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

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Hi all,

I have been mailing with May from Sotm. She said that it is possible to replace a crystek 575 clock with one of the sCLK-ex tabs given the correct voltage and frequency. 

Thats all the info they need for all xo's you want to replace, frequency and voltage.

 

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Interesting to see how the owners of Singxer SU-1 were replacing regulators with much better ones

 

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/29553-my-very-mini-review-of-the-singxer-su-1-ddc/

 

Could we also reap the benefits if we're willing to void the warranty of other audiophile products?

 

http://www.ldovr.com/category-s/118.htm

https://www.belleson.com/store/index.php

http://sparkoslabs.com/discrete-voltage-regulators/

 

Sometimes it's such a pity to feed a motherboard with DC input while spending quite a bit on a decent linear PSU, then all that nice power would be kinda "ruined" by lousy regulators.

 

It's so much easier to bypass the regulators if something were designed just like RATOC Audio Lab RAL-KCM3MB01 since we could actually feed 1.8V and 3.3V separately

 

http://www.ratocaudiolab.com/product/kit/ral_kcm3mb01/index.html

 

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On 5/30/2017 at 3:34 PM, lmitche said:

If you are running the qnap os, the recent versions support serup of a network bridge from the gui.

 

https://www.qnap.com/en/how-to/tutorial/article/how-to-use-and-set-up-your-network-virtual-switch

Thank you very much lmitche !

 

I tried to set-up a "virtual switch" and at first it looked good, until I played with some settings and the NAS disappears all together from my network and I was unable to access it. I did a reset and it was sorted. Somehow I am actually not able to enable the "virtual switch", it does not appears in my menus even after I follow the recommended procedure. I need to check with QNAP if I'm supposed to have this functionality with the HS-251+.

 

On the sMS-200 side, do you need to fix the IP address ? with the latest FW, this functionality does not exist.

 

Thanks :)

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Hi!

Received my sms-200 ultra today and tx-usb ultra.

 

A quickl listening to only the sms-200 ultra  ( powered with 12v  HD plex 200) and WOW I can`t believe how much better it is than my microRendu with LPS-1.

Its pure music to my ears even from cold.

 

Look forward to go slowly in steps and after a couple of days add the tx-usb ultra in the chain.

 

Thanks May and Crux audio for a smoth a quick delivery.

 

Regards Magnus

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Was it possible for the SMS-200 ultra to be powered by LPS-1, or was it the optimum to have it powered by HD plex? (Or maybe its reserved for the tx-USB ultra :rolleyes:). Plenty to play with B|

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Great to hear from you again, Roy!

 

5 hours ago, romaz said:

Having said all of this, I like what Rajiv is trying to do.  I think that to be able to create some sort of an index or FAQ would be very helpful for all.  Personally, I wish there was also some way to bookmark a post.  Regarding creating an index or FAQ for this thread, even though I started this thread, I do not presently have the time to do it although I would be happy to relinquish this authority to anyone who would care to take it on.  Frankly, I would nominate someone like Rajiv who has been a part of this thread from the beginning and as he has implemented many of the things discussed on this thread, he also has firsthand knowledge of their impact.  Just as important, I think he has all of our respect. 

 

Thanks for those kind words. They mean a lot to me.

 

OK - I will take on the job of creating this index, but it is a daunting task, to be sure. I am traveling for the next week, so I will respond when I get back. Part of my approach will surely be to ask for volunteers to help me with sections, especially those dealing with areas in which I didn't dabble - like computer system mods (mobo, SSDs, etc) and fiber/Adnaco. I'll make a better list when I get back, but please reach out to me if you can help.

 

5 hours ago, romaz said:

He said that the REF10’s measurements were probably the best measurements for a 10MHz clock he had ever seen and its performance was better than the sCLK-EX.  Pretty high praise from a competitor clock maker and this was all the validation that I needed to hear.  My order has been placed and so I will be able to decide for myself in a few short weeks just how good this clock is in my system.

