Topic: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

Got ADI-2 PRO FS, but strugling with plugging in Ether Flow C 1.1 - it gives me overload error after a while on relatively low volume on both low (-23db) and high-power modes (-30db).

Is this a defect, or should I go look for a decent amp instead ?

Thank you.

2 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-12 22:16:53)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

yuriy_yarosh wrote:

Got ADI-2 PRO FS, but strugling with plugging in Ether Flow C 1.1 - it gives me overload error after a while on relatively low volume on both low (-23db) and high-power modes (-30db).

Is this a defect, or should I go look for a decent amp instead ?

Thank you.

Something is defective, either the cable, plug, headphone, or ADI-2 Pro.

Test steps:
• try another headphones.
• try each of ADI-2 Pro's outputs unbalanced.
• report back.

3 (edited by yuriy_yarosh 2020-12-13 00:43:05)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

>try another headphones
It works just fine with IEM's, although can get pretty toasty with Sony MDR-7520 (on 3/4 L jack) but works fine with MDR-Z7m1.

> try each of ADI-2 Pro's outputs unbalanced.
Fine with more sensitive headphones and IEMs (100db+) in unbalanced on both 3/4 and 1/2.

4 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-13 02:41:04)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

Could be the balanced cable for the Ether has a intermittent short, or same inside the headphones.

• Try the Ether unbalanced on each output.
• If the error appears on both ADI outputs, try with only left and only right cup plugged in, still unbalanced.
• report back

5

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

yuriy_yarosh wrote:

Got ADI-2 PRO FS, but strugling with plugging in Ether Flow C 1.1 - it gives me overload error after a while on relatively low volume on both low (-23db) and high-power modes (-30db). Is this a defect?

Yes. Contact RME service or your local distributor for advice.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

6 (edited by ning 2020-12-13 17:24:12)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

KaiS wrote:

• If the error appears on both ADI outputs, try with only left and only right cup plugged in, still unbalanced.

This is not a useful test. My previous machine has one broken op-amp (this is my assumption. as having both 1/2 and 3/4 failed is rare. also I never used 1/2), but both outputs suffer from this problem.see https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 48#p155848
My assumption is the detection is based on thermal temperature, and because board has pretty good thermal conduction (10-layer-board) and the two outputs are pretty nearby, one broken op-amp may cause error message on both outputs.

7 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-13 18:23:34)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

ning wrote:
KaiS wrote:

• If the error appears on both ADI outputs, try with only left and only right cup plugged in, still unbalanced.

This is not a useful test. My previous machine has one broken op-amp (this is my assumption. as having both 1/2 and 3/4 failed is rare. also I never used 1/2), but both outputs suffer from this problem.see https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.ph … 48#p155848
My assumption is the detection is based on thermal temperature, and because board has pretty good thermal conduction (10-layer-board) and the two outputs are pretty nearby, one broken op-amp may cause error message on both outputs.

It can be useful, if yuriy_yarosh follows my advice.

I'm not heading for finding which ADI-2 channel might be broken.
This would be pointless - if broken, ADI-2 has to go for repair anyway.


I try to find out if something's wrong with yuriy_yarosh's Ether or it's cabling.
If this would be the case he could save unnecessary, complicated and maybe expensive sending back and forth of ADI-2.

The error doesn't show up with his Sony MDR Z7, although yuriy_yarosh didn't tell how far up he could dial the volume.
This points to a possibly healthy ADI-2 Pro, opposed to what MC diagnoses, sorry Matthias!



Sidenote 1:
When one OPA1688 broke here only HP output 1/2 didn't work.
But that might depend on how exactly it breaks.

Sidenote 2:
This chip is NOT replaceable with usual soldering tools, don't anybody try.
There's a thermal pad underneath, that is soldered to the mainboard's internal ground layer.
Before you are able to heat up the chip enough to resolder the thermal pad, the chip is already broken.

8 (edited by ning 2020-12-15 07:16:46)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

I am just pointing out it’s not a good test. If it shows the same error message on the other output, it could either mean 1. His cable is broken (has short contact) or 2. His op amp is broken on one channel. Again you would not be able to tell which is the real cause.

Thermal pad is pretty common for qfn package chips. Hot air gun must be used. It’s a trivial job for those who work with SMD, such as cell phone repair technicians. But people with no experience shouldn’t even try.

