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No-compromise digital transport...


Derneck

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Hello,

 

 

I am looking for some advice from people with a lot of experience with today's digital transports.

 

 

My goal is excellent sound quality above all (whose isn't...) with that "ease" of correctly timed, de-jittered playback.

 

 

Convenience is less of a priority, though of course it is desirable in any amount possible without affecting SQ.

 

 

In my experience so far, I have had the best results with the USB inputs (vs SPDIF) of the DACs I've owned (Currently Metrum HEX, Teac UD-501 before it). I have used Audirvana on the Mac side and Foobar2000 on the Windows side.

 

 

To cut to the chase...

 

 

I am currently using the following setup: HP Windows 7 Core i7 laptop -> Fidelizer 4 in Extremist mode -> Foobar2000 -> Wasapi Event -> Cardas Clear -> Metrum Hex USB.

 

 

The results are stunning, except for a few glitches caused by Fidelizer (occasional stutter within the first few seconds of a track).

 

 

Planning for a permanent setup... I've read good things about Audiophile Optimizer.

 

 

I am thinking about getting a HP Proliant MicroServer G8 to use as a dedicated transport with AO. One ineresting thing is the ability to use HP Integrated Lights Out in which case I could theoretically disable any networking on the OS side and use ILO's virtual console to operate Foobar via Ipad etc.

 

 

Or... for the roughly same money as for the above (Microserver + ILO + AO), I could get a Simaudio MIND 180 or Bryston BDP. My Metrum HEX has AES/EBU. That's a whole lot less tweaking and potentially hassle.

 

 

 

 

 

So the question for you, experienced digital heavyweights, is... Can the same sound quality, that is possible using software players / USB, be achieved via hardware players / AES/EBU?

 

In my experience so far, Logitech Transporter SE didn't give me the same SQ when connected to AES/EBU vs. the laptop /USB setup. Close, but not quite as fantastic.

 

This is not to say that AES/EBU has less potential... and that's what I am trying to find out here.

 

 

Thank you in advance for your contributions!

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Roon Server: Core i7-3770S, WS2012 + AO => HQP Server: Core, i7-9700K, HQPlayer OS => NAA: Celeron NUC, HQP NAA => ISO Regen with UltraCap LPS 1.2 => Mapleshade USB Cable => Lampizator L4 DSD-Only Balanced DAC Preamp => Blue Jeans Belden Balanced Cables => Mivera PurePower SE Amp => Magnepan 3.7i

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I partially agree with k6davis; use server 2012 and an optimizer for a single PC setup but do not step into the dedicated Jplay configuration. If you have a better resolving system Jplay boosts high register clarity at the expense of the mid range. Than take your pick of asynch USB or DLNA renderer for data transport to DAC. Read thoroughly all the discussions on the site about battery vs system power for OS HD and asynch USB converter benefits

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Dernick,

 

When you say "no compromise" I am not sure what exactly that means, but I can chime in with my experience that is still ongoing. Again, just my opinion and take it for what it is worth.

 

I am not pimping MSB nor have I found the definitive solution as yet but am getting there.

 

The best I have gotten so far with USB is using a Zuma with Server 2012 R2, single PC, no JPlay, using AudioPhil's optimizer in MinimalServer, using JRiver and ASIO with a Light Harmonics USB cable. I have tweaked my Zuma and tried a multiple cables and USB cards, etc.

 

HOWEVER, I believe MSB is onto something a little more special although for me is not yet a product I can endorse or utilize although there maybe an alternative from a company called Blue Smoke that makes a break out box called the Digital Output. In any case, it would require you using an MSB DAC, either their Analog or more expensive variant.

