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

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On 10/2/2017 at 8:09 AM, romaz said:

Those that know Lee knows that he is a filter specialist.  In the same way that his filtering methods have transformed products like the tX-USBultra but also SOtM's dCBL-CAT7 and their new USB cable, this SATA filter does the same for SATA II drives and the impact is astonishing with respect to a lower noise floor devoid of any HF harshness but also this more open soundstage.  The impact of this filter is eye opening in terms of just how much noise OS SSD drives create.  This $65 filter is definitely one of the stars of the show and something that I consider a "must have."  I would say its impact is considerably greater than the Pachanko SATA cable or the Intel X25-E SSD.

I have an old X25-M SSD.  It is MLC (not SLC like X25-E) but it is SATA II.  I may reinstall it as my boot drive and try this SOtM SATA II filter.  Given @romaz's enthusiastic endorsement, it seems like a worthwhile thing to try.  I can set up dual boot and use my Samsung 950 PRO only for my gaming/productivity configuration.

 

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On 10/2/2017 at 8:09 AM, romaz said:

This will likely be my last post of this depth and detail.

Tremendously useful post, thank you so much. 

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5 hours ago, Johnseye said:

 

I can only guess covering more of the frequency range between 6GHz and 10GHz is a good thing.  I wonder why Lee was recommending not using too much.  What could the negative effects be of blocking out EMI?

I can't see negative effect by removing unwanted sound pollution from emi-rfi.

Emi-rfi brings glare to the sound . We are so much used to this that sometimes we initially perceive the removal of this glare by a loss of life in the sound. 

However extended and careful listening tells you that the top end sound of your system is more refined and detailed. 

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On 9/28/2017 at 11:23 AM, Johnseye said:

 

My server draws between 20-25w.  It's simple and fanless. Every component was chosen for low power, while still providing a minimum for upsampling capability.  I'm currently upsampling with Roon but am going to give it a go with HQPlayer.  We'll see if my watt usage increases then.

 

I was using the HDPlex 160w 19v adapter.

 

On 9/27/2017 at 3:30 PM, lmitche said:

Thanks Johnseye,

 

I was curious to learn if the Paul Hynes LPSes are powerful enough to support an Hqplayer upsampling machine.  Looks like the answer is no.

 

Your quick, clear and comprehensive response is appreciated.

 

On 9/27/2017 at 3:51 PM, auricgoldfinger said:

 

How much power do you require for HQP upsampling?

 

Guys I had no issue upsampling with HQPlayer. My SR7 is set at 12v.  I didn't measure the wattage but my server isn't breaking a sweat. The proc was running at 5%.  Remember I don't upsample to DSD512. I was upsampling to 192k PCM. My DAC only accepts a DSD64 source and I think it sounds too muddy for my liking. 

 

I'm also only using 2GB of RAM and my network speed is about 12mbs.  Now that I know this I'm going to decrease the proc and RAM frequency as well as pull out a stick of RAM. 

 

I know if I upsample to DSD512 I'll tax the machine. I've done it before on another server and DAC and it floors the proc. Not sure how much that impacts the power but it's not going to exceed the rating of the proc. 

 

The biggest problem with powering a server from the SR7 is the DC plug. It's a 5.5 x 2.5mm.  My server is a 7.4 x 5.1mm so I needed an adapter. Paul has no 7.4 plug. I managed to find a Philmore 7.4 and may resolder using it but may change my mobo and don't want to risk having to redo it. HDPlex makes a 7.4 to ATX converter but per Roy the quality of the SR7 will degrade because of it. I've reached out to May at SOtM to see if they can either make something or tweak the HDPlex. My fingers are crossed but I'm not hopeful. While my rail can power 190w at 19v if needed I'm limited in the motherboards I can use because of the power interface. 

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Very nice, Lojay. 

My take on your request for views.

Wait to see what the SOtM master clock brings to the table and then decide.

You've got a great system, other than the master clock, I think I would wait and take your time.  It's nice to add a little feature every once in awhile, like stillpoints, new router, silver cabling.  No rush.

As far as the ISO Regen is concerned, you really don't need it as far as I see, keep it in your second system, give it a try and report back, but I'm confident that without an sCLK-EX mod, it will be a detriment to your SQ.  Maybe even with the mod?

