FAQ

Welcome to the dCS Knowledge Base. You can either browse the Knowledge Base by category or search for content using the search field at the bottom of the page (please use keywords rather than sentences to search).

Playing DSD files from a NAS drive running Minimserver, why does the sound drop out periodically?

This can happen if you play a DSD file and then (at some point) change the frequency of the clock to which the Upsampler’s Network interface is locked. As the Network interface is asynchronous, this change seems to throw Minimserver’s DoP packaging routine out of sync. The solution is to re-boot the NAS drive. If you want to experiment with different clock frequencies, we suggest that you disconnect the Network cable from the Upsampler first.

Can I play DSD/64 DFF or DSF files over the network to the Vivaldi Upsampler?

Yes, provided the server software packages the DSD data in DoP format. Minimserver and JRiver Media Center work well. Vivaldi does not support DSD/128 playback at present.

Can I use a Linux PC or a Linux-based server with your USB products?

We test our products thoroughly with Windows and Mac OSX, but only briefly with Linux Ubuntu. As Linux is open-source, it tends not to be as thoroughly tested as commercial operating systems, so we cannot offer support if you encounter problems. Linux natively supports USB Audio Class 1 and 2, so there is no need for a special Linux driver.

Can I use a different UPnP control point App to send music to the Vivaldi Upsampler?

Yes, in principle you can use any UPnP control point App. Note that the remote control features (e.g. DAC volume control) are available only from the dCS App. We cannot accept responsibility for other manufacturer’s software, of course.

My satellite receiver has a Toslink optical output only. How can I connect it to my dCS system?

Debussy, Puccini and Paganini do not feature Toslink inputs, but adapters are widely available. Please consult your dealer or search online for “toslink to spdif converter”.

Why do the displays of my Vivaldi units refresh themselves every 10 to 20 seconds?

On Vivaldi systems, this can happen if there is a set-up error in the clocking system, generally either

(1) locking the DAC/Upsampler to the Master clock but not the Transport or other source or

(2) locking the source device to the Master Clock but running the DAC in Master Sync Mode.

The Sync Mode icon on the displays should help you find the error. Please correct the clock connections or the DAC/Upsampler’s Sync Mode settings.

Can I upgrade the hardware in my dCS products to the latest version?

Hardware upgrades are currently available for dCS units with serial numbers starting with DDC, PUU, SCK and PCK. Upgrading the P8i Player to the Mk2 version is still available in some territories. Most hardware upgrades can be fitted by your authorised distributor. All hardware upgrades are chargeable and are subject to availability.
Sorry, we cannot offer hardware upgrades for the Classic range (made before 2007).

Do your USB interfaces work with all versions of Mac OSX?

We have tested our products with all versions of OSX up to the current OSX 10.10 Yosemite without problems. We use industry standard USB audio interfaces, so any problems experienced after a major OSX upgrade should be resolved by a subsequent minor OSX update.

A disc gets stuck in the Player when I select the digital inputs.

When the Player is not in Disc mode, the CD mechanism is turned off to reduce electrical noise and improve the sound quality. Please eject the disc and close the tray before selecting the digital inputs.

After changing the Puccini Player’s Source from SPDIF to Disc, why is there is no sound from the Player?

When using the digital inputs, the Stop / Eject button is used for Muting. If you mute the Player before changing input, it will remain muted – this will be indicated by the blue Mute LED beside the Stop / Eject button. Press the Mute button on the remote control to unmute the Player.

Why does the Filter setting change when I change input?

The Filter setting is stored separately for each sample rate. If you select a source with a different sample rate, the Filter setting you previously selected for that sample rate will be applied.

How do I update the software in my Puccini U-Clock?

The Puccini U-Clock was deliberately designed to be simpler than our other products, so it has no software update feature. Updating requires opening the case and loading new software from a chip, please contact your dealer or distributor to arrange this.

Can I update dCS products that do not have a USB interface using a PC?

It is possible to update most other dCS products from a PC via USB and a U-Clock or Upsampler, except for Transports and Players. The PC must be set to output bit-perfect data – there must be no volume adjustment, re-sampling to 24 bits, fade in/out or sample rate conversion. A U-Clock can be used directly via it’s SPDIF output. An Upsampler must be set to output 44.1kS/s, with Clone mode set to on.

What is an SDIF-2 interface?

