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Audiolinux Server configurations, Software, Hardware, and Listening Impressions

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22 hours ago, jcn3 said:

 

hqplayer is updated under the item that's something like "update other packages" -- it is the third item in the update menu:

 

http://www.audio-linux.com/images/menu4.jpg

 

that is not what my menu looks like..........my item 3 says "System update"

i have menu 126 and i'm ssh'ing into my AL machine remotely

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2 hours ago, cat6man said:

 

that is not what my menu looks like..........my item 3 says "System update"

i have menu 126 and i'm ssh'ing into my AL machine remotely

 

Yep. I was out of town so grabbed that off of the AL site. "System update" should do it.


source:  intel nuc8i5 (roon rock) > intel nuc6i5 (win 10, ao, roon bridge, dirac v1) > schiit yggdrasil (gen 5, analog 2)
headphone rig:  bryston bha-1 > senn hd600
two-channel rig:  luminous audio axiom ii xlr walker mod > parasound a21 > monitor audio gx100

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I would like to specify something about updates in Audiolinux:

The updating is done with
1) Audiolinux menu
2) Kernel. This is compiled by audiolinux with some changes if necessary (Note: it could be necessary a full system update)
3) System update, not controlled by Audiolinux. This is normal archlinux update.  We are not responsible for any problems that may arise. For example 
the last system update is problematic for normal users.


A normal user does not need to make a system update. Audiolinux menu update is enough
A new Audiolinux version is released every two months with full package update, if the user want to reinstall the OS.


Single packages like HQPlayer, Roon and some other can be updated from terminal this way:
yaourt -Syy hqplayer-embedded hqplayer-network-audio-daemon
With the last menu using pamac instead of yaourt
pamac build hqplayer-embedded hqplayer-network-audio-daemon

Note: from version 2.0 I will add an option for HQPlayer update.
 


AudioLinux --> https://www.audio-linux.com

developer of AudioLinux realtime OS

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There are many roads to nirvana. This is why I do not trust those who claim to be able to linearly order roon servers, power supplies, dacs, etc. 

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15 hours ago, lmitche said:

Having read recent posts in the "Novel" thread it seems we are heading in the "gear head" direction again, where the fastest most bad-ass machine is said to produce the best SQ.

 

Hmmm. . .

 

SQ here is crazy good with a recent series of tweaks that move things in the opposite direction.  As evidence here are processor loads and temps for my server (AMD Ryzen 7 2700) and endpoint (NUC I7) while playing roonserver and roonbridge respectively on the most recent version of Audiolinux.


Server:

 

CPU temperature

Tdie:        +26.2°C  (high = +70.0°C)
Tctl:         +26.2°C

 

CPU load

 

Linux 5.2.19-rt11-3-rt-bfq (archaudio)        10/21/2019      _x86_64_        (8 CPU)

 

08:37:43 PM  CPU    %usr   %nice    %sys %iowait    %irq   %soft  %steal  %guest  %gnice   %idle x
08:37:43 PM  all    0.31    0.00    0.36    0.04    0.01    0.01    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.27 x
08:37:43 PM    0    0.01    0.00    0.02    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.97 x
08:37:43 PM    1    0.01    0.00    0.03    0.05    0.01    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.90 x
08:37:43 PM    2    2.46    0.00    2.67    0.07    0.04    0.01    0.00    0.00    0.00   94.75 x
08:37:43 PM    3    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00  100.00 x
08:37:43 PM    4    0.01    0.00    0.03    0.05    0.01    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.90 x
08:37:43 PM    5    0.01    0.00    0.02    0.05    0.01    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.91 x
08:37:43 PM    6    0.01    0.00    0.03    0.03    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.92 x
08:37:43 PM    7    0.01    0.00    0.07    0.03    0.02    0.03    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.84 x


Endpoint:

 

CPU temperature

 

Package id 0:  +31.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

 

Core 0:        +31.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C) 
Core 1:        +31.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 2:        +29.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Core 3:        +29.0°C  (high = +100.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

temp1:       -273.2°C                                                      x
temp2:        +27.8°C  (crit = +119.0°C)
temp3:        +29.8°C  (crit = +119.0°C) 

temp1:        +33.5°C

 

CPU load

 

Linux 5.2.19-rt11-3-rt-bfq (audiolinux)       10/21/2019      _x86_64_        (4 CPU)

 

08:51:48 PM  CPU    %usr   %nice    %sys %iowait    %irq   %soft  %steal  %guest  %gnice   %idle x
08:51:48 PM  all    0.06    0.00    1.11    0.02    0.12    0.01    0.00    0.00    0.00   98.69 x
08:51:48 PM    0    0.02    0.00    0.05    0.04    0.01    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.88 x
08:51:48 PM    1    0.02    0.00    0.04    0.01    0.01    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.92 x
08:51:48 PM    2    0.02    0.00    0.08    0.01    0.01    0.03    0.00    0.00    0.00   99.86 x
08:51:48 PM    3    0.17    0.00    4.29    0.00    0.47    0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00   95.07 x

 

The ambient temperature of the room is 22°C. 

