Do you know what is causing a Slight Background Crackle Noise

Very seldom I can hear a slight crackling in the background. I have been trying to isolate it.

  • It does not appear very often
  • It is not song/recording specific
  • It is not related to the volume
  • It seems to be eliminated by turning my desktop amp/dac off, unplugging the unit. This seems to have worked the last couple times.
  • Could it be some static build up? The unit is sitting on a rubber like mat, it has built in steel like pointed feet.
  • Instructions state to turn the unit off first after each use… I do not always do this as it is a bit of a hassle since I come back every so often in the same day to listen to music however if that could be the issue, I would do it (no problem)

Any ideas?

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What’s the chain/gear involved here?

Is it the Arche you bought?

What are you feeding it from? What connection? What software? And if a computer is the source, what OS, and drivers/output settings? And what else is running?

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Yes the Arche connected to a 2015 MacBook MacOS 10.14.6 from the Arche Balanced output to the MacBook usb in. Qobuz source various songs but I have confirmed that it is not recording specific. What else is running on my mac? Normally Safari, e-mail, a couple others. I am using the Focal Clear. Gain is on low, phase is set to normal, amplifier set to Clear. Audio is set to 24 bit 384 kHz. Thanks for looking.

95+% of the time, it sounds perfect (unbelievably so) – I think it is some electrical magic – I do not think it has anything to do with the unit. Unplugging seems to be the fix. I am using a surge protector.

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Is that a 2015 MacBook (the 12" model) or a MacBook Pro?

The first thing I would do is reset your audio to the actual sample rate of the music you’re listening to, via the Audio-Midi Utility. With it set at 24/384, you’re forcing the native bit-perfect data to be resampled by the OS (CoreAudio specifically).

You want to either let the Qobuz client set it to the actual bit rate and depth of the music file itself, or use a player like Audirvana or Roon which will also do that. And if you want to upsample, then Audirvana or Roon does a better job than the OS.

It might also be mains-borne interference (which a surge protector won’t do anything to stop), or USB buffering, or some other EFI (though that’s unlikely).

When you say “unplugging seems to be the fix”, do you mean unplugging the power, or unplugging the USB connection?

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  • 2015 MacBook Pro
  • Good to know about the Midi setting – I normally do not set it but let Qobuz set it however, I have set it manually to the higher setting.
  • Roon is in my future
  • Sorry, unplugging the unit’s power from the back, not the USB connection.

Based on what you have said, my setting the Midi at 24/384 may have caused it.

Again, thanks so much

Update - I was using Chrome with the Qobuz web site/player and after checking it was not changing the Midi Audio setting appropriately. I closed and used the Qobuz application under the Mac OS and it it setting the Midi Audio automatically and appropriately. So I will be using the application of course now…

Update 2 - Heck, Qobuz web site and the Qobuz application under Mac OS seems to set the Audio the same which makes sense. It does not always set the appropriate format. 2 days and it has been fine. If the crackle starts, I will check the format and set manually to match the source and see if this resolves the issue.

Qobuz hangs now and then and I have to restart the MacBook Pro… separate issue completely.

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You might want to check out Audirvana … it’s a much better way to play Qobuz (or TIDAL) content.

In addition to driving your Arche in exclusive and integer modes, with proper CoreAudio buffering, and taking proper control over the output settings, you will gain stability, performance, two proper re-sampling engines (if you want to use them - I don’t), and the ability to use plug-ins (Audio Units or “AUs”) for EQ, spatialization, or other effects (which I do, from time to time, be it SonarWorks, EQuilibirum, Twin Tube etc.).

I use Audirvana on my laptop, and Roon at home.

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I just downloaded roon on my MacBook Pro (my only PC) for the trail but I will be keeping it. Amazing… Thick icing on the cake I would say.

I assume Roon is similar on the player/sound/appropriate format. The EQ, spatialization is fine but frankly I am fine without these capabilities since the sound is so good. After an hour of checking, the format has been set correct 100% of the time. The metadata including lyrics is just what I hoped for. The GUI is easy but I will look for a user manual for roon sometime.

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Roon is awesome.

Especially for both exploring and learning more about your existing collection, as well as for finding new music based on that.

And when paired with either TIDAL or Qobuz (or if you’re like me, BOTH), then it’s the best experience out there, as you can literally treat content from both as if it is part of your native library (all shows up in one view, rather than in separate sections).

The only thing Roon lacks vs. Audirvana is the ability to use plug-ins.

Though they keep adding new functionality, and things like quality parametric EQ, crossfeed and resampling/format conversion are already built in.

Also, Roon allows for multizone playback, having a separate server located anywhere one’s network and using a tiny endpoint to connect the DAC to the system, and then the ability to use that same interface on a table or phone … so you don’t have to have a computer near your listening point (though this is all entirely optional).

Roon’s biggest draw back is the price, since it’s either a $120/year subscription or a $500 lifetime license.

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The price for Roon is ok for me especially since Qobuz is dropped to 14.99 (thank you Amazon!). The lifetime is a very nice option. I would like Qobuz to offer this. I want them to be successful and not go out of business in the future.

It would be nice to be able to use my iPhone or my iPad to remote control roon on the MacBook Pro (which is of course where my roon core is). Can this be done? I can explore this online sometime and plan to download roon to my iOS devices to “play around”.

Yes, absolutely.

You’ll need to leave the MacBook Pro fired up and with Roon running on it, but since it’s both your Core and your Client, there’s nothing else you need to do there.

Then you can just download the Roon app for iOS and as long as your phone/tablet is on the same WiFi network that can reach your laptop, it’ll just work.

At most, you’ll have to select the “Arche” you have configured on your MacBook Pro as the output the iOS device is to control output for. But that’s remembered once set.

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