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

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Thanks for sharing what you've done, GreenLeo. I imagine that at some point, you'll have to go through these steps again as the mR won't retain its IP address indefinitely. What was your purpose for disconnecting your router altogether? Did you feel that complete isolation from the router led to further SQ improvement in your system? I can't imagine that it would.

 

Hi Romaz,

 

The credit belongs to you and Clipper?.

I tried the setup very late last night and it worked for a few songs, and then I slept. It still worked this morning (a good 6 hours) before I left for work. I will need to check it again tonight to see if the setting is repeatble. If the IP of mR is lost, quit HQPlayer, enable LAN1 again (wait a short time for identifying the network) and launch HQPlayer again will do. No need to go through every step again if the PC haven't been rebooted.

 

I tried this setup

for fun,

 

for interested parties to test why the SQ has been improved:

There was a debate of why SQ has been improved and the role of the router. My setup is very simple, with or without the router. If the setups sound identical, then the jitter(or anything unknown) from the router is immaterial in this setup. The SQ improvements come from the direct connection.

 

for future comparison:

I saw walk throughs here that showbhow to set a fixed IP for the SoTM. I found the walk through intimidating because I'm not Linux guy. The reason to reimplement a fixed IP seems to have a direct connection between a computer(PC or Mac) and the SoTM with only one onboard LAN port (or isolate this connection from the one that connects to Internet). The reason of doing this, at least to me, is for a better SQ. Now we may tell if it's worthwhile to go through the walkthrough of setting up the fixed IP.

 

for saving money:Each PS counts and we all know that the PS for the router counts for the SQ as indicated in your findings and we all agree in general. Without a router means less money to me☺

 

for being a member:

I'm a newbie here and have learnt a lot. I found members here are pretty willing to share their experiments. Sometime it works in other systems and sometimes not. Hence I offer my 2 cents hoping that it may work in other systems and can be further improved.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I haven't golden ears and my modest system may not be resolving enough at the moment. I'll leave the listening test for others.

 

Cheers

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Last night and this morning I tried the setup again. The following are my findings.

 

1.HQPlayer can run consistently for at least two hours. As I rarely may use my system for more than an hour, this is good enough for me.

 

2. HQPlayer did stop within 3 hours or less in one occassion. I then quited HQPlayer, enabled LAN1, reinserted USB WiFi. (No need to setup the bridge again), and then launched HQPlayer. It's up again. The whole process took less than 2 mins.

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What is the role of a dummy USB wifi adapter? I have a wireless PCIE adapter that I use to connect to the internet via my router, and I have a motherboard Intel NIC that I plan to use to attach my micro rendu. I thought I could bridge the Intel NIC and the wireless PCIE adapter. Why would I also need a dummy USB wifi adapter?

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Some people have found the third adapter makes this bridging tweak work.

I use Server R2 and didn't have to do it.

What is the role of a dummy USB wifi adapter? I have a wireless PCIE adapter that I use to connect to the internet via my router, and I have a motherboard Intel NIC that I plan to use to attach my micro rendu. I thought I could bridge the Intel NIC and the wireless PCIE adapter. Why would I also need a dummy USB wifi adapter?

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Thanks, I thought I was looking in the correct place, tried it and it says I am up to date on 0.3.2, I am running an sMS-200 from a Mac, would that explain why you see a later version?

 

Re-install 0.3.2 from the Eunhasu update page (it says CLICK HERE to re-install) and then the new version 0.3.3 will be made available.

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Good evening,

I've got some troubles using the network bridge and hqplayer NAA. I've got it working using my SOTM-200 as a Roon Ready endpoint however.

Steps I've taken following different guides in this topic:

Copied my ethernetadapter connected to router's (ethernet 1) ip, subnet, gateway and dns to my newly created network bridge. Internet works,SOTM-200 interface by typing IPadress works, Roonready endpoint works, HQplayer doesn't.

According to some posts, changed the ipadress of the bridge to an unbinded ipadress; Roonready endpoint still works, SOTM-200 interface by typing IPadress works, HQplayer doesn't.

