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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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4 minutes ago, George Hincapie said:

 

I don't understand why that is. To my mind it's an incredibly simple, binary question.

 

I have replaced SMPS on DACs for example. Does this offer improvement? Absolutely yes. No doubt whatsoever. There you go, that's what I'm after.

 

 

 

Settle down please, or I'm going to start deleting your posts.

 

Making peevish demands, and then expressing incredulity when you don't get the answer you want, is not winning you any friends here. I suggest you spend the time to go back and do searches. It's not hard. Also look at the index on the first post. You may find some info there.

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Has anyone else had the chance to listen externally powered Optane drive yet?

Im thrown back by how much difference it made for the OS Optane drive, it seems Optane has the the potential to scale greatly with improved power, if it wasnt already clearly the superior drive choice.

 

BTW you can fit Windows Server GUI on a 16GB Optane drive, its requires you to freshly install Windows to a normal sized drive first, then run a clean up tool to delete all unneeded junk from the  Windows folder, also uninstall/delete any preinstalled files/features. You can then use AOMEI  Backupper to clone this install onto the 16GB Optane, I had around 2GB free space on it after doing this but it may vary depending on version/build of windows.

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Optane drives require 3.3V natively, therefore finding the right adapter with an external power connector at that particular voltage could be tricky

 

https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/optane-memory-m10-m15-brief.pdf#page=2

Quote

3.3V Supply Rail

 

This adapter came with SATA power connector, does it actually work with Optane when we're only feeding +3.3V DC or not?

 

https://www.addonics.com/products/ad2m2s-px4.php

F0lk1Bh.jpg

 

BTW, the latency of 32GB / 64GB versions seemed to be somewhat better when compared to that of 16GB

 

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/189225/intel-optane-memory-m15-series.html

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No because these adapters use onboard DC-DC converters to get 3.3V from the 12V rail.

I used single slot version with no power connector, taped 12V PCIe Pins, desoldered the series inductor on the output of DC-DC converter and connected external 3.3V supply there. With some basic soldering/construction skills you can add whatever connector you like to the adapter

 

thanks for advice on latency, this was to test the waters for Optane without spending much. Hoping we see some larger and affordable drives for the next gen that can serve as storage aswell as OS.

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5 hours ago, numlog said:

No because these adapters use onboard DC-DC converters to get 3.3V from the 12V rail.

Why would they not just use 3.3V from the PCIe slot and SATA power connectors?


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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no idea,  I would guess the 12V rail is a more reliable choice for the power source, maybe power quality was influencing benchmark performance of these drives in some circumstances. There looked to be other, less expensive brands of adapterthat  did take 3.3V from the PCIe slot, maybe there a multislot version with 3.3V from sata connector but something I liked about the startech single slot adapter was that you could see it had the shortest PCB traces for its data lines. 

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I was looking at more realistic prices of Optane H10 and somehow HBRPEKNX0203A01 (32GB Optane + 1TB QLC SSD) could only be found on mostly Australian and European sites so far

 

https://www.amazon.fr/Intel-Optane-Disque-Express-XPoint/dp/B07RL812DW

http://www.computersources.biz/product/details/intel/storage/hbrpeknx0203a01/2730C187

https://www.span.com/product/Intel-Optane-Memory-H10-SSD-HBRPEKNX0203A01-M-2-2280-NVMe-1TB-32GB-SSD~69642

https://4thegamers.de/produkt/intel-optane-h10-solid-state-drive-ssd-m-2-1000-gb-pci-express-3-0-3d-xpoint-qlc-3d-nand-nvme/

https://www.mindfactory.de/product_info.php/1000GB-Intel-Optane-Memory-H10-with-Solid-State-Storage-32GB-M-2-2280-P_1310705.html

 

There's only 1 review as follows and latency of the Optane portion looked good enough to me

 

https://www.storagereview.com/intel_optane_memory_h10_review

 

Basically 380GB M.2 version of Optane 905P should be leading the pack at the moment, though the upcoming Optane M15 should be supposedly even better

 

https://www.servethehome.com/intel-optane-dc-p4801x-review-100gb-m-2-nvme-ssd-log-option/

jhDjumQ.jpg

 

380GB M.2 version of Optane 905P

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/148607/intel-optane-ssd-905p-series-380gb-m-2-110mm-pcie-x4-20nm-3d-xpoint.html

 

1TB M.2 version of Optane H10

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/189611/intel-optane-memory-h10-with-solid-state-storage-32gb-1tb-m-2-80mm-pcie-3-0-3d-xpoint-qlc.html

 

Everything else

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/129835/intel-optane-ssd-905p-series.html

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/132776/intel-optane-memory-m10-series.html

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/149363/intel-optane-ssd-dc-p4801x-series.html

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/189225/intel-optane-memory-m15-series.html

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/189227/intel-optane-memory-h10-with-solid-state-storage.html

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/190349/intel-optane-dc-persistent-memory.html

 

So it wouldn't hurt too much to take a chance and get Optane H10 for €200 a piece. Basically we could use 32GB / 64GB Optane M15 for OS + Apps etc. And then the entire music library could be stored on quite a few Optane H10 sticks with Quad M.2 PCIe SSD add-in cards.

