Jump to content
austinpop

A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

The Computer Audiophile

Important and useful information about this thread

Posting guidelines

History and index of useful posts

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.

Message added by The Computer Audiophile

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

14 minutes ago, sig8 said:

One biggest contributor to improvement in SQ has been transitioning from Windows 10 to AL, nothing comes close (tried Euphony as well).

 

I have tried all sorts of PS upgrades (all DC except the server is on two PH SR7's), NUC's, cables, etc.

 

Second was surprisingly upgrading server from an i7 to an i9-9900K.

What audiable improvement did you experience when moving to i9-9900K?  What associated components also changed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/20/2019 at 5:20 PM, austinpop said:

Hi all,

 

It seems this thread has gone quiet in terms of posts by some of the "regulars" who have followed it from the beginning. My assumption, or at least hope, is that people are just happy with their systems now, and hence have no reason to post.

 

So as a way to revitalize this thread, I have a proposal. Please consider posting a description your system in its current state. If possible, please showcase which of the optimizations we've covered in this thread's long history you've tried, and what you found. You can be as 💻terse or verbose as you want. For example, here's an update I posted on July 31: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-computer-audio-streaming/?do=findComment&comment=977429

 

BTW - this isn't just for old-timers. New followers of this thread are welcome to join in. I just want the focus to be on:

  • changes that have resulted in SQ improvement, as experienced by direct listening
  • changes in the general area of the digital transport chain upstream of the DAC, which is the primary focus of this thread - although we do stray from time to time! 9_9

Feel free to share where you think you might optimize next, or if you're done optimizing (i.e. "happy"), say so.

 

To jog your memories, I'm listing the categories of optimizations that we have covered over the lifetime of this thread. I very likely may have missed a category or two. But you get the idea.

  • Bridging Ethernet interfaces on music server
  • Better PSUs (upstream of DAC)
  • Better quality system clocks for USB, Ethernet, and system
  • Better quality word clocks - for example in DDCs like Mutec MC-3+, SOtM dX-USB HD Ultra, Singxer DC-1
  • Reference 10MHz clocks
  • USB regenerators 
  • Ethernet regenerators (switches)
  • Standalone vs. distributed - where did you land?
  • Endpoint optimization - NUCs etc
  • Server optimization - mobos, cards, etc
  • OS optimization - AL, Euphony etc 
  • Music SW optimization - Roon, HQPlayer, SL, Stylus etc
  • Assorted:
    • Digital cables - USB, Ethernet, clock, etc
    • Power cables
    • Power optimizations
      • Dedicated circuits
      • Regenerators, conditioners, isolation transformers etc.
    • Cable shielding - JSSG, JSSG360
    • Isolators, filters
    • Grounding - JSGT, etc
    • Fuses
    • Other accessories

 

I'll show you mine if you show me yours. ;)


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite a few of you now have implemented the ‘guidance’ found in this thread and managed to create  some really high performing systems that quite possibly exceed your previous expectations. In the meantime I’ve continued to refine my system, which is entirely off the shelf bar a couple of key mods to the network to try and achieve similar levels with I believe some degree of success. I’m just wondering if you’ve noticed that as things got better, you started to get improvements that were clear to hear but quite difficult to analyse and describe, other than a rather lame “the music sounds more real” or “everything sounds better”.  Beyond that there isn’t particularly more of anything.....it just sounds better.....more natural, more real, more alive, more vibrant, more there but almost indescribable in the usual hi-fi parlance. I can’t actually pick out what got better, just that it did and sometimes by a not trivial amount. Anyone else feeling that their recent upgrades brought great, but difficult to quantify and describe sonic improvements?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/20/2019 at 3:20 PM, austinpop said:

* * *categories of optimizations that we have covered over the lifetime of this thread. ...