HQ player can't find my SOTM-200 as an ipv4 endpoint in the settings menu. I've activated the HQplayer endpoint in the SOTM-200 before doing this.

I think the problem lies in DNS.

Before my networkbridge I could connect to my SOTM-200 by typing "eunhasu" in a browser. Now I only can acces the SOTM-200 by typing the ipadress.

I've got a headless server burried in a closed, so I'm little afraid changing network setting on a trial and error basis.

Used parameters:

Bridge:

ip:10.0.0.12

subnet: 255.255.255.0

gateway and dns: 10.0.0.1

SOTM-200 get's ip adress 10.0.0.130, static by router.

Thanks in advance.

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Good evening,

I've got some troubles using the network bridge and hqplayer NAA. I've got it working using my SOTM-200 as a Roon Ready endpoint however.

Steps I've taken following different guides in this topic:

Copied my ethernetadapter connected to router's (ethernet 1) ip, subnet, gateway and dns to my newly created network bridge. Internet works,SOTM-200 interface by typing IPadress works, Roonready endpoint works, HQplayer doesn't.

According to some posts, changed the ipadress of the bridge to an unbinded ipadress; Roonready endpoint still works, SOTM-200 interface by typing IPadress works, HQplayer doesn't.

HQ player can't find my SOTM-200 as an ipv4 endpoint in the settings menu. I've activated the HQplayer endpoint in the SOTM-200 before doing this.

I think the problem lies in DNS.

Before my networkbridge I could connect to my SOTM-200 by typing "eunhasu" in a browser. Now I only can acces the SOTM-200 by typing the ipadress.

I've got a headless server burried in a closed, so I'm little afraid changing network setting on a trial and error basis.

Used parameters:

Bridge:

ip:10.0.0.12

subnet: 255.255.255.0

gateway and dns: 10.0.0.1

SOTM-200 get's ip adress 10.0.0.130, static by router.

Thanks in advance.

What OS are you using?

 

You have only two LAN ports, right? If so, consider add in a USB WiFi adapter. Read post#700, or other posts in this thread for the setup. So far it always works.

 

I use Win Ent 64 with an onboard LAN, PCIe LAN connected to mR and a USB WiFi adapter. All these three use DHCP. Just setup a bridge. Wait a short time. Launch HQPlayer. Done, once and for all. No need to remove the USB WiFi nor disable the onboard LAN. This system will run for hours, should run after reboot as well.

 

No need to fiddle the IPs of the bridge nor the individual LAN card. Really simple☺

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I'd like to thank bit01 for posting about the Tera Grand Cat-7 Ultra flat Ethernet cable. I greatly prefer it to my Audioquest cinnamon between computer and SMS-200. Try it out! It is cheap to try. I know off topic a little, but it makes the most of bridging.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

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Thank you, I've read the solution using 3 ethernet cards. This should work indeed, but isn't my preferred solution. I still don't understand why Roon RAAT works and HQplayer Naa doesn't.

There seems to be some differences between both protocols regarding DNA resolving, but this is way over my head.

I'm using Windows10pro, a USB to ethernet adapter and on-board lan.

Can someone with the same setup who has this working post some ipv settings?

 

Sent from my SM-G930F using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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For those who have a nas Synology with a double nic you can run a bridge with a root command. I have tested on a* Synology ds214 + and it works with Sotm sms 200 and minimserver or asset upnp .

 

Open ssh option in nas configuration

*With putty ,connecting to your nas with ip of your nas .**

 

Sudo su

( password is the same as you synology.)

 

insmod /lib/modules/stp.ko

insmod /lib/modules/bridge.ko

brctl addbr br0

brctl stp br0 off

ifconfig br0 (ip of your nas) netmask 255.255.255.0 up

brctl addif br0 eth0

brctl addif br0 eth1

ifconfig eth0 0.0.0.0 promisc up

ifconfig eth1 0.0.0.0 promisc up

route add default gw (ip of you router) dev br0

exit

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For those who have a nas Synology with a double nic you can run a bridge with a root command. I have tested on a* Synology ds214 + and it works with Sotm sms 200 and minimserver or asset upnp .

