Frequently Asked Questions and other things, in no particular order...

General Questions

Who are you people?

Check this out on Vimeo: Our introductory video

High-Resolution Audio. Why do I care?
It's hard to explain to you what your ears are missing but it's easier to show you in visual terms what compressing an image does to what you see. Check out this video to get an idea of what happens when you compress an image or music.

The way you do firmware updates is stupid. Why do you make it so hard?
Believe us, we know it would be much easier to plug in a USB stick and do a firmware update! The reason it's done the way we do it is because the Comet's hardware is all programmable and by doing it this way, we can update your hardware just as easily as we update your firmware. For example, when we released the Comet in 2013, we had no idea how we would interact with the Ion (which at the time didn't even have a name!) When we released the Ion, it was necessary to update your hardware so the EXONET interface actually existed and you could use an Ion with it. By using programmable hardware, we've been able to modify the Comet's hardware design six times since its original release. When we say that our products are future proofed, we mean it! 

Comet Questions

My MacBook / Mac Mini / other Mac computer just got an update and now I can't play music. What happened?
We don't know exactly because Apple won't tell us what they change but here's what we recommend: Step 1) Get rid of your Mac. The entire platform is not designed to work with Hi-resolution audio using non-Apple products. Step 2) If you want to ignore the advice in Step 1, then start using the Amarra music player (http://www.sonicstudio.com/amarra/amarra). We don't know why but they seem able to manage Apple's Operating System changes better than Audirvana or HQPlayer. (Disclosure: We have NO relationship with Amarra and get no promotional consideration from them for this recommendation. Your mileage may vary.)

My Auralic music streamer has pops, clicks, interruptions and / or dropouts. Why?
According to Auralic's Technical Sales engineer and several Auralic users, you're having a clocking problem between the Aries and the Comet. They all confirmed that it is a characteristic problem of the product when it is operated in the Femto, and Exact clock modes. Auralic recommended that the user should use the Auto clock mode if they are playing back files with different sample/data rates, or formats. Most users report that the Coarse and Fine modes will also work. Auralic also stated that the power line quality will also effect their units operation in the high precision clock modes.

What's the output of the Comet's Analog Outputs?

Both the XLR's and the RCA's deliver 2.62V. 

I see that the Comet has multiple filters. What are they? Can I select between them? Can I make my own?
The Comet contains 4 selectable filters. The default filter is a Minimum Phase Filter. The Comet's alternative filters are 1) A Classic Spline Filter, 2) A Frequency-Optimized Filter, and 3) A De-Emphasis Filter.
There are no user-customizable filter settings in the Comet.
While the filters are selectable, they are not currently user selectable. Trust us, the default filter sounds the best. We may someday allow it to be changed via the smartphone application but right now it can only be done by a dealer.

I just bought a Comet. How do I hook it up?
Check out this video!

What does the stuff on the Comet's little display mean?
Check out this video!

Sometimes my iPhone remote seems to lose the Comet. How do I fix that?
By checking out this video!

Is the Comet HDMI compatible?

No. The EXONET interface uses the same connector but you cannot send to, or receive from an HDMI device. Don't look at the connector and say "Boy, they look the same... I think I'll give it a try!" That's a bad idea, we are explicitly telling you not to do it, and we aren't responsible for the results!
(Also, HDMI is a registered trademark of the High Definitition Multimedia Interface Founders, and managed by HDMI Licensing, LLC of which EXOGAL is not a member! Also, to be clear, we just told people we aren't compatible, we aren't claiming or implying compatibility, and we only use those four letters in that combination to try to make that clear to everybody!)

Why does my computer / digital music player "click" between tracks?
The Comet renders whatever is sent to it exactly.
Typically, when a "click" sound is heard between tracks it is caused by the source. Some sources do not transition gracefully between tracks.
For example:

  • Track one is ending and does not end at complete silence
  • The source then sends a short burst of PCM "0" data as the track changes
  • Track two begins above perfect silence

When this happens you will hear a click between tracks. Many DAC manufacturers "fix" this by muting the first and last 100 or 200 samples of each track. This "cures" the problem however if you have album tracks that flow immediately into the next track (such as certain albums by Pink Floyd, Queen, etc.), you will hear a brief "dropout" which is also objectionable.
You need to find the setting in your music player that forces it to play "Gapless". That will not allow the PCM "0" value to create the click.
What you are hearing is probably not from the Comet, it is most likely caused by the source.

Ion Questions

How do I connect my Ion to my Comet?

Check out this video!

Once the Comet and Ion are connected, what do all the flashing lights and colors mean?
Check out this video to find out!

Can I connect a subwoofer when I use the Ion?
Yes! Simply connect your main speakers to the Ion and your subwoofer to the Comet's Analog RCA Outputs and adjust the crossover on your sub to your desired point.

Can I bridge the Ion's outputs to get higher power?
NO! Emphatically, no! The Ion is not a conventional amplifer. The nature of a PowerDAC's output terminals is that they are essentially already bridged and you cannot bridge the left and right outputs to get a higher power. (You might get an opportunity to test our service department, though!)

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