 

SQ is holographic.

 Ditto here.  New Ryzen 7 server is an incredible upgrade.  


Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

.

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@lmitche & @Forehaven

 

what motherboards are you using for the Ryzen 7 and how are you powering it ? I have been meaning to build a high performance server for sometime. Can you folks please list the parts used ? AL fully supported on Ryzen ?

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1 hour ago, Dev said:

@lmitche & @Forehaven

 

what motherboards are you using for the Ryzen 7 and how are you powering it ? I have been meaning to build a high performance server for sometime. Can you folks please list the parts used ? AL fully supported on Ryzen ?

Hi Dev,

 

We are using various MicroAtx and Mini-Itx motherboards mostly Asus. It is best to shop around for 65 watt CPUs. Yes AMD is fully supported in Audiolinux, with a menu switch to change from AMD to Intel and vice versa.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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1 minute ago, lmitche said:

Hi Dev,

 

We are using various MicroAtx and Mini-Itx motherboards mostly Asus B450s. It is best to shop around for 65 watt CPUs. Yes AMD is fully supported in Audiolinux, with a menu switch to change from AMD to Intel and vice versa.

 


nuckleheadaudio.com

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17 hours ago, lmitche said:

SQ here is crazy good with a recent series of tweaks that move things in the opposite direction. 
 

SQ is holographic.

 

 

sounds cool.

can you share your tweaks and settings?  which do you find most significant?

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time for a report after heading down this rabbit hole with you all.

 

old system/baseline:

hpqplayer embedded running on 5i6 NUC under ubuntu, wall wart switching power supply, shared PC/NUC with sageTV server, music on usb HDD, ethernet to netgear router, ethernet to sonore opticalModule (lps-1.2 powered), fiber to sonore opticalRendu (in NAA mode, SR4 powered), usb to totalDAC.

 

new system:

hqplayer embedded running in ramroot under audiolinux on new 7i7 NUC (4G Apacer ram, 8G m.2 optane) powered by HDPlex200 at 19v with external usb3.0 HDD powered by HDPlex200 at 9v, ethernet to netgear router (and all the rest similar)

 

i had a audio buddy over last week and we started by listening to some of my standard evaluation tracks with the old baseline system:

 

Bonnie Raitt-Angel from Montgomery

Weavers-Guantanamera

Paul Simon-Diamonds on the Soles of their shoes

Alison Krauss-Forget about It

Beach Boys-Caroline No

Rickie Lee Jones-Danny's All Star Joint

Joan Baez-It's All Over Now Baby Blue

Muddy Waters-My Home is in the Delta

Duke Ellington-Concerto for Cootie

John Renbourn-At the break of Day

 

Next, I switched over to the new (i.e. optimized over the past few weeks) system and the improvement was staggeringly large.

In my friend's words, the improvement was "revelatory." 

 

Now I had achieved this new optimized state with a lot of individual steps over a period of weeks, after picking the brains of this thread and a few others to identify the factors most likely to improve things here based on my assessment of consensus and applicability of various reports.

 

It is of course impossible to absolutely identify which factors were the most significant contributors since not all combinations could be tried in a sane amount of time or in all combinations, nor did I have the patience.  Here are my performance observations in the order in which they happened.

 

> (was better)

>> (was much better)

 

new 7i7 NUC w/8G RAM and usb3.0 external 8TB HDD, both powered by HDPLEX

AL set to extreme realtime mode, hyperthreading and turbo turned off

 

Jussi's hqplayerd image on usb stick > old baseline system

hqplayer embedded under AL on usb stick > Jussi's hqplayerd image on usb stick

hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot >> hqplayer embedded under AL on usb stick

hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot w/ Apacer 4G ram >> hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot

 

the last 2 really boggle my engineer's brain, but there is no doubting what i hear and that is the bottom line.

i would LOVE to understand from a scientific point of view how/why ramroot and Apacer ram can make such a difference to the sound quality but you guys have nailed it and i'm down the rabbit hole with you.

