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austinpop

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

The Computer Audiophile

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Most important: please realize this thread is about bleeding edge experimentation and discovery. No one has The Answer™. If you are not into tweaking, just know that you can have a musically satisfying system without doing any of the nutty things we do here.

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51 minutes ago, flkin said:

 

It's a pity you didn't get to try the grounding plug of the Habst. It made quite a difference when I tried it compared to without the grounding plug.

 

How do you connect the ground plug? Do you have a ground box?

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2 hours ago, Johnseye said:

I will be able to soon. Had everything ready. REF 10 warming up. Got the boards back from SOtM and no video. Power is good. Lights on the LAN but no video so don't know what's up. Need to send it back. More time and money... 

 

In the mean time I brought home a Manley Chinook phono pre to audition. Looking forward to that. 

you figured out the connector got damaged somehow.. so it would take extra time and money indeed.

Thank you.

Best regards, May

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12 minutes ago, hieukm said:

 

How do you connect the ground plug? Do you have a ground box?

 

No, the Habst cable has 2 connectors on the input end of the cable - the BNC one carrying the signal and other one, phono/BNC using connector, for ground which connects to a free plug on the Ref10. The output end is a normal single BNC connector.

 

I suppose you can connect the phono plug to a grounding box if you want. During my listening tests, I connected the ground to the Ref10 free socket using the BNC adaptor

 

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9 minutes ago, flkin said:

 

No, the Habst cable has 2 connectors on the input end of the cable - the BNC one carrying the signal and other one, phono/BNC using connector, for ground which connects to a free plug on the Ref10. The output end is a normal single BNC connector.

 

I suppose you can connect the phono plug to a grounding box if you want. During my listening tests, I connected the ground to the Ref10 free socket using the BNC adaptor

 

C6664016-C1CC-45AC-83BF-7397529BBC34.thumb.jpeg.13c784916af662f2776bfa53189e4b05.jpeg

 

Thank you for your prompt reply. I still dont get how to connect a BNC/phono to a ground connection. Why wont they use spade or some other plugs.

 

Connecting the ground plug to a free BNC slot on Ref 10 does not mean it is grounded? 

 

i have a Habst coming soon so if you dont mind mine questions.

 

 

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Perhaps it’s best to direct your questions to Habst and inform us what they tell you? 

 

This was my earlier findings. The ground plug is not electrically attached to the BNC plug carrying the signal. It seems to be connected to the bulge at the end of the output connector. Some form of ferrite perhaps? 

 

 

I suppose you can experiment with it and let us know if you find the same thing as @Kritpoon and me during our tests. That plugging this grounding cable in makes a difference. 

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50 minutes ago, hieukm said:

 

Thank you for your prompt reply. I still dont get how to connect a BNC/phono to a ground connection. Why wont they use spade or some other plugs.

 

Connecting the ground plug to a free BNC slot on Ref 10 does not mean it is grounded? 

 

i have a Habst coming soon so if you dont mind mine questions.

 

 

 

@hieukmThe ground plug of the HABST I used it to connect to the other output of the REF10, being that output is ON. For if the output is OFF, I believed that output is terminated for any signals pass thru. Perhaps you could try the groundbox with one of the output of the REF10 instead of just the HABST ground cable? I believed it might yield a higher benefits.


"Its the REF clock that makes it all so good..."

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6 hours ago, austinpop said:

- Roy's cable's ground plug was broken, so I didn't ground this to anything. Looking at these Habst cables, it's a twisted pair of two fairly hefty gauge 5N cryo silver conductors. I'm guessing the silver alone jacks up the cost of these things. Oy!

 

Rajiv you are missing the magic of the HABST with the broken ground connector! our experiment with @flkin the ground plug makes quite a difference as flkin mentioned earlier. And for me, its the magic that make the HABST sounds so special!


"Its the REF clock that makes it all so good..."

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16 minutes ago, Kritpoon said:

 

Rajiv you are missing the magic of the HABST with the broken ground connector! our experiment with @flkin the ground plug makes quite a difference as flkin mentioned earlier. And for me, its the magic that make the HABST sounds so special!

 

41 minutes ago, flkin said:

Perhaps it’s best to direct your questions to Habst and inform us what they tell you? 

 

This was my earlier findings. The ground plug is not electrically attached to the BNC plug carrying the signal. It seems to be connected to the bulge at the end of the output connector. Some form of ferrite perhaps? 

