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I finally fixed a very frustrating problem this evening and I thought I'd post for the benefit of anyone else with this kind of a problem.


Specs:

AMD 1.2GHz (266)

ABIT KT7A MB

256Meg PC133 Kingston ValueRAM

30Gig IBM 7200rpm HD

Pioneer DVD116 (tray)

Zoltrix Nightingale Pro

ATI Radeon LE

NEC LT150


The system is configured to output audio via the SPDIF output to my receiver, a Denon AVR3300.


The problem I was having was "pops" in the audio stream which seemed to actually be very brief dropouts during which the receiver would lose lock. During DTS tracks the pops were replaced with very loud chirps that were so loud I thought they might damage my gear. Occasionally I could observe the "auto" indicator on my receiver go out. This problem persisted over two different sound cards (the Zoltrix and a Creative Live Value), both types of SPDIF output (coax and optical), with and without IRQ sharing on the soundcard, several different driver versions, and also occurred in both Win98SE and WinME.


Finally tonight the problem was fixed by *underclocking* my processor to 1GHz w/100MHz FSB. My personal opinion is that the problem was electrical in nature as opposed to functional, but I haven't delved much further on the problem yet and I'm not likely to for some time. I can run the system at 1.2GHz w/100MHz FSB to see if that works, as well as 1GHz w/133MHz FSB. I can also probably try some better memory to see if that was causing problems.


Anyway, I just thought I'd post to give people with problems some hope. And while I'd like to get to the root of my problem and fix it, my machine has more than enough horsepower for playing DVDs and I couldn't be happier that I get clean 5.1 sound now. Hope this helps someone out.
 

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WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!!!!!!!


Thank you. This post just resolved my puzzling mystery of crackling sound from my Zoltrix Nightengale that mysteriously reappeared during a system reinstall. I backed down on my Athlon 1700XP from a 133FSB to a 100FSB and suddenly all is well!.


Saved me from buying the Soyo+ for now. Hopefully, they'll have an onboard firewire, usb, and 10/100 or 10/100/1000 ethernet standard by the time I need a new MB. :D


Thank you, dfriend, very much for this post.
 
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