Mini: massive distortion vanishes with firmware beta 6.1.1

I have been using two minis (one serving my stereo and the other one connected to my headphone amp) for several months now without experiencing major problems. Both devices are set to ARIES analogue outputs. Yesterday I downloaded a new album from highresaudio.com whre I use to buy all my music (Diana Krall: Wallflower 48 kHz / 24 bit FLAC). When playing back the very first track I was shocked because I experienced a massively distorted signal from my loudspeakers. The same issue occurred when I tried out my other mini which is connected to my headphone amp, an AUDEZE Deckard. I set the mini to the USB output, thus bypassing the mini’s DAC, and switched to the Deckard’s DAC - immediately the distortion was gone.

Now I experimented a bit. When I replaced the mini’s firmware 5.8 by the beta 6.1.1 the distortion vanished. So I could switch back to the adjustment (using the mini’s DAC) I had in the first place and the playback quality is flawless now.

Did anyone ever have similar problems? Like I said, this issue occurred solely with the new album, all my thousands of tracks were so far played back without any distortion.

Normally this occurs when you listen DRM protected tracks.
Are you sure the DRM is not active?

Stefan,

negative. In their download FAQ Highresaudio state:

The music that you purchase at HIGH RES AUDIO, is delivered without a DRM (Digital Rights Management) or copy protection. Please respect the intellectual property of the artist and the licensors. Otherwise, the artists, labels and probably yourself suffer damage. Copyright is the creator of a work.

Some licensees are testing advanced copy protection techniques such as „Audio-Watermarking". With the help of the audio watermark technology, it is possible to hide additional data in the audio track. This makes it possible to track individual files which were placed illegally on the web or to prevent a copy on a optical disc.

Hey Komadori,

I know this. I am also a discogs fan and I am ordering lot of 5hings there.

But sometimes it happens. This was s only one of the possibilities to be checked.

Regards

Stefan

Sorry, I mentioned discogs, but I men the high res audio.
I think I have the same album purchased an year ago but without any problem.

Stefan,

anyway, D/A-conversion via AURALIC mini is untroubled with Firmware beta 6.1.1 (and either when using the AUDEZE Deckard amp’s built-in DAC). Distortion only occurs in mini’s built-in DAC with firmware 5.8. IMO this behavior doesn’t seem to be indicative for DRM-related problems.

Robin

It’s strange. I found the whole case so far rather unsatisfying and so I gave firmware 5.8 another try. And now the album played back in perfect lucidity. I therefore can’t confirm my initial finding that 5.8 would interfere with my minis’ d/a converting process. All in all I have to state that I experienced distortion in both of my minis but cannot reproduce it any more. So I put this case ad acta. Thanks to everyone.

Robin

I experienced the similar problem yesterday.with my Mini (at firmware 5.8). I own one hi-res download (Donald Fagen The Nightfly 48 kHz / 24 bit FLAC). The other 700+ albums on my internal SSD are 44.1 kHz / 16 bit FLAC). When I played the Donald Fagen, I heard some amount of distortion. I then played a 44.1 kHz / 16 bit FLAC and heard massive amounts of distortion. I powered off the Mini and restarted and my 16-bit FLAC playback was back to normal. Is there a known problem with 48 kHz / 24 bit FLAC on firmware 5.8 ? I have not loaded beta firmware 6.1.1 on my Mini to see if this issue is resolved.

Thank you komadori!
Enjoy it!