SGCD popping sound with volume change

Recently added a Parasound HALO A21+ to my system…LOVE it… however, I notice that when I change the volume of my PSA SGCD, there is a popping sound for every adjustment up or down. Does it using the remote or the volume knob on the unit. Never noticed it before switching amps. It’s not LOUD, but it is noticeable if no music is playing. Is this normal? It sounds a bit like when you tap a live microphone with your finger. The volume of the “tapping” also changes with the amount of volume change.

Stonefree…from what I have read a resistor ladder volume control
is incorporated…when the volume is changed there may be a
clicking sound as different resitors in the ladder are engaged.
I could be mistaken about the resistor ladder in SGCD

Are you driving your new A21+ with XLR balanced cables?
Double check the back of your A21+ to be sure the input toggle
switch is set to balanced…this will make a big difference.

Someone…perhaps james the PS Audio Whiz Kid will chime in,

My Wyred4Sound STP SE Stage 2 preamp does the very same
thing…

Wish you the best

Yeah, I have everything connected correctly. Furutech XLR’s and switches set to balanced. It’s not a huge deal really, it’s just it’s never done that before (that I can recall), maybe the higher performance of the A21+ makes it more noticeable? Just want to make sure it’s all running correctly. It all sounds great when playing.

Thanks for replying…

You might like to reach out to jamesh he is the PS Audio
Whiz Kid…and would be able to help out in much better
way than myself…

Best wishes

I did notice the same thing with GCD when connecting various components, and the issue every time was that GCD and other components were not connected to the same set of outlets. For example, if one component is in the regenerator and another is straight to the wall, there is a slight pop, when both are connected to wall or both to the regenerator - no pop. Just check to make sure power is coming from the same place.

I’d be curious if you can hear it through the headphones. The GDAC does have tiny clicks when changing the volume, but they’re very subtle and I’ve only heard them with REALLY efficient speakers. Now if they’re loud, that definitely evident that something is now right.

James, it makes the popping sound in headphones too (Sundaras), The speakers are Wharfedale EVO 4.2’s, imp of 6-8 ohms and 87db.
I have all components plugged into the same outlet. I do not use power regen yet, but may in the future.

Again, not interfering with my listening. Just concerned if something is amiss.

I’ve never heard a popping, or other sound, when changing volume on my SGCD (into a pair of M700s and Maggie LRS speakers).
@Ohiophotopro mentions connecting/disconnecting components—I only do so with the power completely OFF to the entire system, not simply on standby.

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same to me, no pop, no hum

The volume control in the Stellar Gain Cell DAC is not of the subtractive (ladder) resistor kind. It is, like the product name suggests, an active Gain Cell (amplifier) circuit which has certain advantages for Sound Quality.

I am not sure what the reason is, that there are very few Gain Cell volume controls out in the market, but in some peoples experience these circuits suffer from inconsistent quality.

You read it, there are many units out there that do not suffer from pops. My SGCD did, along with others. When switching between any input channel (digital or analog) and a channel configured as home cinema channel.

According to PS Audio it was related to the Gain Cell volume control. I measured the output of the SGCD and noticed voltage peaks for every pop. What I also noticed, was a DC Voltage Component in the output of the channel that exhibited the loudest pops.

Input circuits of power amps do really not like DC voltages, or voltage peaks.

I reported the measurements it to PS Audio via this forum and was told that nothing could be done about it. Since the pops were not loud and the DC levels were small, I kept the SGCD operating, even though I was worried for my power amps (active speakers).

Till the channel that had exhibited the loudest pops started clipping even at low volumes exhibiting extreme loud pops and distortion, I returned the SGCD to the dealer. The representative of PS Audio did repair the SGCD, enabling me to get a deal on a different brand integrated streaming DAC/pre amp in the same price range.

I was happy how things turned out. I was intrigued by the Gain Cell technology and by the Stellar Gain Cell DAC’s sound quality and it’s looks. It was a pity this did not work for me.

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As long as it’s equal in both channels, relatively quiet, and doesn’t get worse, it should be OK.

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