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A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming


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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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32 minutes ago, sbenyo said:

Just got the MP slimrun usb cable that was recommended here. I am using it now with Sablon USB 2020, that  already sounded wonderful before. My initial impression is that it's either the same of a bit more clean and open. I still have to give it a bit more time and do some A/B testing before I can have a final conclusion. I think that not hearing any degradation or having a connectivity issue is a good start.

 

 

Does this mean your powering the SlimRun from the USB port, and not externally @sbenyo?  Thanks to the SlimRun USB, I've got a JCAT XE USB on the way. 

 

On a side note to my surprise the MPAudio LSIB improves on the Farad Super3 when powering the oR.  Clearer transients across the board, which results in better reproduction across the spectrum, especially the bass response!  Currently have some dueland 16GA as a very short DC run (15cm), but will try Mundorf Silver/Gold due course.   Will be using the MPAudio with the JCAT XE.

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7 minutes ago, guiltyboxswapper said:

 

Does this mean your powering the SlimRun from the USB port, and not externally @sbenyo?  Thanks to the SlimRun USB, I've got a JCAT XE USB on the way. 

 

On a side note to my surprise the MPAudio LSIB improves on the Farad Super3 when powering the oR.  Clearer transients across the board, which results in better reproduction across the spectrum, especially the bass response!  Currently have some dueland 16GA as a very short DC run (15cm), but will try Mundorf Silver/Gold due course.   Will be using the MPAudio with the JCAT XE.

 

Yes. I am powering it just from usb port. Nothing else between PC and DAC. Only SlimRun and Sablon.

I do have a PPA v2 USB card in my PC as well. It has light effect on the highs but it also sounds great without it.

 

I do feel it cleared the sound a bit more and made the stage a bit wider. It seems like subtle changes but I think it's significant. I will give it more listening time before I conclude.

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4 minutes ago, sbenyo said:

 

Yes. I am powering it just from usb port. Nothing else between PC and DAC. Only SlimRun and Sablon.

I do have a PPA v2 USB card in my PC as well. It has light effect on the highs but it also sounds great without it.

 

I do feel it cleared the sound a bit more and made the stage a bit wider. It seems like subtle changes but I think it's significant. I will give it more listening time before I conclude.

 

Using a T+A DAC 8 DSD myself with the same Sablon 2020 USB cable - I would have settled for "more or less the same" !  Good to know indeed.

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Nice! It's becoming harder to significantly affect the sound when it's already great.

 

I upgraded the power, power cables, speaker cables, RCAs, USB and now the SlimRun. Changes have less and less effect but I still like to try, especially when it's a simple upgrade like this. Even if I just think it sounds better, that does the work for me. 😀

 

I wonder if there is any new trick I can still try that can significantly improve what I already think is a great sound. I know I should replace the IEC inlet of the DAC but with all power changes I am not sure if this will do any significant change.


One thing I know for sure, using good power is crucial for sound. This is also true for DC. I used the UltraCaps LPS-1 once and it made a significant improvement. I think that no power is probably the best if we can avoid it.

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4 hours ago, sbenyo said:

Nice! It's becoming harder to significantly affect the sound when it's already great.

 

I upgraded the power, power cables, speaker cables, RCAs, USB and now the SlimRun. Changes have less and less effect but I still like to try, especially when it's a simple upgrade like this. Even if I just think it sounds better, that does the work for me. 😀

 

I wonder if there is any new trick I can still try that can significantly improve what I already think is a great sound. I know I should replace the IEC inlet of the DAC but with all power changes I am not sure if this will do any significant change.


One thing I know for sure, using good power is crucial for sound. This is also true for DC. I used the UltraCaps LPS-1 once and it made a significant improvement. I think that no power is probably the best if we can avoid it.

You owe it to yourself to try powering the dac end of the monoprice cable with an uptone lps1.2. It would be surprising if this didn't lead to a significant increase in sq.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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24 minutes ago, lmitche said:

You owe it to yourself to try powering the dac end of the cable with an uptone lps1.2. It would be surprising if this didn't lead to a significant increase in sq.

 

Unfortunately the MP SlimRun just stopped working. It worked well first time I tried it. I did not touch it and it just stopped after first few hours.

Now it does not recognize anything I attach to it. Very frustrating... I hope it's not completely broken.

 

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35 minutes ago, sbenyo said:

 

Unfortunately the MP SlimRun just stopped working. It worked well first time I tried it. I did not touch it and it just stopped after first few hours.

Now it does not recognize anything I attach to it. Very frustrating... I hope it's not completely broken.

 

 

Try to power off and on your DAC to reset your USB interface on the DAC (assuming it does not get powered up from the USB cable). That happened to me once. But also my cable is defective and I am waiting for replacement. 

Affiliated with Sean Jacobs

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6 minutes ago, Nenon said:

 

Try to power off and on your DAC to reset your USB interface on the DAC (assuming it does not get powered up from the USB cable). That happened to me once. But also my cable is defective and I am waiting for replacement. 

