Minor issues with the tone board

I’ve had the Khadas Tone Board for about a month and while it sounds good, I just wanted to post on some minor issues I’ve been experiencing and see if others might have the same.

Just to give you a sense of my hardware in case that might be contributing to the issue I’m using:

  • A 2011 iMac
  • A Cavalli Liquid Carbon X balanced headphone amplifier
  • Audirvana and Tidal Native application for streaming
  • Various headphones include Audeze LCD-3, Sennheiser HD800, Focal Clear and Noble K10 iem

Below are some of the issues:

  1. Tone Board connection to the iMac frequently drops. This usually happens overnight and not when I’m in the middle of playing music but it’s still annoying since I have to replug in the ToneBoard. I’ve tried several different USB C cables with no improvement. Seems like this might be a consistent problem with some units but wondering if folks experiencing it are also using an older Mac.
  2. Audirvana incompatibility. The Tone Board flat out doesn’t work with Audirvana. Whenever I select the ToneBoard as the output I get music playing with very heavy distortion. I can quickly switch to another software source and select the ToneBoard and it sounds fine (no distortion). It only seems to be a problem with the Audirvana software.
  3. There appears to be some sort of grounding issue with very sensitive headphones/iem. I just tried to listen to the ToneBoard/Liquid Carbon combo with my K10 iem using the balanced HP output and could hear static and interference (even with no music on). When I switched over to a balanced DAC connected to the Carbon - no issues and a totally black background. This might be a problem with SE RCA and interference from the computer but I still experienced the hum using a Audioquest Jitterbug with the Khadas. I only seem to hear it with the iems and not full sized headphones. Anyone else experienced similar issues?

I’m pretty sure that I updated the firmware on the device when I bought it.

Hello, What I know about Apple devices would not be crowded on the head of a pin, so this is a total shot in the dark…
Regarding item 1, you say it happens overnight, is the MAC powered off or in a sleep state? If sleeping, check to see if power management is being used on the USB port. If so, try changing that option.

Regarding item 2, I have no experience or knowledge of Audirvana, other than a brief read of their site’s technology page. What you describe sounds similar to digital distortion, that can result from excessive levels. The software says it conditions itself for the DAC used, whether onboard or external(USB, etc). Maybe it is doing something to overdrive the DAC, maybe it has a setting that allows the level be adjusted. Yes, that is a lot of maybes.:grin:
On item 3, I have nothing to offer. Of course that does not imply that replies to 1 & 2 did have something to offer.:laughing:

Many thanks for the proposals here. I really appreciate that you took the time to respond.

I found out how to reset the iMac’s power management and will try that today. In addition, I may mess around with the Toneboard on my wife’s MacBook and son’t Laptop PC this weekend and see if I’m having any of the same issues.

Thanks Again!!!

The Audirvana problem looks like the application is using some unsupported bitrate, sample rate or sound format for output to the TB (such as DSD512). Wrong autodetection or settings? Does it concern all files with different sample rates and formats?

Hello, Just checking in to see how it is going. Any luck. :slight_smile: