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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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1 hour ago, dgarretson said:

Austinpop, Thanks for reporting on the JCAT Net Card Femto.  I was unaware of this product.  I'm thinking of one for my QNAP TVS-882 i5 NAS, which hosts Roon core and serves the SOtM trifecta synchronized to an SRS 10mhz clock, all powered by SR-7.

 

I recently modified my SR-7 with a Less Loss 64x Firewall at the IEC inlet.  In DIY form, the Firewall just fits inside the case between the traffo and the rear panel.  I was quite surprised by the meaningful improvement of adding the Firewall to the SR-7.  I've also deployed them in Esoteric K-01X, Pass XP-25, XA-160.8, and Atmasphere MP-1.  They are not cheap, but have made more improvement across the system than any power cord or conditioner that I've tried. 

Firewall prepped for Hynes SR-7.JPG

Firewall in Hynes SR-7.JPG

 

Oh boy, this is tempting.

 


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> Modified Buffalo switch-> SOtM sNH-10G-> Custom Audiolinux server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> EtherRegen-> 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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1 minute ago, greenleo said:

So Audio Sensibility did the upgrade for you or you request the wire from SOtM?

 

Audio Sensibility has their own wire, described below.

 

This is a special production run of 20AWG OCC silver wire, made by Neotech's parent company. It has a very thin white Teflon insulation, much thinner than the blue Neotech 20AWG OCC silver hookup wire. The Neotech hookup wire has to handle high voltages (300V) so the insulation has to be much thicker. Since we are dealing with low voltage DC power for these cables, the Teflon insulation can be much thinner. The thin wire and mini-braided shielding diameters are necessary to keep the overall JSSG cable thin/flexible for the cramped interior of SOtM and other devices. 


 

 

 

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On 3/22/2019 at 9:47 PM, austinpop said:

Also, while I am on the topic of cables and power, I forgot to mention how the JCAT Net Card Femto was being powered. I'm using the 5V XLR output from the HDPlex. In his experiments, Roy found a big improvement stepping up to an SR-4, but I don't have one to spare. Unfortunately, the card needs 2A, so exceeds the capacity of the LPS-1.2.

 

FYI JCAT Net Card Femto can be powered with a LPS-1 as long as you use just one port on the JCAT.

And...using just one port gives the best SQ IMHO


Synology 916+/Tidal -->HDplex lps powered 6700K with JCAT NET running Euphony with Roon & HQPe—> Er --> Sonore SRse--> Pink Faun DAC 2.32 (32 x PCM1795 & dual power supplies)--> Ayre AX5 --> Paradigm S8 (Nordost SPM & TYR cables)

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1 hour ago, dgarretson said:

Austinpop, Thanks for reporting on the JCAT Net Card Femto.  I was unaware of this product.  I'm thinking of one for my QNAP TVS-882 i5 NAS, which hosts Roon core and serves the SOtM trifecta synchronized to an SRS 10mhz clock, all powered by SR-7.

 

I recently modified my SR-7 with a Less Loss 64x Firewall at the IEC inlet.  In DIY form, the Firewall just fits inside the case between the traffo and the rear panel.  I was quite surprised by the meaningful improvement of adding the Firewall to the SR-7.  I've also deployed them in Esoteric K-01X, Pass XP-25, XA-160.8, and Atmasphere MP-1.  They are not cheap, but have made more improvement across the system than any power cord or conditioner that I've tried. 

Firewall prepped for Hynes SR-7.JPG

Firewall in Hynes SR-7.JPG

Any more details instructions?

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19 hours ago, matthias said:

 

Thanks,

but on the HP they say maximum is 128 Kbps.

Do you have a link to 320 Kbps?

 

Matt

Hallo Matt,

I checked as promised and it came up as 128kbps. I’m not given to hallucinations so yesterday it was definitely 320kbps so it looks like 128kbps is the minimum but not a constant. 

