing session I turn the DS off using the rear switch, everything is OK. Both with Yale than with Torreys.
The FW version of my MA6600 is 2.54.
Any comment is really apreciated.
Kind Regards103_gif
Danilo
PS. In the meantime I added the LanRover to my system.

#9

Thanks for the update.

If the DS is in standby (by using the blue button on the upper left of the DS or by using the OFF button on the remote) then the output is muted, i.e. it is shorted, so I don’t see how it could be affecting anything downstream differently depending on the software installed in the DS.

Anyway I’ll keep my eyes open for something Torreys is doing differently than Yale…


#10

I used to have a McIntosh MAC6700, basically a similar McIntosh integrated, with a tuner module installed, and purchased a DirectStream DAC, into the MAC6700 using the balanced Aux input.

This setup worked fine for a long time, then without incident, it would play along fine and suddenly shut itself off.

Long-story-short, I had the McIntosh firmware updated, problem solved. Though I had the unit plugged into an APC unit, the tech thought maybe a “power blip” caused the firmware to be corrupted…just a guess on his part.