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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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On 8/9/2019 at 3:34 AM, dctom said:

 

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).

 

For my system, yes.

 

On 8/9/2019 at 3:34 AM, dctom said:

Also does the basic one sound very different to the one with the sCLK-EX built in? 

 

Not sure. I’ve not tried the basic one.

 

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18 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

For my system, yes.

 

 

Not sure. I’ve not tried the basic one.

 

Did you know that the BASIC sNH-10g also works on 9-12volts..Wachout only the basic version; the other ones needs an adjustement..

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On 8/9/2019 at 2:45 PM, 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.

 

Just to mention, the first link now contains updated information. 

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22 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

For my system, yes.

 

Not sure. I’ve not tried the basic one.

22 hours ago, Tommd64 said:

Did you know that the BASIC sNH-10g also works on 9-12volts..Wachout only the basic version; the other ones needs an adjustement..

 

Thanks for the warning and feedback.

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7 hours ago, Bricki said:

Listening impressions

 

SMS-200 (latest 4.6 update) vs Celeron NUC7 (audiolinux)

The software for both of these has changed considerably since I last did this comparison, so I thought it was worth a revisit. Both are powered by an sps500 with JSSG360 DC cable and furutech TCS21 ac cable. Ethernet connection to the server is bridged and running in half duplex mode at 10mbps. With a 1 meter Supra cat8 with JSSG360.

The SMS-200

This is the original sms-200 non ultra with no neo upgrade

 

Pros

-has a blacker background with more focused images.

-has a slightly more refined or lower noise feel about the presentation

-has a bit more depth to the soundstage

Cons:

-despite the more focused image outlines the image itself somehow seems flatter and digitally smeared. I know this sounds like a contradiction, but it's like a nicely focused caricature vs the NUC that is a slightly out of focus but more natural image of the original recording.

-less dynamic

-has a flatter less colourful tone

-has smaller images

-although it has more depth to the soundstage it feels smaller with less width

 

The NUC

The NUC is in an akasa fanless case running the latest audiolinux headless mini 140 with the 5.2 BFQ kernel in ramroot with isolated cores and acpi CPU scaling driver.

Pros:

-has a much more natural sound

-has larger images and soundstage

-piano, guitar and brass instruments sound much more like the real thing with less digital smearing and a more analogue sound. Live recordings are particularly good with a feeling as if the output from the sound desk is plugged into my amp.

-has a more colourful tone that makes everything seem more alive.

-makes me want to listen to music more and not change tracks but listen to a whole album

-more captivating

-more dynamic

-lyrics are more easily discerned

Cons:

-the background seems slightly more gray and less black

-the images aren't quite as focused in their outlines

-doesn't sound quite as refined in the presentation

Final thoughts

Although the software on both devices has changed for the better, the NUC is still the better sounding of the 2 in my system. It gets deeper into recordings and lets you hear things you didn't even know were there. It makes me wish I had more financial resources to get more powerful hardware 😁👍

Nice summary. I’m not a big fan of the sPS-500 as I think its sonic footprint is not amongst the best or least intrusive. If this were my system I’d tend to sell some of the hardware and look for a superior power supply. When you get to the level your at, things like power supplies have quite a major impact on the overall flavour and character of the sound...differences that are quite fundamental to believability and not just cosmetics. 

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11 hours ago, Bricki said:

Listening impressions

 

SMS-200 (latest 4.6 update) vs Celeron NUC7 (audiolinux)

The software for both of these has changed considerably since I last did this comparison, so I thought it was worth a revisit. Both are powered by an sps500 with JSSG360 DC cable and furutech TCS21 ac cable. Ethernet connection to the server is bridged and running in half duplex mode at 10mbps. With a 1 meter Supra cat8 with JSSG360.

The SMS-200

This is the original sms-200 non ultra with no neo upgrade

 

Pros

-has a blacker background with more focused images.

-has a slightly more refined or lower noise feel about the presentation

-has a bit more depth to the soundstage

Cons:

-despite the more focused image outlines the image itself somehow seems flatter and digitally smeared. I know this sounds like a contradiction, but it's like a nicely focused caricature vs the NUC that is a slightly out of focus but more natural image of the original recording.

-less dynamic

-has a flatter less colourful tone

-has smaller images

-although it has more depth to the soundstage it feels smaller with less width

 

The NUC

The NUC is in an akasa fanless case running the latest audiolinux headless mini 140 with the 5.2 BFQ kernel in ramroot with isolated cores and acpi CPU scaling driver.

Pros:

-has a much more natural sound

-has larger images and soundstage

-piano, guitar and brass instruments sound much more like the real thing with less digital smearing and a more analogue sound. Live recordings are particularly good with a feeling as if the output from the sound desk is plugged into my amp.

-has a more colourful tone that makes everything seem more alive.

-makes me want to listen to music more and not change tracks but listen to a whole album

-more captivating

-more dynamic

-lyrics are more easily discerned

Cons:

-the background seems slightly more gray and less black

-the images aren't quite as focused in their outlines

-doesn't sound quite as refined in the presentation

Final thoughts

Although the software on both devices has changed for the better, the NUC is still the better sounding of the 2 in my system. It gets deeper into recordings and lets you hear things you didn't even know were there. It makes me wish I had more financial resources to get more powerful hardware 😁👍

Is the nuc your end point or server or both ?

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13 hours ago, Bricki said:

Final thoughts

Although the software on both devices has changed for the better, the NUC is still the better sounding of the 2 in my system. It gets deeper into recordings and lets you hear things you didn't even know were there. It makes me wish I had more financial resources to get more powerful hardware 😁👍

 

Really nice job of communicating the differences you heard.  I appreciate you posting that.


