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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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As proof that reviewers do not get special treatment, I have not yet gotten the beta of Taiko Audio Server on my machine (I'm eagerly waiting though).  Above are my impressions post Great Disruption (aka, the Roon upgrade we no longer talk about)

 

I have not tried the KVM trick yet.  I want to hear how much I'm giving up with TAS on the network, then see if the hassle is worthwhile.  Having the machine on its own network certainly cut traffic way down already.  I'll definitely report back once I have some time with the new player.

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1 hour ago, ray-dude said:

As proof that reviewers do not get special treatment, I have not yet gotten the beta of Taiko Audio Server on my machine (I'm eagerly waiting though).  Above are my impressions post Great Disruption (aka, the Roon upgrade we no longer talk about)

 

I have not tried the KVM trick yet.  I want to hear how much I'm giving up with TAS on the network, then see if the hassle is worthwhile.  Having the machine on its own network certainly cut traffic way down already.  I'll definitely report back once I have some time with the new player.

 

Taiko came up with an update that makes Roon sound great again. That happened just a couple of days ago. Did you miss that? Check the Taiko thread on WBF. That's the upgrade I was referring to, not their new player. 

Get yours updated if you haven't and let us know what you think. Everyone is raving about it.  There is a calendar you can book an appointment, so they can connect to your Extreme and apply the changes. You can probably book 10 minutes for tomorrow. I think Sunday was available... 

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Ha!  Teach me to catch up on AS posts before WBF posts!  Thanks for the tickler.  Signed up for Sunday morning US pacific time (and eager to learn what network tweaks helped Roon get back to pre Great Disruption levels...it is difficult to describe how profound the change was coincident with that Roon upgrade)

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On 6/27/2020 at 3:02 AM, seeteeyou said:

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/taiko-audio-sgm-extreme-the-crème-de-la-crème.27433/page-206#post-655480

 

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/taiko-audio-sgm-extreme-the-crème-de-la-crème.27433/page-207#post-655556

 

I'm just thinking out loud here, does it make sense to build a battery-powered robot of some sort (with Raspberry Pi Zero etc.) solely for the purposes of disconnecting / reconnecting the network cable?

 

Raspberry Pi Zero Robot

https://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-Zero-Robot/

 

Build a low-cost Raspberry Pi robot: the components you'll need

https://magpi.raspberrypi.org/articles/build-low-cost-raspberry-pi-robot


Could WiFi be used this way? Turn on to download the track, then turn it off during playback?

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I use VLAN for my audio. 3 IP’s allocated, one for server, one for NAS & one for iPhone. 
 

All IOT on its own VLAN, also firewall rule blocking access across VLAN’s
 

iPhone

 

I switch back & forward from wireless WLANS. One called Euphony & another IOT

 

When I want to listen to music I’ll quickly connect to Euphony wireless network, choose few albums & hit play. Then I switch to IOT wireless network. Effectively turning off traffic from my phone.
 

This results in just my Server & NAS running on the VLAN. Should be no other traffic, broadcasts reaching my server, just audio. 
 

Then, the fact songs are being cached & buffered. You should have no ethernet traffic at all. Well the odd ping from router I imagine?! 

 

But obviously better if it can be turned of in between albums like you say....

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18 hours ago, Peter Avgeris said:

You can read my post earlier regarding Roon.

I had purchased the lifetime license around 4 years ago. It was the best software around, both in aesthetics & sound quality.

Reality is unfortunately very far away from what you are thinking of... Roon now provides mediocre performance. It is worse than almost all software around.

I sold my lifetime license around one month ago for the price I paid. The buyer and I, are both happy. I tried it against everything, it is worse than everything I tried. Hope this tells something to you.

 

Being a pro in the field, I need to reassure you that Taiko server cost does not lie in the flat section of the ratio as you claim. It is dedicated to these people that want the very best of the best. Nothing compares to it. When you are seeking for the very best that is nowadays possible, this is it. By far. Something that is widely regarded as the 'creme de la creme' cannot be put anywhere on the cost/performance curve. It is totally outside from this curve.

 

Just my two cents...

 

Thanks for identifying yourself as an industry participant in your signature. When I tried to go to your web page I got an error: "Unreachable IP". Can you re-post the link or share something about your professional audio life? As a "Pro" What exactly do you do or sell? I assume that you have no affiliation with Taiko or sell/develop your own audio software or hardware? Also your profile has no details regarding your own system. It would help us gain context for your expertise and opinions if you can tell us a bit about your own listening environment. Transparency is good here for industry participants.

 

Everyone has an opinion regarding sound quality and also what they are willing to pay for or can be satisfied with. I do miss the glory days of AS(CA) when we had a flood of fresh ideas about how to improve systems that could be afforded by 99% of audiophiles. Perhaps this is a sign that great sound can now be had for an affordable price and a bit of careful research.

