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Qobuz (flac), BBC Radio 3(320kbps) and cesnet (flac) streams converted to DSD256


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This I consider a major breakthrough!

 

I have been trying to get Qobuz flac streams to play through an audio engine which would convert them to DSD on the fly for a long time and now finally it is reliably possible.

 

I am making use of J River Media Center's Loopback feature. This involves sending the stream from XBMC to your default sound card via direct sound and having J River process it through it's audio engine and out to your DAC of choice. Currently the exasound E20.

 

This never worked in the past even though I'm using eurodriver's i5 quad core machine.

 

Yesterday though, thanks to a post from mlgrado http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/head-head-jrmc19-foobar-sacd-and-hq-player-doing-cd-standard-lpcm-sampled-16-bits-and-44-100-times-second-aimed-reproducing-sound-20-20-000hz-direct-stream-digital-and-native-direct-stream-digital-20687/index2.html I realised I could use foobar_sacd_asio as the audio output for J River and do the PCM to DSD256 conversion there.

 

So I asked myself if it might be worth trying loopback using this method.

 

Well maxim's conversion filter and modulator must be much more efficient than j River's, since it works a charm.

 

Note: When doing this Bit Steaming must be set to DSD in J River and you do not use J River's own DSP for conversion to DSD as this is handled for you by foobar_sacd_asio, which uses asio proxy as described by mlgrado.

 

The only thing I use J River's DSP for is to apply room correction using the FabfilterProQ parametric equaliser, and yes this works as well!

 

So you can convert any PCM source to DSD up to the maximum capability of your DAC (DSD256 for the exasound) and apply room correction as well!

 

It's simply wonderful to be able to enjoy all these streams at this level of quality.

 

It might even work for physical sources connected to your computer as well.

 

geoff

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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This I consider a major breakthrough!

 

I have been trying to get Qobuz flac streams to play through an audio engine which would convert them to DSD on the fly for a long time and now finally it is reliably possible.

 

I am making use of J River Media Center's Loopback feature. This involves sending the stream from XBMC to your default sound card via direct sound and having J River process it through it's audio engine and out to your DAC of choice. Currently the exasound E20.

 

This never worked in the past even though I'm using eurodriver's i5 quad core machine.

 

Yesterday though, thanks to a post from mlgrado http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/head-head-jrmc19-foobar-sacd-and-hq-player-doing-cd-standard-lpcm-sampled-16-bits-and-44-100-times-second-aimed-reproducing-sound-20-20-000hz-direct-stream-digital-and-native-direct-stream-digital-20687/index2.html I realised I could use foobar_sacd_asio as the audio output for J River and do the PCM to DSD256 conversion there.

 

So I asked myself if it might be worth trying loopback using this method.

 

Well maxim's conversion filter and modulator must be much more efficient than j River's, since it works a charm.

 

Note: When doing this Bit Steaming must be set to DSD in J River and you do not use J River's own DSP for conversion to DSD as this is handled for you by foobar_sacd_asio, which uses asio proxy as described by mlgrado.

 

The only thing I use J River's DSP for is to apply room correction using the FabfilterProQ parametric equaliser, and yes this works as well!

 

So you can convert any PCM source to DSD up to the maximum capability of your DAC (DSD256 for the exasound) and apply room correction as well!

 

It's simply wonderful to be able to enjoy all these streams at this level of quality.

 

It might even work for physical sources connected to your computer as well.

 

geoff

 

I saw your post yesterday about using the foobar_sacd_asio plugin with JRiver, but not sure I see how to do this. Can you walk us through the process of downloading / configuring this foobar plugin for use with JRiver? I think this will only work with Windows setups, in any case, since there is only one DAC that currently offers an ASIO driver for OS X, but I'd love to try it with my Windows laptop.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi wireless > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90 > Dan Clark Aeon 2 Closed / Focal Elegia

Home Theater - Mac Mini running Roon Server / AppleTV > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

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Hi John, I think the fastest way to get you up and running with this is if you first follow the guide provided by exasound to get their DAC running with Foobar. It doesn't matter that you won't actually be using foobar because this guide will provide you with everything you need for foo_dsd_asio to work.