 

I've been lurking in that Ref 10 thread too, because it is so intriguing, even though the price point is too rich for my blood. Your experiences will be fascinating once you receive it. One area that remains to be explored is when you have a DAC that can also accept a 10MHz reference clock. I know your DAVE is not setup for this, and there are only a handful of super-expensive DACs from Esoteric and Antelope currently. Although ... the TEAC NT-503 was also on the list. Sadly, I missed the Massdrop sale on this that just ended. If anyone snagged this, consider using this with the upcoming SOtM master reference clock, and reporting back.

 

Speaking of which, that is the other intriguing question. Will Lee take the "best he's ever seen" Mutec data and go create a competing master reference clock in a price range we mere mortals can afford? :D 

 

5 hours ago, romaz said:

At the same time, as I will be utilizing 2 sCLK-EX boards and its 8 clocks, the thought of being able to synchronize all 8 clocks to a higher level of performance (even if the margin might be smaller) was a salivating thought. 

 

I don't believe we ever really heard how your experiments with the second sCLK-EX board went. Or maybe I missed it. Is the first set of 4 for the switch/sMS/tX, and the next set of 4 upstream in your server? What was the relative effect of the second sCLK-EX?

 

At some point, when next you have the time, please summarize!

 

5 hours ago, romaz said:

Trust your ears.  Forget what the experts tell you if what they say contradicts what you are hearing.  Listening trumps theories or measurements, at least it should.  It’s amazing how an authority figure makes a claim, it gets propagated by the masses, and before long, this claim somehow becomes an irrefutable law of physics.  Sometimes, these experts aren’t measuring the right things.  Many times, they’re as clueless as we are.  If it measures better but you can’t hear the difference, don’t buy it.  If it measures poorly but you love how it sounds, that’s all that matters.

 

Hear, hear!

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5 hours ago, romaz said:

Prior to Munich, based on the already spectacular sound I was getting from my SOtM stack, based on disparaging  articles such as the one written by Hugh Robjohns that was referenced by @Johnseye, and based on my own lukewarm experience with dCS’s external master clock last year, I had no intention of ever buying an external master clock and I even posted this sentiment back in April.  Of course, part of this sentiment was also based on wishful thinking because I didn’t relish the idea of paying thousands of dollars for a master clock and all the hassle that went with it.  Munich, however, changed all of that.  

 

 

 

As I read Hugh Robjohns’ article, “Does Your Studio Need A Digital Master Clock,” I read with interest his concluding statement.  “Overall, it should be clear…that employing an external master clock cannot and will not improve the sound quality of a digital audio system.”  My response?  Don’t listen to people like this who speak in such absolute terms and define audio performance purely on technical grounds.  Just because he compared 4 external master clocks and couldn’t measure an improvement doesn’t make it a universal truth.  If you read further into his conclusion, he suggests that anyone who prefers what a master clock provides is preferring the subjective qualities of that clock and not its technical performance.  Obviously, this article was written from a professional studio perspective and not from the viewpoint of most audiophiles because I don’t know any audiophile who would want it any other way.  While it’s comforting for me when things that sound good also measure well, I think most of us can appreciate that superior measurements don’t always equal better sound.  When things that sound better don't measure better, as I see it, either the measuring equipment isn't sensitive enough to discern a difference or else the wrong things are being measured.

 

 

Trust your ears.  Forget what the experts tell you if what they say contradicts what you are hearing.  Listening trumps theories or measurements, at least it should.  It’s amazing how an authority figure makes a claim, it gets propagated by the masses, and before long, this claim somehow becomes an irrefutable law of physics.  Sometimes, these experts aren’t measuring the right things.  Many times, they’re as clueless as we are.  If it measures better but you can’t hear the difference, don’t buy it.  If it measures poorly but you love how it sounds, that’s all that matters.

 

 

 

What you are discovering could be a path leading to the master clock architecture being the best solution for home audio.  You and others started down the path of improving a clock, then multiple clocks unlinked, then multiple clocks linked (quasi mastered), then what you've just heard was a full master clock.  There are other variables involved, specifically the quality of the clock itself as that continues to improve in each scenario.  There are still many variables to consider, and that the REF10 was heard at a convention, not in your own home to compare with your previous system, but if what you heard was enough to prompt the REF10 purchase there could be good things to come.  I'm looking forward to your side by side comparison with the sCLK-EX.

