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Airport Express problem

 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 853
Registered: Oct-07
Trying to use my new Airport Express to send music to my stereo.
Connected fine, and I am even able to use the 'touch as a remote. I am using Fiber Optic from the 'express to my CA840 cd player's optic 'in'.
Problem is that the music sometimes gets real 'glassy', like fingers on a chalkboard.
It happens for BOTH mp3 and Apple Lossless files and even copied using error correction.

Any ideas, anyone?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14556
Registered: Dec-04
What optic cable are you using, Leo?
I just got a new expensive one from Nick, and the diff is palpa...

No name on this, can you get a pricey one to try out?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14557
Registered: Dec-04
What bitrate is the Express?

The CA may be upscaling as well, which is not always desireable.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 859
Registered: Oct-07
Bought the Cheap-o optic at WallyMart since it came with the miniplug adaptor. If I can borrow a better cable, it is worth a try, for sure.

Your bitrate question may be on track. I sent off an e-mail to the CA folk and they want to do a software update for which I need to either mail them my machine or find someone local who will do it. Is there such a thing as a USB->Serial adaptor? Darn player has a Serial port. Come to think of it, my laptop has such a port. .......

The claim from CA was that the AE has a problem with clocking. That would figure. Also, I got a bug up and tried just the earbuds from the AE and that works fine, so the CA is looking better for a fix.


But when it works, it is fine and easy to use. Film at 11
 

New member
Username: Klepsydra

Post Number: 9
Registered: May-10
The reviews I've read on the DAC in the Airport Express have said that it is relatively good, though still just 16-bit. If it is too much of hassle you may just want to go with the Analog out instead.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1162
Registered: Oct-07
I may be FORCED into using the analogue outs.
The DA section of my 840c is just too good to let rot, though. This whole setup was taking shape as I purchased the Cambridge player. I also have the Cambridge Software update which they claim will fix what appears to be a non-sync issue with the Airport Express. I have the null-modem serial cable, have unpacked the software, printed the PDF and done everything but Pull The Trigger since I am a bigtime chicken and would be massively upset if I 'bricked' that otherwise fine player.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Klepsydra

Post Number: 11
Registered: May-10
Here is a good read about the Airport Express.

http://www.stereophile.com/digitalprocessors/505apple/

It even mentions the loosing lock issue that some DACs have with the AE. It is probably the same problem you are experiencing. In which case I would say that it is worth pulling the trigger and updating the software, but it is not my player ...

I have one connected to some Audioengine powered speakers using the Analog output and it sound great.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1165
Registered: Oct-07
It's apparently that pesky 2400pico seconds of jitter which is confusing the input of my CA used as a DA convertor. And while Stereophile doesn't note the sound of the defect, I'm here to tell you it is a few seconds of very glassy sound, nails on chalk board-ish which is very unpleasant. It doesn't happen again at the same place in any song.....even doing repeated tests. It also didn't make any difference of FLAC, MP3/160 with or without error correction in the computers end of the file.

I'm being boxed in, here. I guess I should drag the laptop over to the player and do the update. Of course, Cambridge NEVER tried the update with Win2K, preferring XP. Well, my laptop has only Windows ME, even a bigger Turkey than Vista, OR Win2K. I love the 2K boot side. Fast and stable, no glitches ever.

Good article, BTW. Once I get this working I can use the Remote app in my 'touch to control my entire CD collection!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Klepsydra

Post Number: 12
Registered: May-10
Yes my wife and I are using the Remote App on our iPhones to control our entire CD collection. It is very nice just choose the song and speakers you want it to play through, it works great.

Don't get me started on Windows ... I'm a software engineer and consider all versions of Windows broken up until Windows, which is actually pretty good.

As far as the sound of the defect it is most likely going to be different for each DAC depending upon the way it samples the data. Nothing on the computer side is going to make any change at all to correct it.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Klepsydra

Post Number: 13
Registered: May-10
Some how I deleted the 7. Up until Windows 7.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1166
Registered: Oct-07
I'm not going to start a Chevy / Ford / Dodge thing or even a
Nikon / Canon thing, but IMO
MAC rules. I had Windows machines from 3.11(at work) to XP sp3 so I am well acquainted with the defects and foibles of that system.
My first internet connection, using Win'95, was nutty. About 5 or 6 pages of helps and choices. Much easier now, even in Windows.
Don't even get me started on DOS. or Registry or BIOS.

Heck, I even have been fighting the Mac on photo printing quality. The Epson drivers wern't cutting it, even the 'latest'. Well, I downloaded GutenPrint and problem solved. Output of my 'cheapo" (100$) printer now matches my calibrated monitor. With no tweaks or adjustments.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.....'Fun with CD Player Upgrades'.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1167
Registered: Oct-07
Dan, do you know what the difference between people and computers is?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Klepsydra

Post Number: 14
Registered: May-10
I'll bite, what is the difference?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Betamax

Canada

Post Number: 87
Registered: May-07
I have both Macs and PC's at home & work -- haven't upgraded to Win 7 yet but will this summer now that they're rolling it out at work. I still prefer a few programs in XP over OSX, and file management is easier in XP, but everything else is better on the Mac.

The first program I ever wrote was on punch cards, so DOS and Unix seemed like a revelation in the 80's.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1171
Registered: Oct-07
Computers: The software goes in the hardware
People: The hardware goes in the software
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1172
Registered: Oct-07
My first confuser experience was in about '66 or '67 when I accompanied my dad to Sinclair Research Labs on the far south side of Chicago. They had a vacuum tube computer for which one of the techs had written a great circle navigation program and we went to view it. A big jumper board about 2' on a side plugged into the side for some purpose. Who knows, at this point? I may still have the program on punchtape somewhere, though who could possible have a working reader? Like a 2" wide player piano roll, only 300' long.
Later, (years) you could get the same functionality on an HP hand calculator and now I routinely use GPS.

Later, my HS got an IBM with a huge disk drive about maybe a couple KB. This was punch card programmed in Fortran.
It would look very sci-fi today.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 678
Registered: Jul-07
I have an airport express but don't use it because it sounds terrible connected to my integrated amp. I was told here that I need to run it through a dac. What about simply getting an HRT music streamer. Cheaper than an airport express plus dac.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 679
Registered: Jul-07
I just found Art's post on the HRT streamer. That answers that question. Good thread. I am still a non computer hifi user, and probably will be for a long time.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1301
Registered: Oct-07
I am told the CA DacMagic works with the Airport Express. I would only use the optical out of the AE since the analogue part of it is marginal at best and good for the earbuds but not much else.

The DacMagic is pretty inexpensive as such things go but will be good as you go forward and is good enough to survive a couple rounds of upgrade fever. Balanced outs don't hurt, either.

Even though I don't have wireless network my Mac will send music to my AE anywhere in the house I plug it in. Itunes works fine and the lossless file system sounds as good as CD.
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