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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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16 hours ago, Chopin75 said:

Compressed? not sure what you mean? If a recording is made 20 or 24 bit originally there should be no compression. 

Recordings are made in 20 bit by 2000s (actually started in late 1990s) The 20 bit recording are available only in 16 or24 bit but not in original 20 bit for some reason. The CD format cannot hold more than 16 bit data so that is why we were stuck in 16 bit world for almost 20 yrs before Hi-Res downloads become widely available. 

Compression of course has nothing to with bit depth. Often 24 bit downloads or streaming files are remastered and during remastering they often use compression to make it louder = loudness war. Believe it or not, even hi-res files are subject to the loudness war. It took me little time the see that sites as HDTracks use compression. I stopped buying from them.

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3 hours ago, luisma said:

Thanks Bob, totally agree with you, simple things are wonderful. Upsampling worked for me on my SS amp which I sold more than 6 months ago and was replaced by OTL's mono's and I kept upsampling because why not? just when I decided to test Euphony which I could not upsample or play DSD because of limitations on my DAC (which Zelkjo very graciously is helping to get it added to Euphony's list of supported DACs), just then I realized the plain sound with no changes (like @Chopin75 was saying on his response to my post which by the way I have to read slow and carefully because there is a lot of info there I did not know before and valuable to me), the plain source with no changes sounded amazingly good. That made me go back and experiment and discard some of the "dogma" and I'm at that stage now. 

 

@Chopin75 mentioned something very interesting that PCM is more detailed and analytical and I think he is right on the money there, I am a neophyte in these matters and I'm learning all I can that's why I mentioned my learning from this community, so sometimes we may enjoy the details with "our ear right at the mic" and sometimes just the analog music feeling and I have to say we are so lucky (I was about to say blessed) that we are living in a time where we have so many choices for enjoyment and we can choose what to listen to and how.

 

My main thing with DSD was the glitchy Amanero Combo 384 board which with PCM when changes in bits, resolution etc. happened from track to track it started playing high SPL noise, an issue which made me always DSD upsample as it was completely stable there.

 

Thank you @bobfa and @Chopin75 for your comments.

 

Love to learn

 

 

@luisma If you have not heard, the most recent new Amanero firmware release, 2006be10, appears to have fixed all outstanding noise, glitches and pops with DSD and switching formats. It does DSD512 on Linux pretty much perfectly now. I’ve been running it for 2 weeks straight. I was hesitant to say anything given the prior issues with his firmware updates but this appears to be the real deal!

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26 minutes ago, austinpop said:

really have better things to do than come in here and moderate every day. I do not want to delete posts, so please make my "job" easier.

I started it with the PCM vs DSD listening experience, thought it would be part of the listening chain and not OT feel free to delete mine as it really doesn't provide anything relevant. I will copy some of the answers I received 

 

 

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On 6/14/2019 at 6:23 PM, afrancois said:

I'm having very good results with my new network topology. I'm now convinced that the electrical quality of the network that enters the server is also (very) important. Before the latest change, the NAS and AL Server were connected to the main switch.

The NAS and AL Server are electrically isolated from the AQVox. This was already the case in the past, the difference however is that the AL Server is no longer electrically connected to the rest of my network.

All switches, modem, NAS and AL Server have their separate LPS., as do the AQVox and sMS-200 Ultra.

 

I had bought an Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 10XP for other purposes, but I tried it in my setup and I was really surprised by the impact on the audio quality.

 

My Ubiquiti wireless AP's are all connected to the main switch!

 

I'm very curious if things will still even get better when I replace the AQVox with an EtherREGEN, it is already very very good.

 

 

 

1648297463_NetworkTopology2.png.eddb25f67ebfb8941968b69aa18685c3.png

Have you created vlans? Where (on which switch) and for which equipments?

 

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8 hours ago, Ricardo007 said:

Have you created vlans? Where (on which switch) and for which equipments?

 

Router: https://www.ui.com/edgemax/edgerouter-6p/

Main switch : https://www.ui.com/edgemax/edgeswitch-16-xg/

Other switches : https://www.ui.com/edgemax/edgeswitch-10xp/

 

I haven't created a VLAN for audio yet. I'm thinking about it.

 

I'm in the midst of converting my home network to 10gbe (partially). I want I high performance Hyper-V setup.

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10 hours ago, sandyk said:

 

 My understanding is that HDTracks supplies the material as given to them by the Record Companies , (even though initially some should not have been sent to them as High Res) and does not do any other processing that will affect the integrity of the supplied material.

 I have even be able to compare the contents of one of my DVD-As against a decoded .flac Download from

HD Tracks, and they were digitally identical as shown by Checksums. 

 

You are right, I should have said it otherwise. The files are coming from record companies already compressed. Unfortunately mostly the latest remastered version of a certain release is used, which is often compressed. Take Fleetwood Mac for example. The later releases are horrible compared to the original CD's.

Given the fact that the HD track is identical to the DVD-A track doesn't mean that they are not both compressed. I know, it's hard to swallow but compression is a real disease. 

The latest Famous Blue Raincoat CD and HIRES from Jennifer Warnes, everybody is raving about, is compressed. Put on the original CD and you'll know.

Same for Graceland from Paul Simon. Latest CD, HIRES and TIDAL are all compressed. Original CD and LP sounds wonderful.

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On 6/28/2019 at 3:52 PM, luisma said:

Thanks Bob, totally agree with you, simple things are wonderful. Upsampling worked for me on my SS amp which I sold more than 6 months ago and was replaced by OTL's mono's and I kept upsampling because why not? just when I decided to test Euphony which I could not upsample or play DSD because of limitations on my DAC (which Zelkjo very graciously is helping to get it added to Euphony's list of supported DACs), just then I realized the plain sound with no changes (like @Chopin75 was saying on his response to my post which by the way I have to read slow and carefully because there is a lot of info there I did not know before and valuable to me), the plain source with no changes sounded amazingly good. That made me go back and experiment and discard some of the "dogma" and I'm at that stage now. 

 

@Chopin75 mentioned something very interesting that PCM is more detailed and analytical and I think he is right on the money there, I am a neophyte in these matters and I'm learning all I can that's why I mentioned my learning from this community, so sometimes we may enjoy the details with "our ear right at the mic" and sometimes just the analog music feeling and I have to say we are so lucky (I was about to say blessed) that we are living in a time where we have so many choices for enjoyment and we can choose what to listen to and how.

 

My main thing with DSD was the glitchy Amanero Combo 384 board which with PCM when changes in bits, resolution etc. happened from track to track it started playing high SPL noise, an issue which made me always DSD upsample as it was completely stable there.

 

Thank you @bobfa and @Chopin75 for your comments.

 

Love to learn

 

 

I was told the Amanero has issues with DSD per Magna Hi Fi so they have a Xmos-F1 board version which I use. But  pops still happens with DSD with changing albums but not tracks in same album.

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On 6/28/2019 at 7:00 PM, austinpop said:

Folks, we seem to have veered off-topic again. 2 pages on DSD vs. PCM, Hi-res vs. Redbook? It's an interesting discussion topic, but it is OT for this thread. 

 

Yes, the focus here is on direct listening experiences, but not about anything! As a reminder:

 

 

The reason I'm trying to rein in these OT meanderings is that this thread is already long enough, so it behooves us to keep a very high S/N ratio.

 

I really have better things to do than come in here and moderate every day. I do not want to delete posts, so please make my "job" easier.

 

I have very little time for forums as well, but something occured to me yesterday that should be within your parameters.

 

As a friend and I are working on our latest servers, both attaching to DAC/renderer via USB (a change for me), I was wondering if the second connection on our JCAT Net cards (bridged for direct connect as before) could be used for the NAS.  Why?  For the same reasons it benefited the Ethernet connection to the DAC/renderer:  better latency and lower noise.  If plausible, I would then consider how to deal with the proximity of the NAS to the server and listening position, and would consider replacing hard drives with SSDs on the NAS only (that's actually a single SSD for my current Synology DS119j for those cringing at the idea of buying several, expensive SSDs).

 

Thoughts (preferrably from those currently using bridged Ethernet)?

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21 minutes ago, Darryl R said:

 

I have very little time for forums as well, but something occured to me yesterday that should be within your parameters.

 

As a friend and I are working on our latest servers, both attaching to DAC/renderer via USB (a change for me), I was wondering if the second connection on our JCAT Net cards (bridged for direct connect as before) could be used for the NAS.  Why?  For the same reasons it benefited the Ethernet connection to the DAC/renderer:  better latency and lower noise.  If plausible, I would then consider how to deal with the proximity of the NAS to the server and listening position, and would consider replacing hard drives with SSDs on the NAS only (that's actually a single SSD for my current Synology DS119j for those cringing at the idea of buying several, expensive SSDs).

 

Thoughts (preferrably from those currently using bridged Ethernet)?

 

Interesting proposition.

 

Examples of on-topic follow up would be SQ reports from those who’ve tried this or similar, and their findings compared to keeping the NAS elsewhere.

 

I’ve always preferred to keep the NAS far away due to acoustic noise considerations, but I’d love to hear reports on this approach.

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12 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

Interesting proposition.

 

Examples of on-topic follow up would be SQ reports from those who’ve tried this or similar, and their findings compared to keeping the NAS elsewhere.

 

I’ve always preferred to keep the NAS far away due to acoustic noise considerations, but I’d love to hear reports on this approach.

 

Well, I'll try it and let you know.  It's going to be several weeks until I get the new 6-rail LPS and then build the new server.  It occurred to me because my home network is about as cheap as you can get (builder wired and the AT&T U-verse router), and I've always had trouble using Windows shares.  I'm currently populating the NAS with the web API and it's slow.  Also, I read an article asserting little to no benefit replacing HDDs with SSDs in a NAS because the network is the bottleneck (for the average home network).  But we have the acoustic concern as you state.

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44 minutes ago, Darryl R said:

I was wondering if the second connection on our JCAT Net cards (bridged for direct connect as before) could be used for the NAS.

 

14 minutes ago, austinpop said:

I’ve always preferred to keep the NAS far away due to acoustic noise considerations, but I’d love to hear reports on this approach.

I have been connecting NAS to server direct via JCAT Net Card for awhile (see below), but have not done comparison if installed far away.  When compare with external HDD, internal Optane, they seems to be very close in SQ, with external HDD appears leading slightly.  Certainly worth a try to see how well it works in different system.

 

Current setup:

image.png.d45903e29b4c290e23d7225b356b9e1f.png

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25 minutes ago, elan120 said:

 

I have been connecting NAS to server direct via JCAT Net Card for awhile (see below), but have not done comparison if installed far away.  When compare with external HDD, internal Optane, they seems to be very close in SQ, with external HDD appears leading slightly.  Certainly worth a try to see how well it works in different system.

 

Very cool Elan120.  For my cheapie home LAN, I'm hoping for other benefits as well, like Windows share performance.

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@Darryl R

 

This may be a huge overkill, but I am consider something like this in my network and will be happy to report back the results once I try (but first we need the EtherREGEN switch to be released):

EtherREGEN.thumb.jpg.d77c368ca964c2781f5ef2d828eb5bb9.jpg

If the claims Uptone Audio is making about their new switch are true, this can become a flat network with one switch only and no bridging...

I have my fingers crossed their claims are true. But I also highly doubt some of them would be completely true in practice. Hence, I added some extra optical isolation and a second EtherREGEN in the diagram above. Again, this might be an overkill. Also, I picked the Sonore opticalModule as it is regarded as the best fiber media convertor for audio applications on the market at the moment. Let me know if there is a better one. 

 

Too much speculation at this point, so here is a fallback scenario as well. 

If the EtherREGEN switch turns out to be a disappointment, then a similar solution can be implemented with a SOTM switch:

SOTM.thumb.jpg.fb57b3b388655149f137c98e16021d9b.jpg

 

The part in blue may not even be necessary. Instead the second SFP port on the SOTM can be utilized. Listening tests would determine what's the best option. 

 

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Hey Nenon how about lose one EtherRegen and replace with a multi SFP switch like Mikro Tik CRS305 (at $153). Both Optical modules can plug in as well as one EtheRegen feeding one RJ45 to the JCat.

CJH

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1 hour ago, CJH said:

Hey Nenon how about lose one EtherRegen and replace with a multi SFP switch like Mikro Tik CRS305 (at $153). Both Optical modules can plug in as well as one EtheRegen feeding one RJ45 to the JCat.

 CJH

 

I was going for an ultimate network design with as little compromises as possible. My two major design goals are:

1. Keep any noisy devices isolated from my server; and

2. Best possible reclocking.

 

One thing I did not like on the diagram @elan120 posted above is that the WiFi access point is directly connected to the server with a copper connection. I consider the WiFi access point a 'noisy' device and would prefer to be isolated from my server. The NAS can also be 'noisy'. That's why I used an optical connection for the NAS in my diagram as well. 

