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Paul Pang musicserver/pc my experiences

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Done some testing with drivers uninstall reinstall etc., but have not been able to make this work.

Hav posted a separate thread regarding the usb connectio problem as you adviced Kilroy.

Hopefully this will get more attention.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/digital-analogue-converter-ppa-music-server-ppa-v4-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-card-connection-problem-27377/#post505318


Andervik Audio

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I had problems with delivery of a PPA server too. But Paul made good on the money completely. I learned my lesson: go through Phil for parts (highend-audiopc.com) and have his associate, Leon (in Florida) build the server, using Paul Pang parts and others. Leon built an incredible 1 PC server for a friend and it sounds fantastic -- I would say just about as good as my double PC setup.

 

There is a real language problem (at least English) communicating with Paul, and while a stellar designer, his business skills especially in customer service don't measure up. But he is honest. Just disorganized.

 

Of course, many of the JCAT products are made by Paul, but JCAT will stand behind them and they are, like Phil, stellar to deal with.


MG555

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How has this worked out, did the new USB card fix the issue?

 

I'm about ready to post my bad PPA experiences as well. Except in my case he is not making good on his bad parts. Bad USB card and he claims it's not his responsibility, and other parts too.

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I am definitely interested in knowing as well since I am about to buy a v4 usb card.


12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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How has this worked out, did the new USB card fix the issue?

 

I'm about ready to post my bad PPA experiences as well. Except in my case he is not making good on his bad parts. Bad USB card and he claims it's not his responsibility, and other parts too.

 

Sigh ... I've been waiting >8 months for a prepaid order... no response to email in months...


Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Pang sent me an email 26.01.2016 and promised to send me a new usb V4 card 29.01.2016.

I have still not received any card.

I sent him an email a few days ago, and asked if it was sent but have not received any reply.

So there is nothing new to report unfortunately.


Andervik Audio

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He obviously needs to employ someone to handle the email communication side. Seems a poor business decision not to, even if it costs more initially. Then again, I've never run a business.

 

Tips: Keep emails as brief as possible and to the point (avoiding long, multiple paragraphs). Threaten that you will contact paypal if you haven't heard back soon (that's if you've been waiting more than a few weeks or so for a reply)

Edited by John769

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What worries me is after sales support. Even if Paul Pang does eventually address the issues of the people on this thread what's his motivation to help if something goes wrong down the road. If he isn't motivated to reply to people who just paid what is his incentive for someone who is already a customer who needs support later? I know I can always buy from Phil at AO but he is just as much at risk of being hung out to dry as the rest of us. As much as I want to buy the v4 usb I think I am better off looking elsewhere.


12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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I believe Pang is a brilliant designer/engineer, but not a great businessman. There's a lot of us with problems, but also many happy users of his products on this forum. In my opinion his products are less robust that off-the-shelf ones. Handling and hardware compatability can be problem areas. I sometimes think of it as his products work great in a lab environment, but maybe less so in a real world environment.

 

My experience with his service: request a PayPal invoice, fairly fast; after payment, things slow down, response time can be days or weeks; for purchased parts needing support, it's gone from immediate replacement of a bad SATA cable to either no response or no admission that there is a problem; I complained about bad parts 2-3 months ago and have got pretty much zero response.

 

At one point he said my issues were caused by software or other hardware, although only the OS was installed and all the hardware in the server was from him. Right now unresolved issues are the mobo and clock, power supply (both unusable) and USB card (one dead port). There was also a bad Black SATA that he replaced.

 

Despite outstanding issues, the sound quality of his parts is top notch, as others here have said, and for better or worse I purchased another SSD from him which is now enroute. But this will be my last direct order with him. Two weeks passed between payment and notification of shipment, not so bad.

 

Another retailer of Pang's products posts frequently on this site. He has helped me out somewhat, but of course cannot step in all the way because he is not my dealer. I do believe this person is perhaps Pang's biggest dealer and thus carries a lot of weight with him. There are still some PPA parts that interest me, including the V4 USB card, and I'll deal with the reseller, not Paul Pang. I recommend others go this same route.

Edited by kilroy

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I just bought a music player from Paul Pang. It was delivered last week and the nightmare started then. Frankly, I bought a FC10 case, ASUS H170m-Plus, i7-6700t, PP 16G ram and OCOX clock modified. I purchase and install a Crucial M.2 250G SSD by myself and plan to install Windows 10 and HQPlayer. I power it up with a 12V 10A LPS.

 

I spent a few hours to make it boot-up the first time. I then installed Windows 10 and all the drivers needed, but it was about 20% chance to reboot my machine, not to mention the PC will reboot by itself.

 

Even sometimes it is working fine, I experienced frequent dropouts about 20-30 per minute during HQPlayer with Cubox-i NAA setup. I have been using Macbook Air i7 2013 for HQPlayer upsampling with any problems.

 

Anything I can try?

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I just bought a music player from Paul Pang. It was delivered last week and the nightmare started then. Frankly, I bought a FC10 case, ASUS H170m-Plus, i7-6700t, PP 16G ram and OCOX clock modified. I purchase and install a Crucial M.2 250G SSD by myself and plan to install Windows 10 and HQPlayer. I power it up with a 12V 10A LPS.