I tried to power off the DAC. Also completely removed the power and usb and rebooted the PC. Nothing helps.

The cable does not work with anything else as well. I hope the cable is not defective. Worked well for a couple of hours and then just stopped. ☹️

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2 hours ago, sbenyo said:

I tried to power off the DAC. Also completely removed the power and usb and rebooted the PC. Nothing helps.

The cable does not work with anything else as well. I hope the cable is not defective. Worked well for a couple of hours and then just stopped. ☹️

Sorry to hear that. It sounds like the finicky Corning cable that was the subject of my early postings here years ago. I had always hoped for an improved model with power inputs on the far end of the cable,

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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On 3/5/2020 at 12:10 PM, Gavin1977 said:

Good question - I have used both the provided wall wart and a spare 9v rail from my SR7.  Other peoples experience may differ, but I couldn't personally hear much difference with either senario.  To my ears (prior to deploying the EtherRegen), providing an SR7 rail to the NUC provided a good uplift, to the tx-USBultra I'm not so sure (but adding the hardware in the chain did make a noticable difference).  YMMV.

 

Based on this, my feedback in post #15908 was based on stock power supply to both Etherregen and tx-USBultra, plus SR7 to NUC only - namely because I couldn't hear an appreciable difference with tx-USBultra being powered by linear or not.  Etheregen is stated not to really benefit from a linear power supply, and equally I don't have a 5v linear to hand so this was not tested.  I did a number of switch outs - Etherregen only, tx-USBultra only and of course Etherregen + tx-USBultra.  I had a noticable preference towards just Etherregen in the chain only and excluding the tx-USBultra.

 

I was partly trying to evaluate what an upgrade path from NUC/SR7/Etherregen/tx-USBultra combination might sound compared to Etherregen/eRED-dock.  I don't have an eRED-dock, but it has given me a flavour of what might be expected.  I think @jean-michel6 might be onto something as per his post.

 

As I say, my next test, in a similar vein, will be Etherregen plus Chord 2go.  I just hope the 2go delivers and it keeps the dynamics of the SR7 powered NUC.  I did try Allo USBsignature (with and without Shanti), sounded good, but lacked dynamics IMO compared to SR7/NUC and was a definite step behind this combination.  So far I have a preference towards higher powered CPUs fed with very clean power as opposed to low power raspberry Pi's etc... which links in with some earlier discussions.

 

 

Out of curiosity, did you receive your Chord 2go if so how did you find it vs your NUC?

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2 hours ago, Sebastian T. said:

@bodiebill Did your SR4 arrive? If so, how does it compare to the Sbooster LPS?

 

Yes I have used the SR4 now for over a month to replace the SBooster to power my low-footprint audio endpoint PC with 19V. It seemed a step up in SQ and have kept it in since.

 

However, I still want to experiment to hear whether it would better be applied to power my ISO Regen (9V into a LT3945 unit that outputs 7V), or a JCAT net card FEMTO (9V into two LT3045 units to output 5V).

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, austinpop said:

I find 4GHz to still be the sweet spot in my system the way it currently is.

 

I fully support this fine report.

 

Coincidentally, the 4GHz is exactly the limit for smooth operation of the EC modulators (DSD) in HQPlayer. 🙂I set my system to 4.1GHz to have some headroom.

 

Grigg Audio Solutions Owner

StreamFidelitys Setup

Sonus Faber Amati Futura | T + A M10 | T + A SDV 3100 HV | fis Audio PC | HFX RipNAS Solid V4 | GigaWatt PC2-EVO + | Solidsteel HJ-3 / HY-A

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I am trying to make my own linear power supply, but I am wondering how much fuse capacity is right?
 The transformer is 60va and the output voltage is 6vac.
 There are two output terminals, each of which is 5v 2.5a output(ALD-HPULN PS).

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8 minutes ago, StreamFidelity said:

 

I fully support this fine report.

 

Coincidentally, the 4GHz is exactly the limit for smooth operation of the EC modulators (DSD) in HQPlayer. 🙂I set my system to 4.1GHz to have some headroom.

 


Thanks. I’ve been enjoying your build thread - my bad for not mentioning it!

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16 minutes ago, Nenon said:

And a little spoiler - I have been working hard on the Asus WS C621E Sage  motherboard with two Intel Xeon Silver 4210 CPUs. The bad news - as expected it is extremely challenging DIY project. Unfortunately not many people would be able to complete that.  The good news - had a listen for a few days, and the effort and cost is totally worth. I am far away from completing it. It's quite a lot of work ahead of me. Will post when I have more updates, but I don't expect it to be soon. In the meantime, this is how Euphony looks with 20 cores / 40 threads:

 

I think I heard the best midrange ever while I was taking the screenshot above. So, yes, processing power does matter.

 

There was a time when I thought a well tuned and powered NUC sounded very good.  Well, that's because there was nothing else to compare with. Those times are gone, and the NUCs are way out of this league. 

 

 

 

Hi Nenon.

 

What power supply are you using and what clock speed is the dual CPU server running at?

 

Geoff

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

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