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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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1 hour ago, Rovo said:

This is the story of the little router that could

 

I have been reading the experiments and experiences on Computer Audiophile since the C.A.P.S. v3 Zuma several years ago. Following all the stories from among others Romaz. Latest step was to make further improvements to my linear power supplies (which seem to be multiplying like rabbits). A couple of weeks ago I received two Paul Hynes SR4 power supplies to replace the SMPS of the Uptone EtherRegen and to replace the SOtM sps-500 for the SOtM tx-USBexp. This left me with one SOtM sps-500 that I could use in a different spot. The SOtM sps-500 is switchable between 7V, 9V, 12V and 19V. I decided to use it to power my Asus AC-RT68U router which needs 19V/1,75A to replace the stock SMPS. First I had to wait for a DC adapter plug (5,5x2,1 to 4,0x1,35). Waiting is not something we audiophiles are good at. But when it arrived and connecting everything, WHAUW, space, 3D soundstage, detail, ....... Really enjoyed listening to my installation, a BIG step forward.

 

After a couple of days I noticed the power setting switch at the SOtM sps-500. It was at 9V not 19V! This could not be good. Switched off the power supply and changed to 19V. Listened to the installation again and the magic was gone! OK!? Switching back to 9V and yes the magic was back. I can detect no adverse effects of switching to 9V, but I had the impression that the router was running a little hotter at 9V than at 19V. So I decided to put a PC case fan on the back of the router connected to a simple SMPS. The router is now running even cooler at 9V with the PC case fan than at 19V without PC case fan.

 

So this is my story of a little router that could. In my installation and to my ears switching from 19V to 9V was a BIG step forward. As always YMMV.

 

Robert V

 

What next :)

Could you draw a VISIO of how everything binds together.

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Alice,

 

I have not yet made an overview of my system, but will do this in the next days.

With respect to the internet connection it is rather simple, modem - router - Netgear GS308 v3 - EtherRegen - dual PC setup for Roon

 

Robert V

 

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8 hours ago, matthias said:

 

Great work Steve,

thank you:-)

 

I agree, it is certainly a big advantage to have the Extreme in a set-up for these evaluations.

 

Matt

 

Thank you, Matt. I've learned a lot from this thread and others -- my pleasure to be able to give back a little.

 

Steve Z


VPI-HW40 Anniversary turntable, Grado Aeon cartridge, Teres turntable, VPI Fatboy gimbal, Dynavector XV1-S, Lyra Helikon mono; Taiko Audio Extreme server, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum S250 amplifier, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono stage; Sonus Faber Aida speakers, SVS SB16 Ultra quad subwoofers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma NR & Alpha NR power cords, Sigma interconnects, digital and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras and Ultra 5s, component stands and cones under everything, ASC Tube Traps . . . and lots and lots of music.

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Anyone else powered their DSL router using a linear power supply?  I am also wondering what effect it might have if it's so far downstream...  

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14 minutes ago, Gavin1977 said:

Anyone else powered their DSL router using a linear power supply?  I am also wondering what effect it might have if it's so far downstream...  

 

I had a short route, dsl router-> 5meter cat 8->  netgear gs104 -> server. That was before the ER.

I bought a ifi power 12v adapter for the router and could hear clear difference. I still have it in place but as soon as I receive my new switch with optical modules I will DIY a linear power supply for both. Oh and have the time.😒


🇳🇱
Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

EtherRegen, LPS1- Isoregen, Lush^2

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Yes

4 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

Anyone else powered their DSL router using a linear power supply?  I am also wondering what effect it might have if it's so far downstream...  

yes I did, I am using a Hplex 200 (old model without the LT 3045) and it improved SQ. 
cheers 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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I must use a wireless router (Apple AirPort Express) to physically connect to my system.  How terrible is the AirPort Express? 

 

If the Airport Express is bad, what are better alternatives that won't cost more than a couple hundred bucks (exclusive of a separate linear power supply)?  

 

P.S. my Airport Express connects to my etherRegen via copper.

 

P.S.S.  I also have this Trendnet Switch, still in the shrink wrap, that I could implement somewhere if beneficial:

 

https://www.trendnet.com/products/PoE/5-Port-Gigabit-PoEplus-Switch-TPE-TG50g-v2

 

 

 

 

 


Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | Sablon cabling

 

Desktop: IsoRegen | Eitr | Chord Qutest  | Aesthetix Calypso pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Scansonic MK-5 | Elac S10 sub

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4 minutes ago, Blake said:

I must use a wireless router (Apple AirPort Express) to physically connect to my system.  How terrible is the AirPort Express? 

 

If the Airport Express is bad, what are better alternatives that won't cost more than a couple hundred bucks (exclusive of a separate linear power supply)?  

 

P.S. my Airport Express connects to my etherRegen via copper.

 

I would try the new Orbi WiFi 6.

 

Matt

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3 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

I would try the new Orbi WiFi 6.

 

Matt

 

Hi Matt, looks interesting but $699... ouch!

