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

8 hours ago, Nenon said:

My absolute favorite is the Mundorf 15.5 AWG Silver / Gold wire...

... sounded so much better [compared to the Ghent Neotech 7N Cu 16AWG JSSG360].

Hey Nenon, saw your original post back in july. Glad you remind us.

 

A rough est to make a 1 foot Mundorf Silver/Gold cable would be around USD 100, right.

That sounds like an amazing step up compared to a 1 foot Ghent Neotech 7N for US$79.

 

What other parts to buy to make a 1 foot JSSG360 version? Will PM you.

Denis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Nenon said:

 

Of the cables? Here is a silver/gold DC cable with JSSG360 shielding and cotton sleeving I made this morning for a fellow in Chicago to try.  

IMG_2381.jpg.1c0cbbc567c92d64f23a339a67efb13d.jpg

Just remember that thick, fairly inflexible cables can put a lot of strain on your typical D.C. sockets if they don't go in to them without a bend, and they should ideally be replaced by heavier duty type sockets such as XLR etc. if possible, and lockable types preferably.


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 26-12-2019

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/15/2019 at 5:37 PM, romaz said:

SGM Extreme

 

Given the knowledge accumulated through so many hours of testing and comparing, the natural question arises why I would buy an SGM Extreme?  The bottom line is as much as I would like to, I cannot build a server of the caliber of the Extreme.  I don't think anyone but Emile can.  Having communicated with Emile at length over a span of months, it became evident that Emile has spent many more hours than I have with his testing and comparing.  He even quit his day job as a university level IT professional so he can test and compare all day long.  Unlike me, he has access to measuring equipment and has spent tens of thousands of Euros measuring the noise spectra of motherboards, CPUs, chipsets, clocks, memory, storage media, and power supplies to guide his path whereas I am left to random guesses as to which CPU and motherboard might sound best.  I also do not have the gifts that Emile has with respect to hardware and software optimization capability including network allocation.  I don't think most other IT professionals do either based on the fact that no one else has come up with a server like the Extreme.  Here is an example of one of Emile's e-mails to me and I think you'll quickly get the picture as to how Emile views music server design.  I had asked Emile why he felt he needed to use 48GB of RAM in the Extreme when this seemed like overkill and would potentially be a significant source of noise:

 

"Well RAM is a topic on its own, to start with, the 2 cpu’s are split into domains (NUMA / SNC), so you really have 2 x 6 dimms, 6 for each CPU, they are not shared. Music services have their own cpu/dimms and the OS has its own cpu/dims. So its sort of a core and endpoint into a single machine going beyond just core allocations for individual processes. These Ram modules are a custom order type, similar to the Apacer types popular in the Jplay forums, but taking it just a bit further. They do create less noise and draw less current then other offerings. If more dimms reduce performance, it typically means your power supply is negatively impacted by the increased current draw. As occupying more memory channels increases bandwidth and reduces wait states, you do get better individual process performance."  "What you really want to do is reduce your hardware active processing times as much as possible. The net effect is much like a class A amplifier, you have a higher baseline power consumption, but power draw does not vary much, and this is very good for a more “natural/relaxed” sound. I hope this makes sense 🙂 But you do need a power supply which is very comfortable supplying the load. You really want the least possible variation in load, and higher cpu power / bandwidth systems are better at that with very low load music playback processes."

 

As for the Extreme being a core and endpoint in a single chassis, this was interesting for me as well.  You basically have 2 CPUs with each CPU having its own dedicated RAM bank (24GB each) and so there is a genuine distribution of tasks between 2 machines just like dual Pink Faun 2.16Xs.  While I very much like what I heard in the Aries Cerat room at Munich this past May where dual 2.16Xs were playing, this configuration costs north of $30k, has fewer cores, uses a noisy SSD, consumes more than 200 watts, and capably functions as a room heater.  I find the Extreme to be a more elegant and practical solution and at least on paper, I believe it is the most technologically advanced music server at this time.  My brief listening experience in Taiko Audio's listening room did nothing to dissuade me from this opinion.  

 

Happy holidays.   

 

 

Just now saw Mr. Romaz's holiday update.  Like everyone else here I really enjoy reading content like this, and this one was so well done, full of useful info.