  • Bridging Ethernet interfaces on music server
  • Better PSUs (upstream of DAC)
  • Better quality system clocks for USB, Ethernet, and system
  • Better quality word clocks - for example in DDCs like Mutec MC-3+, SOtM dX-USB HD Ultra, Singxer DC-1
  • Reference 10MHz clocks
  • USB regenerators 
  • Ethernet regenerators (switches)
  • Standalone vs. distributed - where did you land?
  • Endpoint optimization - NUCs etc
  • Server optimization - mobos, cards, etc
  • OS optimization - AL, Euphony etc 
  • Music SW optimization - Roon, HQPlayer, SL, Stylus etc
  • Assorted:
    • Digital cables - USB, Ethernet, clock, etc
    • Power cables
    • Power optimizations
      • Dedicated circuits
      • Regenerators, conditioners, isolation transformers etc.
    • Cable shielding - JSSG, JSSG360
    • Isolators, filters
    • Grounding - JSGT, etc
    • Fuses
    • Other accessories

 

you might ask CC to put this post in a more place as a comprehensive list of possibilities

 

it's too long to go at the top but a pinpoint link to would fit in a single line


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/22/2019 at 4:24 PM, Gavin1977 said:

What audiable improvement did you experience when moving to i9-9900K?  What associated components also changed?

Contrary to conventional wisdom; sound got little more relaxed. Nothing else changed, even used the same RAM modules, only the board and processor were different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sig8 said:

Contrary to conventional wisdom; sound got little more relaxed. Nothing else changed, even used the same RAM modules, only the board and processor were different.

 

Could have been something with the board physically or chipset related as well. 


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/24/2019 at 3:20 AM, Blackmorec said:

Quite a few of you now have implemented the ‘guidance’ found in this thread and managed to create  some really high performing systems that quite possibly exceed your previous expectations. In the meantime I’ve continued to refine my system, which is entirely off the shelf bar a couple of key mods to the network to try and achieve similar levels with I believe some degree of success. I’m just wondering if you’ve noticed that as things got better, you started to get improvements that were clear to hear but quite difficult to analyse and describe, other than a rather lame “the music sounds more real” or “everything sounds better”.  Beyond that there isn’t particularly more of anything.....it just sounds better.....more natural, more real, more alive, more vibrant, more there but almost indescribable in the usual hi-fi parlance. I can’t actually pick out what got better, just that it did and sometimes by a not trivial amount. Anyone else feeling that their recent upgrades brought great, but difficult to quantify and describe sonic improvements?

 

Yes, this is the onset of what I call convincing, or competent sound - for me, the source has always been CDs, but that is completely irrelevant to the situation - recordings are stored as digital data, somewhere, and then read by the appropriate mechanism to be delivered to the DAC; it's from here on in that things get interesting ... :).

 

What the factor is in causing this perceived transformation is that all the key audible distortions are now under control; they no longer disturb the brain, and force one to constantly compensate for their presence - amongst other negatives these being too audible is the cause of, notorious, "listener fatigue" ...

 

One very useful approach is not to think that the sound "is better" - rather, that any standard that is less than that is perceptible flawed, and with some practice it becomes trivially easy to pinpoint what the poorer SQ is getting wrong - the issues "stand out like sore thumbs".


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/29/2019 at 2:20 AM, seeteeyou said:

The rationale behind choosing that ASRock gaming motherboard (instead of Supermicro) could be found here

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55873-shootout-at-the-linux-corral-audiolinux-vs-euphony/page/9/?tab=comments#comment-961583

 

For X570 motherboard and Ryzen 3000 Series, this particular motherboard is gonna be fanless while beating ASRock (14 + 2 phase with 70A instead of 5 + 2 phase with 60A) handily

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/bxl3rm/gigabyte_x570_xtreme_motherboard_analysis_true/

 

https://pokde.net/system/pc/motherboard/gigabyte-unveils-true-16-phase-amd-x570-motherboard-pcie-4-0-ssds/

 

 

However, its form factor is E-ATX and therefore only one fanless chassis is available so far

 

http://www.turemetal.com/product_en.html

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=590791895684

https://www.fanlesspro.com/shop/product/fanless-cases/turemetal-up10-fanless-case/

 

The CPU alone could use 2 separate 12V rails (i.e. two 8-pin EPS connectors) to begin with, getting quite expensive already and then we'll also need one more rail for 24-pin ATX connector. Quality rails cost quite a bit while it also takes at least several months to build each LPSU.