 


Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | Sablon cabling

 

Desktop: IsoRegen | Eitr | Chord Qutest  | Aesthetix Calypso pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Scansonic MK-5 | Elac S10 sub

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7 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

Anyone else powered their DSL router using a linear power supply?  I am also wondering what effect it might have if it's so far downstream...  

I am using the "El Cheapo" to power my Actiontec C1000A for Century Link, working and sounding excellent.

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My solution to this problem was simple.  Use the same build quality as my streamer for a music server.  The difference in SQ between this approach and a bog standard NAS is night and day.


Don't use a NAS, build a music server.  It takes less than 45 minutes. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

Anyone else powered their DSL router using a linear power supply?  I am also wondering what effect it might have if it's so far downstream...  

Yes, I am using one rail of an Uptone Audio JS-2 linear power supply to power the Actiontec DSL modem/router provided by my ISP. Even though the feed to my Taiko Audio SGM Extreme server goes directly from the modem/router I do not hear any substantial improvement in sound quality. So I’m considering using an inexpensive Jameco regulated linear power supply wall-wart on the modem/router instead, to free up that rail on the JS-2 for something else.

 

YMMV of course.

 

I stay away from the iFi supply — I tried one and sent it back after it degraded sound quality in a different application compared to a Jameco wall-wart LPS. And John Swenson has stated his measurements of the iFi are the worst he has seen.

 

Steve Z

Edited by zettelsm
Mistakes

VPI-HW40 Anniversary turntable, Grado Aeon cartridge, Teres turntable, VPI Fatboy gimbal, Dynavector XV1-S, Lyra Helikon mono; Taiko Audio Extreme server, dCS Vivaldi DAC, Upsampler Plus and Clock, Cybershaft OP21 Reference Clock; Playback Designs Pinot ADC; D'Agostino Momentum S250 amplifier, Momentum HD preamp, Momentum phono stage; Sonus Faber Aida speakers, SVS SB16 Ultra quad subwoofers; Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR & Typhon, Shunyata Sigma NR & Alpha NR power cords, Sigma interconnects, digital and speaker cables; Stillpoints ESS grid system rack; Stillpoints Ultras and Ultra 5s, component stands and cones under everything, ASC Tube Traps . . . and lots and lots of music.

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9 hours ago, Gavin1977 said:

Anyone else powered their DSL router using a linear power supply?  I am also wondering what effect it might have if it's so far downstream...  

I have, and would certainly recommend it. I use a JS-2. I suspect the improvement is mostly due to having less noise put back on the AC line by the SMPS.


SonicTransporter i5 > EtherRegen > opticalRendu (all three powered by Uptone JS-2) > Ayre QX-5 DAC > Ayre KX-R Twenty Preamp > Ayre MX-R Twenty mono amps > YG Kipod Signature Passive speakers.

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Guys,

 

just to make sure, my BIG step forward in SQ was not (only) by using a LPS on my router, but running it a 9V instead of the prescribed 19V.

 

I do not know why this is. Just discovered this result by accident. But if somebody has an explanation?

 

Alex, would routers be one of the areas of Uptone for new product development? 😉

 

Robert V

 

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On 3/19/2020 at 11:03 PM, Blake said:

I must use a wireless router (Apple AirPort Express) to physically connect to my system.  How terrible is the AirPort Express? 

 

If the Airport Express is bad, what are better alternatives that won't cost more than a couple hundred bucks (exclusive of a separate linear power supply)?  

 

Hi Blake,

 

a second option which is maybe even better and somewhat cheaper than Orbi is the ARRIS AX11000.

 

Matt

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10 hours ago, matthias said:

 

Hi Blake,

 

a second option which is maybe even better and somewhat cheaper than Orbi is the ARRIS AX11000.

 

Matt

 

It looks like the Arris AX11000 uses the Broadcom chip so that's positive.  Ubiquity is another option but I think they use Qualcomm chips and not sure how good those are.  There's also the Asus XT8.


Digital chain: Synology DS1815+ -> Modified Buffalo switch-> SOtM sNH-10G-> Custom Audiolinux server (sCLK-EX modified motherboard, Mutec REF 10)-> EtherRegen-> AL NUC NA (sCLK-EX modified)->  Holo Spring L3 -> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H, JL Fathom sub

Power: Paul Hynes SR7, Uptone LPS-1.2, sPS-500, Topaz 91001-31 Isolation Transformer

Analog chain: VPI Prime with Ortofon Quintet Black cart -> Simaudio Neo 310LP-> Audio Research LS28-> Benchmark AHB2 -> Paradigm Persona 9H

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On 9/2/2019 at 9:22 AM, austinpop said:

Followup on Farad Super 3 PSU


A few weeks ago, I wrote about my impressions of the Farad Super 3 PSU here. I listed my next steps in the summary.

 

 

As promised, here is my followup. This time, I'll describe the 15V unit of the Farad Super 3, and the soon-to-be-unveiled Level 3 silver cable. After having put the 15V unit and the L3 cable through the same burn in procedure as the previous 12V unit, I was ready for some comparisons. I used the same power cable (Cardas Clear) and DC cable (Farad Level 3) on both the 12V and 15V versions of the Farad Super 3.

