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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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2 hours ago, StreamFidelity said:

In my early days I also had problems with graphics drivers. It can be seen that dxgkrnl.sys causes high latencies.

 

With update the graphics driver repaired. In the meantime I used the Shell replacement from AudiophileOptimizer and bypass the graphics driver. In the current expansion stage, I switch off the graphics driver completely, since I carry out occasional maintenance of my audio PC by remote control.

 

Can you make changes to the BIOS remotely?

 


Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS with Durand Telos composite arm; SME 3012R arm, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Reel to Reel:  Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810, Studer A812, Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC (WS 2016/AO/HQPlayer/Roon)> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

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1 hour ago, dminches said:

Can you make changes to the BIOS remotely?

 

No, I have to connect the mouse, keyboard and screen as usual. BIOS is called before starting Windows with F2 (in my case). I rarely change BIOS. 😉

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10 minutes ago, StreamFidelity said:

 

No, I have to connect the mouse, keyboard and screen as usual. BIOS is called before starting Windows with F2 (in my case). I rarely change BIOS. 😉

 

That’s what I thought.  Just making sure I wasn’t missing something!

 

 


Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS with Durand Telos composite arm; SME 3012R arm, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Reel to Reel:  Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810, Studer A812, Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC (WS 2016/AO/HQPlayer/Roon)> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

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8 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

my new build

 

Looks great! Can you post pix and details of the PSU, and what are the specs for each rail? Are you upgrading the EPS rail only from 12v/5a to 12v/10a?

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5 hours ago, R1200CL said:


Need some advice. I have 2 of LPS-1 and 2 of LPS-1.2. (The LPS-1 is not in use). 
 

Will adding a DXP-1A5DSC to either of the UpTone LPS give same result if I’m after 5V ?
This is the main question, as then I probably can achieve a lot using my present power supplies adding Alexey’s modules. 

 

I need a better way to power my opticalrendu than my present LPS-1.2. After upgrade to 2.8 I got problems. 

My first taught was the Farad supply, but maybe parallel two LPS-1.2 with the correct combination of @[email protected] modules will add the extra amp I’m after. I understand limit is 1.5A, so maybe still a bit low, but should be ok or ? (Just noticed Sonore PS output 1.5A, so I guess 1.5 is OK then). 

If so, what (boxed) items need to purchased ? And at what voltages ?

 

Another thought is using 4 LPS-1 in serial and parallel with Alexey’s boxes, if I’m able to get 2 more LPS-1 at a very reasonable price.

 

I have the etherRegen powered by Uptone stock SMPS, and an unused opticalModule.
 

The second LPS-1.2 is powering the 5V to my modded SU1. 
 

So good advices how to best put all this together at the most reasonable price (and best SQ) would be very helpful. 


I think my opticalrendu sounds a bit better at 9V than 7V. What’s other people’s experience ?

 

I suppose if Sonore sold their 7V supplies in 9V versions, then adding the DXP-1A5DSC would be equal to using Farad ?
That said, I think Sonore’s PS is equal to some very cheap Chinese PS. At least I’ve seen some that looks equal. If I’m able to find these Chinese PS again, and adding the DXP-1A5DSC, is this a way to go ?

 

Some key points:

  1. the DXP-1A5DSC units can and do improve regulation, so can improve the SQ of an existing PSU. But the driving PSU's quality still matters. So, using a DXP-1A5DSC with an el cheapo Chinese LPS will not be the equal of the DXP-1A5DSC with a higher grade PSU. Sorry - I don't have direct experience comparing LPS-1 and LPS-1.2, both with 
  2. The DXP-1A5DSC cannot help you with current capacity, and the innate ability of a PSU to deliver current. So with LPS-1 or 1.2, you're still limited by the 1.1 amp capacity. I would go further and say I prefer LPS-1.2 only when they are run below capacity, at < 1a.
  3. The DXP-1A5DSC will limit you to 1.5A, irrespective of the current capacity of the PSU. You also need to be careful about the voltage drop from input to output - Alexey's chassis is rated to dissipate 5W max. I believe. Check with him before you buy.
  4. you cannot run LPS-1 (or 1.2) in parallel. @Superdad has posted about this quite often.
  5. I don't recommend running 2x LPS-1 in series. It can be done, and it works, but SQ suffers — presumably because the output impedance of both supplies get added in this configuration.