External storage, that's a tough one, if you have an extra pcie lane would have been nice to add another tXUSBexp card.  But the hub might be worthwhile.  I think I would wait, again, give it time.  An external drive with an LPS-1 @5V 2.5" will more than suffice, in my humble opinion.  Do you have an extra SATA port to hook it up to?

Again Congratulations on the new system.  Roy did mention that this would be a great route for others to follow.  Nice to hear from someone who has. 

You may want to consult with Roy on new speakers, seems that, master clock and PH SR7 will give you the biggest bump.

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2 hours ago, lojay said:

Third, the router I am using is a ipTIME A8004NS-M, from a Korean brand which May kindly sourced for me. It's clock is fed by the sCLK-EX on my tX-USBultra.

 

What is your opinion on this router is it working ok?

 

Does it need one clock input? 

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2 hours ago, ElviaCaprice said:

Further thoughts and conjecture on the sCLK-EX in relation to the server/PC.  

     I can't pull myself away from the music since getting the upgraded NUC and it's heavily modded clocking, compliments of the sCLK-EX.  I don't know how many clocks SOtM changed out on the Jetway mobo, but I'm sure it's more than 3, maybe as many as 5.  Listening tp Cabaret Voltaire this evening, I thought, " I've never heard CV sound so exact."  The speed on my Omegas is surreal, fast, but yet an air of exactness.  From bass strikes to snares to high pitched keyboards.  Voices in the pitch black background are audible like never before. 

 

Is this it?  I haven't even added the master clock or PH SR7 yet.  Amazing.

 

   Back in June after getting my ISO Regen, I thought, this component is great, no need to carry out my master plan with the modding of the Jetway NUC/sCLK-EX.  The musicallity of the ISO Regen was sufficient.  But then others started talking about the stage presence and detail they we're getting with the sCLK-EX components.  Hummm, I love detail in my music, I thought, can't get enough.  That was it, action was required.  To Korea went my NUC and tXUSBexp that I bought last Spring.

 

      Great move, now as I look back at the ISO Regen, it appears it was a great component for coloring ones music in comparison to the sCLK-EX. 

     Some have said the sCLK-EX sound signature can become a bit thin.  I have not found this to be the case at all with my system.  It is full of life and detail from the deepest bass to the highest chimes.

 

     Which brings me to the point/question we raised a long time ago about the server mobo and it's faults.  That because it had poor clocking/power it damaged the music in a way that required great lengths of components/fixers to correct and bring back to life the sound quality.  But what if we could fix the original problem at the source, the mobo?  What if we could give it clean power and more importantly great clocking?  What if by doing just that from point 0, all the way to the DAC, we did no damage to the music stream?  Would we then be able to shorten the chain of components necessary?  Could a shorter chain actually be better?  And if so, why risk damaging that which was already close to perfect with a so called fixer? 

 

   The clean low powered mobo stripped and remoded with the sCLK-EX clocking does just that.  And in combination with the tXUSBexp pcie card, you can have a completed streamer in just your server only.  No other components/fixers.  Do no damage.  As short as possible connect to your DAC from the server.  Done.

 

     It was suggested by Roy via Lee, that the tXUSBexp pcie card was sufficient for eliminating the sins of a poor mobo.  I find this not to be the case.  I used a similar PC as my NUC with the tXUSBexp Card only being clocked by one sCLK-EX point and it didn't come close to what I have now with the heavily modded NUC with the sCLK-EX and the txUSBexp.

 

    In conclusion, it would seem that fixing the source (do no damage), the mobo, is key to achieving superb SQ which results in the ability to eliminate the need for any of the so called "fixers", components, which may only result in damaging the audio stream that is already "perfect".

Great post, lots of food for thought! 

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5 hours ago, ElviaCaprice said:

 

In conclusion, it would seem that fixing the source (do no damage), the mobo, is key to achieving superb SQ which results in the ability to eliminate the need for any of the so called "fixers", components, which may only result in damaging the audio stream that is already "perfect".

nice post Elva, but kind of a bummer for those who like to use HQP...

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36 minutes ago, Forehaven said:

nice post Elva, but kind of a bummer for those who like to use HQP...

