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Topic: Strange feature of Topping DAC (Read 1958 times) previous topic - next topic
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Strange feature of Topping DAC

Hi - I was wondering if anybody else had this problem ....

So I just got a new dac, the Topping E30.
The replay chain is: windows 8.1 / foobar / wasapi out / usb dac

The problem is that using wasapi no longer bypasses the windows mixer.
I think the issue is with Topping's driver packages for their dacs which seem to take back
control (i'm guessing a bit here, and using layman's terminology) of the output and
feed it back into the windows mixer.

I tried different versions of their driver, I tried using ASIO instead of wasapi, and I tried
similar but using JRiver player.  Same result.  Looking at the file names in the driver
packages it looks like they are intended to support both wasapi and asio as well as
kernel streaming.

When I go back to the old dac, no problem - I can call up the mixer interface but playing
with the volume settings has no impact on the sound (which to me means windows
mixer successfully bypassed).

Very frustrating!


Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #1
There are 2 modes:
WASAPI /Shared, this uses the win mixer
WASAPI/Exclusive, this mode talks directly to the audio device.
Check in the sound panel in the "Advanced" section if you have enabled this.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/we-measure-audio-equipment-for-free.1995/
Likewise, check if your media player uses this driver.

TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #2
I own an E50 and, since those DACs supports native DSD, the suggestion is to go with:

Win 1x -> foobar2000 -> DSDtranscoder ->  foo_out_asio+dsd
Forward Agency NPO

In progress we (always) trust.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #3
Thanks Roseval.
But to confirm, WASAPI exclusive is installed.
I have never even downloaded the shared component.
It's a good point though because it's behaving exactly like shared mode.

I'm not sure what you mean by checking if my player uses that driver (which driver?).
The driver installed is from the Topping website, for E30 DAC / Windows 7 and above

Thanks for your reply

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #4
In foobar2000: Preferences -> Playback -> Output. Check the device list. Does it show up both with and without "[exclusive]" at the end? Have you tried both?
Last two months' worth of foobar2000.org ad revenue has been donated to support war refugees from Ukraine: https://www.foobar2000.org/

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #5
In foobar2000: Preferences -> Playback -> Output. Check the device list. Does it show up both with and without "[exclusive]" at the end? Have you tried both?

I get eg, WASAPI (event) : Speakers (Topping USB)
and the other standard Push and Event options.  It doesn't actually specify "exclusive".  But neither is "shared" an option (I have
never downloaded that component.
The installed component is "WASAPI.fb2k-component".  I have just done a fresh reinstall of Foobar and everything is latest file.

As I say, if I plug my old dac back in and use exactly the same settings and options then everything works as expected.

How relevant this is I don't know, but the driver package includes a Topping USB Control Panel app which adds yet another
volume control which itself controls output volume (ie when Foobar is set to wasapi out as described) and works
independently of the windows mixer.  I keep opening this panel thinking surely there must be an option like "exclusive"
mode which I'm missing !!!



Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #6
Class-compliant USB DACs require no additionl drivers to access WASAPI shared and exclusive modes. Uninstall the Topping driver and see if the issue is solved or not.

Also, starting from foobar2000 1.6, no additional component is required to access WASAPI shared and exclusive modes. Uninstall the WASAPI component and retry.

Without installing any additional WASAPI component, the output device without [exclusive] suffix means shared mode. Other settings can be found in File > Preferences > Advanced, by searching "exclusive".

If it still doesn't work, try this:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-asus-stx-ii-pci-sound-card.4915/post-110367
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/devtest/pnputil-command-syntax

If you are unfamiliar with command line or paranoid, backup your Windows first.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #7
Thanks I'll follow up your suggestions.

I must admit I have puzzled over this business about accessing Wasapi without installing
any components (in the newer versions) because unless I do install component on v1.6.10
I don't get the wasapi options in the device list.
I'll try it again.

I feel I wouldn't have this problem if I didn't need to install the Topping drivers but the DAC
remains unrecognized without it.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #8
Perhaps Windows 8.x is old and still requires a driver for your DAC.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #9

Without installing any additional WASAPI component, the output device without [exclusive] suffix means shared mode. Other settings can be found in File > Preferences > Advanced, by searching "exclusive".


In Preferences > Advanced, there is Playback > Exclusive output overrides
I'm assuming leave this Unchecked ?

thanks

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #10
Perhaps Windows 8.x is old and still requires a driver for your DAC.
Yes - it's hard to find any info but I believe in Win10 and above the E30 would be recognized

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #11
In Preferences > Advanced, there is Playback > Exclusive output overrides
I'm assuming leave this Unchecked ?

thanks
You'll have to try. Different DACs may require different settings.
Also, foobar2000 1.6.x don't use the "WASAPI" prefix in the output devices, because 1.5.x and earlier versions also have DirectSound with the DS prefix, in 1.6.x DS is not supported and everything is WASAPI, if not ASIO. The WASAPI prefix is redundant and not shown.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #12
In Preferences > Advanced, there is Playback > Exclusive output overrides
I'm assuming leave this Unchecked ?

thanks
You'll have to try. Different DACs may require different settings.
Also, foobar2000 1.6.x don't use the "WASAPI" prefix in the output devices, because 1.5.x and earlier versions also have DirectSound with the DS prefix, in 1.6.x DS is not supported and everything is WASAPI, if not ASIO. The WASAPI prefix is redundant and not shown.
In Preferences > Advanced, there is Playback > Exclusive output overrides
I'm assuming leave this Unchecked ?

thanks
You'll have to try. Different DACs may require different settings.
Also, foobar2000 1.6.x don't use the "WASAPI" prefix in the output devices, because 1.5.x and earlier versions also have DirectSound with the DS prefix, in 1.6.x DS is not supported and everything is WASAPI, if not ASIO. The WASAPI prefix is redundant and not shown.

