View Full Version : Squeezebox 2 not getting along with my stereo

2005-04-10, 20:45
I just received my SB2 and my Meridian 861 is having trouble "locking on" to the digital connection. The 861 just clicks in and out constantly. My original SB would cause this behavior after a firmware upgrade but the clicking would stop after about 30 seconds or so and then it would play flawlessly until the next firmware upgrade. This time the 861 never stops clicking. Any ideas? Aren't we just sending simple PCM via the digital out? I wouldn't think that would cause any problems for my 861.


2005-04-11, 02:48
(Meridian hat on:) 'Clicking in and out' generally means that the receiving device is not able to lock reliably to the source because the latter is too jittery and tends to wanders outside the range of the PLL at the front of the FIFO buffer. We clean up signals coming into the box with the buffer, but even this has limits if the input is too jittery.

However, first we should establish that it's not a specific issue that has been noted here before. I assume the problem occurs with coax S/PDIF: perhaps you can try it in the TOSlink optical port on the IA42 card in your 861. If it works there and not with an S/PDIF coax input, it's possible you may have the "electrical issue" that Sean referred to the other day:

We recently identified an electrical issue that would cause coax s/pdif not to sync with a few receivers - it has been fixed already in production, but some SB2s that shipped as recently as Monday will need the fix. If you have a MAC address of 00:04:20:05:A3:FA or lower, you can contact support (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com to get it fixed.

If using TOSlink makes no difference (or maybe even if it does, but in that case the following should be regarded as a work-round only), there is also something else we can try. I don't know what the version of your 861 is, but try this:

You'll need to hook up a PC to the serial port on the 861 and run the Meridian config program. Open the product and go to Settings->Sources and choose the specific source you have the SB plugged into. Click Advanced on the resulting screen. You will see a check box labelled something like, "Poor digital source - signal out of range" Check this box and update your config.

This option, configurable on a source-by-source basis, effectively turns off FIFO buffering for sources that are too unstable or jittery to use it. It puts the input into what we call "Xmas" (External Master) mode, ie the input is clocked entirely from the external source and bypasses the FIFO. It's mainly needed for things like games consoles and I must say it's a little disappointing if the SB2 needs it: bypassing the FIFO buffer will somewhat impair performance and while you may not notice too much on lossy-compressed material, you probably will with lossless content.

A year or so ago, we had a somewhat similar issue with an SB1 feeding a pair of DSP5000s and, I believe, firmware version 7 or earlier. This was fixed with an SB1 firmware update and the person at Slim Devices who dealt with it was, I think, Kevin Pearsall.

When my SB2 arrives, I'll bring it in to tech support and make sure it behaves with our digital inputs. If it doesn't, we'll have a dialogue between Slim Devices and our tech support dept and hopefully sort it out. I have a G68 at home and the SB1 works fine with it, so I hope the SB2 behaves itself and this is just an isolated instance.

Hope this helps!
--Richard E

2005-04-11, 20:54

2005-04-20, 11:08
I now have my SB2 and the coax S/PDIF feed into a Meridian G68 is rock-solid. Good stereo imaging, suggesting low jitter; DTS decode from .WAV files also fine, with only a slight hiccup between tracks, no loss of lock or noise burst (except very briefly at start of first playback).

This suggests that the 861 problem is due to something else, but will check with an 861 and report if it's any different.

--Richard E

John Stimson
2005-04-20, 14:30
This sounds similar to the problem I had with my early-production SB2. The statement from Sean that Richard quoted above is about the problem I had. The guys at Slim Devices performed the modification on my SB2 one afternoon, and since then it has worked perfectly with my outboard DAC.

Check to see if your SB2 is within the range affected by this problem. It sure sounds like what I had.