Jump to content
austinpop

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

The Computer Audiophile

Important and useful information about this thread

Posting guidelines

History and index of useful posts

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.

Message added by The Computer Audiophile

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, kelvinwsy said:

There is a thread on Audiophile AO3.0beta running in WinServer 2019 Core .. I am one of the beta testers .. having been using WinServer 2016Core/Audiophile Optimizer AO2.2(I switched from Win10Pro)

It has nice tonality , superior handling of transients and decay of the music! Results in more precise imaging and better layering of tge Sound Stage

U hv to mess about with Microsoft Command Line, Powershell.. AO3.0 makes it eadier

Great upgrade from Win10Pro

 

I tried AL Ranroot/Extreme headless vs win10 NAA for HQPlayer .. Not my cup of tea

 

I was previously running Windows 2016 with AO in GUI mode using Dante AOIP to a Focusrite Rednet D16 DDC. I do not believe that I would have been able to get Dante working in Core mode. It was the best sound that I have encountered but I find that with some tweaking AL equals it in an absolute way but does have a different "character".

 

Sometimes the chase is as much fun as the capture!

 

Sounds like you have a nice system.



"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, EnjoyTheMusicNow said:

Has anyone who runs and SOtM sms200 ultra and a seperate roon core noticed a huge difference in sound when changing the settings from Fixed volume to Software controls volume? I would have thought Fixed volume would have been best - allowing the preamp to control the volume. However, using the software to control the volume is making a massive improvement in my sound. It is like I just took a sheet off my speakers. The sound is so much more crisp from low to high. I now have my DAC running direct to my amp, bypassing the pass labs preamp.

 

Any others with similar experience?

 

34 minutes ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

I have always had Device enabled.  If I switch to Fixed, the SQ drops.  I can hear a difference, but I wouldn't consider it massive. 

 

When I compare Device to DSP, I hear a subtle change.  The gain seems to be slightly higher with DSP, which I believe accounts for part of the perceived improvement.  However, there does seem to be a small refinement in SQ independent of the higher gain.

 

I am use DAVE to directly drive headphones without an external preamp.  This could be the reason that I hear only small differences.

 

I'm going to stay with DSP.  Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

 

I have a head cold and my brain isn't working right this morning.  My findings are with the NUC, not the sMS-200ultra.  My sMS-200ultra is currently not in use.  Sorry.


 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

 

I have a head cold and my brain isn't working right this morning.  My findings are with the NUC, not the sMS-200ultra.  My sMS-200ultra is currently not in use.  Sorry.

On many systems, the Roon DSP volume setting can sound better then fixed or device volume. Get well soon!


nuckleheadaudio.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, lmitche said:

 

Having entirely converted from WIndows/AO last August to Audiolinix, I feel like a great burden has been lifted from my shoulders.

 

I now have one (power) button operation with no need to kill processes after each reboot to gain the best SQ. Everything is configured the way I want, without any fear of Windows update changing my configuration. I no longer need to fight Windows and AO DRM when changing configurations, where at random times I may need to send $ to keep things going. Support from some anonymous Windows guy in India was awful. I should say AudioPhil does a great job supporting AO customers.

 

With Audiolinux and ramboot, SQ is the best I have ever heard from an Intel machine. No DRM, one button operation, great personalized support from Piero, and updates I can control, all combine to a terrific experience. If someone can't get AL to sound the same or better then Windows, they are either not trying hard enough, or need to reach out for help to ensure things are configured properly.

 

As a reformed smoker, I feel for people that still smoke and know how hard it is to quit. While no where near as serious, I feel the same for people still using Windows for audio playback. Windows will  always have a place on my desktop for office automation. Otherwise it is a square peg in a round hole when used for audio playback.

I share your same opinion Larry but without disregarding someone else's opinions there may be an SQ difference based on the DAC chipsets perhaps? Which Dacs are you guys using @kelvinwsyand @Metnoc

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, luisma said:

I share your same opinion Larry but without disregarding someone else's opinions there may be an SQ difference based on the DAC chipsets perhaps? Which Dacs are you guys using @kelvinwsyand @Metnoc

 

@luisma I have a Aqua la scala mk2 dac and that uses Burr Brown PCM1704 chips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lmitche said:

On many systems, the Roon DSP volume setting can sound better then fixed or device volume. Get well soon!