 

OTOH, what if we're actually taking advantage of AMD's StoreMI instead? In other words, primary Optane M15 for OS + Apps and secondary Optane M15 for caching the entire music library

 

https://www.amd.com/en/technologies/store-mi

https://www.amd.com/system/files/documents/AMD-StoreMI-Users-Guide.pdf

 

4TB SSDs are going for $450 at the moment

 

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Inch-SATA-Internal-Gray/dp/B07L3CLM2B

 

5TB HDDs for $100 or so

 

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Portable-External-Photography-STDR5000101/dp/B01LXF3C7Z

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-BarraCuda-Internal-2-5-Inch-ST5000LM000/dp/B01M0AADIX

 

I found something here and it might be kinda useful for caching the entire music library

 

https://github.com/memcached/memcached/wiki/ReleaseNotes1510

Quote

Future releases will allow mixing different types of devices, ie:

 

  • drive A is a small persistent memory (Optane or similar) device
  • drive B is a large inexpensive flash SSD

 

Waiting patiently for comparisons among RAM and Optane H10 / M10 / M15 in the future. If H10 were as good as the others, it could very well be the "Holy Grail" for storing the entire music library IMHO.

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Im interested in either the 380GB 905P M.2 drive or a 128Gb M15 M.2 card if they release one,

the PCIe card versions creates problems for using external power

 

 

If using a RAM Player I dont see any advantage to buffering from SSD/HDD to Optane then to RAM, it may make things worse.

 

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17 hours ago, austinpop said:

As some of you may know, I was fortunate enough to buy one of the 2 SR7 units that cool_chris has put on sale. This has given me 3 rails of SR7 SR goodness to add in to my system. I also took delivery of 2 long awaited SR4-19 units from Paul, so it's been PSU heaven here at chez austinpop.

 

I did some PSU juggling, and have settled on this allocation of PSUs in my system. I've got to say, this system is now in a state where the desire for further tweaking has reached a new low. It is sounding breathtakingly good.

 

image.png

 

One observation I want to highlight in my topology is this: the TLS OCXO switch as shown further improved the SQ of the system. over and above what I had with the sNH-10G switch. I also tried just a Netgear GS105 in place of the TLS, and the TLS definitely adds more SQ over and above just the base isolation provided by the GS105 with JSGT. Once the EtherRegen come out, it will be very interesting to see how it compares instead of the sNH-10G in the topology above, with and without the TLS switch upstream.

 

Hopefully in the next few weeks, my SR7MR3DRXL build #17 will arrive. My intention there is to replicate @romaz's approach. I'll use the SR7DR-19V/10A rail to drive an HDPlex DC-ATX converter to supply ATX to my server, and another SR7DR-12V/6A rail to supply EPS. The third DR rail will go wherever it sounds best, most likely the tX-USBultra, and I'll juggle other PSUs accordingly.

 

Once that is in place, I would seriously wonder how this compared to a Pink Faun 2.16X or SGM Extreme system. 

 

Due to my unexpected PSU bounty, I will likely be selling an SR4-19 and a couple of LPS-1.2s soon. Watch the buy/sell forum, or you can PM me.

 

 

Thank you @austinpop for this updates, Just out of curiosity, how did you find the HMS with SR7 vs the supplied SMPS? 

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9 minutes ago, beautiful music said:

Thank you @austinpop for this updates, Just out of curiosity, how did you find the HMS with SR7 vs the supplied SMPS? 

 

It's a noticeable improvement, as I mentioned in my review:

The HMS was a slightly different story. Here again, I noticed the same correlation between voltage and dynamics. You really have to run this thing at 15V to match the dynamics of the stock PSU. However, on the HMS, I felt the SR-7 was a more significant step up in quality. The same reduction in harshness I noticed on the TT2 was more pronounced, accompanied by an uptick in resolution and clarity.

 

Of course, that was with a borrowed SR-7 with DR rails, whereas I currently have it on a SR rail.