 

 

I suppose you can experiment with it and let us know if you find the same thing as @Kritpoon and me during our tests. That plugging this grounding cable in makes a difference. 

 

Thank you guys for your input. I shall proceed to test my Habst cable and give report here. The Habst is meant to connect Chord Dave and Blu 2. I also do have ground box but its connection required spade plug. BNC wont be able to connect. 

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@austinpop - Many thanks for your latest mini test.  Excellent stuff as always.  One question, is there any chance you could post a picture of the 'mystery cable'?  I thought it might be interesting (and a bit of fun) to see if one of the cable specialists on here could identify the thing.  Is the cable itself completely unmarked?


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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9 hours ago, Johnseye said:

Got the boards back from SOtM and no video.

 

9 hours ago, Johnseye said:

Need to send it back. More time and money... 

 

I am seeing a recent pattern of a lack of quality control and accountability for the resulting problems.  I think the bloom is off the rose.


 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

 

I am seeing a recent pattern of a lack of quality control and accountability for the resulting problems.  I think the bloom is off the rose.

I think anytime your sending a DIY mobo for modification, can be a tricky operation.  From what I've seen of SOtM is that they are more than willing to keep trying to get it right and communication is always open.  When they get it right, it's quality work.  You can see it in their attention to detail.  

Otherwise, is there anyone else willing to do the DIY to a mobo?


(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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21 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

That could very well be the "strangest" part if you will, there are so many great things out there while they don't always cost that much to begin with. LT3045 from Alexey (0.5A and 1A) and Michael (3A and 5A) are fantastic as long as we don't need anything more than 15V / 5A.

 

Recently Bob also discovered the transformational power of passive PoE with quite a few shielded CAT 7 short cables, they almost cost next to nothing and we're good to go as long as the current draw ain't too high.

Depending on the setup, I have found the LT3045s and PoEs offer surprising increases in sound quality, the PoEs especially are puzzling given they are passive and inexpensive cables.

 

Taking the long view though I have to admit that since I paired my PS Audio Junior DAC with a pair of Decware SE84UFO3 mono blocks and Omega SAMs, any new tweaks I attempt are diminishing returns and now only account for a few percentage of difference if at all, so I am having to accept the possible end to my upgrade journey unless I spend another £10,000 (which isn't likely anytime soon).

 

The other realisation is that some of the things I have been trying very hard to iron out are just inherent in the recordings production quality. Take Van Morrison recordings - the voice is pretty much always smooth with no sibilance whereas King Creosote recordings for example nearly always sound edgy to me. There really is no point in spending time and funds on this.

 

My last project is the build the best I2S input for the PS Junior....then its seeking out the best recordings... or maybe those Pulsar clocks.. :)


ATL DC Blocker > Topaz 2.5Kva Isolation Transformer > Sine SA5 Cryo 5 power strip > EtherRegen switch powered with Ciunas Supercaps 7.5v LPS > Antipodes DXe roon core> PS Audio Directstream Junior Dac 'Windom'> Decware SE84UFO3 Mono Amps > Omega Super Alnico Monitors. PH SR4 power supplies. In addition my reference SQ is a modified SD card Player powered by Ian Canada LifePo4/Ultracaps mod outputting 2x 3.3v > I2S module > PS Audio DAC.

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2 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

 

I am seeing a recent pattern of a lack of quality control and accountability for the resulting problems.  I think the bloom is off the rose.

 

This is the first issue I have ever had with any SOtM work, and I have had a lot done.  My last mobo modification was flawless.  Both May and Lee have been very easy to work with.  I have met both and they have been very accommodating to my needs.  May is an excellent communicator, making herself available through chat to quickly troubleshoot.  She promptly responds to all my communications.

 

We have identified what we believe to be the cause of the issue as a malfunctioning RF connector on the board.  The board was tested prior to shipment.  May even provided a video in addition to photos.  We don't know what could have caused the part to fail.  I will wait to make any judgement until the work is corrected, part replaced, I get it working in my system and hear the impact.

 

9 hours ago, MayfromSOtM said:

you figured out the connector got damaged somehow.. so it would take extra time and money indeed.

Thank you.

Best regards, May

 

Yes, thank you for all your help May. The board and sCLK are being shipped today.