I would say get a Farad Super 3 or Paul Hynes SR-4T - either would make excellent PSUs for the oR. Then use your 2nd LPS-1.2 to power the ER.

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2 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Effectively this is what I will have.

 

Photo - The LPS in the middle

 

1st - SJ -  LPS DC3 5a (7 rails) (Mundorf options)

 

- ATX

- EtherRegen

- JCAT Ethernet card

- Pink Faun Ultra USB

- TLS NUC (which I use as a NAS)

 

2nd - SJ -  LPS DC3 10a (4 rails) (Mundorf options)

 

- CPU 10A

- Edge Router

- Sonore OM

- TLS NUC OCXO Board

 

11 rails in total

 

More detail on Topology PDF attached on how all setup. Shows Voltage and Amps

 

 

 

IMG_0667.jpg

My Hifi.pdf 457.64 kB · 0 downloads

 

Nice!

 

I was actually more curious about the rear of the SJ PSUs. How is Sean is delivering ATX on the output of the DC3? Are 3.3, 5, and 12v on a single output, or separate outputs? If single - a single GX16-4 connector? Or a full 24-pin ATX out, like the HDPlex?

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7 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

Nice!

 

I was actually more curious about the rear of the SJ PSUs. How is Sean is delivering ATX on the output of the DC3? Are 3.3, 5, and 12v on a single output, or separate outputs? If single - a single GX16-4 connector? Or a full 24-pin ATX out, like the HDPlex?

I’ve edited my post above with photo of the back

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8 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

Cool set up! What are the dimensions of your room? It looks like a very small space!

And what are those platforms your speakers are set upon?  :)

Yes small room! Garage conversations. 18 x 9 foot! Lots of acoustic treatments, bass traps, diffusors, etc to combat issues with small rooms.


Symposium platforms, I use Symposium under everything, also all my feet isolators are Symposium Rollerblocks. 
 

Under speakers. No carpet, the 4 Rollerblocks, then Symposium Super platforms sitting on top. Feet removed from speakers so direct contact with platforms for energy drain. 
 

Before all this, it sounded terrible, rubbling bass. Now it’s punchy, rock solid.  

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On 5/15/2020 at 3:22 PM, Peter Avgeris said:

I see here that quite a few guys have experimented with this Startech SFP network interface card. I would just like to add my two cents here.

 

First of all, this card carries the Realtek 8168 B/E etc chipset, which costs really nothing. Cents of a dollar. On top of this, this Startech NIC requires the addition of a SFP module to function. And the impact of these modules to the final SQ has been already demonstrated by a lot of guys. For my set up I need 4 cards, one in my NAS, two inside my audio server and one on my audio endpoint.

 

I find the price of Startech NIC ridiculously expensive, that does not make sense for a massively commercially released product, specially when the heart of the NIC costs cents. So before throwing 1.000+ Euros into the bin, I decided to make a little research.

 

Back in the old days, light transmission was never better that the copper interfaces. I am sure you remember the old optical interface vs. the coaxial interface. It seems that for small distances (and not 100s of meters in length) the copper solution might outperform the optical. So I did a little research to figure out what was better in Startech NICs. It should not be the light interface, to my instinct, it is the chipset that should make the difference, at least up to +90%. So I performed a search in order to find a reasonably priced NIC, with copper interface, good old trusted Ethernet copper connector, of course equipped with the same Realtek 8168 chipset, as this is the beating heart of the Startech adapter.

 

So I found out that there is a ridiculously cheap solution that would outperform many of the highly priced network adapters around. The exact description of the model is TP-Link 3468 v.3, it comes in both tall and narrow mounting bracket and it sells for 6-9.5 Euros. Yes! Less than 10 Euros for a NIC that carries the same beating heart as the Startech device does! I need four cards, so I got some more. Seven pieces in total. I also told of this story to a friend living in Germany. He got the same cards as well.

