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

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On 11/12/2018 at 7:21 PM, Em2016 said:

For those running Audiolinux + Roon Bridge on the current popular lower power NUC - have you tried installing Roon OS (ROCK) on the NUC ?

 

There's no need to enable 'Roon Core' - after installed ROCK. Don't set it up as a  'Core' and it will appear as a Roon Bridge endpoint on your existing Roon Core. And this is an OS built from scratch by Roon Labs themselves - not based on an existing Linux distro... which makes me guess it may be optimized as well as possible for RAAT.

 

While Roon recommend a short list of officially supported NUC models for installing ROCK (Roon OS), many have found it works fine on all kinds of PC's, even if unsupported.

 

Especially if just using the Roon Bridge functionality and the OS is completely built by Roon Labs, one would think it's optimized as well as possible for RAAT?

 

 

I have been enjoying Roon for a couple of months and last week installed Roon ROCK on my HDPlex(fanless case)/ASRock(system board) headless PC to use as my dedicated Roon Core. Music is on an internal SSD. Works really great and the SQ easily beats my previous setup using JRMC.

 

Last night I purchased AudioLinux "headless" and plan to use it on my Roon Bridge PC which feeds my main system. It looks like it will support USB out to my Mutec 3+ USB  but I will need to bypass my Rednet D16 ethernet to AES converter for this experiment as I am sure that there is no way that AL will support Dante. They do list my Mutec as supported.

 

I will post my impressions...

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1 hour ago, MrUnderhill said:

I didn't see it, but is it available to buy on a bootable usb stick so it doesn't even need to be installed?  If not, it seems like that would make sense as a lot of people are into music, but not linux, and don't want to deal with the technical stuff.  Also i don't see a separate thread for audio-linux...one should exist?

 

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On 11/5/2018 at 2:43 AM, greenleo said:

It seems that a few members are still waiting for the guide.  I'll post, for the computer illiterate.

 

AudioLinux Installation Guide 1:

Resources:

Steps

0. download the RUFUS and but the image from Piero.

 

Process A: Installation to an USB disk

1. LaunchRufus

2. Choose the DD option

3. Select the image

4. Burn the image to the USB disk

5. Everying will be erased.  click OK to proceed.

6. Wait till and 100% and wait more.

7. When the burning is truly finished, the start button will be available again.

 

Will try to do some screen capture for the running of the lxqt (GUI) version and post it here later.  Hope everybody may enjoy this sw, one of my best invested $29 ?

 

 

 

 

Step00_Resources.png

Step01_LaunchRufus.png

Step02_ChooseDD.png

Step03_SelectImage.png

Step04_Burn.png

Step05_Warning.png

Step06_100%.png

Step07_BurningFinished.png

 

Thanks so much for this series. It is very helpful. I downloaded the image last night and am embarking down this new trail.

 

As an aside. RUFUS is now on version 3.3.1400 and the screen choices are somewhat different. I did not see a selection for "DD Image".

 

Best,

 

Paul

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1 hour ago, mourip said:

 

I have been enjoying Roon for a couple of months and last week installed Roon ROCK on my HDPlex(fanless case)/ASRock(system board) headless PC to use as my dedicated Roon Core. Music is on an internal SSD. Works really great and the SQ easily beats my previous setup using JRMC.

 

Last night I purchased AudioLinux "headless" and plan to use it on my Roon Bridge PC which feeds my main system. It looks like it will support USB out to my Mutec 3+ USB  but I will need to bypass my Rednet D16 ethernet to AES converter for this experiment as I am sure that there is no way that AL will support Dante. They do list my Mutec as supported.

 

I will post my impressions...

 

I would be curious if the SQ between roon rock and audio-linux are comparable or if one is far better than the other??

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3 minutes ago, mourip said:

 

Thanks so much for this series. It is very helpful. I downloaded the image last night and am embarking down this new trail.

 

As an aside. RUFUS is now on version 3.3.1400 and the screen choices are somewhat different. I did not see a selection for "DD Image".

 

Best,

 

Paul

 

Will burning audio-linux to usb in this fashion make it bootable and fully contained on the bootable usb stick with ability to just point to local hd or network share for music?

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3 minutes ago, beerandmusic said:

 

Will burning audio-linux to usb in this fashion make it bootable and fully contained on the bootable usb stick with ability to just point to local hd or network share for music?