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> SOtM sNH-10G-> Custom 2016 Server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> AL NUC NA (sCLK-EX modified)->  Holo Spring L3 -> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H, JL Fathom sub

Power: Paul Hynes SR7, Uptone LPS-1.2, sPS-500, Topaz 91001-31 Isolation Transformer

Analog chain: VPI Prime with Ortofon Quintet Black cart -> Simaudio Neo 310LP-> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H

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4 hours ago, Confused said:

@austinpop - Many thanks for your latest mini test.  Excellent stuff as always.  One question, is there any chance you could post a picture of the 'mystery cable'?  I thought it might be interesting (and a bit of fun) to see if one of the cable specialists on here could identify the thing.  Is the cable itself completely unmarked?

 

Good idea! I left it with @limniscate. Maybe he can post a picture when he gets a chance.

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24 minutes ago, austinpop said:

I’d like to get some clarification from them.

 

 

Please let us know what you find out.  I have been trying to get that question answered myself.


 

 

 

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Gentle OP reminder...

 

While I don't doubt the sincerity of the parties in this discussion, I hope we all agree that debating customer service issues here on this public thread isn't particularly productive, and endangers us ending up in a deep rathole of recriminations.

 

Therefore I suggest further discussion of this issue be conducted via PM or email.

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3 minutes ago, austinpop said:

While I don't doubt the sincerity of the parties in this discussion, I hope we all agree that debating customer service issues here on this public thread isn't particularly productive, and endangers us ending up in a deep rathole of recriminations.

 

Well said. Sorry for the disruption.


 

 

 

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19 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

Why wasn't the mobo tested more thoroughly before returning it to Johnseye?  Now he has to absorb the expense of returning it.

 

In my case, it took 3 tries to get a non-mobo OCX10 order correct, and I was expected to pay the return shipping cost of around $100 even though SOtM was in the wrong.  I also received their upgraded OCC copper DC cable for the sPS-500 that was dead out of the box.  

 

Someone else on the thread recently received a modded switch that didn't work.  That's not exactly rocket science for SOtM at this point.

 

How difficult is it to check a manifest to see if the products being shipped match the order?  Shouldn't the products be tested before they are shipped?  Why should the customer be expected to pay for SOtM's mistakes?

 

I have experienced a deterioration in service and sense a different tone now from when I first started buying products from them.

Sorry for the situaion being happend, but there seems extra explanation required for better understanding each other and it is not blaming to anyone, please don't argue about it. The test was done successffully, and we took video and pictures to make sure evertying works perfectly, and shared with Johnsesy, and indeed it worked perfectly fine but while assembling the board to the case, this connector got damaged, https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/hirose-electric-co-ltd/U.FL-R-SMT-1(01)/H122041-ND/3978494 so the connection can't be made flawlessly, and it is the reason the board would be back to us for the replacement.

 

Thank you.

Best regards, May

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17 hours ago, Johnseye said:

 

This is the first issue I have ever had with any SOtM work, and I have had a lot done.  My last mobo modification was flawless.  Both May and Lee have been very easy to work with.  I have met both and they have been very accommodating to my needs.  May is an excellent communicator, making herself available through chat to quickly troubleshoot.  She promptly responds to all my communications.

 

We have identified what we believe to be the cause of the issue as a malfunctioning RF connector on the board.  The board was tested prior to shipment.  May even provided a video in addition to photos.  We don't know what could have caused the part to fail.  I will wait to make any judgement until the work is corrected, part replaced, I get it working in my system and hear the impact.

 

 

Yes, thank you for all your help May. The board and sCLK are being shipped today.

Just got this message, thank you Johnseys for your understanding.

Best regards, May

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Hi all, and thanks @austinpop for the illuminating thread. I'm building my first proper system and, thanks mainly to this thread, am now vastly more focused on everything preceding my dac. My budget is mid-range at this point and I was hoping to get suggestions on a pre-dac-chain for <US$4,500. I had expected that a Zen MkII STD would be in that chain?? So that would leave US$2,000 for the rest, but what should that look like?

 

As background I play sub 24/192 flac and mqa through roon and currently feeding an oppo 205 as dac. Many thanks!

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Is there a problem with this thread ? Since I see no activity since last Friday ?


Dual PC setup ,Daphile, full SOTM , PCie USB,txUSB ultra ,dx USB hd ,powered by LPS 1.2 powered by SPS 500 ,  DAC Audiomat Maestro 3, Nagra Classic Amp , Hattor passive preamplifier , Martin Logan montis

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16 minutes ago, jean-michel6 said:

Is there a problem with this thread ? Since I see no activity since last Friday ?

Yes, I'm also missing my morning fix of "novel":)

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