 

BTW. I never said that Roon was the best out there. It is my personal opinion that it has very good sound plus remarkable utility and convenience for most audiophiles who do not have an unlimited budget and do not have DIY skills. Previously I got great sound using JRMC in conjunction with AOIP/Rednet but bailed on it when I found the Rednet software to drop connections regularly. I use Windows 2019 for my server and AO for my endpoint. Works exceedingly well. Could I do better? Possibly/probably...

 

I assume that you bought Roon before the large "Lifetime" price increase and then passed on a savings to the buyer?



"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

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18 hours ago, BigAlMc said:

 

Hi Peter,

 

Sadly, I concur with this statement. For me the eye opening moment was where I first bought an Innuos Zenith. I had a loaner MKII whilst I awaited my SE. The Innuos OS let's you quickly change 'Server Integration' and this allowed me to quickly switch between Roon and UPnP.

 

The difference was dramatic and not in Roon's favour. But the controllers, such as Orange Squeeze are pretty basic compared to Roon. Selecting music becomes laborious and the metadata/magazine feel is lost.

 

So the trade-off becomes Roon's superior user experience, UI, magazine feel etc, versus using a fairly basic controller to better SQ.

 

I raised this on the Roon forums but Roon themselves completely fobbed me off. Worse still you get attacked by 'helpful' Roon enthusiasts who don't want to hear a negative word about Roon and prefer to insult your understanding of the basics.

 

Dunno if it's just me but I find Roon Communities to be one of the most toxic cultures in the world of audio forums.

 

 

 

I wasn't aware this was even an option. No offence (and my previous commentary on hostile culture is in my mind here) but this doesn't sound right.

 

 

Firstly, if you sold the Lifetime subscription for the same amount you paid for it, then surely the buyer has been short changed as they are getting a used product at the new price?

 

Secondly, as an industry professional, if you choose to buy something to evaluate it, is that not the cost of doing business. I understand selling on a used bit of hardware (at a substantial discount). But a "lifetime" membership??

 

Finally, it's called a "lifetime" membership for a reason. Much as I am frustrated with Roon Labs approach. The deal with the Lifetime membership is that you are agreeing to help fund their expansion by investing. And in return you get a long term discount. Selling that commitment on just to recoup your money strikes me as pretty dubious. I'll write mine off if I change my mind. I knew the risks. I took the gamble.

 

Cheers,

Alan

 

 

 

 

Hello Alan. 

 

Things are not as you think they are. I was one of the first so bought lifetime license. OK, if not the first chronologically, at least I bought it when the software was not matured. I had bought an Antipodes flagship streamer and was using the Logitech Media Server. LMS was quite good but Roon was playing far better. Several years afterwards, on the same machine, SQ was deteriorating update after update. When I tried Roon vs LMS again, it was way worse than LMS. And this was not done this 2020 year but last year. When Taiko users were thrilled with this product, it was already inferior, you can think of further deterioration during 2020.

 

I purchased it to support them to make it even better. I got it for 499 usd. They did not keep their promise and instead of making it better they ruined the program. Lifetime license does not mean lifetime binding. If you decide to make it worse and you neglect those first that supported you, you pay the price. I got it because it was the best, I abandoned it because it is the worse. Anybody in my position would do the same. It is not illegal, it is not unethical. The term "used software" does not apply, it is a license binded to the credentials of the user. These can be changed anytime. I can't see any bad or illegal act here. 

 

Just my two cents... 


Design & Manufacture of High Fidelity Audio Equipment

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15 minutes ago, Peter Avgeris said:

When I tried Roon vs LMS again, it was way worse than LMS

The exoticaudiodesign link didn't work for me either. You don't sound like an Audio pro, I'm used to hearing more respect amongst competitors or people of co interest. Also interested to hear your responses to mourip's questions.

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2 hours ago, atxkyle said:

Could WiFi be used this way? Turn on to download the track, then turn it off during playback?

 

Yes, I do with Qobuz/Audirvana/MBP.

After the files are loaded into RAM I turn Wi-Fi off for playback.

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55844-audirvana-plus-35/page/88/?tab=comments#comment-1063061

 

Matt

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On 6/27/2020 at 12:47 PM, Gavin1977 said:

Also, which software packages can be used to load music (or buffer general network traffic) into memory first?

 

Not related to the Extreme, but Audirvana does for example.

 

Do you know if the upcoming Taiko Audio Server player does it as well?

 

Thanks

 

Matt

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10 hours ago, ray-dude said:

Ha!  Teach me to catch up on AS posts before WBF posts!  Thanks for the tickler.  Signed up for Sunday morning US pacific time (and eager to learn what network tweaks helped Roon get back to pre Great Disruption levels...it is difficult to describe how profound the change was coincident with that Roon upgrade)

Are we talking about upgrade Build 555 as the Great Disruptor?   I haven't heard this one as I stayed with Build 537, which with Emiles modifications at the time, sounds pretty great to me.   I'm scheduled for the latest Taiko master tweak for Monday, so maybe I won't experience as big an improvement as others who are coming from 555.  

