Schiit DACs and Linux

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by fishski13, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. fishski13

    fishski13 Friend

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    I have requested an RMA from Schiit to sort out the issue with my Gungnir, but wanted to solicit some possible ideas and solutions for what could otherwise be an issue with Linux and not the Gungnir. The issue I'm having is that no Linux distro, including Debian and Red Hat derivatives, will recognize the Gungnir via USB anymore.

    This is kind of tedious, so bear with me...

    I migrated to Linux from Windows on my laptop over a year ago. Running Ubuntu Mate 14.04, I had no issues. I replaced my desktop with a computer I built and installed Ubuntu 14.04, again, I had no issues. Then early last summer, both my laptop and desktop would have difficulty recognizing the Gung, running the above same distros. It would take some finagling to get the Gung recognized, but eventually I was able to get the USB working (detailed below). Finally, this past autumn, I could no longer coax the Gung to be recognized, with or without the Wyrd. The only thing that would work was a Doodlebug usb isolation device inserted between one of the computers and the Gung. I currently have Fedora 25 installed on my laptop and desktop. I even re-installed Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 on a separate hard drive in my desktop, and still no love. I could maybe try installing a low latency kernel to improve throughput?

    Anyways, here is a brief summary of the Gung's clinical presentation/symptoms:

    -As I said above, the Gung via USB started getting flaky last summer. I could get USB recognized sometimes by playing a CD with SPDIF/coax input and then switch to USB input. This trick eventually stopped working and I resorted to inserting the Doodlebug between the computers and Gung for USB playback.

    -The Gung will only work via USB in Linux with the Doodlebug. It will not work with or without a Wyrd and Linux.

    -The Gung works just fine with my old 9 year old desktop running W7 and the CMEDIA drivers. This computer sits in my closet, I only pulled it out to test the Gung, and I have no desire to go back to Windows.

    -My AMB y2 and Oppo HA-2 portable amp/DAC are both recognized by my desktop and laptop running Linux. These are two different DACs that claim USB playback is plug and play, and do play with Linux without issue. I am able to look under Sound Settings in the desktop environment as well as via Terminal with the command 'aplay -l' to view output devices. If the DAC is recognized, it shows up in both places, if the DAC is not recognized, it doesn't show up at all. Both my desktop and laptop are unable to recognize the Gung in either Sound settings or Terminal.

    -Both the desktop and laptop will not power on, power off, nor restart with the Gung plugged in. For example, when restarting from the desktop environment, it hangs indefinitely at the splash screen, even after I turn off the Gung - it isn't until I remove the USB cable that the computer will reboot.

    -I've tried multiple, quality/non-audiophile USB 2.0 cables from Hosa and Qualtek. These cables work with either the y2 and Oppo HA-2. I have also tried every USB port in my desktop and laptop.

    Thoughts or ideas? I am comfortable with the CLI and editing configuration files. I have also played around with Pulse Audio, turning off autospawn and disabling PA, but still no love.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  2. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    @schiit

    I know Linux support is a can of worms.
     
  3. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    Does sound like a schitty problem. To remove the laptop as a possible source of the problem, does it work if you run Windows on your laptop?

    It sort of sounds like a CMedia Linux driver issue to me, but I could be very wrong.

    You might have already tried "cat /proc/asound/cards" and "lsusb -v" but if you haven't do see if anything appears.
     
  4. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    Linux driver support is non-existent among tons of other great gear like Lynx too. Plug and pray.
     
  5. fishski13

    fishski13 Friend

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    I'd rather not revisit the pain and agony of what the W10 'upgrade' did to my laptop.
     
  6. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    A VM is disposable. ;)
     
  7. Kamikazi

    Kamikazi Friend

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    As far I know there was a rather significant change of Linux kernel between those two Ubuntu releases. Could be that CMedia has slipped up a bit behind on the driver front. But to me still doesn't quite explain why moving back to 14.04 didn't fix the problem unless the two LTS releases weren't quite the same?
     
  8. fishski13

    fishski13 Friend

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    I run a couple of distros in Gnome Boxes for fun. I don't want to get into a OS pissing match, but Windows is a non-starter for me.

    In an attempt to perform due diligence, I re-installed 14.04, and would have been tickled if it sorted the issue. Again, both laptop and desktop worked perfectly for a period of time, and then both started failing at recognizing the Gung at the same time. I know of one Gungnir Multibit owner that is using 14.04 without issue though. My Gung has the USB 2.0 board.
     
  9. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    @fishski13

    I'm not asking you to move back to Windows permanently. I'm asking you to try if the Gungnir is detected in Windows on the laptop to rule out any unfortunate hw conflict, however small the chance is.
     