 

I spent a few hours to make it boot-up the first time. I then installed Windows 10 and all the drivers needed, but it was about 20% chance to reboot my machine, not to mention the PC will reboot by itself.

 

Even sometimes it is working fine, I experienced frequent dropouts about 20-30 per minute during HQPlayer with Cubox-i NAA setup. I have been using Macbook Air i7 2013 for HQPlayer upsampling with any problems.

 

Anything I can try?

 

My initial thought is that you possibly have two separate issues. Your boot and reboot issue looks like being on the edge of your power supply. As if some part cant quite get enough juice, fails, and then triggers a reboot.

The streaming dropouts smell of a buffering problem.


Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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As a matter of interest, I presume you are using an SSD of some sort to load the OS? If so, what data cable is installed? Is it a PPA black? If so, I have personal experience that says this PPA Cable will not work with modern MBoards!

 

See if you can try the standard SATA cable - if this works then you know what the problem is. PP changed my new Black to a cheaper PPA RED and all was fixed.

 

Hope that helps....

 

Keith

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My initial thought is that you possibly have two separate issues. Your boot and reboot issue looks like being on the edge of your power supply. As if some part cant quite get enough juice, fails, and then triggers a reboot.

The streaming dropouts smell of a buffering problem.

 

I also worry about the LPS whether it is juicy enough for the system, but to me 10A is quite a lot, especially without any Graphics Card and SATA Hard Drive.

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I also worry about the LPS whether it is juicy enough for the system, but to me 10A is quite a lot, especially without any Graphics Card and SATA Hard Drive.

 

Yes, but that 10A is split over multiple rails. If I recall Paul's set up, then he takes the output of the LPSU and then changes the voltages using various solutions to bypass the standard MoBo routing and feed components directly. It may be that the total of 120 W is fine, but if somewhere not enough current diverts to a certain component, or one of the switch boards (or whatever they are called in English) malfunctions, then we have a problem.

 

You mention the SATA harddrive, which you do not have. But you do have a M2 drive, which gets its power not directly from the PSU (which I believe is what PPA's design assumes) but through the motherboard. I'm not saying this is the problem, but something is near the edge. And the reboots suggest the MoBo is not getting what it needs.

 

A possible way to debug is this by firing up the system using a standard ATX switching supply. If all then works and is stable, then you need to look at the power supply. If you have the same problem, the motherboard or CPU may be damaged.


Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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Yes, but that 10A is split over multiple rails. If I recall Paul's set up, then he takes the output of the LPSU and then changes the voltages using various solutions. It may be that the total of 120 W is fine, but if somewhere he does not divert enough current to a certain component, or one of the switch boards (or whatever they are called in English) malfunctions, then we have a problem.

 

You mention the SATA harddrive, which you do not have. But you do have a M2 drive, which gets its power not directly from the PSU (which I believe is what PPA's design assumes) but through the motherboard. I'm not saying this is the problem, but something is near the edge. And the reboots suggest the MoBo is not getting what it needs.

 

A possible way to debug is this by firing up the system using a standard ATX switching supply. If all then works and is stable, then you need to look at the power supply. If you have the same problem, the motherboard or CPU may be damaged.

 

PP has a PICO which supplies multi rails. in my case, I only use the one for the mobo. M.2 slot is a standard slot on H170 mobo for fast SSD. It is not PP's products.

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In my server with many PP parts the ASUS H170m-Plus and its clock were problematic and the cause of all sorts of issues. I replaced them with a different brand of off-the-shelf board and many problems went away. Pang kept saying it was the BIOS, try this one or that one but I eventually gave up on the board.

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In my server with many PP parts the ASUS H170m-Plus and its clock were problematic and the cause of all sorts of issues. I replaced them with a different brand of off-the-shelf board and many problems went away. Pang kept saying it was the BIOS, try this one or that one but I eventually gave up on the board.

 

Which mobo are you using? Are you still using his clock?

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In my server with many PP parts the ASUS H170m-Plus and its clock were problematic and the cause of all sorts of issues. I replaced them with a different brand of off-the-shelf board and many problems went away. Pang kept saying it was the BIOS, try this one or that one but I eventually gave up on the board.

 

I ordered the same board and clock from PP. :(

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Which mobo are you using? Are you still using his clock?

 

Gigabyte GA-Z170M-D3H. Cheap board but works fine. Using the board clock. I thought about sending him the board to install the header for the external clock as I don't care to do this myself.

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I ordered the same board and clock from PP. :(

 

The board is fine, powering the ocxo from it's 5V usb supply is not, you could try powering it from a separate stable fast(high bandwidth) 5V supply. Get something which can atleast supply 1A of current. Most OCXO's will draw up to 800mA for the first 5 minutes or so of operation. It is possible to get a reasonably stable running system with a ppa ocxo on your gigabyte board.

 

Edit: Also check the speed at which your memory is running. This model gigabyte is unstable at higher memory clockspeeds.

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