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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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If the cost were truly no object, Mundorf Silver Gold could very well be replaced by CrystalConnect Monet Network

 

http://ultimate-audio.eu/wp-content/uploads/CrystalConnect-Tabela.pdf#page=2

https://melodyclub.gr/wp-content/uploads/02.-CrystalConnect-ART-Series-Price-List.pdf#page=2

 

Recently Taiko Audio added Crystal Cable (a.k.a. CrystalConnect after the retirement of founder Gabi Rijnveld) to some of their latest demos as shown below

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkD7-47_eZMKDyHXM1XxNww/videos

 

Da Vinci managed to beat all flagship models from Siltech / Nordost / Shunyata Research

 

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/crystalconnect-art-series-da-vinci-best-cables-of-2020.32099/

 

If I weren't mistaken, the only difference between Da Vinci and Monet should be the number of wires as shown in the PDF files linked above.

 

BTW, someone turned his Siltech SPX-800 PC into DC cable like this and just wondering if that were superior to Mundorf by any chance?

 

https://www.hiendy.com/hififorum/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=91991

8QRrdNZ.jpg

 

FqNT0fi.jpg

 

zGqqq3o.jpg

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8 hours ago, romaz said:

 

The cable capacitance you're talking about is a different story.  As Dana himself is fond of saying, unlike a power supply, a cable is a passive device and its only job is to get out of the way.  A perfect cable that will do no harm will have zero resistance/impedance, capacitance, and inductance but the only cable that would approach this would be a super conductor.  Since super conductors also require super cooling (to zero degrees Kelvin), this impracticality makes all audio cables inherently imperfect and so all cables will add something to the signal, whether it be digital or analog.  

 

Reducing resistance is fairly easy, just use a large enough conductor.  Inductance and capacitance are tougher to deal with and tend to be a zero sum game where construction techniques that decrease one will increase the other.  The trick is to balance them well and it seems this is where cable manufacturers get creative.  Adding capacitance can sometimes add a warmth or softness that is desired and so playing with these parameters could be useful for sound tuning.  

 

With the giant capacitor arrays used in the ARC6, the goal is different.  Used pre-regulator, these giant capacitor arrays serve as energy reservoirs to make sure the regulators are never starved of current.  This would be one way to effectively lower output impedance.

Thank you!!

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6 hours ago, romaz said:

Yes, lots of possible options for DC wire but those high-impedance barrel connectors are instant turn offs and make the whole setup look cheap.  I think the connectors are potentially more damaging than the wire.

 

Just stealing some ideas from this GaN-based mini PSU, maybe we'll find a way to work with those binding posts from WBT?

 

https://oscarliang.com/toolkitrc-p200/

 

https://www.wbt.de/fileadmin/media/data/0610_Ag_E_2009_01_09.pdf

Quote

• Permanent current ID = 0.5 10² A
• Peak current IS = 10³ A
• Transition resistance Rü < 0.5 mOhm
• Insulation resistance Riso> 10¹⁴ Ohm
• Electric strength of isolation > 30 kV


https://www.wbt.de/fileadmin/content/products/polklemmen/datenblatt/WBT0705_Ag__En.pdf

https://www.wbt.de/fileadmin/content/products/polklemmen/datenblatt/WBT-0708_Ag__E.pdf

Quote

− Permanent current ID ≥ 30 A
− Peak current IS ≥ 200 A

− Transition resistance Rü < 0.1 mOhm (measured with spade connection)

− Contact resistance RDAg < 0.14 mOhm (measured with spade connection)

− Insulation resistance Riso > 10¹⁰Ohm (500 V)

 


 

Speaking of GaN-based power, did you guys find any GaN-based inverters useful for batteries at all?

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On 7/26/2021 at 10:52 PM, Nenon said:

Just to avoid any speculation, there is NO "large amounts of capacitance post the voltage regulators" used here. 

Very glad to hear that! :) I think it was Roy's statement that "adding energy storage capacitance in parallel to the batteries effectively drops output impedance" which threw me off. Maybe in the context of a regulator-less battery supply, but certainly not with a properly done design with fast LDOs.

 

On 7/26/2021 at 10:52 PM, Nenon said:

I guess great minds think alike :). To he honest, I never opened or looked inside a JS-2 :). I came across those chokes during the development of the DIY unregulated power supply for the Taiko ATX. Emile from Taiko recommended them to try.

Guess so. But not my mind, Swenson's. Of course John has been a proponent of a carefully balanced choke-filtered supply for at least 15 years. 

