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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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So looks like the new best is what combines and comes after the EtherRegen with a couple of examples being discussed here.  Another one highly recommended with ER by @gstew is the Allo USBbridge signature.
 

I have just received an EtherRegen which is burning in (connected as bridge to PS Audio DAC) and can now add to the glowing reports. 


ATL DC Blocker > Topaz 2.5Kva Isolation Transformer > Sine SA5 Cryo 5 power strip > EtherRegen switch powered with Ciunas Supercaps 7.5v LPS > Antipodes DXe roon core> PS Audio Directstream Junior Dac 'Windom'> Decware SE84UFO3 Mono Amps > Omega Super Alnico Monitors. PH SR4 power supplies. In addition my reference SQ is a modified SD card Player powered by Ian Canada LifePo4/Ultracaps mod outputting 2x 3.3v > I2S module > PS Audio DAC.

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11 hours ago, cat6man said:

 

followup question for superdad and/or swenson

 

if we're looking for micro-bursts of current that are instantaneously pulling much more than the average current draw, would we be able to see this on a high speed oscilloscope in the time domain as a bursty dip in the voltage?  if the peak current was within the capacity of the power supply and the impedance was low (a fuzzy term, i know), i would expect the voltage to stay constant.

however, if the instantaneous draw is limited somewhere, wouldn't we see an instantaneous voltage change?  (assuming we had a fully buffered way of accessing the voltage)

 

just wondering..............or maybe its already in the white paper?

Rad up on decoupling and what decoupling capacitors do and how you create a power delivery system for digital circuitry, it is more than just the front end power supply, in fact the most important components are the decoupling capacitors and other forms of local capacitance to store energy to supply the high current switching requirements (often 100A's)

This is a good primer:

https://www.autodesk.com/products/eagle/blog/what-are-decoupling-capacitors/

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4 hours ago, guiltyboxswapper said:

 

The person who recommended trying a NUC was infact an ex-ultraRendu owner.  These designs were previous generation and so yes the NUC is an improvement over those, compared to what's now available in the last 12m.

Improving the hardware doesn't deal with the OS/app limitations. If they offer a future product that can use AL or Euphony I could get excited but not if the product is still hobbled

by proprietary Sonicorbiter OS


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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I hope im sharing this in the right thread 

 

What do you guys think about Isolation Transformers actually NOT DOING ANY GOOD to our systems ?

 

 


Fully Grounded Audio Room - Topaz 1KVA - OYAIDE outlets - Paul Hynes SR4 19V for Uptone EtherRegen / HDPLEX 200W with Ghent JSSG360 DC, EPS & ATX cables + HDPLEX 800W DCATX + LessLoss Firewall 64x for HDPLEX H5 Fanless ( AMD Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Rog Strix X470-I / 8GB Apacer Industrial Ram / Optane M10 32GB ) Server - LUSH USB Cable - DENAFRIPS Terminator DAC ) + LessLoss Firewall 64x - Tellurium Ultra Black II XLR & Speaker Cables - KINKI EX-M1 Integrated - PMC Twenty5 26 speakers. ( Power Cords LessLoss DFPC Signature )

 

Euphony ( Roon + StylusEp )

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Hmm, I am using 2 isolation transformers, one for AUDIO and one Tripp-lite for also surge protection. They make a huge difference and I think may be better than filtering alone. Probably need both. I also have a power regenerator placed after the transformers for even more benefits. I guess the wrong type of transformers may cause harm. It needs to be of low impedance. Note the toroidal transformers cannot block DC noise that can leak into the AC mains. So a DC blocker may be needed. 

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I have an Isolation Transformer Topaz 91001-22 ( 1kva / .001pf )...that is the only thing i have from my wall and then all my system connected to it...should i disconnect the amp from it ?, what would you suggest in order to obtain less noise that don't break the wallet ?

 

 


Fully Grounded Audio Room - Topaz 1KVA - OYAIDE outlets - Paul Hynes SR4 19V for Uptone EtherRegen / HDPLEX 200W with Ghent JSSG360 DC, EPS & ATX cables + HDPLEX 800W DCATX + LessLoss Firewall 64x for HDPLEX H5 Fanless ( AMD Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Rog Strix X470-I / 8GB Apacer Industrial Ram / Optane M10 32GB ) Server - LUSH USB Cable - DENAFRIPS Terminator DAC ) + LessLoss Firewall 64x - Tellurium Ultra Black II XLR & Speaker Cables - KINKI EX-M1 Integrated - PMC Twenty5 26 speakers. ( Power Cords LessLoss DFPC Signature )

 

Euphony ( Roon + StylusEp )

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1 hour ago, mikicasellas said:

I have an Isolation Transformer Topaz 91001-22 ( 1kva / .001pf )...that is the only thing i have from my wall and then all my system connected to it...should i disconnect the amp from it ?, what would you suggest in order to obtain less noise that don't break the wallet ?