 

That is my understanding and the assumption that I am using. I will be using my current Windows2016 endpoint as a test and would be very grumpy if it reformatted my OS SSD!  ?

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Hi,

I'm trying t get the best from my configuration

  1. JRiver Media Center 24 (on a fanless i3, Windows 10)
  2. Audiolab M-DAC+ (using the provided IUSBAudio Driver ASIO)

Since the M-DAC+ supports up to DSD256, I give it a try, using the options provided by JRiver Media Center 24, and, since then I'm converting on the fly my material from PCM to DSD128 (it seems that my i3 is unable to do more than that without stuttering).

SQ is heavily modified with the standard material, in a way identically described all over the world.

I asked to my my guitar teacher to compare the different versions, without telling him what to expect, and, when I asked to listen a 16/48 converted to DSD128 he jumped on the seat, saying: "Uh!?!". 

Me, I'm using DSP Studio to do the conversion. Let me guess that I'm bypassing the Windows Audio engine, since with this configuration I can disable the JRiver Media Center 24 and Windows 10 volume).

Is it the better choice?

By the way I tried also HQPlayer with identical results. Now it hangs, and I don't know the reason. Perhaps I have modified the wrong parameter among the 100's available (HQPlayer reminds me a Caterpillar, full of leverages. On the opposite there are cars with the automatic gear. Me, I like better my Alfa Romeo with a manual gear, and so my JRiver Media Center 24).

Thanks

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Given the OS "quirks" of WIN 10, running Audiolinux in memory only with Roon server sounds attractive, especially since it can be a USB stick boot/minimally invasive

and is being reported as sounding better. Does this configuration give up anything  for the control point GUI benefits or is it as full featured as WIN 10 Roon core?

 

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1 hour ago, mourip said:

 

Thanks so much for this series. It is very helpful. I downloaded the image last night and am embarking down this new trail.

 

As an aside. RUFUS is now on version 3.3.1400 and the screen choices are somewhat different. I did not see a selection for "DD Image".

 

Best,

 

Paul

Use the RUFUS 2.18 as suggested in my 1st guide.   DD can be found there.

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1 hour ago, beerandmusic said:

 

Will burning audio-linux to usb in this fashion make it bootable and fully contained on the bootable usb stick with ability to just point to local hd or network share for music?

You may use UEFI to boot the USB disk.

 

Please find my guides in this thread.  Follow them.  The links of my guides are on the very first post as well, thanks to Rajiv.

 

Regards.

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1 hour ago, mourip said:

 

Thanks so much for this series. It is very helpful. I downloaded the image last night and am embarking down this new trail.

 

As an aside. RUFUS is now on version 3.3.1400 and the screen choices are somewhat different. I did not see a selection for "DD Image".

 

Best,

 

Paul

For "DD" option, you will need to download 2.xx version instead, and the latest version being 2.18.

 

When you scroll down to "DOWNLOAD" section of front page, click on "Other versions", it will take to the page where you can download version 2.18.

 

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37 minutes ago, teodorom said:

It seems that my question is OT. Can someone suggest me the right thread?

Thanks

Don't be shy, create your own. You want JRiver experience vs this evergreen discussion of evolving best digital setups. I'd suggest putting it in the DAC

or Software section, start the title with something like "Need Help, {for this problem}.

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1 hour ago, teodorom said:

It seems that my question is OT. Can someone suggest me the right thread?

Thanks

 

No worries. Welcome to CA. You appear to be asking about JRiver, HQPlayer, and DSP Studio? I don't use any of those, but I'd suggest starting with some searches (up top in the search bar) with these terms. You may find existing threads to ask, or you can create a new thread as David suggests.

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already have,
last 10 or so AL install working perfect,
even to HDD in USB enclosure

no need to select iso or DD image on 3,x
Rufus auto detect image

 

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6 hours ago, MrUnderhill said:

 

Hi Rajiv,

 

Thanks for the hard work. I fully understand if you don't want to do this, but, having used LMS and Squeezelite on the base OS is there any chance you could try them on AudioLinux and let us know what you think?

 

When Roon comes online with Qobuz I may be tempted to try. If you think that it is simply better than this will be a big incentive to give it a go.

