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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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27 minutes ago, Bricki said:

If some of your smaller components have a tendency to move around then grab some $5 1kg door stoppers and show those pesky fat cables who's boss. They're also a great conversation starter 🤣IMAG0360.thumb.jpg.dc0404e1643e9b8dc4eacda5ffb08777.jpg

This is an old pic of my system before the days of NUC. If you zoom in you can see the only thing I have in contact with the component chassis are very thin vibration dampening discs👍.  

I love it. Jenga!

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11 hours ago, [email protected] said:

possible reasons

it is almost useless
it is harmful

i belive that you can get lower impedance with ILIM circuit, but i prefer have lower noise 

 

At those kinds of already very low noise levels , a LOW and FLAT Output Impedance over a very wide bandwidth is more desirable with PC Audio than the ultimate in noise level. This applies just as much to Digital areas as it does to Analogue Audio areas.

( My apologies for the Off Topic response.)

Alex


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 18-06-2019

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1 hour ago, Bricki said:

If some of your smaller components have a tendency to move around then grab some $5 1kg door stoppers and show those pesky fat cables who's boss. They're also a great conversation starter 🤣IMAG0360.thumb.jpg.dc0404e1643e9b8dc4eacda5ffb08777.jpg

This is an old pic of my system before the days of NUC. If you zoom in you can see the only thing I have in contact with the component chassis are very thin vibration dampening discs👍.  

Perhaps you can try these too:

https://www.supplyhouse.com/sh/control/product/~product_id=MP-2E

 

Great reviews for isolating vibration from audiophiles. Now I am testing them.

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34 minutes ago, Chopin75 said:

Perhaps you can try these too:

https://www.supplyhouse.com/sh/control/product/~product_id=MP-2E

 

Great reviews for isolating vibration from audiophiles. Now I am testing them.

Interesting product. I'd be interested to read the results of your testing.

IMAG0254.thumb.jpg.dc269cbdcf18dfcc7131b5521b2dd3c7.jpg

These are the ones I'm using and I think they work really well but I've never compared them to any other vibration dampening product. Vibration dampening can be a tricky thing because for some reason if something is over damped then the sound can become muffled and too much bloated bass... I've experimented with it a couple of times... For example if you damp the transformer in your amplifier too much then the sound will become muffled with bloated bass... But just the right amount will give a more refined and sweeter treble with tighter bass. I have a feeling it's got something to do with damping the different frequencies evenly. 🤔

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On 10/8/2019 at 8:34 PM, tapatrick said:

I'm not sure where this leaves me and I will be doing more experimenting but this has certainly been an unexpected shift.

 

Did this SD card player (via I2S) still manage to beat your Antipodes DXe Server (via USB) by any chance?

 

https://sites.google.com/view/audiostuff/sd-player

http://www.tirnahifi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4541

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15 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

 

Did this SD card player (via I2S) still manage to beat your Antipodes DXe Server (via USB) by any chance?

 

https://sites.google.com/view/audiostuff/sd-player

http://www.tirnahifi.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4541

Thanks for asking. I am still in the adjustment phase as Windom has completely changed the sound of my system. Suffice to say for now I have dropped the Roon or other endpoint chain(s) and am focussing on the source. 

 

Even Roon core settings need testing again. Ie difference between local playback and Roon core/roonready on source is dramatic. 

 

The guys over on Tirna especially Nige have discovered something special and hopefully this will see more developments. I have ordered the parts to modify the SD card player, bypassing regs and upgrading the clocking and am also testing power supplies so will be a few weeks before fully functioning.

 

HOWEVER even the basic player with good power input, this little gem has outstanding SQ. The ease and natural quality to the sound has to be heard. The interface is basic (putting music on SD cards and a basic UI plus an I2S DAC) so will put people off. For me it’s worth it! No question. 

