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

The Computer Audiophile

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2 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

Thanks, Bricki!

 

Did you play with the various isolation options? And is what you described above with the "all but one" option?

G'day Rajiv

 

The only option I selected both times when prompted about the core division is the "half" option. Both my CPUs only have 2 physical cores. It will be interesting to see what people with more than 2 physical cores find is the best sounding option👍

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53 minutes ago, Bricki said:

G'day Rajiv

 

The only option I selected both times when prompted about the core division is the "half" option. Both my CPUs only have 2 physical cores. It will be interesting to see what people with more than 2 physical cores find is the best sounding option👍

 

Oops my bad - you has already indicated your machines were dual core. Not much choice there!

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1 hour ago, austinpop said:

 

Oops my bad - you has already indicated your machines were dual core. Not much choice there!

No worries 😊

 

Also, just to add further context to my listening impressions. The division of cores is only for physical cores (not including virtual cores). My 5200u has hyperthreading which allows 2 virtual cores in addition to the 2 physical cores. With hyperthreading turned off there is an increase in SQ, the division of the cores is a further increase in addition to having hyperthreading disabled. 

 

I hope this helps others 🤓

 

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16 minutes ago, flkin said:

 

In my experience silver wires generally produces thinner, harder less natural sounds and might be the reason the tx sounds this way compared to your NUC?

@auricgoldfinger is using silver wiring in a DC power connector.  There is no frequency dependent interaction at a frequency of 0. 

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22 minutes ago, flkin said:

 

In my experience silver wires generally produces thinner, harder less natural sounds and might be the reason the tx sounds this way compared to your NUC?

 

I'm not really sure I understand your comment since the sMS, not the tX, is being compared to the NUC.  In any event, my experience with high quality silver wire is exactly the opposite of what you describe.  While some people may prefer the tonality of copper over silver, I find your characterization of silver producing thinner, harder less, natural sounds to be completely inaccurate.  Perhaps lower quality silver wire has these attributes, but I have no such wire anywhere in my system.

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Regarding silver cables - I agree with @mourip - it depends on the application.

 

Like @flkin, certainly for analog interconnects and, in my case, headphone cables, I've found silver cables can add a little treble energy and clarity, which depending on the situation, can be a good or bad outcome.

 

What surprised me was that when used for DC cables, silver cables did not affect treble energy. Rather, I got a more expansive image, deeper bass, and better overall clarity. It's almost like a small PSU upgrade. 

 

Like @auricgoldfinger, I found this can vary with material quality and geometry. 

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1 hour ago, austinpop said:

Regarding silver cables - I agree with @mourip - it depends on the application.

 

Like @flkin, certainly for analog interconnects and, in my case, headphone cables, I've found silver cables can add a little treble energy and clarity, which depending on the situation, can be a good or bad outcome.

 

What surprised me was that when used for DC cables, silver cables did not affect treble energy. Rather, I got a more expansive image, deeper bass, and better overall clarity. It's almost like a small PSU upgrade. 

 

Like @auricgoldfinger, I found this can vary with material quality and geometry. 

 

As well as gauge.  Silver wire usage "tends" to be (not always is) a smaller gauge than copper.  Be careful of gauge when considering cables.  I found myself a nice compromise with silver coated copper cables showing that both can have excellent results.

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1 hour ago, austinpop said:

..in my case, headphone cables, I've found silver cables can add a little treble energy and clarity, which depending on the situation, can be a good or bad outcome.

Just curious, are there specification data that reflect why silver would/should/could sound different than copper?  I'm not disagreeing as I've heard the same thing, but I can't recall someone showing that the response curve for a siler cable is deomstrably different than the same cable but in copper.

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2 hours ago, sdolezalek said:

Just curious, are there specification data that reflect why silver would/should/could sound different than copper?  I'm not disagreeing as I've heard the same thing, but I can't recall someone showing that the response curve for a siler cable is deomstrably different than the same cable but in copper.

 

Silver is more conductive and has less resistance.

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Anticables gold/silver cables are quite superb, they offer the higher resolution that silver often have over copper, but balance the silver with gold to make it not sound thin. A approach that's both reasonable in theory and sound wise.
This week Im going to test another gold/silver cable, Crystal cable, Im looking forward to that.

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Another benefit is that silver and gold don't corrode nearly as fast as copper.  This is the reason many companies gold plate their contacts.

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On 1/28/2019 at 10:45 AM, sjohnson said:

Many thanks....I just found your instructions and implemented the bridged connection with results that were way more than just a pleasant surprise.  (The link earlier in the thread to Apple support article on bridging is no longer working.) I bridged a Bricasti M5 Network Player to a modded 2012 Mac Mini with an Apple Thunderbolt to ethernet adaptor.  Previously used a small managed switch.  Over the last year plus have focused a lot on optimizing power and isolation of system and networking components with very good results using a direct spdif connection from the M5 to Dynaudio Focus XD400 speakers.  Network modem, router, and switch are independently lps powered along with the Mini and the SSDs.  Having done all that and experiencing quite good results I was recently contemplating next steps and wondering if I'd optimized as much as feasible short of upgrading the whole system itself.  Bridging was an optimization I was definitely missing.  So finding this method is a very pleasant surprise.  Without getting into the details, it improved the sound across the board.  Best $29 (Tbolt-ethernet adapter) high bang for the buck mod I could have imagined.  Romaz again, thanks for the instructions and sharing...and thanks also to austinpop for moderating and organizing this thread!

