Sprout USB settings


#1

Let me start by saying that the Sprout sounds great. I am using Pioneer SP BS22 LR speakers. I have used Bluetooth and analog input without difficulty. I spent yesterday trying to use the USB input and have failed to get it working. This is my fourth DAC, so I have experience with DACs and JRiver. I have installed the USB driver from Downloads/Download Drivers. Sprout is selected as default sound device and I have chosen every output mode available in JRiver yet no sound. (Yes, digital is the selected input). I have tried on a windows 7 computer running JRiver 18 and on the laptop from my main system, which runs windows 8 and JRiver 20. I have rebooted everything a few times without effect. Any suggestions would be welcome.


#2

Let’s start with some basics (you may have already tried this). Under Windows 7 go into the control panel and select “Hardware & Sound” and “Sound” from that menu. This should give you a list of output devices along with one that is checked as “default”. Is the “sprout” in the list? (The default I believe should have “speakers” and “headphones”). If it is, select it and then click on the “Advanced” tab. The top item on this tab is a pulldown that represents the default PCM format. You should have a few choices. For the sake of this test it doesn’t matter which you select. Click the “test” button to the right of the pulldown. You should hear a sound in the left speaker followed by the right.

One thing to try is to do the test after uninstalling the PS Audio driver. Without the PS Audio driver, the Sprout should (in theory) still show up as a USB Audio Class 1 devices (sampling rate limited to 96kHz).

Pls. share the results…


#3

OK. I was unable to get the test tone to work. I decided to uninstall and reinstall the driver. I also decided to change the USB cable. During the reinstall the program did not detect the Sprout. I unplugged the A/C and plugged it back in. Finished the reinstall and it works perfectly. Now to try the phono. Thanks.


#4

Excellent. Great to hear. When you are done testing the phono, you will notice that user Elk has created a placeholder topic for “Impressions”. Those of us waiting for our Sprouts would love to hear your overall impressions…


#5

Received my Sprout yesterday, and I must say I am gobsmacked by the quality of sound this thing produces. Well done, PSAudio. Like morob7 above, I am using Pioneer SP BS22 LR speakers, and they sound fantastic in my home office. I have the Sprout working fine on BT and Analog inputs, but for the USB connection I am seeing odd behavior (using a Windows 7 machine). Songs will play just fine, with excellent quality. But after a few songs/minutes, the sound will cut out. I can switch Sprout to a different input, and it will play fine, so I am not overdriving the speakers or anything like that. I am finding that the player itself will also freeze up, and stop playing the track, and refuse to play other tracks that I might skip to or select.

I had no issues installing the USB driver, and I can get the Test tone to play just fine. I am using the new Pono Music World 20 player (the latest available build), which is a JRiver product. One aspect of the Pono MW20 player that I like is that I can select the Sprout USB Driver (ASIO) or the Sprout Device (WASAPI) as the player output, without having the Sprout set as the default sound output device. This allows me to hear music through my Sprout speakers, and all the email dings and meeting alerts from other Outlook and computer programs still use the computer speakers. This is my first experience with a DAC, so I am a noob in that respect, apologies if I am doing something silly here that is causing my issue. Occasionally the player actually gives me an error, saying “Playback could not be started on the output “ASIO” using the format ‘44.1kHz 2ch’. This output format cannot be supported by your hardware. You can use the DSP studio to change the output to a compatible format. Also, make sure that your system has a valid sound playback device, and that it is properly configured in playback options.”

If I shut off Sprout, close the Pono MW 20 player, the turn on Sprout and restart the player, it will work again…for a few minutes.

I thought maybe the Pono MW 20 player was the source of the problem, so I tried to use plain old iTunes instead. Same thing happens. Sound will stop playing, and the player will fully or partially freeze. In iTunes I can skip to the next song, but I cannot make it play…the track time counter stays at 0:00. I would see similar behavior in the Pono MW 20 player, and on occasion it would still appear to be playing the track (levels bouncing, time elapsing), but no sound being sent to Sprout. So far I have not been able to correlate this with any events on the computer, like a dialog box open in MS Word or Excel, or anything like that…though this could be happening, and I just haven’t made the connection yet. The cutoff has occurred when I have been away from the computer, as well as when I have been actively working.

I am not using a fancy audiophile USB cable (I plan to get one), and am just using one that came with a Western Digital external hard drive.

I will identify one odd aspect of my system configuration: I am using a laptop connected to a large display monitor. The laptop has only two USBs ports, one of which is an external mouse, and the other is connected to the monitor, which then has several other USB ports, one of which I use to connect to Sprout. I am not sure if these USB ports are all USB 2.0, or if they need to be.