 

This is the most compelling write-up I've seen for the SGM Extreme (and I've been so on-the-fence about getting it, rationalizing it will be better to wait for Emile's B lineup he says he'll have out in a few months, or to settle for a pair of PHD SR7s with my own ASRock/i7/Streacom server).  For me this year, it's either the SGM or the mono powerbases for my MSB Select 2 DAC -- I can't do both.  I wish Emile had a demo unit.

 

EDIT: I scanned the quoted post another time, and somehow keep missing the amps he liked with his Alexias.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Darryl R said:

 

For me this year, it's either the SGM or the mono powerbases for my MSB Select 2 DAC -- I can't do both.  I wish Emile had a demo unit.

 

If it's not at the "source" no DAC, including the MSB Select 2 DAC, will be able to recover it!🤔

That seems to be the SGM mantra anyway and I guess it makes sense.

Its just a pity that the cost of admission is prohibitive for most at €24k.

As a comparison though; how much do you think you've spent on your server inclusive of power supplies, DC cables, audiophile USB/Ethernet cards etc?

 


PH SR7 > MacMini+Uptone MMK Mod > Audirvana 3.2 > re-clocked D-LInk switch/LPS1.1 > sMS-200Ultra/LPS1.2 > tX-USBUltra/PH SR7 > Chord BluDave > Focal Utopia(Norne Silver) or Voxativ 9.87/ Stereo REL G1 Mk II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, HeeBroG said:

If it's not at the "source" no DAC, including the MSB Select 2 DAC, will be able to recover it!🤔

That seems to be the SGM mantra anyway and I guess it makes sense.

Its just a pity that the cost of admission is prohibitive for most at €24k.

As a comparison though; how much do you think you've spent on your server inclusive of power supplies, DC cables, audiophile USB/Ethernet cards etc?

 

 

A few thousand ;)

 

One of MSB's objectives for the ProUSB input module was to take the server variable out of the equation, but a number of MSB customers are now advocating for the SGM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, sandyk said:

Just remember that thick, fairly inflexible cables can put a lot of strain on your typical D.C. sockets if they don't go in to them without a bend, and they should ideally be replaced by heavier duty type sockets such as XLR etc. if possible, and lockable types preferably.

 

I have found this type of mini XLR "aviation" connector to work well. I think that I got mine on eBay.

cff781e1ef370e0d166fd0a80e573ac1.jpg.1fa67cd86cab7d9d3c4fa510d86ca407.jpg



"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a very detailed leak about Intel Ghost Canyon NUC.  Use Google translate.

 

Quite a few surprises.  The good news is it has both a PCIe x16 slot and a PCIe x4 slot, 3 x M.2 Key M, dual Ethernet ports, and WiFi 6.  The bad news is there's a 500W internal power supply and two fans.

 

The NUC9 will use Intel's swappable NUC compute element board with 45W TDP processors.

https://koolshare.cn/thread-168913-1-1.html

 


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
On 1/4/2020 at 12:13 AM, austinpop said:

I hope to try the DXP-1A5S boxes that @romaz and @seeteeyou have mentioned with these SR rails to see how much closer I can get to DR-level SQ. I am waiting for @[email protected] to get back to me after his holiday travels.

 


It’s coming up on three weeks since I placed my order for a pair of those boxes and yet my order status is still processing.  Website indicates a 1-2 week lead time so holiday travels would certainly explain the delay.  Sure would be nice to get a status update from @[email protected].  

 


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Std Mk2 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > 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 Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone done a deep dive into how to reduce DPC Latency on a Windows based music server and if so what have you uncovered? This of course is for those using USB based connectivity to the DAC. I'm curious if the PCIe based USB Cards offer any better performance then say the baked in USB Ports on a given system. It seems that most of this probably boils down to the quality of the driver, Horsepower of the system itself and tweaks to the OS but I've yet to see a good guide on reducing such latency, especially with Windows 10 that say anything more than try to disable various devices in Win Device Manager. I have gone thru this exercise and it made no real difference. Disabling the NIC Card is not an option which is something typically mentioned.

 

I do wonder how much better a Thunderbolt3 based system would fare in comparison since the drivers involved for Thunderbolt3 are very close to that of a PCIe based driver or so I've read.

 

Some of the old school tools out there no longer work with Win10 and report false readings such as DPC Latency Checker from Thesycon. My Intel NUC is no slouch in terms of horsepower but still reports unimpressive numbers when checked with the latency tools that do work with Win10 such as LatencyMon by Resplendence.