 

Steve

Hi Guys,

 

Would this be the right way to make this "Bridge Connection" in my set up?

 

Thank you!

 

image.png.56650ce68d398e7abb3be171741825c4.png

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4 minutes ago, mikicasellas said:

Hi Guys,

 

Would this be the right way to make this "Bridge Connection" in my set up?

 

Thank you!

That is the way I have done it before.  

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4 hours ago, austinpop said:

What surprised me was that when used for DC cables, silver cables did not affect treble energy. Rather, I got a more expansive image, deeper bass, and better overall clarity. It's almost like a small PSU upgrade. 

 

Would not want to generalize about such unless the cables you were comparing were otherwise identical.  I doubt they had the same topology, dielectrics, wire gauge, and stranding.  All of those are likely to have larger impact than metallurgy.

 

I've been involved in analog cable development since the 1970s--and we went through a great number of variations, including a lot of single-variable blind testing. For analog interconnects and speaker cables I happen to prefer fine-strand, silver-plated copper with Teflon insulation in star-quad configuration.  Here is the brochure sheet of the cables we developed at Hovland over 20 years.  The MusicGroove2 became a famous tonearm-to-preamp cable--used as a reference by Michael Fremer for many years--and we sold the design for it to Bob Graham for $10K when we closed down.

HovlandCables.jpg.2a72a55d32dc7e8f59d9201c2c2d29e4.jpg

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6 hours ago, austinpop said:

Regarding silver cables - I agree with @mourip - it depends on the application.

 

Like @flkin, certainly for analog interconnects and, in my case, headphone cables, I've found silver cables can add a little treble energy and clarity, which depending on the situation, can be a good or bad outcome.

 

What surprised me was that when used for DC cables, silver cables did not affect treble energy. Rather, I got a more expansive image, deeper bass, and better overall clarity. It's almost like a small PSU upgrade. 

 

Like @auricgoldfinger, I found this can vary with material quality and geometry. 

I have played with silver for fuses, speaker wire, component interconnects and digital cables. It made the biggest difference in treble clarity for  digital coax and  USB where square wave integrity matters. In analog use it was not so clear cut.  Now you have me wondering if we should all use gold for our DC cables  or persuade @PeterSt to offer the Lush2 in a silver wire configuration...groan.

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17 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

I'm not really sure I understand your comment since the sMS, not the tX, is being compared to the NUC.  In any event, my experience with high quality silver wire is exactly the opposite of what you describe.  While some people may prefer the tonality of copper over silver, I find your characterization of silver producing thinner, harder less, natural sounds to be completely inaccurate.  Perhaps lower quality silver wire has these attributes, but I have no such wire anywhere in my system.

 

Ah, ok so the tx was not paired with the sMS200 and then compared with the NUC without tx. Not sure why I mis-read that.. In that case you are right, the silvered tx wouldn't have any effect on the sound at all. My apologies @auricgoldfinger ☺️

 

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13 hours ago, mikicasellas said:

Hi Guys,

 

Would this be the right way to make this "Bridge Connection" in my set up?

 

Thank you!

 

image.png.56650ce68d398e7abb3be171741825c4.png

The device you have labelled as router in the picture above is really a network extender. The Mac mini(server) has bridged NICs not the NUC. With these two points in mind, I would expect to place an isolated switch between the NUC(endpoint) and Mac mini(server), although you could have two, with one between the network extender and Mac mini as well.

 

Over here a WiFi connection is used between the server and endpoint at least until a EtherRegen or two arrive.

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2 hours ago, flkin said:

 

Ah, ok so the tx was not paired with the sMS200 and then compared with the NUC without tx. Not sure why I mis-read that.. In that case you are right, the silvered tx wouldn't have any effect on the sound at all. My apologies @auricgoldfinger ☺️

 

 

No worries.  ☺️

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2 hours ago, lmitche said:

The device you have labelled as router in the picture above is really a network extender. The Mac mini(server) has bridged NICs not the NUC. With these two points in mind, I would expect to place an isolated switch between the NUC(endpoint) and Mac mini(server), although you could have two, with one between the network extender and Mac mini as well.

 

Over here a WiFi connection is used between the server and endpoint at least until a EtherRegen or two arrive.

 

Good catch Larry. I didn't notice the big black "Bridge" lettering over the NUC 🤔

Why would you add a second switch between the Mac and NUC?

What's the point of the bridge if you do that?  Isolate inbound and outbound traffic on the Mac ports?

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I have a NUC8i7HVK that I'm using as a server for Roon + DSP. I'm intrigued with the "isolated cores" function of AudioLinux. But what else is a dedicated server running that isn't audio? If this isn't significant, then wouldn't I be limiting the NUC by restricting to 3 or less cores for audio (total: 4)?

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