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

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7 hours ago, amir57bs said:

I have send an email but no answer!

is this address OK?

 

Give Paul time, he'll get back to you.  Given how busy he is, he will go dark with his communications at times but his communications are among the most thoughtful, articulate, informative and educational that I have come across.  Also, while he has help, he is essentially a one man show and wears many hats.  His custom made-to-order SR5/SR7 PSUs take time to design and build as he relies on outside sources to provide key materials including his custom specified transformers.  Given that his services are highly sought after, there is also the matter of a long queue but my long wait times have been justified by how his SR7 has transformed my system.

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20 hours ago, Confused said:

This may be the stupid post of the day, but there is a thought in my head and I'm just going to ask the question.  There is much talk of utilising the four clocks in the sCLK-EX.  I get this.  My question is could you utilise one clock tap to two or more devices?  If this works, it would obviously put the two devices fed into perfect sync, but is it possible.  Maybe it's undesirable for some reason if it would work?

 

Not a stupid question.  On some motherboards that have dual NIC cards (which each have their own clock), I have wondered whether I could use one clock for both.  I'm not sure what the answer is and whether it makes sense to do so.  It will be one of the questions I will be asking SOtM this weekend.

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14 minutes ago, Albrecht said:

Hi,

Stupid question perhaps, but are the clocks in the SoTM products, namely the "ultra" isolation device and the "ultra" DDC $200 clocks? My prob here is the $1000 price point for these boxes whose intention is to mitigate the poor performance of USB audio. The very good F-1 DDC previously blew away most all of the more expensive DDCs, and not only because of the clock. Real world, I know of at least several people who are using DDCs instead of a poor implementation of the USB input on their DACs.

If you been following the thread, you would have read from Hols who compared his SU-1/DAC/i2s with the tXUSBUltra/DAC and found them to be equivalent (NOTE:  SU-1 had stock power supply).  Both coming from a sms-200. 

Guess we will find out more about clock of the SU-1/i2s and the ISO Regen soon enough.  If the Iso Regen does not degrade sound, in fact improves SQ after a tXUSBUltra then we will have an answer about the effectiveness to pricing of the sclk EX clocking board. 

But as it stands, it's the only game in town, sclk EX.

Strangely enough, Hols did find that the tXUSBUltra in conjunction with the SU-1/i2s was worse sounding than with the tXUSBUltra removed.  Can't explain that one.

Edited by ElviaCaprice

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8 minutes ago, Albrecht said:

Hi,

Stupid question perhaps, but are the clocks in the SoTM products, namely the "ultra" isolation device and the "ultra" DDC $200 clocks? My prob here is the $1000 price point for these boxes whose intention is to mitigate the poor performance of USB audio. The very good F-1 DDC previously blew away most all of the more expensive DDCs, and not only because of the clock. Real world, I know of at least several people who are using DDCs instead of a poor implementation of the USB input on their DACs.

 

I have tried the F-1 and it is very good but not in the league of any of the Ultra products I have now including SOtM's own USB-to-SPDIF converter, the dX-USB HD Ultra.  Others here have commented that having the SU-1 in the chain following a tX-USBUltra actually results in degradation of SQ.  

 

Real world, for all the people you can name that prefer SPDIF, there are probably many more that are content with or prefer USB.  My experience is that USB is not the problem, its the implementation of the USB that matters and both the DAC and the digital front end that connects to the DAC are equally responsible.

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12 minutes ago, ElviaCaprice said:

If the Iso Regen does not degrade sound, in fact improves SQ after a tXUSBUltra then we will have an answer about the effectiveness to pricing of the sclk EX clocking board. 

Very interesting argument! If the IR really improves sound after the tX, it would be a revelation. So far our collective learning suggests that it may improve sound before the tX, not after, but this is audio, so who knows for sure?

Edited by mozes

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16 minutes ago, ElviaCaprice said:

If you been following the thread, you would have read from Hols who compared his SU-1/DAC/i2s with the tXUSBUltra/DAC and found them to be equivalent (NOTE:  SU-1 had stock power supply).  Both coming from a sms-200. 

