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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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Just now, RickyV said:


I think he is just, one man with a hobby selling boards, transformers. Finished products maybe to much for him. I don’t know I never the dealt with him.

 

 

I done everything but beat him upside the head to make me a finished power supply.  He objects to a finished product only because it wouldn't sound as good in his opinion.  Maybe @austinpop could use his high profile and powers of persuasion to convince him that he could sell a lot of units very fast if he is willing to satisfy consumer preferences.


 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, auricgoldfinger said:

 

I done everything but beat him upside the head to make me a finished power supply.  He objects to a finished product only because it wouldn't sound as good in his opinion.  Maybe @austinpop could use his high profile and powers of persuasion to convince him that he could sell a lot of units very fast if he is willing to satisfy consumer preferences.

 

I respect manufacturers' choices. It's up to him to decide. There are considerations, especially around heat dissipation, in designing a chassis.

 

Perhaps @[email protected] would consider making higher-current finished supplies?

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12 hours ago, austinpop said:

When these units are in stock again, I'll be getting one more for my other SR-7 SR rail.

 

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rajiv.  Hopefully Alexey has received the stock of heatsink enclosures he's been waiting on.


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

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(deleted duplicate post)


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

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On 2/7/2020 at 10:44 PM, Nenon said:

I have been looking at the Taiko Extreme server with huge admiration to Emile. There is no way on earth a DIY-er like me could ever get to the level of engineering and tweaking Emile has done on his server. And romaz does not help with his "actually took only 30 seconds" comment (to realize how good the Extreme is). Okay, maybe one day I will get an Extreme too. But until then I will keep pushing the limits of my DIY servers to see how far we can go. Yes, I have probably spent as much as a new Taiko Extreme on experiments, many of which were not successful. I realize that. But it's a nice hobby, especially in the winter months in Chicago. 

 

A natural thought in my head would be to try some of the components that are used in the Taiko Extreme. That would be without all the incredible things/tweaks Emile has done, which are many. How much of the performance of the Extreme can we get out of the stock components? 10%? 20%? 50%? 80%? No one knows. Curiosity to try this motherboard and CPUs (Asus WS C621E Sage with 2X Intel Xeon Silver 4114 CPU) kept growing and growing. But there are at least 3 challenges with that:

  1. Power - you have to power up not one but two high powered CPU with clean power. There are some linear power supplies that can do that - Paul Hynes Designs and Sean Jacobs have high current linear power supplies. Farad is working on one. Marcin is also working on something. The HDPlex 800W DC to DC can also be a good option in addition to a high current power supply.
  2. Passive cooling case for the extended ATX size motherboard. Turemetal UP10 is the only suitable case I know. Expensive but there is a solution.
  3. RAM. Taiko Extreme uses custom high quality RDIMM RAM. And this is the biggest problem. We now know how much difference the RAM makes. And I would not want to invest so much into such build only to put some bad quality RAM modules in it. Our favorite manufacturer, Apacer, does not produce industrial wide-temperature RDIMM RAM. And that is the main reason I never bought that Asus WS C621E Sage motherboard.

Well, after long discussions with Apacer, they spec’ed custom wide temperature industrial memory for me and are willing to run one small custom batch of it. It has the same specs as the ECC RAM that sounds best. I am getting it! Taiko uses 12 x 4 GB. I am planning to get two sets. So far, there is no indication that this memory would be produced as a regular product, besides this custom batch, but you never know. However, I will not miss the opportunity.  If anyone else is interested, please ping me on PM.

 

 

Nenon

 

I’m really looking forward to you testing the Asus WSC621E Sage with to CPU’s. 

 

Early stage questions? 
 

- Are the two CPU’s powered independently? E.g. could be powered by 2 x Sean Jacobs 5a LPS? 
- With 2 CPU’s does this mean it can run two operating systems at one time? E.g. can run Stylus on one & run Stylus EP on another? Effectively having a server & endpoint in one box? 
- With so many cores/threads realistically it can isolate most if not all Euphony processes? 
- the other question is? Why does the T Extreme have so much RAM? Presumably the RAM can be isolated like RAM when using windows? If so maybe this can be future Euphony development. 
 

