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austinpop

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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17 hours ago, Nenon said:

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?

 

It's summer holiday until August 11th

 

https://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/english/2019-summer-holiday-notice/

 

Supposedly they'll attend the annual Hi-End Audio Visual Show here in Hong Kong but the uncertainty (due to political turmoil) ain't getting any better so far. Safety could very well be a concern because of increasingly serious conflict between protesters and law enforcement.

 

Basically the price tag should be well over $1,000 once we factor in the costs of adding sCLK-EX while relatively long clock cables will inevitably result in degradation. Besides, not sure if they're gonna go for this XDPE132G5C controller (i.e. same as the direct 14 + 2 = 16-phase design of Gigabyte's X570 AORUS XTREME) in order to avoid using doublers

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qszxxIumJOQ#t=178

https://www.infineon.com/cms/en/about-infineon/press/market-news/2019/INFPMM201903-052.html

 

As Rajiv and Roy pointed out before, the importance of power should be (far?) greater than that of clocking when it comes to building music servers. IMHO it's also quite interesting to read this regarding the Euphony+Stylus combo

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55873-shootout-at-the-linux-corral-audiolinux-vs-euphony/page/8/?tab=comments#comment-960794

On 5/25/2019 at 3:43 AM, romaz said:

I hope to be able to test this soon but what I will say is that with Euphony + Stylus on a single box 8700K machine, my reclocked i7 NUC driven by a 19V SR7 sounds absolutely puny.  Even with the 8700K server powered by an HDPlex 400W ATX LPSU and with no special clocking outside of my tX-USBultra, I prefer the big server to the i7 NUC but as I have figured out a way to independently power both the 8700K CPU and ATX motherboard (using a DC-ATX converter) with SR7 rails, the i7 NUC has now been officially retired.

 

Not to mention that we could also consider ECC RAM since it's supported by Ryzen 3000 Series, no such luck with Intel unless we're going for Xeon or Core i3 with the right chipset.

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Spreading your equipment over 2 separate AC outlets is not a smart thing to do. You have ground loops anyhow, by splitsing over 2 separate outlets increases the signal amplitude coming from groundloops.

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From the Paul Hynes thread....

 

Quote

 

From austinpop:

 

Awesome.

 

You will be doing some of the same tradeoffs I have, which is deciding where to allocate SR7 rails (and what current), and where to use SR4's. I've formed some opinions, but I don't want to bias your observations. Please do keep us posted on your listening results, and what allocations you like best.

 

These may be OT for this thread - which is about the build calendar - so feel free to post on the novel thread.

 

 

 

Here's where I plan to assign them to:

  • SR4 - router (12v/2A), server (19v/2A), and DAC USB power (5v/2A)
  • SR7 - DAC main power (12v/3A), regen (12v/3A), switch (5v/3A), and streamer (19v/6A).

Comments and advise welcome!

 

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On 8/1/2019 at 9:48 PM, austinpop said:

 

Sorry if I caused any confusion. Here are the HW specs of the custom server:

  • ASRock H370M-ITX/ac motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-8700T CPU
  • Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4/2400 2x4GB RAM
  • HDPlex H3 case
  • Intel M10 Optane 32GB SSD
  • JCAT Net Card Femto

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.

 

Are there any particular specs of the ASrock  Mobo that made you choose it?

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20 hours ago, JanRSmit said:

Spreading your equipment over 2 separate AC outlets is not a smart thing to do. You have ground loops anyhow, by splitsing over 2 separate outlets increases the signal amplitude coming from groundloops.

I'm planning to try:
Wall outlet 1 -> standard power distributor -> first outlet of the power distributor -> dc-blocker-> hifi power cord -> hifi power distributor -> dac and amp. -> outlets 2-4 on the standard -> digital components.
Perhaps not optimal either, but the fact is that the digital components disturb my amp and dac.

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On 8/3/2019 at 3:30 PM, seeteeyou said:

FYI - $659 Gustard C16 is coming later this month with six 50Ω 10MHz reference clock outputs, half of them were labeled "Gentle" and then "Vivid" for the rest

 

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=599578098479

https://www.facebook.com/GustardAudio/posts/1279609272216674

https://www.facebook.com/GustardAudio/posts/1279610382216563

https://www.facebook.com/GustardAudio/posts/1283198621857739

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How would that work in a chain? Would it sit between my Roon EP and DAC for example? My DAC has no dedicated clock input, but does have BNC SPDIF input.

