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Novice Question, Does computer and OS really matter??


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I have seen many threads about using w2k8 server or using computers without fans, quiet ps, etc...

 

I don't understand why any of that matters when you are using the usb out.

it is still just one's and zero's until it reaches the dac, right? so who cares about the source until the 1s and 0s are converted to analog in the DAC where you should need to worry?

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I have seen many threads about using w2k8 server or using computers without fans, quiet ps, etc...

 

I don't understand why any of that matters when you are using the usb out.

it is still just one's and zero's until it reaches the dac, right? so who cares about the source until the 1s and 0s are converted to analog in the DAC where you should need to worry?

 

nvm...i just read there is emi noise along with the 1s and 0s at the usb port.

Accessory – iPurifier

 

Even that so, i would have thought that the dac itself has a noise filter at it's input....oh welll...

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nvm...i just read there is emi noise along with the 1s and 0s at the usb port.

Accessory – iPurifier

 

 

Even that so, i would have thought that the dac itself has a noise filter at it's input....oh welll...

You are right. Remember you are reading sales propaganda.

 

I suspect that well respected, qualified EEs like John Swenson and Gordon Rankin know a little more in this area than a Professor from a totally unrelated discipline

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Hi Mike- my personal opinion is that the computer does matter, to a degree. But largely, that is because a computer that continually crashes or requires constant maintenance gets in the way of enjoying the music. Unless of course, you enjoy constantly tinkering with the beastie! :)

 

Soundwise, it seems pretty clear that one can improve the sound of one's system by improving the source computer, including the software and/or OS. But the improvements are generally small and the effort to achieve them is often way out of proportion to the benefits gained.

 

As in- just what Bill Scott said- an awful lot of what you read is sales propaganda. But there are real benefits out there you can achieve. I run a stock Mac Mini as my music server, and it is dedicated to that task. I enjoy it thoroughly and am rather proud of the way it sounds. In short I am satisfied with it, and though I would like to try some upgrades, notably a power supply upgrade, I can wait a little while.

 

YMMV!

 

Paul

 

P.S.- Dr. Scott there knows a great deal about how to make computers do what he wants them to do. A very good source to listen to. :)

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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My CAPS computer with linear power supply and upgraded USB card sounds better than my stock Mac Mini...there is a lot of noise even in a simple computer...I'm sure that there are much better servers than mine so everything is relative. 90% of the way there with a stock Mac Mini or CAPS server...add upgraded power conditioning and go to 95%...go to something purpose built and you will do better (for a lot more money). The nice thing about running a CAPS server is you can run an optimizer type program such as Fidelizer...

 

Best,

John

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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P.S.- Dr. Scott there knows a great deal about how to make computers do what he wants them to do. A very good source to listen to.

 

Nevertheless, his reply goes against the reports of many 100s of C.A. members in numerous threads, who report that the construction and type of USB cables does matter, as does also an external linear +5V PSU and modified USB cable that isolates the DAC from the noisy SMPS +5V line from the computer.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Nevertheless, his reply goes against the reports of many 100s of C.A. members in numerous threads, who report that the construction and type of USB cables does matter, as does also an external linear +5V PSU and modified USB cable that isolates the DAC from the noisy SMPS +5V line from the computer.

 

You never get tired of this, do you? ;-)

Home: Apple Macbook Pro 17" --Mini-Toslink--> Cambridge Audio DacMagic --XLR--> 2x Genelec 8020B

Work: Apple Macbook Pro 15" --USB--> Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 --1/4\"--> Superlux HD668B / 2x Genelec 6010A

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You never get tired of this, do you? ;-)

 

There is far more than enough anecdotal evidence in this forum alone, worthy of further investigation by a dedicated Scientist, that USB cables can make a difference, as well as there being quite a few commercial cable designs where many members agree that they sound better than generic USB cables, even down to a degree of consensus as to which are the best performers. Add to that several commercial products that isolate the internal noisy +5V SMPS from the USB device and provide it with clean power.

Well respected E.E . John Swenson has also reported seeing RF/EMI going along for the ride with the binary data on a USB cable, and Gordon Rankin who is highly respected in the USB Audio area has also reported that these things matter.

You call yourself a Computer Scientist ? Well, scientists are supposed to have open minds to other possibilities, no matter how unlikely they may seem according to presently accepted theory. Why not arrange some DBTs involving some senior USA members who are absolutely confident that that can readily identify audible differences between generic USB cables and others such as the better dual conduit types, especially when used in conjunction with devices such as iFi USB ?