 

Even though I have been getting lots of micro detail and deep and wide soundstage etc from NUC endpoints, if like me you want a natural sound and to completely remove glare and hardness this is the route. 

 

I don’t know if this is off topic but it’s certainly a novel way to outstanding sound and music pleasure. This should have its own thread. 


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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I ordered one of those players too only a couple days ago, we've heard what a powerful PC can sound like, trying  the complete opposite of that will be interesting.

 

It's an odd device, you would not expect some obscure item hidden away on a chinese marketplace to be anything special but they seem to have made a decent effort to be audiophile oriented, not just some device for making basic sound.

 

the DSD support is really surprising and the most promising feature.

The 'NoDAC' concept can be applied to this device in a way that wasn't possible before.

In theory, you can take a raw DSD data signal (from an SACD disc or HDD/SSD), add an analogue filter and you have a listenable analogue signal without any ''DAC'' in the typical sense.

Until now this was only really possible with a PC via a USB interface , which is painfully more complicated than it needs to be.

This SD Card player has no SATA, no USB, its a computer with one function - to read the DSD data from the card and output it.

 

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On 10/12/2019 at 6:58 PM, seeteeyou said:

 

I saw that you're also quite fond of SLC CF cards from Apacer

 

http://jplay.eu/forum/index.php?/topic/2413-apacer-cf-card-extended-range-temperature-as-ssd/#entry41693

http://jplay.eu/forum/index.php?/topic/1141-guide-how-to-properly-set-up-windows-server-2012-on-a-cf-card/page-3#entry41542

 

Their latest model should be CS710-CF and 32GB ones are about $330 on Mouser, did you try previous generations yourself and just wondering if the impact were as significant as what ECC RAM could bring to the table?

 

https://industrial.apacer.com/en-ww/SSD/CS710-CF

https://www.soselectronic.com/products/apacer/ap-cf032grhns-etnrk-320536

https://www.mouser.com/Semiconductors/Memory-ICs/Memory-Modules-Memory-Cards/Memory-Cards/CS710-CF-Series/_/N-fb8vi?P=1y8f0ve

 

Since not all motherboards are compatible with CF-to-SATA adapters these days, their SLC SSDs might seem to be a better to me

 

https://industrial.apacer.com/en-ww/SSD/SS130-25

https://www.soselectronic.com/products/apacer/aps25hu7032g-ktwf-322963

 

SS130-25 was released several months ago and therefore it should be fairly new.

 

I've used the Apacer SLC CF Cards too, but I switched to Apacer SLC SSD eventually: https://industrial.apacer.com/en-ww/SSD/SFD25A

 

CF Card sounded a bit better, but the read/write performance bottleneck and a difficult OS installation process was not worth it in the long run

 

Regards, 

Marcin

 


JPLAY & JCAT Founder

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https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55916-euphony-os-wstylus-player-setup-and-issues-thread/page/28/?tab=comments#comment-997400

34 minutes ago, Nsxturbo said:

I feed the M-Scaler through a highly optimized usb DDC to optical output unit clocked with Mutec Reference10 master clock.(really to many other tweeks to mention here.) The PC is an optimized Xeon Scalable 12 core/24 thread processor with 48G of ECC Memory in a Supermicro server motherboard running off a custom linear power supply. No hard drive is present and the OS is running in RAM.

 

Could that be Xeon Silver 4114T or 4214Y? Which Supermicro motherboard and why did you choose that? Did you choose something that's powered by 24-pin ATX or Gold Finger connector? Where did you get your custom linear power supply? Did you get 6 × 8G or 3 × 16G of ECC Memory and what's the brand?

 

Sorry about asking so many questions in a row but please pardon my morbid curiosity.

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2 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

 

That's why we'd like to call it 臥虎藏龍 or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in English....

amazing info THANKS! :)


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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I can vouch for Nenon that using silver nano-powder crystals do in fact help, however the price is only justifiable depending on how far you are into your audio setup. If you're happy with the gear you have and want to do some finishing touches, outside of cables, mods, JSSG shielding, this could be a beneficial thing. Personally I prefer using Stabilant 22 as it's cheaper but requires reapplication each time you unplug a contact.