I see now, thank you.
Yes, so I get the choice between >
Speakers (USB Topping)
and
Speakers (USB Topping) Exclusive

Unfortunately both leave the windows mixer active.

Advanced > Playback > Exclusive Output Overrides > Checkbox, has no effect in this context.
There is a sub command checkbox labelled "Event".  I tried all various combinations, no joy.

This last reminds me: is the default exclusive wasapi mode "event" or "push" I wonder ?












Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #13
Unfortunately both leave the windows mixer active.
Compatibility issues with the Topping driver, I suppose.
For my PC (now with Windows 10), exclusive mode works as expected, in my Roland USB interface, Creative soundcard, and mainboard Realtek codec.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #14
When I go back to the old dac, no problem - I can call up the mixer interface but playing
with the volume settings has no impact on the sound (which to me means windows
mixer successfully bypassed).
Just to confirm, what do you expect to be unexpected behavior? Exclusive mode or ASIO does not prevent you from adjusting the main volume.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #15
Just to confirm, what do you expect to be unexpected behavior? Exclusive mode or ASIO does not prevent you from adjusting the main volume.

Well I have always understood that WASAPI out should bypass anything like the windows mixer volume control.
That is what happens with old DAC.  I can play with system volume settings (or mute) and nothing happens.
(Foobar's own volume control is a different matter obviously).

With E30 set as described I can mute and adjust the foobar sound from the windows mixer and in fact can mix in audio
from other sources, say the web browser.



Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #16

Compatibility issues with the Topping driver, I suppose.
For my PC (now with Windows 10), exclusive mode works as expected, in my Roland USB interface, Creative soundcard, and mainboard Realtek codec.

I fear so.  Thanks for your input anyway.
I've contacted Topping so maybe they will be able to confirm.
I can't believe I'm the only person trying to get exclusive output into a Topping dac and Win8.1





Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #18
Device volume control is not part of Windows mixer. Device volume control should work even with ASIO and WASAPI exclusive mode and it is not a Topping specific feature.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=121545.msg1003085#msg1003085

The slider in "Applications" belongs to Windows mixer.
X

That ASR thread is confusing enough and I am glad that OP posted the question here. Not to mention the long time HA members here talked about things like CAudioLimiter a decade ago.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=89281.msg816161#msg816161

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #19
Topping E30 is using hardware volume control so the windows volume works even in exclusive and ASIO mode.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/ending-the-windows-audio-quality-debate.19438/page-13#post-911002
Same with my Topping D10B.

Thanks for the link.  That's what's happening then -- though there's a lot to digest in the later sections of the
thread and I'm still trying to get my head round it all !

Can anybody clarify then what "exclusive mode" really means - when the "windows mixer interface" (if that is a fair
way of naming the volume sliders that control the output level) can control the output.  And when apparently I can
still mix in audio from for example the web browser ???

( I realize now that I should check if secondary audio like that actually goes out to the DAC / speakers or instead comes
through the laptop built in speakers ).







Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #20
Device volume control is not part of Windows mixer. Device volume control should work even with ASIO and WASAPI exclusive mode and it is not a Topping specific feature.
https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=121545.msg1003085#msg1003085

Thanks, I didn't come across that thread in all my frantic googling !

I think that because my older DAC (which presumably does not feature hardware volume control) results in
the device volume control in windows having no effect, then that led me to assume wrongly that it was part
of the mixer.

Being a bit of a layman I liked that windows control had no effect because it seemed to assure me that the output from
foobar was indeed bypassing "windows" to some extent.


Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #21
Can anybody clarify then what "exclusive mode" really means - when the "windows mixer interface" (if that is a fair
way of naming the volume sliders that control the output level) can control the output.  And when apparently I can
still mix in audio from for example the web browser ???
With WASAPI exclusive mode, as long as foobar is playing sound, it should mute everything else like browser and such. foobar's slider in "Applications" should be unable to change the volume of foobar as well.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #22

With WASAPI exclusive mode, as long as foobar is playing sound, it should mute everything else like browser and such. foobar's slider in "Applications" should be unable to change the volume of foobar as well.

I'm going to have to double-check how mine behaves.

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #23
With WASAPI exclusive mode, as long as foobar is playing sound, it should mute everything else like browser and such. foobar's slider in "Applications" should be unable to change the volume of foobar as well.
Unless you move the foobar slider in a way that the slider position of "Device" is also changed as well, like this:
X

Re: Strange feature of Topping DAC

Reply #24
Thanks, I feel I can relax now that I understand a bit more about what's going on with this,
For sake of completeness I will check whether or not I really can mix in audio in exclusive mode.

Something else that I think will be (very slightly) interesting is checking whether or not using
the windows slider interacts with the volume control settings on the actual DAC.

From all the above it seems to me that in general when the DAC is set in such a mode that
the "pre-amp" is "bypassed" ( so that the DAC is just a DAC ), this is a bit misleading because
the volume adjustment is not being disabled at all -- it's just that it can not be controlled via
the controls on the DAC itself.