 

Q&A with John Swenson. Part 1: What is Digital? | AudioStream

 

Q&A with John Swenson. Part 2: Are Bits Just Bits? | AudioStream

 

 

See also There's no such thing as digital: A conversation with Charles Hansen, Gordon Rankin, and Steve Silberman | AudioStream (Hansen and Rankin discussion)

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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If you read John Swenson's stuff, he has measured changes in ground plane noise produced due to changes in both software and hardware. So yes, it is possible that these changes increase jitter and change the sound we hear.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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You call yourself a Computer Scientist ? Well, scientists are supposed to have open minds to other possibilities, no matter how unlikely they may seem according to presently accepted theory.

 

Why is he any less qualified to voice an opinion than you are? Why is he any less entitled to an opinion than you are? Why is your idea of what a scientist is "supposed" to think any better than his (or my) idea of what a scientist is supposed to think? Or are you just entitled simply because you are so certain that you are right and that anyone who disagrees with you must have his head up his ass?

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Why is he any less qualified to voice an opinion than you are? Why is he any less entitled to an opinion than you are? Why is your idea of what a scientist is "supposed" to think any better than his (or my) idea of what a scientist is supposed to think? Or are you just entitled simply because you are so certain that you are right and that anyone who disagrees with you must have his head up his ass?

 

Everybody is entitled to an opinion, but just because someone is a scientist or a Professor doesn't automatically make them correct all the time. In this particular area presently under discussion, the bulk of C.A. members appear to disagree with both you and the computer scientist. I would be surprised if your buddy Paul R. disagrees about audible differences between some correctly functioning USB cables and the benefits of USB isolation either.

In your case, your last sentence seems appropriate on this occasion.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Everybody is entitled to an opinion, but just because someone is a scientist or a Professor doesn't automatically make them correct all the time. In this particular area presently under discussion, the bulk of C.A. members appear to disagree with both you and the computer scientist. I would be surprised if your buddy Paul R. disagrees about audible differences between some correctly functioning USB cables and the benefits of USB isolation either.

In your case, your last sentence seems appropriate on this occasion.

 

 

Whoa there hombre- please do not use my opinions and views in attempts to browbeat other people.

 

Anyway, USB cables do not always make a difference. Some people can hear no difference between USB cables at all - and their experience is perfectly valid and can not be ignored.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Alex... Your assessment that a "bulk of CA members disagree" is slightly wrong... A bulk of the posts on CA may disagree but that is a long way from a bulk of CA members. I would suggest that a vast majority of CA members have never posted an opinion on this.

 

Eloise

Everybody is entitled to an opinion, but just because someone is a scientist or a Professor doesn't automatically make them correct all the time. In this particular area presently under discussion, the bulk of C.A. members appear to disagree with both you and the computer scientist. I would be surprised if your buddy Paul R. disagrees about audible differences between some correctly functioning USB cables and the benefits of USB isolation either.

In your case, your last sentence seems appropriate on this occasion.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Alex... Your assessment that a "bulk of CA members disagree" is slightly wrong... A bulk of the posts on CA may disagree but that is a long way from a bulk of CA members. I would suggest that a vast majority of CA members have never posted an opinion on this.

 

Eloise

 

Yes, this along with the "hundreds of members" who agree with him on other issues is just a bit of hyperbole . . . just a bit.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - MacMini running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > 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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I would suggest that a vast majority of CA members have never posted an opinion on this.

Eloise

I would suggest that the vast majority of members of most forums don't post an opinion on ANY subject unless they strongly disagree with it. Rest assured that if the vast majority of C.A. members did disagree with those numerous reports they would most likely be adding their voices to that of the usual vocal Objective crowd and their sheep.

Alex

 

Yes, this along with the "hundreds of members" who agree with him on other issues is just a bit of hyperbole . . . just a bit.

 

I have never claimed there are 100s of members who agree with me on the issue you are obviously referring to.

Just a wee bit of exaggeration there John ?

 

On this issue , the sheer volume of threads, and perhaps 1,000s of posts describing differences heard with various USB cables should speak for itself. Even E.E. Mark Powell went the route of using an external battery supply for USB, before he left C.A.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I would suggest that the vast majority of members of most forums don't post an opinion on ANY subject unless they strongly disagree with it. Rest assured that if the vast majority of C.A. members did disagree with those numerous reports they would most likely be adding their voices to that of the usual vocal Objective crowd and their sheep.

 

You have no way of knowing how they feel. Perhaps they have no opinion at all or are simply too busy enjoying their music to worry about trivial matters like this.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Perhaps they have no opinion at all or are simply too busy enjoying their music to worry about trivial matters like this.

 

What's your excuse for posting then, other than to try and give me a hard time ?

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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What's your excuse for posting then, other than to try and give me a hard time ?

 

How was my post giving you a hard time?

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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it is still just one's and zero's until it reaches the dac, right? so who cares about the source until the 1s and 0s are converted to analog in the DAC where you should need to worry?

 

If they were flying with no voltage value it will be the case ¨-)

 


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