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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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8 hours ago, elan120 said:

I concur the findings.  Installed the RAMs two days ago, and like these Apacer memories quite a bit.

 

Here is a picture with Apacer DDR4 SDRAM in action:

20190924_130728.thumb.jpg.f82e04557e40957c1d4faa3c51c8808e.jpg

Wow - description of your mods please 🙂. What’s the capacitor near the back plate of the NUC MB?

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6 hours ago, elan120 said:

The difference with Apacer memory change is quite apparent.  Based my subjective listening, the level of improvement is on par or a bit better compared to Ramroot.  Music sounds more three-dimensional and rounded, the “you are there” feeling is further enhanced.  Overall, I feel this is another worthwhile upgrade that should be added to all the other changes/tweaks mentioned in this long thread.

 

Once I have more burn-in time on these RAMs, I do plan on trying single SIMM.

 

Thanks Elan that’s what I needed to hear. I’ll do some more comparing with one vs two simms and make a decision to buy. 👍


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

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6 hours ago, elan120 said:

The difference with Apacer memory change is quite apparent.  Based my subjective listening, the level of improvement is on par or a bit better compared to Ramroot.  Music sounds more three-dimensional and rounded, the “you are there” feeling is further enhanced.  Overall, I feel this is another worthwhile upgrade that should be added to all the other changes/tweaks mentioned in this long thread.

 

Once I have more burn-in time on these RAMs, I do plan on trying single SIMM.

 

The Apacer memory is something Marcin from Jplay has been suggesting for a very long time and definitely for good reasons. He is also a big fan of server class mobos. Its good to see that the NUC SQ is also benefiting from Apacer memory. Did you buy the industrial type ? Any links to the place you bought the  memory from ?

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36 minutes ago, Dev said:

The Apacer memory is something Marcin from Jplay has been suggesting for a very long time and definitely for good reasons.


Just to add to that - it’s ECC memory what Marcin is actually suggesting. 

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Hey Folks,

 

 I want to share what it has been happening since some time and i don't know if some of you are suffering from this situation:

 

like many of you i have a Mac mini late 2012 as server and a NUC as endpoint powered with a HDPLEX 200w and i use both AL and Euphony in RamBoot.

 

Thing is sometimes i hear my system sounds amazing and the next day under same is not so amazing music is noisier on the same player, so i switch from one to other sometimes looking for better results sometimes not so, i started to guess maybe the pollution on the MacMini or perhaps the Topaz Isolation Transformer is not working properly or just maybe my router/switch could be adding these pollution to the system.

 

Regarding the Topaz, i am curious if being old and used replacing it for something more into audio would be best, maybe something like PS Audio, Synergetic Research power cell, Tourus isolation transformers etc.

 

My system is very sensitive to any change in power cables even with the Oyaide receptacles in the wall you can hear difference when connected to the Oyaide copper wall receptacles vs the Rodhium ones.

 

Any experience on this ?


Fully Grounded Audio Room - Topaz 1KVA - OYAIDE outlets - MacMini (late 2012) Server + LessLoss Firewall 64x - NUC (AL/Euphony) / HDPLEX 200W with Ghent DC cables - LUSH USB Cable - DENAFRIPS Terminator DAC (updated version) + LessLoss Firewall 64x - Tellurium Ultra Black II XLR and Speaker cables - KINKI EX-M1 Integrated - PMC Twenty5 26 speakers. (power cords LessLoss DFPC Signature)

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3 hours ago, TheAttorney said:

Continuing the RAM theme, I'm awaiting delivery of 4GB Apacer ordered exactly as per auricgoldfinger's link:

https://www.soselectronic.com/products/apacer/75-b93gj-g010b-307859

 

Hi:

I am genuinely curious about this RAM stuff. To be honest I do not recall exactly what modules are installed in my AL/NUC. But I do think they were chosen for very low latency, something like CAS 9 or better. Yet the memory you linked to has much longer latency—CAS 17. 

So if CAS is no longer an important parameter in selecting RAM, please discuss what is.

THANKS!