 

To his surprise (and mine, too!) this card was found to greatly outperform well known commercial applications that cost in excess of 400 Euros per piece. A couple of seconds of a heads-up battle was enough to tell the winner without the slightest hesitation. And if you consider that here we have no extreme power supplies, no extra clocks or oscillators, nothing but the core, then this device has a truly great potential to be the absolute winner! Although Realtek devices are considered to be real crap things for servers (due to lack of drivers, support, etc.), it is found that for audio applications, they really outperform probably everything out there!

 

 

 

 

Thanks for this.

Thought I would give the TP-Link 3468 v.3 a try as it is such a low cost. Unfortunately it seems to create a hardware conflict with my Z390 phantom MB and OS. I am running audiolinux are you using windows?

 

 

 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, [email protected] said:

You are right - driving/feeder is important for any PSU, even Uptone LPS-1.2 is sensitive for the feeder type. Several users confirm that its works better with a Linear PSU as a feeder vs stock Meanwell SMPS (in therory it should not make a difference because the dual stage linear regulator of lps1.2 is powered by isolated supercap bank/and not by the drive/feeder PSU).

 

Not sure why you are going here Alexey.

 

First off, the UpTone-branded, 36W AC>DC adapter brick we have always included for "energizing"/charging the UltraCap LPS-1.2 is made custom for us, and not by Mean Well.  

 

Second, with our design, at any moment in time the bank of supercaps feeding the cascade of regulators which are feeding the DC output is completely divorced from the other bank which is charging and from the charging side power domain. That is the whole point, to make it battery-like.  While you got that part correct, you are basing the notion of the charger making a difference to the output on hearsay. Measurements of the LPS-1.2 show the output performance is not affected by the charger supply, and while I can hear a lot of small changes, I (and most others) can not hear any difference between charging with an LPS or our (internally ground-shunted) SMPS. Again, the whole point of the design. With close to 2,000 UltraCap LPS-1.2 units in the field (and a similar number of original LPS-1 models), we are rather confident of this.

 

Quote

Again - it is true, tripple LT3045 can provide 1.5A max (and dual LT3045, like LPS1.2 - 1A only and not 1.1A, @Superdad confirms that LPS1.2 can provide 1.1A, but  accordind to the regulators specs TPS7A4700 and dual LT3045 used in LPS1.2 is rated for 1A only and higher rating is purely marketing, internal LT3045 current limiter configured for 0.7A, so dual lt can provide 1.4A and triple LT3045 upto 2.1A, but can not provide listed specs for the noise and PSRR.

 

"Purely marketing" ?!  Are you accusing us of lying?  Would you like me to post photos of an UltraCap supply happily cranking out 1.15A for hours on end?  And have you measured one of our units to see what PSRR degradation occurs at high currents?  Of course performance of the LT3045 goes down some as the current goes up--right from the lowest currents to its highest current. It's right there on the data sheet:

696843033_ScreenShot2020-05-22at2_31_12PM.jpg.bfcffbd9b44ad32cb76a79893e6dc545.jpg

Of course your own supplies are subject to all this as well. And while I have no quibbles at all with the products you produce, I have yet to figure out what issue you seem to have with us.

Best wishes,

--Alex C.

 

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6 minutes ago, Superdad said:

"Purely marketing" ?!  Are you accusing us of lying?  Would you like me to post photos of an UltraCap supply happily cranking out 1.15A for hours on end?

Alex, as per LT3045 specs it is 1A MAX, probably you can send an email to Analog devices and ask to revise the specs as per your measurements

 

image.png.2d018bb20365f7163fe99012ef7bc6f8.png

image.thumb.png.a68fde027f255a6d3e2add28b8733360.png

 

 

and about the current limit, can you confirm how many ampers can be provided with 215Ohm ILIM resistor (and it is not 0.55A per IC)

 

image.thumb.png.74de58c1c4baceb3863af8678cee0b16.png

 

 

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50 minutes ago, dctom said:

Thanks for this.

Thought I would give the TP-Link 3468 v.3 a try as it is such a low cost. Unfortunately it seems to create a hardware conflict with my Z390 phantom MB and OS. I am running audiolinux are you using windows?

