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Audirvana ... Ouch!

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Just hooked up my iMac, running Snow Leopard, for use with the new spouse-friendly NAD/HRT Streamer II/PSB system I have previously mentioned. Did it via 100 megabit ethernet, figuring it would be a little more stable than using wi-fi (and more consistent with Jim Smith recommends).

Played a few tracks with Audirvana (it had worked well previously with my MacBook via wi-fi, and I am very much an open source supporter) but in the softer passages I heard clicks or ticks similar to, but a bit different than, something you might get on vinyl playback. Went to try the same music (all 16/44) with Decibel and Fidelia, but my trials for both of those seem to have expired. The only other things on that machine were Vox and VLC – neither of which displayed the clicking behavior (although, to my amateur and elderly ear, the overall musical experience seemed much less lively, discounting the extraneous noise).

So I am going to investigate whether there are some configuration settings I am overlooking in Audirvana that might be relevant, and will start scouring Audirvana's site, CA and perhaps other blogs/forums for some clues. Until I get my now-in-flux speaker placement/listening position squared away, I will probably don headphones for this round of troubleshooting. Any suggestions would be welcome!
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  1. ericuco's Avatar
    Damien, developer, is very good at responding to inquires.


    There is also the Audirvana forums where Damien posts replies to various requests and issues.
  2. wgscott's Avatar
    The clicking thing can be due to any number of problems, but probably the best thing to compare it to is iTunes itself.

    Try messing with the preference settings here (toggle each on and off, etc., separately).

  3. curmudgeon's Avatar
    Thanks. The problem seems to be resolved now. I just turned off Integer Mode. The iMac in question was not in use by me for months, until last night, and all I did was make sure it was recognizing the HRT Streamer. I compared settings with my own properly working MacBook which had Integer Mode unchecked, so I reset that on the iMac and ... voila!

    I am assuming that Integer Mode contrasts with floating-point, perhaps? Just thinking from my database programming background ...

    Still leaves some questions unanswered in my mind, but I will continue to do some more research.
  4. curmudgeon's Avatar
    Thanks for the suggestion, ericuco. I went there earlier, but after I discovered a remedy by turning off Integer Mode. Looks like most of the forum content lives under Audirvana Plus, which looks intriguing itself. Anyway, I am a happy camper for the moment, but I can see that I have a lot to learn about Apple audio.
  5. curmudgeon's Avatar
    This, from Audirvana's new (to me) WordPress site (, FAQ No. 3:

    You probably have a Mac whose model has been introduced before 2008 end. These models have a limitation in their USB ports power supply that makes a few samples to be set to 0 every ~16,000, and this only in Integer Mode. And this is what you can hear as clicks. To continue to get the benefits of the Integer Mode, the most widely used workaround consists in connecting a powered USB hub between the DAC and the Mac. (With only the DAC connected to it of course).

    Haven't tried it yet, but probably will compare the intervention of the hub vs. my expedient of just shutting of Integer Mode, if I can get past my knee-jerk aversion to sticking one of my Cyberpower hubs in front of an Audioquest USB cable ...
  6. wgscott's Avatar
    Test it, but my prediction is you won't hear any significant difference +/- integer mode, unless you have very revealing equipment.

    It is worth testing +/- power hub, just in case it improves things.