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1 hour ago, Superdad said:

 

Hi:

I am genuinely curious about this RAM stuff. To be honest I do not recall exactly what modules are installed in my AL/NUC. But I do think they were chosen for very low latency, something like CAS 9 or better. Yet the memory you linked to has much longer latency—CAS 17. 

So if CAS is no longer an important parameter in selecting RAM, please discuss what is.

THANKS!

 

It's not that simple. Latency does make a difference, but it's only one of the factors. If all other factors are equal, the lower the latency, the better. But the quality of the memory matters even more. Those wide range temperature Apacer RAM modules are built with better parts. And they sound better. From my experience the quality of the RAM module is more important than the latency factor. And then there is the ECC RAM, which does not work on most NUCs but might be even another step up. 

 

 

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Maybe take a look at these guys for starters, it's more about stringent quality of components that could withstand less than ideal environments. Then it's gonna be a walk in the park when they're working under normal conditions, pretty much like over-provisioned CPUs / PSUs with a really low utilization (clock speed / current draw)

 

https://www.steatite-embedded.co.uk/industrial-ram-vs-consumer-ram/

https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/global.semi.static/Industrial_Automotive_Memory_Q1_17_Brochure_170213-0.pdf

https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/global.semi/file/resource/2019/01/Memory_Solution_for_Automotive_180817.pdf

 

There are quite a few grades out there, though both 0 and 1 might seem to be a bit over the top even for Apacer?

 

http://www.semi-star.com/ch/pdf/PSG.pdf#page=7

http://www.metatech.com.tw/image/elec/menu/Mxic_1.pdf#page=3

https://www.micron.com/-/media/client/global/documents/products/technical-note/dram/tn0008_thermal_apps.pdf

jGNnw.jpg

Let's put it this way, they just don't have to bother with planned obsolescence whenever they're designing their industrial grade products.

 

How about an analogy when it comes to the differences between the two - consumer versus industrial? For run-of-the-mill dried blueberries, they've gotta "sweeten the deal" with apple juice concentrate in order to mask the inferior taste. And then the frozen ones are gonna fall apart once they're defrosted.

 

What about these tasty "wide temperature" blueberries? So have yourself a berry little Christmas now

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/sunset-valley-organics-wilt-farms-organic-blueberries-corvallis

https://remineralize.org/2010/09/perfect-nutrient-dense-blueberries-integrating-compost-teas-minerals-and-biological-soil-management/?print=print

 

Ironically we better eat something that came straight from the soil instead of "industrial foods" that are already soiled. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.

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5 hours ago, TheAttorney said:

So, in my circumstance, I'm now convinced that....

      1 x 8GB stock sounds better than 2 x  8GB stock

 

I once forgot to connect the external power on my JCAT NIC. And I immediate heard significant degradation of the sound quality. I was not streaming anything, but playing locally cached files on my Optane card with Euphony / Stylus. I think the only accountable difference was that the JCAT NIC was drawing power from the motherboard. And the difference in sound quality was quite noticeable. 

My theory is that one memory module draws less power from the motherboard than two, and that's why there are various reports that a single memory module sounds better. 

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The stock RAM that came with my 7i7DN board from SimplyNUC is a Team TED48G2400C16-SBK.

On quick google, I couldn't find its spec, other than 2400 speed and is typically used in laptops.

 

The alleged better quality build standard of "industrial grade" RAMs may result in reduced noise, and may result in reduced errors, but that's just a guess.

 

The ECC aspect puzzles me: I wasn't aware that RAMs could give errors that needed ECC to correct! Won't planes fall from the sky etc if RAMs produce errors that are not auto corrected by ECC? And, as I understand it, ECC won't necessarily fix all errors, just greatly reduce them. Anyway, it's likely that a better built RAM will produce less errors in the first place.

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🥴 stock is now 0 at SOSelectronic.com, I bought the last one. I hope they restock soon. 👍


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

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2 hours ago, Nenon said:

If ECC memory sounds better, which is a big IF (I haven't confirmed that, because it is not that easy to test, but other people have), I don't think it would be because of the actual detection of a bit error. ECC adds more complexity and the interaction between CPU, cache, memory, chipset, etc. changes. Parts of the CPU cache is utilized differently for example. So again, it's not that simple, and as many things in (digital) audio, it might be difficult to explain.

