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

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You can also concatenate lines to a single line with a semi colon and hit return to execute once.

 

If you lose control just reboot.

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You can also concatenate lines to a single line with a semi colon and hit return to execute once.

 

If you lose control just reboot.

 

OK I might try that. BTW do I need an "ifconfig br0 up" at the end? or "up" on that last line?

 

EDIT: Never mind. Should have RTFM.

 

up: This flag causes the interface to be activated. It is implicitly specified if an address is assigned to the interface.

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OK I might try that. BTW do I need an "ifconfig br0 up" at the end? or "up" on that last line?

 

EDIT: Never mind. Should have RTFM.

 

up: This flag causes the interface to be activated. It is implicitly specified if an address is assigned to the interface.

Nope, no need to add "up" to my knowledge, but I'm using a different Linux, so YMMV.

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Today I discovered that even network bridging is not absolutely necessary. The second NIC of the HQ Player PC can be assigned a static IP address belonging to a different subnet than the first NIC, and an app like Tiny PXE Server can act as DHCP server on the second subnet to assign an IP address to the NAA (microRendu in my case). It works beautifully, and the NAA being on a different subnet sees pretty much only the streaming audio traffic sent by HQ Player, and none of the usual networking stuff on the first subnet (with internet access).

 

The above may be old news to some folks here, but is a bit of a new find for me.

 

Next, I plan to experiment with adding Ethernet isolator to this "private" network between HQ Player PC and NAA, as well as forcing networking speed down to 100Mbps, to see how the SQ changes.

 

Well, I may have posted prematurely. With two different subnets, I now cannot get HQPlayer to see the microRendu as NAA on the other subnet. Not sure how I managed to get it to work one time the other day, but now the only reliable solution appears to involve network bridging, which does have the merit of being simpler, with no need to run any 3rd-party DHCP server app on the HQPlayer PC.

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Well, I may have posted prematurely. With two different subnets, I now cannot get HQPlayer to see the microRendu as NAA on the other subnet. Not sure how I managed to get it to work one time the other day, but now the only reliable solution appears to involve network bridging, which does have the merit of being simpler, with no need to run any 3rd-party DHCP server app on the HQPlayer PC.

 

Did you set the nic attached to the NAA as primary? This is something Jplay recommends to ensure that the control pc knows where to look so to speak for the audio PC.

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You can also concatenate lines to a single line with a semi colon and hit return to execute once.

 

If you lose control just reboot.

Tried the concatenated command sequence on one line, but didn't work. No connectivity, had to reboot. Trying to test over a remote ssh is severely limiting.

 

Oh well. This goes on the shelf for now. Many more tweaks to try!

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Did you set the nic attached to the NAA as primary? This is something Jplay recommends to ensure that the control pc knows where to look so to speak for the audio PC.

 

How do you set a particular NIC as primary in Windows? I'm not running JPlay, just HQPlayer on the "Control PC". Also, the "audio PC" is a microRendu in NAA mode, and it seems to be always in DHCP mode, wanting an IP address from the DHCP server.

 

Just now I discovered something else again. The network bridging works in Windows 10, but not in Windows Server 2012 R2! Exact same HW setup, just different OS and different series of NDIS drivers for NICs. I'm judging by whether HQPlayer can see the microRendu as NAA. This stuff is more tricky than I had expected.

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Just now I discovered something else again. The network bridging works in Windows 10, but not in Windows Server 2012 R2!

 

Hmm, this is troubling to hear as I am about to install Windows Server 2012 R2 on my Mac Mini via Bootcamp. Hopefully, there's a workaround.

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Hmm, this is troubling to hear as I am about to install Windows Server 2012 R2 on my Mac Mini via Bootcamp. Hopefully, there's a workaround.

I'm not sure where the problem lies. Network bridging in WS2012 R2 is done in the same way as in Windows 10, and even looks the same, but afterwards HQPlayer repeatedly fails to locate the microRendu NAA. The only way I got the HQPlayer PC running WS2012 R2 to play to my microRendu NAA was to abandon network bridging altogether and connect the microRendu back to the same network as the HQPlayer PC, via a gigabit Ethernet switch.

 

I may test network bridging with Windows Server 2016 next.

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I'm not sure where the problem lies. Network bridging in WS2012 R2 is done in the same way as in Windows 10, and even looks the same, but afterwards HQPlayer repeatedly fails to locate the microRendu NAA. The only way I got the HQPlayer PC running WS2012 R2 to play to my microRendu NAA was to abandon network bridging altogether and connect the microRendu back to the same network as the HQPlayer PC, via a gigabit Ethernet switch.

