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

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Yes, I'm interested to hear how ROCK sounds. Unfortunately, it doesn't lend itself to end-user tweaking and so you can't bridge your LAN ports within ROCK.

 

I'm thinking if several people ask the Roon developers, they may add such an option in the web interface.

 

Also I haven't checked if NUC's has dual RJ45. Which I suppose is a must, unless a USB to Ethernet dongle is a good working solution.

It supports thunderbolt.

 

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/rock-what-linux-distribution-answered-there-is-no-3rd-party-os/21613

 

 

https://ark.intel.com/products/89187/Intel-NUC-Kit-NUC6i7KYK

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The improvement from WW Platinum Starlight over WW Starlight fell into "subtle but important, but not important enough that I couldn't live without it". So no, definitely not dramatic.

I noticed the same subtle difference with the more expensive AQ Diamond over the Vodka. I understand that pure silver is very expensive (especially UP-OCC grade silver) but with these cables, I didn't think that last bit of refinement you got was anywhere close to being worth the money.

 

 

But the improvement from WW Chroma over AQ Cinnamon was more along the lines of "I gotta have that!", but of course the price factored into that.

 

Very interesting.

 

As I mentioned I heard nothing like that here relative to any of the other Ethernet cables I've had here. Maybe you could try their Chroma? The absence of silver might reduce the treble energy but still give you the benefit of their noise reducing construction.

I actually prefer the detail and speed of high-grade silver done right but I have noticed that I struggle with silver-plated copper. I understand why they do it but it often comes across as sounding disjointed to my ears but this is obviously a personal sensitivity.

 

WW Starlight at location 1 and WW Chroma at location 2. I am *extremely* pleased with how everything is sounding now. I honestly still can't get over how I got such a massive upgrade from swapping my Mac Pro for the Mac Mini/MMK/JS-2.

I agree. This statement really puts these differences in perspective.

 

Given all the positive comments about BJC's Ethernet cables, I know I should have tried some. I'm just having trouble getting over a not very positive experience I had listening to one of their interconnects in my system several years ago.

We have a very similar experience with their interconnects. Back when I didn't really believe cables made a difference, I bought a whole loom of BJC cabling including balanced interconnects. I had just taken possession of a brand new HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE (an electrostatic headphone amp) and I was very excited to own this amp after years of lusting after it and being mesmerized by it at headphone meets. I connected it to my DAC with my BJC balanced interconnects and it sounded horrible, just thin and lifeless! I thought maybe the cables needed to be broken in but even after a couple hundred hours, they were no better and I was ready to sell this amp out of disgust when a colleague lent me a pair of modestly priced Morrow interconnects and amazingly, this amp came to life. Same deal with their analog RCA cables and their speaker cables but their ethernet cables and HDMI cables are different. I have found those to be of very high quality and an excellent value.

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I'm thinking if several people ask the Roon developers, they may add such an option in the web interface.

 

Also I haven't checked if NUC's has dual RJ45. Which I suppose is a must, unless a USB to Ethernet dongle is a good working solution.

It supports thunderbolt.

 

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/rock-what-linux-distribution-answered-there-is-no-3rd-party-os/21613

 

 

https://ark.intel.com/products/89187/Intel-NUC-Kit-NUC6i7KYK

I had read your post on the Roon forum. Thanks for bringing it up with them but it seems their response was fairly clear that ROCK was designed to be a ready-made optimized Roon OS for non-tweakers. From what I can tell, the user has almost no customization options at all. From what I read, it was also specifically designed to run only on NUCs and so it has a very specific target.

 

At CES, I got a chance to see the newest round of Intel NUCs and none of them have dual NICs but a few will have Thunderbolt 3 ports. Gigabyte's newest batch of NUCs (BRIX), however, will have both dual NICs and Thunderbolt 3 and so this could be a good option for some:

 

Gigabyte Brix Get Updated - Skylake Processors, Thunderbolt 3, GeForce GTX 950M & Dual Gigabit LAN - Legit Reviews

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The guy respond is not part of Roon team, I think Roon will listen to reasonable requests.

But yes, only NUC. So soon there will be Sonore or others making NUC's with better PS, clocks or whatever [emoji3]

(As intel sells NUC oem boards).

