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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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I bought the Buffalo  BS-GS2016 as well, in the third week of March. I’ve deployed it two weeks later as my upstream switch connecting to the downstream ER using fiber (25 meters since this equipment is in a different room). Apart from removing the SMPS and directly soldering a Ghent Gotham based DC lead to the board (a Keces P3 is now powering both the Buffalo and my Fritzbox DSL modem) I have not yet experimented further or made comparisons with the ER. Did want to say thank you to @seeteeyou , @Nenon , @RickyV and @romaz (over at WBF) for sharing what they shared about this switch.
 

for those who have not seen it, Romaz shared his findings/comparisons here: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/network-improvements-and-their-impact-on-sound-quality.30455/post-647211

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Oops, I see I missed @austinpop’s post right above Nenon’s about the Buffalo switch. Thank you as well!

 

I did not notice an increase in harshness deploying the Buffalo where I deployed it..but it replaced a cheap and internal SMPS powered D-Link switch in my case! 😉

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42 minutes ago, Dutch said:

Oops, I see I missed @austinpop’s post right above Nenon’s about the Buffalo switch. Thank you as well!

 

I did not notice an increase in harshness deploying the Buffalo where I deployed it..but it replaced a cheap and internal SMPS powered D-Link switch in my case! 😉

 

That's funny - I had someone else also ask me what I thought of the Buffalo switch, because they missed my post above @Nenon's. :)

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4 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

That's funny - I had someone else also ask me what I thought of the Buffalo switch, because they missed my post above @Nenon's. :)


I think that’s because he linked to his post directly from the WBF forum. :)

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Just now, Dutch said:


I think that’s because he linked to his post directly from the WBF forum. :)

 

I really want to move the discussion back here on this thread where, frankly, it belongs! I don't think the core audience of WBF have the understanding and the context the readership of this thread has.

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19 hours ago, Nenon said:

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go:

IMG_2791.thumb.jpg.23f2b5be21ffc98fec33014af6d98195.jpg

 

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words. This is the first I have seen of the Melco's PCB, and while I accept that it may be a fine sounding piece, I can assure you the raw PCB parts cost of an EtherREGEN is easily more than twice what I am seeing on the S100.  Even if we left out the EtherREGEN's isolation moat. I mean, just the dozen LT3045/42 regs and 10GHz differential flip-flops get us close to a C-note...

Should we put the EtherREGEN in a big case with a modest PS and triple the price to compete?  x-D

 

 

EtherREGEN_Tech.Highlights_web.thumb.jpg.5237800b4f172e920de5df8ca8c556bb.jpg

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57 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words. This is the first I have seen of the Melco's PCB, and while I accept that it may be a fine sounding piece, I can assure you the raw PCB parts cost of an EtherREGEN is easily more than twice what I am seeing on the S100.  Even if we left out the EtherREGEN's isolation moat. I mean, just the dozen LT3045/42 regs and 10GHz differential flip-flops get us close to a C-note...

Should we put the EtherREGEN in a big case with a modest PS and triple the price to compete?  x-D

 

 

EtherREGEN_Tech.Highlights_web.thumb.jpg.5237800b4f172e920de5df8ca8c556bb.jpg

 

 

The case of the Buffalo switch is about twice as big as the board itself and about 8x the size yours, but it's meant to be rack mounted if necessary.  Sometimes big things come in small packages ;)

 

 


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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2 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

I really want to move the discussion back here on this thread where, frankly, it belongs! I don't think the core audience of WBF have the understanding and the context the readership of this thread has.

 

Agreed.  Not sure why Roy went rogue over there.  Having this discussion in two places is cumbersome.


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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Can anyone shed any light on the differences between the Buffalo  BS-GS2016 and Buffalo  BS-GS2016/A

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On 5/5/2020 at 1:25 AM, austinpop said:

One possible reason I can think of for why the Buffalo's slight harshness bothers me more than @romaz, despite his system being far more refined than mine, is one word: headphones.

 

Headphones - even my very smooth, neutral Meze Empyrean's in my highly optimized chain - are relentlessly unforgiving of even the hint of harshness. Could this be the reason? Or is it just down to differences in personal preference? Who knows.

 

But that said, at $200ish, the Buffalo is otherwise a killer value, assuming you have the wherewithal to mod it the way @Nenon did.