 

 

 

 

 

FYI I tried the card with GentooPlayer. No issues to report.

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On 5/22/2020 at 12:38 AM, bodiebill said:

Now I have a DAC (Denafrips) with glorious PCM and I no longer feel the need to convert/upsample to DSD256. And wtfplay is an gorgeous player for PCM that eliminates all frills and totally concentrates on SQ. In spite of many requests the author of wtfplay has not added remote control via network to his player, and I can understand why. It would lower the SQ.

 

While we're aware that WTFplay couldn't support any network connections yet and having an active network adapter might also affect the SQ to a certain extent, wouldn't it be nice to take advantage of Intel AMT instead since it's always on once we've got that enabled on specific motherboards?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_AMT_versions

 

Basically we just need to get any NUC models listed below or simply take a look at the list linked above, we could simply get any motherboards with one of those "C" / "Q" / "W" series chipsets as well as Intel Core / Xeon processors that are eligible for vPro Platform

 

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000031997/intel-nuc.html

 

We could actually mount an ISO image remotely and then network boot was working just fine as shown below

 

 

Radmin

https://support.radmin.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/9/9/How-to-set-up-Intel-AMT-features

jAoC7El.gif

 

Remote Desktop Manager

https://blog.devolutions.net/2016/12/intel-amt-on-rdm-for-mac-ios-android

au6Zmbx.jpg

 

VNC Viewer Plus

https://www.realvnc.com/en/connect/_downloads/VNC_Viewer_Plus_User_Guide.pdf#page=41

UDvQMLT.png

 

Intel AMT / vPro KVM without proprietary RealVNC Viewer Plus

https://www.scivision.dev/intel-amt-vpro-full-remote-kvm-control-without-proprietary-realvnc-viewer-plus/

 

MeshCmd, also called “MeshCommand” is a open source command line tool that runs on both Windows and Linux and used to perform many tasks related to computer management.

https://www.meshcommander.com/meshcommander/meshcmd

https://meshcentral2.blogspot.com/2018/11/meshcmd-new-intel-amt-command-line-tool.html

 

How to install wsmancli/wsman on Linux to access KVM

https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/remotely-access-intel-amt-kvm-linux-desktop/

 

No need for monitors / keyboards/ USB sticks, get the playlist loaded and then we could even unplug the Ethernet cable afterwards.

 

Most likely there will be some BIOS options to allow booting without any monitors attached, otherwise it's also quite easy to find a dummy plug like this

 

https://www.amazon.com/CompuLab-fit-Headless-Display-Emulator/dp/B00FLZXGJ6

 


 

And then it's also interesting to experiment with getting past POST successfully without an integrated / external GPU whatsoever, not sure if there were any Xeon motherboards that could offer BIOS settings for such setup. We're getting vPro configured properly by connecting a monitor to the PCI-e display card first, then we'll change certain BIOS settings and remove that display card accordingly.

 

While all Intel Core processors with an "F" suffix (i.e. graphics-disabled parts) aren't any good for vPro at all, some Xeon processors and motherboards turned out to be fine with vPro and they didn't come with any integrated graphics to begin with

 

https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/xeon_e3/e3-1240l_v5

Quote

The E3-1240L v5 has a TDP of 25 Watts and supports up to 64 GiB of dual-channel DDR4-2133 memory. This MPU has no integrated graphics processor.

 

However, definitely RTFM and make sure that BMC (baseboard management controller) from ASPEED etc. wasn't built right in

 

https://www.aspeedtech.com/support.php

 

For instance, P10S-M-WS/IPMI-O on the left (with an extra line 1 x Aspeed VGA header) should be different from P10S-M-WS on the right

 

https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/socket1151/P10S-M_WS/Manual/E13681_P10S-M_WS_Series_UM_V4_WEB.pdf#page=11

 

Also take a look at the block diagram and pay attention to the chipset, it must be C236 or else no love for vPro

 

https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/socket1151/P10S-M_WS/Manual/E13681_P10S-M_WS_Series_UM_V4_WEB.pdf#page=140

 

There's another similar model P10S-M (without WS) from Asus and that particular one actually came with C232 without vPro

 

https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P10S-M/specifications/

Quote

Intel® C232 Chipset

 


 

For a much faster processor that could still be passively cooled, stuff like E-2224 should do the trick without breaking the bank

 

https://www.provantage.com/intel-bx80684e2224~7ITEP6L7.htm

https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/intel/xeon_e/e-2224

Quote

This processor has no integrated graphics processor.