 

Similarly, the Mikro Tik CRS305 you are suggesting might leak some noise through the RJ45 to the server. You can remove one EtherREGEN, it's probably an overkill anyway, but I would replace it with another opticalModule instead. Like this:

One-EtherREGEN.thumb.jpg.80b95015e18ff1e1f10d0d39f2445f12.jpg

 

The reason I used an EtherREGEN in my original diagram is because according to John Swenson, who designed both, the clocking on the EtherREGEN is better than on the opticalModule. And that's important for the music files transfer from the NAS to my server. It's also my second design goal. 

Alternatively, you can just simplify things (and cost) and connect the NAS via RJ45 to the EtherREGEN. 

 

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Not sure why you want 2 RJ45 connections to your JCat. My thought was to use the optical connection from both Sonore optical modules and an optical connection from the etherRegen into the Mikro Tik CRS305 since it has four possible optical connections (no use for the RJ45 connection of the CRS305). Then use one RJ45 connection from the etherRegen to your JCat. Total optical isolation and great clocking going into the JCat.

CJH

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3 hours ago, CJH said:

Not sure why you want 2 RJ45 connections to your JCat. My thought was to use the optical connection from both Sonore optical modules and an optical connection from the etherRegen into the Mikro Tik CRS305 since it has four possible optical connections (no use for the RJ45 connection of the CRS305). Then use one RJ45 connection from the etherRegen to your JCat. Total optical isolation and great clocking going into the JCat.

CJH

 

Of course that would work. But the signal from your NAS to the server would pass through a potentially noisy Mikro Tik. I am trying to avoid that. 

IMO, you would be better off putting an opticalModule instead of the Mikro Tik - like the second diagram in my post (#14518)...

And, no, you don't have to use the second JCAT port, but it provides extra isolation (i.e. your home network router, wifi, etc. do not share the same switch as your NAS). We might be going offtopic here, though. Ping me in a PM if you want to discuss more. 

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I got away using a 5A LM338 LPS for my Ryzen 1700, really cheap and simple to build.

The  Ryzen 1700 has quite low power consumption I noticed, the supply is viable for native PCM and probably upsampled PCM too, note the LM338 can handle 12A peaks.

It sounds great, and easy to replace the LM338 with LT3045 5A board using the same transformer. 

As has been noted by others a big, oversized transformer seems to be the core of a good sounding power supply.

No idea how it compares to commercial LPS offerings, but it well outperforms my decent SMPS - Corsair RM650X.

 

P.S TDP is not power consumption, you can find power consumption for your CPU under different loads on many review sites.

 

 

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5 hours ago, numlog said:

I got away using a 5A LM338 LPS for my Ryzen 1700, really cheap and simple to build.

The  Ryzen 1700 has quite low power consumption I noticed, the supply is viable for native PCM and probably upsampled PCM too, note the LM338 can handle 12A peaks.

It sounds great, and easy to replace the LM338 with LT3045 5A board using the same transformer. 

As has been noted by others a big, oversized transformer seems to be the core of a good sounding power supply.

No idea how it compares to commercial LPS offerings, but it well outperforms my decent SMPS - Corsair RM650X.

 

P.S TDP is not power consumption, you can find power consumption for your CPU under different loads on many review sites.

 

 

https://www.newclassd.com/index.php?page=265&hv=1

info on this regulator is not up to date.


🇳🇱
Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

EtherRegen, Clock modded Isoregen, Lush^2

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7 hours ago, numlog said:

I got away using a 5A LM338 LPS for my Ryzen 1700, really cheap and simple to build.

 

 

 Did you check out the LT1083 which also has a much lower dropout voltage and good ripple rejection too ?

LT1083,4,5fg.pdf


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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streacom fc10 + RYZEN 7 3700X + gigabyte x570 aorus xtreme
I am making an audio PC with this combination.
I want to use the pink faun SPDIF bridge.
Gold-plated Premium PCIE 16X 2U 90 degree rectangular riser card
Would it Sound quality okay?

 

 

 

TB2TAB2apXXXXcNXXXXXXXXXXXX_!!2106314686__56230_zoom.jpg

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2 minutes ago, sukyung said:

streacom fc10 + RYZEN 7 3700X + gigabyte x570 aorus xtreme
I am making an audio PC with this combination.
I want to use the pink faun SPDIF bridge.
Gold-plated Premium PCIE 16X 2U 90 degree rectangular riser card
Would it Sound quality okay?

 

 

 

TB2TAB2apXXXXcNXXXXXXXXXXXX_!!2106314686__56230_zoom.jpg

 

Raiser cards and extension cables seem to degrade the sound quality a bit. You would be better off with a streacom fc9 as it does not need a riser card. 

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