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A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

The Computer Audiophile

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Most important: please realize this thread is about bleeding edge experimentation and discovery. No one has The Answer™. If you are not into tweaking, just know that you can have a musically satisfying system without doing any of the nutty things we do here.

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9 hours ago, rettib2001 said:

With my 2 core i7 nuc I can get upto dsd256 using the - 2 filters, I'm surprised it can do that. It sounds more involving and organic (subjectivity alert) than Roon at dsd512.

 

a) Waiting for the next powerful multicore i7 nuc, probable the comet lake gen, sticking that in a fanless case and powering it by my Paul Hynes Sr4 and hoping I can get far enough up the hqplayer filter hierarchy. 

I can confirm the much better DSD playback of HQPlayer. For DSD 512 also an i5 is enough. 😉

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11 hours ago, rettib2001 said:

My obvious question is now... How are you doing that?! There's no way my i7 nuc or even my i7 macbook pro can play dsd512 with hyplayer. What filters can you run at that level? 

 

If I can can to xtr-mp-2s at dsd512 in a fanless case with the potential of using a linear power supply I'd be happy. 

 

Miska explained it very well here:

 

HQPlayer 4 stuttering

 

CPU speed ist important, not the number of cores.

 

I'm currently using these settings:

 

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29 minutes ago, austinpop said:

My own perspective - and I'm not asking anyone to share or adopt it - is that given the pace  discoveries we make here, I am not comfortable plonking down $20-30k to any server manufacturer, because I'm convinced a year from now, the state of the art will have moved on significantly. I am far more comfortable spending that on a speaker, or possibly an amp. Others may disagree. With regard to the pre-DAC computer chain, this is one of the main reasons I prefer to dabble and experiment.

 

I agree with that.

 

Everyone has to answer the question about the best server for themselves. It depends on the target image. For me, Roon and HQPlayer (PCM => DSD 512) are important. So I need a strong CPU and trouble-free LAN and USB connections. This is my current plan:

 

On 5/25/2019 at 6:18 PM, StreamFidelity said:

After detailed research, I have the following new fanless audio PC under construction:

 

  • Intel Core i9-9900K (95W TDP), 3.6GHz - 5.0GHz OctaCore - HD Graphics 630
  • Streacom FC9 Alpha (Black) - Desktop - micro ATX
  • ASUS ROG Maximus XI Gene
  • Corsair Dominator Platinum - DDR4 - 16GB
  • Samsung SSD 970 PRO 512GB, M.2
  • JCAT USB Card FEMTO
  • JCAT NET Card FEMTO
  • HDPLEX 200W Linear Power Supply (LPS) Black
  • HDPLEX 400W HiFi DC-ATX

GPU is out of the question for me because I want to have a completely fanless PC. Since I currently have no problems running DSD 512 (filter: poly-sinc-xtr-lp-2s, shaper: AMSDM7 512 + fs) with an Intel Core i5-8400T, I am not afraid without a GPU.

 

Some will wonder why I chose a gaming board. These are just very robust and equipped with good components. Pink Faun does the same. 😉I believe that good hardware is essential for a good sound.

 

Added to this are memory with very low latencies and superfast SSDs.

 

For extremely important I consider a trouble-free data transport and a clean power supply. The JCAT USB and NET cards are equipped with Femto clocks and are powered externally by the HDPLEX 200W LPS with 5V each. The same LPS in combination with the HDPLEX DC-ATX converter is designed to provide the new audio PC with clean power that is free from high-frequency noise.

 

The operating system comes Server 2019 on it, optimized with Audiophil Optimizer 3.0 (to come in late May) and Fidelizer.

 

I'm really looking forward to my new project. 😀

 

My Roon and HQPlayer setup should work like this:

 

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19 hours ago, Chopin75 said:

From the diag are u using one PS to drive the MB and another one to drive the CPU, all via the 800W ATX ?

 

I am not sure I understood the question correctly. The HDPlex 800W DC-ATX converter has two DC inputs, which are fueled with 19V by two Keces P8. The 800W DA-ATX deliver two rails on 8PIN EATX-12V connectors and one rail on 24PIN EATXPWR connector.

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55 minutes ago, drjimwillie said:

I use HQPlayer which has the new EC modulators would need a 5.0 GHz CPU to run DSD512, which currently does not exist.  My Pipeline can run the EC modulator at DSD128, but the CPU is working so hard that it sounds like crap. 

 

I also use the HQPlayer and listen enthusiastically with the EC modulator ASDM7EC with DSD 256. For this I use a CPU Intel Core i9-9900K (95W TDP), 3.6GHz - 5.0GHz OctaCore with 16 threads and 4.1GHz. 8.0GHz would be required for DSD516!