 

Open ssh option in nas configuration

*With putty ,connecting to your nas with ip of your nas .**

 

Sudo su

( password is the same as you synology.)

 

insmod /lib/modules/stp.ko

insmod /lib/modules/bridge.ko

brctl addbr br0

brctl stp br0 off

ifconfig br0 (ip of your nas) netmask 255.255.255.0 up

brctl addif br0 eth0

brctl addif br0 eth1

ifconfig eth0 0.0.0.0 promisc up

ifconfig eth1 0.0.0.0 promisc up

route add default gw (ip of you router) dev br0

exit

 

Kudos!

 

If you've read this thread, you know I beat my head on this for several days - look at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/novel-way-massively-improve-sq-sms-200-and-microrendu-31110/index6.html#post619478

 

I think my script was very similar, except in mine I brought up eth0 and eth1 and added them to the bridge before bringing up the bridge. But hey, whatever works!

 

In my case, I moved on and decided to run the bridge on Windows. Which really opened Pandora's box, because I then discovered that running MinimServer on the W10 bridge box sounded better than running Minim on the NAS. Go figure.

 

Anyway, great job cracking this - I'm sure it'll benefit many people.

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What they are creating for me is a "one off" but they plan to offer this super clock as an optional add-on for future sMS-200 customers. I'm guessing there will be an option for current owners to send in their units for an upgrade but it will require a new larger chassis and a slight reworking of the internals. The price with the new clock + sMS-200 has not been established. I believe they are having some problems sourcing components (the proper chassis) and so their timeline has been delayed but April is what I am hearing.

 

Just how good this clock is, I'm not sure. Chan King Girand Michel, owner and maker of Pachanko cables based in France, who I have used to make me UP-OCC grade SATA cables (highly recommended, btw) uses this new clock now and he said it makes TCXO and OCXO like "child's toys" which is a pretty bold statement. SOtM is telling me this is the best clock they have ever made and considering how good the clock in the sMS-200 is, I felt it was worth the risk to try.

 

My situation is unique and will be different from what SOtM will be offering but there's no reason you couldn't approach SOtM with your own custom requests which is what I have done.

 

In my correspondence with May Park, she stated that she has a prototype sMS-1000SQ with the new clock at the USB output and that the improvement was significant. She decided to add their new tX-USBUltra (expected release date in April) to the chain which is essentially a USB relocker using this same super clock. This USB-regenerator with superclock sits between their music server and their DAC just like a USB Regen would and since both the server and USB-regenerator use the exact same clock, she wasn't expecting much improvement (if any) but was quite surprised by just how much more detailed and dynamic the SQ had become. In effect, she is hearing the same thing that I am with my reclocking switch in my direct connection path.

 

So in my situation, since their super clock can reclock up to 4 components (for $1150), I used 2 clocks for the sMS-200, 1 clock for a LAN switch and 1 clock for their USB-to-SPDIF converter. While my Chord DAVE sounds best via USB compared to SDPIF, I will see what triple reclocking will offer. I have no reason to doubt that this clock will improve the sMS-200 and the switch using this direct connection but it remains to be seen if going SPDIF and triple reclocking will yield any further improvement in my situation. There is the possibility it could be a mixed bag and somehow negatively impact the wonderful balance I have achieved with this direction connection. I am in uncharted territory for sure.

Hi @romaz

 

Any update on this? Did you receive your sCLK-EX, and if so, how does it sound?

 

I did contact May, and she indicated they were working on an sMS-200Ultra, which is the integrated unit, and the timeline is about 2 months, which is consistent with April.

 

I am wondering whether to wait for this to buy the sMS-200. In my recent evaluation, I paired it with a chain of Intona and RUR on USB, and that gave a significant SQ bump over the direct USB connection to the DAC (Codex). This Ultra config would make sense if it eliminates the need for external reclockers like the RUR.