 

I should reiterate what I said in the review: 

Let me be clear: the HMS and TT2 sound wonderful with the supplied PSUs. The benefit from upgrading to an end-game PSU like the SR-7 is much smaller than I have heard on other gear. Is there a benefit? Sure. Given the cost and difficulty to obtain the SR-7, I don’t think HMS/TT2 owners need to feel deprived in any way just running the stock PSUs. If, on the other hand, you are the lucky owner of a PSU of the quality of the SR-7, you can certainly elevate the performance of the HMS/TT2 combo even further. If I had to pick only one, I would apply the upgrade to the HMS, and then only if you can run at 15V.

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Apologies for an admittedly OT post, but since so many of the regulars here are accomplished DIYers, I wanted to tap into your expertise.

 

One of the DC cables I got from purchasing my used SR7MR3 is a Paul Hynes DC3FSXLR fine silver cable, but it's terminated with a 4-pin Molex. I need to get it reterminated with an Oyaide 5.5x2.5 connector, which I have in hand. I've been checking around for local electronics repair places who might do the retermination for me, but I'm concerned about shoddy materials.

 

For a cable of this quality, should I be looking for them to use a particular solder? Any other considerations? Any US-based DIYer here who could do the retermination for me? I'd pay, of course.

 

Anyway, since this is OT, please PM me if you have thoughts or suggestions.

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Hi @austinpop, thanks for the update! Did I miss something? I hadn't realized you went back to the Roon server + SoTM solution from the Euphony + Stylus one-box solution. Any update here? Or have I just gotten lost in the morass that is this and the other threads?

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3 hours ago, austinpop said:

On the software side, I am booting Euphony OS from the Optane SSD. For music serving, I am using Roon+StylusEP, which means Roon Core for the server, and StylusEP as the player. StylusEP presents itself to Roon as a Squeezebox device.

 

One further point about Stylus vs. Roon. I've written before that I do find Stylus standalone to sound better than Roon+StylusEP. However, I'm addicted to Roon, and cannot give it up (yet). What I end up doing is that I'll use Roon+StylusEP if I'm grazing, but if I settle down to listen to an album or symphony, I'll switch over to Stylus for that last ounce of SQ.

 

Also, I did eventually find a slight benefit from core isolation on Euphony. My settings are (for 6 physical cores, so 12 logical cpus):

0-3 RoonServer 4-7 stylus 4-7 gstp 8-11

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1 hour ago, oilpaint said:

I wanted to do a quick follow up on my post #12,729 from January. I have continued to enjoy the music through the Nucklehead Server and Endpoint. The one change I made was to eliminate the ethernet connection to the Endpoint and go with WIFI. This combined with server updates/tweaks that Larry has done has me hearing the best sound quality ever from my system.

 

But, here's the kicker. I have been powering the Endpoint with a Paul Hynes SR4. Since the Endpoint has a 2.5mm connection and my PH silver cable has a 2.1mm plug I have had an adapter in place. I knew there was the possibility this could degrade sound quality but I thought I would live with it till I got my soon to arrive (or so I thought) new PH SR7. The problem is, anytime I would go near the back of my music cabinet to do something the power would disconnect to the Endpoint. So, accepting its hard to predict when the SR7 will arrive, I bought a Ghent cable to go from the SR4 to the Endpoint with a 2.5mm connector - no more adapter.

 

Oh my, the sound just went to another level. In hindsight, it makes sense that if the power cable was so loose it would disconnect it would impact the quality of the sound. I now believe the full potential of these NUCs has been unleashed! 

 

I also can't say enough about Larry's (lmitche) support - I had no such expectations when I bought the NUCs. In addition to the multiple updates/tweaks (every now and then he calls up and is giddy about a new tweak he has found) he has performed he has also helped me with other non-NUC problems, in particular,  issues related to my network. So, a big thanks to Larry!

Ditto oilpaint!


Intel i7-6700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 8g Ballistix ram as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/LPS1 - AQVox Galvanic USB/LPS1 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

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2 hours ago, oilpaint said:

So, accepting its hard to predict when the SR7 will arrive, I bought a Ghent cable to go from the SR4 to the Endpoint with a 2.5mm connector - no more adapter.

 

Oh my, the sound just went to another level. In hindsight, it makes sense that if the power cable was so loose it would disconnect it would impact the quality of the sound. I now believe the full potential of these NUCs has been unleashed! 

Hi there,

Just wondering which cable you ordered?  I’m looking to upgrade several DC cables and am trying to qualify a couple of good candidates to try. 

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Has anyone heard any updates from SOTM about the motherboard they are designing? There was some discussions earlier in this thread. I was curious if anyone knows how close they are to completing it?

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