 

I mean this with all sincerity, you should write Hugh Robjohns.  He wrote that article 7 years ago but he may be interested in your discoveries.  Maybe his opinions or findings have changed over the years.  You write that one shouldn't blindly trust one person making a statement regardless of whether they're an expert in their field with measurement tools and I agree.  Surprising to heat this from a doctor, but I'm sure that sentiment is valid in your field as well.  One person's findings are just that.

 

In the end, as you point out, all that matters is what sounds good to you.  This is a defacto standard in this hobby.  Everyone's a scientist or engineer in discovery, but everyone's system, listening environment, budget and personal tastes are different.  While listening may trump measurements, Lee's comments on his jitter measurements has and impact on both opinion and his designs.  Measurements shouldn't be discarded, even if you don't think you can hear it.  I'm glad you're putting the investment into this endeavor and sharing your opinions.  I'll be keeping an eye out for your final conclusions once they've been made on the clock.  A lot has been learned, and a lot has changed in the course of a few months.

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10 hours ago, guillaume31 said:

Thank you very much lmitche !

 

I tried to set-up a "virtual switch" and at first it looked good, until I played with some settings and the NAS disappears all together from my network and I was unable to access it. I did a reset and it was sorted. Somehow I am actually not able to enable the "virtual switch", it does not appears in my menus even after I follow the recommended procedure. I need to check with QNAP if I'm supposed to have this functionality with the HS-251+.

 

On the sMS-200 side, do you need to fix the IP address ? with the latest FW, this functionality does not exist.

 

Thanks :)

Over a year ago I had the virtual switch running with my qnap hs-251+.  Make sure you are running the latest firmware.

 

I have no idea about the sms-200.  However if it's looking for a DHCP server it will find it in either your router behind the qnap, or from the qnap if you enabled the internal DHCP server. Remember to power it up only after the qnap is fully booted.

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5 hours ago, k-man said:

Was it possible for the SMS-200 ultra to be powered by LPS-1, or was it the optimum to have it powered by HD plex? (Or maybe its reserved for the tx-USB ultra :rolleyes:). Plenty to play with B|

Hi k-man,

 

I choose the 12 volt version for the sms-200 just because It is supposedly sounds a litte better. And yes you are correct the uptone LPS-1 will power the tx-USB ultra. 

My Hd plex 200 is a new updated design compared to the original and it sounds very good actually.

 

 

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I got the 12V versions of the sMS-200 Ultra and dX-USB Ultra as well and will be using the previous generation HD-PLEX to power them until I get my Paul Hynes SR7DRMR2XL.

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15 minutes ago, limniscate said:

I'm getting my stack today and will report back later.

 

Awesome! I'm on a plane, but looking forward to checking these out in a couple weeks at chez liminiscate.

 

BTW - regarding "master" clocks: this post from the Ref 10 thread sheds some light on the differences between master/slave, and reference/word clocks.

 

 

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Thanks for your reply @magnuska- I somehow confused myself that LPS-1 had 12V output, but actually it would accept 12V input instead. I forget these things even if I own a LPS-1 :$

 

 

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21 minutes ago, limniscate said:

I got the 12V versions of the sMS-200 Ultra and dX-USB Ultra as well and will be using the previous generation HD-PLEX to power them until I get my Paul Hynes SR7DRMR2XL.

Congrats getting a Paul Hynes! I had a first generation SR3, but it has moved on to a nicer place. Do you mind telling me what the 'DRMR2XL' bit is?

If you had spoken to Lee or May, please tell me the rationale behind the 12V improvement over 6-9V. I only previous thought the PSU choice would be the biggest factor. 

 

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DR = cascaded voltage regulators to give a supply line and rectification interference rejection exceeding 150 dB from DC to 100Khz

MR = Multi Rail (galvanic isolation between the supply rails)

XL = ultra low impedance connectors and fine silver internal wiring between capacitor banks, regulator modules, and the output connectors

 

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5 minutes ago, limniscate said:

DR = cascaded voltage regulators to give a supply line and rectification interference rejection exceeding 150 dB from DC to 100Khz

MR = Multi Rail (galvanic isolation between the supply rails)

XL = ultra low impedance connectors and fine silver internal wiring between capacitor banks, regulator modules, and the output connectors

 

 

My new DR SR7 has arrived and the difference against my single regulated SR7 is easily noticeable and very worthwhile.  Improved dynamic contrasts and an even smoother, more relaxed and effortless presentation.  I wasn't sure how my SR7 could get better and now I know.  This is a highly recommended upgrade and I have now decided to replace my standard SR7MR2XL with the DR version.