 

But galvanic isolation is still a question. I suspect your DAVE has it's own galvanic isolation as to render something like the Intona unnecessary. But with the reclocker built into the streamer, I suspect adding an Intona, while adding GI, will negate the benefit of the sCLK.

 

Interestingly, I found even the mR benefits from the Intona/RUR combo in the USB chain, even though it has a Regen built in.

 

This may be off tangent to the direct Ethernet discussion. Sorry.

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Yes, busy weekend. My SOtM bundle arrived on Friday and I had some initial problems with powering them but they have been sorted out.

 

As before, what spurred this whole venture was my unexpected observations with my Paul Pang switch with TCXO clock. I bought this relocking switch 2nd hand on a whim because I was curious to know what reclocking an ethernet stream might sound like just prior to the stream entering either my music server (Mac Mini) or NAA (sMS-200 or mR). With my NAA in the standard configuration (connected directly to a router), this reclocking switch made a small difference but barely worth the $100 I spent for it even when powered by an LPS-1. With either NAA directly connected to my Mac Mini and with this reclocking switch in the "direct" path, however, I was quite surprised by the significant improvement in terms of soundstage and clarity.

 

Obviously, while TCXO clocks are better then the standard clocks that come in all-purpose network switches, Paul Pang sells an even better OCXO version with 10x better stability than his TCXO switch and so my attention was drawn there. About this time, I had taken delivery of an "UP-OCC grade" SATA cable for my music SSD that was hand made for me by Chan King Girand Michel, owner of Pachanko Cables based in France and he told me how his new SOtM sCLK-EX "super clock" made his Paul Pang V4 USB card with OCXO clock like a "child's toy."

 

Based on conversations with May Park of SOtM, it appears they were quite surprised also by how much better their new super clock, the sCLK-EX, was sounding compared to their previous best clock. Unfortunately, because of the larger size of this clock board, they were unable to retrofit it into the sMS-200's existing case. It turns out, however, that there was enough space in their USB-to-SPDIF converter, the tX-USB HD, to accommodate this clock and so this is where things got interesting.

 

For those of you that know the Chord DAVE, you know that USB is its best input. It is the only input that is synchronously tied to DAVE's clock whereas the other inputs have to go through DPLL first. Furthermore, DAVE's USB input is a "floating" USB design and it's galvanic isolation is excellent. As previously stated, I heard no improvement whatsoever with an Intona Industrial. Furthermore, the RF isolation techniques that others were raving about (ie FMCs, isolation transformers) hardly resulted in any improvement (if any at all). If there was any leakage current that was being generated by my Paul Hynes SR7, it was resulting in no sonic penalty that I could detect as my SR7 sounded noticeably better than my highly regarded LPS-1.

 

Just to be sure, I had an Aurender W20 in house a while back and directly compared the W20's USB output against its SPDIF and AES/EBU outputs to DAVE. Despite using a set of highly regarded High Fidelity Cables SPDIF ($4,500) and AES ($7k) cables that I had on loan and despite Aurender's claim that their AES output sounds best on the W20, USB still won out. So the prospect of buying this USB-to-SPDIF converter from SOtM (even with its super clock) didn't sound like money well spent.

 

What made it interesting was the sCLK-EX has the option of 4 independent outputs and SOtM's USB-to-SPDIF converter only required one of these outputs and so I approached SOtM with the idea of using the other 3 outputs for other components. As it turns out the sMS-200 has 2 clocks which left me with one available clock and so I elected to use this for my cheap $20 Trend Net 5 port switch I had lying around. This switch was convenient because (1) I already owned it and (2) I could power it with my 5V LPS-1.

