Why Does My PWT "skip"?


#1

I have a PWT and a PWD DAC II, with the latest firmware on both units. Sometimes when playing a CD, I get a skip in the middle of a song. (I assume this is an issue with the PWT and not the DAC, which is why I posted here.) The skipping is very intermittent. It happened a couple of weeks ago on two CD’s one night, but it has not happened again until tonight. Tonight I got a skip on one CD that I have played several times without any problem, and then it skipped three times on another CD. When I “rewind” the track, the skip does not occur again, or if it does it does not happen in the same place in the song.

Any idea what might be causing this? It’s rather annoying.

P.S. I am using the I2S connection.


#2

This would be very annoying.

As it occurs on more than one CD, I doubt it is the CD itself.

I immediately suspect a grubby lens with read issues, but since the PWT re-reads the CD this should not be as much of an issue as with a normal transport.

It may be worth trying another connection to be sure it is not the cable/connectors.


#3

How old is the unit? if it’s less than 3 years old it’s under warranty… If it’s older I’d just replace the rom drive with a new one. I remember reading that it’s easy and cheap and even affords one the opportunity to put in a better drive…


#4

Ask PS Audio first, but a new drive should not be too expensive. Before ordering a new drive, see if you can find a lens cleaning CD. They have a few featherweight bristles somewhere in the middle and you play a specified track. It will do one of three things… Clean some dust off of the lens, wreck the lens, or do nothing detectable. If you are ready to buy a new drive then there is little to lose. :slight_smile:

J.P.


#5
erikm said How old is the unit? if it's less than 3 years old it's under warranty.. If it's older I'd just replace the rom drive with a new one. I remember reading that it's easy and cheap and even affords one the opportunity to put in a better drive..
The unit is only three months old. If it doesn't skip when I rewind and play the same passage again, doesn't that suggest that it's not the rom drive? I mean, if it was a typical player without a memory buffer, I could see this type of problem being the rom drive and an reading error, but given that it plays fine when you rewind, this would seem to indicate that the correct data is in the memory, and it is something else. But that's just my logic (or ignorance) -- I really don't know.

#6

It could be the ROM drive. It could have intermittent problems reading data requiring more retries that real time playback allows. Rewinding may well just be using buffered data not requiring a read of the disc to play back.

Since the unit is new you should have open a ticket with PS Audio to get the problem corrected.

J.P.


#7

Skips, as in jumps ahead in time?

Or is it more like a drop out, click, other such noise but stays in time?

If it is the latter, try a power reboot on the DAC.

My Direct Stream DAC has done it with my PWT a couple of times and a reboot cured it.

As suggested earlier I would try a different connection such as toslink.

Hooking up to a different DAC would prove that the PWT (or the disc) is at fault if it still happens.


#8
erikm said If it's older I'd just replace the rom drive with a new one. I remember reading that it's easy and cheap and even affords one the opportunity to put in a better drive..
A caution: while the physical drive is an off the shelf unit, the firmware is not and is proprietary for the PWT. One reason is the drive must be capable running at 1X speed. The vast majority of current drives cannot do so. Thus, one cannot substitute another DVD drive as can be done with a desktop.

#9

What problems would result from using a drive that could not read at 1X speed?

I ask because I temporarily hooked up a drive I had laying around and it seemed to work OK.


#10

I suspect that the most significant issue might be drive noise being audible at its lowest available speed. 1x is probably adequate ro play most CD with higher speeds only needed when multiple reads are required to extract error free data.

J.P.


#11
st50maint said Skips, as in jumps ahead in time?

Or is it more like a drop out, click, other such noise but stays in time?

If it is the latter, try a power reboot on the DAC.

My Direct Stream DAC has done it with my PWT a couple of times and a reboot cured it.

As suggested earlier I would try a different connection such as toslink.

Hooking up to a different DAC would prove that the PWT (or the disc) is at fault if it still happens.


Yeah, I guess “skip” is indeed a bit unclear. What I mean is, it is like a drop out. Like someone hit the mute button for a half second.

Thanks for the suggestions. I will try a reboot on the DAC and switching to another connection. It happens so intermittently, that it might take me a few days to see if these suggestions help - plus I’ll have to try them one at a time to isolate the potential problem.

I did use the PWT with a different DAC for a while and it never happened, but this was about two months ago and it was before I ever heard it with the PWT/PWD II combo.


#12

I tried rebooting both the PWT and the PWD II, and it skipped about 1 minute into the first CD I tried. I then switched from the I2S connection to coax, and played two full CD’s without incident. I’ll have to experiment some more, but I beginning to suspect it might have something to do with the HDMI connection.


#13

Have you tried the obvious - a different cable?


#14

Not yet. Because it happens intermittently, and I’m taking it step by step, it is taking me some time to work through all the steps. Listening to a couple CD’s with a different input or different HDMI cable might appear to solve the problem – or it might just be that I don’t get a skip because they are so intermittent. I plan to listen to the coax connection again tonight for a CD, see if I get any skips, and then if not, I will use the same HDMI cable I am using currently and see if I get skips again. Then I plan to move on to switching to a different HDMI cable.

Alex in tech support has also suggested cleaning the lens with a CD lens cleaning disc, and I picked one up from Best Buy to try out if I cannot seem to isolate it to an HDMI issue.


#15

It could be an issue with the CD drive in the transport.

Dennis


#16

What CD cleaning disc did you end up getting? Is there one in particular that Alex or someone else here on the forums would recommend?

The last thing I would want to do is try to clean the lens and end up damaging something.


#17

Alex just recommended getting one from amazon.com or Best Buy. I picked one up at Best Buy called “CleanDr Laser Lens Cleaner” made by Digital Innovations.

I haven’t used it yet, however, or even opened the package ,as I am still trying to determine if the problem was caused by my HDMI cable connection. I am using a Wireworld Starlight 7 cable, which is very stiff and which has no flexibility at all in the horizontal direction, and I think the way it was sitting in my cabinet put stress at the point of the HDMI connection to the PWT and perhaps caused drop outs. I’ve reoriented it, and is seems a bit more secure, and so far I have not had any drop outs. But I need to test it for several hours to be sure.

Anyway, amazon.com seems to have a whole variety of lens cleaners and Alex did not seem too particular. The one thing he did say was to carefully follow the directions on the package.


#18

Just to put a conclusion on this, after a couple of weeks of testing, I’ve pretty much concluded it was my HDMI connection. Those Wireworld cables are pretty stiff, and I re-oriented the cable and sort of tied it up so that it was going straight into the HDMI port on the back of the PWT and so it was seated nice and tight, and this seems to have solved the problem.


#19

Good news! Not the PWT, and problem solved!


#20

Excellent.

A locking HDMI connector would be a handy thing.