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Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 8 months 4 days ago #60107

  • Raccio
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Has anyone else had really bad issues getting a stable USB connection with their MiniDSP SHD?

This has been a huge headache for me the whole time I've owned the device.   For starters, the USB cable that came with the device was actually broken! 
But after figuring that out, I took the (very high-quality) USB cable from my Roland Octacapture (another high-quality audio interface device that supports 24bit/192kHz transfer of 8 audio channels over USB).  

Even using the very high quality USB cable from my Roland Octacapture, the device has me sitting on pins and needles.   If I accidentally wiggle the cable AT ALL while my computer is plugged into the device, it disconnects.  If I use a USB extender cable, if I even touch or breathe on the cable wrong, the SHD disconnects.  

Every time the SHD disconnects I have to do a FULL POWERCYCLE to get it to re-connect again.   I'm talking the physical power switch on the back.  Simply turning the unit on and off with the remote is not enough.  

This is absolutely crazy!!!  Neither of the several other audio interfaces I've own have this issue.  (Roland Octacapture, Scarlet 2i2, MOTU Ultra-lite).  I tested them all specifically to compare and verify.
If there's ever an issue with the connection, all that is required to re-set the connection and re-connect is simply unplugging the USB and plugging it back in, NOT A FULL HARDWARE RESET!!!!!!
In fact, even with a 10-ft USB extender cable all 3 of them work fairly reliably!!! And if there's ever an issue, I just re-connect... 

Please advise. 
MiniDSP support has told me that I have to use a short USB cable and that there's nothing wrong with the device.  They've told me that ALL low-latency high-bit-rate audio interfaces share these same limitations.  But from my experience, I know that this is simply untrue. 
The MiniDSP SHD has by far the most finicky connectivity I've ever experienced with an audio interface!!!

And ultimately, it doesn't answer the question of why I should have to perform a full hardware reset every time it disconnects.   EVERY other device I've ever used will reconnect with a simple "unplug the USB and plug it back in"

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Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 8 months 3 days ago #60110

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Using a 1,5m cable for playing music never gives me problems.

Using a 5m cable when doing Dirac measurements can be troublesome. Since I use a cheap powered USB hub at the laptop side I have no connection problems anymore.

Greetings. 

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Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 8 months 3 days ago #60116

  • gbr
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I am using a 5m USB cable for measurement, too, and never had problems. Also if connected via an additional passive USB hub I do not have problems. So it sounds that your USB socket may be faulty?
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Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 8 months 3 days ago #60123

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Thanks gbr and JaapDeventer. 

Everything you've said has farther validated my convictions that I always had a faulty unit and MiniDSP support team has been gaslighting me and lying to my face for months. 

This has been the worst support experience I've ever had.  I really expected more from a company with such a great reputation. 

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Last edit: by Raccio. Reason: trying not to be so angry

Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 8 months 5 hours ago #60142

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Using a 1,5m cable for playing music never gives me problems.

Using a 5m cable when doing Dirac measurements can be troublesome. Since I use a cheap powered USB hub at the laptop side I have no connection problems anymore.

Greetings. 

JaapDeventer,

adding a hub to do some passive buffering seems to have helped a lot!  Thanks!!!

This even solved the connectivity issues I've been having with my Mac!!!!! (at least somewhat..  It's still less reliable than the PC) .

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Last edit: by Raccio.

Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 4 months 3 weeks ago #61316

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adding a hub to do some passive buffering seems to have helped a lot!  

I have to get back to this topic as I have problems in connectiong the SHD Studio today. Did you mean an active USB hub (so one that is powered)?

Today I thought I try to recalibrate everything because when I did it the first time I just did hurry through the whole process. So I started the SHD Software and connected to the SHD. Here I had the first problem because the software wanted me to resync all settings to the SHD. I cannot remember if something did change. But I guess it has something to do with the fact that the last time I have used a windows laptop instead of a Mac like today.

IIRC already before this resyncing the SHD did a disconnect. The resync did work after an reconnect, but later it disconnected again. The connection could not be held up for more than approx. 1 minute.

I tried to start dirac (the first time after a long time, so there may be a huge version jump to currently 3.3.3). In dirac I connected to the SHD and tried to reload the last saved settings. This resulted in a hanging dirac software, showing me the loading animation but not doing anything. The fan of the Mac started to spin and after a while I tried to quit dirac. After another while it closed. And after this I am not able to reconnect to the SHD any more. Even after an restart of the SHD and the Mac I may connect, but the SHD disconnects again after one second.

I will try the windows laptop again next. I hope I get it all up and running again. At least I still can play music.

Gert

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Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 4 months 3 weeks ago #61317

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I have to add: I am using the same USB cable as always. SHD is running firmware 1.29 because I did not dare to update to 1.32 yet.

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Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 4 months 3 weeks ago #61319

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So I have changed to another USB cable and this now is working fine without trouble. Even loading the old dirac project did work, but it took very long while the program did look frozen. (felt like 2 minutes).

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Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 4 months 3 weeks ago #61320

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adding a hub to do some passive buffering seems to have helped a lot!  

I have to get back to this topic as I have problems in connectiong the SHD Studio today. Did you mean an active USB hub (so one that is powered)?


 

I used a hub that can accept an external power supply to power extra ports at once, for higher current draw devices. 
That said, this particular hub also works 'passively' for a few devices, so long as there is not need for the extra power.  
So I ran it without the power supply, since I was only using it for the SHD as a buffer, and nothing else.  

Either way, no hub is truly 'passive', really they're all active!  They have op-amps and other active buffer circuitry in them, that run off the 5V power of the USB bus itself. 
The need for extra external power is solely determined by the load that you're putting on the hub.  If you want to plug in several self-powered devices to a USB hub, it will probably require more current than 1 USB port can supply.  Hence the need for external power.  

Best,
-David
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Last edit: by Raccio. Reason: typo

Extremely intermittent USB connection, no matter what I try!!! 4 months 3 weeks ago #61321

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So I have changed to another USB cable and this now is working fine without trouble. Even loading the old dirac project did work, but it took very long while the program did look frozen. (felt like 2 minutes).

Yeah, in my experience the SHD is EXTREMELY picky about the cable that you use.  Way more than ANY other USB device I've ever used EVER.   

Definitely something wrong with their implementation of the driverless USB hardware implementation.  That much is extremely obvious, no matter how much MiniDSP Dev team don't want to admit it!

I'm sure their units pass QC check on a stationary bench where they're just plugging into the USB as part of a rack setup that never jiggles or moves... But they did NOT factor in testing for robustness of connection, like they should have!  No way, no how!

Just find the cable (and if needed, hub) combination that seems to work best for you and then every time that you plug it in, try not to jiggle the cable at all and just pray the connection stays good.  That's the only solution that I've come up with!  

​​​​​​​Maybe for revision 3 of the SHD hardware, MiniDSP will actually admit to and address these issues!

 

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