And perhaps Emile (or Ed or Geoffrey or some other JS-2 owner) took a look a few years back. Not a big deal.

 

On 7/26/2021 at 10:52 PM, Nenon said:

I did contact Hammond to ask if they can make us a custom order with Neotech 7N or Mundorf silver/gold wire (that would be $9K for 3 chokes).

Unless you are just speaking of the cost of the length of Mundorf wire, I could certainly put you in touch with firms that will custom wind chokes for you at much lower cost than Hammond. Hammond really is not a custom house at all. I've tried to get them to do a couple of improvements just to their standard units and they would not even give me the time of day.  And we buy 250 units a year, year in and year out...:/

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1 hour ago, Exocer said:

FWIW - I will be experimenting with the plug on the right with my unregulated LPS build. I will not have another connector to compare it with though. Currently, the unregulated LPS (v2) is connected directly to the Taiko DC-ATX.

 

Hi: So I am confused. These DIY supplies being pictured are all UNREGULATED units?

No output voltage regulator (discrete or integrated) at all?

So just transformer>diodes>choke/caps>output?

What are you feeding that unregulated 36V into?

 

Can either you or @Nenon clarify please?

Thanks!

--Alex C.

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7 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

Hi: So I am confused. These DIY supplies being pictured are all UNREGULATED units?

No output voltage regulator (discrete or integrated) at all?

So just transformer>diodes>choke/caps>output?

What are you feeding that unregulated 36V into?

 

Can either you or @Nenon clarify please?

Thanks! 

--Alex C.

Hi Alex, I will do my best, but, Nenon is far far farrrr more knowledgeable than I. My electrical skills do not span far beyond assembly and knowledge of how not to electrocute myself! 😁  Some wire experimentation here and there as well.

 

No output voltage regulator (discrete or integrated) at all? Correct. The LPS is unregulated.

So just transformer>diodes>choke/caps>output? There is a fuse and softstart as well but thats irrelevant. Its Transformer, rectifier, Cap, Choke in series, then 3 caps wired in parallel. Thats all.

What are you feeding that unregulated 36V into? It is feeding into this - https://taikoaudio.com/taiko-2020/product/taiko-audio-dc-dc-atx/ which sends output to the motherboard and CPU via 24Pin ATX connector and 8+4Pin EPS outputs.

 

Can either you or @Nenon clarify please? - There, took a stab at it! Hope it helps.

 

Cheers,

-Rob

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23 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

Hi: So I am confused. These DIY supplies being pictured are all UNREGULATED units?

No output voltage regulator (discrete or integrated) at all?

So just transformer>diodes>choke/caps>output?

What are you feeding that unregulated 36V into?

 

Can either you or @Nenon clarify please?

Thanks!

--Alex C.

 

The Taiko GaN DC-ATX converter can handle any DC input between 16-40V and so as long as it sees voltage within this range, regulation is not important.  

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Digging into custom chokes for audio you need to find a winder that knows what makes a choke sound good, my experience is that these folks are pretty rare so I'd take @Superdad up on that offer!

 

@Exocer ; do you plan to try the circuit without a circuit board? My experience with building a.o. a Le Monstre Amp (think high currents, low power output) is that hard wired sounds better, even when using double thickness circuit boards.

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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4 minutes ago, MarcelNL said:

@Exocer ; do you plan to try the circuit without a circuit board?

I had no plans to do that but i'm always up for safe experimentation. There is only 1 rectifier board though. I believe you when you say hard wired is best!

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2 hours ago, Exocer said:

FWIW - I will be experimenting with the plug on the right with my unregulated LPS build. I will not have another connector to compare it with though. Currently, the unregulated LPS (v2) is connected directly to the Taiko DC-ATX.

 

Here is my "v2" breaking in. One day in and it sounds absolutely wonderful. I will refrain from deeper commentary until it has more break-in time but from Day 1 this has not been a downgrade from the PH SR7T. I will be mild and say I'm hearing a lot more information already and it sounds VERY VERY good. Also, I am using a bad power cable which will soon be replaced, so, shocked it sounds so amazing this early early-on.

 

Oh and a big shout out to @Nenon- who helped with parts sourcing and answered tons of questions about wiring :). The wire here is what Nenon recommends for modest builds and is available at a VERY fair price. I have been using it (this wire) for the DC cable I use to power my Femto NVME and it sounds really really good in that application as well. Yeah, the Mundorf S/G is likely a lot better but I have not done direct comparisons. I will upgrade this LPS little by little, but first, I will try V3.