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1 hour ago, George Hincapie said:

How would that work in a chain? Would it sit between my Roon EP and DAC for example? My DAC has no dedicated clock input, but does have BNC SPDIF input.

 

All outputs of Gustard C16 are sharing the same 50Ω impedance, therefore you could add stuff like SOtM tX-USBUltra with 50Ω reference clock input option with the right clock cable. Then connect the USB output of tX-USBUltra to the USB input of your DAC afterwards.

 

Borrowing this list of gears with either 75Ω (adapter required and degradation should be taken into consideration IMHO) or 50Ω reference clock inputs

 

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=130889

Quote

ESOTERIC

Grandioso K1, P1x, P1, D1x, D1, K-01Xs, K-01X, K-01, K-03Xs, K-03X, K-03, K-05Xs, K-05X, K-05, K-07Xs, K-07X, K-07, D-02X, D-02, D-05X, D-07X, P-02, P-02X, N-01, N-05, G-0, G-0s , G-0Rb, G-02, G-03X, G-25U, TASCAM CG1000

 

dCS

dCS Vivaldi Clock, Paganini Clock, Scarlatti Clock

 

Mutec

MUTEC iCLOCK, MC-3 +, MC-3 + USB

 

Antelope

Antelope Audio Isochrone OCX HD, OCX-V, OCX, TRINITY

 

TEAC

UD-503, UD-505, NT-503, NT-505

 

M2TECH
M2TECH EVO DAC 2 +, HIFACE EVO TWO

 

CH
CH Precision C1, CH Precision D1

 

Aurender
Aurender W20 / soulnote D-2

 

SOtM
SOtM sMS-200ultra, tX-USBultra, SOtM sNH-10G with 10MHz reference clock input option-enabled sCLK-EX

 

GUSTARD
U16

 

iFi
Audio Pro iDSD

 

It's mission critical to purchase a great clock cable for Gustard C16 that's as short as possible for the sake of minimizing degradation, though stuff like Habst would cost more than the clock itself already.

 

The performance of the clock should largely depend on the quality of its PSU as well, otherwise it ain't worth all the extra expenses IMHO.

 

Once again it might be wiser to invest in a tried and true PSU feeding one of those gaming motherboards with boat load of (direct) VRM phases.

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7 hours ago, dctom said:

 

Are there any particular specs of the ASrock  Mobo that made you choose it?

 

Not really. I don't consider my build to be the "optimal." It was actually built by @romaz before he refined his choices for his next build, for which he picked a gaming Z390 board.

 

Does the H370M sound worse than the Z390? Hard to say.

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5 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

Not really. I don't consider my build to be the "optimal." It was actually built by @romaz before he refined his choices for his next build, for which he picked a gaming Z390 board.

 

Does the H370M sound worse than the Z390? Hard to say.

 

Thanks for the info.

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hi austin @austinpop

 

thank you for your earlier positive comments regarding NUC DNBE spanning over a year as one of the best solutions for endpoint/server. I want to know if you think there are any comparable endpoints all the way from a few hundred dollars to $20,000 +?

For example, you say it is better than the SOtM? So, maybe as good as anything up to $6000, and after that small incremental sound improvements on other units if you want to pay thousands and thousands of dollars (i.e. diminishing returns) e.g. dCS ?

In the endpoint performance scale (say: top 20) where would you rank the DNBE? Number one being the best/ultimate performer.

Thanks!

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Speaking of Taiko Audio SGM Extreme Server, having a pair of Epyc / Xeon with dozens of cores could have to potential to be yet another game changer based on Roy's journey. Basically he's going from quad core Celeron J1900 to quad core i7-8650U, followed by hexa core i7-8700K. Since passive cooling wouldn't work for those server class processors with much higher power consumption, are water cooling systems any good for building music servers (for REAL this time because of both motherboard as well as Epyc / Xeon processors) in terms of the noise involved?

 

Actually the whole enchilada could very well be something that's gonna look quite different from conventional servers, here's an example

 

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1090654-water-cooled-pc-conference-table/

xcR1naa.jpg

 

 

Actually there's also a little something that's more "down to earth"

 

https://www.hydra-shop.com/shop/

KeUesNL.jpg

 

They also have a relatively compact model for E-ATX motherboards

 

https://www.hydra-shop.com/product/slimdesk/

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I would not use water cooling in my system. 