 

Quote

Stabilant 22 is an initially non-conductive block polymer which when used in a thin film between metal contacts becomes conductive under the effect of an electrical field. This occurs at an electric field gradient such that the material will remain non-conductive between adjacent contacts in a multiple pin environment. In addition, Stabilant 22 exhibits surfactant action, as well as lubrication ability providing a single component resident solution to virtually all contact problems.

When applied to electromechanical contacts, Stabilant 22 can provide the connection reliability of a soldered joint without bonding the contact surfaces.

 

More Information: http://www.stabilant.com/appnt15.php

I mix it into a 5mL kit with 100% isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol acts as a carrier agent to disperse evenly onto the contact.


Computer (Ethernet)  D-Link DGS-105 (Ethernet)  Intel NUC7i7DNHE (USB)  Denafrips Terminator (XLR)  AMB Laboratories β22 (Balanced)  Focal Utopia (Headphones)
 
= ︿ =

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10 hours ago, Nenon said:

Minor UPDATE (that might be crossing the snake oil border): 

 

I recently tried the new Walker Audio Quantum Silver Contact Treatment with Nanocrystal Technology. It's expensive silver paste that you apply to all your connectors. https://walkeraudio.com/product/quantum-silver-treatment-for-contacts/

The idea is that in a well tweaked system the connectors are the weakest link in the chain. This is a highly conductive silver paste that improves the conductivity between two connectors. It has to be applied to a clean surface very carefully. 

I got some of it to try and was not patient enough to apply gradually and discover the impact at each place. But I also know that sometimes just cleaning the connectors could be an improvement. So I turned off my system and carefully cleaned every connector I was planning to apply this paste to. I listened to my system for a while after that. Then I turned it off and applied the paste to:

- All power cords

- All interconnects

- All fuses

- Speaker cable spades

- Computer ATX and EPS connectors

- All power supply connectors

- NO, don't even think about applying this stuff to the CPU pins or RAM! 

 

I turned my system back up and it was a big WOW effect. Everything was better - cleaner, more detailed, more dynamic, darker background, improved instrument separation, better timbre, etc. It was an improvement similar to the level of an amplifier upgrade. I did the test with one of my audiophile friends, and we both agreed it was a big improvement. We then went to his house and did the same thing there. The effect was again a "WOW". The interesting thing is that I use top of the line connectors in my system (the best silver WBT's for my interconnects, Furutech NCF power plugs and IECs, Jaeger connectors for my LPS, etc) and he uses mostly cheap chinese connectors with a couple exceptions. The two systems are completely different, and it's hard to say where we heard a bigger difference, but it might have been in his system. 

This is a great product to share with audiophile friends in your area. It comes in a very small container, but you have to apply so little to every connector that it would be enough to treat a few systems. It did not seem like it needed any break-in time. The effect was there in the first minute. Maybe it got even better after 30 minutes, but I am not entirely sure about that, because if it did, it was a gradual improvement, and I was still getting used to the improvements it made. The biggest difference was when I played the first track after applying. 

 

I know, I know, I just crossed the snake oil border. I try to stay away from that, but this product worked really good in the two systems I tried it. Highly recommend to try, especially if you can share the cost with friends. And I don't know anyone from Walker Audio, so this is an honest experience sharing. If other people decide to try, it would be really good to know how much the effect would be on you digital LPS and ATX/EPS connectors, the part that's most relevant to this thread. 

 

How do you apply this to ATX, EPS, and other Molex type connectors, where the pins are so close to each other? I'm afraid of short circuits.

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1 minute ago, austinpop said:

 

How do you apply this to ATX, EPS, and other Molex type connectors, where the pins are so close to each other? I'm afraid of short circuits.