 

 

Why do u want to take out the amp from the transformer?

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2 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

I've stopped testing standard ATX SMPS now (for servers at least, I still use Hypex for amplifiers). I've listened to Corsair SFX450,  Superflower leadex III, and Corsair AX1600i.  The AX1600i was really quite interesting as it has really low ripple, good transient response and Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors like some new high end class-d amplifiers.

 

To me, servers powered by these all sounded pretty similar and somewhat rolled off in highs compared to a good quality linear power supply.  I never went to the extent of using custom ATX cables, this might have made the difference.  But for me, it's just easier/cheaper/simpler to get a better sound by going down the lower power route, such as a NUC.  Looking forward to trying eRED-DOCK.

I only have a simple NUC /modded Sbooster. I still think the Isilencers bus filtering only part is another level for my NUC maybe for the whole PCB not just the 5v bus rail but thats conjecture on my part. 

I only added the link as some have been testing draw and this is a through and through tester. Too expensive as a toy though.... more than this E dock...

If id tried Euphony + silencers before i might not have upgraded my headphones.... A lesson for me that there is always mileage in the well made kit you have than chase the next level...

Ill never be fortunate enough to try everything but this thread has at least made my equipment 'Audiophile'  even though i am not....

 

 

 

 

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Heads up...

Apparently, ATX12VO ("12 volt only") is going to replace the current ATX standard with 24 pins:

 

https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/atx12vo-future-power-supplies-will-not-have-24-pins-atx-connector-anymorebut-10-pins.html

 

Could this be bad news for audio as the motherboard will have to perform more (conversion) tasks to power components, potentially adding noise? 


 

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I think it might be better as voltage regulation will now be fully addressed by the motherboard manufacturer. The noise depends on the layout of the mobo and how "low noise"the VRegulators will be. The PSU manufacturer has a much more simple job  now to only provide 12V, hopefully they will choose for a better low noise output than previously as it is so much easier to provide only one Voltage with more amperes  But in the end,  why should they? Only audiophile criteria ask for the best low noise. Unless a clever manufacturer discover the market of DIY enthusiasts making their own music server. Still that is a very very small niche in the market of normal PC. The smaller the niche the more expensive the products for it will be.

SO a mobo may cost 600€ and up and that will be on the cheap side

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6 hours ago, bodiebill said:

Heads up...

Apparently, ATX12VO ("12 volt only") is going to replace the current ATX standard with 24 pins:

 

https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/atx12vo-future-power-supplies-will-not-have-24-pins-atx-connector-anymorebut-10-pins.html

 

Could this be bad news for audio as the motherboard will have to perform more (conversion) tasks to power components, potentially adding noise? 

 

Let's see how many pins they end up with in practice. But if possible, less cable mess is just good. I just upgraded my Windows development machine PSU+motherboard+CPU+RAM. It also has GeForce RTX 2080Ti.

 

Motherboard has:

- 24-pin ATX power

- 8-pin 12V CPU power

- 4-pin 12V CPU power

- 6-pin auxiliary PCIe power

 

And the graphics card has:

- 8-pin auxiliary PCIe power

- 8-pin auxiliary PCIe power

 

And then for the drives there's a SATA power cable. So 7 power cables running from the PSU.

 

Luckily there are still free power cables and connectors left in the 1000W hybrid (semi-fanless; fan only starts if needed) PSU.

 

Runs HQPlayer very nicely and very quietly even under high loads. Despite having 8 cooling fans. Can barely hear it from 1 meter distance.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On 1/22/2020 at 5:26 PM, Chopin75 said:

Why do u want to take out the amp from the transformer?

 

A lot of People suggest that the amplifier does not benefit from the IT but the contrary, When i used to have a HEGEL separates, they suggested that i do that and now i saw a video from PS Audio where Paul suggested the same...


Fully Grounded Audio Room - Topaz 1KVA - OYAIDE outlets - Paul Hynes SR4 19V for Uptone EtherRegen / HDPLEX 200W with Ghent JSSG360 DC, EPS & ATX cables + HDPLEX 800W DCATX + LessLoss Firewall 64x for HDPLEX H5 Fanless ( AMD Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Rog Strix X470-I / 8GB Apacer Industrial Ram / Optane M10 32GB ) Server - LUSH USB Cable - DENAFRIPS Terminator DAC ) + LessLoss Firewall 64x - Tellurium Ultra Black II XLR & Speaker Cables - KINKI EX-M1 Integrated - PMC Twenty5 26 speakers. ( Power Cords LessLoss DFPC Signature )

 

Euphony ( Roon + StylusEp )

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On 1/23/2020 at 2:51 AM, One and a half said:

It’s what he doesn’t say that makes bias too.

there are different types of isolation transformer, the most talked about here is the Topaz or similar models.