Anyway,  what I was saying for 320 obviously applies to 128 as that’s what I normally listen to

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29 minutes ago, greenleo said:

Any more details instructions?

Regarding the Lessloss 64x Firewall, before purchasing the DIY version, I went for one finished, boxed version with AC pigtails that can be mated up in series with any AC cord and moved around the system for evaluation. The only issue with the DIY installation is that you need a hot solder gun and low-temp solder in order to work quickly without distorting the clear epoxy that covers the center section of the Firewall element.  I used Wondersolder and  a 150W trigger operated Rat Shack gun. 

 

https://www.lessloss.com/firewall-module-p-216.html

 

Here's another one inside a Pass XP-25 phono stage power supply chassis.

‏Firewall in Pass XP-25.JPG

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10 hours ago, jean-michel6 said:

Rajiv ,

 

I can see from this schematic that you are running your tx ultra at 12v .

Is it better in term of sq than running at 9v. If yes what does it brings in term of sq. 

 

May  from SOtM says they were recommending 9v. 

 

7 hours ago, str-1 said:

When I asked May about this, probably more than a year ago, she said there might be better sound quality from running at 12V but there might also be heat issues for some people doing this.  I didn’t press to get a better understanding of what the heat issues were, and I haven’t yet tried switching to 12V.

 

4 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

I've been running my tX-USBultra at 12v without any heat issues.  There was no perceptible change when I switched from 9v.  I did not take any temperature measurements.

 

4 hours ago, str-1 said:

Did you find it worthwhile switching to 12V?

 

3 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

At the time of the switch, any change was only barely perceptible.  I don't know if I could have consistently heard a difference in a blind listening test.  With the more resolving system that I have now, the result might be slightly more discernible.

 

Remember the sCLK-EX board has 3 voltage selectors:

  • 6.5-8.5V
  • 9V
  • 12V

My unit was previously set at 6.5-8.5V and I used to run it at 7V (back in the LPS-1 days, when 7V was the highest available)! I found (by accident, I'll admit) I could easily run in this mode at 12V, but the unit ran noticeably hotter. When I sent in my unit for the Evox upgrade, I had them set the jumpers to 12V. I can't say the unit runs any hotter now than it did with the old setting, with 7V.

 

3 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

If you want to make a significant change in your tX, then get the Evox cap and upgrade the internal DC cable to the Audio Sensibility custom silver JSSG wire.  You'll feel like you have an entirely new device.  If that upgrade is 100, then changing to 12v is no more than 5.

 

I agree - if there is s difference in SQ with voltage, it is very minor, and also depends on the jumper settings. I'm intrigued by the Audio Sensibility mod, but since I was also doing the NUC clock mods, I elected to go with the SOtM flavor of the upgrade.

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2 hours ago, dgarretson said:

Regarding the Lessloss 64x Firewall, before purchasing the DIY version, I went for one finished, boxed version with AC pigtails that can be mated up in series with any AC cord and moved around the system for evaluation. The only issue with the DIY installation is that you need a hot solder gun and low-temp solder in order to work quickly without distorting the clear epoxy that covers the center section of the Firewall element.  I used Wondersolder and  a 150W trigger operated Rat Shack gun. 

 

https://www.lessloss.com/firewall-module-p-216.html

 

Here's another one inside a Pass XP-25 phono stage power supply chassis.

‏Firewall in Pass XP-25.JPG

 

Very intriguing!

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3 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

Audio Sensibility has their own wire, described below.

 

 

 

@auricgoldfinger Did you order the wire from Audio Sensibility and did the mod yourself or had to send the txUSB-Ultra to them to have it done? I'm planning to send my Ultra to SoTM to do the evox cap upgrade. I wish they had the Audio Sensibility wire to do the upgrade.

 

I've used Audio Sensibility interconnect in the past. They are great cables for a reasonable price.

