loud intermittent pops from DAC, possibly related to long USB cable from computer

when I bought my benchmark DAC 3 years ago, it made loud intermittent pops. people suggested it was due to the long USB run, so I got a 'USB active extender' 15 ft. cable which connects to a regular 15 ft. USB that goes to the DAC. the problem stopped - until now: I recently disassembled my system (changed the cabinets). when I turned it back on, the pops were back (fwiw: they only happen during the music, not when it's idle). I tried turning off the DAC, disconnecting and connecting the cables, but so far no luck. any ideas?


So I don't know much about the active extender but I am good at solving problems.  It sounds like the active extender isn't working, probably associated with the recent work you did.  What powers it? check the power supply.  Check all connections.  Look at the manual for troubleshooting.   If this was obvious to you and you were looking for something else, I apologize.

best of luck.


@carlsbad: thanks - that's about the only thing that makes sense. I'll wait a bit, but if the problem persists, I can get another active extender cable for ~ $20 from amazon; if that doesn't help I can just return it.

I had the same problem! I was using an old computer feeding a Lampizator Dac. I tried a newer computer (2 years old) and problem solved! In my case the popping noises were due to an old USB architecture, so perhaps you should try another computer and see if your problem goes away. Cheers!

You could try upgrading your USB cable to something that works good with longer runs.  I use this one:

Supra USB

You could also try increasing the length of your buffer if you use computer audio.