 

The motherboard looked somewhat tricky again, we definitely want that cheaper WS C246M PRO without ASPEED AST2500 BMC

 

https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/socket1151/WS-C246M-PRO/Manual/E15306_WS_C246M_PRO_UM_V4_WEB.pdf#page=115

 

WS C246M PRO for $226 (without ASPEED AST2500 BMC)

 

https://www.amazon.com/Workstation-Motherboard-Motherboards-C246M-PRO/dp/B07H8KTG8G

 

WS C246M PRO/SE for $311

 

https://www.amazon.com/WS-C246M-PRO-SE-Motherboard/dp/B07Y66185T

 


 

A 100% headless system might sound even better, both DAC and external storage could be connected to JCAT USB Card XE simultaneously via the same CPU-direct PCI-e slot. Of course we've gotta contact the manufacturer first in order to confirm which motherboard model(s) could handle POST without a display card.

 

The networking components are only exposed to the BIOS / Intel Management Engine firmware level, therefore WTFplay shouldn't be affected as long as we're disconnecting the Ethernet cable.

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12 hours ago, [email protected] said:

but can parallel 2xLT3045A  LDOVR boards and feed them with 2 LPS PSU independently


This is the part I’m interested in and like som more advice about. It seems to me some are total against this method.
 

What is the expected ampere to get ? 1.5 or closer to 2 ?

 

And how about using 4 LPS-1 in order to achieve both desired voltage and amps? (For an opticalrendu)

Should I expect equal result (SQ wise) as with parallel the LPS-1.2. 

16 hours ago, austinpop said:

I don't recommend running 2x LPS-1 in series. It can be done, and it works, but SQ suffers — presumably because the output impedance of both supplies get added in this configuration.


This seems like a good argument. Will your modules @[email protected] make this potential problem vanish, and if not, why ? (Please comment as well @Superdad)

(After serial two, then you parallel)

What modules is needed to make 4 LPS-1 produce 7 to 9V and at least 1.5A continues ?

 

If anyone has LPS-1 laying around, please PM me. 

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3 hours ago, Nenon said:

 

With all due respect, the charger for my LPS-1.2 makes a significant difference in my system. 

Based on what I read from Uptone Audio, I did not even bother trying until one day back in 2018 @adamaley told me that. I was quite sceptical but as soon as I tried it, I realized he was right. It literally took 2 seconds to hear the difference, and it was quite obvious. 

 

A similar thing was said about the ethetREGEN. But a good LPS powering up my etherREGEN brought it up to another level. 

I like both of these products, but whoever is doing the listening tests for Uptone Audio most likely does not have a very resolving system. Sorry Alex if that was you :). 


Maybe you’re both correct 😀

 

Can the explanation be that SMPS affects systems in other ways ? Maybe small EMI or whatever demons produced by the SMPS create something we’re not so aware about yet ?

 

Can extensive use of JSSG360 techniques and power conditioners make the demons vanish ?

 

I guess this is a discussion for another tread, but still you are both correct 😀

 

I suppose if @Superdad wants to, if not already done, he can present diagrams based on a JS-2, battery, and the SMPS powering the LPS-1.2. But will it help, if problem is outside his control ?

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11 hours ago, Superdad said:

Really Alexey? :S

 

Yes

I am able to get 0.7A from a single LT3045 (internal current limiter configured for 695mA) but is it the right way to use it? My 5seater car can easily carry 7PAX, but i dont think that i can sell it as a 7seater van.

Even your beautiful  LPS-1 (Supercap followed by single TPS7A4700) rated for 1A only, but LPS1.2 (supercap followed by the same TPS7A4700 and dual LT3045) rated for 1.1A. I can not find any logical explanation why the old LPS-1 is rated for 1A only...

 

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