In my experience, identifying sources of harshness is valuable in that it almost always leads to a deeper understanding of and improvement to certain performance aspects of a component. Harshness is a distortion, where certain narrow frequency ranges are overemphasised relative to the rest of the signal. That extra energy comes from somewhere and the most logical place is from the signal itself. A slight loss of detail resolution doesn’t lose that detail’s energy, its still there, just not separated from other parts of the signal, so what you hear is the pure signal, plus the unresolved detail as overlying distortion. The acid test would be a comparison in the absolute high frequency detail level of the 2 switches.....if the S100 seems to have a ‘tick’ more detail, that is where the harshness is coming from. So then the question would be, why does the Buffalo revolve slightly less than the Melco? From the dialog, you mentioned that Nenon had modified the Buffalo, which begs the question how many hours it had to since run in post mods. As we know, components like capacitors and cables take a while and Nenon’s favoured Mundorf Silver/Gold DC cable takes a really long time....like SEVERAL weeks. One of the reasons the switch may have sounded different in your vs. Romaz’s system could be down to the length of time for burn in. I have also found that burn-in isn’t a linear process and that the biggest changes often occur after an extended period of switch-off and cool down.  I often wonder if we don't extend the burn-in time required by leaving things switched on 24x7 instead of constantly putting them through power cycles?  This is of course all pure speculation on my part but it could be a reason. 😗

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2 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

In my experience, identifying sources of harshness is valuable in that it almost always leads to a deeper understanding of and improvement to certain performance aspects of a component. Harshness is a distortion, where certain narrow frequency ranges are overemphasised relative to the rest of the signal. That extra energy comes from somewhere and the most logical place is from the signal itself. A slight loss of detail resolution doesn’t lose that detail’s energy, its still there, just not separated from other parts of the signal, so what you hear is the pure signal, plus the unresolved detail as overlying distortion. The acid test would be a comparison in the absolute high frequency detail level of the 2 switches.....if the S100 seems to have a ‘tick’ more detail, that is where the harshness is coming from. So then the question would be, why does the Buffalo revolve slightly less than the Melco? From the dialog, you mentioned that Nenon had modified the Buffalo, which begs the question how many hours it had to since run in post mods. As we know, components like capacitors and cables take a while and Nenon’s favoured Mundorf Silver/Gold DC cable takes a really long time....like SEVERAL weeks. One of the reasons the switch may have sounded different in your vs. Romaz’s system could be down to the length of time for burn in. I have also found that burn-in isn’t a linear process and that the biggest changes often occur after an extended period of switch-off and cool down.  I often wonder if we don't extend the burn-in time required by leaving things switched on 24x7 instead of constantly putting them through power cycles?  This is of course all pure speculation on my part but it could be a reason. 😗

 

The main difference between the melco and the buffalo is that capacitor bank and imo is the reason they sound different.

An other thing that could be different is the software in the switch.


🇳🇱
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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35 minutes ago, RickyV said:

 

The main difference between the melco and the buffalo is that capacitor bank and imo is the reason they sound different.

An other thing that could be different is the software in the switch.

 

Are you referring to the capacitors in the Melco SMPS?  The SMPS in the Buffalo got removed in favor of an external LPSU with Nennon's but I believe you kept yours but regulated it.  Forgive me if I'm not accurate, and please clarify.

 

I also own a modified Buffalo thanks to Nennon.  The firmware out of the box was not current, I updated it.  I'm not sure if @austinpop or anyone knows what the Melco out of the box settings are, but mirroring those on the Buffalo as that switch is highly configurable, should be like for like.  I'm guessing the Melco manual will provide some level of detail.  There are other settings on the switch such as setting it as a layer 2 or layer 3 switch, QoS, and turning off SNMP which could have an influence.

 

I am still burning mine in and will post impressions in time.

 


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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3 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

In my experience, identifying sources of harshness is valuable in that it almost always leads to a deeper understanding of and improvement to certain performance aspects of a component. Harshness is a distortion, where certain narrow frequency ranges are overemphasised relative to the rest of the signal. That extra energy comes from somewhere and the most logical place is from the signal itself. A slight loss of detail resolution doesn’t lose that detail’s energy, its still there, just not separated from other parts of the signal, so what you hear is the pure signal, plus the unresolved detail as overlying distortion. The acid test would be a comparison in the absolute high frequency detail level of the 2 switches.....if the S100 seems to have a ‘tick’ more detail, that is where the harshness is coming from. So then the question would be, why does the Buffalo revolve slightly less than the Melco? From the dialog, you mentioned that Nenon had modified the Buffalo, which begs the question how many hours it had to since run in post mods. As we know, components like capacitors and cables take a while and Nenon’s favoured Mundorf Silver/Gold DC cable takes a really long time....like SEVERAL weeks. One of the reasons the switch may have sounded different in your vs. Romaz’s system could be down to the length of time for burn in. I have also found that burn-in isn’t a linear process and that the biggest changes often occur after an extended period of switch-off and cool down.  I often wonder if we don't extend the burn-in time required by leaving things switched on 24x7 instead of constantly putting them through power cycles?  This is of course all pure speculation on my part but it could be a reason. 😗


Roy and I listened to the exact same Buffalo and Melco units. I detached them from my system and shipped them to him. He didn’t subject them to additional hours of burn in before listening.

