News: Trouble logging in? Log in from the login page.
May 26, 2020, 12:52:23 PM

Author Topic: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS  (Read 5486 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bryce

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« on: October 04, 2015, 08:42:12 AM »
I have been using the Bottlehead DAC since release without any difficulty until recently updating my OS to v10.11 by Apple.  Previous versions of the OS worked fine with no issues either through iTunes, or Amarra Symphony/sQ+/or Amarra while connected through the USB interface on a Mac Mini.  After only changing the OS, I noticed that the DAC gets dropped by the Midi interface (apple audio MIDI setup v3.0.6).  At first, I thought that it was software-Amarra; however, if the DAC is plugged in and turned on there is no error or loss. If I turn on iTunes/Amarra/etc. no change until a signal is sent to the DAC.  I watched with iTunes after pressing play and the DAC gets dropped intermittently at a frequency of 0.5 sec.  Has anyone else upgraded their OS and seen this problem?  It appeared to be primarily an OS issue to me; but I had a Schiit Bifrost that I pulled off the shelf to compare.  To my surprise, no issue- I heard the music without any issues.  I swapped the USB cords- no effect.

1) has anyone else seen this?
2) I would like to get my DAC back online- suggestions?
I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

-E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

Offline fullheadofnothing

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1437
  • A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 08:54:59 AM »
The name MacMini has been in use for over 10 years. Could you please provide specific hardware information i.e. late/mid/early year?
Joshua Harris

I Write the Manuals That Make The Whole World Sing
Kit Packer Emeritus

Offline Bryce

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 10:56:11 AM »
Mac mini Server (Late 2012)
Processor  2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory  16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
HDD 256 GB SSD x2
I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

-E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

Offline fullheadofnothing

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1437
  • A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 11:10:33 AM »
What OS were you running before? Can you roll back?
Joshua Harris

I Write the Manuals That Make The Whole World Sing
Kit Packer Emeritus

Offline Bryce

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2015, 05:23:35 PM »
OS 10.10  (Yosemite), and 10.9 (Mavericks) worked.  Never had any problems with audio quality or interfacing. On the surface, nothing has changed in the MIDI setup. Good question about rolling back-it may not be easy to do now that I've migrated.  I'm trying to figure out why it doesn't work in the first place when it did before. The only change is the OS. I've also poised this question to Apple via the beta feedback process- if I ever hear anything back it will be posted here. Any other pointers would be appreciated.
I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

-E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

Offline fullheadofnothing

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1437
  • A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2015, 05:38:51 PM »
Rolling back should be pretty easy if you use Time Machine.

This seems different from other Mac issues we have encountered in the past. I'll look into updating Dan's Mini at the office tomorrow.
Joshua Harris

I Write the Manuals That Make The Whole World Sing
Kit Packer Emeritus

Offline Bryce

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2015, 03:53:04 PM »
I'm wondering if it is new USB power management though the new OS.  I may have to find/buy a powered USB hub to see if this makes any difference.  It is interesting that one DAC works and the other does not despite both working prior to the OS upgrade.  Am I really the only Mac user with this issue?  If it works or doesn't work, I'll post the findings here.
I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

-E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

Offline fullheadofnothing

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1437
  • A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2015, 05:15:18 PM »
I upgraded a Mac to 10.11 but due to the time commitment of running the upgrade, ran out of time before I was able to see if it killed the DAC.

I may have more information next week. In the meantime, did you try reverting your OS?
Joshua Harris

I Write the Manuals That Make The Whole World Sing
Kit Packer Emeritus

Offline Bryce

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2015, 05:43:52 PM »
no- not yet because it worked perfectly before the upgrade.  Also, I've tried resetting the NVRAM (Intel), and SMC with no change either.  I've pulled out a laptop to try this weekend with the old OS, so I have a comparison system without the upgraded OS.  It works flawlessly.

Details:
MacBook Pro Mid2010
OS X 10.10.3
8 GB RAM


I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

-E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

Offline Paul Birkeland

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12782
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2015, 07:35:50 AM »
I'm wondering if it is new USB power management though the new OS.  I may have to find/buy a powered USB hub to see if this makes any difference.  It is interesting that one DAC works and the other does not despite both working prior to the OS upgrade.  Am I really the only Mac user with this issue?  If it works or doesn't work, I'll post the findings here.
You could also try disabling any power management settings that you can find.  The DAC only needs to see 5V on the USB to work and draws nearly no current while doing so.  Still, you're intuition that some "new" power management may have been added to the OS is good and a great place to look.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline fullheadofnothing

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1437
  • A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2015, 07:38:38 AM »
Early 2009 MacMini. BHDAC.  OSX 10.11. VLC 2.1.5. Charles Mingus - Better Git It In Your Soul #np


ETA: Amarra 2.4.3 also functioning at all sample rates.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 08:05:20 AM by fullheadofnothing »
Joshua Harris

I Write the Manuals That Make The Whole World Sing
Kit Packer Emeritus

Offline Bryce

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 06:56:07 PM »
Interesting, my 2012 mini has an issue with the new OS.  If I put a powered USB hub in-between the BHDAC and the 2012 mini, the BHDAC doesn't drop out at all.  Take it away and now it does :o.  This points to an OS issue with USB power management.  Maybe the architecture of the 2009 mini allows for a higher power draw through the USB port. It could be changing the output voltage to lower than 5VDC for a digital signal- possibly small enough to make the BHDAC system unstable.  What is the voltage range that the BHDAC can reliably operate within?  My guess is that Apple is working towards better power management via the OS overall, so newer machines may likely be effected and old ones will be phased out over time... Likely will be a problem moving forward for all OS(Mac/Win) with evolving systems-right? There is no problem with the BHDAC on my MacBook Pro, Mid 2010 running OS 10.10.3 which is what I was running before the upgrade.  I'll upgrade this laptop after making a backup to setup a test system when I have time.  I think that I know what the issue is (power management by the OS), but I don't know what the optimal fix will be. I don't like the idea of applying or creating a kludge to fix what should be a simple and efficient system.

FYI-The TOS interface works fine playing directly from the headphone jack out of the 2012 mini- sound is clearly better than passing through the USB hub at 44.1k with iTunes.  At higher bitrates, jitter starts in Amarra. :-\  Powercycling for about 10 seconds while keeping the high bitrate fixes the issue without issue. Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho -  Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia ; and Cheap Day Return- Jethro Tull sounded fine once the system settled down.
I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

-E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

Offline Bryce

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2015, 09:58:09 AM »
After updating the laptop to OS 10.11 the DAC works fine with the USB interface on the BHDAC leaving the problem with the mini.
I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

-E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)

Offline Doc B.

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8084
    • Bottlehead
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2015, 10:27:15 AM »
We are working with updated firmware that should resolve at least some of the issues the couple of users with newer Macs have experienced. We have reflashed one user's DAC but unfortunately we have not heard back from them about whether it resolved their particular issue. We are also trying to get back the new Mac that Josh loaned out so that we have one on hand to do further testing with.

This product was a new gig for everyone involved and we have learned now that it seems to be quite a challenge to keep up with companies like Apple and Lenovo who change hardware and OSs every quarter. I think there might be one or two more users who have had this issue. I would like to reflash some more DACs that have not liked newer Macs, and thus if anyone is experiencing that particular issue please contact us so we can arrange to get your DAC in for a free firmware upgrade.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Bryce

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) hardware issue vs OS
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2015, 05:29:47 PM »
I'll be happy to try it and leave feedback here afterwards.  Thanks!
I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.

-E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)