Pops/clicks with Aurender N100H + McIntosh C47 combo

I have had a N100H for several months an was using it feeding a Peachtree Nova500 without any issues. I recently replaced the Peachtree with a Mac C47+Wyred4Sound SX-1000R setup. Unfortunately, no matter how I change the settings in the Aurender (Fade In/Out, Time Delay, etc.) I get a sharp pop or click whenever I pause a track (streamed or played from the internal drive.) It wouldn’t be too big of a deal except that it is volume-dependent. When playing at higher levels, I’m concerned at the click may cause enough distortion to actually damage a driver in my speaker (likely the tweeter.) My short-term workaround is to always mute the C47 before I pause the track on the N100, but this is a serious pain and inconvenient....especially as my I’m not the only user of the gear. Another family member might forget to mute first and then....’bang!’  I've also noticed I can get the clicks sometimes when the resolution changes from one track to the next.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Where you able to eliminate it? My only two options that I can think of now are to 1. swap the C47 for a different pre/dac combo or 2. swap the N100 for something like the Lumin U1 Mini.

I’ve already spent more than I had budgeted for this system so any changes suggested need to be equal or less to the $ I already have committed. Any help would be appreciated.

BTW...I emailed Aurender support and still haven’t gotten a response (3 days.)

I used an N100H for several years, and I never had a problem with clicks or pops, but I'm quite familiar with the settings.   The Aurender runs on Linux, but the C47 manual doesn't specifically say that the C47 is Linux-compatible.  This doesn't mean that it isn't.  Can you disconnect the Aurender and connect an alternate music source to determine if the this second source also produces the clicks and pops as the Aurender?

Also, the manual for the C47 has a few steps to set up the USB port.  I think its possible that when you hit pause, your C47 is changing sample rates on you.  This may be causing the noises you're hearing.


Dave-I was aware that the Aurender is a Linux-based machine.  Maybe therein lies the problem as the C47 doesn't explicitly say it is compatible with Linux.  The only setup steps you can make for USB on the C47 are actually on the source device (a Windows-based PC).  A MacOS-based machine requires no setup.  I do have another source connected, but it only has coax or optical outputs, no USB.  I have confirmed the coax output on that device doesn't cause any issues when hitting pause.  I do have a Mac Mini with music on it and I could connect it to the USB input on the C47 to see if I get the same clicks.  Not a long-term solution but I guess it would tell me if switching out the Aurender would solve my problem.

Did you use your N100H with a C47?  Or did you just look at the manual to assist with my inquiry?

I just did a bit more digging.  All 3 of the big brands are Linux-based platforms:  Aurender, Auralic and Lumin.  I can't believe someone isn't using one of these with a McIntosh DAC.
My Sony HAP-Z1ES music server is also  Linux based and I have no problems with any noise connected to my McIntosh C2500 tube preamp.  I am speaking of using the dac in my preamp via the USB.
I contacted McIntosh.  They basically told me it was Aurender's problem to solve and to use a different output type (i.e. coax, optical, etc.)  They also said the USB input is meant for computers where drivers can be used to manage the communication;  its not meant for media players.

Aurender on the other hand has been very helpful.  First, they made an adjustment to the output level of the N100 to address a known issue with some DACs attenuating the input level from the Aurender (the Mac is a known culprit.)  Second, they offered to push a beta firmware out to address the clicks/pops as they've heard of this problem from other users.  That hasn't happened yet but I'll provide an update when it has.

If the firmware update doesn't fix it, I'm ordering a Sciit Eitr USB-SPDIF converter and gonna call it a day.  I really like the Aurender interface and a ability to hold music locally if desired. So I'm not really interested in changing my player out unless I'm forced to.  I don't stream or own anything that goes beyond the 24/192 limit of SPIDIF input anyway.  In fact, some people argue that the SPDIF approach sounds better than the USB transmission method.  We shall see.
I contacted McIntosh. They basically told me it was Aurender's problem to solve and to use a different output type (i.e. coax, optical, etc.) They also said the USB input is meant for computers where drivers can be used to manage the communication; its not meant for media players.
One of the many reasons I sold my C48 a while back, I mean what a load of tosh that the usb input is meant for computers only!
Good job Ayre does not think the same!