 

The issue of course with this latency is resulting drop outs and other nasty things that can be very annoying. The only hope I'm holding on to at this stage is for Thunderbolt3 being much better or for more then the one or two companies that exist today who offer Ethernet based multi-channel connectivity (ie..Horus,Metric Halo8 3D).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/6/2020 at 8:38 AM, rickca said:

Intel Ghost Canyon NUC

Another article including some rather shockingly high prices.  Intel will also have Quartz Canyon that will offer Xeon CPUs.  

 

https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/7/21051879/intel-pc-nuc-9-extreme-ghost-canyon-element-hands-on-teardown-ces-2020

 

 


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
7 hours ago, bobfa said:

Now the fan-less NUC running Roon ROCK is pretty darn good, but the Xeon box is way better.  And not a Paul Hines SR power supply in sight!

 

Hi Bob,

there is an interesting post of @romaz on WBF:

 

"The concept behind an endpoint was to mask the noise generated by a noisy upstream server or NAS and so the general belief has been that the endpoint should be a low noise device suggesting once again a low power CPU. When I first discovered the sound quality benefits of a server with a high power CPU, I continued to use my endpoints that housed a low power CPU including such things as a NUC, uRendu, and sMS-200ultra Neo. As I improved the quality of my high power server, I found that these endpoints were no longer necessary and in fact, became detrimental as they significantly hindered dynamics and shrunk the sound stage. It became clear to me that the endpoint needed to be equivalent to the server in order to avoid this and Pink Faun obviously agrees since they are marketing a dual 2.16X solution. With the Extreme having dual CPUs and with each CPU having its own independent bank of memory, you have the capacity for the same distribution of tasks but housed in a single chassis which is really quite elegant. In Emile's testing, he indicated this distribution between 2 CPUs sounded better than a single CPU having at least 20 cores."

 

Did you come across a similar situation where a direct connection to a HQ server is superior to the additional use of an endpoint like the Allo?

Thanks

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, LTG2010 said:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for all the information.

How does the Allo USB Bridge SIG + power supply compare with the fanless NUC + HDPLEX 200 both as endpoints.What are the sound quality differences?

Both running Gentooplayer and using the Xeon machine as a roonserver. That would level the playing field and give us a picture of the differences.

Regards

Alec

Now that I am set back up with the NUC free to use and an endpoint I can run GentooPlayer on it and see what happens.  I actually had not thought of testing this way.  Thanks for the idea.  

 

bob

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob,

I feel like I am  coming in on this conversation like someone at a cocktail party, where he joins a group and says "what are you guys talking about..." to get up to speed.  :)  Sorry.  But isn't "endpoint" rather vague when it comes to the various tasks/architectures that an endpoint can be asked to do?  I mean, Jussi's NAA architecture, and his minimalist/isolationist approach to "dac driver and that is all" is likely quite different than what is optimal for a Roon endpoint, or some other endpoint set of orders.  Is Romaz's experience with HQPlayer and NAA, or some other thing (I should know this but sitting on the sidelines is very difficult)?  And your experiences?  Thx...send me a pertinent link if this is hashing over old already-discussed material. 

Share this post


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

Bob,

I feel like I am  coming in on this conversation like someone at a cocktail party, where he joins a group and says "what are you guys talking about..." to get up to speed.  :)  Sorry.  But isn't "endpoint" rather vague when it comes to the various tasks/architectures that an endpoint can be asked to do?  I mean, Jussi's NAA architecture, and his minimalist/isolationist approach to "dac driver and that is all" is likely quite different than what is optimal for a Roon endpoint, or some other endpoint set of orders.  Is Romaz's experience with HQPlayer and NAA, or some other thing (I should know this but sitting on the sidelines is very difficult)?  And your experiences?  Thx...send me a pertinent link if this is hashing over old already-discussed material. 

When I say endpoint I mean. The renderer, D to D. Typically Ethernet to USB or other DAC input. 
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, kennyb123 said:


It’s coming up on three weeks since I placed my order for a pair of those boxes and yet my order status is still processing.  Website indicates a 1-2 week lead time so holiday travels would certainly explain the delay.  Sure would be nice to get a status update from @[email protected].  

 

i am apologies for the delays, but i can start shipments by the last week of January only , i can not get enclosures faster, Chrismass and New Year holidays affecting deliveries

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...