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

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Hi Larry,

 

As always, thank you for your valued input. I am very much in favor of upsampling, it's just I do it in my DAC (Chord DAVE) and not in my PC. DAVE upsamples well beyond DSD512 or 768kHz PCM via its FPGA. Chord's new M-scaler (due out next month) will allow DAVE to upsample even more (6x more) and I have my order placed already for this unit. Having heard it at CES in January, the differences are tremendous in terms of clarity, dynamics and depth.

 

I own 2 HQPlayer licenses (for Windows and Mac) and I have played with it extensively over the past year. I have a robust workstation with dual 8-core Xeons, 64GB of RAM and an nVidia K5000 GPU with 1536 CUDA cores and so upsampling to anything has not been a problem. In other systems based on chip DACs that I have heard, upsampling to DSD 128 and 256 resulted in a very nice improvement. Most chip DACs have considerable substrate noise and the smoothness of DSD nicely glosses over any harshness but DSD has its own compromises that I struggle with. With my DAVE, DSD512 resulted in a step down in SQ even though the DAVE's ASIO driver is capable of native DSD512 and not just DoP. Even 16/44 Redbook sounds better to my ears than anything upsampled to DSD512 with this DAC. I am probably in the minority in that I don't like the softness of DSD and its inherent timing issues and with HQP, I actually preferred upsampling to 768kHz over DSD512 but with my DAC, no HQP oversampling still sounded better.

 

This works out in my favor in that I don't have to concern myself with uber powerful (and electrically noisy) hardware.

Roy,

 

I didn't realize you are a Chord DAVE DAC owner. Knowing this tells me that we are approaching this hobby from different corners, both valid, but different on many levels. We could debate the benefits of each approach, but that's all been done on CA before. That said, clearly different experiences lead to different choices. I'm cool with that.

 

Thanks as always for sharing your experiences here. I like your empirical approach and willingness to test alternative solutions even though they may seem counterintuitive at times.

 

I always learn something by reading your posts and look forward to more in the future.

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Hi All

I’ve been playing with my bridged DC powered ASrock J1900 running W10 pro/Process Lasso/Fidelizer/minimserver set up by trying out Audiophile Optimiser for the first time. TBH I really had some reservations about how effective AO could be given my lowly MOBO and My lack of experience PC wise.

From a fresh W10 pro install.

All I can say is WOW what a nice bump up in SQ using AO has turned out to be. Silky smooth, more detail, larger soundstage, more depth, more of just about everything except grain and hash helping my SMS200 to sing very nicely. The filter options are just great and allow fine tuning of the tonal balance from D4 tube like to 1A ultra Solid State. To my ears and in my set up the filter changes are pretty easy to hear. As romaz mentioned well worth the admission fee alone.

I have ATM settled on W10/ AO Ultra/C2/Minimserver Shell (no up-sampling) set to real time Game mode with Process Lasso making for a pretty light weight server. My music is stored on NAS directly connected to the bridge which I preferred to USB HDD. No Fidelizer pro yet but that’s coming once I have a better handle on the sound that I have now.

I also run HQPlayer on another machine but that’s for later.

TBH I was a little intimidated by the AO to start with but even for a numpty like myself it’s pretty easy to get the hang of and in use

works very well. I just followed the PDF guide which is comprehensive and easy to use.

AO is just superb and works very nicely in my set up.

Great Job Phil.

And secondly.

Heartbreakingly hard to admit J but I swapped out my DIY Power supply to Sbooster 12V with IFI IDC Purifier for the SMS200. It’s so much better than my 9V DIY effort (AMB a11 ) with IDC Purifier it’s a joke. Bigger, more dynamic and even more detailed which could be just the bump up in supply voltage but I suspect not.

 

I also realise that adding Uptone’s LPS-1 could improve things still further but funds are short and it’s hard to justify the extra expense ATM TBH but maybe later once the money tree has grown a little taller J.

In my set up the SBooster is money well spent. (Even if I do have to admit that the shop bought PSU beat my own work hands down L). I also compared to the stock switcher and IFI 9V supplies and well errr no contest to my ears and in my set up.

This thread as led me to a very happy place sound wise so thanks again to all who have contributed and an extra thanks to romaz for starting this interesting ride.

It’s been fun so far.

 

 

 

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Also I haven't checked if NUC's has dual RJ45. Which I suppose is a must, unless a USB to Ethernet dongle is a good working solution.

 

my nuc6i5syh (tall case) does not have dual ethernet inputs -- nor is there really room for it. haven't really checked to see if the i7s are different.