I don't like the 'wet' sound! Just kidding. Any type of vibration is an enemy and reduces the performance of your clock. That's the main reason I do passive cooling, not because of the noise of the fan, which is much quieter than my A/C. Water cooling is not vibration free.

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11 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

I don't have an infinite budget. Even if I could afford to spend the $20-30k+ for the top solutions from PF, SGM, Aurender, and Innuos, I'm scared that they may be obsolete in a year or two.

 

I agree and have been reluctant to lay out a large sum for something that could be superseded very rapidly.

 

On the tweaking front does the sNH-10G have as much effect on SQ when playing music files from a NAS, as when streaming from Tidal for instance ( I don't use streaming services). Also does the basic one sound very different to the one with the sCLK-EX built in? 

 

 

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The very first Xeon NUC
http://www.fanlesstech.com/2019/08/the-very-first-xeon-nuc.html

 

Intel Quartz Canyon NUC will support Xeon chips, discrete graphics

https://liliputing.com/2019/08/intel-quartz-canyon-nuc-will-support-xeon-chips-discrete-graphics.html

 

Intel® Xeon® E Processor

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/134861/intel-xeon-e-processor.html

 

Internal PSU could be an obstacle, though.

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3 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

The very first Xeon NUC
http://www.fanlesstech.com/2019/08/the-very-first-xeon-nuc.html

 

Intel Quartz Canyon NUC will support Xeon chips, discrete graphics

https://liliputing.com/2019/08/intel-quartz-canyon-nuc-will-support-xeon-chips-discrete-graphics.html

 

Intel® Xeon® E Processor

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/134861/intel-xeon-e-processor.html

 

Internal PSU could be an obstacle, though.

 

Great find C2U, good that the Xeon family get nucked. In the attachment a ‘Business NUC’ is mentioned, also with a free slot for an additional card?? (I’m not to sure if this is very different than the current NUC’s)

 

0AADB038-8C74-4203-9BE7-FB891F9C3BC7.png

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On 8/1/2019 at 3:48 PM, austinpop said:

Sorry if I caused any confusion. Here are the HW specs of the custom server:

  • ASRock H370M-ITX/ac motherboard
  • Intel Core i7-8700T CPU
  • Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4/2400 2x4GB RAM
  • HDPlex H3 case
  • Intel M10 Optane 32GB SSD
  • JCAT Net Card Femto

 

@austinpop Have you considered sending that ASRock motherboard to SOTM to replace the clocks?

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On 7/29/2019 at 9:59 AM, Nenon said:

Different concept than the Taiko SGM Extreme, but it would be nice to try one day. The Extreme uses dual Xeon CPUs, server-class motherboard, custom made registered RAM

 

Recently Marcin went from previous generation of Apacer 75.B93H7.G000B to their latest wide temp. model

 

https://www.apacer.com/News/Detail/DDR4High-PerformanceWide-TempMemory

http://jplay.eu/forum/index.php?/topic/2786-ram-adventures-extremely-interesting-results/page-2#entry49239

Quote

It replaces the previous generation of Apacer (75.B93H0.G000B). Amazing improvement over the predecessor

 

Mostly likely B93H0 should be a typo, it's good for 0 °C ≤ TC ≤ +85°C

 

http://eflash.apacerus.com/spec/DRAM/75.B93H7.G000B.pdf#page=12

http://eflash.apacerus.com/spec/DRAM/75.B93H7.G000B DDR4 ECC DIMM 2400-17 512x8 4GB SA-E Anti-Sulfuration HF.pdf#page=12

 

Even that would cost $130 for 4GB, imagine how much we're gonna pay for the new one

 

https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Apacer/75B93H7G000B?qs=0lQeLiL1qya80yN9UFKvQw%3D%3D

 

This is what Marcin was talking about and it's announced back in April

 

https://industrial.apacer.com/en-ww/DRAM/DDR4-Wide-Temp.-UDIMM

Quote

Operating case temperature range: Industrial (-40 °C ≤ TC ≤ +85°C)

 

Maybe that's the next best thing when compared to what we're getting from Taiko Audio? Though there's always something even better that could go all the way up to +125°C

 

https://www.micron.com/products/dram/dram-for-automotive

 

Not that we'll reach that kinda temperature by any means, it's just a matter of stringent quality that's gotta require (much) better materials in the first place.

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