I do hope ADI-2 would have a more reliable HP amp circuit though. Quite a few people experienced this issue. Recently there are a lot of advancements and successes with composite feedback topology HP amps, that achieved more power with higher precision. RME could easily redesign the current circuit.

9 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-13 19:13:08)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

ning wrote:

I am just pointing out it’s not a good test. If it shows the same error message on the other output, it could either mean 1. His cable is broken (has short contact) or 2. His op amp is broken on one channel. Again you would not be able to tell which is the real cause.

If ADI-2 drives the headphones with a different cable, or drives a different headphone to the same or more dB volume level, ADI-2 is healthy, and that's the question.

This is already half-prooven with yuriy_yarosh's answer.

ning wrote:

Thermal pad is pretty common for qfn package chips. Hot air gun must be used. It’s a trivial job for those who work with SMD, such as cell phone repair technicians. But people with no experience shouldn’t even try.

Heatgun doesn't work in this case, I can tell you.
Heat dissipates too fast into the invisible ground layer to melt the solder.

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

> Heat dissipates too fast into the invisible ground layer to melt the solder.

If that’s true then no one would be able to repair, say phones or computers. Quite a lot of qfn chips with thermal pads on those multi layer (>=10) motherboard.

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

ning wrote:

> Heat dissipates too fast into the invisible ground layer to melt the solder.

If that’s true then no one would be able to repair, say phones or computers. Quite a lot of qfn chips with thermal pads on those multi layer (>=10) motherboard.

I don't say it's impossible - I did.
But not in a standard process.

12 (edited by yuriy_yarosh 2020-12-14 01:09:11)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

Ok, so

> Try the Ether unbalanced on each output.

Had to solder a custom pentacon to 6.3 converter first big_smile
Works same as balanced, but I'm still getting overcurrent waring right after -30db on unbalanced.

> has a intermittent short, or same inside the headphones

Yes, there was a short because I tried to Ether via pentacon sad and it's compatibility is bad, to say at least.
Fixed shorts - still getting warnings.

> Contact RME service or your local distributor for advice.

It would be easier for me to pinpoint and solder through the issue myself.
Local distributors and service is not that great - it's easier for me to fix existing or a buy new one completely (no guarantee that it wouldn't overheat/overload as the previous ADI-2).

> Heatgun doesn't work in this case, I can tell you.

That's why you'll need to preheat the board first to 120-170 deg c at least.
8-10+ layer boards can deform and can get micro-cracks without a preheating.

> When one OPA1688 broke here only HP output 1/2 didn't work.
> But that might depend on how exactly it breaks.

I'll need to check, but it might be something power-related.

> This chip is NOT replaceable with usual soldering tools, don't anybody try.

I suppose its a SON (DRG / WGON or similar) package...
SON packages are fit for one time job only because they're used in thermal sensitive applications.

It's possible to desolder SON's with an infrared heat station (weller WQB 4000 or similar), but there's still a small chance of damaging, and they can get somewhere between 7K-25K$ easily.

It's also possible to desolder SON's with an inductive soldering iron (OK International's METCAL MX-5200 and similar), which are about 1-1.5k$+ with all the tips.

Just clarifying what's considered "normal" for such chip package.

So, yeah, desolder... and solder a SON hotswap bed, a small fan and put a rad on top of it, just to be sure.

Will measure op amp voltage, temps and write back - should be something simple... and surely will share some photos.
This whole shenanigans really might be due to a bad ether cable, but I can't really get decent volume out of it even without shorts and on unbalanced.

Thank you guys, hopefully it won't blow up after some tinkering... or I'll just buy a decent amp to pair up instead.
Have a great time of the day.

13 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-14 02:09:50)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

If you are sure that you want and can repair it DIY I can give you the receipt in a PM (not here) how to identify and replace a broken OPA1688.

You don't need 20k$ equipment to do so.

If you are under warrenty I'd still vote for using it.

yuriy_yarosh wrote:

This whole shenanigans really might be due to a bad ether cable, but I can't really get decent volume out of it even without shorts and on unbalanced.

