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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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2 hours ago, Confused said:

For those that might be interested, I have posted my initial listening impressions of the sMS-200Ultra Neo with SOtM's latest allegedly low latency V0.4.5.1 firmware here:   

 

 

(In summary, a definite step up in SQ, but maybe a minor HF issue?)

 

 

I have the same problem with hqplayer. How you made it work? I click the cog, reload, and nothing happens. It keeps loading blue circle forever. It simply can not find Hqplayer.

 

image.thumb.png.16ac138f7deda991f10b35e97807b39e.png

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45 minutes ago, Advieira said:

I have the same problem with hqplayer. How you made it work? I click the cog, reload, and nothing happens. It keeps loading blue circle forever. It simply can not find Hqplayer.

 

image.thumb.png.16ac138f7deda991f10b35e97807b39e.png

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Restart Eunhasu, hover the cursor over the HQPlayer logo (do not click), on the right-hand side under the text "Control HQPlayer NAA" you will see a little cogwheel symbol, this indicates "Config HQPlayer NAA" when you hover the cursor over it, click this, then follow instructions to re-load the HQPlayer app.  Like many things, it is very easy when you know how.  (It would have been nice if SOtM had warned about this and provided some instructions)  Good luck!🙂


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, sPS-500, SOtM modified switch, Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.

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On 12/27/2018 at 7:12 PM, rickca said:

But would it sound better to have the NUC run only the player/endpoint function and run the server function (I guess that's LMS) on Windows 10?  

Thanks to @austinpop and @LTG2010 I have this working ... LMS on Windows 10 server and squeezelite on AL/NUC7PJYH.  I have my own rips on the Windows 10 server.

 

So now a question about streaming Qobuz with this configuration.  Both my Windows 10 machine and my NUC are running wireless 5GHz.  With UPnP/DLNA, the Qobuz FLAC goes straight to the renderer (unless you're running A+) ... the server running MinimServer isn't involved.  What about my Windows 10/NUC configuration running LMS/squeezelite?  Since the Qobuz plugin is an LMS thing (not squeezelite), does the Qobuz FLAC come to the LMS instance running on Windows 10 and then get sent to squeezelite on the NUC?  Or is it like UPnP/DLNA, and the Qobuz FLAC goes straight to the renderer?

 

The reason for this question?  When playing my own rips, obviously server side optimizations like power supply will make a difference.  I'm wondering whether they would make any difference when streaming from Qobuz.


NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 1903/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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1 hour ago, Confused said:

Restart Eunhasu, hover the cursor over the HQPlayer logo (do not click), on the right-hand side under the text "Control HQPlayer NAA" you will see a little cogwheel symbol, this indicates "Config HQPlayer NAA" when you hover the cursor over it, click this, then follow instructions to re-load the HQPlayer app.  Like many things, it is very easy when you know how.  (It would have been nice if SOtM had warned about this and provided some instructions)  Good luck!🙂

Doesnt work... 😫

 

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26 minutes ago, Advieira said:

Doesnt work... 😫

 

When you are in HQPlayer settings you need to click “install”.


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, sPS-500, SOtM modified switch, Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.

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19 minutes ago, Confused said:

 

When you are in HQPlayer settings you need to click “install”.

 

not working. Happens nothing when clicking in install. And reload page when click in uninstall.

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1 hour ago, Advieira said:

 

not working. Happens nothing when clicking in install. And reload page when click in uninstall.

Very strange.  All I can say is that it worked for me.  I suggest that you contact May from SOtM, she normally responds to emails quickly and is very helpfull.


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, sPS-500, SOtM modified switch, Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.

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On 12/29/2018 at 9:56 AM, auricgoldfinger said:

 

@limniscate and I had a chance to compare the TLS Reference 1 to an SR7 this past week.  Both are double-regulated supplies.  I'll be posting more details soon in the Reference 1 thread, but for now, I can reveal that the SR7 came out on top.

 

Quite some time ago, a little bird told me that the SR7 is also better than a Dr. Sean Jacobs flagship.  I can't name sources, so please don't ask.

 

Here is the link to my comparison of the double-regulated Reference 1 and SR7: 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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1 hour ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

Here is the link to my comparison of the double-regulated Reference 1 and SR7: 

 

 

 

How do the two PS 's compare cost wise - I've often wondered how much a dual rail DR SR7 is compared to a "ordinary" dual rail SR7.

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4 hours ago, tims said:

How do the two PS 's compare cost wise - I've often wondered how much a dual rail DR SR7 is compared to a "ordinary" dual rail SR7.

Department of redundancy department? 

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On 6/16/2017 at 4:22 PM, 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."

 

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2 hours ago, hols said:

Dual machine We have also listened to but not critically(...) on using NUC7i7 as HQplyer server and another NUCi7 as NAA(endpoint) and connected to switch without bridging over in my bigger system. The sound is good but not yet up to the standard of my existing server(also Linux system).

Thank you hols for  the post.

 

May I calrify few things?

1. Did the dual PC system sound better than the single box system given that both of them were using HQP?  I guess that both of the PC were using AL, correct?

 

2. What's the switch being used?

 

2. What's your server's Linux system?

 

Regards 

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Obviously not a fanless setup by any means, though this particular work of art really made something special outta NUC8i7HVK

 

https://www.chiphell.com/thread-1901382-1-1.html

WhVrSwP.jpg 1ZkN8l8.jpg

 

leSpZ45.jpg SvY7NoL.jpg

nJcUYbr.jpg hVNRyl2.jpg

 

FYI - here's a Chinese seller who made something for NUC6i5SYH with a water cooler, maybe similar stuff for NUC8i7HVK would cost more than 82 RMB but that should be no biggie

 

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=546257572419

8xBtJo6.jpg qmHW38E.jpg

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7 hours ago, hols said:

We have also tried to use the stock 19V SMPS that come with the NUC8i7 Kit and the sound is way way inferior to my HDplex 19V output. 