Guess we will find out more about clock of the SU-1/i2s and the ISO Regen soon enough.  If the Iso Regen does not degrade sound, in fact improves SQ after a tXUSBUltra then we will have an answer about the effectiveness to pricing of the sclk EX clocking board. 

But as it stands, it's the only game in town, sclk EX.

Strangely enough, Hols did find that the tXUSBUltra in conjunction with the SU-1/i2s was worse sounding than with the tXUSBUltra removed.  Can't explain that one.

Hi,

Thank you for the response, - much appreciated. Yes, - I have been following the thread. But with 77 pages of materials, either not as closely as some might expect, - or I missed a post. The SU-1 is not too different from the F-1: but it does have some differences that affect SQ. It is strange that the tXUSBultra would affect the SU-1 adversely, but i2s is different.

Cheers,

 

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21 minutes ago, romaz said:

 

I have tried the F-1 and it is very good but not in the league of any of the Ultra products I have now including SOtM's own USB-to-SPDIF converter, the dX-USB HD Ultra.  Others here have commented that having the SU-1 in the chain following a tX-USBUltra actually results in degradation of SQ.  

 

Real world, for all the people you can name that prefer SPDIF, there are probably many more that are content with or prefer USB.  My experience is that USB is not the problem, its the implementation of the USB that matters and both the DAC and the digital front end that connects to the DAC are equally responsible.

 

Exactly. See @limniscate's and my impressions here: https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-the-sms-200-and-microrendu/?do=findComment&comment=661924

 

Of course, this was not I2S, but AES.

 

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12 minutes ago, romaz said:

 

 

Real world, for all the people you can name that prefer SPDIF, there are probably many more that are content with or prefer USB.  My experience is that USB is not the problem, its the implementation of the USB that matters and both the DAC and the digital front end that connects to the DAC are equally responsible.

Hi,

Thank you very much for replying Romaz!!

Yeah, - sorry, - what I meant was the USB bus of multi-function PCs/Macs etc. The implementation of USB in a mRendu/SMS200 is very different. Of course, (usb to SPDIF conversion aside), people have enjoyed the benefit of GI, reclocking, & signal regeneration boxes. Until the SoTM, these have all been sub $500 products.

I think that many people would like to know if a Regen/Intona type product from SoTM at double the cost delivers a significant performance increase. You've already mentioned that the  dX-USB HD Ultra at 5 times the price of an F-1 is significantly better: sounds like I gotta save some pennies. From my perspective, - it's a little bit of a "hard sell" paying $1000 which is double both the mRendu & SMS200 sources..... Of course, experiences vary with digital player and different DACs, - and I totally agree that this is all in implementation.

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55 minutes ago, romaz said:

 

Give Paul time, he'll get back to you.  Given how busy he is, he will go dark with his communications at times but his communications are among the most thoughtful, articulate, informative and educational that I have come across.  Also, while he has help, he is essentially a one man show and wears many hats.  His custom made-to-order SR5/SR7 PSUs take time to design and build as he relies on outside sources to provide key materials including his custom specified transformers.  Given that his services are highly sought after, there is also the matter of a long queue but my long wait times have been justified by how his SR7 has transformed my system.

Thank you

if i find no good psu in my city then i will order him sr7 . I hope your positive review about SR7 improve my sound .

Edited by amir57bs

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Hi all,

 

I have since adding sc converters in my chain and now almost have my chain for streaming tidal from the router onwards reclocked with 25 and 50mhz clocks. Thanks to the thread in this forum.

 

I have in the chain, 1 saw clock at 50mhz, 1 ebay golden vcxo, 1 conwin 25 ocxo and a rakon 25m ocxo in a router, 2 fmcs and streamer. 

 

These reclock the lan chips. I have no gotten around to clock the cpu in my streamer as it a 5mm vcxo which is just so small and will riskthe small smd chips around it be accidently swiped off. The 24m ocxo i have is also rather big.

 

Just some background on my reclocking.  I also have a esoteric clock fed either with a cybershaft ocxo 10m phase noise at 117 @ 1hz or quartlock 10 rubidium referenced to the esoteric clock which then disciplines both my cdp used as a dac and a mutec mc3+ usb reclocker from the streamer to dac.

 

So i have pretty much covered all clocking in my system.

