Question All audio apps fail when external DAC/amp is attached

Oct 12, 2019
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I attached a integrated amplifier with USB DAC via USB to play music through my speakers, and installed the corresponding USB driver from the company web site.

Now any software playing audio on the computer stops playback after a while--the time ranges from less than a second to almost an hour.
The problem isn't that sound doesn't come out. It's that audio apps don't play at all.

Itunes and internet streaming like Soundcloud seems to last the longest (maybe 1/2 hour). Desktop audio players like Foobar2000 and MPXPlay tend to stop faster. The applications don't actually crash, it's just that pressing the "play" button doesn't have any effect. When I try to play a different track on Foobar2000, I get error messages like "Unrecoverable playback error: Unknown error code (0x8889000F)", though not always that exact one. In Itunes, of video continues but the audio cuts out. Some web streaming sites give an error message, and some simply stop playing.

Once one app has failed, no other audio app on the machine will play until the system is restarted.

Originally I attached the amp without the company's driver (using the generic Windows driver), and had exactly the same problem. So I don't think the proprietary USB driver is causing it.

I've spent hours googling around, looking at forums etc., and not found anyone else having this problem. What could it be? Any suggestions on how to diagnose?

I have a Dell XPS 13 laptop running Windows 10. The amplifier is a Yamaha A-S801. The same setup works fine on another Windows 10 laptop (an HP Elitebook) using the Windows generic driver, so there's nothing wrong with the amp itself.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
 
Oct 12, 2019
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Yes, to the best of my ability. I tried:
- disabling the internal speaker driver
- increasing the sample rate and buffer size on the Yamaha USB driver
- unchecking one or both the options under "Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device" in the sound settings

And various other things. I've spent at least 6-8 hours messing around trying to fix this. There seem to be infinite ways to adjust sound settings, so it would really help to have some idea of what might be relevant to this particular problem.
 

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