 

Here are a few photos of the triple combo:

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]33396[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]33397[/ATTACH]

 

Here is the tX-USB HD opened up and you will see the clock board as well as the USB to SPDIF converter board in the same chassis. Out of the clock board, you can see 4 black clock cables (30cm each) leaving it for their desired destinations (1 for the USB to SPDIF converter, 2 for the sMS-200 and 1 for the switch):

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]33398[/ATTACH]

 

Here is a photo of my switch opened up. Along with the clock input, you can see a large capacitor that SOtM added for me. This switch happened to have 2 switching regulators. They were able to replace the larger one with a low noise linear regulator. They had no substitute for the smaller switching regulator and so that one was left in place but "cleaned up." The cost of the capacitor and linear regulator upgrade was $70. Unfortunately, this switch has a power saving feature built in (it turns out all modern 5 port unmanaged switches do) and so I had to accept that this switch has compromises.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]33399[/ATTACH]

 

Here is a photo of this layout along with my 2 Mac Mini's that I am using for testing. Both Mac Mini's incorporate Uptone's MMK allowing either to be powered by my Paul Hynes SR7. My SR7 is also powering my tX-USB HD. For the time being, my LPS-1 is powering my sMS-200 and switch but I have another Paul Hynes SR7 on order.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]33401[/ATTACH]

 

Before I move on to SQ, during a previous post, I had postulated that for reclocking to result in an improvement in SQ, the component that receives this nicely reclocked signal needs to have clock(s) that are at least as good or better. Whether this is actually true or not, I can't be sure but it makes sense to me and it is how I reasoned that my PPA switch would sound noticeably better when used before either of my NAAs compared to before my Mac Mini and it's "not so great" stock clocks. In fact, I surmise that this could also represent one important reason why the mR and sMS-200 were previously much more incapable of revealing the qualities of a well-tuned upstream source because with the standard way of directly connecting your mR/sMS-200 to a router, the wonderful signal that your finely tuned music server generates ends up getting molested by all the bad clocks in your network path (routers, switches, FMCs, etc). The network path is not such a benign path after all.

 

So how does triple clocking sound using clocks of identical quality? I'll start with the upgraded sMS-200 (soon to be called the sMS-200 Ultra). With the stock sMS-200 vs the mR and with each powered by a switching 9V iFi PSU, I actually prefer the mR. The sMS-200 sounds more detailed but the presentation is quite thin and anemic whereas the mR has nicer body. When powered by the LPS-1, this thinness improves considerably and while both the mR and sMS-200 benefit greatly from a superior low-impedance PSU like the LPS-1, the sMS-200 scales better to my ears -- it is more resolute. Powered by the Paul Hynes SR7, the gap grows further in favor of the sMS-200 although this gap isn't necessarily enormous and when the 2 were A/B'd amongst a group of friends (our local audiophile society), some of us favored the greater detail resolution of the sMS-200 and others favored the slightly richer, full-bodied sound of the mR although within our group, the ratio is 4:1 in favor of the sMS-200.

 

With the upgraded clock, with only 2 days of listening thus far and with this clock probably requiring further burn-in, there is no longer any debate about which sounds better. The level of clarity, the layering of the finest details, the precision of timing, the accuracy of timbre and the soundstage are now at a much higher level. I have never heard the timbre of the piano sound this real in my system before...ever. There is still that characteristic thinness that I equate as SOtM's house sound when compared against the mR but I now equate this fullness in the mR's presentations as a coalescing of detail. Where you have a hundred violins sounding like 20 violins with the mR, with the sMS-200, you get a better sense that a hundred violins are actually playing and so with this new clock, there is not only better timbre but also better timbre variation. Where sMS-200 and mR were previously close, with this new clock, the sMS-200 has moved to a whole 'nother zip code.

 

Moving on to the switch, as previously stated, I looked at this as a freebie since I had a free clock output. Given that this switch was a true "cheapie" with certain undesirable attributes (power saving feature), I prepared myself that the improvement could be only a bit better than my Paul Pang switch. I was wrong. The improvement is huge. This switch nearly doubles the improvement I am hearing with the improved clock in the sMS-200. I am just flabbergasted!