To give you the figures of a healthy system:

With the 23 Ohms 96 dB/mW Ether C 1.1, ADI-2 Pro's volume limit should be at -6dB Hi Power unbalanced, -12dB Hi Power balanced.
This is about 5.5 V, 1500 mW, 127 dBSPL (same for both unbal. and bal.).

And ADI-2 shouldn't run into protection immediately with a music signal, only after some time of heavy clipping - about at the moment where you became deaf permanently smile


If you are a solder-guy you should make a cable without adapter (if you don't already have one) .
The "Hirose"-plugs are readily available.

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

> If you are under warrenty I'd still vote for using it.

My warranty is kinda meh... I've lost the shipping box/materials and too eager to wait for a replacement and further warranty repairs. Don't care that much about it... it's definitely not a dynafrips terminator and not a Flux fa-10... so yeah, I do understand that ADI-2 is good for it's money, but with a lot of limitations.

> You don't need 20k$ equipment to do so.

I'm talking about desoldering thermally sensitive stuff with SON packages in general.
Changing OPA1688 with killing the onboard ones - shouldn't be a problem wink

> With the 23 Ohms 96 dB/mW Ether C 1.1, ADI-2 Pro's volume limit should be at -6dB Hi Power unbalanced, -12dB Hi Power balanced.
> This is about 5.5 V, 1500 mW, 127 dBSPL (same for both unbal. and bal.).

> And ADI-2 shouldn't run into protection immediately with a music signal, only after some time of heavy clipping - about at the moment where you became deaf permanently smile

This is really super helpful.
Thank you KaiS.

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

Is it ok to use mono 6.3 jacks for ADI-2 balanced ?

https://i.imgur.com/kPZ5Aie.jpg

16

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

No, that doesn't work.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

17 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-14 16:24:00)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

yuriy_yarosh wrote:

Is it ok to use mono 6.3 jacks for ADI-2 balanced ?

https://i.imgur.com/kPZ5Aie.jpg

No!
Looks like we caught the thief, as we say in Germany.

yuriy_yarosh wrote:

I do understand that ADI-2 is good for it's money, but with a lot of limitations.

A lot of attributes come into my mind with the ADI-2 Pro, but limited - no!

ADI-2 Pro is one of, if not the most versatile unit on the market.
It's sound is remarkable natural and transparent both as a DAC and amp, the headphone amps are strong and clean enough to drive every headphones you can think of.
More than the icing on the cake, it's DSP capabilities open up a whole new world of sounds.

Of course, within this context, it's not intentionally colored in anyway.
If one is out for something colored, a tube amp and maybe an R2R ladder DAC  could do that.

Or even much better, headphones or speakers that better fit the user's taste, because the influence of electronics is minor compared to what can be achieved with acoustic transducers.


You would be astonished, how minor the difference between a high class solid state and a tube amp is, in a blind, exactly level matched A/B audition.
To get the legendary tube warmth you have to put your hands on the tube, ouch smile

Even more so, the difference between different DAC's is almost indistinguishable under blind A/B conditions, if they do use the same type of reconstruction filter.
Do you know that you have a selection of those in ADI-2, to tune it's sound in different directions?

Compared to that, every pair of headphones or loudspeakers do sound completely different, no two sound the same.

18 (edited by ramses 2020-12-14 13:14:05)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

KaiS wrote:
yuriy_yarosh wrote:

I do understand that ADI-2 is good for it's money, but with a lot of limitations.

A lot of attributes come into my mind with the ADI-2 Pro, but limited - no!

ADI-2 Pro is one of, if not the most versatile unit on the market.
It's sound is remarkable natural and transparent both as a DAC and amp, the headphone amps are strong and clean enough to drive every headphones you can think of.
More than the icing on the cake, it's DSP capabilities open up a whole new world of sounds.

Of course, within this context, it's not colored in anyway.
If one is out for something colored, a tube amp and maybe an R2R ladder DAC  could do that.

Or even much better, headphones that better fit the user's taste, because the influence of electronics is minor compared to what can be achieved with acoustic transducers.

You would be astonished, how minor the difference between a high class solid state and a tube amp is, in a blind, exactly level matched A/B audition.
To get the legendary tube warmth you have to put your hands on the tube, ouch smile

Even more so, the difference between different DAC's is almost indistinguishable under blind A/B conditions, if they do use the same type of reconstruction filter.
Do you know that you have a selection of those in ADI-2, to tune it's sound in different directions?