 

I may test network bridging with Windows Server 2016 next.

 

Please report back if Windows Server 2016 works. I had also been considering it, just wasn't sure I would find all the drivers I need.

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Well, I tried this, and was able to get the commands to complete successfully, but after completion, my NAS is unreachable at the eth0 address (also the br0 address). Luckily a reboot fixed everything back to before.

I was hoping to just try this out, but given my experience, I may have to wait and see.

Do you have a link to Jelt2359 results?

Has anyone else validated romaz's specific results - i.e.

  • configure network bridging on music server with 2+ ethernet ports
  • remove endpoint (NAA/Roon endpoint/UPnP renderer) connection to router/switch
  • connect endpoint to second port on bridged music server
  • change NOTHING else

What SQ difference did you get?

I told romaz my results in PM so there's no link to it. In short, I've always found my Rednet to be vivid, dynamic and rich, whereas my microRendu was more laid back. With my ifi ipower I preferred the Rednet whereas with the LPS-1 it got closer. Nonetheless the essential signatures of the two remained the same.

 

In the past few weeks I replaced my microRendu with the SMS-200 just because it's cheaper, and had been living with it for a while. Romaz then told me this tweak, and I tried it, and found that the SMS-200 now took on more of the traits of the Rednet. It too became vivid, more dynamic and richer, which to me were all good things. I'd first tried this on my windows 7, and interestingly there I had no need to configure ip addresses or anything. I just clicked "bridge connections" and it worked instantly. Next I upgraded to windows 10 pro and then had to follow the link I posted to earlier in this thread, but now it works great as well.

 

My laptop ethernet out is now connected to an FMC setup that connects to the SMS-200. The laptop is also now connected via a USB adaptor to my router. There is no connection between the SMS-200 and my router.

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Tried the concatenated command sequence on one line, but didn't work. No connectivity, had to reboot. Trying to test over a remote ssh is severely limiting.

 

Oh well. This goes on the shelf for now. Many more tweaks to try!

Too bad, but there is hope. Qnap recently listened to its customers and enabled network bridging and configuration from their web based user interface. Perhaps Synology will do the same. You may want to ask them.

 

Or buy an Intel based Qnap fanless NAS and power it with an LPS. An El cheapo powered mine perfectly.

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I used these instructions for Windows 10. Works perfectly. Has screenshots and everything:

 

How to set up and manage a Network Bridge connection on Windows 10 | Windows Central

 

in short, before bridging, check your (outside internet adaptor)'s IP address, default gateway etc etc. Mine is connected to the internet via a USB adaptor "Ethernet 1", and my laptop's ethernet port "Ethernet 2" feeds an fmc setup which feeds my SMS-200. So I copy the details for "Ethernet 1".

 

After collecting this info, select both network connections, right click and bridge. Then right click the bridge (a new icon will appear for it) and to to IPv4 settings and update with the info for "Ethernet 1".

 

You should be all set!

 

let me recap your procedure to make sure I have it right. Currently I have my pc and my microRendu hooked up to my router. So with that in mind.

 

1) with current setup make a note of all properties of my 1 Ethernet connection

2) pull Ethernet connection of MicroRendu from router and insert into 2nd Ethernet port on pc

3) now through control panel list all network connections. 2 connections should show: the internet connection and the connection to the microRendiu. This is key because if this is true then the remaining steps for bridging are easy and simple for me to understand.

 

 

Do I have this right and I do not need a dhcp server app to establish the network to the microRendu?

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let me recap your procedure to make sure I have it right. Currently I have my pc and my microRendu hooked up to my router. So with that in mind.

1) with current setup make a note of all properties of my 1 Ethernet connection

2) pull Ethernet connection of MicroRendu from router and insert into 2nd Ethernet port on pc

3) now through control panel list all network connections. 2 connections should show: the internet connection and the connection to the microRendiu. This is key because if this is true then the remaining steps for bridging are easy and simple for me to understand.

Do I have this right and I do not need a dhcp server app to establish the network to the microRendu?

Yes it will show two ethernet adaptors. The one you want to record down is the one that's connected to the internet. And yes in my setup the ip's are assigned by my router still- not my windows pc.

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Yes it will show two ethernet adaptors. The one you want to record down is the one that's connected to the internet. And yes in my setup the ip's are assigned by my router still- not my windows pc.

 

Fantastic will try later today. Really excited now. Finally simple, concise clarity. Thank you so much!

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Fantastic will try later today. Really excited now. Finally simple, concise clarity. Thank you so much!