 

Moving on to the USB-to-SPDIF adapter, as before, because I know my DAVE sounds better via USB compared to SPDIF and because previous experiments with other USB-to-SPDIF adapters including an Audiphilleo 1SE custom configured to be powered by an LPS-1 failed to sound better than straight USB, I was prepared for this to not result in any SQ improvement and possibly sound worse. Once again, I am quite surprised that there is further improvement. While the improvement is not as large as what I am hearing with the sMS-200 or the switch, it is a notable and welcome improvement, nonetheless. How best to describe this triple reclocking combo? Just utterly mesmerizing with regards to realism.

 

Of course, this means it is now game on for my music server. I don't know if it will be diminishing returns from here on but I have already begun a conversation with SOtM about sending them a specific Gigabyte motherboard with dual LAN ports. This mobo has 5 clocks including from what I can gather independent 25MHz clocks for each LAN port, a 24MHz system clock and a 25MHz PCIE clock and I am aiming to replace 4 of these clocks. SOtM has promised to send me their phase noise and stability measurements for their new superclock but regardless, my ears have told me all that I need to know -- this is one incredible clock that could possibly bring about a new revolution to music servers.

Wow, excellent findings.

 

Would you say the sCLK removes the value of USB reclockers between the sMS-200 and the DAC?

 

I'd like to make sure I understand the new chain. Is this the best case config described above? I've shown clock inputs in the component chain, and the PSU below each component.

 

Component ---- Mac Mini (bridged) > Trendnet switch (sCLK-1) > sMS-200 (sCLK-2,3) > tX-USB-HD (sCLK-4) > DAVE

PSU ---------------------(SR7) ------------------- (LPS-1) --------------------- (LPS-1) ---------------- (SR7)

 

Given this, I will definitely wait for the sMS-200Ultra before I buy!

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So Romaz given the great bridging tweak you have given us I just now have to know more about this switch. What is it, where did you get etc etc? Do you believe that the doubling of sq impact requires the super clock SMS -200 downstream of it to yield such results? I find this so fascinating and I smell a new project coming up for me.

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So Romaz given the great bridging tweak you have given us I just now have to know more about this switch. What is it, where did you get etc etc? Do you believe that the doubling of sq impact requires the super clock SMS -200 downstream of it to yield such results? I find this so fascinating and I smell a new project coming up for me.

 

Indeed - I agree this seems like a new project in the air!

 

@romaz - it seems like what you've constructed with your modified Trendnet switch, precise sCLK, and LPS-1, is a Regen/RUR for Ethernet! Would you agree? Until now, the focus on the Ethernet side has been isolation - either passive (EMO, Etalon) or active (FMCs), but not so much on the clocking.

 

The question now becomes this. With your Ethernet reclocking switch in place, do you still need bridging on your music server? I.e. could you revert to this configuration, without any loss of quality:

 

Music server -----------> Trendnet with precise clock -----------> sMS-200Ultra

Router _______________________|

 

Or do you still find this to have better SQ:

 

Router <------> Music server (bridged) -----------> Trendnet with precise clock -----------> sMS-200Ultra

 

Thanks again for blazing a new trail here!

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Hi Romaz,

Thank you for your sharing, which as usual, is very useful and interesting.

 

Did you compare the sMS-200 ultra powered by LPS-1 vs mR by LPS-1 and what's the verdict? This would be very valuable given that your current SR7 (let alone the coming one) could be an unobtainimum, at least to quite a few of us.

 

Thanks again for the sharing.

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Wow, excellent findings.

 

Would you say the sCLK removes the value of USB reclockers between the sMS-200 and the DAC?

 

Logic would suggest that any "active" component you might decide to add to your USB chain after the sMS-200 with the upgraded clock should have a clock (if it has a clock at all) that is at least as good or better or else you risk degrading the timing of your signal. For example, I am currently unaware of any USB "add on" including a USB Regen, W4S Recovery, PS Audio LANRover, Acousense AFI, etc. that would have a clock that would match the performance of this new sCLK-EX. Of course, as I tend to take a more empirical approach about these things these days, you won't really know unless you try it out and so don't take my statement as gospel truth.