 

I expect it will be better (expectation bias anyone?), but am also a little cautious after the universal descriptions of increased vividness.  My system is already pretty high on the vivid scale.  If "vivid" translates to more natural and dynamic, that's good, but I am a little cautious going into this upcoming change.

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11 hours ago, Nenon said:

 

Taiko came up with an update that makes Roon sound great again. That happened just a couple of days ago. Did you miss that? Check the Taiko thread on WBF. That's the upgrade I was referring to, not their new player. 

Get yours updated if you haven't and let us know what you think. Everyone is raving about it.  There is a calendar you can book an appointment, so they can connect to your Extreme and apply the changes. You can probably book 10 minutes for tomorrow. I think Sunday was available... 

 

Well this is certainly encouraging. If tweaking the server OS brought magic back to the Taiko system then it seems as if magic does reside in Roon (or they have returned it) so we just need to understand what in our own systems can enable/uncover it (assuming we were dissatisfied with it). For many years I have used Audiophile Optimizer on my music servers. Perhaps that is why I have not found Roon lacking. I also need to admit that since adding the EtherRegen to my system I have lost a lot of interest in the "thrill of the chase". The music just sounds good to me. Guilty.

 

I am certainly curious what tweaks or re-configuring was involved to bring the Taiko up to grade. This could benefit the other 99.9% of us.

 



"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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1 hour ago, wwc said:

If "vivid" translates to more natural and dynamic, that's good, but I am a little cautious going into this upcoming change.

 

I would not worry, trust Emile, he knows what to do. 🙂

 

Matt

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3 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

I would not worry, trust Emile, he knows what to do. 🙂

 

Matt

 

Emile is a master but his ears are different than everyone else’s.  People should learn more about how to tune the Extreme so they can make changes that fit their preferred sound.

 

Just like different tubes sound different to everyone else, computer tuning does too.

 


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, wwc said:

 If "vivid" translates to more natural and dynamic, that's good, but I am a little cautious going into this upcoming change.

 

If it is any reassurance, my system is a bit unforgiving of glare and aggressiveness in the treble range (one interpretation of "vivid")  What I am hearing is more of the glorious sense of speed and precision which I love with the Extreme, which for me translates to a more tangible presence for the performers in the room.  Vivid is less about tonal response, and more about tangibility of the experience of the music.  Looking forward to hearing your impressions after you hear it!

 

 

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17 minutes ago, dminches said:

 

Emile is a master but his ears are different than everyone else’s.  People should learn more about how to tune the Extreme so they can make changes that fit their preferred sound.

 

Just like different tubes sound different to everyone else, computer tuning does too.

 

 

Of course, I think this will be possible with TAS 🙂

 

Matt

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5 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

Of course, I think this will be possible with TAS 🙂

 

Matt

 

It should be possible with Roon too.  No?

 


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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5 minutes ago, dminches said:

 

It should be possible with Roon too.  No?

 

Yes, but this must be addressed to Roon, not Taiko.

Good luck 🙂

 

Matt

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3 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

Yes, but this must be addressed to Roon, not Taiko.

Good luck 🙂

 

Matt

 

Maybe I wasn’t being clear.  In order to get the Extreme to sound well with Roon, Emile and his team made adjustments to various settings in the Extreme.  My point is that people can play with these same settings to fine tune their Extreme to their listening preference.

 


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 minute ago, dminches said:

Maybe I wasn’t being clear.  In order to get the Extreme to sound well with Roon, Emile and his team made adjustments to various settings in the Extreme.  My point is that people can play with these same settings to fine tune their Extreme to their listening preference.

 

I do not think it is so easy. Emile an his team spend a lot of time with different systems to get the sound in tune. 

You need both the technical expertise and hearing like a bat.

IMO, this is impossible to do for the end consumer.

 

Matt

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High end company Tidal Audio (don’t mistake for Tidal music service) will be launching their new streamer this summer! 
 

Will Taiko Extreme be knocked off its shelf? Certainly stiff competition, going by the quality Tidal produce.

 

Price? Don’t know, but would imagine around 30k mrk! maybe more, knowing Tidal’s prices (you pay for quality)

 

Richard at Lotus Hifi in UK purchased a Taiko Extreme, as you can imagine, he loves it. He is a dealer for Tidal Audio, I think Taiko also, but not sure. 
 

Can’t wait to hear his thoughts with the head to head! 
 

 

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6 hours ago, mourip said:

I do miss the glory days of AS(CA) when we had a flood of fresh ideas about how to improve systems that could be afforded by 99% of audiophiles.

 

Have you looked into the possibility of replacing the gateway from your ISP with an ARRIS SB8200 modem and Ubiquiti EdgeRouter?  Have you turned off wifi on your router and connected your access points to the router with fiber?  VLANs provide additional small benefits.  These are inexpensive, high value tweaks documented by Nenon and confirmed by many others.


 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Price? Don’t know, but would imagine around 30k mrk! maybe more, knowing Tidal’s prices (you pay for quality)

 

 

There are few industries in the world where people pay so exponentially for "quality" this much 🤣 

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