 

Here is what Paul Hynes had to say:

 

"The DR version effectively expands the dynamic range of clean power delivery by reducing output voltage sag with larger load transient current delivery and reducing the overall noise level of the output voltage rail over the range of load current change. There are other benefits but I would prefer you to have the experience of these before I say anything further, as I do not want to affect your conclusions in any way."

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4 minutes ago, romaz said:

 

My new DR SR7 has arrived and the difference against my single regulated SR7 is easily noticeable and very worthwhile.  Improved dynamic contrasts and an even smoother, more relaxed and effortless presentation.  I wasn't sure how my SR7 could get better and now I know.  This is a highly recommended upgrade and I have now decided to replace my standard SR7MR2XL with the DR version.

 

Here is what Paul Hynes had to say:

 

"The DR version effectively expands the dynamic range of clean power delivery by reducing output voltage sag with larger load transient current delivery and reducing the overall noise level of the output voltage rail over the range of load current change. There are other benefits but I would prefer you to have the experience of these before I say anything further, as I do not want to affect your conclusions in any way."

 

My understanding is that the DR version is single rail only, and not available in multirail.  Can you confirm if this has changed?

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2 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

My understanding is that the DR version is single rail only, and not available in multirail.  Can you confirm if this has changed?

I sure can because I ordered a DRMR2XL.  It fits in the MR4 chassis.

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12 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

My understanding is that the DR version is single rail only, and not available in multirail.  Can you confirm if this has changed?

 

John, here is what Paul had to say.  My preference has always been to have each rail have its own dedicated transformer and so my SR7s have at most 1-2 rails:

 

"The SR7DR can only support 1 off 6A rail and 1 off 3A rail due to the 

thermal requirements of the four modules used in this configuration. The 
SR7MR4 can support 4 rails but with one transformer or two rails with 
two transformers. 4 rails with 4 transformers would only be possible for 
low current rails of up to 2A. Space is the main issue here. The SR9MR4 
chassis was good regarding size but I was less than happy with the 
structural integrity of the larger chassis using the chassis materials 
of the SR7 for the expanded width. I decided not to pursue this chassis 
style for this application and have designed a heavy-duty custom 
extrusion for the chassis sides capable of supporting up to 10mm 
aluminium plate for the base and front panel and 5mm plate for rear 
panel and top plate. This will be sized to allow 19” rack mounting by 
the addition of rack mounting wings to the extrusion or it can be free 
standing, with or without these rack wings, of course. This more 
substantial structure will allow up to 4 high current rails with 
individual transformers or a combination of high and low power rails 
with various transformer configurations."

 

If you have an order in place, it doesn't mean you couldn't modify it.

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21 minutes ago, limniscate said:

I sure can because I ordered a DRMR2XL.  It fits in the MR4 chassis.

 

7 minutes ago, romaz said:

 

John, here is what Paul had to say.  My preference has always been to have each rail have its own dedicated transformer and so my SR7s have at most 1-2 rails:

 

"The SR7DR can only support 1 off 6A rail and 1 off 3A rail due to the 

thermal requirements of the four modules used in this configuration. The 
SR7MR4 can support 4 rails but with one transformer or two rails with 
two transformers. 4 rails with 4 transformers would only be possible for 
low current rails of up to 2A. Space is the main issue here. The SR9MR4 
chassis was good regarding size but I was less than happy with the 
structural integrity of the larger chassis using the chassis materials 
of the SR7 for the expanded width. I decided not to pursue this chassis 
style for this application and have designed a heavy-duty custom 
extrusion for the chassis sides capable of supporting up to 10mm 
aluminium plate for the base and front panel and 5mm plate for rear 
panel and top plate. This will be sized to allow 19” rack mounting by 
the addition of rack mounting wings to the extrusion or it can be free 
standing, with or without these rack wings, of course. This more 
substantial structure will allow up to 4 high current rails with 
individual transformers or a combination of high and low power rails 
with various transformer configurations."