 

There undeniably has improvement as well as differences with how better clocks interact with the equipment. Power supply and vibration control plays a large part in the final sonic outcome. 

 

What i have learnt or impressions by reclocking is that always takes glare away, even with a cheaper vcxo off ebay.

 

I did not find that the most importance be placed at the front,i.e router but it did make some improvments. I started from the chain from  dac 1st down to the fmc's, it reached a point that any glare was banished to my ears.

 

Before i reclocked the router, my last clock fitted to date. Unfortunately, my fmc from the router got fried when my regulator overheated, blew and passed 20v dc straight from the transformer in the linear psu taking the fmc along.

 

This fmc was reclocked with a saw 50mhz clock fed with good supply. I then replaced this fmc with a spare fmc of a different make fed with the repaired linear psu.

 

This is where despite all my efforts, detected some glare and harshness and had the fmc reclocked with a rakon ocxo. My previous fmc with a SAW vcxo sounded just as good.The glare and hardness vanished.

 

A few days later, a vcxo when into the router, sure there were differences, but could say which was better. All is very good to me either way.

 

I have come to a concusion, most decent improved clocks over the stock will show it benefits in eliminating glare and i comes down to sonic presentation using xbetter psu's or even ocxo's.

 

I follow this thread with interest on how the sotm ultra clocks sound? What clocks are they using, not ocxo's. No published phase noise or brand of vcxos?

 

How do their smd clocksperform  better w.r.t phase noise. No published reports, but i dont expect the phase noise to be near what one would put in when wanting to achieve with relocking.

 

So it may not be all low phase noise being and end to the pursuit of ultimate sonic bliss. 2 different clocks with the same phase noise WILL still sound different even on the same psu.

 

So the many variables influence the final outcome, but will saw most better clocks, not those 0.05cents ones used mostly will already be a nice improvement.

 

Fwiw, i had also found the estimeed crystek cchd957 to sound bright and harsh even the good specs and phase noise, go figure.

 

The choice of music preference will like drive the type , brand etc of clock you would want in your system, importantly the reduction of noise, glare is the biggest factor in the quest of reclocking equipment.

 

 

 

Edited by justubes
Edit typos

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5 minutes ago, justubes said:

 

Fwiw, i had also found the estimeed crystek cchd957 to sound bright and harsh even the good specs and phase noise, go figure.

 

This is interesting.  Since this is the clock in the ISO Regen and SU-1/I2S.  Although I've never heard someone express the SU-1 I2S as being bright and harsh.  Good power supplies can go a long ways also.  Guess will find out soon how the ISO Regen performs with this clock.

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2 hours ago, ElviaCaprice said:

This is interesting.  Since this is the clock in the ISO Regen and SU-1/I2S.  Although I've never heard someone express the SU-1 I2S as being bright and harsh.  Good power supplies can go a long ways also.  Guess will find out soon how the ISO Regen performs with this clock.

 The ISO Regen uses the Crystek cchd-575 not the 957.

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4 hours ago, romaz said:

 

Not a stupid question.  On some motherboards that have dual NIC cards (which each have their own clock), I have wondered whether I could use one clock for both.  I'm not sure what the answer is and whether it makes sense to do so.  It will be one of the questions I will be asking SOtM this weekend.

Excellent.  I hope you get some useful answers!

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3 hours ago, ElviaCaprice said:

This is interesting.  Since this is the clock in the ISO Regen and SU-1/I2S.  Although I've never heard someone express the SU-1 I2S as being bright and harsh.  Good power supplies can go a long ways also.  Guess will find out soon how the ISO Regen performs with this clock.

 

No it's not ISO regen use Crystek CCHD-575

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I have a hiFace EVO. Does anyone know if it's possible to upgrade the clocks ? 

Or any other modification ?

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On 5/12/2017 at 0:47 PM, romaz said:

 

Who said you need a rubidium master clock?  SOtM isn't saying this.  They provide an external 10MHz master clock option for the sake of flexibility for those who desire it.  I certainly am not looking to do this.

 

As for pictures, look on SOtM's website.  I have posted my own pictures here on this thread.

