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Sabre USB DAC 2 (UAE23+HP) - headphone output noise

I have the following problem with the Sabre USB DAC 2 (UAE23+HP):

First off all, I’m very satisfied with the quality of the DAC itself. However, when using the headphone output and turning the potentiometer past 12 o’clock, I can hear a “whining noise” through my Headphones (Shure SRH 840), as well an occasional crackling sound. The noise gets louder immediately after a sound/music-file was played. I’ve tried the following things:

- Swapped a standard 12v 1a ac/dc wall wart for the Mean Well GS60A12-P1J, doesn’t make a difference.
- Swapped the USB Cable for one with ferrite cores.
- Added a PCIE USB 2.0 card (Startech PEXUSB4DP) to my pc. This resolved a minor skipping/stuttering issue (probably because the DAC now doesn’t have to share bandwidth with other USB devices), but didn’t have any impact on the described problem.

Could this be some problem with the potentiometer or TPA6138? Still a USB noise-issue, despite the integrated adum4160? Picking up noise from the power outlet could possibly also be a factor, but a Fiio E09K I used in the past (which uses a 15V DC adapter), didn’t show the same problem.

Dou you have any further suggestions or ideas what could be the issue, because without this problem, this would be a perfect DAC. Opening/checking the DAC by myself is not possible, since I’m not a DIY’er.

1 Comment

HI, sorry that we didn't see this question earlier. It seems you have done some troubleshooting already. If it doesn't occur through the RCA outputs (direct from dac chip), then it might be a problem with the headphone output circuit. Please contact us directly to arrange a replacement.

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