They are designed to clamp surge voltages and limit ultrasonics from input to output. If the voltage sags or increases, equipment copes with this quite well and is no different to plugging into the wall.

 

What matters is how the earthing is arranged on the secondary of the transformer to the equipment, since the bonding to ground is localised to the transformer at one point with low impedance, makes the build up of ground loops somewhat difficult.


If grounding occurs at one point, the build of different potentials is minimised, and ground loops are gone.

 

PS audio regenerator is an inverter, it should have common mode chokes to clean up the output, of not , use an isolation transformer on the output. The input to the PS audio device has a really rough current demand that distorts the incoming AC, it has diodes on the front end to make DC. 
 

Ever wonder why the incoming AC distortion measured by a regenerator is higher than output? See the above explanation, the ps audio  creates most of it.


An isolation transformer on the front end can tame these pesky type currents, since there’s an inductor on the path now which slows the peaks. Again, the grounding on the secondary feeding the ps audio needs careful attention.

 

Seems like a lot of trouble and expense, an isolation transformer does a better job on protection, plus in balanced output mode really knocks common mode on the head.

 

Anyway there’s a thread here that explains how the Topaz can be applied in some detail. Search here also for star grounding.

 

That is great thanks !!


Fully Grounded Audio Room - Topaz 1KVA - OYAIDE outlets - Paul Hynes SR4 19V for Uptone EtherRegen / HDPLEX 200W with Ghent JSSG360 DC, EPS & ATX cables + HDPLEX 800W DCATX + LessLoss Firewall 64x for HDPLEX H5 Fanless ( AMD Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Rog Strix X470-I / 8GB Apacer Industrial Ram / Optane M10 32GB ) Server - LUSH USB Cable - DENAFRIPS Terminator DAC ) + LessLoss Firewall 64x - Tellurium Ultra Black II XLR & Speaker Cables - KINKI EX-M1 Integrated - PMC Twenty5 26 speakers. ( Power Cords LessLoss DFPC Signature )

 

Euphony ( Roon + StylusEp )

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FYI - @hols just shared his comparison between fully-loaded SOtM sNH-10G (with Cybershaft's flagship model OP21A for > $6,000 & Habst Digital clock cable for another $1,000) and Melco S100 (mine should cost roughly $1,300 as I mentioned before, no inputs for any external clocking options) here

 

 https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/melco-s100-audiophile-switch.29828/page-2#post-625788

Quote

So a small summary for the early impression of S100. It is well worth its price being comparable to a clocked SOtM. the two have very different character and the two can be combined together to get a good synergy. The S100 is still not yet burned in and the sound is expected to become more smooth after burning in and the use of ethernet cable can also be used to tweak the sound. At this juncture a SOtM + S100 seems to be a better alternative than 2 SOtM to both of us.

 

Quite a few reviewers in Taiwan also talked about their own impressions after comparing the differences between SOtM and Melco, it's written in Chinese and therefore please give machine translation a try

 

http://my-hiend.com/wp/?p=33234

 

Other reviews of Melco (written in Chinese / Japanese) also looked quite positive to me

 

http://my-hiend.com/wp/?p=33194

https://review.kakaku.com/review/K0001204484/ReviewCD=1286778/#tab

 

I was able to find quite a few owners of Melco out there and they also liked it

 

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/melco-s100-audiophile-switch.29828/#post-624513

Quote

First 24hrs with the S100 and I already prefer it to a single upgraded SoTM non-clocked. IMO, the sound is less colored/more natural, more detailed, and seems to originate from a quieter background. More to come....

 

https://devialetchat.com/Thread-Audiophile-Grade-Ethernet-Switches-The-new-generation?pid=89323#pid89323

Quote

Hello, of course we heard all the switches. Unfortunately, the Bonn N8 didn't make it to the end. The Melco has a better detail, more clarity and calm. As i said, all personal perceptions. 😉

 

Best sound, but only 100MBit output !!!