 

I have a lot behind me regarding the power supply. My HDPLEX 200W Linear Power Supply went up in smoke. Since I have significantly improved my power supply (Power 19V/16A - see picture), the sound has increased again. My consumption is a maximum of 19V / 5A.

 

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15 minutes ago, dminches said:

How come you split the powering of the CPU between group 1 and 2?

 

The main power is required for CPU.

 

2 x EATX12V from two Keces means double and more stable power.

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I apologize for the confusion. @Nenon, thanks for the explanations.

 

Sequentially. 😉

 

1. Of course, the CPU with group 1 can only be operated with one Keces. Then the load on a Keces is a maximum of 19V / 5A.

 

2. If the second Keces comes into play, the performance is distributed to both approx. 50%.

 

3. I can read the power consumption on the display of the two Keces P8.

 

4. Connecting the second Keces directly to the 12V rails is not possible due to the specification with 19-20V/8A.

 

5. I also see no need, since the measurements of the HDPLEX 800W DC-ATX are superb, as Romaz also wrote.

 

6. I have been operating the two Keces P8 with 20V since yesterday. The HDPLEX 800W DC-ATX accepts a range 16V-63V DC input. Result: subjectively more calm and more energy in bass.

 

37663022nh.jpeg

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15 hours ago, rickca said:

I'm waiting for the new HDPLEX 300W LPS which will replace the 200W unit.  Due to Chinese New Year, the factory is closed until 2/15 so it's going to be a while yet.  The 300W isn't up on the HDPLEX website yet.  I expect the 300W will cost more than the 200W.

 

Changes from the 200W from Larry at HDPLEX:

 

New customized chassis. Better heat dissipation.

330W transformer.

3A for LT3045 rail.

Redesigned rectifier. No longer using the old rectifier for 19V and 12V.

Protection is now in software and will be much more reliable.

That's good news. My HDPLEX 200W Linear Power Supply went up in smoke after only three months.

 

On 10/30/2019 at 10:23 AM, StreamFidelity said:

This specification was too much for my HDPLEX 200W.

 

 

That's probably what happened to me. The good news is that my PC and the JCAT USB and NET cards have not been damaged.

 

The bad news is that the HDPLEX's protection did not trigger! What would have happened if I had not cut off the power immediately? I reported the damage and I'm waiting for the reaction.

 

Regardless, I have to worry about my future specification. An alternative would be the purchase of a Paul Hynes Design SR7 (19V / 10A continuous, 40A transient) which seems to have more margin of stability. When I look at the long delivery times and think about Brexit, I lose the desire. 😂

 

Now I throttled my audio PC and run it on the Keces P8 (19V / 4A), which does a very good job for more a year. The good thing about the Keces P8 is the Over Temperature Protection (OTP)!

 

So I decided to buy another Keces P8 with single output (19V / 8A) and

Over Voltage Protection 19.5V
Over Current Protection 8.2A
Over Temperature Protection 80 ℃.

 

I will use my Audio PC with reduced power in the future. Safety is important.

 

I think the problem is the high power dissipation when sharing 19V with 5V. The HDPLEX 200W always got extremely hot. I advise caution when there is a lot of heat.

 

By the way, I still don't have my HDPLEX 200W back. There seem to be big problems with HDPLEX. Too bad, because I generally like the products.

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17 hours ago, Nenon said:

Curiosity to try this motherboard and CPUs (Asus WS C621E Sage with 2X Intel Xeon Silver 4114 CPU) kept growing and growing. 

 

Even this high-performance Audio PC will not run with every audio application. My guess. In this case not with HQPlayer if the EC modulators are used for DSD. The HQPlayer then needs at least 4GHz for about 3-4 cores. Too bad.

 

Specification Intel® Xeon® Silver 4114 Processor
Processor base frequency 2.20 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency 3.00 GHz

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15 hours ago, Miska said:

My recommendation for NAA usage with HQPlayer is specifically to have it, because it makes the Ethernet link much more quiet.

 

Why? 😉

 

Jussi, with Windows you also recommend using the highest performance as energy saving plan. This avoids shutting down clockingfrequencis from CPU cores. 

 

Disabling of Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) ensures a constant power supply. In my experience, in addition to many other admins in Network Connections, this enables smooth music transfer with low latencies.

 

Look Ethernet JCAT LAN Music below. The data is transmitted in a stable manner over the network. There are no jumps in the diagram as is often seen.

