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

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16 hours ago, Bricki said:

Of course there are better dacs than a mojo but I would rather spend my money to improve things upstream because that is where I believe the more significant bottle necks are. 

 

@austinpop may have an opinion about the relative benefits of improving the dac vs improving everything before the dac??

 

He has had a lot of recent experience with doing exactly that, so he may be able to chime in here. 

 

Rajiv will of course speak to his opinion, but I've seen astronomical improvement by up leveling DACs.  It may be heretical, but my view is that everything before the analog chain (I include DAC in the analog chain) takes away SQ.   For me, all the work on the digital/network side is about taking away as little as possible.

 

By way of example, I documented my journey up the DAC (and transducer) ladders here:

 

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/chord-hugo-2.22209/reviews#review-19435

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/chord-blu-mk-ii-digital-cd-transport.22848/reviews#review-19675

 

(as a bonus, this documented my journey from Mojo to Hugo2 to DAVE to BluDAVE, related to question earlier about whether an update from Mojo is worthwhile)

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, sunny_time_99 said:

you can ask me if you need the schematic. but its so easy. on the pictures the choke is missing.

Yes please, but should post in tech spinoff thread like,

This thread ('novel--massive---') most for listening reports, experiments & SQ comparisons. Spin off threads for in depth tech.

 

 

45 minutes ago, RickyV said:

I settled for the s11 psu because of it’s current capabilities which where often lacking on the super regulators. I am also using the LT3045 and I like them because you can parallel them to the current you want.

 

i have same preferred LPSU architecture, and in-service units :D

 But mine live in full metal cases on vibration devices. Hate idea of fine electronics marinating in EMI & acoustic soup :S

Also please post more on LPSU in other thread, so we all learn more!

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26 minutes ago, look&listen said:

i have same preferred LPSU architecture, and in-service units :D

 But mine live in full cases on vibration devices. I hate idea of fine electronics marinating in acoustic & EMI soup :S

Yes I know i first focus on the bigger impact things like psu’s, then emi and then vibration control.

The reason it took so long is the music listening got in the way ?.

I hope my new NUC setup will be tidier, at least that’s the plan.

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3 hours ago, ray-dude said:

 

Rajiv will of course speak to his opinion, but I've seen astronomical improvement by up leveling DACs.  It may be heretical, but my view is that everything before the analog chain (I include DAC in the analog chain) takes away SQ.   For me, all the work on the digital/network side is about taking away as little as possible.

 

By way of example, I documented my journey up the DAC (and transducer) ladders here:

 

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/chord-hugo-2.22209/reviews#review-19435

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/chord-blu-mk-ii-digital-cd-transport.22848/reviews#review-19675

 

(as a bonus, this documented my journey from Mojo to Hugo2 to DAVE to BluDAVE, related to question earlier about whether an update from Mojo is worthwhile)

 

 

 

I don't think that's heretical ?

 

I totally agree with you. I see the dac as an incredibly high precision instrument that is the heart of where the music is made ?... Because it is so high precision its performance will be decided to some degree by the signal that it is fed. A high quality, low noise, precision timed electrical signal going into a dac makes for a better performing dac. 

 

I think we are on the same page... ?

 

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On 12/9/2018 at 6:43 AM, ted_b said:

 

My 2 cents worth - still a work in progress

I received my i7 8th Gen 8550u Fanless minipc from aliexpress.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Newest-EGLOBAL-Fanless-Mini-PC-8th-Gen-i7-8550U-Quad-Core-2-DDR4-M-2-Mini/32913945612.html?

It is not the NUC's that everyone is playing with here and in the AL discussion forum 

BUT

 

I have these observations to share.

1. I just loaded Jussi's HQPlayer Ramroot NAA bootable linux file onto the 8550u. It loads and runs OK!

2. I compared it with my SOTM SM200 Ultra Neo as a HQPlayer NAA endpoint

3. I have my previous Win10Pro NAA endpoint : http://minix.com.hk/products/neo-z83-4-pro

 

Quick observations on SQ - exhaustive A,B,C testing will have to wait for this weekend.