I use HQ Player, and have an i7 6700 machine. I think these upgrades are still valid for higher power machines as well. I think if you limit your power usage, you can still be within 100W, and SR7 can support that.

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47 minutes ago, Forehaven said:

nice post Elva, but kind of a bummer for those who like to use HQP...

 

8 minutes ago, sig8 said:

I use HQ Player, and have an i7 6700 machine. I think these upgrades are still valid for higher power machines as well. I think if you limit your power usage, you can still be within 100W, and SR7 can support that.

 

Not sure if you guys read my post above.  My SR7 rail one has a 19v @ 190w and 12v @60w option.  My proc is an i7-7700T.  I'm upsampling PCM via HQPlayer and proc utilization is at 5%.  The actual wattage utilization for the entire server is around 20-25w.

 

You can't just add up the watt ratings for each device.  That's a worst case scenario.  Adding up all devices in my server my total watts are 70w but I'm using 25w max.  Power from the SR7 is not an issue.

 

Using a 95w proc and upsampling to DSD512 with HQPlayer would increase your requirements, but nothing the 19v rail can't handle.  You're not going to exceed that 190w utilization.

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31 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

 

Not sure if you guys read my post above.  My SR7 rail one has a 19v @ 190w and 12v @60w option.  My proc is an i7-7700T.  I'm upsampling PCM via HQPlayer and proc utilization is at 5%.  The actual wattage utilization for the entire server is around 20-25w.

 

Agree. But if someone like me who is up-sampling to DSD256 or 512, processor loads are lot more than 5%, but I hear you, and I concur, it should be still within 100w. I did put a watt-meter, and I measured 85w on my i7 6700 (which is a 65w processor, compared to your 7700T, which is a 35w processor).

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16 minutes ago, sig8 said:

Agree. But if someone like me who is up-sampling to DSD256 or 512, processor loads are lot more than 5%, but I hear you, and I concur, it should be still within 100w. I did put a watt-meter, and I measured 85w on my i7 6700 (which is a 65w processor, compared to your 7700T, which is a 35w processor).

 

The max you'll push your processor is 65w. Other components need to be considered. 

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3 hours ago, Forehaven said:

nice post Elva, but kind of a bummer for those who like to use HQP...

 

2 hours ago, sig8 said:

I use HQ Player, and have an i7 6700 machine. I think these upgrades are still valid for higher power machines as well. I think if you limit your power usage, you can still be within 100W, and SR7 can support that.

Good question!  Can one achieve the ideal HQP server utilizing clean power and a heavily modded mobo via sCLK-EX?  Or does a fixer still need to be incorporated?  Would additional sCLK-EX points, other than the original 4, help? 

I don't know?  But we do know that utilizing 4 sCLK-EX points on the server (directly involved in the streaming), inclusive of the tXUSBexp pcie card, seems to by the key in obtaining the so called "perfect" SQ stream (or for that matter in the so called Trifecta).  So someone is going to have to get SOtM to do a mod on their HQP mobo.  I think this would be a great opportunity to use two tXUSBexp pcie cards mounted in two lanes, one for input off a HDD, the other for ouput to the DAC.  One clock point could be utilized for both cards.

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6 hours ago, yellowblue said:

Nice read, #EliviaCaprice. Could you provide pictures from your NUC-build? Which case are you using? 

Yellowblue,  go back to page 152 in this thread for more details on my Jetway NUC.  I don't think there is anything special about this NUC and I am sure you could find others that fulfill the low power DC needs.  It is a barebones model so it came with the casing.  I need to modify and enclose the NUC with it's cover.  At that time I will try to take more detailed pictures of SOtM's handywork.   If it wasn't for my need for video playback with hi resolution sound, I would probably opt for the Pico-ITX instead.  Unfortunately you would then need to purchase the casing and mobo separate in that case, so as to have a SATA II port available.

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20 minutes ago, ElviaCaprice said:

 

Good question!  Can one achieve the ideal HQP server utilizing clean power and a heavily modded mobo via sCLK-EX?  Or does a fixer still need to be incorporated?  Would additional sCLK-EX points, other than the original 4, help? 

