Jump to content
IGNORED

NUC/JRiver Optomization.


Bullitt5094
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've attempted to sift through the site and figure this out on my own without bugging anyone. Unfortunately I'm old and will likely die of old age prior to reading the applicable posts scattered across this forum, and making sense of them. Please don't suggest "search/google is my friend". Done that and I'm only asking for some new guidance or help sifting out good information from the existing posts and receiving suggesting from the members. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Your time is greatly appreciated.

 

Although I have a Home Theater, I only want to concentrate on Audio, 2.1 channel sound quality utilizing JRiver Windows version. I have a reasonably high-end 2-Ch system. The digital end of this consists of...

Tekton Ulfberht Speakers http://www.tektondesign.com/ulfberht-pmd-monitor.html

Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 integrated amp/DAC http://lyngdorf.com/tdai-2170/

OPPO-103 for CD playback using digital coax interface to the Lyngdorf

 

I am currently utilizing a Win based, JRiver loaded, HTPC with a USB link to the Lyngdorf. All files are uncompressed FLAC ripped from CDs using dBpoweramp software. They reside on the internal HD

 

So... I want to get rid of the huge HTPC footprint in my equipment rack. I've played with a NUC and it sounded at least as good as my HTPC input to the Lyngdorf. I have a NUC ordered from NewEgg that will be here tomorrow. And the FLAC files will be on the internal HD of the NUC. Not on an external server.

Intel NUC NUC7i3BNH Mini PC/HTPC, Intel i3-7100U 2.4GHz, 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Pro, Wifi, Bluetooth, 4k Support, Dual Monitor Capable 

The question is, what should I do to get the best SQ out of this setup? I'm sure a linear PS for the NUC would be the first step. Could that be the first recommendation please?  After that, all thoughts, guidance, criticism, links and suggestions would be welcomed and appreciated.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely a good power supply is the place to start. SOTM sPS 500 is ideal, but at a lower price models from Terradak, SBooster will be good alternatives. Also I would add a re - clocker after the NUC - Ideon 3R Rennaisance, this will improve the sound quality. Its not quite an Iso Regen ( go for that if you can stretch your budget) but a lot cheaper and works wonders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you really want to fight windows on your own check this thread out:

Windows 10 optimization script - A community effort?

 

But i guess something like Audiophile Optimizer or Fidelizer is better for you...

 

Many ppl would suggest you something bigger for at least being able to install an Audio USB-Card.

Don't underestimate the complexity of setting up a proper windows based audio-system.

You are kinda limited in this regard already with consumer-based hardware.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LGT2010 thanks. I'll do some research on that hardware.
 

kLesK- what do you mean by Audio USB-Card? Do you mean a DAC card? If so, I do not intend to have the NUC perform the DAC function. I will feed the signal to the Lyngdorf via USB.  If you aren't referring to a DAC, I'm not sure what component you're referring to. Could you send me a URL to an example?

Just FYI, the Lyngdorf is a different animal of an amp. It is a Digital amp, but not a class "D" amp. It even takes the analog input from my phono preamp and converts it to Digital (ADC) as the first step in amplification. So no sense having the NUC perform DAC, then the Lyngdorf just convert it back to digital.
Next time you're sitting on the john with time to spare, this is an interesting dissertation on Class D, it's limitations, and what Lyngdorf has done to eliminate those limitations with it's Digital amps. Scroll well down to see this. Don't get bored looking for it in the review https://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/amplifier/integrated-amplifiers/lyngdorf-audio-tdai-2170-fully-digital-integrated-amplifier-review/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of practical comments before you set up your NUC and install Windows 10.

 

 

1. I've used a Skylake i% NUC for about 17 months for both general use and audio.  It has a 1TB m.2 SSD.  The regular Win 10 updates are an annoyance but not fatal.  However, My i5 based laptop with a 1 TB hard drive was completely unusable for hours while an update was going on.  During a major update, the laptop was unusable for 1 1/2 days (and the update failed.)  2.5" laptop drives are a lot slower than 3.5" drives that fit in regular desktop PCs. I replaced the HD in the laptop with a 2.5" 1 TB SATA SSD and updates are no longer a crippling problem.

 

I'd suggest that you consider one of these alternatives:

-- Buy a 256 GB  m.2 SSD and install that in addition to the 1TB SATA HD. Install Win 10 on that SSD.  Your music can live on the HD.