A. The nature of the Sound Reproduction (not just SQ) between the 8550u and the Minix Z83 Cherry Trail is of a Similar Character. 

B. Both are expansive and impactful sound. The 8550U is much more so. 

C. The SOTM SM200 Ultra Neo is wider, deeper and imagery is much more focused. Less Exciting OMG impact if I can put it that way.

 

This week end, I will do more testing to confirm the above and I will then open up the 8550u and disconnect the 64gb SSD that I ordered it with (I intend to use it as a 2nd Music server for AL/Squeezelit/Roon/JRMC Media23/DLNA) whatever I can choose (16gb RAM) to see if there is a SQ Jump OMG moment.

 

But I was actually not surprised to hear the Sound Character of the 8550u. I think that the lack of audiophile components in the circuitry does affect the REFINEMENT of the Sound. Lack of precision clocking affects the sharp imagery that the SMS200 Ultra Neo can do.

 

I can on this weekend play with JRM Media /DLNA server mode on the 8550u and see how it sounds/

AL/Squeezelite will probably be next weekend.

Fun Isn't it This Hobby.

 

Happy Listening

Kelvin

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2 hours ago, Bricki said:

I see the dac as an incredibly high precision instrument that is the heart of where the music is made

Sorry, music only made inside human head. All else is sound or signal.

Otherwise agree.

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20 minutes ago, look&listen said:

Sorry, music only made inside human head. All else is sound or signal.

Otherwise agree.

Yeah, I lost my literary way there ?

 

Perhaps I should have said "heart of where the sound is recreated" ?

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Quick update... like a moth drawn to the flame, I keep getting drawn back to running squeezelite with large buffers on my NUC as a Roon endpoint, because of the better SQ... and then I get burned when it starts misbehaving again.

 

With somewhat wishful thinking, I switched over to Squeezelite-R2, in the hope it would be more stable. No such luck.

 

When it works though ... aah!

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1 minute ago, austinpop said:

Quick update... like a moth drawn to the flame, I keep getting drawn back to running squeezelite with large buggers on my NUC as a Roon endpoint, because of the better SQ... and then I get burned when it starts misbehaving again.

 

With somewhat wishful thinking, I switched over to Squeezelite-R2, in the hope it would be more stable. No such luck.

 

When it works though ... aah!

 

I've learned to hit play and leave it alone!!  Watching the detailed logs, it looks like it is the two way orchestration is when things glitch

 

I can't go back to Roon Bridge, but I can't impose squeezelite on civilians (yet)

 

 

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1 minute ago, ray-dude said:

 

I've learned to hit play and leave it alone!!  Watching the detailed logs, it looks like it is the two way orchestration is when things glitch

 

So true! If you leave it play through a track, or better yet, an album, it mostly works. Although even there, on occasion it seems to forget how to do gapless playback, which gets annoying with classical pieces. 

 

If you do want to switch mid-song, it helps to hit pause first, wait a spell, then play the next song.

 

If you go full ADD on it, and start switching tracks and sample rate midstream - it will hurt you!

 

1 minute ago, ray-dude said:

I can't go back to Roon Bridge, but I can't impose squeezelite on civilians (yet)

 

Yes, it's still a construction zone! Hard hats mandatory.

 

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24 minutes ago, austinpop said:

hen it works though ... aah!

Exactly, I found turning MQA support off calmed things down a bit but not totally.

With MQA support total nightmare.

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37 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

 

I've learned to hit play and leave it alone!!  Watching the detailed logs, it looks like it is the two way orchestration is when things glitch

 

I can't go back to Roon Bridge, but I can't impose squeezelite on civilians (yet)

 

 

Why are you so focussed on roon?  Before i switch back to squeezelite... I prefer the daphile squeeze based solution. You got a server, you got a client... Took you about 10 minutes to prepare a usb stick with the 64bit real time kernel... And 2 sd cards etc to give it a try. At least 20min...all is installed and running. I guess you will not make a mistake.

 

Regards

Sunny

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On 12/11/2018 at 7:32 PM, ray-dude said:

 

Rajiv will of course speak to his opinion, but I've seen astronomical improvement by up leveling DACs.  It may be heretical, but my view is that everything before the analog chain (I include DAC in the analog chain) takes away SQ.   For me, all the work on the digital/network side is about taking away as little as possible.