Glad to hear Aurender are being helpful and responsive in this matter as a 100H is still on my potential purchase list which has USB output only.
Aurender solved the problem.  I had extensive email exchanges with their Technical Support Manager;  awesome guy.  Turns out I'm not the only one whose had issues.  They had heard of the same problem from other customers.  He asked if they could push a beta firmware to my unit as that version has fixed the issue for others. Bam!!!  Problem solved.  It eliminated the problem for almost every instance.  I have heard the click only once now and it was at a greatly reduced level, and that was only when the resolution switched from 96 to 88...which is a rather seldom occurrence.  All clicks from pausing and skipping tracks are gone.   I'd consider it fixed.

There is also a somewhat common occurrence of DACs attenuating the output of the Aurender by as much as 70%, resulting in you needing to turn up the volume quite high on your pre to get to listenable levels.  Yep....the Mac is an offender there as well.  The Aurender team can go into thee machine and adjust the level to compensate.  So they did that as well!

All-in-all....I gotta say this is a quality team and responsive to boot.  Glad I didn't just jump ship to Lumin or something else without contacting them.
Great news on the high level of customer support from Aurender.
That alone has pushed the N100H right to the top of my next streamer list.
Thank you very much for the update!
The only other one I'd consider would be Lumin.  All depends if you need onboard storage.
Just bit the bullet and purchased a lightly used N100H!
Hopefully great things will unfold.
Just downloaded the Conductor app which looks straight forward enough.
The app is pretty straightforward.  Sometimes it can be frustrating how switching from local music to Tidal for example will change your underlying view;  you'll understand when you see it and get used to it.  I'm still tempted to try the Schiit Eitr USB-SPDIF converter to see if I can elevate the performance a bit more.  I haven't read much feedback of how good the Mac USB implementation is.  Given my recent experience, my guess is they focused on other parts of their DAC so maybe the coax input could be better!?

I'm glad Aurender fixed this for you.  I had a similar service experience with the team at Aurender - they're top notch.   I used an Eitr for a while since my DAC didn't have a USB input, and the results were very good.  I think for the price, the Eitr is a great value.  Regarding the quality of the Mac USB implementation, I think I'd rather have the Eitr convert the USB signal than the Mac, but it'd be interesting to hear the difference.


Thanks for the insight into the Conductor app.
I will be feeding the N100H usb directly into a usb only Ayre QB9 dac and from their via xlr to my BAT VK300xSE.

Cant wait!

Did you try a USB-SPDIF converter - curious as to the results.  

Glad you got this sorted out and to hear Aurender is that on top of things. 
@ jkscherk
that is awesome Aurender solved your problem. This is a great example of a responsive proactive company and front-line management that understands customer service.
Excellent software developers and high end audio do not need to be mutually exclusive.
Companies that do not invest in solid software engineering efforts (embedded low level firmware, networking, etc) yet offer products with such devices, will constantly struggle in the marketplace, upsetting the customer base.
Aurender +1
Mc: -1

So I did order and install the Eitr from Schitt.  Unfortunately between work and travel I've had no time to sit down and compare it v. the Mac USB connection.  Hoping to get some time over this weekend.
Spent an hours or so going back and forth between the Eitr providing signal to C47 over coax(from the USB out on the N100) and straight USB out from the N100 to the C47.  Sometimes I thought I heard a slight difference and other times I couldn't tell any diff.  When the difference was there, it was so minor and nuanced that in my opinion, having another piece of gear with another cable inserted into the chain is probably worse than just going straight.  So in this case, I'm deciding to not use the Eitr and keep it simple.  I might upgrade my USB cable and see what diff that makes.  Currently using an Audio Advisor Pangea cable.
Any Pangea cable I have tried (AC-9 is an exception) has sucked the life out of my system. I always had excellent luck with the WireWorld digital cables. 
I think trying a different cable is my next move.  Now if there were only a few more choices. :-)
Contact Bill ( Grannyring ) right here in Audiogon.
Makes the best darn USB cable for the dollar IMHO.