 

Welcome. I'm no expert, so I took almost an entire day to figure this out (including realising that I needed a clean install of my Roon with the upgrade to Windows 10 Pro), but if even I could do it I'm sure anyone can.

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You have a great network setup but unfortunately, we are talking about apples and oranges. As this is about the microRendu and sMS-200, then copper has to be involved in some capacity. It's possible what you have sounds better than this direct connection but there's no way to know without actually listening and comparing. If you are claiming superiority based on theoretical grounds alone, then we get nowhere because there's no good explanation for why this direct connection should sound good at all.

 

Regarding fiber, all it is good for is blocking noise and I'm not convinced this is just about noise. As we know, fiber certainly isn't a panacea for all things that ail high-end audio, otherwise, we would all be using Toslink connections to our DACs and with my Chord DAVE, USB sounds better. Having recently compared an Apple branded Thunderbolt cable against a Synergistic Research Active SE copper Thunderbolt cable against a Corning optical Thunderbolt cable, I had assumed the Corning optical would sound best and it actually sounded the worst of the three.

 

As for my switch not working well, it's possible yours sounds better but as I stated, when I removed my switch from the chain, it actually sounded worse. It is definitely not causing harm as far as I can tell. You should also understand that my internet modem/router sits about 1 meter from my music server. Wifi is not turned on (Wifi duties are being handled by a separate Wifi router in my equipment closet 20 meters away). From internet modem/router to my music server, we are talking about a total of 2 meters of copper wiring total with a short run of optical cable in between to assure galvanic isolation. This is a very short and direct signal path and there is no benefit to me using optical elsewhere within my house since my music is streamed from a local drive. From the receiving FMC up until the music server, all power is provided by my LPS-1 and so nothing is connected to ground that could impact my network beyond the FMC. With respect to these 2 NAAs, I don't know how much better my network can be and yet this direct connection sounds better. Go figure.

 

If this works for you then great.

 

I would like to point out the misconception that a "direct" connection is somehow fundamentally different than using a switch or router. Routers themselves very frequently run a variant of Linux e.g. pfSense so all this really depends on is the quality of the hardware : many many people here obsess over details of PC hardware / disc drives/ different types of power supplies yet hardly any thought regarding different types of switches and routers.

 

An FMC is itself a simple switch ... and replacing the power supply and/or clocks can be considered for not a great deal of $$

 

So all else equal: no big deal. However it's taking a lot or work to get Windows to work in bridged mode: duh -- it's not designed to be a router/switch.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Too bad, but there is hope. Qnap recently listened to its customers and enabled network bridging and configuration from their web based user interface. Perhaps Synology will do the same. You may want to ask them.

 

Or buy an Intel based Qnap fanless NAS and power it with an LPS. An El cheapo powered mine perfectly.

 

Not going to happen - I just bought the Synology 916+, and am really happy with it.

 

There may be hope from another angle - I found these instructions 8128blog: Ethernet Bridge For Synology DS412+ : Craig Becker's new blog

 

I'll try them out when I get a chance.

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If this works for you then great.

 

I would like to point out the misconception that a "direct" connection is somehow fundamentally different than using a switch or router. Routers themselves very frequently run a variant of Linux e.g. pfSense so all this really depends on is the quality of the hardware : many many people here obsess over details of PC hardware / disc drives/ different types of power supplies yet hardly any thought regarding different types of switches and routers.

 

An FMC is itself a simple switch ... and replacing the power supply and/or clocks can be considered for not a great deal of $$

 

So all else equal: no big deal. However it's taking a lot or work to get Windows to work in bridged mode: duh -- it's not designed to be a router/switch.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Except that maybe the "subnetwork" dedicated to the NAA has less traffic. Or am I understanding this wrong?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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If this works for you then great.

I would like to point out the misconception that a "direct" connection is somehow fundamentally different than using a switch or router. Routers themselves very frequently run a variant of Linux e.g. pfSense so all this really depends on is the quality of the hardware : many many people here obsess over details of PC hardware / disc drives/ different types of power supplies yet hardly any thought regarding different types of switches and routers.

An FMC is itself a simple switch ... and replacing the power supply and/or clocks can be considered for not a great deal of $$

So all else equal: no big deal. However it's taking a lot or work to get Windows to work in bridged mode: duh -- it's not designed to be a router/switch.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I think this is exactly what is happening, actually. My router is a cheap, consumer variant that came free with my Internet access. It runs hot as hell, and just prior to this I actually found that replacing the power supply on the router actually brought about an improvement for my SMS-200. At the time I was running laptop -> router -> SMS-200. Then romaz shared this idea with me and I tried it, and it further improved- I'm guessing it's because my signal no longer has to be routed to a cheap, overworked and overheated router.