 

Impact:  better imaging, huge decays into silence between notes, greater detail w/o harshness, more and clearer bass lines

 

i will just mention that a few years ago, i had achieved a really fine level of digital playback (magic even!) using hqplayer and an ultraRendu in NAA mode powered by a SoTM battery power supply............then i changed a few things, lost the magic, sold a few things, swapped out a few more, and never regained the magic.......until now.......is this really all about power?

maybe all the other remaining wallwart/switching power supplies need to go?

 

 

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3 hours ago, Forehaven said:

 Ditto here.  New Ryzen 7 server is an incredible upgrade.  

As an HQPlayer user I will need a server to have enough horsepower to do EC modulators at DSD256 (and I am assuming I will still only remodulate DSD to DSD256, not upsample/modulate PCM to DSD256).  Does this AMD have the capability?

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2 hours ago, ted_b said:

As an HQPlayer user I will need a server to have enough horsepower to do EC modulators at DSD256 (and I am assuming I will still only remodulate DSD to DSD256, not upsample/modulate PCM to DSD256).  Does this AMD have the capability?

Ted,

 

AMD does have this ability, but I think in your case we should wait until you are ready, and then take a look at the available options.  Things are moving quickly with serious competitive responses from both Intel and AMD. The consumer is the winner. Let's see what develops in the interim.

 

Also, we will be able to easily switch between low current to "gear head" mode.

 

Stay tuned,

 

Larry

 

 


nuckleheadaudio.com

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Larry,

Thx.  Great point.  What will be chip of choice, even just a few months ahead in, say, February?  Guess waiting is a virtue here, something I don't do well.  :)

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11 hours ago, ted_b said:

Larry,

Thx.  Great point.  What will be chip of choice, even just a few months ahead in, say, February?  Guess waiting is a virtue here, something I don't do well.  :)

Another approach is to have a low current roonserver machine, a high current hqplayer embedded upsampling machine and a low current endpoint.

 

Switching from one to the other is easily done in Roon, along with a restart of the endpoint software.

 

Best of both worlds.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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15 hours ago, cat6man said:

is this really all about power?

Mostly yes, and using software to make the machine(s) do as little as possible outside of playing music.


nuckleheadaudio.com

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4 hours ago, lmitche said:

Another approach is to have a low current roonserver machine, a high current hqplayer embedded upsampling machine and a low current endpoint.

 

Switching from one to the other is easily done in Roon, along with a restart of the endpoint software.

 

Best of both worlds.

Roon isn't necessarily in my own future (Native's license expired for some god foresaken reason...thx Roon), but this thread is more than about me.

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On 10/23/2019 at 2:49 AM, cat6man said:

time for a report after heading down this rabbit hole with you all.

 

old system/baseline:

hpqplayer embedded running on 5i6 NUC under ubuntu, wall wart switching power supply, shared PC/NUC with sageTV server, music on usb HDD, ethernet to netgear router, ethernet to sonore opticalModule (lps-1.2 powered), fiber to sonore opticalRendu (in NAA mode, SR4 powered), usb to totalDAC.

 

new system:

hqplayer embedded running in ramroot under audiolinux on new 7i7 NUC (4G Apacer ram, 8G m.2 optane) powered by HDPlex200 at 19v with external usb3.0 HDD powered by HDPlex200 at 9v, ethernet to netgear router (and all the rest similar)

 

i had a audio buddy over last week and we started by listening to some of my standard evaluation tracks with the old baseline system:

 

Bonnie Raitt-Angel from Montgomery

Weavers-Guantanamera

Paul Simon-Diamonds on the Soles of their shoes

Alison Krauss-Forget about It

Beach Boys-Caroline No

Rickie Lee Jones-Danny's All Star Joint

Joan Baez-It's All Over Now Baby Blue

Muddy Waters-My Home is in the Delta

Duke Ellington-Concerto for Cootie

John Renbourn-At the break of Day

 

Next, I switched over to the new (i.e. optimized over the past few weeks) system and the improvement was staggeringly large.

In my friend's words, the improvement was "revelatory." 

 

Now I had achieved this new optimized state with a lot of individual steps over a period of weeks, after picking the brains of this thread and a few others to identify the factors most likely to improve things here based on my assessment of consensus and applicability of various reports.

