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Audiolinux Server configurations, Software, Hardware, and Listening Impressions


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Great thread!


I am running AL extreme on three m/c - NUC7i7DNHE as streamer, home built 4th gen i7 fanless PC as server and mini-itx based switch housing JCAT net femto in bridged mode. I tried a NUC8i7BEH for up-sampling but it couldn't keep up with dsd256. My plan is to upgrade my server to something newer. Also LMS/Squeezelite in server/endpoint mode has given a great boost to SQ as well.  

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20 minutes ago, lmitche said:

Would a more expensive LPS sound better ? Maybe, but this was a damn good, highly musical result. 


Later, I changed the NUC server power setting in the bios to low power just the I7 endpoint. This change delivered the best presentation I have ever heard of "Midnight Sugar" from the Three Blind Mice. Breathtaking.


So there you go! Any questions?



Thanks for the details report. Am I correct in assuming you were using LPS 1.2 earlier with the NUC streamer and now changed to Hdplex 19v out ? Which one sounded better in your system ?

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1 minute ago, lmitche said:

Hi Dev,


My NUC endpoint has been powered by the LPS1.2 long before the Hdplex arrived. The LPS1.2 is the best sounding power supply I have used on the endpoint.


The report above was about powering the server and related peripheral devices. The 5 multi-rail outputs of the Hdplex 200 watt lps are perfect for this.






Ahhh...I see. Thanks for the clarification. I probably got confused when you said you changed the NUC power setting to low power and I thought you were talking about the endpoint.

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  • 2 weeks later...
11 hours ago, HeeBroG said:

Hi Rajiv. 


If Squeezelite is used as the endpoint rather than Roonbridge; do you then lose all the beauty of using the Roon interface?




Yes, you can still use Roon's beautiful UI interface and library management but one thing to note is when using Roon/SL combo, the sample rate is limited to 192K for PCM and DSD64 Dop for DSD content. This is not the case when you use LMS/SL combo and is Roon's limitation. I wish Roon could put some effort to remove this limitation.

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11 minutes ago, gsquared said:

I installed a second usb stick and booted from it and ran fdisk -l and both USB sticks are visible. But my main stick will not boot. So it may very well be corrupted. I am going to see if I can access my Roon DB files and copy them over to the working usb stick. Then install an Optane stick and copy the Roon files there so I can minimize the risk of losing all of my Roon stuff going forward.


when booted on the 2nd stick, run fsck on the main stick to see if it can fix anything.

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3 minutes ago, gsquared said:


I ran fsck on the main stick and it gave me a message saying 'clean' so I tried booting from it again and I still get the same error.


Odd because one usb stick works and the other doesn't, yet they are both recognized when running fdisk -l


Bios boot error can occur sometimes if gpt is corrupted. Are you sure fdisk doesn't show any error ? If your 2nd disk contains the same stuff as the main stick, the easier thing to do to revive the main is to dd from the 2nd disk to the main one.

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  • 3 weeks later...
2 hours ago, lmitche said:

This past August the NUCs arrived. The early thinking was that this new two box solution meant that along with network isolation between the server and endpoint side, “bits would be bits”, and therefore server (dirty) side tweaks no longer mattered. The network isolation would shield the clean from dirty. With this idea in mind, a wifi network isolation scheme was configured here. Later the dual power scheme described above was dismantled with the big EVGA power supply used once again for both motherboard ATX and CPU power.




first of all thanks for the excellent report!


Is your server also connected to wifi ? Past couple of weeks, I moved my NUC streamer to wifi and couldn't be happier. Not sure if I will ever get expensive audiophile switches and lan cables - I just don't feel the need anymore to do anything on the network side for the streamer. My next experiment will be to move my server to wifi network as well and see if it benefits as well but I don't see any reason why would it not.


Looks like the hdplex is a great and flexible LPS. I had their earlier version but it caused issues (which many know about). Their new version seems to be stable and lot better performance-wise. How hot does it get ?

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16 minutes ago, lmitche said:

On another topic, Rickca did some research and learned it was better to power the 4  port Startech USB card at 12 instead of 5 volts.


Rick was right. The SQ jump is substantial. If you have one if these Startech cards this tweak is highly recommended.


I'm using a Hdplex 200 watt lpsu and it's lt3045 output at 12 volts and running that directly into the card via sata connector.


Awesome tweak, thanks Rick!


Larry, you completely lost me - what does the Startech card do in your system ?


Between, for folks who are using wired Ethernet the GigaFOILv4 with active isolation seems like an awesome tweak. I haven't tried it but in some forums, folks with MSB renderer have noticed a significant improvement with it.  

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  • 1 month later...
7 minutes ago, lmitche said:

Well a 1tb WD black drive and usb3.1 gen 2 Startech enclosure costs $120 in total plus you avoid the music crushing SSD noise. Add a 12, or 15 volt (3 amp lt3045 to 12 volt ) linear power supply and you have a great solution for a NUC server.


Larry, have you experimented with the USB cable from the Startech enclosure to your server ? Though I don't have the Startech enclosure (I am using owc enclsoure), I swapped out the stock usb3 cable with an wireworld usb 2.0 cable that I had laying around and it sounds different.

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  • 4 weeks later...
1 minute ago, hifi25nl said:

Most of times I am using a user /home/audiolinux/.asoundrc configuration file with this inside:


pcm.!default {
    type hw
    card 0

ctl.!default {
    type hw           
    card 0





Piero, can you explain this a bit on what it does ? Does it affect Roon (or Roonbridge) ?

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I played with isolated CPU cores earlier on both server and endpoint  - while there is an illusion of increased detail in my system, the sound is also harder or harsher. I have since removed them from my setup.


I haven't played to ALSA config. Does it affect Squeezelite as well ?

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20 minutes ago, mourip said:


I am not sure if I am more embarrassed or confused.


I seem to be booting to ramroot and am also on the new kernel version. I am pretty sure that I followed the correct steps to disable ramroot, update the kernel files, and reboot at which time I got that error when I tried to re-enable ramroot. Thinking back on my early experimenting with AL I believe that the error I received is one that comes when you are already in ramroot.


I guess that all is well that ends well?


I think with the updates, there is a bug somewhere. I also faced the same issue. This is how I resolved


1. ramroot disable

2. reboot

3. check status after reboot using 'ramroot status' and it should say

     :: ramroot status: disabled

4. enable ramroot from menu option

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7 minutes ago, rickca said:

I think Piero said not to use ramroot disable (and use ramroot remove instead) because it can give unpredictable results. 


Wasn't aware of it but those are the steps that solved my issue. I guess 'remove' should have been the better step.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

@lmitche Larry, did you try play with the CPU settings in Euphony ? Though for i7 NUC you really can't set any CPU freq settings like you can do with AL but multiple of base frequency somewhat (not perfectly) seem to work, i.e. i.9GHz, 3.8Ghz. The Stylus seem to run the CPU at full swing by default.

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7 minutes ago, lmitche said:


Yes, I had read to let Euphony scale the CPU as required from 400Mhz to 4200 Mhz and that was where it was set. I didn't know to try multiples of the base frequency.



I would agree to the consensus that the dynamics scales with higher freq but at the expense of harshness if the psu is not upto the task. Mine is set at 1900 Mhz and is also powered with SR4 but @ 12v. Not sure if this psu is even tasked to run the i7 NUC at max.

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  • 4 months later...

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