 

edit: the nuc6i7 seems to come in a different case. still no dual ethernet, though. nuc5i7s come in a similar case to mine -- also no dual ethernet.

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Hi All

I’ve been playing with my bridged DC powered ASrock J1900 running W10 pro/Process Lasso/Fidelizer/minimserver set up by trying out Audiophile Optimiser for the first time. TBH I really had some reservations about how effective AO could be given my lowly MOBO and My lack of experience PC wise.

From a fresh W10 pro install.

All I can say is WOW what a nice bump up in SQ using AO has turned out to be. Silky smooth, more detail, larger soundstage, more depth, more of just about everything except grain and hash helping my SMS200 to sing very nicely. The filter options are just great and allow fine tuning of the tonal balance from D4 tube like to 1A ultra Solid State. To my ears and in my set up the filter changes are pretty easy to hear. As romaz mentioned well worth the admission fee alone.

I have ATM settled on W10/ AO Ultra/C2/Minimserver Shell (no up-sampling) set to real time Game mode with Process Lasso making for a pretty light weight server. My music is stored on NAS directly connected to the bridge which I preferred to USB HDD. No Fidelizer pro yet but that’s coming once I have a better handle on the sound that I have now.

I also run HQPlayer on another machine but that’s for later.

TBH I was a little intimidated by the AO to start with but even for a numpty like myself it’s pretty easy to get the hang of and in use

works very well. I just followed the PDF guide which is comprehensive and easy to use.

AO is just superb and works very nicely in my set up.

Great Job Phil.

And secondly.

Heartbreakingly hard to admit J but I swapped out my DIY Power supply to Sbooster 12V with IFI IDC Purifier for the SMS200. It’s so much better than my 9V DIY effort (AMB a11 ) with IDC Purifier it’s a joke. Bigger, more dynamic and even more detailed which could be just the bump up in supply voltage but I suspect not.

 

I also realise that adding Uptone’s LPS-1 could improve things still further but funds are short and it’s hard to justify the extra expense ATM TBH but maybe later once the money tree has grown a little taller J.

In my set up the SBooster is money well spent. (Even if I do have to admit that the shop bought PSU beat my own work hands down L). I also compared to the stock switcher and IFI 9V supplies and well errr no contest to my ears and in my set up.

This thread as led me to a very happy place sound wise so thanks again to all who have contributed and an extra thanks to romaz for starting this interesting ride.

It’s been fun so far.

 

What impact would the ifi dc purifier after the sbooster have?

Are you also using the Ultra add-on?

I apologize for "giving you the first degree", but I've been offered a dc purifier in a trade recently, only without being able to find a viable use for it...

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Hi All

 

I’ve been playing with my bridged DC powered ASrock J1900 running W10 pro/Process Lasso/Fidelizer/minimserver set up by trying out Audiophile Optimiser for the first time. TBH I really had some reservations about how effective AO could be given my lowly MOBO and My lack of experience PC wise.

From a fresh W10 pro install.

All I can say is WOW what a nice bump up in SQ using AO has turned out to be. Silky smooth, more detail, larger soundstage, more depth, more of just about everything except grain and hash helping my SMS200 to sing very nicely. The filter options are just great and allow fine tuning of the tonal balance from D4 tube like to 1A ultra Solid State. To my ears and in my set up the filter changes are pretty easy to hear. As romaz mentioned well worth the admission fee alone.

I have ATM settled on W10/ AO Ultra/C2/Minimserver Shell (no up-sampling) set to real time Game mode with Process Lasso making for a pretty light weight server. My music is stored on NAS directly connected to the bridge which I preferred to USB HDD. No Fidelizer pro yet but that’s coming once I have a better handle on the sound that I have now.

I also run HQPlayer on another machine but that’s for later.

TBH I was a little intimidated by the AO to start with but even for a numpty like myself it’s pretty easy to get the hang of and in use

works very well. I just followed the PDF guide which is comprehensive and easy to use.

AO is just superb and works very nicely in my set up.

Great Job Phil.

And secondly.

Heartbreakingly hard to admit J but I swapped out my DIY Power supply to Sbooster 12V with IFI IDC Purifier for the SMS200. It’s so much better than my 9V DIY effort (AMB a11 ) with IDC Purifier it’s a joke. Bigger, more dynamic and even more detailed which could be just the bump up in supply voltage but I suspect not.

