Strange volume increase NAC 252

Hi, not sure if this has been discussed before. Tonight I was playing music from NDX2 to my NAC 252. All was well. I paused the stream and lowered the volume control to zero using the app via my iPad.
Without me touching anything and with both remotes out of reach on a shelf, the music started playing and the volume pot moved to the 2 o clock position causing the NAP 250 to clip. My instant reaction was to lower the volume via the app on the iPad. This achieved nothing and the volume remained excessive. I sprinted to the amp and lowered the volume manually. ( Almost flooring myself with the edge of the coffee table!)
As far as I can make out, there is no damage to the speakers and I have powered the system down. I’ll give it another check tomorrow but just wondered if anyone else had experienced this.
There are no other sources connected so my thoughts are:

  1. are another remote nearby using the same protocol. unlikely but possible.
  2. some sort of power surge or RF issue.
  3. a problem with the app
  4. a fault on the 252

Any similar experiences? (Or suggestions?)

Did you ever have someone connect their phone via Spotify to your system? If a phone was ever connected, the Spotify remote control works even if the phone is not in the LAN. If you don’t need Spotify and its input is currently enabled, it’s best to disable it.

Another remote nearby seems unlikely because an IR remote could only control the 252 volume, not start the NDX2 playing. Another Zigbee remote is practically impossible.

Similarly, I can’t see how a fault in the 252 could start the NDX2 playing.

An app problem would not be unheard of. As you probably have system automation, sadly you cannot see if the volume slider moved, as there is none.

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Hadn’t thought of that. Could have been a possibility if my stepson was still living here, but he moved our a few weeks ago and is living in London. I don’t think anyone else has connected via Spotify but really good advice to disable it.

Did your stepson move out before you got the NDX2? I think an established Spotify remote connection is forever. It happened to other people. (Though I don’t know for sure if Spotify can control the 252 volume via NDX2 and system automation. It can with Unitis for sure)

If it’s not Spotify, an app issue seems most likely to me, which is a bit scary. I can’t remember to have ever read anything like it, though.

Certainly took me by surprise. Never known anything like it before. Hopefully a one off but I’ll disable Spotify.
As you say, an app problem is possible. It was strange that the app would not reduce the volume when I tried. The mute was also unresponsive on the app. I guess it could also be the iPad itself having an “episode”.

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Disabling Spotify at your end will not prevent a remote user from inadvertently controlling your streamer. You need to get the user to remove it from the list of known devices in his Spotify app. This is just a bizarre quirk of the Spotify system which occasionally catches people out.
Spotify Connect cannot control system automation volume so in this case it’s not the culprit. However you should still ask the user to remove your streamer as it’s possible he could turn it on without knowing it in future.

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Thanks Chris. Good call. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the cause as it resumed playing Qobuz but you never know. All seems ok now but obviously a little concerned about leaving the system powered up when we are out of the house!
I’m keeping my fingers crossed it was a one off occurrence.

I guess the safest option would be to turn off just the power amp when not in use, as this warms up faster than sources and preamps. At least until you have found the cause of the problem.
Maybe worth checking other devices around your home. Possibly interference from the electronics in LED lighting or ‘smart’ devices. Perhaps even a rogue Zigbee device (some smart meters use it) or perhaps it will remain a mystery forever!

Or just mute the pre when not in use…

Muting would be one additional hurdle, but if it was really the app starting the player and upping the volume, there’s no guarantee that it won’t unmute as well

Thanks Chris. Smart meter is possible. The meter itself is sited on an the outside wall of the room only feet from the hi-Fi.
I did the tour of the house operating all of the remotes and switches for LED lights etc. Nothing appeared to be affecting the streamer or pre.
I’m not discounting a nearby Zigbee. Neighbours have an Air BnB annexe adjacent to our property so not entirely out of the question, especially if they have somebody staying with a smart device. Or maybe a Muso Qb?

Perhaps, but a rogue device interfering with the IR remote could theoretically override this so until diagnosed, I suggested turning off the power amp as the 100% failsafe option.

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My understanding is that ZigBee remotes are paired with a particular player, at least I think there is a pairing step during initial setup.

If that’s true, I would think that another ZigBee can’t connect, but maybe I am wrong

Pretty sure mute was engaged when it happened. I couldn’t then mute it through the app. (Prompting my hurried approach to the volume knob. )

That’s where I am with it at the moment unless I get to the root cause

As far as I can see this could be an IR issue rather than a Zigbee or streamer issue as that is what controls the preamp, and it seems to override the instructions from the streamer.
The Muso has an IR remote. I would be surprised if this was the culprit but you could always remove it just to be sure. If you enjoy a challenge try removing its battery!

But how would an IR remote switch the streamer from paused to playing?

I no longer have a Naim preamp so I can only speculate, but the Narcom preamp remote has buttons for play, pause etc. These are intended to control a Naim CD player, but I assume thay send these commands via RC5 system automation rather than IR direct to the source. So possibly a rogue signal up the SA cable.

It does not work with the NDX2 and system automation.

The Narcom pre/CD etc. buttons require an IR receiver in the unit, and the NDX2 has none.

And system automation is only one- directional from NDX2 to pre, there is normally no control channel in the other direction (sadly, it would be neat for other uses).

So, except for a very odd occurrence of a signal travelling up the system automation cable and confusing the NDX2, there seems to be no way for the Narcom to trigger Play on the NDX2

Precisely, I’m suggesting that the fact that the commands from the remote do send a signal down the SA cable (with no way of knowing that the device at the other end is not a CD player) there could be unintended consequences, especially if the commands came from a rogue remote control. Highly speculative, I admit.