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4 hours ago, dgarretson said:

Austinpop, Thanks for reporting on the JCAT Net Card Femto.  I was unaware of this product.  I'm thinking of one for my QNAP TVS-882 i5 NAS, which hosts Roon core and serves the SOtM trifecta synchronized to an SRS 10mhz clock, all powered by SR-7.

 

I recently modified my SR-7 with a Less Loss 64x Firewall at the IEC inlet.  In DIY form, the Firewall just fits inside the case between the traffo and the rear panel.  I was quite surprised by the meaningful improvement of adding the Firewall to the SR-7.  I've also deployed them in Esoteric K-01X, Pass XP-25, XA-160.8, and Atmasphere MP-1.  They are not cheap, but have made more improvement across the system than any power cord or conditioner that I've tried. 

Firewall prepped for Hynes SR-7.JPG

Firewall in Hynes SR-7.JPG

 

 

Are you using some kind of power conditioner at the wall?  In other words, what is the SR7 plugged into?


 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, shahed99 said:

 

@auricgoldfinger Did you order the wire from Audio Sensibility and did the mod yourself or had to send the txUSB-Ultra to them to have it done? I'm planning to send my Ultra to SoTM to do the evox cap upgrade. I wish they had the Audio Sensibility wire to do the upgrade.

 

I've used Audio Sensibility interconnect in the past. They are great cables for a reasonable price.

 

PM sent


 

 

 

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1 minute ago, elan120 said:

External DC power connection setup for Startech USB3.1 Gen2 PCIe card

 

While experimenting different music file sources, in addition to using an external USB3.1 Gen2 HDD enclosure, I also added Startech USB3.1 Gen2 PCIe card with the option of connecting to an external power source that was recommended by Larry - thank you @lmitche.  Although there are many ways an external power source can be connected, since I have some spare parts on the bench, I decided to make up a short cable for this purpose and pictures below show how mine was done in case anyone interested in making one as well.

 

Stock Startech USB3.1 Gen2 PCIe card:

1190156942_20190305_062226-StockUSBcard.thumb.jpg.e2564a7077f1fd0932b70ae23be3e77f.jpg

 

Prepare expansion cover plate feed thru hole for barrel connector:

887214554_20190305_192730-Prepareforexternalpowerinputbarrelconnector.thumb.jpg.043531f896707845b572eb14824fc684.jpg

 

Solder Gotham cable to barrel connector while setting up JSSG360 termination configuration:

1497652244_20190307_201339-TerminatebarrelconnectorwithJSSGGothamcable.thumb.jpg.7620a1277bc52f4df6765fdc8984d990.jpg

 

Barrel connector termination complete:

635256138_20190307_201543-Barrelconnectorterminationcomplete.thumb.jpg.ceaa26a47517f9004ee5d62f521af043.jpg

 

Feed JSSG360 Gotham cable through expansion cover plate:

358498294_20190307_202733-FeedJSSGGothamcablethroughexpensioncoverplate.thumb.jpg.bf26311ddd3663860ee432b65fa51e63.jpg

 

SATA connector end termination complete:

1963921334_20190307_203429-SATAconnectorterminationcomplete.thumb.jpg.33343eda23c79991df0997b141ab5499.jpg

 

Completed card with JSSG360 Gotham cable:

1790140983_20190307_204457-CompletedexternalJSSGGothampowercable.thumb.jpg.7328bc3d68ab27bee9be7a79efe52710.jpg

 

Close up picture of added barrel connector:

20190307_204535.thumb.jpg.1c3aea3f9f3e3b65d8da609cc6a006c7.jpg

 

 

 

After having this setup for a little over 3 weeks, last night I installed an Evox cap I happened to have.  The initial impression is quite positive, and based on the past experience, I believe/hope further burn-in will result in further improvements.  Here are couple pictures to show the before and after.