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2 hours ago, Johnseye said:

 

Are you referring to the capacitors in the Melco SMPS?  The SMPS in the Buffalo got removed in favor of an external LPSU with Nennon's but I believe you kept yours but regulated it.  Forgive me if I'm not accurate, and please clarify.

 

I also own a modified Buffalo thanks to Nennon.  The firmware out of the box was not current, I updated it.  I'm not sure if @austinpop or anyone knows what the Melco out of the box settings are, but mirroring those on the Buffalo as that switch is highly configurable, should be like for like.  I'm guessing the Melco manual will provide some level of detail.  There are other settings on the switch such as setting it as a layer 2 or layer 3 switch, QoS, and turning off SNMP which could have an influence.

 

I am still burning mine in and will post impressions in time.

 


Regarding the settings. I didn’t do careful A/B between settings. I used the following rationale for the settings:

- LLDP OFF - from the Chinese forum

- EEE (802.3az) OFF - inspired by early eR issues with EEE

- APD - looked like another energy management control, so thought it might impact SQ

- flow control (802.3x) ON - I’ve seen this recommended here on AS for years for managed Cisco switches.

 

Since you have the switch too, please compare these to default settings.

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42 minutes ago, austinpop said:


Regarding the settings. I didn’t do careful A/B between settings. I used the following rationale for the settings:

- LLDP OFF - from the Chinese forum

- EEE (802.3az) OFF - inspired by early eR issues with EEE

- APD - looked like another energy management control, so thought it might impact SQ

- flow control (802.3x) OFF - I’ve seen this recommended here on AS for years for managed switches.

 

Since you have the switch too, please compare these to default settings.

 

Will do.  Thanks for sourcing your settings.

 


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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Apologies. This line was in error. Corrected (changes in bold) below, and in the original post:

 

- flow control (802.3x) ON - I’ve seen this recommended here on AS for years for managed Cisco switches.

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I just now noticed this discussion about the Melco/Buffalo switches.  Interesting findings.  I actually posted last week in the ER thread about the findings from my experiment running the following chain:  

 

Ethernet cable > Melco N1/A2 Network input > Melco N1/A2 Network output > ethernet cable > (A) EtherRegen (B) > ethernet cable > Sonore UltraRendu

 

Inserting the Melco N1/A2 upstream of my ER resulted in additional sonic improvements equal to those of inserting the ER (a doubling if you will).  I have not yet tried using the Melco after the ER.


Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator Plus | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | Sablon cabling, PS Audio DS Power Plant 12

 

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

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Sad day....Clumsy is an understatement! Putting last touches to my new build & then this happened!!    
 

Snapped a capacitor off my Pink Faun Ultra USB card! 😢😢😢😢

 

The joys of DIY! NOT! 

329AA108-4C6C-4954-9AA0-972CCC870212.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Sad day....Clumsy is an understatement! Putting last touches to my new build & then this happened!!

Bummer...but looking at the trace and the board, looks like everything else is in good shape, so just need to get the cap replaced, should be a simple repair.

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6 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Sad day....Clumsy is an understatement! Putting last touches to my new build & then this happened!!    
 

Snapped a capacitor off my Pink Faun Ultra USB card! 😢😢😢😢

 

The joys of DIY! NOT! 

329AA108-4C6C-4954-9AA0-972CCC870212.jpeg

 

I hope it can be repaired.  Those cards are so expensive.


 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, elan120 said:

Bummer...but looking at the trace and the board, looks like everything else is in good shape, so just need to get the cap replaced, should be a simple repair.

That’s what Sean Jacobs said also. So you’ve just cheered me up. He’s going to repair it for me next week. 

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4 hours ago, RickyV said:


The way I have it now with the smps is temporary as I am waiting for parts for external LPS. I will also going to try to disable  all switch mode regulators so the 1V, 1.5V and 3.3V will be fed by lt3045 regulators. The 12V is then not necessary anymore. 
In @Nenon post 16274 second picture is the capacitor bank found in the Melco and the buffalo does not have. Technically I believe it is not necessary to have it there. It is likely that it has an effect on its sound ( noise).

 

Those extra caps are on the SMPS though, so when removing it for the external LPSU there should be no difference physically.

 


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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