This is good to know as the difference in my case was massive. Before it sounded like the highs and mids were behind a sheet and the lows were being heard from another room. 

 

I have a DAVE on the way to replace my Qutest and Preamp but in the meantime I guess I will just enjoy the inproved dynamics of having the Quetest go direct to my pass labs amp. 

 

Outside of upsampling  (I also have an m-scaler on the way) or DSP,  are there any other settings that tend to improve SQ - even though the rationale may not be all that clear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, EnjoyTheMusicNow said:

This is good to know as the difference in my case was massive. Before it sounded like the highs and mids were behind a sheet and the lows were being heard from another room. 

 

I have a DAVE on the way to replace my Qutest and Preamp but in the meantime I guess I will just enjoy the inproved dynamics of having the Quetest go direct to my pass labs amp. 

 

Outside of upsampling  (I also have an m-scaler on the way) or DSP,  are there any other settings that tend to improve SQ - even though the rationale may not be all that clear?

Do you know volume control should be given to the chord dacs? It has a preferable algorithm for handling the volume control.

altering volume before it arrived at the chord dac with mean it is no longer but perfect.

i coukd be wrong, but this is my understanding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is exactly why I would have thought Fixed volume would sound better but it is not even close. It is like night and day in clarity and dynamics. No clue why... the Quetest does not have a volume control but I still would have thought fixed would sound better - or atleast equal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EnjoyTheMusicNow said:

That is exactly why I would have thought Fixed volume would sound better but it is not even close. It is like night and day in clarity and dynamics. No clue why... the Quetest does not have a volume control but I still would have thought fixed would sound better - or atleast equal.

 

Wow this is news to me (Fixed vs. Device) - I have always used Fixed up to this point. So when you use Device, do you set the volume to 100%?

 

And am I reading right - @auricgoldfinger - there is a further gain by not only using Device volume, but by turning on DSP? I assume this means turning DSP on, but not actually engaging any of the DSP features (headroom management, sample rate conversion, and filters)? BTW - I just looked at DSP in Roon 1.6, and I don't even see the global flag to turn DSP on or off.

 

Something to try, but please be specific what I need to do. To be clear, assume the DAC does not have a software volume control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where I am seeing the difference is Fixed vs. Software volume control. I have to make the change in my Roon Core settings. I use a sonictransporter so I go to that ip address and into the roon core setting. Then change volume control from Fixed to Software. Then I get a volume control in Roon on my phone or iPad. I have DSP disabled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

Wow this is news to me (Fixed vs. Device) - I have always used Fixed up to this point. So when you use Device, do you set the volume to 100%?

 

And am I reading right - @auricgoldfinger - there is a further gain by not only using Device volume, but by turning on DSP? I assume this means turning DSP on, but not actually engaging any of the DSP features (headroom management, sample rate conversion, and filters)? BTW - I just looked at DSP in Roon 1.6, and I don't even see the global flag to turn DSP on or off.

 

Something to try, but please be specific what I need to do. To be clear, assume the DAC does not have a software volume control.

 

Here are 2 screenshots that will hopefully explain what I am doing.  In Device Setup, note the area inside the red box, which shows where I have set DSP volume.  The volume limits are immediately below.  I accepted the default values, but perhaps they can be changed elsewhere.  In my case, the volume limits are the same for both Device and DSP.

 

 

1468963692_RoonSettings.thumb.gif.aec2f4210587958ab239a01ff17ec930.gif

 

I have DSP enabled so that I can equalize a single band using Parametric EQ.  This is shown below.

 

1208748663_ParametricEQ.thumb.gif.366a2ce1d5da347cf4033eaf7f9c1180.gif

 

I suspect this is definitely a situation where YMMV.   Let me know if you have more questions. 

 

EDIT: 

 

Here is one more screen shot with the volume shown.  If you click on DSP, it will take you to all the settings.

