Dac Synch Indicator

I recently purchased a Naim Dac from a Naim dealership and am using a Rega Planet 2000 CDP as a transport. Connection between CDP and Dac is a Blue Jean coaxial digital cable with an RCA for CDP and BNC for Dac.

My question is about the synch indicator as it is not clear to me if this light is to always be on during playback? Currently the light comes on when I push the input button but only stays lit for just over a minute (75 seconds actually) and then goes out. Same sequence continues each time I push the Input 1 button during playback. Tried other cd’s and had same result. I’m not noticing any audible change in sound quality whether synch light is on or off either. I’ve only tried Input 1 to date.

Manual states “Synchronization loss is generally caused by an out of specification clock in the source component.”

The rega cdp is a short term loan to allow me to gauge the sound difference before sourcing a transport. Unfortunately the Rega manual is pretty spartan and only makes reference to the fact the rear panel has a digital out. Not certain of age of player but expect early 2000’s.

Appreciate any guidance that can be provided.

Well did a bit more monkeying around. Removed digital cable and reconnected again to cdp and dac but this time to Input 2 and identical results as noted earlier with synch light only on for 75 seconds after pushing Input 2 button.

The only other source I have at the moment is a USB with ripped music and when it is used the synch light comes on automatically and remains lit. Not definitive but it would appear an “out of spec clock” in the Rega CDP is the likely culprit.

Hopefully others may have employed a Rega CDP in the past as a transport and can relay their experience. The Dac was purchased to replace my CD5 which had gotten long in the tooth. I don’t stream or anything else at the moment and the Dac was purchased as it seemed a good deal but all I needed was a CDP in all honesty. Very much a frog with a bicycle at the moment…

The cable is new as well and don’t believe the use of a BNC/RCA combination is causing me any of this grief?!?!

I think you’re right about the Rega player clock frequency being out of spec as the culprit. The Naim DAC matches its clock frequency to the source using 10 switchable fixed frequencies which are selected to keep the average clock frequency the same as the source. The DAC’s RAM buffer is either filling or emptying and chooses the clock of the appropriate frequency to prevent underruns or overruns of data. If none of the selectable master clocks can be closely enough matched to the incoming data rate then it will use an asynchronous sample rate converter solution instead and I suspect this is what you are seeing when the Sync light goes out.

Some users of the Ndac should answer you, probably more tomorrow now.
@RichardD, @marcusman,

1 Like

The synch light should be on for best performance. IIRC others have in the past reported synch issues when using the Planet as a digital transport with the Naim DAC. I would suggest you use something else here. I tried quite a number of different CD players as transports found that the Meridian 200 players work really well as transports with the DAC, and would assume the 500 series would work as well or maybe even better. The difference between the Meridian and the others was very clear.

1 Like

Thx james_n and Richard. I’ll search comments in the archived forum.

Thought by swapping for Rega I’d get by for once without spending money in this hobby lol! So just that I’m clear it isn’t that the dac isn’t doing anything just not optimized? I hadn’t yet listened with and without dac which should be easy enough to test.

I’d been looking at NuPrime, Cambridge and Audiolab transports. I’d love to stay with a CDX2 or CD5XS but a bit costly even used at the moment.

nDAC owner here. I’m using an Allo Digione Signature rather than a CDP but I can confirm that the sync light stays illuminated throughout any playback and only goes out when I stop streaming.

When the DAC needs to use ASRC then yes it’s not optimal, but on the other hand you say you notice no difference. I’d certainly try another transport as the Naim DAC is not immune to the quality of the transport but you’ve got a working solution for now if you don’t want to spend more.

Another user here, my DAC gets a Toslink signal from a MacBook. The sync indicator lights up immediately when data is sent and stays on as long as the music is playing. The DAC is sort of picky when it comes to sources. The MacBook for example is better than a Bow ZZ eight used as transport.

Thanks everyone.

From my initial research it seemed the dac could be a bit temperamental with transports which was another reason I decided to give the Rega a try. I’ll cool my heels for the time being and rethink this and am definitely not suffering with the sound I’m getting at the moment.

FWIW I’m using a ND5XS2 feeding the nDAC it’s fantastic. As others have indicated the synch indicator is always on for me.

Thx marcusman…exactly what I didn’t want to hear lol.

I was afraid I needed deeper pockets when I bit on the ndac purchase.

I’ll keep an eye out for a Meridian 200 transport but not real common in my area. Expect these are getting on in age as well and don’t know how well their transports hold out…

1 Like

lol sorry about that @lavantha! I honestly didn’t plan on a nDAC as I was perfectly happy (and still am) with a ND5XS2. The pre-owned nDAC kind of fell into my lap. Perfect condition, local seller and the price was right.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.