 

There's also C621 AORUS XTREME with 32 phase VRM and we could even feed 4 separate rails to the CPU itself, followed by 2 more rails for a pair of 24-pin ATX connectors. Could such a beast beat that €20,000 Taiko Audio SGM Extreme?

 

The XTREME has impressive temp scores

 

 

Some more info here, sub titles/translate is your friend 🙂

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hZrCHUwzd1Y

https://nl.hardware.info/artikel/9411/15-amd-x570-moederborden-review-op-de-proef-met-een-3900x

 

Anyone already had the change to try the Gigabyte X570 Extreme?

 

42D0F32A-1C81-4D57-99A8-5B78F23AE36D.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FredM said:

 

The XTREME has impressive temp scores

 

 

Some more info here, sub titles/translate is your friend 🙂

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hZrCHUwzd1Y

https://nl.hardware.info/artikel/9411/15-amd-x570-moederborden-review-op-de-proef-met-een-3900x

 

Anyone already had the change to try the Gigabyte X570 Extreme?

 

42D0F32A-1C81-4D57-99A8-5B78F23AE36D.png

I’ve not tried x570,  but will be trying 32 phase MSI XPower motherboard shortly based on the same logic.  Will be interested in your results as well as I’ll be moving from a small 6 phase MSI Z97 Gaming ITX.  The XPower has tantalum chokes which are apparently better as blocking high frequency noise then the super ferrite chokes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

Will be interested in your results as well

 

I’m affraid I won’t have any results to share any time soon  (*). Server wise I’m considering three options at the moment, all with their pros and cons:

- DIY server (X570 build?)

- Pinkfaun server

- new SOtM server

 

 

(* unfortunately I’m back at square one: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/43611-tls-the-one-server/page/4/?tab=comments#comment-970079)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

I’ll be moving from a small 6 phase MSI Z97 Gaming ITX.

A whopping 24 phase difference, looking forward to your impressions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

What an excellent article!  I will check this website in future.  Thanks for the link.


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 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still waiting for my Farad server supply. The power connector needed for my Audio Store Prestige MX server couldn't be sourced in Europe so Mattijs has had to order it from the US. The delay is doing my nut, but Farad have been great. Looking forward to getting it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI - here's yet another flavor of Ubuntu with RAM disk (activation required) support

 

https://www.snakeoil-os.net/wiki/Configuration/snakeoil#RAM_Disk

https://www.snakeoil-os.net/forums/Thread-Snakeoil-Firmware-1-1-7-Blind-Testing-Update-7

Activation codes will be sent after (one-time / monthly for whatever amounts) donations are received

 

https://www.snakeoil-os.net/wiki/Configuration/snakeoil-activation

https://www.patreon.com/snakeoilos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Austinpop, thank you for your long review and comparison between other PSUs in my opinion and I also tested a lot, only the SotM sPS500 came very close. My test case was a Mytek Brooklyn + It made a world of difference between some PSUs. Although I have never experienced the Paul Hynes. The Farad3 is sofar the best i, ve ever tested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Tommd64 said:

Beste Austinpop, bedankt voor je lange beoordeling en vergelijking tussen andere PSU's in mijn opinie en ik heb ook veel getest, alleen de SotM sPS500 kwam heel dichtbij. Mijn testcase was een Mytek Brooklyn + Het maakte een wereld van verschil tussen sommige PSU's. Hoewel ik de Paul Hynes nog nooit heb meegemaakt. The Farad3 is sofar the best i,ve ever tested.

 

Thats Dutch try English works better😁. Maybe you can edit the post


Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

Clock modded FS105 v3, Clock modded Isoregen, Lush^2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...