 

996790747_VolumeSetting.thumb.gif.63c5d4447f75a54a6ab91140ef6fbc9f.gif

 


 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, lmitche said:

Hi Luisma,

 

No disregard was intended. There are many factors that can contribute to differences in SQ and you are right, the DAC is potentially one of those. Computing hardware makes a huge difference as well, as does cabling, power supplies, player software, drivers . . . so without knowing much more it is tough to know what is going on.

 

Likewise properly tuning Audiolinux can make a huge difference in SQ.

 

My post was just to add another view acknowledging factors besides SQ as a major difference between these two OS choices.

 

FWIW, I started my CA travels five years ago running Audiolinux on an Asrock J1900 mini-ITX machine. I later found that Windows/AO sounded better on that machine and converted to Windows. Later hardware upgrades to a 6700k processor and a z170,  and later a z270 motherboard and Hqplayer upsampling to Dsd512 followed. I spent hours fighting Windows/AO DRM throughout these upgrades.

 

Converting that machine to a server running Audiolinux headless and Roonserver, connected to an I7 NUC running Audiolinux headless has been transformational on many levels.

My present Dac is a iFi idsd bl!!

A SMSL D1 dual 9038pro Dac from Massdrop is on the way

I am using Al Ramroot / Extreme too as an second endpoint in addition to my Sotm ultra neo

Windows 10Pro is Not up to scratch as OS for music. The choice shuld be at least WinServer in Gui mode.. Sweet spot is Core Mode! 

WinServer/AO/Fidelizer/Process Lasso /2 PC setup (2019 Core/AO 3 beta is really good) vs Al/RoonServer\Roon endpoint is like comparing Meat to Fish

Hqplayer/Jplay Femto vs Roon/LMS/Squeezelite or Roon/Hqplayer is like how u cook the meat dish vs the Fish dish

I like both meat and fish

The more options the more fun.. Guess I sm tinkerer by nature

I sm in contact with Piero for Lxqt and Hqplayer Linux package deal to run on my 8650u 

Another main course to try .. YUMMY

YMMV

Happy Listening

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, quick question for folks in the sCLK-EX universe...

 

Last time I did this, I was using Digikey SMB cables like this one: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/cinch-connectivity-solutions-johnson/415-0003-006/J1206-ND/456993

 

Has anyone found (or built) a better option for SMB clock cables? Applied JSSG or JSSG360? If so, please report.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, EnjoyTheMusicNow said:

Where I am seeing the difference is Fixed vs. Software volume control. I have to make the change in my Roon Core settings. I use a sonictransporter so I go to that ip address and into the roon core setting. Then change volume control from Fixed to Software. Then I get a volume control in Roon on my phone or iPad. I have DSP disabled.

 

2 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

Here are 2 screenshots that will hopefully explain what I am doing.  In Device Setup, note the area inside the red box, which shows where I have set DSP volume.  The volume limits are immediately below.  I accepted the default values, but perhaps they can be changed elsewhere.  In my case, the volume limits are the same for both Device and DSP.

 

 

1468963692_RoonSettings.thumb.gif.aec2f4210587958ab239a01ff17ec930.gif

 

I have DSP enabled so that I can equalize a single band using Parametric EQ.  This is shown below.

 

1208748663_ParametricEQ.thumb.gif.366a2ce1d5da347cf4033eaf7f9c1180.gif

 

I suspect this is definitely a situation where YMMV.   Let me know if you have more questions. 

 

EDIT: 

 

Here is one more screen shot with the volume shown.  If you click on DSP, it will take you to all the settings.

 

996790747_VolumeSetting.thumb.gif.63c5d4447f75a54a6ab91140ef6fbc9f.gif

 

 

Hmm, I've now tried this on several DACs in my stable, and I've got to say I don't hear this. I found the Fixed, Device, and DSP volume settings, and I am hard pressed to hear any difference. I guess it IS YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EnjoyTheMusicNow said:

I was afraid of that since this makes no sense. Sorry to put you through the testing for no result. I will advise if the same is true when my DAVE arrives. 

 

No worries.. it was easy to try!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

 

Hmm, I've now tried this on several DACs in my stable, and I've got to say I don't hear this. I found the Fixed, Device, and DSP volume settings, and I am hard pressed to hear any difference. I guess it IS YMMV.