I was planning upgrading my MB & CPU (intel i9), I’m now going to hold off! 
 

keep up the great work mate. 
 

p.s. please create a new thread “Building DIY Server 2” highly anticipated indeed! 

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11 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Nenon

 

I’m really looking forward to you testing the Asus WSC621E Sage with to CPU’s. 

 

Early stage questions? 
 

- Are the two CPU’s powered independently? E.g. could be powered by 2 x Sean Jacobs 5a LPS? 
- With 2 CPU’s does this mean it can run two operating systems at one time? E.g. can run Stylus on one & run Stylus EP on another? Effectively having a server & endpoint in one box? 
- With so many cores/threads realistically it can isolate most if not all Euphony processes? 
- the other question is? Why does the T Extreme have so much RAM? Presumably the RAM can be isolated like RAM when using windows? If so maybe this can be future Euphony development. 
 

I was planning upgrading my MB & CPU (intel i9), I’m now going to hold off! 
 

keep up the great work mate. 
 

p.s. please create a new thread “Building DIY Server 2” highly anticipated indeed! 

Some earlier thoughts here that might help answer these questions...

 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

I’m really looking forward to you testing the Asus WSC621E Sage with to CPU’s. 

Early stage questions? 

I will try to answer some of these questions. But let me start with a disclaimer again that I am not trying to build a Taiko Extreme. The engineering level and the attention to details on the Extreme is way beyond anything I can do. I am repeating this in case someone sees this message out of context and misses my previous explanations. It's fun to test new stuff, that's why it's a hobby. Some things work, some don't, but we gain experience during that process. 

 

Just now, ASRMichael said:

- Are the two CPU’s powered independently? E.g. could be powered by 2 x Sean Jacobs 5a LPS? 

There are two dedicated EPS connectors, so yes they can be powered by 2 x Sean Jacobs 5a LPS. His 10A LPS would be even better for this. That's what I am planning to use - 2 x 10A rails. BTW, that's not officially in production yet, but he has made some units. 

 

45 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

- With 2 CPU’s does this mean it can run two operating systems at one time? E.g. can run Stylus on one & run Stylus EP on another?

No, you cannot do that. You can only use one OS. But having 2 CPUs with 20 or 24 cores (40 or 48 threads) gives you a lot of flexibility to isolate processes into their own CPU / cores / threads.

Per Taiko:

Quote

The 2 cpu’s and 12 memory modules are not shared but split into 2 domains, 1 dedicated to the operating system, 1 dedicated to music related services and playback software.

 

 

47 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

- With so many cores/threads realistically it can isolate most if not all Euphony processes?

That's the idea. Although on a server like that, it's probably worth not to assume that Euphony would sound best and experiment with other operating systems and players too. As you know, I am a big fan of Euphony, and that is what I am using now, but I am open minded. Definitely worth exploring some other options again. 

 

50 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

- the other question is? Why does the T Extreme have so much RAM?

I have some speculations but no good explanations. Emile has provided some limited info but he won't reveal his secrets, and I don't blame him for that. 

 

Per Emile:

Quote

Addressing memory modules:

One of the largest disturbances on server music playback quality we found is DRAM refresh. The charge on DRAM memory cells weakens over time therefor it needs to be refreshed in pre-set time intervals. During the refresh period all memory operations halt. Memory current draw peaks during refresh, a single memory dim can easily draw 2.5A or higher during the refresh cycle. This is the main reason for DIY community feedback that fewer, or lower speed, dimms sound better, which can be true except you're seriously limiting bandwidth as you have more then just a single memory channel in modern high performance systems.

With the EVO we started focussing on reducing the amount of refresh intervals and refresh period time with quite significant advances in playback fidelity. For this to work you need a higher then average selection of memory chip quality, close chip matching and keep temperatures as low as possible. For the EVO we bought virtually all available consumer level dimms and selected those in which we could get the lowest memory refresh rate / length. As it turned out quality varies from dimm to dimm, so on top of that we started cherry picking the best of the bunch.

For the Extreme we took this a few steps further, these dimms have factory pre-selected A-grade memory modules, all dimm components (memory chips, capacitors, resistors etc) are matched to within a 1% tolerance and selected for low current draw. The side effect of this is refresh rate burst current is reduced by almost 50% and operating temperatures are much lower allowing lower refresh rates. Combined with power supply filtering this allows us to use 12 memory dimms with a very high combined bandwidth at very low refresh noise levels.