 

I also realise that adding Uptone’s LPS-1 could improve things still further but funds are short and it’s hard to justify the extra expense ATM TBH but maybe later once the money tree has grown a little taller J.

In my set up the SBooster is money well spent. (Even if I do have to admit that the shop bought PSU beat my own work hands down L). I also compared to the stock switcher and IFI 9V supplies and well errr no contest to my ears and in my set up.

This thread as led me to a very happy place sound wise so thanks again to all who have contributed and an extra thanks to romaz for starting this interesting ride.

It’s been fun so far.

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing your experience, Shoom. My experience with AO has thus far been very similar to yours. Also interesting to know your take on the Sbooster. I have yet to hear from someone who wasn't impressed by their supplies. While I suspect it would sound better than your DIY effort if they were both 12V supplies, I have found that with the sMS-200, 12V sounds slightly better than 9V. I have also found that 9V sounds slightly better than 7V with the mR even though it runs slightly warmer.

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What impact would the ifi dc purifier after the sbooster have?

Are you also using the Ultra add-on?

I apologize for "giving you the first degree", but I've been offered a dc purifier in a trade recently, only without being able to find a viable use for it...

 

 

 

Hi Ted

No worries on the third degree. I was using the IDC Purifier in front of my DIY PSU effort and now have it place of the ultra which I have not tried.

TBH the logic of the ways that I’ve used it with DIY PSU and then SBooster intuitively should sound the same but I’ve found that not to be the case in my setup. So maybe the preceding PSU matters more than I expected. I can hear the difference with the Purifier in place so maybe more is in play that just how fixed the voltage is.

IMHO compared to the standard SBooster (WO Ultra) the IFI adds a little more fine detail and clarity top end wise (air) not a huge change but nice all the same.

I’ll give the ultra a try next to compare.

 

The SBooster/Purifier/SMS200 work very well together.

The IFI DC Purifier is flexible and works over a wide range of voltages so maybe useful to have in hand.

 

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Thanks for sharing your experience, Shoom. My experience with AO has thus far been very similar to yours. Also interesting to know your take on the Sbooster. I have yet to hear from someone who wasn't impressed by their supplies. While I suspect it would sound better than your DIY effort if they were both 12V supplies, I have found that with the sMS-200, 12V sounds slightly better than 9V. I have also found that 9V sounds slightly better than 7V with the mR even though it runs slightly warmer.

 

 

 

Yes Roy AO has been a bit of an ear opener for me.

BTW I have two J1900.

One standard W10pro/Minimserver as a sanity check and the other experimental with W10 pro/AO/Lasso/Minimserver.

The standard without bridge and AO sounds like a very dull/flat boy compared to its bridged/optimised twin.

 

Very easy to play spot the difference.

 

Money well spent.

 

 

Edited by shoom

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Thank you @romaz for writing insightful and well thought posts. I really enjoy reading your posts because they inform and most importantly invite you to think and make your own opinion

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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For those of you wondering if ROCK is able to use 2 or more Ethernet ports or doubting if the direct connection between the Roon server and network streamer is achievable, worry no more! I can confirm that all is working well in alpha version, in a way.

 

Here's some pictures you can refer to.

ROCK-streamer.jpg

 

I'll post the detail procedure later.

ROCK-webpage.jpg

ROCK-internet.jpg

ROCK-locallink.jpg

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For those of you wondering if ROCK is able to use 2 or more Ethernet ports or doubting if the direct connection between the Roon server and network streamer is achievable, worry no more! I can confirm that all is working well in alpha version, in a way.

 

Here's some pictures you can refer to.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]33618[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]33619[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]33620[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]33617[/ATTACH]

 

I'll post the detail procedure later.

 

Look forward to this

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For those of you wondering if ROCK is able to use 2 or more Ethernet ports or doubting if the direct connection between the Roon server and network streamer is achievable, worry no more! I can confirm that all is working well in alpha version, in a way.

 

Here's some pictures you can refer to.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]33618[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]33619[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]33620[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]33617[/ATTACH]

 

I'll post the detail procedure later.

Whoa! Possible game changer. How does it sound?

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Before you decide to installing ROCK there are a few things you should know about.

 

First, ROCK can only be installed onto internal drive. Roonlabs suggests a ssd 64GB or larger. Please refer to this web page.