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Alpha USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Anaconda interconnect, MIT Oracle speaker cables, GIK bass traps

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11 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

Nice summary. I’m not a big fan of the sPS-500 as I think its sonic footprint is not amongst the best or least intrusive. If this were my system I’d tend to sell some of the hardware and look for a superior power supply. When you get to the level your at, things like power supplies have quite a major impact on the overall flavour and character of the sound...differences that are quite fundamental to believability and not just cosmetics. 

I wholeheartedly agree with you about the importance of good power supplies. The only surplus equipment I have is my SMS-200. If I get a new PSU (I have my eyes on the farad super 3) then my sps500 will go to my router. I can only afford one new piece of equipment in the next 12 months so I am carefully considering my next move😁.

Options high on the list are:

-farad super 3

-lps1.2

-Etheregen

-CSS P215 kit speaker

-mini itx build

-more furutech goodies😁

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Sure in my opionion the Farad3 is the best at this moment. Sounds smooth with very good top high,s but the Sps500 is also very good! If you don.t have a shipload of money better stick to the SpS500. In my opionion a top Powersupply. And ivm compared them among others a long time..

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A lot of praise has been given to lush usb cable by eminent members of this forum.

I wonder if any experience has yet been gathered on ethernet and I2S versions of it:

 

https://stordiau.com/collections/cables-and-more-snakes-oil/products/ethist-2-ethernet-cable

 

https://stordiau.com/collections/cables-and-more-snakes-oil/products/hdmi-2-i2s-cable

 

Looks exciting for extra tweaking hdmi i2s with ground box like entreq

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3 hours ago, Ricardo007 said:

A lot of praise has been given to lush usb cable by eminent members of this forum.

I wonder if any experience has yet been gathered on ethernet and I2S versions of it:

 

https://stordiau.com/collections/cables-and-more-snakes-oil/products/ethist-2-ethernet-cable

 

https://stordiau.com/collections/cables-and-more-snakes-oil/products/hdmi-2-i2s-cable

 

Looks exciting for extra tweaking hdmi i2s with ground box like entreq

 

Shoildn't be necessary with EtherRegen. Any well made cable should do the job.

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15 minutes ago, George Hincapie said:

 

Shoildn't be necessary with EtherRegen. Any well made cable should do the job.

We’re told! Anyway when is that EtherRegen coming? It was promised in 2018 so must be a little more difficult to invent than first thought....I’m guessing it will be good when it finally does get released.  No one can accuse them of rushing it to market.  🤒   Or maybe its soooo good they’re gearing up to produce thousands? Eh lads? 

I must say i’m pretty interested in trying a unit....me and every other audiophile whose posts you read on AS.  I’ve rarely seen such prerelease curiosity/interest for a product. I guess that happens when you claim to fix a lot of strange or intractable problems, of which our network and digital in general have plenty  

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1 hour ago, George Hincapie said:

 

Shoildn't be necessary with EtherRegen. Any well made cable should do the job.

 

The cable will still have an impact. 


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> Linear Solution OCXO switch-> Custom 2016 Server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> AL NUC NA->  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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3 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

Speculation is pointless. Wait until the product is out, and test it for yourself.

 

It's not speculation, pretty sure Uptone have said as much themselves in their forum. Don't you think that would be a good thing?!

 

I've already told SuperDad I'd like one B|

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36 minutes ago, George Hincapie said:

 

It's not speculation, pretty sure Uptone have said as much themselves in their forum. Don't you think that would be a good thing?!

 

I've already told SuperDad I'd like one B|

 

They've actually been pretty clear that they don't know how these kinds of issues will sort out.  It's all speculation at this point.


 

 

 

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1 hour ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

They've actually been pretty clear that they don't know how these kinds of issues will sort out.  It's all speculation at this point.

 

That's not my read, but OK. We'll find out soon enough.

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10 hours ago, George Hincapie said:

Shoildn't be necessary with EtherRegen. Any well made cable should do the job.

 

2 hours ago, George Hincapie said:

It's not speculation, pretty sure Uptone have said as much themselves in their forum. Don't you think that would be a good thing?!

 

Cool your jets, brother!

 

Anything a manufacturer says prior to a product's actual release is a claim, which remains to be verified once it's real. I'm not putting down Uptone when I say that. Many of us here are eagerly awaiting the EtherRegen, and hoping it sounds outstanding. If indeed it also eliminates all differences in Ethernet cables (and end world hunger while it's at it), that will be an interesting result. I'm not sure they ever made that claim - do you have a link to a post by @Superdad or @JohnSwenson where that was claimed?

 

This thread has always been about actual listening experience, not speculation and conjecture. So until the EtherRegen is in people's hands, let's table this discussion.

 

BTW - this is what John Swenson recently wrote on the EtherRegen thread. Recently as in yesterday. Note the phrase "the fully functional EtherREGEN simply does not exist at this point in time." 

 

On 8/14/2019 at 2:07 AM, JohnSwenson said:

Unfortunately there is no way anyone can tell you exactly how it is going to turn out in any situation, the fully functional EtherREGEN simply does not exist at this point in time. Even if I had all the equipment you have I couldn't test it since I don't have a fully functional board at this point. I'm not trying hide things or be difficult, It just cannot be done right now. There is no way I can tell yow what configuration is going to sound best. There is just no way I can do that right now. Any attempt at making a pure guess would be a disservice to the community.

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