 

Comparison of the Farads powering the Chord Hugo TT 2

 

I was actually a bit taken aback at how big an improvement I got going to 15V! Well, I knew the TT2's SQ improved when powered at 15V vs. 12V, but with the Farads I could barely believe I was listening to the same power supply, just at different voltages. The improvement centered around 2 areas:

  • Bass: I was listening to Quia Fecit from Arnesen's Magnificat. The movement starts with a deep bass drone. This drone was startlingly more physical and visceral with the 15V supply.
  • Image size: This track - indeed, the whole album - does an excellent job projecting the spacious ambience of the Nidaros Cathedral, Norway where it was recorded. While the 12V supply does an excellent job, the image just grows in all 3 dimensions with the 15V supply. 

Now, keep in mind, this comparison was primarily applicable to the TT2. Not all components accept a range of voltages, and even if they do, they don't necessarily exhibit big SQ differences with higher voltages.

 

Comparing the Farad 15V with other PSUs powering the TT2

 

I compared the Farad 15V to the following supplies:

  • Stock TT2 15V SMPS: Just like my initial comparison with the 12V unit, this was a significant step up in SQ. The Farad just sounds cleaner, more relaxed, and richer than the stock PSU.
  • Power Add Pilot Pro battery: this battery only has 12V and 16V settings, and the TT2 will not accept 16V. While the battery @ 12V is a nice step up from the stock SMPS, the Farad 15V takes SQ up by another quantum leap. Again, the main areas of improvement are bass and image size, along with more incisive transients.
  • SR4-15: this comparison is pending until Paul has tested the SR4-15's ability to handle a 3A inrush transient.

 

Comparing the Farad 15V with an SR-7 SR (single regulator) 15V rail powering the Chord Hugo TT 2

 

The SR-7 (using the Paul Hynes DC3FSXLR cable) still held an SQ advantage over the Farad Super 3, but the difference was quite modest. Since SR-7 rails are typically a scarce resource for those who have them, I would be quite happy to use a 15V Farad on the TT2, and allocate the SR7 rails to devices for which it matters more.

 

Impressions of the prototype Farad Level 3 silver DC cable

 

This is a clear step up from the Level 2 cable. In my listening, I found it very, very similar to the Oyaide FTVS-910 cable I mentioned in my prior report. Compared to the Audio Sensibility Signature, the difference was subtle. The L3 cable was more visceral in the bass, while the AS cable had a hint more air and transparency. I'd be hard pressed to prefer one over the other, and it would come down to a question of system synergy.

 

Final Conclusions

 

The Farad Super 3, in addition to being an excellent PSU as I found in my previous report, has the added advantage of a continuous current capacity of 3A. This puts it in a unique position compared to lower powered supplies like the LPS-1.2 and the SR-4. The field of high-quality PSUs with current capacity over 2A is quite limited, and the Farad is a welcome addition. I can see it being a great fit for DACs, and other current-hungry devices like NUCs.

 

For my use case of powering a Chord Hugo TT2, the Farad Super 3 was not only up to the task, its SQ while doing so was excellent. 

 

I next look forward to Mattijs' higher current Farad supply, now in active development.

 

 

 

Hello everyone

 

Just arrived!  Found this forum after reading Rajiv's excellent review of the iFi Pro iDSD.  As it happens, that is the DAC I recently purchased and I am now thinking of upgrading the power supply.  The Farad Super 3 looks extremely promising (also based on Rajiv's and some other people's reviews here 😃), but I am a little worried the 3A might not be enough - especially since the Pro iDSD comes with a 15V/4A SMPS and iFi suggests a "minimum of 60VA rating".  However, the same goes for Rajiv's Chord TT2 and he seems to be using the Farad without any issues nonetheless.  

 

Would anyone be willing to comment on whether it might be unwise to go for the Farad?  Would the Paul Hynes SR5 perhaps be a safer option?  Or am I being overcautious because the Pro iDSD will never draw 4A with normal use?

 

Greatly looking forward to your insights!

 

Many thanks

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34 minutes ago, Cipollae said:

 

Hello everyone

 

Just arrived!  Found this forum after reading Rajiv's excellent review of the iFi Pro iDSD.  As it happens, that is the DAC I recently purchased and I am now thinking of upgrading the power supply.  The Farad Super 3 looks extremely promising (also based on Rajiv's and some other people's reviews here 😃), but I am a little worried the 3A might not be enough - especially since the Pro iDSD comes with a 15V/4A SMPS and iFi suggests a "minimum of 60VA rating".  However, the same goes for Rajiv's Chord TT2 and he seems to be using the Farad without any issues nonetheless.  

 

Would anyone be willing to comment on whether it might be unwise to go for the Farad?  Would the Paul Hynes SR5 perhaps be a safer option?  Or am I being overcautious because the Pro iDSD will never draw 4A with normal use?

 

Greatly looking forward to your insights!

 

Many thanks

All Sean Jacobs DC3? All this LPS are double regulated. 5amp also Lots of members here use his LPS. 

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On 1/9/2020 at 4:53 AM, [email protected] said:

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

Hi Alexy,

 

Are you shipping yet?

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