 

I'd like to make sure I understand the new chain. Is this the best case config described above? I've shown clock inputs in the component chain, and the PSU below each component.

 

Component ---- Mac Mini (bridged) > Trendnet switch (sCLK-1) > sMS-200 (sCLK-2,3) > tX-USB-HD (sCLK-4) > DAVE

PSU ---------------------(SR7) ------------------- (LPS-1) --------------------- (LPS-1) ---------------- (SR7)

 

Yes, your depiction above is an accurate representation of my setup. I have tried placing my Trendnet switch before my Mac Mini and just as before, its impact is significantly diminished. As I move forward with replacing the important clocks in my new server build, I would expect that I could then place this Trendnet switch before the Mac Mini and that it would probably result in a much more significant difference. Again, this goes back to my theory that as long as you don't have a bad clock follow a good clock, improvements will probably continue to occur.

 

Should I decide to go all the way, there is the option of replacing the clock(s) in my internet/modem router so that basically, there would be no bad clocks at all in my system path. Should I start to notice a significant diminishing return with this new server build, I probably won't go this far. My gut tells me that the most important clocks to replace have already been replaced but because of the improvements I am hearing with my OS tweaks, I suspect there are more gains to be had by replacing at least the system clock in my server and since the cost of 1 clock vs 4 clocks isn't that significantly different, it would make sense to me to use all 4.

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So Romaz given the great bridging tweak you have given us I just now have to know more about this switch. What is it, where did you get etc etc? Do you believe that the doubling of sq impact requires the super clock SMS -200 downstream of it to yield such results? I find this so fascinating and I smell a new project coming up for me.

The switch is not what is important, it is the clock inside the switch. As I stated, this was a cheapie switch I already owned and after Alex's and John's post of what constitutes an ideal switch, I was quite bummed I sent this switch to SOtM. With an ideal switch (without power saving features and without any switching regulators at all and maybe with integrated opto-couplers), my SQ could be even better. But as it stands, with this clock inside this switch, I am ecstatic with the results.

 

Since this clock is available for DIY use, I see potentially many projects for those of us who are enterprising enough including switches, FMCs, routers, signal regenerators, LAN cards, USB cards, motherboards, etc. To have 1-4 clocks on a small board with this performance level at this price level and without the fussiness of OCXO is simply amazing.

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Indeed - I agree this seems like a new project in the air!

 

@romaz - it seems like what you've constructed with your modified Trendnet switch, precise sCLK, and LPS-1, is a Regen/RUR for Ethernet! Would you agree? Until now, the focus on the Ethernet side has been isolation - either passive (EMO, Etalon) or active (FMCs), but not so much on the clocking.

 

The question now becomes this. With your Ethernet reclocking switch in place, do you still need bridging on your music server? I.e. could you revert to this configuration, without any loss of quality:

 

Music server -----------> Trendnet with precise clock -----------> sMS-200Ultra

Router _______________________|

 

Or do you still find this to have better SQ:

 

Router <------> Music server (bridged) -----------> Trendnet with precise clock -----------> sMS-200Ultra

 

Thanks again for blazing a new trail here!

Even with my Paul Pang TCXO switch, I had referred to it as my "Ethernet Regen" and so this current reclocking switch concept isn't new. Paul Pang has been selling his reclocking switches for more than a year now but I believe SOtM's new clock takes it to a whole new level for a very reasonable price point.

 

I agree, the focus of many seems to be noise and isolation. It was John Swenson that brought to the light the importance of impedance leading to signal responsiveness/agility. Timing is perhaps the last leg of this trifecta. The concept of reclocking is not new. Paul Pang and SOtM have been selling reclocked equipment for years. Of course, the USB Regen would be the most famous reclocker of all. The very best clocks, however, have generally been difficult to access because of cost.

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Hi Romaz,

Thank you for your sharing, which as usual, is very useful and interesting.

 

Did you compare the sMS-200 ultra powered by LPS-1 vs mR by LPS-1 and what's the verdict? This would be very valuable given that your current SR7 (let alone the coming one) could be an unobtainimum, at least to quite a few of us.