 

Right now I am trying MSB's UMT+, which is both a "standard" disc transport with a built in network renderer whose chipset is the OPPO 103. The problem for me at this point is the chipset does not support gapless and that is a nonstarter for me. However, what is unique is their use of their proprietary PROI2S card, which takes either data from the "standard" disc or "streamed data" rendered by the OPPO and buffers it into memory and their card is then clocked to their DAC. The sound is fantastic and as good as I have heard from anything I have had in my system including any and all tweaks I have tried. Blue Smoke uses the card in a breakout box called the Digital Output and I hope to demo that shortly and if it sounds as good as the UMT+ plus then that becomes my "no compromise" digital transport. IF the UMT+ supported gapless it would now be my "no compromise" digital transport. Both solutions, similar to network renderers should make the tweaking of the source computer irrelevant.

 

More to come. I am kind of pissed that the UMT+ doesn't support gapless "at this time" and since it is dependent upon the OPPO 103 chipset may never or more likely will never support gapless as a "no compromise" digital transport. However, the Blue Smoke Digital Output may be the ticket.

 

More to come.

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Hi Priaptor,

 

Perhaps "no compromise" was not the best title. Whether I get a ready-made solution such as a Bryston streamer or build a dedicated PC, the end result should be simplicity of operation and exemplary sound quality.

 

That may qualify as "no compromise" in my case.

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Hi Priaptor

 

I run a windows server 2012 server also and I found keneral streaming sounds better to me than ASIO. I especially noticed the difference in delicate parts. It seems more light and airy not as mechanical. You might want to try it. Just select it in JRiver.

AMR 777 DAC, Purist Ultimate USB, PC server 4gig SOTM USB, server 2012, Audiophil Optimizer,Joule Preamp LAP150 Platinum Vcaps Bybee, Spectron Monoblocks Bybee Vcaps, Eggleston Savoy speakers, 2 REL Stentor III subwoofers, Pranawire Cosmos speaker wire, Purist Dominus Praesto cabling, Purist Anniversary (Canorus)power cables and Elrod Statement Gold power cable, VPI Aries I SDS w/Grado The Statement LP, 11kVA power isolation, 16 sound panels and bass traps TAD,RPG,GIK and Realtraps

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I partially agree with k6davis; use server 2012 and an optimizer for a single PC setup but do not step into the dedicated Jplay configuration. If you have a better resolving system Jplay boosts high register clarity at the expense of the mid range. Than take your pick of asynch USB or DLNA renderer for data transport to DAC. Read thoroughly all the discussions on the site about battery vs system power for OS HD and asynch USB converter benefits

 

I use WS2012 Core + AO + JPlay in a dual server configuration with the AudioPC in constant throttle and hibernate mode. I feel that my Maggie 1.7 speakers and Lampizator DAC are nothing if not highly resolving. I don't hear any degradation in the midrange. But of course that's in the eye (ear?) of the beholder.

 

What is certain though, is that JPlay has 4 different audio "engines" and the Audiophile Optimizer has 4 different sound signatures and 4 different filters. All of those options are bit perfect, yet impact the sound. With a dual server setup, all of those settings can differ on the two machines for a truly huge number of possible combinations. It's not necessary to tweak ad infinitum, because there is information and recommendations on this thread an others that will likely lead to pleasing (very) results quickly.

 

My point is that JPlay doesn't have a monolithic sound that "boosts high register clarity at the expense of the mid range". I appreciate that it may not have worked out for davide256, but I suggest you experiment with their free trial and see for yourself.

 

Lastly, I feel that the Audiophile Optimizer is the jewel in the crown of the whole configuration. The other pieces alone make a difference, but not as much as the AO.

Roon Server: Core i7-3770S, WS2012 + AO => HQP Server: Core, i7-9700K, HQPlayer OS => NAA: Celeron NUC, HQP NAA => ISO Regen with UltraCap LPS 1.2 => Mapleshade USB Cable => Lampizator L4 DSD-Only Balanced DAC Preamp => Blue Jeans Belden Balanced Cables => Mivera PurePower SE Amp => Magnepan 3.7i

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Hi Priaptor

 

I run a windows server 2012 server also and I found keneral streaming sounds better to me than ASIO. I especially noticed the difference in delicate parts. It seems more light and airy not as mechanical. You might want to try it. Just select it in JRiver.

