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Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

OK! - Couple of breakthroughs in the last couple of days

In the last couple of days I've done some further experimentation and a couple of problems I mentioned in my OP for this thread have been mitigated (or at least I have workarounds for them).

Regarding the hum problem, although it's not solved quite yet, I will try to obtain an antenna isolator to see if that improves things.

I've now gotten ASIO to work with both two-channel and multi-channel files. I began by re-starting the computer and re-checking all the settings. (Believe me, I had the settings exactly as shown in the documentation, but they didn't begin to work until after the restart.) After the initial success in playing a two-channel file, I played a (BIS) multi-channel track - also successful. I then tried a Chandos multi-channel track. Oops! - same problem as before, with the wrong signals going to the wrong channels (even though the BIS multi-channel track was fine in this respect). All these multi-channel tracks I had tried up until this time were AIFF format files, but I still had many of the original Chandos downloads in their original FLAC format, so I tried the Chandos FLAC tracks: success again - the right signals are going to the right channels! So obviously, something was happening when I originally converted the FLAC files to AIFF - but it was something that only affected the Chandos FLAC's, not the BIS FLAC's. Crazy! And whatever this was, it seemed to play fine using Core Audio without the exaSound drivers. But in any case, I think I'm probably OK now on this score - I'll just have to remember to use FLAC files rather than AIFF's. I have STILL not tried any DSD downloads yet - I'll try those later today or tomorrow.

One other item to note is that when I had HQ Player set to upsample the files to 382K, I'd get hiccuping drop-outs every now and then. I've now changed the upsampling to 192K and everything I've tried thus far is sounding fine (i.e., no drop-outs). I'm still a little surprised by this, since the processor in my Mac Mini (Intel core i7, 3 GHz) is the fastest that Apple currently offers for that model. I can probably live with 192K, but I was hoping to try a DXD download or two, and I'm now thinking that maybe this may not work too well, given what happened with the 382K upsampling (?).

In addition, HQ Player seems a little shaky sometimes compared to the way it used to be: if I pause in the middle of a track and then try to play another track, it won't play the new track immediately, and it takes a couple of iterations of selecting and hitting the play button for the new track to play. This is OK - I can probably live with this, but I hope the problem is temporary.

One other annoyance I still have is that, now that I've been using ASIO, I can't seem to get the exaSound app to return to Core Audio - I go up to the drop down menu, and try to switch from ASIO to Core Audio, but ASIO stays checked no matter what I do. I was hoping that this would be a really simple process, so that if I wanted to listen to something on, say, youTube (or if I wanted to use Audirvana again), I could just switch back to Core Audio as needed. But switching doesn't seem to be as simple as I expected it to be.

Aside from that, the audio quality of the ASIO playback IS now more in line with what I was expecting. So I think overall, unless something doesn't work with the DSD playback (and I may still try DXD too), I'm probably OK with the way things are progressing.

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