 

If you have an order in place, it doesn't mean you couldn't modify it.

 

My rail 1 will be start at 19v @10A so that if I ever want to support a more power hungry PC I have the option.  That may limit me from the DR version since it appears to max at 6A.  If that's the case, do I opt for the DR now and eliminate the option to power a different PC?  He just started working on my build so if I make a change it has to be now. :confused:

 

Here's the spec

 

SR7MR2XL
Rail 1 – 19v @ 10A adjustable down to 12v @ 5A initially set to 12v
Rail 2 – 4v to 14v @ 3A initially set to 9v

DC10FSXL with 2.5mm DC plug
DC6FSXL with 2.1mm DC plug

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1 minute ago, Johnseye said:

 

 

My rail 1 will be start at 19v @10A so that if I ever want to support a more power hungry PC I have the option.  That may limit me from the DR version since it appears to max at 6A.  If that's the case, do I opt for the DR now and eliminate the option to power a different PC?  He just started working on my build so if I make a change it has to be now. :confused:

 

Here's the spec

 

SR7MR2XL
Rail 1 – 19v @ 10A adjustable down to 12v @ 5A initially set to 19v
Rail 2 – 4v to 14v @ 3A initially set to 9v

DC10FSXL with 2.5mm DC plug
DC6FSXL with 2.1mm DC plug

 

You might want to ask him for his advice.  You could opt for applying the DR to Rail 2 but to be honest, it may be with your server where the DR has the greatest impact.

 

The XL option is very worthwhile (impedance <1milliohm) and I have chosen this with each of my SR7s.  The problem is with the 2.1mm or 2.5mm DC plugs.  These are not low impedance plugs.  It would be ideal if you could apply the XL connector to your music server and your endpoints and I have thought about this but the XL connector is also very large and heavy.  There's no way, for example, to use this connector with something small like the microRendu.

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3 minutes ago, romaz said:

 

You might want to ask him for his advice.  You could opt for applying the DR to Rail 2 but to be honest, it may be with your server where the DR has the greatest impact.

 

The XL option is very worthwhile (impedance <1milliohm) and I have chosen this with each of my SR7s.  The problem is with the 2.1mm or 2.5mm DC plugs.  These are not low impedance plugs.  It would be ideal if you could apply the XL connector to your music server and your endpoints and I have thought about this but the XL connector is also very large and heavy.  There's no way, for example, to use this connector with something small like the microRendu.

 

I sent him an email and hopefully it's read before he's done with the build.  I could just go for the 12v DR now but what if I change the motherboard.  Future proofing is tough in this hobby.

 

Another benefit I get from the 19v rail is that I have a turntable and phono stage that each operate just under 19v.  I can power one of those when I'm not powering the server if I'd like.  The flexibility is huge given the cost.  I have a plan to upgrade the turntable and phono stage at some point, otherwise I would have gone with the 4 rail.  Those may get their own dedicated LPSU if what I choose allows for it.

 

Thanks for the advice and breathing some life into this thread again.  It gets stale without the exciting news you bring.

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1 minute ago, Johnseye said:

 

I sent him an email and hopefully it's read before he's done with the build.  I could just go for the 12v DR now but what if I change the motherboard.  Future proofing is tough in this hobby.

 

Another benefit I get from the 19v rail is that I have a turntable and phono stage that each operate just under 19v.  I can power one of those when I'm not powering the server if I'd like.  The flexibility is huge given the cost.  I have a plan to upgrade the turntable and phono stage at some point, otherwise I would have gone with the 4 rail.  Those may get their own dedicated LPSU if what I choose allows for it.

 

Thanks for the advice and breathing some life into this thread again.  It gets stale without the exciting news you bring.

 

You could ask him to do what he did for me with my DR.  Even though my DR is a single rail supply, it has 2 outputs.  It has a DR 12V output that can be adjusted down to 2V very easily with the turn of a small knob on a potentiometer within the SR7.   He also installed for me a 2nd output that outputs 19V but if I choose to use this 2nd output, I lose the benefits of double regulation because at 19V, I am now running only off the 1st stage regulator.  

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