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  #1  
Old Feb 11th, 2010, 05:13 PM
edgrimley edgrimley is offline
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Default Static on optical or digital coax - Z90

Hi there - first post. Just got our Sonos setup yesterday and we are loving it. Everything has been going great, but I'm having issues with a static sound when using either optical or digital coax out.

I've used optical in on the receiver in the past, so it is not the receiver's issue.

Cables are brand new and have good reputation. The fact that I'm getting the same type of static from both cords leads me to believe it could be something else.

I've tried moving the Z90 a few feet from it's original location in case there were some kind of interference. That didn't help.

Interesting, when connecting my Mac to the receiver, I have to adjust the audio out settings to support 20-bit audio rather than standard 24. And that works. Perhaps something with my receiver.

Wondering if there is a way to get to that type of advanced setting with the Sonos. perhaps that is the problem.

Running wirelessly.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Eric
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  #2  
Old Feb 11th, 2010, 06:17 PM
mikewu99 mikewu99 is offline
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(1) Is the static random or deterministic (does it always occur at the same point in a given piece of music and does it sound the same each time)?
(2) Does the static occur when the music starts or throughout the piece?
(3) You mention that you had to reduce the bit width out of your Mac to 20 bits, but you didn't say why. Do you ge thte static from your Mac if you leave it at 20 bits?
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  #3  
Old Feb 11th, 2010, 06:18 PM
buzz buzz is offline
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edgrimley,

There are no sample rate or bit depth settings on the SONOS system.

What type of music are you playing? Internet Radio? Rhapsody? Pandora? MP3? Apple Lossless? FLAC? Where is your music stored?

Note that local music should be 16 bit 44.1KHz.

Describe your network for us. What is wired? What is wireless?
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  #4  
Old Feb 11th, 2010, 09:47 PM
edgrimley edgrimley is offline
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Thank you for the great follow-up questions.

- it's a wireless network, not wired

- The static is constant, from start to stop, for any music or sound that is played - whether it is on the local network, Pandora or Internet radio

- The music sounds great via analog RCA plugs out of the Sonos, it's the optical or digital coax that sound static-y. So it's not the outputs. And it's not the receiver, and doubtful it's the cables.

- I heard a similar effect on the sound from my Mac, as mentioned. Searched high and low for an answer and found that the Mac outputs standard at 24-bit but many receivers and devices are 20-bit. So by switching the output on the Mac (MIDI settings control panel) that fixed it. Of course that was after I tried air blowers, no optical cords, etc. But that did fix it. In researching this problem I did find mention somewhere that the Sonos output is 20-bit. So I'm thinking that is not the issue. But who knows.

Could it be a bad optical out on the Sonos? I would do it. It "lights up" with that red glow when I plug in the cord.

Thanks for the help.
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  #5  
Old Feb 11th, 2010, 10:06 PM
ullum ullum is offline
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what happens if you adjust the sound level output on the 90
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  #6  
Old Feb 12th, 2010, 04:53 AM
buzz buzz is offline
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edgrimley,

A SONOS system cannot be completely wireless. At least one SONOS unit MUST be plugged into the router.

At maximum volume or fixed output, the ZP90 will pass the 44.1/16 bit stream unchanged.

Since the analog output sounds fine, it is unlikely that there are any wiring or network issues.

SONOS is very compliant with industry standards. There have been a few reports about bit stream issues, but they always seem involve the same follow-on models and if one digs deep enough, these follow-on models have a history of issues with other digital sources.

Are there any firmware updates for your A/V receiver?
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  #7  
Old Feb 12th, 2010, 06:27 AM
Gyroscope Gyroscope is offline
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My 2c - the DAC in your receiver is on the blink, or having trouble latching onto the signal. Try power-cycling the receiver (assuming you haven't already done this).

/g
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  #8  
Old Feb 12th, 2010, 07:32 AM
edgrimley edgrimley is offline
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Thanks again.

- yes, of course the entire network is not wireless. Only this Z90 unit. The setup is router > (ethernet) Z120 > (wireless) Z90

- no way to update the firmware on this old receiver. 1999 Marantz.

- I tried powercycling, even running everything out of different outlets, moving the Sonos around.
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  #9  
Old Feb 12th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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Majik Majik is offline
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Unless it is a particularly high-end receiver (at 1999 prices, I would say $2,000 or more), then it's possible you can get as good or even better audio quality by using the analogue outputs from the ZP into the receiver.

The reasons being:

1. The DAC in the ZPs is very good. It's not as good as a modern separates DAC, but it's as good as the DAC in most modern sub $1000 receivers.

2. DAC technology has improved massively in the last 10 years and it's likely the DAC in a receiver from 1999 isn't going to sound that great compared with even the cheap DACs in some iPods.

It does sound, to me, that there is something a bit broken with the digital input in your old receiver.

Cheers,

Keith
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  #10  
Old Feb 12th, 2010, 09:26 AM
edgrimley edgrimley is offline
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Thanks, Majik. That is my guess as well. It was a $500-or-so receiver in '99. So I will just roll with the analog for now until I continue further with the home entertainment upgrade.... new receiver, DLNA capable TV or Bluray, NAS.

Topics for another area within the forums I suppose.

But if anyone here knows of a good DLNA capable TV or Bluray device that can decode H.264 MP4 would love to hear it. Will move the topic over to another thread...
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