I've just tried this as well and I think I'm hearing a very subtle difference if any... In my system I have preferred no DSP and no upsampling ever since moving to Audiolinux on server and endpoint... previously with sonicorbitor and my sms200 I was preferring dsd upsampling.

 

There seems to be many different things that can effect these preferences for different settings so it's definitely not a one size fits all situation.

 

Happy listening everybody 🔊😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bricki said:

I've just tried this as well and I think I'm hearing a very subtle difference if any... In my system I have preferred no DSP and no upsampling ever since moving to Audiolinux on server and endpoint... previously with sonicorbitor and my sms200 I was preferring dsd upsampling.

 

There seems to be many different things that can effect these preferences for different settings so it's definitely not a one size fits all situation.

 

Happy listening everybody 🔊😁

Yes, I have heard a major difference with dsp volume on some systems and less or nothing on others.  It could be preamp or power supply  or DAC dependent. The impact can be quite large.


nuckleheadaudio.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before all the pieces to build the audiophile nuc arrived, theoretically, what would be the best configuration for my system. hypothetically speaking.

 

(1) The clocked switch placing
(a) router> nuc> switch> bridgeII-Directstream
(b) router> switch> [nuc; bridgeII-Directstream]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/25/2019 at 2:47 PM, Metnoc said:

Hi my first post on this forum with my own impressions rather than a question.

So obviously I wanted to try Audiolinux as well since its held in such a high regard by many.

I have a Zotac 620 computer running Roon core, it has passive cooling, external power supply and two ethernetports, I use one of them for direct connection to my sms200ultra.
Usually I run roon core on win10 with fidelizer in purist/streaming mode, so I compared this to Audiolinux in ramboot mode.
Well, I must say that I agree with the guy behind Fidelizer with what he as written about the sound difference between the two OS.

https://www.fidelizer-audio.com/extreme-dual-pc-computer-audio-setup-shootout-between-audiolinux-and-windows-server-2019/
Audiolinux might have better transparency and sound a little snappier but it also sounds thin with quite poor harmonics. As a whole, AL doesn't sound very natural at all.
So I prefer win10/fidelizer over AL. 

Has anyone tried running without root or NAS/NAA but just using software for playback in the same computer running AL our windowns+fidelizer. I don't do Roon etc. This I presume would better test the OS to compare there 2. Also with hi-res such as DXD/DSD either native and/or upsampled. I find it is harder to play Hi_Rers in general, and the better OS tends to do much better  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Testing AL Ranroot/Extreme 2 yet again

The Sound is Snappy.. Good SQ

But my post here is about connectivity

I am. using HQPlayer.. Whatever end point I use NAA does drop the USB handshake with the USB DAC peridically

U hv to power cycle and dis/connect the USB Connection to re-establish the USB Handshake

b4 it will reappear in the settings table of HQPlayer

For my SOTM SM200 Ultra Neo the connection is strong.. it doesnt drop .. the track just wont play if the USB Handshake is dropped... I just repower the isoregen and voila it is back

When I use a minipc NAA i often hv to reboot!!

During start up.. No keyboard.. No Video monitor .. with the SM200 Ultra Neo u just power it on with the network connection wait 1 min or so and boot up HQPlayer..Hey presto it shows up as an NAA

 

This evening test I forgot -- Only the UEFI ISB Boot socket will hv the DAC recognized. I struggled with thevUSB 3.0 ports to get the DAC to show up!! 

I had to boot up to Ram , pull out the AL USB Key ,Connect the DAC .. then go to the menu again and run NAA Mode!!

Then it dropped took me 10min. power cycling and rebooting the AL Ramroot/Extreme2 NAA still did not hv USB Hsndshake. 

 

This is the same for my Windows NAA.. So not a SW But a HW issue . In my view this is a usability advantage about the ease of use of SM200

 

As for fuss with Windows.. Win Server do not suffer the update trauma..anywhere like Win 10 Pro is a nightmare!!!😱😱Win server updates DO NOT SCREW UP your network as only mission critical functions / features are loaded .. The others are all user installed/ network structure dependent .. Microsoft knows better than to screw around with network settings by the user

After Audiophile Optimizer/Fidelizer do their job u are ready to run your Music Software

Works well in my opinion😎

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...