 

- Return the 1 TB HD and get a 1 TB SSD instead.  Install Win 10 on that SSD.

 

- Disable the process or task that looks for and installs Windows 10 updates.  This is not a good idea for a general purpose PC but it may be fine if you do not browse the web or run software other than a trusted music player program and if you have a robust WiFi router between this PC and your internet connection.  I had dedicated MusicPCs running XP and then Win 7 with updates disabled for 8-9 years without any malware problems.

 

2.  Intel i3 NUCs have a small fan.  The BIOS has settings for the duty cycle of the fan and the thresholds at which the fan speed is increased.  You may want to experiment with those settings to keep it quiet under your conditions.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Old Listener (I feel like I'm talking to myself) those seem like good suggestions I'll keep on the list.

 

I talked to an Audiophile friend that also has a Lyngdorf/Tekton system. He is much more into the audio thing than I am and has played with some setups. He suggests it's unlikely I'll be satisfied with the NUC. He is suggesting the Sonic Transport i7. But I'm not really wanting to dump the NUC before it even arrives though. And stubborn enough to want to play with it some.

 

What about the idea of feeding an ultraRendu from the NUC? Will the ultraRendu correct any deficiencies in the NUC/JRiver music box?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Bullitt5094 said:

Old Listener (I feel like I'm talking to myself) those seem like good suggestions I'll keep on the list.

 

I talked to an Audiophile friend that also has a Lyngdorf/Tekton system. He is much more into the audio thing than I am and has played with some setups. He suggests it's unlikely I'll be satisfied with the NUC. He is suggesting the Sonic Transport i7. But I'm not really wanting to dump the NUC before it even arrives though. And stubborn enough to want to play with it some.

 

What about the idea of feeding an ultraRendu from the NUC? Will the ultraRendu correct any deficiencies in the NUC/JRiver music box?

 

i'm pretty happy with my nuc i5 -- it's audio only, running windows 10, audiophile optimizer, and roon bridge.  have also used it with jriver.  did add a lps.  sounds great.

 

you can adjust the fan setting in the bios, although you really won't notice it unless you're doing a lot of processing.  of course, you can always buy an akasa case to make it fanless.

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
headphone rig:  chord qutest > bryston bha-1 > audeze lcd-3
main rig:  chord dave > parasound jc5 > kef reference 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Bullitt5094 said:

Old Listener (I feel like I'm talking to myself) those seem like good suggestions I'll keep on the list.

 

I talked to an Audiophile friend that also has a Lyngdorf/Tekton system. He is much more into the audio thing than I am and has played with some setups. He suggests it's unlikely I'll be satisfied with the NUC. He is suggesting the Sonic Transport i7. But I'm not really wanting to dump the NUC before it even arrives though. And stubborn enough to want to play with it some.

 

What about the idea of feeding an ultraRendu from the NUC? Will the ultraRendu correct any deficiencies in the NUC/JRiver music box?

If the Lyngfdorf DAC module is decently implemented, the NUC should be just fine feeding the Lyngdorf.  I'd suggest that you get the NUC working with the included power supply before you think about audiophile upgrades.  If you want to play with audiophile upgrades later, you can.

 

If you are just playing music in one room, you really don't need a network device like the ultraRendu.  It adds complexity and problems. uPnP/DLNA is a pretty sloppy standard.

 

Get the NUC based system working and listen to it rather than to your friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree the first step should be to work with the NUC alone and see how well I can get JRIver sounding with a direct input to the Lyngdorf. The amp has a recent, and pretty high-end DAC. I also added the upgraded USB input card to it, so it may clean things up on it's own pretty well.

At that point maybe I should consider something like microRendu to see if there is a significant sound improvement.

There is also this device a bit intriguing. It doesn't operate as a music server. It only receives the USB stream and cleans it up apparently. http://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/english/portfolio-item/tx-usbultra/

Just throwing this out there... is there a better sounding interconnect to use other than USB? Maybe HDMI? Seems like USB has a whole plethora of deficiencies you have to deal with in it's basic implementation.

AGAIN, very low on the learning curve here. I really appreciate the thoughts and ideas of how to make JRiver on Windows sound good without breaking the bank to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Bullitt5094 said:

I agree the first step should be to work with the NUC alone and see how well I can get JRIver sounding with a direct input to the Lyngdorf. The amp has a recent, and pretty high-end DAC. I also added the upgraded USB input card to it, so it may clean things up on it's own pretty well.