Source: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/taiko-audio-sgm-extreme-the-crème-de-la-crème.27433/post-556159 

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Here comes another trifecta FTW

 

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/melco-s100-audiophile-switch.29828/page-2#post-627616

Quote

And then we came up with the idea of can we do 3 switches to further isolate the HQplayer server from endpoint NAA. And so we added the SOtM as the last switch with the NAA connected to it. And WOW WOW everything just comes out naturally with big and wide soundstage and with very accurate timbre and focus. It is a triple jump in SQ and is the best I have heard from the Linux server system. It actually become very close to SGM extreme though of a different character.

 

Each Melco S100 should cost about $1,300 shipped (through "From Japan" with 10% off) when it's imported from Japan directly, that's like $2,600 for a pair of them while we don't get any kinda warranty outside Japan.

 

Stock SOtM sNH-10G is $800, add $200 for the upgrading internal wires and EVOX caps.

 

For upgrading its 25MHz clock instead of going for sCLK-EX plus another external clock with Habst clock cable, base price (without VAT for customers outside EU) should be around £125 and the grand total (without VAT again) is £375 plus shipping

 

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/network-switch-upgrade-4616-p.asp

Quote

Major improvement!

 

That clock upgrade is a major improvement. Sound is decluttered and tightened up. Much improved treble, general clarity and musicality. It even sounds better after a couple of days burn in

 

The difference between C4 and C5 (without VAT) should be about £125 (i.e. 375 - 249.17) so the grand total for modifying a switch with C5 (without VAT) should be around 500 quids plus shipping if that were actually available in the future

 

https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/clocks---precision-low-jitter-143-c.asp

 

Roughly $1,650 plus shipping for that modified SOtM sNH-10G, finally we should be able to keep everything under 4,500 bucks. Then each Melco S100 requires 12V / 1A rail, maybe it's a good idea to power SOtM sNH-10G and C5 with separate rails? Audiophile Ethernet cables seemed to be indispensable, stuff like Shunyata Research Sigma should be starting at $900 for 1.5M while we'll need quite a few of them since there are 3 cascaded switches

 

https://shunyata.com/products/digital-cables/ethernet-digital-cables/ethernet-cables-venom-alpha-sigma/

 

Not too shabby IF we're able to get a glimpse of what SGM Extreme could offer?

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8 hours ago, elan120 said:

I tried also with the same result, so in the end, I put together the dual regulator power supply myself, and think it sound at least as good as his board level product.  One good thing about Michael's product besides the workmanship, it can be adjusted to the output voltage desired when the need changed, which I find more than one occasion using this feature.

 

20191004_161954.thumb.jpg.b4aeab2b39431994bfdfa088d6349d48.jpg

Kevin, is that a Polish toroid? What voltage and VA rating? Also, is that a 5 amp regulator? Have you measured ripple?

 

I have an mpaudio medium format 3 amp regulator here driving a 12 volt HDD enclosure. It sounds terrific at the end of a 2 amp Hdplex lt3045 rail set at 15 volts.

 


nuckleheadaudio.com

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7 minutes ago, lmitche said:

Kevin, is that a Polish toroid? What voltage and VA rating? Also, is that a 5 amp regulator? Have you measured ripple?

 

I have an mpaudio medium format 3 amp regulator here driving a 12 volt HDD enclosure. It sounds terrific at the end of a 2 amp Hdplex lt3045 rail set at 15 volts.

 

Hi Larry,  Transformer is a 100VA from Michael as well, and this is not the 5amp version, instead, it is the 2.5A dual regulator version.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, elan120 said:

Hi Larry,  Transformer is a 100VA from Michael as well, and this is not the 5amp version, instead, it is the 2.5A dual regulator version.

 

 

Thanks Kevin, do you know the output voltage of the transformer? I've never used Michael's AC capable regulators and for some reason expect 11 ac volts into the regulator is best, but would like your confirmation.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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20 hours ago, austinpop said:

I've now had a few nights to try it out, and the verdict is in. This unit was configured with output 12V and pre-regulator out of 13.5V. I fed it 15V from the PSUs I tested. I tested it on my tX-USBultra, which in my chain is the most discerning between PSUs.