 

1034095636_URLPS-Done.thumb.jpg.384a053617b0fc131f8d1b667abea86b.jpgPXL_20210728_045218110_MP.thumb.jpg.919dca21e86f1a7068717cc874fea5eb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks great. I hope it sounds fantastic. 

 

I have been out of touch for a while with the latest updates, so pardon my ignorance :-) I can't figure out from the picture but is that the Taiko mosfet rectifier board ?  If so, are they available for sale now ?

 

Also any update on the Taiko transformer ?

 

What wires are you using ? So far I am using a combination of Neotech and Mundrof with good results.  

 

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1 hour ago, romaz said:

As for a GaN-based inverter, I have not seen one.

 

Just a few examples

 

https://www.transphormusa.com/en/evaluation-kit/tdinv3500p100-kit/

https://www.digikey.com/en/products/detail/transphorm/TDINV3500P100-KIT/7926549

https://www.psma.com/sites/default/files/uploads/tech-forums-semiconductor/presentations/is082-portable-power-people-inergy-realizes-its-vision-transphorm-gan.pdf

 

I would treat that more like a bonus for me if I were getting positive results for audio applications.

 

Otherwise, better be safe than sorry these days since next disaster could very well be just around the corner. It could be flood or just about anything that we couldn't even imagine IMHO. Maybe that "Plan B" might end up saving our lives but who knows?

 

CFGyK3P.jpg

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BTW: I'm currently using a 12 core AMD, and it transformed the sound in a way I did NOT expect. Sure, the change from 4 to 8 core was clearly an improvement but here I needed to turn the volume down a few clicks because the impact of the music and it's (perceived?) volume increased by quite a bit. Definition is better across the freq range and the low end's resolution increased and is extremely tight.

 

Adding a new MoBo (Aorus X570 Master) in a few days as on my current one suddenly two of the four RAM slots refused to boot with the Apacer RAM, and then I can finally adress the two remaining battle grounds; PSU and passive cooling...still need to find a large enough heatsink with capacity for approx 100W. I decided I don't want to go the alu case route, wood with EMI shielding it'll be.

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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21 hours ago, Superdad said:

The Jaegers are okay but expensive, inconvenient to work with, and not often in good stock.

But I hold GX16 connectors in extremely low regard. Most of those to be had are garbage from China, you can buy a bag of 30 sets (male and female pairs) for $6!

 

Frankly we would like to see everyone move to the really terrific Neutrik speakON connectors. Exceptional flat contact area, very high current capability, 1mOhm contact resistance. Plus super easy to work with, accepts big wire, readily available in 2, 4, and 8 pole versions--all at reasonable prices.

https://www.neutrik.com/en/products/audio/speakon

 

did you mean Neutrik powercon for up to 32 Amps or specifically the Neutrik Speakon connectors for power? https://www.neutrik.com/en/product/nac3fc-hc

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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21 minutes ago, MarcelNL said:

BTW: I'm currently using a 12 core AMD, and it transformed the sound in a way I did NOT expect. Sure, the change from 4 to 8 core was clearly an improvement but here I needed to turn the volume down a few clicks because the impact of the music and it's (perceived?) volume increased by quite a bit. Definition is better across the freq range and the low end's resolution increased and is extremely tight.

 

Adding a new MoBo (Aorus X570 Master) in a few days as on my current one suddenly two of the four RAM slots refused to boot with the Apacer RAM, and then I can finally adress the two remaining battle grounds; PSU and passive cooling...still need to find a large enough heatsink with capacity for approx 100W. I decided I don't want to go the alu case route, wood with EMI shielding it'll be.


maybe this is something you like

http://www.die-meller-tischlerei.de/Webshop/Delignit-c61535559

 

Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Raal SR1a

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus, Qobuz.

Modded Buffalo-fiber-EtherRegen, DC3- Isoregen, Lush^2

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21 hours ago, Superdad said:

Frankly we would like to see everyone move to the really terrific Neutrik speakON connectors. Exceptional flat contact area, very high current capability, 1mOhm contact resistance. Plus super easy to work with, accepts big wire, readily available in 2, 4, and 8 pole versions--all at reasonable prices.

https://www.neutrik.com/en/products/audio/speakon


So can we hope for future Uptone products with 4 pole (assume 4 wire) to be the standard, so we can add star quad DC cables ?

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