SDIF is an older standard that is still popular in Japan. It transmits two serial data streams in unbalanced form over two coaxial cables terminated in BNC connectors. When used for PCM, each data stream contains up to 24-bit data for one channel, messages (to identify the data), status flags and synchronisation pulses (which can be used to extract the word clock). When used for DSD, the two cables carry DSD data only. The ‘Channel 1’ cable carries left channel data, the ‘Channel 2’ cable carries right-channel data. SDIF data streams are different to both AES3 and S/PDIF, they are not compatible. For reliable operation, the output stage impedance, the characteristic impedance of the cable and the load impedance at the receiver should all be 75 ohms. This interface is DC-coupled and carries a DC offset of typically +1.25V – it will not work if coupling capacitors or transformers are inserted in the cable. To avoid interference from other appliances, the screen wires must be securely connected to chassis at both ends. There are 3 common forms of SDIF: SDIF-2 PCM, SDIF-2 DSD and SDIF-3 which is for DSD only. These variations make it difficult to extract a word clock reliably, so it is common practice to use a third cable to carry word clock – dCS equipment requires this. A balanced version of SDIF is sometimes used in multi-channel systems, a multi-pin connector is used.

What are Toslink and ST interfaces?

S/PDIF data can be transmitted over fibre-optic cable using TOSLINK or ST-type optical transmitters and receivers. Optical interfaces have the advantage that they do not require any electrical connection, so they are useful for connecting to electrically noisy devices. A common problem is that optical receivers often use an automatic gain control amplifier (AGC), because the intensity of light reaching the receiver varies with the cable length, cable loss and other factors. AGC amplifiers are inherently jittery, so better performance is usually available from an electrical S/PDIF interface.

What is an SPDIF interface?

S/PDIF stands for Sony/Philips Digital InterFace, it is an industry-standard interface used for consumer equipment. It transmits a serial data stream (similar to AES3) in unbalanced form over a coaxial cable. The data stream contains a stereo pair of up to 24-bit data, messages (to identify the data), status flags and synchronisation pulses (used to extract the word clock). The data stream is similar to AES3, but the status flags are different and are not entirely compatible. For reliable operation, the output stage impedance, the characteristic impedance of the cable and the load impedance at the receiver should all be 75 ohms. To avoid interference from other appliances, the screen wire must be securely connected to chassis at both ends. The interface is commonly used at sample rates up to 192kS/s over short distances (less than 5 metres). The connector type can be RCA phono or BNC.  S/PDIF data can be transmitted over fibre-optic cables also.

What is a Dual AES interface?

Dual AES is a digital audio interface invented by dCS in 1995 to allow high sample rate data to be split between two base-rate data streams for easy storage on the digital recorders of the time. For example, a stereo pair of 96kHz data could be split into two 48kHz streams and recorded as 4 tracks on a 48kS/s recorder. To replay, the 4 tracks are transmitted over two AES3 cables to the DAC, which reconstructs the original 96kS/s data.

Dual AES was offered as an open standard and it was added to the AES3 specification. Almost 20 years later, we use Dual AES at sample rates as high as 384kS/s. Dual AES features lower jitter than Single AES or S/PDIF, so there is a sonic benefit.

The raw data must be specially formatted as a Dual AES pair at the transmitter and then decoded at the receiver. Two identical Single AES streams used together will be decoded by the DAC as a strange ‘phasey’ mono – this is not the same as Dual AES at twice the sample rate.

What is an AES3 (also called AES/EBU) interface?

AES3 is an industry-standard digital audio interface intended mainly for professional use. It transmits a serial data stream in balanced form over a screened twisted pair cable. The original idea came from a wish to re-use existing cabling in broadcast and recording studios, which typically contain miles of screened twisted pair cable already, used for balanced analogue signals. The data stream contains a stereo pair of up to 24-bit data, messages (to identify the data), status flags and synchronisation pulses (used to extract the word clock).

For reliable operation, the output stage impedance, the characteristic impedance of the cable and the load impedance at the receiver should all be 110 ohms. To avoid interference from other appliances, the screen wire must be securely connected to chassis at both ends. The interface is commonly used at sample rates up to 192kS/s.

What are the final software issues for the Classic range?

Elgar Plus v4.31 (or v4.42), Delius v2.25 (or v2.30), Purcell v2.25 (or v2.30), Verdi v1.28 (or v1.30), Verdi La Scala v1.03 (or v1.10), Verdi Encore v1.10, P8i v1.10, Verona v1.21, 1394 Db:2.06. The issues in brackets are licensed versions which are equivalent to the previous issue and cannot be loaded by customers. Update discs for Classic products incur a service charge.

Is there any new software for my Classic stack to add the new DSD interfaces?

The original Classic stack software was “mature” in 2004, all 8 products were discontinued in 2007 so further software development is not possible.

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