Thank for sharing your impressions Rajiv. Just a question. What is the pre-regulator out value. Let’s say that I want to use a LPS 1.2 (12v) or an hdplex (12v) to feed my uR or iR with 7.5 v. How do I choose the pre-regulator out? Thank you Jorge


AMP: Electrocompaniet ECI-6D; DAC: Oppo 205 (modded); ECI-6D

Streamer/endpoint: Zen MKIII/ultraRendu; Speakers: Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature; Cables: Speakers (Acoustic Revive) + RCA (au24sx) + RJ45 (Vodka Audioquest) + USB (Diamond Audioquest) + Power (Pangea's + Actinote's) + iR&oM (Neotech 16AWG OCC Silver + DC 4); Filters/reclockers: Jensen VRD- iFF + Pink Faun Isolator + Acoustic Revive RGC-24 + HMS “The Perfect Match” + isoRegen; Switch: etherRegen + opticalModule; Cisco 2960; LPS: Sboosters MKI & MKII (+ ultra) + HDplex 200 + LPS 1.2

 

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1 hour ago, lmitche said:

Thanks Kevin, do you know the output voltage of the transformer? I've never used Michael's AC capable regulators and for some reason expect 11 ac volts into the regulator is best, but would like your confirmation.

I have the 120V/11.5VAC transformer.  This is a dual regulator supply, where the pre-regulator output is 12.8V and the second stage output is 12V with 2.5A of maximum output current.

 

The transformer you plan to use will depend on either single or dual stage regulation as well as your typical local AC input voltage from the wall.  In my case, with the 120V/11.5VAC transformer, the output from the transformer based on AC from the wall at around 115VAC is around 11.02VAC, which fits my needs nicely.  We can discuss further either in PM or email, as I fear this discussion could qualify as OT.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Nenon said:

It's fun to test new stuff, that's why it's a hobby. Some things work, some don't, but we gain experience during that process.

 

I think you will find more core better sound I am excited and looking forward to your experiment.  . I learn so much from you. Thank you for sharing us.

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Thank you so much Rajiv and Elan! I think I got it. Have a great day! Jorge


AMP: Electrocompaniet ECI-6D; DAC: Oppo 205 (modded); ECI-6D

Streamer/endpoint: Zen MKIII/ultraRendu; Speakers: Proac Tablette Reference 8 Signature; Cables: Speakers (Acoustic Revive) + RCA (au24sx) + RJ45 (Vodka Audioquest) + USB (Diamond Audioquest) + Power (Pangea's + Actinote's) + iR&oM (Neotech 16AWG OCC Silver + DC 4); Filters/reclockers: Jensen VRD- iFF + Pink Faun Isolator + Acoustic Revive RGC-24 + HMS “The Perfect Match” + isoRegen; Switch: etherRegen + opticalModule; Cisco 2960; LPS: Sboosters MKI & MKII (+ ultra) + HDplex 200 + LPS 1.2

 

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6 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

FYI - that 10% off deal is constantly available on a weekly basis from Wednesday to Friday, let's take a look at a few tips and tricks for importing S100 from Japan directly.

 

First of all, there will be no warranty outside Japan at all but personally I believe that S100 won't go south within 12 months simply because it's made in Japan to begin with. Though we could spend about 2,600 bucks for purchasing two units of S100 rather than getting only one for £1,999 in UK.

 

Pretty much like the difference between Victor and JVC, they're known as Melco internationally and DELA domestically. Hence we've gotta look for DELA S100 instead of Melco S100.

 

Currently there are 3 sellers listed on Rakuten and all of them should be backordered, they're always showing the full retail price and here are the direct links to order them

 

https://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/special/order/confirm/https%3A%2F%2Fitem.rakuten.co.jp%2Fratoc%2Fs100%2F/N_1/

https://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/special/order/confirm/https%3A%2F%2Fitem.rakuten.co.jp%2Faudiounion%2Fdelas100%2F/N_1/

https://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/special/order/confirm/https%3A%2F%2Fitem.rakuten.co.jp%2Fyamada-denki%2F4218914012%2F/N_1/

 

Default currency is NOT Japanese Yen under most circumstances and therefore the currency conversion rate might be somewhat "less than desirable" if you will. Definitely change it to Japanese Yen (upper-right corner of any pages) right away after you've logged on / created a brand new account. Finally the currency conversion will be done by your own credit card company and most likely that's gonna be a better deal.