 

The silver paste comes with a thin retractable brush (looks like a makeup brush to me) that can be very precise if you are careful. Since each pin on an ATX/EPS connector is inside a little square box, it is actually not that difficult. You only apply it to the male pins on the motherboard. You don't need much. The instructions say to only apply on a third of the length. I used a lot more than that, but it's not necessary. 

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On 10/16/2019 at 12:41 PM, Marcin_gps said:

 

I've used the Apacer SLC CF Cards too, but I switched to Apacer SLC SSD eventually: https://industrial.apacer.com/en-ww/SSD/SFD25A

 

CF Card sounded a bit better, but the read/write performance bottleneck and a difficult OS installation process was not worth it in the long run

 

Regards, 

Marcin

 

what do you miss in the sound with SSD compared to CF card

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22 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55916-euphony-os-wstylus-player-setup-and-issues-thread/page/28/?tab=comments#comment-997400

 

Could that be Xeon Silver 4114T or 4214Y? Which Supermicro motherboard and why did you choose that? Did you choose something that's powered by 24-pin ATX or Gold Finger connector? Where did you get your custom linear power supply? Did you get 6 × 8G or 3 × 16G of ECC Memory and what's the brand?

 

Sorry about asking so many questions in a row but please pardon my morbid curiosity.


It’s the Xeon Silver 4116, the motherboard is the Supermicro MBD-X11SPM, Memory is: 6 sticks of NEMIX- DR480-CL02-ER26 8GB. No hard drive, OS and Music player in RAM loaded from removable SATA SSD. Power supply was custom built by an Agilent(HP)Test Instrument engineer, who is a close friend. BTW, serveral “insiders” are saying Intel engineers threw audiophiles a bone with the 621 chipset. I would also not doubt that the 6 channel ECC RAM is contributing to the sound quality. I am running a motherboard USB3, instead of my Neutron Star clocked PCIE USB board, it does however, go into a fully tricked out SOTM TX USB Ultra masterclocked from a Mutec REF10. 

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Thanks @Nsxturbo for your awesome answers, I guess that giving up 4 cores and go for Silver 4215 wouldn't be such a bad idea since Optane DCPMM could be lots of fun.

 

How about your fanless Micro-ATX chassis since we also wanna know which one is a good fit for that particular C621 motherboard? Just wondering if that were adequate for passively cooling 12-core Xeon Scalable with 85W TDP.

 

Did you actually compare 3-channel versus 6-channel ECC RAM yet? Thanks again.

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18 hours ago, Nsxturbo said:

It’s the Xeon Silver 4116, the motherboard is the Supermicro MBD-X11SPM, Memory is: 6 sticks of NEMIX- DR480-CL02-ER26 8GB.

 

Now I realize that's RDIMM instead of UDIMM

 

https://store.supermicro.com/8gb-ddr4-2666-mem-dr480l-cl02-er26.html

https://www.nemixram.com/supermicro-mem-dr480l-cl02-er26-8gb-memory-upgrade.html

 

All C621 motherboards from Supermicro turned out to support only RDIMM and LRDIMM in addition to Optane DCPMM

 

https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon3000/

 

Finally we can't even mix UDIMM and Optane DCPMM to begin with

 

https://lenovopress.com/lp1066.pdf#page=10

 

I thought that I could get on the Group Buy train (Apacer UDIMM with WT) right before its departure, gotta find a different source for Apacer RDIMM (without WT) then

 

https://industrial.apacer.com/en-ww/DRAM/DDR4-RDIMM

 

Not sure about the quality of this brand since they're so much cheaper

 

https://enoch.systems/en/p/components/memory/m4r0-4gssa5ik.html

https://enoch.systems/en/p/components/memory/m4rs-4gssc50j-e.html

https://www.innodisk.com/en/products/dram-module/wide-temperature/DDR4_Wide_Temperature_ECC_RDIMM

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