 

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52 minutes ago, mikicasellas said:

Has anyone compare the Gotham JSSG360 vs the Neotech 7N JSSG360

 

Why not take both? 😀

 

I use

2 x DC-GAC4 Gotham GAC-4/1 11301 UltraPro Star Quad DC (JSSG360) Cable
Length: 1m, DC-2.5G to DC (7.4 / 5.0) it's for two Keces P8

 

and

 

2 x DC-7N18C Neotech UPOCC 7N Copper 18AWG DC (JSSG360) Cable
Length: 1m, USB Type-A to DC-2.1G it's for JCAT Net & USB Cards from Keces P8 5V / 1A USB Connection

 

This is a very significant improvement over the cheap accessory straps. I am looking forward to the cables from fis Audio in my new DIY Project High Performance Audio PC with high quality wiring.

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19 hours ago, bodiebill said:

where the 5VBUS power for the Terminator USB is supplied separately by a battery powered LT3045 LPSU.

 

The 5V is only used as a trigger by the Terminator. The real USB power comes from the linear power supply built into the terminator. I think it`s more important to supply the USB controller from endpoint with clean power.

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3 minutes ago, bodiebill said:

Ah, so the the Terminator 5V trigger would not require a top notch LPSU?

 

Yes

 

3 minutes ago, bodiebill said:

Actually, my ISO Regen gets very clean power via 9V Studer900 LPSU => ldovr LT3045 7.1V.

 

This shoud be enough! 👍

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3 hours ago, ASRMichael said:

I think it’s fair to say you can’t call anything a bargain until you compare both, otherwise we would be saying the Innous Statement is a bargain against the Taiko Extreme!

 

The Innous Statement was compared by stereophile not with the Taiko extreme, but with the Roon Nucleus +. Between the lines you could read that the Innous was worse. I wouldn't have thought so. 

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7 minutes ago, austinpop said:

I find 4GHz to still be the sweet spot in my system the way it currently is.

 

I fully support this fine report.

 

Coincidentally, the 4GHz is exactly the limit for smooth operation of the EC modulators (DSD) in HQPlayer. 🙂I set my system to 4.1GHz to have some headroom.

 

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13 hours ago, Peter Avgeris said:

In all my systems, the presence of an active VGA adapter either on the MoBo or inside the CPU is absolute catastrophe.

 

In my early days I also had problems with graphics drivers. It can be seen that dxgkrnl.sys causes high latencies.

34559957dl.jpg

 

With update the graphics driver repaired. In the meantime I used the Shell replacement from AudiophileOptimizer and bypass the graphics driver. In the current expansion stage, I switch off the graphics driver completely, since I carry out occasional maintenance of my audio PC by remote control.

38597661cs.png

 

I now have very low latencies and no more interference. And you can hear that. You can see a 96kHz / 24bit stream, which is converted from HQPlayer to DSD 256.

38597662lv.png

 

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1 hour ago, dminches said:

Can you make changes to the BIOS remotely?

 

No, I have to connect the mouse, keyboard and screen as usual. BIOS is called before starting Windows with F2 (in my case). I rarely change BIOS. 😉

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8 hours ago, rickca said:

So my question is whether the sound quality (maybe focusing on dynamics and transients) would be just as good with a 65W CPU as with a 125W CPU given a 12V/10A SR7 rail.

 

 

The answer is already in your very good explanation. 👍

 

Depending on the setting of the CPU clock frequency in combination with undervolting, I achieve low power consumption and an acceptable heat development even with a very powerful CPU.

 

The crucial question is, why buy an expensive, high-performance CPU when a smaller CPU is sufficient?

 

My Opinion: Powerful CPUs have to be of a particularly high quality. As far as I know, less powerful CPUs are sometimes just waste products of these high-performance CPUs. I would therefore tend to use the top product, because then the highest processing quality is given. So why not an i9-10900K? 😉

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25 minutes ago, lmitche said:

With 12 cores at 3.8ghz does Hqplayer DSD256 upsampling with the new modulators still play?

 

I linked Jussi's answer. 😉

On 4/29/2020 at 1:01 PM, Miska said:

Rough figure for Intel CPUs is around 4 GHz now. But it needs only two cores running at such clocks, other cores can usually run at lower clocks. So Turbo Boost can usually do it's job even on T series low-TDP models or likely on some newest laptop CPU models too (H series).

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52 minutes ago, Gavin1977 said:

I’m still interested in what the Roon tweaks are through.

 

There is a hint of what Taiko Audio is doing to improve the SQ:

Quote

Christoph is setting up a scheduler application right now in order to update all Extremes, starting today with people employing copper networking while I will work on ironing out the last details for those using fiber networking. Christoph will post details on the procedure shortly.

 

It may have something to do with network settings. In my experience, there is a lot of potential for optimization here. It starts with a fixed IP address, goes on with reduce functions in the network adapter and results in the improvement in latency.

 

Just my thoughts that are completely independent of Roon. To clarify: I do not know what Taiko Audio does because I am not an Extreme owner.

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