 

If your DAC has a proprietary asio driver, as does the exasound, then substitute your DAC under ASIO driver in step 20. Of course, if your DAC is an exasound, then no substitution needs to be made. If your DAC does not use the asio protocol; choose the DOP option here instead.

 

…and yes this will only work under Windows and your Windows laptop may not be powerful enough as conversion to DSD is quite demanding. I am actually a Mac centric guy; but for me this alone makes it worth running windows on a Mac via bootcamp

 

Here is the guide from exasound:

 

Configuring Foobar2000 for ASIO DSD / DXD Playback with exaSound DACs. > exaSound Audio Design

 

Just make sure you get the latest foo_sacd_input-0.7.1

 

The next steps will depend on exactly what you want to stream through J River via the foo_dsd_asio "Audio device"

 

What I did is to download and install XBMC. In XBMC settings for System -> Audio you need to choose an audio device which is different from the DAC you will actually be sending the audio output to from J River.

 

For this Audio Device choose "Direct Sound".

 

Now make sure this is set to be the default audio output device within Windows.

 

Then if you are a Qobuz subscriber, go to the add-ons section within XBMC to obtain Music add-ons from XBMC.org There is an add-on for Qobuz and another called ListenLiveEU for many Euro radio stations, which includes some 320kbps streams, like BBC Radio 3.

 

Install any of these add-ons you desire.

 

For the Qobuz add-on you will need to go into the add-on settings and enter your Username and Password for your Qobuz "HiFi" account.

 

For ListenLiveEU, you just need to select the desired radio station and play it.

 

With one of these add-ons now playing music from XBMC, launch J River.

 

Go to the Tools Menu and under options select Audio, then select foo_dsd_asio as your Audio Output device.

 

Then click on device settings and in the dialog that appears choose "Open Driver Control Panel…"

 

Asio Driver should already be set as your DAC and either ASIO Native (e.g. if an exasound) or DoP Marker… should be chosen as the "DSD Playback Method" from following the exasound guide.

 

Here you can now also set your preferred PCM to DSD Method. I prefer SDM Type D. Next choose the "Fs" or DSD sample rate. This will depend on the capability of your DAC. For me, with the exasound it's DSD256.

 

Now close this dialog using the red "X" on the top right and click OK in the "Device Settings" Dialog behind it.

 

Further down under J River's Audio Options -> Settings make sure Bitstreaming is set to "Yes" and DSD. Then click OK, to dismiss the Options dialog.

 

Finally choose "Open Live" from the File menu. In the dialog box that appears make sure "WASAPI" is selected and click on "OK".

 

Now that sound that you got playing from within XBMC should be routed through J River and thence the foo_dsd_asio audio device to convert the source PCM to DSD according to the previous settings.

 

If the machine you're using is up to the task all your streamed music can now be enjoyed in glorious DSD. Enjoy!

 

(If there is enough interest in this I will post a more detailed guide with pics on my web-site).

 

geoff

Owner of: Sound Galleries, High-End Audio Dealer, Monaco

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Yesterday I rushed to Sound Galleries to listen to BBC Radio 3 (320) Kbps streaming via XBMC > JR MC 19 > Maxim SACD plug in. Whilst it was not as good sounding as Qobuz doing FLAC, it was very good. After a little while I found my self forgetting this was a data gutted stream and enjoying the music.

 

The format conversion certainly elevates the sound quality to a higher level, and does not seem to make the distortions introduced by mp3 coding more noticeable. If anything the sweeter and yet more sparkling playback, assists the perceptual masking trick of mp3 to do its dirty work !

 

Simply amazing, who would have thought a year ago that we would be listening to BBC3 played over a DSD DAC.

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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