Compared to that, every pair of headphones or loudspeakers do sound completely different, no two sound the same.

This comparison of AD conversion to much more expensive units (Lavry, up to €7800) is very interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doHG32a … mp;index=1

Download the real wave files in the ZIP as Youtube content becomes modified.

https://www.youtube.com/redirect?v=doHG … amples.zip

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9735), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

yuriy_yarosh wrote:

Is it ok to use mono 6.3 jacks for ADI-2 balanced ?

https://i.imgur.com/kPZ5Aie.jpg

Is that dual mono to pentaconn or dual mono to TRS?

20 (edited by KaiS 2020-12-14 16:22:52)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

helohe wrote:
yuriy_yarosh wrote:

Is it ok to use mono 6.3 jacks for ADI-2 balanced ?

https://i.imgur.com/kPZ5Aie.jpg

Is that dual mono to pentaconn or dual mono to TRS?

It's 1/4" jack dual mono -> Pentaconn.

It has no use with ADI-2 Pro.

The TS plugs short the ADI-2 out's TRS "Ring" connector to "Sleeve".
This means the inverted out in balanced is shorted to ground, causing yuriy_yarosh's mentioned malfunction.

The correct balanced cabeling to XLR can be found in the manual page 69.

Pentaconn and all other relevant pinouts are documented e.g. here:
http://www.diyaudioblog.com/2016/02/hea … s-for.html

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

yuriy_yarosh wrote:

Is it ok to use mono 6.3 jacks for ADI-2 balanced ?

https://i.imgur.com/kPZ5Aie.jpg

omg, can't believe this is the cause!

22

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

Ignoring the clear information in the manual hits back at some point.

But isn't it amazing to see the overload protection in the ADI working perfectly?

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

23 (edited by ning 2020-12-15 09:10:32)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

Yeah that’s amazing!

With that said, Any plans to change the amp circuit to something based on composite topology? Amps based on that are more powerful with lower noise, and hopefully will reduce significantly the number of devices who have burnt their op amps.

with composite topology, you could probably replaced the 12 opa1688 with for instance, 2 tpa6120a2, while having the same amount of power. significantly reduce the failure rate --- there are just far fewer components that can go wrong. replacing failed driver is also easier.

24

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

There are always pros and cons. The design that you seem to like more has a lower max output level (as it can't deliver rail to rail swings), less well thermo and over current protection, and is not that immune to capacitive loads like our topology. And who needs lower noise when the DAC is the limiting component?

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

25 (edited by ning 2020-12-15 18:07:23)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

> And who needs lower noise when the DAC is the limiting component?

I can't speak for other characteristics. the tpa6120a2 was just used as an example. perhaps other buffers/drivers can avoid the issues, or perhaps some clever tricks can be applied to tpa6120a2 to mitigate the issues. I'm not an electrical engineer so I'm not able to discuss those details technically.

But lower noise is important --- on ADI-2 DAC a 1622 is used for IEM as 1688 arrays simply cannot reach that low noise floor in low volume setting. So the user doesn't have access to a universal HP jacks that works for both regular and IEMs. In addition, this feature is missing on the Pro completely. Composite enables you to have a universal hp jack on the DAC model that works for all phones, and delivers IEM feature to Pro users. And yes if designed properly, they will break much less often than 12 OPA1688s (simply because less components are used).

With that said, I understand the concern you have and respect your product decision.

26 (edited by yuriy_yarosh 2020-12-15 19:58:17)

Re: Getting an Overload while listening to Ether Flow C 1.1 on balanced

> Ignoring the clear information in the manual hits back at some point.

Just to clarify, I've ordered this cable at the local headphones store... and copied that exact same diagram, but for some reason they've decided to ignore.

https://i.imgur.com/ggwgaoj.png

Will send my ADI-2 to local RME repair service (not sure if authorized, but meh... still from distributor), it still does overheat on unbalanced 3/4 with MDR-7520 low power, and CA Solaris.

> A lot of attributes come into my mind with the ADI-2 Pro, but limited - no!

This is my third ADI-2 Pro, so no complaints.

I found ADI-2 Pro to be less noisy and distorty than Schiit Iggy... limitations come from weird design to push everything to it's limits, and I'm okay with that.

Thank you everyone.