 

Thanks again for the sharing.

Hi GreenLeo,

 

I stated my LPS-1 experience with both of these NAAs in my post:

 

With the stock sMS-200 vs the mR and with each powered by a switching 9V iFi PSU, I actually prefer the mR. The sMS-200 sounds more detailed but the presentation is quite thin and anemic whereas the mR has nicer body. When powered by the LPS-1, this thinness improves considerably and while both the mR and sMS-200 benefit greatly from a superior low-impedance PSU like the LPS-1, the sMS-200 scales better to my ears -- it is more resolute.

 

I want to reiterate that while the Paul Hynes SR7 is something very special (and not as expensive as you might think given the performance it provides), by no means is the LPS-1 something to look down on. With the exception of Paul's SR-7, I have yet to hear a PSU sound as good as my LPS-1 with either the sMS-200 or mR. In fact, I have a 2nd LPS-1 on order and so it will continue to play an important role in my chain. I would wholeheartedly recommend the LPS-1 for either of these NAAs to anyone.

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Maybe a stupid question, but would it not make sense to use these clocks on a single "reclocking" card (such as a FIFO buffer) just before the DAC input, and not have to bother with the rest of the chain?

Edited by hopkins

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Maybe a stupid question, but would it not make sense to use these clocks on a single "reclocking" card (such as a FIFO buffer) just before the DAC input, and not have to bother with the rest of the chain?

I wish that this was true and if it were, then replacing the clock in the sMS-200 should have sufficed but in my system, with each clock upgrade, the improvements continued.

 

In my simplistic way of looking at this, there is no clock that is perfect as even the finest atomic clocks will have some level of phase noise (clock jitter) and instability over time and so the best that a clock can do is to not cause harm to a signal but in reality, all clocks will degrade a signal.

 

Where a really good clock seems to make a difference is in recovering some of the damage made by a bad clock that preceded it. Can it completely undo damage by a bad clock (or a series of bad clocks)? My guess is no but that with repeated reclockings, it would appear that each reclocking can further refine or restore the signal and there are many posts here on CA of how people have reported improvements by placing several USB Regens in series. I used to own a TotalDac d1-monobloc DAC and this DAC includes a very good reclocker and this DAC seemed to benefit as well from having several of these reclockers in series. As such, TotalDac's best "twelve" DAC actually has 2 reclockers.

 

What I am thinking is that it would be best to have as few bad clocks as possible in your chain making it less important to have so many great clocks at the end of the chain to rescue the signal timing. Lastly, I am guessing that if you have an entry level DAC with a mediocre clock, all of these efforts may not make as much of a difference because it should be the very last clock that matters the most. When you look at your digital front end, I believe strongly that the DAC is the most important piece but your DAC can only be as good as the quality of the signal it is fed.

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Hi GreenLeo,

 

I stated my LPS-1 experience with both of these NAAs in my post:

 

With the stock sMS-200 vs the mR and with each powered by a switching 9V iFi PSU, I actually prefer the mR. The sMS-200 sounds more detailed but the presentation is quite thin and anemic whereas the mR has nicer body. When powered by the LPS-1, this thinness improves considerably and while both the mR and sMS-200 benefit greatly from a superior low-impedance PSU like the LPS-1, the sMS-200 scales better to my ears -- it is more resolute.

 

I want to reiterate that while the Paul Hynes SR7 is something very special (and not as expensive as you might think given the performance it provides), by no means is the LPS-1 something to look down on. With the exception of Paul's SR-7, I have yet to hear a PSU sound as good as my LPS-1 with either the sMS-200 or mR. In fact, I have a 2nd LPS-1 on order and so it will continue to play an important role in my chain. I would wholeheartedly recommend the LPS-1 for either of these NAAs to anyone.

 

Hi Romaz,

 

I did read very carefully the post which is stock sMS-200 vs mR with LPS-1. I am asking sMS-200 Ultra vs mR with LPS-1 impressions.

 

Regards

Edited by greenleo
to clarify

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