 

The aerospace industry uses many error correction methods, including ECC memory for any critical applications. You would never see an overclocking gaming motherboard with non-ECC memory doing the autopilot of a commercial airplane. In fact, at 30,000 feet you have much higher chances of neutron strike impact on Si devices, which is one of the main causes of such errors. 

 

Lastly, for those interested, here is an interesting thread about various memory experiments:

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

 

 

Till this week I used Corsair Vengeance 4Gb modules till I read jplay thread.

On the jplay site they also liked the Hynix branded modules and by pure luck I had a 4Gb G.skill ripjaws module which uses skHynix memory chips so I tried it for a few days. Indeed the G.skill modules sound better (crispier, clearer) then the corsair’s. We will see how they compare to the apacer module.


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

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18 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

What’s the capacitor near the back plate of the NUC MB?

That is the Evox cap.

 

 

16 hours ago, Dev said:

Did you buy the industrial type ? Any links to the place you bought the  memory from ?

Yes, these are the Industrial RAMs.  Aside from SOS, they can also be purchased from Mouser with a higher price.

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I'd been waiting for Intel to release the M15 Optane.  This disappointing news is this from an Anandtech article

https://www.anandtech.com/show/14903/intel-shares-new-optane-and-3d-nand-roadmap

 

The 2nd generation consumer Optane M.2 drives (Optane Memory M15 and Optane SSD 815P) have been officially cancelled. The 815P is dead because 118GB is simply too small for a standalone SSD to be competitive, and the M15 is dead because there aren't enough systems still shipping with mechanical hard drives to support another generation of cache drives. The current Optane Memory M10 and Optane SSD 800P are not being discontinued yet.


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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18 minutes ago, seeteeyou said:

 

Here's a little something from Brent Rowe and I found some pictures on his site that looked fairly close to Studer 900

 

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/customer-choice-psus-271-c.asp

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/digital-psus-dacs-285-c.asp

 

Basically their flagship UBER model could provide up to 3.6A continuously, pricing is the same as Dr. Sean Jacobs' DC3 without any upgrades. That means roughly twice the current at the same price but there's already Farad Super3 @ 3A with such a nice price tag

 

http://www.custom-hifi-cables.co.uk/home/power-supplies/dc3-power-supply

https://faradpowersupplies.com/shop/en/home/42-7761-super3-power-supply.html

 

There's also this C5 Ultra low jitter clock in the pipeline, let's wait and see if that were able to beat Ultra OCXO from Pink Faun then

 

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/c4-uber-clock-1548-p.asp

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/c5-ultra-low-jitter-clock-4461-p.asp

 

So far they seemed to be legit and unlikely to be yet another Adrian Wun IMHO

 

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/--about---1-w.asp

https://www.fidelitysoundandvision.co.uk/repairs-22-w.asp

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/members/fidelity-audio.html

Excellent find!  Also, very interesting that they'll launch DIY Linear power supply kits in the near future.

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12 minutes ago, seeteeyou said:

 

I will take the thinner 16AWG UP-OCC wire over the thicker jewelry silver 6AWG wire any day! Those jewelry silver wires are what put the "bright" label on anything silver.

I have tried both (not those exact models but very similar) in various applications (signal and power) and the results have always been the same. But as I have mentioned before, my favorite for LPS wiring is the Mundorf Silver/Gold SGW115. YMMV. 

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5 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

 

Here's a little something from Brent Rowe and I found some pictures on his site that looked fairly close to Studer 900

 

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/customer-choice-psus-271-c.asp

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/digital-psus-dacs-285-c.asp

Thanks C2. Great find which I didn’t know about in the UK. 


Tidal Streaming only: ATL DC Blocker > Topaz 2.5Kva Isolation Transformer > Sine SA5 Cryo 5 power strip > Aqvox 8 port network switch > Antipodes Dxe roon core> PS Audio Directstream Junior Dac 'Windom' > Decware SE84UFO3 Mono Amps > Omega Super Alnico Monitors.

PH SR4 power supplies

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