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/rock-hardware-primer/21756

 

Secondly, if you plan to put your music library in an internal drive. It will be reformated into ext4 partition. It's better you prepare a new drive. An existing one will do. But the system won't format it if there's already other partitions exist. You need to delete those partitions manually.

 

Thirdly, if you want to connect to mR or sMS-200 please refer to my previous post (post #687) regarding how to set up static IP of sMS-200. I haven't tried it on mR. But I think the process is quite the same. They both are based on Fedora Linux.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/novel-way-massively-improve-sq-sms-200-and-microrendu-31110/index28.html#post635525

 

 

Lastly, before setting static IP for sMS-200 please make sure it's in Roon mode. And be sure to make a backup copy of the original SD card. Always use a copy version to do the test.

 

So here is my setup:

H/W : intel NUC D54250WYKH (8GB DRAM is preferred, larger will do but won't benifit), m.2 SSD (I happen to own a spare Micron MX200 M.2 256G SSD), Seagate 2TB 2.5" SATA internal HDD, USB3-to-Ethernet adapter (ASIX-88179 but I believe others will do), USB flash drive (4GB or more for installing ROCK). I use the USB3-to-Ethernet adapter to connect to my home router. The on board Ethernet is reserved for sMS-200.

 

Follow the link below to download and install ROCK. The installation is pretty straight forward. http://kb.roonlabs.com/ROCK_Install_Guide

 

It's better that you hook up a monitor the first time you boot ROCK. Take down the IP address then fireup a brower on another PC or tablet. Enter the IP address you see on ROCK. You'll be able to see a page similar to the 1st picture shown in previous post.

 

The next step is crucial to complete the setup. In the web page it shows missing codecs like the picture shown in below. Click the question mark and follow the instruction to download ffmpeg codec.

 

ROCK-missingcodec.jpg

 

You can attach your USB drive containing your music files or copy music the way you put ffmpeg into ROCK but the destination folder is \Data\Storage\InternalStorage

 

Until now ROCK should be up and running. Start your Roon remote and connect to the IP addresss of ROCK. It's now working like your ROON core.

 

Connect ROCK and sMS-200/mR the normal way. Make sure the music can be playback normally. Then take down the IP addr of the Ethernet port which connect to your home router. Set static IP on ROCK and reboot to make sure everything works fine.

 

Assign static IP to another Ethernet port to be connect to mR/sMS-200. Be sure to set different IP segment for mR/sMS-200. ROCK won't boot if both Ethernet ports are at the same segment and mR/sMS-200 is connected. In case you set the IP address in the same segment you can unplug mR/sMS-200. Then you can link to ROCK again.

 

You can point the gateway and DNS server of the 2nd port to be the IP address of the one connected to your home router.

 

Finally, configure sMS-200 to use fixed IP. Then reboot the system. All done.

 

!!! Be warned. ROCK is still in alpha phase. It's unstable. Please take your own risk.!!!

Edited by gadgetman

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Whoa! Possible game changer. How does it sound?

Just finished the setup. May need a few days to compare it with Daphile. But looks pretty promising.

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Forgot to mention that after setting fixed IP address for sMS-200 it won't be recognized by any other computer. It's impossible to get into Eunhasu web page with the new setup. If you need to update the firmware or to configure sMS-200 to modes other than Roon then the only way to do it is to use the original SD card which containing untouched Eunhasu.

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Just finished the setup. May need a few days to compare it with Daphile. But looks pretty promising.

Is there support for HQplayer in Rock? If not, can one get to a command prompt at root level to enable?

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Is there support for HQplayer in Rock? If not, can one get to a command prompt at root level to enable?

I'm not sure if ROCK doesn't support HQplayer yet or it's because that I don't have HQplayer that even though I set sMS-200 to HQPlayer NAA mode in normal switched connection that ROCK does not see it.

 

And no, there's no command prompt on the host PC and I can't ssh into ROCK either. The connection just being rejected (permission denied).

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Forgot to mention that after setting fixed IP address for sMS-200 it won't be recognized by any other computer. It's impossible to get into Eunhasu web page with the new setup. If you need to update the firmware or to configure sMS-200 to modes other than Roon then the only way to do it is to use the original SD card which containing untouched Eunhasu.

Oops! Wrong description. It should be this : to update the firmware or to configure to modes other than Roon then the only way is to reset the IP address in the SD card then configure it the normal way then set the IP address again.

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