 

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54 minutes ago, seeteeyou said:

FYI - @hols just shared his comparison between fully-loaded SOtM sNH-10G (with Cybershaft's flagship model OP21A for > $6,000 & Habst Digital clock cable for another $1,000) and Melco S100 (mine should cost roughly $1,300 as I mentioned before, no inputs for any external clocking options) here

 

 https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/melco-s100-audiophile-switch.29828/page-2#post-625788

 

Quite a few reviewers in Taiwan also talked about their own impressions after comparing the differences between SOtM and Melco, it's written in Chinese and therefore please give machine translation a try

 

http://my-hiend.com/wp/?p=33234

 

Other reviews of Melco (written in Chinese / Japanese) also looked quite positive to me

 

http://my-hiend.com/wp/?p=33194

https://review.kakaku.com/review/K0001204484/ReviewCD=1286778/#tab

 

I was able to find quite a few owners of Melco out there and they also liked it

 

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/melco-s100-audiophile-switch.29828/#post-624513

 

https://devialetchat.com/Thread-Audiophile-Grade-Ethernet-Switches-The-new-generation?pid=89323#pid89323

 

 

Do we know what Melco's approach is, in more detail than what's listed here: https://www.melco-audio-masters.com/uploads/1/0/1/5/101505220/mel_2073_s100_a4_2pp_info_sheet_v3.pdf ?

 

For example, they don't seem to mention clocks at all.

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It should be no secret that Buffalo and Melco (or called "DELA" in Japan) are basically the same guys

 

http://www.melcoinc.com

Quote

All rights reserved, Copyright(C) MELCO HOLDINGS INC. & BUFFALO INC.

 

https://www.melco-audio-masters.com

Quote

Our audio grade internal architecture is built in Buffalo's specialist division to meet our industry leading performance requirements for extreme Hi-Res Audio playback.

 

BSL-WS-G2108M/A was the 1st generation

 

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=94358

 

BS-GS2016/A was the 2nd one and obviously the design of S100 should look pretty darn close

 

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=107184

 

Another audiophile here in Hong Kong already got his BS-GS2016/A modified by replacing the original clock with an OCXO, therefore that (25 MHz) clock should be simply hidden under the heat sink since it's placed somewhere close to where CPU could be found
 

https://www.audioshark.org/lumin-169/lumin-x1-home-visit-14384.html

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=118513

Quote

- Ethernet switch - Buffalo BS-GS2016/A modified with LPS and OCXO, and all LED connection cut

 

While Buffalo couldn't even hold a candle when compared to those giants like Cisco, they're still gaining quite a bit of experience after manufacturing a fairly wide range of products over the years. Therefore I could only speculate that catering to the audiophile market should be a piece of cake since they're already having access to plenty of resources to begin with. Maybe they could simply find a way to get the job done without relying on fancy clocking solutions?

 

If the audiophile market weren't so niche in the first place, it's hard to imagine what we're gonna get from Cisco since their Catalyst 2960 Series seemed to perform reasonably well without even trying. Pretty much the same deal with motherboards, Asus didn't have to do anything special for their WS C621E SAGE and then Emile had to opt for that one since he couldn't really design a better motherboard for SGM Extreme.

 

Even Antipodes Audio got what they're looking for

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20180129153435/http://antipodesaudio.com/server-upgrades.html

Quote

The V4 technology in our current line-up is sourced from a specialist team within ASUS and, through that relationship, we are adapting boards that are based on ASUS boards. We consider ASUS to be the best manufacturer of computer motherboards. The boards we use are industrial grade boards that perform beyond the equivalent consumer boards and the boards are adapted to employ our noise reduction and management techniques.

 

Speaking of industrial grade products, it's easy to get a "Cisco compatible" SFP without breaking the bank but one of those genuine Cisco products (NOT the ones from Linksys) could very well cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars

 

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/interfaces-modules/gigabit-ethernet-gbic-sfp-modules/datasheet-c78-366584.html

Quote

The GLC-BX-D-I and GLC-BX-U-I are the Industrial temperature rated (IND) counterparts of GLC-BX-D and GLC-BX-U SFPS. This allows link operation in harsh environmental conditions where the module case temperature can be in the range -40°C to 85°C.

 

These guys are actually refurbished and we're still talking about more than 300 bucks a piece

 

https://www.m4l.com/GLC-BX-U-I-Cisco-Transceiver

https://www.servers4less.com/networking/transceivers/cisco-glc-bx-u-i

 

And then here's something else with a fake S/N and it's off by 5°C

 

https://edgeoptic.com/products/nortel/nttp07ffe6/

Quote

Temperature:Industrial -45°C – +85°C

 

So many brands were claiming to be industrial grade with the right temperature range, there's no telling what / who could be trusted.

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On 2/2/2020 at 9:03 AM, seeteeyou said:

the latest 2020 model of Sablon Audio Panatela Reserva Elite


Ordered! 😁 Thanks for pointing it out, I had been on the lookout for a USB cable to replace the too short (20cm) Curious Regen link in my system and had started a list with several options to research including a second Phasure Lush^2, Shunyata Alpha USB, Intona (but not the $2000 or so Ultimate) and the Final Touch Audio Callisto but this one seems to fit the bill perfectly so I decided to take the gamble, end the search and order it. It’s shipping from London tomorrow. 👍

 

 

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