At that point maybe I should consider something like microRendu to see if there is a significant sound improvement.

There is also this device a bit intriguing. It doesn't operate as a music server. It only receives the USB stream and cleans it up apparently. http://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/english/portfolio-item/tx-usbultra/

Just throwing this out there... is there a better sounding interconnect to use other than USB? Maybe HDMI? Seems like USB has a whole plethora of deficiencies you have to deal with in it's basic implementation.

AGAIN, very low on the learning curve here. I really appreciate the thoughts and ideas of how to make JRiver on Windows sound good without breaking the bank to do so.

Imo,

 

First step. Put Audiophile Optimizer on the NUC to optimize the operating system. See what you think. Consider adding lps.

 

Second step. Try the txusbultra or Uptone iso regen with NUC (power both with lps-1.2 or sms-500).

 

Third step. Try ultra Rendu or sms-200 ultra, using NUC as server.

 

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
headphone rig:  chord qutest > bryston bha-1 > audeze lcd-3
main rig:  chord dave > parasound jc5 > kef reference 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Bullitt5094 said:

Sounds like a good road-map to me. But the LPS-1 or 1.2 are limited to 12VDC according to what I see online. Doesn't the NUC require 19VDC?

Meant the lps-1.2 for the txusbultra or iso regen.

 

NUCs can take between 12v and 19v. I run mine with 12v/5a supplies.

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
headphone rig:  chord qutest > bryston bha-1 > audeze lcd-3
main rig:  chord dave > parasound jc5 > kef reference 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best way to take advantage of the little NUC's resources is to install a Linux based OS but with that said I'll be converting over to Windows myself here shortly to start using JRiver and DSP.

 

I'm afraid an i3 NUC with 8GB of RAM may be a big bottleneck using a Windows OS of any kind. My NUC is an i5 with 16GB of RAM and works great with Ubuntu and ROON Core. Switching to Windows should be an interesting experiment but does have me concerned

 

Good luck in your endeavor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Bullitt5094 said:

Good to know the NUC will accept 12. I wouldn't have thought that.

Following the thread with interest.  You might want to take a look at the DIY O11 Linear PS if you're handy with a soldering iron.  https://www.amb.org/audio/sigma11/

Like you, I want to get ride of my dedicated vinyl/cd ripping PC for playback.  I got a Raspberry 3 pi for Xmas and almost finished building the LPS.  My FLAC files are on a NAS and they go to the Raspberry via wifi.  Using JRM LInux.  The sound using the Raspberry USB out into my USB reclocker and then DAC was crap.  Got a SPDIF HiHat for the Raspberry and the results are excellent with coax.  Huge difference from the USB feed.  As others have said, a good LPS and worth looking into SPDIF output options for the NUC.

FLAC and AIF files mainly 192/24 and lower on Synology DS412 4x4Tb WD Red  in SHR2>direct ethernet to NUC>Intel NUC5PPYH w/JR Media 20 Akasa Newton P fanless case and DIY o11 LPS>Straightwire USB cable>W4S Recovery w/LPS>W4S DAC2DSD V2 w/Femto clock>Kimber Silver Streak balanced>Balanced Audio Technology VK3000SE>Kimber Monocle XL>Sonus Faber Cremona floorstanders

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you modify the NUC to a sCLK-EX server you won't have to do any optimizing in Windows 10 for SQ.  But I probably would for the nuisance updates from Microsoft, to eliminate.  I playback bit perfect in JRiver on my Jetway NUC sCLK-EX.

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

cjf I actually tried a JRiver ID. That's the JRiver version of the ROCK. It worked pretty and sounded better than my HTPC, but I hated dealing with Daemon and the JRiver functionality was compromised by that OS. I returned it and started down the Win path I'm on now. Have you started a thread on your conversion to Windows? I'd like to follow.


Boneman, thanks for that link. I am very capable of SS assembly and wondered why the heck these liner power supplies are so expensive. I intended to either find a kit or plans for one. A clean PS isn't rocket science and I'm betting none of those PS has $100 worth of parts in them. That's also my feeling on all these expensive point to point tube amps on the market too. The tubes are all the same. The transformers are the critical parts IMHO, and there are only a few manufactures of those. But don't get me going down that road.

 

Elvia at this low low point on the learning curve, It seems using something from SOtM in-line makes more sense then adding a $700 clock board to the NUC. But who knows where this leads me.