Which HDPLEX are you using?  Is it the new 200W LPS or an older unit? 


NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 1903/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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8 minutes ago, rickca said:

Which HDPLEX are you using?  Is it the new 200W LPS or an older unit? 

new 200W HDPLEX with 2 fixed outputs 12V and 19V and 2 variable outputs using total eight lt30451

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36 minutes ago, hols said:

1. Yes the dual system(both AL lqxt)

Why not another machine using AL headless?

 

36 minutes ago, hols said:

SOtM switch sNH-10G with reference clock from Cybershaft OP20

Wow, the holy grail.  I envy you, pal.  I hope that I may visit you and hear your system.  Lol.

 

One question.  In your opinion, how large is the improvement of the switch due to OP20?  I would be very happy if you may pm me if you find that more appropriate.

 

38 minutes ago, hols said:

galvanic isolation of USB input of Blu 2 is not perfect

I remember that you posted the best Intona cable.  I guess that was being used.  Correct?

 

49 minutes ago, hols said:

side effect resulting from this arrangement is that the NAA will lose contact with the DAC on any slight change of cables and it sometimes takes repeated attempts to reset every gear before it can be connected again so it becomes a headache to tweak the OS in this system. So you can imagine it would be a tedious job to tweak the AL from normal boot to ramboot and then headless and then extreme 2 because it involves repeated reboot and sometimes it will not recognise the DAC after reboot. 

Can truly sense the pain.

 

 

41 minutes ago, hols said:

I could not give you any straight answer for your questions

You've already answered a lot.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, hols said:

Hi Greenleo,

 

I have been using a linux dual machine system developed by my buddy all these years. It is not a commercial product and I am sorry I do not have his permission to disclose any detail. So I propose not to talk about it at this moment.

 

On the other hand I can talk about some of my observations as I tried to tweak the AL OS.

First to answer your questions 1. Yes the dual system(both AL lqxt) is having better sound than a single machine but not significantly so(from what I can observe at this early stage of tweaking).  2. I am using the SOtM switch sNH-10G with reference clock from Cybershaft OP20.

 

And now my observations. I am using the Chord Blu 2 and Dave  in this big room system and several things that one need to pay attention to with this combo. One of which is that the galvanic isolation of USB input of Blu 2 is not perfect. I noticed that because I have a LP system also hooked up to the same system . Any noise from the digital stream will be noticed even if I play solely from the LPs. So I need to to put the isoRegen in the line of the USB chain just after the NAA computer to 'filter' this digital noise. There is a side effect resulting from this arrangement is that the NAA will lose contact with the DAC on any slight change of cables and it sometimes takes repeated attempts to reset every gear before it can be connected again so it becomes a headache to tweak the OS in this system. So you can imagine it would be a tedious job to tweak the AL from normal boot to ramboot and then headless and then extreme 2 because it involves repeated reboot and sometimes it will not recognise the DAC after reboot. And I do not have time to do all these tweaks yet so I did say that it is not a critical evaluation yet. But one thing I noticed is that on connecting the dual machine NUC7i7 AL the noise that can be heard from the speakers is significantly greater than my original system (when I try not to use the isoRegen) and this is already using linear power supply to both NUCs including Uptone JS-2 , HDplex 200W . I am not sure whether other NUC users have noticed this in their system or not ? My wild guess is they are also present to a certain degree and that is why a really good LPS is essential in driving these NUCs in order to minimise all these leaking currents or dirty ground loops that might be present in these compactly  packed NUC motherboards. And that is also why one must try to go for ramboot and take away all the SSD or SATA or any unused devices before one can get really good sound. So probably still a long way to go in tweaking these NUCs.

 

As for the SOtM switch it has stayed in my system for more than a month now and has become an indispensable part of the system. I agree with Roy that it is probably the single most important product that SOtM has produced. Everything becomes more musical after putting it in the chain. The improvement is surprisingly not in improving accuracy or sharper focus but more on timbre, naturalness and immediacy. Everything comes out more smooth but everything feels just right. No more need to sit in the golden seat to enjoy music. You can listen to one speaker and yet can still enjoy all the details of your music. I just put the switch in between the HQplayer and the NAA and that is already good enough. And of course it needs a good LPS and I am giving it my Uptone LPS 1.2.

 

So sorry I could not give you any straight answer for your questions because I still need more time to tweak the AL before I could make any comment. 

Hi Hols,

 

What Ethernet cables have you tried with sNH-10G?  Do you find significant differences between them?

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3 minutes ago, elan120 said:

Hi Hols,

 

What Ethernet cables have you tried with sNH-10G?  Do you find significant differences between them?

I use 2 Vertere pulse HB ethernet cables. These help to give a more lively sound and especially good high frequencies.  Dalby ethernet cable is the other one I have tried on my system. It is very musical and rich in timbre but it is two times the price of the Vertere pulse HB cables. After using the sNH-10G the difference among different ethernet cables is less pronounced as before but I would say still easily distinguishable.  I use Supra cat 8 ethernet cables in other less strategic areas and I changed some of them to Telegartner plugs. 

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5 minutes ago, hols said:

I use Supra cat 8 ethernet cables in other less strategic areas

Do you know whether the standard Supra cat 8 ethernet cables have a floating shield or not?  I've heard good feedback about these for the price.


NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 1903/HDPLEX 200W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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