I don't know?  But we do know that utilizing 4 sCLK-EX points on the server (directly involved in the streaming), inclusive of the tXUSBexp pcie card, seems to by the key in obtaining the so called "perfect" SQ stream (or for that matter in the so called Trifecta).  So someone is going to have to get SOtM to do a mod on their HQP mobo.  I think this would be a great opportunity to use two tXUSBexp pcie cards mounted in two lanes, one for input off a HDD, the other for ouput to the DAC.  One clock point could be utilized for both cards.

One sCLK-EX gives you four clock taps, so those will be utilized for say MoBo, now to fix txUSBexp card you need two more taps meaning another sCLK-EX? Is that correct? Where does their upcoming sCLK-OCX10 master clock fit in this equation if it does?

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14 minutes ago, sig8 said:

One sCLK-EX gives you four clock taps, so those will be utilized for say MoBo, now to fix txUSBexp card you need two more taps meaning another sCLK-EX? Is that correct? Where does there upcoming sCLK-OCX10 master clock fit in this equation if it does?

SOtM says, and I think they do just that on my mobo, that they can reclock multiple clocks of the same value from the same point.  In that case the dual tXUSBUltra is just that and 1 point out of the 4 on the sCLK EX would fulfill those replacements.  Use the other 3 points on the mobo.

SOtM, at your request, will add a master clock output onto the sCLK-EX for your future sCLK-OCX10 upgrade.  It's just going to make your sCLK-EX points that much more effective.  I chose the 50ohm option, they provided the cable for making this future connection.

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4 minutes ago, sig8 said:

One sCLK-EX gives you four clock taps, so those will be utilized for say MoBo, now to fix txUSBexp card you need two more taps meaning another sCLK-EX? Is that correct? Where does there upcoming sCLK-OCX10 master clock fit in this equation if it does?

 

2 taps for the mobo.  1 tap can be used for different clocks of the same frequency, which is how Roy used 1 tap for his 2 NICs.  One for the txUSBexp.  One more available for a switch or additional txUSBexp or whatever.  The master clock is different and I have questions to May about it, but she's been out of communication since the weekend.  Hopefully those at RMAF can shed some light.

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My first basic question is that how a master clock plays in to this scheme when you already have a clock in the form of sCLK-EX. Pardon my ignorance in this topic please. Thanks.

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10 minutes ago, sig8 said:

 My first basic question is that how a master clock plays in to this scheme when you already have a clock in the form of sCLK-EX. Pardon my ignorance in this topic please. Thanks.

     If you go back in this thread and read from those who have incorporated a master clock in conjunction with their sCLK-EX, all have said that it made a difference for the good in SQ.  Increased soundstage was one of the consensus observations.

 

     Once SQ is "perfect" how can it be improved upon?  Answer, SQ is always a moving target, there is no point in which it is "perfect", it's relationship is like that of the concept of infinity.  You can always go further with diminishing returns.  Question is, how far before one says good enough? 

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6 minutes ago, ElviaCaprice said:

     If you go back in this thread and read from those who have incorporated a master clock in conjunction with their sCLK-EX, all have said that it made a difference for the good in SQ.  Increased soundstage was one of the consensus observations.

 

     Once SQ is "perfect" how can it be improved upon?  Answer, SQ is always a moving target, there is no point in which it is "perfect", it's relationship is like that of the concept of infinity.  You can always go further with diminishing returns.  Question is, how far before one says good enough? 

So, the mater clock rides on top of sCLK-EX, or SCLK-EX comes out. I think that is what I am trying to understand. Thanks.

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4 minutes ago, sig8 said:

So, the mater clock rides on top of sCLK-EX, or SCLK-EX comes out. I think that is what I am trying to understand. Thanks.

Mine are going to be separate components.  My sCLK-EX resides in a 3.5" HDD external enclosure.  The master clock is a separate component encased by SOtM.  Both will be powered separately by a PH SR7 @ 12V

https://sotm-usa.com/collections/sotm-ultra/products/sclk-ocx10

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My question is that who does the clocking function when you have two clocks, one sCLK-EX, and one master clock with several taps which can be utilized for different components. In other words, if we have replaced the clocks on MoBo with taps from sCLK-EX, then what master clock does at that point? Thanks for helping me understand.

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