 

Again, all great advice folks. I'm learning a ton. Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Bullitt5094 said:

Have you started a thread on your conversion to Windows? I'd like to follow.

Hello,

 

I have not started my conversion over to Windows just yet. I'm awaiting some new equipment to arrive first which will then force me to start that process. For my purposes, I will require the use of ASIO/USB with JRiver and it will be a pretty basic setup in general.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to add my two cents about optimizing Windows.  I have tried Audiophile Optimizer several times on different machines and different Windows builds, and I have never been happy with what it does to the sound.  To me everything gets very raw and mechanical-sounding.  I have tried the the scripts on the Windows 10 optimization thread and found these to have a much more pleasant effect.  More transparency, sweetness and musicality.  These included running getblackbird (and restoring the LAN function) and running the series of optimizations and scripts provided by the original poster on that thread.  Also the suggestions about stopping logging functions.

 

The problem with AO in my opinion is that even if you restore services with the Service Tool, the initial "optimizations" are not reversible and you have to restore the original system.  That, and the price.

 

Bear in mind that none of the scripts on that thread are reversible, except the ability to restore a few needed services as noted, so you should create a restore point before launching, or be prepared to reinstall if you run into problems.  All that said, those optimizations were pretty straightforward and sound much more musical in my system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zack, I was reading up on AO and the Win Op thread and couldn't decide if my money or my time was more valuable as to which way to go. I think I'll take your advice and try the free scripts and Blackbird first.

The NUC arrived yesterday. I installed JRiver and Synced it to another Library. I did no modifications to anything and just did a baseline listening session last night. It sounds at least as good or better than my HTPC right out of the box. I don't know if that means my PC is awful or if the NUC is pretty good as-is. I also have to believe the Lyngdorf circuitry/DAC is very good and may be correcting a lot of the "garbage in" too. I'm now putting some hours on it for burn-in and I'll see if that improves anything before I start any modifications of hardware or software.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Bullitt5094 said:

Zack, I was reading up on AO and the Win Op thread and couldn't decide if my money or my time was more valuable as to which way to go. I think I'll take your advice and try the free scripts and Blackbird first.

The NUC arrived yesterday. I installed JRiver and Synced it to another Library. I did no modifications to anything and just did a baseline listening session last night. It sounds at least as good or better than my HTPC right out of the box. I don't know if that means my PC is awful or if the NUC is pretty good as-is. I also have to believe the Lyngdorf circuitry/DAC is very good and may be correcting a lot of the "garbage in" too. I'm now putting some hours on it for burn-in and I'll see if that improves anything before I start any modifications of hardware or software.

 

Just make sure you do a partition to add a second version of Windows 10 onto your OS drive as your modified/working optimization.  

(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Bullitt5094 said:

Zack, I was reading up on AO and the Win Op thread and couldn't decide if my money or my time was more valuable as to which way to go. I think I'll take your advice and try the free scripts and Blackbird first.

The NUC arrived yesterday. I installed JRiver and Synced it to another Library. I did no modifications to anything and just did a baseline listening session last night. It sounds at least as good or better than my HTPC right out of the box. I don't know if that means my PC is awful or if the NUC is pretty good as-is. I also have to believe the Lyngdorf circuitry/DAC is very good and may be correcting a lot of the "garbage in" too. I'm now putting some hours on it for burn-in and I'll see if that improves anything before I start any modifications of hardware or software.

 

 

I'm glad the NUC is an improvement.  To me it's not as much a question of time or money but rather the sonic results.  I simply don't like what AO does to the sound.  Once I read through that thread carefully and understood it, running a couple of scripts and doing some tweaks took very little time at all.  In fact, if you just ran the first set of scripts you'd still hear a big improvement without losing any functionailty for audio/video, unless you want to restart the Windows Audio Service, which I did (I like WASAPI as an output option).  On the other hand, AO is also irreversible and I've spent more time re-installing my OS as a result of that than anything those scripts did.

 

As Elvia says, if you have the room on your hard drive, shrink the current partition with Disk Manager and install a second version of Win10 to experiment with.  Down the road you can erase the version you don't like and revert to the one you do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just ordered an IsoRegen. It isn't an arm and a leg and seems to have fans. I also don't want anything but something to improve the output of the NUC, so this seemed the best choice to me. If I'm impressed by the results I'll look at either buying or building a PS for it and the NUC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...