 

Prepare card by removing Molex LP4 connector for space needed to install the cap:

406119624_20190326_195619-LP4connectorremoved.thumb.jpg.7a75219997d4ca9af2c0cf0c6c8118eb.jpg

 

Cap installed:

742689350_20190326_201221-Evoxcapinstalled.thumb.jpg.f2cbd6e7354c091cba0b8a1489884bd9.jpg

 

 

Once cap burn-in is done, I will replace the current JSSG360 Gotham cable with silver Neotech JSSG360 cable from Audio Sensibility, recommended by @auricgoldfinger as a great quality cable to compare.  Hopefully the new silver cable will provide further improvements.

 

 

 

 

 

Impressive work!


 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, austinpop said:

I'm intrigued by the Audio Sensibility mod, but since I was also doing the NUC clock mods, I elected to go with the SOtM flavor of the upgrade.

I will know more very soon as I have SOtM silver cable at the moment, but will  make up a Audio Sensibility cable in the next week or two to try.

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11 minutes ago, elan120 said:

I will know more very soon as I have SOtM silver cable at the moment, but will  make up a Audio Sensibility cable in the next week or two to try.

 

I don't think SOtM is doing JSSG360 are they? 


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> Modified Buffalo switch-> SOtM sNH-10G-> Custom Audiolinux server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> EtherRegen-> 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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1 minute ago, Johnseye said:

 

I don't think SOtM is doing JSSG360 are they? 

No, they are not, but Audio Sensibility's silver cable is.

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1 hour ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

 

Are you using some kind of power conditioner at the wall?  In other words, what is the SR7 plugged into?

I've been using a Signal DU-5 5 kva balanced transformer to power the SR-7 and also all line-level analog & digital components-- except for the Pass phono stage, which hums due to a grounding issue when handed balanced AC.  

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29 minutes ago, elan120 said:

Cap installed:

742689350_20190326_201221-Evoxcapinstalled.thumb.jpg.f2cbd6e7354c091cba0b8a1489884bd9.jpg

 

Nice work! Thanks for the info. 

Did you replace an existing cap? Or installed a new one? What model/value Evox cap did you use.

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3 hours ago, elan120 said:

External DC power connection setup for Startech USB3.1 Gen2 PCIe card

1790140983_20190307_204457-CompletedexternalJSSGGothampowercable.thumb.jpg.7328bc3d68ab27bee9be7a79efe52710.jpg

 

Close up picture of added barrel connector:

20190307_204535.thumb.jpg.1c3aea3f9f3e3b65d8da609cc6a006c7.jpg

Once cap burn-in is done, I will replace the current JSSG360 Gotham cable with silver Neotech JSSG360 cable from Audio Sensibility, recommended by @auricgoldfinger as a great quality cable to compare.  Hopefully the new silver cable will provide further improvements.

 

Very nice. Question. Does the card automatically disable power input from the bus when the SATA input is powered? How about bus power ground?



"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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23 minutes ago, mourip said:

Does the card automatically disable power input from the bus when the SATA input is powered?

No it doesn't. See

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-computer-audio-streaming/?do=findComment&comment=924903

 

But for those with good DIY skills, @numlog has a solution.  I just can't find his post right now.

 


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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20 minutes ago, mourip said:
21 minutes ago, mourip said:

Very nice. Question. Does the card automatically disable power input from the bus when the SATA input is powered? How about bus power ground? 

 

I dont think so the 'external' power is auxiliary, I would cut or just tape over the 12v line on the PCIE that would give a clean supply from the external power.

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Also note the power consumption from PCIe slot 3.3V stays the same. this will always be the power source for USB controller chips themselves, Im fairly sure the 12V input goes to DC-DC converter for USB VBUS only. To test this tape over 3.3V pin on card, with just 12V input it will not work

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Thanks. I guess that the bottom line is whether the external supply improved SQ but I imagine that the best improvement would be from getting complete power isolation. I assume that is what one gets from the expensive JCAT card.



"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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