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System Problems

Start Here!

Have a system that isn't performing up to snuff? Don't know where the trouble might be? Start here, with our complete system troubleshooting guide.

 Start with the location:
1. Are the amp/DAC near a cellphone or WiFi router? If so, move them away.
2. Are you using any headphone adapters or extension cables? Try a different adapter or extension cable.
3. Do your headphones have a TRRS plug? (Does it have a microphone or smartphone controls?) Use a different cable to the headphone (many of them provide a regular "audio only" cable), or get a specific TRS-TRRS adapter.
4. Have you checked port power management on Mac or PC? If so, you may have to disable port power management (App Nap on a Mac) or use an external USB powered hub. 

If that doesn’t affect the results, try the following with the DAC:
1. Ensure that the DAC is selected in both System Preferences/Control Panel and your player software.
2. Try a different USB port.
3. Try a different USB cable (non-audiophile, true USB 2.0-rated, 2m or less in length—this is extremely important)
4. Try different cables from the DAC to your amp.
5. Try the DAC with a different computer source.

If you’re still having problems:
1. Try the amp with a different source (phone, PC, CD player, whatever works). 
2. Try the amp with a different headphone.
3. Replace any headphone adapters or extension cables.
4. If it's a tube amp, swap the tubes into the alternate sockets to see if the problem changes channels. If it changes channels, it's the tubes that are the problem. If the problem is in both channels, try new tubes.