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mistersprinkles

KEF X300A need help!

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My X300A's (not the wireless version, purchased Dec 2015) have this issue where after awhile the sound starts to fade out and get less punchy and full sounding. This happens if I listen to music for awhile or if I walk away from the computer and come back after awhile. Unplugging the USB cable from the computer then plugging it back in resolves the issue for awhile but then it comes back.

 

I am using the included USB cables. Would upgrading the usb cables to say Audioquest Forest solve my problem? That's all KEF tech support could think of.

 

Is there a firmware upgrade for the non wireless X300A? I can't find it and I have searched high and low.

 

Please solve my problem! I have had these hooked up to 2 pcs and an iMac and the problem follows them wherever they go. No matter what sample rate and bit rate I play at the problem happens.

 

Help!

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semente   
13 minutes ago, mistersprinkles said:

My X300A's (not the wireless version, purchased Dec 2015) have this issue where after awhile the sound starts to fade out and get less punchy and full sounding. This happens if I listen to music for awhile or if I walk away from the computer and come back after awhile. Unplugging the USB cable from the computer then plugging it back in resolves the issue for awhile but then it comes back.

 

I am using the included USB cables. Would upgrading the usb cables to say Audioquest Forest solve my problem? That's all KEF tech support could think of.

 

Is there a firmware upgrade for the non wireless X300A? I can't find it and I have searched high and low.

 

Please solve my problem! I have had these hooked up to 2 pcs and an iMac and the problem follows them wherever they go. No matter what sample rate and bit rate I play at the problem happens.

 

Help!

 

If it happens with different computers then it's more likely something to do with the speakers.

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semente   
Just now, mistersprinkles said:

 

Yes, obviously. That doesn't answer my question.

If something is wrong with the speakers then why buy an expensive USB cable?

I would take them to Kef for repair or replacement.

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tmtomh   
19 minutes ago, mistersprinkles said:

Because the USB cables may be the issue seeing as they are cheap crap. You're really not getting the jist of this thread bro. Maybe not the thread for you.

 

I think you don't get the fact that a slow fade of the overall musical quality has nothing to do with USB cables. It's an issue with the speakers or the amplification built in to them.

 

Of course, you don't have to believe me, or @semente. But if you insist on trying a different USB cable, I'd recommend saving some money and just swapping in another inexpensive cable, or a cable you have lying around the house.

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When you pull the USB cable out, all is good again on replugging. 

 

Here are the possibilities:

 

- The USB cable is faulty, has an intermittent problem

- The DAC in the X300A can't detect the computer after a time, and transmission falls off the bicycle

- The USB connector in the X300A is faulty

- Something silly in the computer's USB controller, like energy saving crap routines that stop transmissions or foul them up

 

Please try to borrow another computer, or even try a smartphone OTG or iphone camera kit which has a USB out. Play music as you would normally with the original USB cable and a new source. If that plays up, replace the USB cable with another el cheapo. 

If that falls over, then the DAC in the X300A is flaky.

 

The X300A DAC maxes out at 96/24 which Windows supports as USB 1.0 , for a Mac is the same, so this avoids drivers being a problem.

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So it could actually be a USB problem? They also have an aux in and I'm testing that out right now we'll see if the sound fades out. 

 

I have tried these via USB with 3 computers (2 PCs one Mac) and the USB problem follows them around. 


Is there any terminal commands or anything I can do in OSX to shut off USB power saving and the like?

Thank you

 

EDIT: 20 minutes later:

I'm hearing detail I've never heard before using a 3.5mm aux cable from my mac's headphone port to the X300A. That shouldn't be the case. I should hear more detail via USB. Cables definitely faulty.

 

If the sound doesn't fade all day tomorrow I will get myself some new cables.

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13 hours ago, Ben2300 said:

Just an suggestion, you have other usb cable around which you can just swap and try? Cheap and expensive usb cable won't make the noise fade out.

It could be the DAC within X300 is having issue.

 

If the analog connection I'm using now holds up and the sound doesn't fade do you suggest that I just stick with that rather than plunk $100 down on Audioquest USB cables?

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I've had the speakers playing for 2 hours straight today at high volume with no sound quality fade out occurring. Analog 3.5mm from iMac to left speaker, usb to right speaker.

 

I appear to have found the problem.

 

Now, the problem is either that the DAC in the left speaker doesn't want to cooperate, or that the cables included with the speakers are somehow faulty. They are very thin crappy printer cable type cables.

 

Should I stick to analog to the left speaker (this takes up my headphone jack so I can't use my headphones :( )

 

or should I throw $99 at the Audioquest forest usb A to mini cables?

 

Thoughts?

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semente   
2 hours ago, mistersprinkles said:

I've had the speakers playing for 2 hours straight today at high volume with no sound quality fade out occurring. Analog 3.5mm from iMac to left speaker, usb to right speaker.

 

I appear to have found the problem.

 

Now, the problem is either that the DAC in the left speaker doesn't want to cooperate, or that the cables included with the speakers are somehow faulty. They are very thin crappy printer cable type cables.

 

Should I stick to analog to the left speaker (this takes up my headphone jack so I can't use my headphones :( )

 

or should I throw $99 at the Audioquest forest usb A to mini cables?

 

Thoughts?

 

Can't you borrow an ordinary USB cable from a neighbour?

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My understanding of these speakers is that one cannot avoid the inbuilt DAC: if you are sending an analogue signal, the KEFs carry out an analogue-digital-analogue conversion. If so, and if the analogue input works without fade, then the DAC itself seems to be ok.

 

That would point to the USB; at the computer end (but you say it happens with different computers), to the cable (just swapping out any cheap alternative should be a sufficient test), or to the USB connector on the control speaker.

 

I note KEF, on its troubleshooting FAQs web page, specifically refers to the possibility of sound fade, so I would be tempted to speak to them to understand why they believe that might occur in normal use.

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Kef tech support is useless. I have spoken to them various times about different products they sell. They are useless. I had my Q300's "repaired" when the tweeters blew (I got carried away jamming out) and the repair guy scratched the living crap out of the speakers. My first set of X300A's were killed by an audioquest jitterbug (unbelievable, I know). KEF didn't believe me, nor did they know what a jitterbug was. They are useless.

 

 

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