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

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On 2017-10-17 at 10:22 PM, JohnSwenson said:

It seems a lot of people are getting confused by my posts on the subject of network leakage, I will try and state things in a more concrete manor.

 

This is relating to a switch which is what your network endpoint into your audio system is connected, this may be streamer (microRendu etc) a laptop or other computer Mac mini, PC etc). We shall call this the audio endpoint (AE)

 

Leakage current can get into the AE through the switch in two ways, from the power supply powering the switch, or from the cable connected to the rest of the network. The leakage coming from the network comes from the SMPS powering THOSE devices.

 

If the switch connected to the AE is powered by an SMPS, grounding the negative of output of the SMPS will shunt the leakage from that supply, but the leakage from the NETWORK will still go through. There is one exception, see the next section.

 

IF the switch is one of FS105 and FS108, grounding the negative of the supply will get rid of BOTH the leakage from the SMPS AND the network leakage. NOTE, this ONLY happens for these two switch types. Grounding the supply to a different switch type does NOT block network leakage.

 

If you are powering a switch from a linear supply, this gets rid of the leakage going through the PS of the switch, but NOT the network leakage. The only way to get rid of the network leakage is to use one of the above switches AND ground the negative of the supply powering the switch, no matter WHAT that supply might be. (linear, SMPS, LPS-1 etc)

 

If you are using an LPS-1 to power the switch, see the above rules for ANY supply. ANY supply includes the LPS-1. Thus IF you have one of the two named switches and you are powering the switch from an LPS-1, you must ground the output of the LPS-1 in order to block the network leakage. This will only work with one of those two switches. Grounding the output of the LPS-1 will NOT block leakage if you are using some other switch. It will not help if the LPS-1 is driving some other type of device. Thus there is no reason to ground the output of an LPS-1 if it is NOT driving one of the above named switches.

 

There is one exception to the last point. IF the LPS-1 is driving an ISO REGEN there can be a situation where the whole audio system is floating with respect to earth ground and a charge can build up which can show up as clicks and pops. ONE earth ground in such a system can alleviate this. ONE way to do this is to ground the negative of the supply powering the ISO REGEN. If this supply is an LPS-1 then you can try grounding the output of the LPS-1 to see if it fixes the clicks and pops.

 

Grounding the INPUT to the LPS-1 can help in other situations by shunting the high impedance leakage.

 

I hope this makes things clear, I'm running out of ways to say this.

 

John S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I get a switch with one of FS105 and FS108 and grounding the negative of the output of the SMPS I will get rid of both the leakage from the SMPS and the network leakage, ok. Is it best to have the switch on the same outlet as the AE or can I have it on another outlet next to the router or does it not matter?

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6 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

There is no advantage from a leakage standpoint using an LPS. The grounded output of the SMPS already gets the leakage to essentially zero. There MAY be an advantage to a low noise supply, but I don't know for sure, I haven't spent any time looking at that.

 

The grounding screw is only useful if it directly connects to the ground plane of the switch. Just grounding the metal chassis is not sufficient. Grounding the negative of the supply guarantees that the ground plane of the PCB gets grounded. I just put a meter on mine, the ground screw does NOT connect to the ground plane, so connecting to it is not sufficient.

 

There should be no need to use these models anywhere else in the system. That is the whole purpose of these, IF the supply is grounded they completely block any leakage coming in from anywhere else on your network, period.

 

John S.

 

Thanks John.  It would be interesting if this shunt blocked most of the noise from an SMPS making an LPS unnecessary.  I tried your shunt recommendation yesterday.  Still trying to determine whether I can "hear" a difference.  I do use LPS's so my noise level may already be low.  Need to do some A-B listening tests.  It's good for others doing this to know that the space where the wire plugs into the 5.5 x 2.1 mm adapters is small.  If you're using 14 gauge solid cable to connect between the two, your cable running to the wall plug needs to be pretty thin.

 

I didn't see this specifically mentioned, but I assume it's safe to run grounding wires from more than one adapter shunt to a single wall plug?

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On 19/10/2017 at 6:54 PM, afrancois said:

When the surface you would like to apply the 3M on gets hot, I think it’s better to glue them on. Of course I’ve never tried to remove them. I use it underneath the sMS-200 and under the sPS-500 and there it is glued onto the surface where the devices are resting on.

Thanks. I might buy one sheet to begin with and experiment a bit without sticking anything down. Perhaps try with some low-tack material like blu tack.

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John, you findings with small SMPSes are great. Is it possible to divert leakages currents to ground with an ATX SMPS power supply in a similar way?