I haven’t changed the Sound format to anything beyond 16 bit, 44100 kHz. I have configured using the default access to allow exclusive access to the device, and I have the Pono MW 20 set to exclusive access. I have briefly looked at the JRiver Audio Troubleshooting page, and haven’t had anything jump out at me.

Has anyone experience anything similar? Any suggestions welcome. One thing I will test soon is to take the display monitor out of the equation entirely, and connect Sprout directly to my laptop. This will eliminate the USB variable, and tell me if that was the problem.

Thanks!

Jake


#6

Welcome, Jake! Great first post. :)


#7

Thanks Elk! Sorry for the manifesto-length post, I’ll update with any future test results.


#8

Jake:

Feel your pain. USB problems can be a bear to chase down. You are on the right track. It sounds like a signaling issue to me. I am not a big Windows user but someone should be able to point you to the system logs where you will see if log-able USB signal issues are happening. For the moment don’t worry too much about an audiophile grade cable and concentrate on a cable rated to be compliant with the USB signaling standard. The bar isn’t very high. An Amazon Basics cable will do. Get a short one (< 1m) and definitely try it in the computer’s main USB ports. The problem could be as simple as a dirty contact or poorly shielded cable. Long cables are much more susceptible to having signal loss issues.


#9

Thanks Andrew, I will try to test with a direct connection to the laptop later today…I had guests last night, and wasn’t able to continue my testing. I will try a short new cable also, as the one I am using is quite a few years old, and may be the culprit. Songs played just fine this morning for about 50 minutes, and then the sound cut out. Player is currently still playing, but not sending sound via the USB…no error displayed. Normal computer sounds outside of the player are still working on the computer speakers. It is definitely something with this USB connection, and hopefully just in my hardware configuration. I’ll try to dig into the system logs, after I try the direct connection and a new cable…thanks for the suggestion!


#10

I am glad to update this thread to say that I now have everything working properly via the USB connection.

I tried a new USB 2.0 DAC cable, plugged into the same port on my display monitor, and it didn’t work. In fact, the failure/cutout occurred even faster with the new cable: less than one minute into the music, each time.

I then switched USB cables so that my mouse is routed through the monitor, and the Sprout gets the sole remaining empty USB that is a direct connection into my laptop. It wasn’t initially recognizing the Sprout in the new port, so I uninstalled the driver and the USB 1.6.1 software from PSAudio vis the control panel, and reinstalled clean in the new port. Everything has been working fine ever since, through the same Pono Music World 20 player (by JRiver). I have played for several hours with no audio cutout or player freezups. Fingers crossed, but I think this solved it. Not entirely sure if it was the direct connection or simply the uninstall/reinstall, but I am happy that it works cleanly now. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Back to enjoying incredible sounds through an amazing device. Thanks PS Audio!


#11

Good news Jake. I bet you got it. Enjoy the music. My Sprout is due here in New England (CT) on Thursday…


#12

Andrew you are going to love it, this thing is incredible! I am waiting for a second Sprout I bought at retail price (ouch!) in the Dec 1 batch, hoping it arrives in time for a Christmas gift.

Also, and this may be obvious to everyone, but I will mention it again just in case it helps somebody later: I intentionally did not set Sprout as my default speaker device. Instead, I selected Sprout as the output device from within the JRiver player only. This means that sounds from any other programs when I am working (such as email dings, etc.) come out of the computer speakers, and don’t interrupt or overlay my music. A loud program error “ding” can be really disturbing coming through your speakers when you are cranking tunes!

I don’t think iTunes has the capability to select a specific sound device for output, but I may have an older version of iTunes, or just didn’t look hard enough.


#13

Hi,

Anybody knows how to switch between USB input and Coaxial (for my cd player)?

It looks like unplugged on of the device is necessary :(


#14

Unfortunately there is no way to switch between the Sprout’s digital inputs. If USB and coax are both used, I believe USB takes priority. I don’t know what happens if both are connected but one is turned off (i.e., whether it still senses the connection). A switch would have been nice (just an extra position on the selector switch, at least externally).


#15

It would appear that Sprout prioritizes USB based upon the presence of voltage. My Mac Laptop will hold the digital input even when shutdown as there is a small amount of +5V current that Apple provides (for some reason).


#16

Sprout gives up the USB connection with my Mac mini turned off.


#17

Anybody tested Sprout USB DAC with Auralic Aries? I am wondering if Aries will recognise Sprout ?