  10. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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  11. fishski13

    fishski13 Friend

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    The Gung worked in W8.1 and W10 on my lappy (when W10 actually worked between BSODs (I think it was a corrupted HDD and since replaced with an SSD without issue)). The Gung works in WIndows, even in my ancient old W7 machine with an outdated BIOS from Vista.
     
  12. fishski13

    fishski13 Friend

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    16.04 was fail, but I'll do a clean re-install of 16.04 anyways and report back.
     
  13. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Yup clean install from scratch.
     
  14. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Forgot to ask you what is the USB chip used by your gungnir . Cmedia but which one?
     
  15. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    C-Media 6631A I believe.
     
  16. Ali-Pacha

    Ali-Pacha Friend

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    Got almost the same problem at a meet in novembre 2015
    Laptop + Ubuntu 15.10 + Gungnir Multibit through USB => no way to make it work without an isolator. And even with an isolator, connection didn't last more than around 30 minutes, needing a reboot.
    No problem at all with Modi2 uber and Yggdrasil, and no problem with Gungnir Multibit + Windows.

    Ali
     
  17. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    Yup , Cmedia & Linux can be a hit or miss...

    I already saw a Cmedia based converters works more or less randomly and after a while it wasn't recognized anymore. I guess the driver didn't work properly and leave the hardware in a bad state or something.

    I'm using Linux since 2008 and I would never like to come back to Windows but I learnt to choose carefully my hardware and always buy products that offers a good native support for Linux. A good way to forget all that compatibility hassle is to keep a good affordable self powered Xmos based USB converter.

    By the way, let's see if a fresh 16.04 manages better this Cmedia chip.
     
  18. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    Using Modi MB with Ubuntu 14.04 and PulseAudio, and no issues thus far*. And I frequently plug/unplug.

    Prolly silly, but to be thorough given the "don't turn 'em off" craze with Schiit's R2R DACs: When the computers start having difficulties recognizing the device, have you attempted to burp... err... restart the Gungnir (i.e. go through a power-up cycle)? If it didn't help, did you try letting it cool off for 24h and start it back then?

    I recall reading that for some users a restart / a ~24h cool-down seemed to work around strange issues, and @baldr himself suggested (admittedly in a different context) that sometimes the MB versions could benefit from a burp...


    * For what it's worth I'm using this kernel and haven't changed things in a while:
    Code:
    uname -a
    Linux inspiron 3.13.0-24-generic #46-Ubuntu SMP Thu Apr 10 19:11:08 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  19. Priidik

    Priidik Friend

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    Check your usb ports. I'm not computer savy enough, but perhaps OS can alter USB hardware configuration. Never had issues with desktop PCs. It's lucky break for me when everything works with a laptop from first attempt.
     
  20. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah, though as I recall, 14.04 randomly changed from a 3.xx to 4.xx series kernel mid-stream (somewhere around 14.04.4), so that might not be helpful unless you either deliberately use an older installer or roll the kernel back. I was bitten by that once with some very specific drivers.

    You can check kernel version with uname -a. Here's some quick and dirty instructions for rolling back to 3.xx cleanly, if you're sufficiently curious to try to do that with a late 14.04 install:

    First you need to edit /etc/default/grub. You need to change the lines:

    GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=0
    GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET=true

    to

    GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT=10
    GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET=false

    This gives you a chance to get into the GRUB menus rather than just automatically booting the newest kernel. Then you need to do:

    apt-get install linux-generic

    This gets the 3.x.x metapackage and its dependencies. For the sake of paranoia, run a quick

    update-grub

    Next, you'll need to reboot; when you do, you will see a countdown from ten after the POST phase, pressing "escape" at this point will get you into the GRUB menu. Choose the "advanced" option, and boot the 3.x.x kernel.

    Once booted, you can use uname -a to check the kernel really is 3.x.x now. Assuming that you're booted with a 3.x.x kernel, you can now safely get rid of the 4.x.x installation. To do that, the easiest way is:

    apt-get remove linux-signed.*wily
    apt-get remove linux.*4.2.0.*

    (or similar.. might need to tweak that as numbers change.)

    Throw in a quick

    apt-get autoremove
    update-grub

    for luck- both are probably unnecessary, but are useful for flagging up things left in a funny state. If you have done all of this, you should be safely on a 3.x.x kernel, and updates shouldn't migrate you out of that series without warning.

    Yeah, it may not help, but if you're curious and want to see if it worked better on 3.x.x, it could be worth a shot. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
    Garns, Dino, Riotvan and 1 other person like this.

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