 

My assumption is that these supplies use a common ground, so shouldn't grounding any neutral wire from any arbitrary modular ATX PSU output plug accomplish the same?

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Does anyone use a downstream FMC that has been moded to use an external clock from an sCLK-EX ?  Fibre, and the transducers, have been found to introduce jitter and I am wondering if a great clock eliminates jitter from the exported signal or is it passed on.

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7 minutes ago, d_elm said:

Does anyone use a downstream FMC that has been moded to use an external clock from an sCLK-EX ?  Fibre, and the transducers, have been found to introduce jitter and I am wondering if a great clock eliminates jitter from the exported signal or is it passed on.

I've been thinking about modding my FMC as well. Maybe I should contact Sotm and see if they are interested.

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4 minutes ago, tboooe said:

I've been thinking about modding my FMC as well. Maybe I should contact Sotm and see if they are interested.

Contact May, they offer regulators, capacitors, and external clock but you must send the box that has the sCLK-EX if a free clock has not been setup. Perhaps a SOtM dealer can help with the shipping back from Korea.

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9 hours ago, Summit said:

 

If I get a switch with one of FS105 and FS108 and grounding the negative of the output of the SMPS I will get rid of both the leakage from the SMPS and the network leakage, ok. Is it best to have the switch on the same outlet as the AE or can I have it on another outlet next to the router or does it not matter?

The switch can be on a different strip than the AE, BUT the grounding plug needs to be on the same strip as the SMPS.

 

John S.

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3 hours ago, lmitche said:

John, you findings with small SMPSes are great. Is it possible to divert leakages currents to ground with an ATX SMPS power supply in a similar way?

 

My assumption is that these supplies use a common ground, so shouldn't grounding any neutral wire from any arbitrary modular ATX PSU output plug accomplish the same?

I haven't tried that aspect. IF the ATX supply has output "gnd" wires connected to the safety ground of the power cord then that should be sufficient. IF the back wires are not connected to the power cord gnd, then yes grounding any of the output "gnd" wires should be sufficient.

 

John S

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4 hours ago, Johnseye said:

 

Thanks John.  It would be interesting if this shunt blocked most of the noise from an SMPS making an LPS unnecessary.  I tried your shunt recommendation yesterday.  Still trying to determine whether I can "hear" a difference.  I do use LPS's so my noise level may already be low.  Need to do some A-B listening tests.  It's good for others doing this to know that the space where the wire plugs into the 5.5 x 2.1 mm adapters is small.  If you're using 14 gauge solid cable to connect between the two, your cable running to the wall plug needs to be pretty thin.

 

I didn't see this specifically mentioned, but I assume it's safe to run grounding wires from more than one adapter shunt to a single wall plug?

Yes, you can use one gnd plug to ground several SMPS, as long as they are all plugged into the same strip as the ground plug.

 

John S.

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On 10/16/2017 at 7:18 PM, rickca said:

Another interesting option is the Bricasti M5 Network Player ($2400).  I particularly like that it works with A+ V3 like the Sonore streamers.  A+ is important to me for its excellent Qobuz/TIDAL integration.  The M5 also has an integrated LPS and is Roon Ready.

 

Yes, the Bricasti M5 would be very interesting to compare, but I haven't the foggiest idea how to get my hands on one to try!

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1 hour ago, JohnSwenson said:

Yes, you can use one gnd plug to ground several SMPS, as long as they are all plugged into the same strip as the ground plug.

 

John S.

 

Is it possible that the gigabit version GS105 will perform the same as the 100MB version? If you don't have one I'd be willing to send it to you to test. 

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Another intriguing master reference clock:

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/37332-teac-10mhz-clock-cg-10m/

 

BTW - the trolls are already crawling over that thread, so suggest we discuss it here.

 

I don't know how to compare the specs "High accuracy specifications with frequency temperature characteristics within +/- 3 ppb and frequency accuracy within ± 0.1 ppm" with the phase noise specs of the Ref 10 and Cybershaft.

 

If anyone knows how to do the conversion, please educate us. @zephyr24069 , your thoughts?

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4 hours ago, tboooe said:

I've been thinking about modding my FMC as well. Maybe I should contact Sotm and see if they are interested.

I have had two FMC ( MC 220 TP link ) modified by Sotm: clock and dc-dc converter. 

 

I have just received them and as I am away from home , I have not yet tested the benefit. 

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3 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

Yes, you can use one gnd plug to ground several SMPS, as long as they are all plugged into the same strip as the ground plug.

 

John S.

 

I created 2 of John’s leakage ‘firewalls’ today. You’re right the space to insert both the solid 14 gauge and ground wires is tight. You can simply trim the ground wire strand by half or 3/4 and insert what’s left. That was the hardest part!  It was easy with John’s “how to” instructions and photos! 