 

M

 

Hi Martin,

 

I'll think about it. It's just a matter of finding the time. It would help if I could know the locations of the following:

  • location of the startup scripts for LMS and squeezelite. I'm guessing it is: /usr/lib/systemd/system?
  • location of the LMS index? This is what I would want to move to SSD and replace with either a sym link, and/or modify the aforementioned script.

Thanks.

 

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16 hours ago, Johnseye said:

Audiolinux NUC Update

 

After a lengthy search I thought I found a NUC7CJYH, placed an order, only to learn weeks later it was on back order for many months.  I suspect it was out of stock, CDW didn't show that, and not likely to be produced by Intel due to next gen releases.  This was probably a good thing because I just ended up buying a BLKNUC7i7DNK1E which contains the NUC7i7DNBE board with 8M i7 processor cache.

 

Background

 

My current system is an i7 mini ITX motherboard with system and ethernet clocks modified by the SoTM sCLK-EX.  This server also has a tX-USBexp with sCLK mod providing USB out to a tX-USBultra which feeds a Holo Spring L3 DAC.  Power is fed by a two rail SR7 with DR, LPS-1 and LPS-1.2.  I've been using this system since about May of this year.  Prior to that, something similar with a Celeron proc that couldn't upsample.  This i7 mini iTX board has been able to upsample DSD512 via Roon and HQPlayer.  I have been very pleased with the sound quality to date and complacent in making any adjustments, thinking it was about the best I could get.

 

Current and Evolving State

 

Based on Larry and Roy's recent discoveries, which are always valuable ideas worth chasing, I implemented Audiolinux with a NUC as endpoint.  Like many here I've owned an mR and I still have an sMS-200.  My single server build sounded better than what I heard with these endpoints.  I did install Audiolinux on my server before getting the NUC and ran it in RAM complete with Roon database.  I upsampled to DSD512 successfully and was pleased with what I was hearing.  It was a minor improvement.  I wasn't blown away, but it was better and absolutely worth the $30.  Since I power my SSD separately I was also able to free up an LPS-1.2.  I've been enjoying Audiolinux in that system for about a month or so.

 

Then I got the NUC.  After a slight road bump where I used the same USB stick to load the NUC as I did the server, Larry straightened me out pointing out that it creates a duplicate host name.  I had installed the headless version on the NUC in the mean time which also resolved the issue, but it was very helpful information to know I need two different USB sticks.  Running Audiolinux as a headless NAA for HQPlayer was simple and running in minutes.

 

I first set things up where I went from the NUC to the tX-USBultra to the DAC.  The Linear Solution switch connects my mini ITX server with NUC and NAS.  It's currently powered by the TLS LPS provided with the switch.  This was a stunning ear opener.  BAM!  It was like turning on a switch.  A big improvement.  The soundstage was not only wider  but it was deeper.  This allows for instruments to have more separation which allows for better distinction.  There is better resolution and vibration of the music.  Then I removed the tX-USBultra.  It's not going back.  I'm still going to have a couple more back and forth sessions with and without it, but based on what I've heard so far it only collapses the soundstage and resolution.

 

Because my SR7 was powering my ITX server I need to figure out how I'm going to power it, or if it even matters.  The SR7 is now powering the NUC.  I'm going to see if the sPS-500 can power the server.  If not I'll probably use the HDPlex supply.  The other SR7 rail is going to start powering the TLS switch and the LPS-1.2 will power the sCLK-EX.  I'm going to pull out the tX-USBexp and shelve it with the tX-USBultra.  The Akasa fanless case is on order.  I'll be pulling the board out of the NUC and putting it in that case.  I expect another improvement then.

 

Folks, this is a big deal.  I'm using the Spring L3 in NOS mode and upsampling with HQPlayer because the ability to define my sound through those filters.  I find this granularity incredibly powerful and like not having the DAC putting its signature filters on, then upsampling with another filter.  Personal preference, we all have them.  So where I would hear subtle but audible differences between filters it's now become significantly audible differences.  I love this.

 

When I removed the tX-USBultra I felt surrounded by the music.  It wasn't just in front of me in different dimensions, it was all around me, blooming.  My skin tingled with goosebumps.  I've got a lot of good music listening to come and will update as I make additional changes.

 

John: Why you think a higher power NUC you selected would/will be better to serve as NAA as opposed to the lower powered Celeron based NUC, just wondering. This NUC (i7) can almost replace the server and upsample to DSD512. 

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