 

It is of course impossible to absolutely identify which factors were the most significant contributors since not all combinations could be tried in a sane amount of time or in all combinations, nor did I have the patience.  Here are my performance observations in the order in which they happened.

 

> (was better)

>> (was much better)

 

new 7i7 NUC w/8G RAM and usb3.0 external 8TB HDD, both powered by HDPLEX

AL set to extreme realtime mode, hyperthreading and turbo turned off

 

Jussi's hqplayerd image on usb stick > old baseline system

hqplayer embedded under AL on usb stick > Jussi's hqplayerd image on usb stick

hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot >> hqplayer embedded under AL on usb stick

hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot w/ Apacer 4G ram >> hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot

 

the last 2 really boggle my engineer's brain, but there is no doubting what i hear and that is the bottom line.

i would LOVE to understand from a scientific point of view how/why ramroot and Apacer ram can make such a difference to the sound quality but you guys have nailed it and i'm down the rabbit hole with you.

 

Impact:  better imaging, huge decays into silence between notes, greater detail w/o harshness, more and clearer bass lines

 

i will just mention that a few years ago, i had achieved a really fine level of digital playback (magic even!) using hqplayer and an ultraRendu in NAA mode powered by a SoTM battery power supply............then i changed a few things, lost the magic, sold a few things, swapped out a few more, and never regained the magic.......until now.......is this really all about power?

maybe all the other remaining wallwart/switching power supplies need to go?

 

 

 

Glad to know you have enjoyed your new build of HQPe under AudioLinux Ramboot.

We had some discussions on ramboot before.

Your experience may have been proved again that Ram boot is much better than Normal boot .

I have been using Ram Boot with my Debian system for many years , even before the Archlinux having the ram boot package to install.

 

Ubutun seems being unable to do ram boot so I never use Ubuntu and just install Jussie"s HQPlayer onto my Debian ramboot system !

 

Now I  am running a Debian10 HQPe on the kernels compiled by myself and auditioned by my audiophile friends in the local .

My system has several kernels to choose, they having different demands for CPU resources and the one needs most has the best SQ.

All three kernels can run DSD256 7EC extt2 with i5 7600 ! And can do these with more powerful CPUs!

So No need for high horse power CPUs!

Compared with other Ramboot system my  audiophile friends like my Debian Ramboot HQPe more ! 

 

BTW We use HDPlex 400 or 200 and other LPS too 

 

Cheers

 

 

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Hi Imitche,,

Very nice temps 😀

Whitch CPU frequency do you use?

Do you still use Soekris 1321 DAC and if you do, How does it Sound like?

Regards Monge

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On 10/22/2019 at 8:49 PM, cat6man said:

time for a report after heading down this rabbit hole with you all.

...

Jussi's hqplayerd image on usb stick > old baseline system

hqplayer embedded under AL on usb stick > Jussi's hqplayerd image on usb stick

hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot >> hqplayer embedded under AL on usb stick

hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot w/ Apacer 4G ram >> hqplayer embedded under AL in ramroot

...

is this really all about power?

 

Interesting! Are you using ECC or normal RAM?

I once compared the two and could not hear the difference. But I never tried Apacer.

 

My recent experience with ramroot is similar: a real improvement, and surprisingly enough also on the AL HQPe server (not only on the NAA endpoint).

 

Another thing I tried recently and suprised me: SBooster BOTW ECO MkII as well as cheap Chinese Studer900 power supplies sound considerably better than HDPlex 100W for the endpoint. (I am using HDPlex 200W for the server as this requires more power.)


 

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On 10/25/2019 at 10:38 AM, Monge said:

Hi Imitche,,

Very nice temps 😀

Whitch CPU frequency do you use?

Do you still use Soekris 1321 DAC and if you do, How does it Sound like?

Regards Monge

Hi Monge,

 

The CPUs are set at a low frequency, .8ghz in this case, but never achieve this. They scale dynamically with demand, but typically run 1.1 to 1.3 ghz running roonserver here. Idle times are crazy high as you can see.

 

Yes, I am enjoying the Soekris DAC powered by two LPS1.2s and a dual LT3045 chain on the Vbus input. The latter makes a huge difference. To my ears the Soekris makes music at a high level. Recently, I have heard some Chord and Aqua Formula DACs and don't find myself pining for one.

 

Larry


nuckleheadaudio.com

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How's this work Larry?  The 1321 uses 5v 1A input.  A LPS 1.2 outputs 5v at 1.1A so you could get away using just one right?  Is it due to using two LT's?


Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

.

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