 

By way of example, I documented my journey up the DAC (and transducer) ladders here:

 

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/chord-hugo-2.22209/reviews#review-19435

https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/chord-blu-mk-ii-digital-cd-transport.22848/reviews#review-19675

 

(as a bonus, this documented my journey from Mojo to Hugo2 to DAVE to BluDAVE, related to question earlier about whether an update from Mojo is worthwhile)

 

 

 

 

what you can say comparing the sound quality between a Chord DAC using the Hugo M-Scaler or Blu mk2 built-in M-Scaler with the best solutions found in this topic?

I have read that some people say that the M-scaler is a Game Over in pursuit of sound quality of transport/source/streaming

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2 hours ago, greenleo said:

I've never heard this system and can't comment.

I love this! That's the spirit!

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10 hours ago, greenleo said:

I'm afraid that's not an apple to apple comparison. 

 

DAC (or Hugo M-Scaler+DAC) is the device after the audio PC (the endpoint).  The best (what is best by the way, SQ, bang for the buck, ...etc )solutions that are currently talking about is NUC+AL, the upstream of the DAC, no matter a single box solution, 2 box solution or even a 3 full box solution.  Hence, they are complimentary.

 

The following is my opinion.

DAC is the most important device for CA.  Anything after it is subtractive because it's now analogue.  Hence Linn thinks that the optimization should begin at the very beginning like the LP, the turn table, the cartridge, ... etc,  and I totally agree.

 

In digital the source may be corrected (hence additive as an analogy) and to achieve bit-perfect when entering a DAC may not be a dream anymore and this bit-perfect is the thing we can do and are doing in MPOV. Then the DAC will always be the bottleneck.

 

It's clear that in a chain everything matters.  But I would rather have a mediocre upstream and a better DAC than a mediocre DAC and a better upostream.  Reasons stated before.

 

Roy, the OP of this thread, among others regards DAVE alone highly, Blu2+DAVE combo and HMS+DAVE better and better.  If you may, HMS+DAVE should provide a long term joy. TT2+HMS may provide the best bang for buck but I've never heard this system and can't comment.

 

Again, this is my opinion.  Others may think otherwise.

 

But if HMS buffers the bits and with powerful algorithms massively upsample the signal, all which is behind it have no impact anymore, clocks for sure, maybe ground loops not. Its make sense and thats what Rob Watts told us at Head-fi.

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14 minutes ago, Advieira said:

But if HMS buffers the bits and with powerful algorithms massively upsample the signal, all which is behind it have no impact anymore, clocks for sure, maybe ground loops not. Its make sense and thats what Rob Watts told us at Head-fi.

Buffering is not fool proof, there is no mechanism to check that all the bits have arrived correctly, without any distortion or variation to the signal. It just ensures the equipment is more immune to such distortion.

Taken to the extreme:

If you upsample cr&&p, you get upsampled cr&&p.

If you upsample from a cheap laptop/ poor power supply against good server you will hear the difference

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2 hours ago, Advieira said:

 

But if HMS buffers the bits and with powerful algorithms massively upsample the signal, all which is behind it have no impact anymore, clocks for sure, maybe ground loops not. Its make sense and thats what Rob Watts told us at Head-fi.

I believe it's the degree of insensitivity rather than perfect immunity.  For top systems, everything matters.

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13 hours ago, Advieira said:

...I have read that some people say that the M-scaler is a Game Over in pursuit of sound quality of transport/source/Streaming

hi, 

as  long as one component reacts (e.g. the m-scaler) on a component-change  in the upstream... ist not game over. after 4 years of expensively hunting for the holy grail in streaming. i must say that i don´t belief, it will come to an end soon. there are so many influences on the total sq, so many strange discoveries made until now, noone got a answer, why that happends and how. 

I think we realy understood not even 20% of CA. and if you had a look at most of the professionals and the retail stuff, they do either. for the most i think, noise dosn´t realy exist. 

 

regards,

 

sunny

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