 

+1

 

Kernel streaming has been identified as the most direct means for your computer to communicate with your DAC, and apparently by a significant margin.

Roon Server: Core i7-3770S, WS2012 + AO => HQP Server: Core, i7-9700K, HQPlayer OS => NAA: Celeron NUC, HQP NAA => ISO Regen with UltraCap LPS 1.2 => Mapleshade USB Cable => Lampizator L4 DSD-Only Balanced DAC Preamp => Blue Jeans Belden Balanced Cables => Mivera PurePower SE Amp => Magnepan 3.7i

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Lastly, I feel that the Audiophile Optimizer is the jewel in the crown of the whole configuration. The other pieces alone make a difference, but not as much as the AO.

 

Thanks a lot for this one. much appreciated! :)

 

Best,

Phil

ıllıllı [  ...AO 3.00 IS HERE... ] ıllıllı
____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Shop | Reviews | Reference System | AudiophileOptimizer 3.00 | PDF Guide

 

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I would weigh in behind a dedicated music server PC running Windows Server 2012 and JRiver music software on a single machine. I would only use a NAS if your music library is so huge as to make SSD storage too costly.

 

Some DAC's just work better with the built in USB. There are some good external USB-SPDIF like Bel Canto Reflink, Berkeley BADA USB and Empirical Audio OffRamp but there's no guarantee these will beat the built in USB implementation of a particular DAC.

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Thanks a lot for this one. much appreciated! :)

 

Best,

Phil

 

You're most welcome Phil.

 

In this hobby, it's not often that you come across a product that lives up to its claims. And you make some large claims! I was happy with the sound of my system before AO, but it made a huge improvement. I wouldn't consider being without it now.

 

It was because I'd read very strong praise of your product from others that I decided it was worth the effort to give it chance. I'm happy to encourage others to try it too.

 

Also, I think I read in another post that you're expecting a baby? Many congratulations!!

 

Keith

Roon Server: Core i7-3770S, WS2012 + AO => HQP Server: Core, i7-9700K, HQPlayer OS => NAA: Celeron NUC, HQP NAA => ISO Regen with UltraCap LPS 1.2 => Mapleshade USB Cable => Lampizator L4 DSD-Only Balanced DAC Preamp => Blue Jeans Belden Balanced Cables => Mivera PurePower SE Amp => Magnepan 3.7i

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You're most welcome Phil.

 

In this hobby, it's not often that you come across a product that lives up to its claims. And you make some large claims! I was happy with the sound of my system before AO, but it made a huge improvement. I wouldn't consider being without it now.

 

It was because I'd read very strong praise of your product from others that I decided it was worth the effort to give it chance. I'm happy to encourage others to try it too.

 

Also, I think I read in another post that you're expecting a baby? Many congratulations!!

 

Keith

 

Keith,

 

I couldn't agree more. First Phil is one of the most upstanding people I have had the pleasure to meet through any of these sites. He stands behind his product and his customer support is second to none, sometimes more important than the product. Which brings me to the product. When Ted_b first introduced me to this product I was eager, but a little hesitant as I had just gotten my Windows 8 server up, running and sounding great. Installing Windows Server R2 was not a simple task on the recommended Zuma Motherboard because of driver issues with built in ethernet that Intel. A little net search took care of that.

 

Well I too was pretty impressed with the sound improvement of Phil's optimization script and I love it's flexibility and ease of use, once you dust off some command prompts. Incredibly stable and fantastic product.

 

One last thing, as I indicated in a post above, I am trying the UMT+ and don't want to comment as yet, BUT, theoretically the computer acting as the DLNA to stream to the UMT+ shouldn't matter, but it does and the UMT+ in streaming mode also sounds better from an Phil Optimized Zuma.

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