 

Regarding cabling, you can do this yourself if you wish.  You will want to use U.FL connectors.  Cable length should be as short as possible.  Again, look on SOtM's website for details.

 

On 5/12/2017 at 8:30 AM, hurka said:

My older z97 itx mobo usb sound dull and flat.external usb card help ,but new series 270 much much better.

sound galleries don't use any usb cards I think.Linn ,lumin makes only better separately power fed cheap clock.

sotm use special tcxo,ocxo?send picture pls,

master clock input?(1000dollar stuff)rubidium clock required?this is really funny

4 clock output?   the cables need short one ! cant put together with one clock.....

 

 

This video with Ted Smith is an excellent explanation about why a rubidium clock isn't desired.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, romaz said:

 

Great post, thanks for sharing your experience!  You're the first I know to have replaced every clock that you can replace in your audio path and so the insights that you provide are valuable.

 

What I am aiming to do is to replace every clock I can with clocks of equivalent performance (sCLK-EX) and with each clock powered to an equivalent high standard (SR7).  It remains my theory that when clocks of varying performance and powered to different standards are used, you may not fully realize the true potential of your components.

 

...

 

My ultimate point here is that putting a good clock in a component doesn't guarantee success and that the quality of the component matters more but bad clocks in a good component have the potential to contribute significant permanent harm that cannot be fully repaired downstream and so if the goal is ultimate fidelity, you have to minimize the deleterious effects of bad clocks from beginning to end. 

 

Another great post and explanation.  Thank you for your efforts and hopefully we get to a point where we learn without a doubt that the use of a lesser quality clock than any other, in any point of our digital platform, is unrecoverable through the use buffer, filter, isolation or other mechanism.  Any effort to correct downstream distortion, noise or error can not be fully remediated.  If by replacing every clock on every component involved in the digital platform produces a benefit, and not just a change in sound signature, then there is no diminishing return.  Based on your description of how each device changes the sound signature I question whether it is merely changing the signature, but because each device had a positive impact on the sound that is unlikely.

 

Of course the clock and power are focuses of today's exercise, but as you point out there are also less impactful components which may play a part as well.  One emphasis in this effort is quality.  Manufacturers of mass produced products use lesser quality components to save costs.  We see in Paul Hynes product not only one level of quality offered, but an even higher level with annealed silver components.  The quality makes a difference, but there is an incremental cost.  For those fortunate enough to where cost is not an issue, the sky's the limit.  This is concerning because we could be modifying every device we own that's involved in the digital chain every time a better clock or component is made.  What's more concerning is the limited number of people or companies involved in doing this today.

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There is an OS update to the sMS-200.  v0.3.8 with a date of 5-15-2017.

Not sure if it resolves my issue with HQP yet, but will post once I know.

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6 hours ago, lmitche said:

 The ISO Regen uses the Crystek cchd-575 not the 957.

As a matter of fact both are pretty much he same. If you compare the spec you'll now that they both have the same phase noise performance. The only difference is that 957 has output enable/disable function while 575 doesn't.

 

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17 hours ago, greenleo said:

I wish I had 8.2k, LOL.

 

I am eager to heard your impression☺

I can't afford it either.  I was offered one of the first PSU upgrades last year but I had to turn it down.

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11 minutes ago, rickca said:

I can't afford it either.  I was offered one of the first PSU upgrades last year but I had to turn it down.

I guess there is no harm to listen☺. Not everybody has the privilege to be offered to listen such an expensive PSU, at least not me.

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6 hours ago, romaz said:

something different.  While these qualities that I list are produced by each component to some extent,

Would several SR7 supplies be overkill for powering vcxo.

 

I cannot image the real estate and better powercords, distributors etc and total investment would come up to just powering clocks. the rubidiums take quite a fair bit and run hot as hell. You might want to add a 10M master ocxo as a master for the sotm ultra board which will improve all the clock feeds out.

 

I have have always found a good 10M used to discipline a vcxo or cheaper ocxo, vcocxo to show improvements sonically. That's why many high end players and dacs accept master clock inputs. 

 

It would be interesting how much improvement from isolating the returns of all clock and if it was worth the cost and trouble.

 

I do have some clocks shared of a single good supply and it sounding very good over a cheaper separate supply.

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