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If this works for you then great.

 

I would like to point out the misconception that a "direct" connection is somehow fundamentally different than using a switch or router. Routers themselves very frequently run a variant of Linux e.g. pfSense so all this really depends on is the quality of the hardware : many many people here obsess over details of PC hardware / disc drives/ different types of power supplies yet hardly any thought regarding different types of switches and routers.

 

An FMC is itself a simple switch ... and replacing the power supply and/or clocks can be considered for not a great deal of $$

 

So all else equal: no big deal. However it's taking a lot or work to get Windows to work in bridged mode: duh -- it's not designed to be a router/switch.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I don't know if this "direct" connection is fundamentally different or not. All I know is with the very same router in place (in fact, no other variables have been altered), this "direct" connection in my system sounds considerably better.

 

I agree with you completely about the importance of the network and how everything in the network path seems to make a difference including not just the switch or router but also the internet modem. In my earlier post on this thread, I had indicated my desire for someone to build an audiophile-class modem/router/switch that incorporated low noise linear regulators, an audiophile-class clock and integrated optical isolators. Having experienced first hand how my modem/router was transformed when connected to my Paul Hynes SR7, no one has to convince me that this matters. With that said, the FMCs that we use also incorporate switching regulators which are not ideal. The TP-Link FMCs use switching regulators that downconvert the 5-9V that it receives to 3.3V. Ideally, I would like to bypass these noisy regulators and just feed the FMCs 3.3V directly from my LPS-1. Whether this results in better SQ, I'm not sure but that will be a project I will want to tackle at some point.

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I agree with you completely about the importance of the network and how everything in the network path seems to make a difference including not just the switch or router but also the internet modem. In my earlier post on this thread, I had indicated my desire for someone to build an audiophile-class modem/router/switch that incorporated low noise linear regulators, an audiophile-class clock and integrated optical isolators. Having experienced first hand how my modem/router was transformed when connected to my Paul Hynes SR7, no one has to convince me that this matters.

 

Stupid question: if all my music pieces (NAS, HQPlayer server, microRendu, router) are through my fiber switch currently (or directly connected someday :) ) does the router even enter into the sonic equation, or is its noise polluting the fiber switch anyway? The main reason I ask is that I have a Hynes SR7 (single rail) that is adjustable from around 9-10V to 19V sitting around and was thinking of using it on my Windows NAA (not always used, only during multichannel) freeing up my JS-2 for LPS-1 energizer work (and possibly other power) but maybe it is a better use on my AT&T Uverse Arris/Motorola NVG589 modem/router ??

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If the router is fiber isolated from the switch, it's really hard to see how it would affect the SQ -- except perhaps if the SMPS injects noise/leakage into the house. Could test by turning it off :)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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When I first added a NIC to my PC I expected to use it as a dedicated connection to my streamer. I quickly realized that while the concept seemed simple enough it wasn't. Now, after reading the OP's claim of better sound quality I decided to try it again. Instead of listening to music and relaxing I just spent all morning trying to get this fix to work between my Win10 PC and SB Touch. I connected my Intel NIC (ethernet) directly to my SB Touch and connected my router to my motherboard's Marvell adapter (Local area connection). I created a bridge between the two and entered IP info manually as recommended. I tried entering same info in the SB ethernet connection section but I just couldn't get it to hook up. Tried automatic configuration also, no dice Enabled DHCP, still nothing. Clueless, removed bridge and went back to listening to music (albeit with lesser sound quality). Will try again later.

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When I first added a NIC to my PC I expected to use it as a dedicated connection to my streamer. I quickly realized that while the concept seemed simple enough it wasn't. Now, after reading the OP's claim of better sound quality I decided to try it again. Instead of listening to music and relaxing I just spent all morning trying to get this fix to work between my Win10 PC and SB Touch. I connected my Intel NIC (ethernet) directly to my SB Touch and connected my router to my motherboard's Marvell adapter (Local area connection). I created a bridge between the two and entered IP info manually as recommended. I tried entering same info in the SB ethernet connection section but I just couldn't get it to hook up. Tried automatic configuration also, no dice Enabled DHCP, still nothing. Clueless, removed bridge and went back to listening to music (albeit with lesser sound quality). Will try again later.

There is no need to enter ip address information into any device but the bridge adapter created by Windows.

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