 

S100 is already double boxed by default and the entire package should weigh almost 5kg, here's the link to Shipping Fee Calculator

 

https://www.fromjapan.co.jp/en/estimate

 

Shopping Proxy Service companies could very well be swamped these days. Almost everyone is trying to get their hands on surgical masks etc. for obvious reasons and the sheer volume of orders might keep their staff VERY busy. If you're living close to China like I do, it's a challenging year for the air cargo industry since the number of flights to specific regions should be greatly reduced. Novel Coronavirus in Asia, mysterious disease in Nigeria, Yaravirus in Brazil, there's no telling how long it's gonna take before things are getting better.

 

Thankfully S100 ain't made in China and the production itself shouldn't be affected, though more and more confirmed cases were popping up over there

 

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/12/national/science-health/40-new-coronavirus-cases-cruise-ship-quarantined-japan/

 

BTW, here's an upcoming Ethernet cable (100Mbps only with 2 pairs of Gore wires) if you're also interested in getting something from Japan

 

http://asoyaji.blogspot.com/2020/02/lan.html

 

Have you looked under the hood of your S100 to understand the quality of clock being used?  I'm wondering if you're considering the clock upgrade from Fidelity Audio you mentioned earlier.


 

 

 

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11 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

In case anyone wants to follow in @seeteeyou's footsteps and buy a Melco S100 at a 10% discount, here is your opportunity:

 

https://www.fromjapan.co.jp/lp/campaign/sale/en/?utm_source=FJtop&utm_medium=allbanner&utm_campaign=FJtop_allbanner_200212_fjcp_&utm_term=200212_fjcp_

Thanks for the information.


dCS Vivaldi Upsampler - La Sound Olympia PC, Tara Labs Zero Evo AES; dCS Vivaldi DAC - Siltech Double Crown PC - Tara Labs 30LE XLR; dCS Vivaldi Clock - Shunyata Sigma Digital PC - Canare 12g-SDI BNC; Mutec Ref10 SE-120 - Shunyata Sigma Digital PC - AR Cox Triple C BNC; Roon Server / Uptone EtherRegen / Uptone JS-2 / Pachanko Ethernet "Itération"; Spectral DMC-30SS MKii - Siltech Double Crown PC - Nordost Tyr2 XLR; Spectral DMC-360 MKii - Tiglon 2000A PC - AR RTP6 Abs. - Transparent Reference G5 spk cable; Rockport Atria MKi, Shunyata Triton V2 + Typhon - Sigma HC PC, Thixar SMD Ultimate Rack + CMS Platinum MKiii

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=124319&extra=page=1

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On 2/2/2020 at 1:03 AM, seeteeyou said:

 

FYI - Roy compared Intona Ultimate to the latest 2020 model of Sablon Audio Panatela Reserva Elite

 

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/sablon-usb-cable-2020-model.29912/page-2#post-625197

 

It's starting at $650 for the unpowered version and $750 for the power version respectively

 

http://www.sablonaudio.com/index.php/signal

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/sablon-usb-cable-2020-model.29912/#post-622874

 

 

I am loving my 2020 Sablon Reserva Elite usb!.  Transparency, air, resolution seem limitless, and it is all presented in a very natural organic way.  The sonic improvement is significant. Mark is really on to something here.  I will get a review in the epic usb cable comparison thread at a later date. In case anyone is wondering about that thread:

 

 

If you are on the search for a new usb cable give this one a try.  


Home: EtherRegen + Farad Super3 LPS | UltraRendu + Uptone LPS 1.2 | Berkeley Alpha USB | Denafrips Terminator | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | 2 x Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  

 

Desktop: Iso Regen + LPS 1 | Eitr | Chord Qutest  | Aesthetix Calypso pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Scansonic MK-5 monitors | Elac S10 sub

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