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24 minutes ago, austinpop said:

Another intriguing master reference clock:

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/37332-teac-10mhz-clock-cg-10m/

 

BTW - the trolls are already crawling over that thread, so suggest we discuss it here.

 

I don't know how to compare the specs "High accuracy specifications with frequency temperature characteristics within +/- 3 ppb and frequency accuracy within ± 0.1 ppm" with the phase noise specs of the Ref 10 and Cybershaft.

 

If anyone knows how to do the conversion, please educate us. @zephyr24069 , your thoughts?

 

Very interesting. Teac - Esoteric have a long history of producing reference level Master clocks, some of them costing a fortune (like the $22k Esoteric Grandioso G1).

 

Will be interesting to learn about the capabilities of the Teac Reference clock. It appears to be slightly more expensive than the Cybershaft, but comes with 4 outputs rather than 1, which makes it more versatile.

 

Any word regarding the power supply section?

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1 hour ago, Bruce Orr said:

 

I created 2 of John’s leakage ‘firewalls’ today. You’re right the space to insert both the solid 14 gauge and ground wires is tight. You can simply trim the ground wire strand by half or 3/4 and insert what’s left. That was the hardest part!  It was easy with John’s “how to” instructions and photos! 

 

I ended up using solid 14 gauge between the two adapters and 16 gauge stranded for the cable to plug. It fit tight but well. 

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2 hours ago, jean-michel6 said:

I have had two FMC ( MC 220 TP link ) modified by Sotm: clock and dc-dc converter. 

 

I have just received them and as I am away from home , I have not yet tested the benefit. 

I would love to hear your feedback once you return.  Can you be a bit more specific about the DC-DC converter mod?  What exactly was done?

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2 hours ago, AmusedToD said:

 

Very interesting. Teac - Esoteric have a long history of producing reference level Master clocks, some of them costing a fortune (like the $22k Esoteric Grandioso G1).

 

Will be interesting to learn about the capabilities of the Teac Reference clock. It appears to be slightly more expensive than the Cybershaft, but comes with 4 outputs rather than 1, which makes it more versatile.

 

Any word regarding the power supply section?

 

Here is some more info: https://teac.jp/jp/product/cg-10m/feature

 

I still do not see any phase noise data, but maybe that will arrive when the specifications page goes live.

 

BTW - @One and a half - this might be a friendlier place to discuss it than the thread you created. :P

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7 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

I haven't tried that aspect. IF the ATX supply has output "gnd" wires connected to the safety ground of the power cord then that should be sufficient. IF the back wires are not connected to the power cord gnd, then yes grounding any of the output "gnd" wires should be sufficient.

 

John S

Thanks John, I'll check the safety ground.

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1 hour ago, austinpop said:

 

Here is some more info: https://teac.jp/jp/product/cg-10m/feature

 

I still do not see any phase noise data, but maybe that will arrive when the specifications page goes live.

 

BTW - @One and a half - this might be a friendlier place to discuss it than the thread you created. :P

I should have started a cable thread ya think? ;)

 

The release date is not that far away, the phase error plots should be out by then. The Cybershaft for its price is very good performance.  I've placed a UD-503B in the shopping cart at Amazon and looking for a 50 Ohm BNC/BNC cable, shouldn't be that hard to find a 1m.

 

Found one for AUD15.00. 

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3 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

I am going to put a big fat asterisk on this comparison, due to the following...

 

I've discovered that any time my Cybershaft OP-14 is powered cycled, it can take a loooong time to achieve optimal SQ. Why is this relevant? Well, when I did this NB comparison at my dealer's, my OP-14 had been off for a couple hours. We did all our listening within a 2-3 hours of its being powered on again. I think we gave it about an hour to warm up.

 

Since then, I have found that it can take a good day (or at least overnight) for the SQ to improve and settle any time I power cycle the Cybershaft. When I get the NB in house for an eval - in November, after the USB firmware update - I am going to let everything settle in for at least a day before doing any listening.

 

So please don't make any buying decisions, or sweeping pronouncements, from my initial impressions. I hope to get a deeper look when I get it in house.

Looking expectantly for your feedback and impression.

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13 hours ago, tboooe said:

I would love to hear your feedback once you return.  Can you be a bit more specific about the DC-DC converter mod?  What exactly was done?

They replace the DC-DC regulator in the fmc by component of higher quality which are less noisier .

It is similar i think to what is done on the modified switch. 

Those regulators create a lot of electrical noise which is bad .

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