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Shootout at the Linux Corral: AudioLinux vs Euphony

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1 hour ago, RickyV said:

 

I think it is also possible to run AL roon/ LMS on the server. Wouldn't make much difference I think. That what I planned to do.

This is more sensible.

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10 hours ago, HeeBroG said:

Hi Bob,

 

I take it the best sound so far requires 2 Euphony licences; one for server and the other for endpoint running Stylus EP?

 

Geoff

 

6 hours ago, tapatrick said:

Thanks for all your great work on this @bobfa  are you running 

Server: Euphony/Roon/

Endpoint: Euphony/StylusEp

Means we would need 2 licences to get your best SQ?

 

I am using two licenses one of the server and one on the endpoint.

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16 minutes ago, bobfa said:

 

I am using two licenses one of the server and one on the endpoint.

 

Euphony were supposed to roll out a lower cost endpoint pricing, for those wanting to run distributed. Is that not yet available in this new build?

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9 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

Euphony were supposed to roll out a lower cost endpoint pricing, for those wanting to run distributed. Is that not yet available in this new build?

I purchased a while back and have never looked to see if they have new pricing structure.  

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Yes, I should have checked the purchase page. 

 

BTW - in my system, my previously reported finding still holds: I find Stylus standalone is even better sounding than Roon+StylusEP. And Željko has fixed a lot of Stylus issues that make it quite usable.

 

While I'm not ready (yet) to ditch Roon, I find it relatively painless to do my browsing on Roon+StylusEP, and then settle in for listening on Stylus.

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14 minutes ago, austinpop said:

Yes, I should have checked the purchase page. 

 

BTW - in my system, my previously reported finding still holds: I find Stylus standalone is even better sounding than Roon+StylusEP. And Željko has fixed a lot of Stylus issues that make it quite usable.

 

While I'm not ready (yet) to ditch Roon, I find it relatively painless to do my browsing on Roon+StylusEP, and then settle in for listening on Stylus.

 

Same here. Some of the bugs I found in Stylus were fixed with the new release. I get better sound quality than Roon and haven't used Roon in a while. Stylus works fine for me playing local files. Searching music from Tidal / Qobuz with Stylus is still a bit challenging, and this is when I miss Roon's interface. 

 

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6 minutes ago, austinpop said:

Yes, I should have checked the purchase page. 

 

BTW - in my system, my previously reported finding still holds: I find Stylus standalone is even better sounding than Roon+StylusEP. And Željko has fixed a lot of Stylus issues that make it quite usable.

 

While I'm not ready (yet) to ditch Roon, I find it relatively painless to do my browsing on Roon+StylusEP, and then settle in for listening on Stylus.

I am going to get some other folks in to listen to what I am hearing.  There is nothing like a second pair of ears, some conversations and time to help settle this out.  

 

This weekend I plan to put my external drive on the endpoint and run stylus for a while to see what that does for me.  I found that it seemed slow talking with the NAS.I need to understand how the software works.  

 

I am also going to switch from Ethernet to WiFi and see what that does. Then back to try again on compare two box to one box.  

 

It is so much fun to see this stuff bloom!  Spring in Audiophile Land!

 

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

 

BTW - in my system, my previously reported finding still holds: I find Stylus standalone is even better sounding than Roon+StylusEP. And Željko has fixed a lot of Stylus issues that make it quite usable.

 

You may find that LMS+StylusEP is on par with Stylus standalone

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Though I haven't critically compared Stylus to StylusEP with the new release but from earlier recollection Stylus indeed sounds very good. The only reason I keep going back to Roon is just because of their UI/Library management and I think many like us are spoiled by it. Some of the features that I use extensively are queue management, library backups, sorting functions - most played, recently added, etc. If Sylus could make headway into these features, that would be awesome and would make the transition super easy for me. The Stylus web interface is not that bad, well, not certainly at par with Roon but definitely very usable.

 

However for folks who interested in using Roon + StylusEP, there are still few quirks that you need to be aware of - apart for Roon limiting the sampling rate to 192K/dsd64 and DoP only, sometimes you will find Roon doesn't move to the next track in the queue. The current track is stuck indefinitely at the end with couple of seconds remaining. All you need to do is to hit next in Roon to play the next track. Its not a deal breaker though. As per Željko this seems also a Roon bug and as usual Roon is 

adamant into fixing any of it or even officially support Squeezlite implementation.

 

All these even makes a stronger case for Stylus to improve upon the UI aspect while still keeping the audio quality at the highest bar. Nothing like it if Željko can pull this over !

 

 

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15 hours ago, sergiocurvelo said:

Is it possible to use HQ Player in the  Euphony "trial version"? I can not configure.

 

To add your HQPlayer license you must purchase the Euphony license before. With the Euphony trial you only can use HQPlayer in its trial mode. Please note that you have no access to the web interface of HQPlayer embedded. Besides there are still some issues to set the noise shaper of your choice for PCM resampling and you only have the choice of DSD or PCM as Upsampling mode. Auto is missing. Željko wants to fix this in the next release. As workaround to set the noise shaper and the Auto mode I use the Android app HQPDcontrol. This works until the next boot of Euphony or restart of HQPlayer.


Euphony (Roon/HQPlayer, Stylus) --> "magic" NUC7CJYH (Euphony-ramroot/NAA, StylusEP) / pi3B+/HifiBerry Digi + Pro (GentooPlayer-ramroot/RoonBridge) --> Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro (MQA) --> B & M Prime 6

bedroom: pi3/DigiOne (RoPieee) --> S.M.S.L M500 --> KRK Rokit 5 or AKG 712 Pro

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Between tilling and planting today, I started my Euphony Stylus NUC vs. Xeon one box listening today.  I am more than pleasantly surprised by the initial results.  The Xeon passes the Adele 21 test.  You can listen to the whole album!  

 

Željko Vranić and his team have something magical here, but we knew that!  I am not comfortable with Stylus Player operations as of yet, but my brain is settling in.   I may have to RTFM!

 

I will get more listening time tomorrow since it looks like rain most of the day.  

 

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, bobfa said:

Here is my summary of findings in my systems listening to Audiolinux, Roon, and Euphony Stylus.

 

  1. Euphony OS  running on both server and endpoint improve sound quality for me.
  2. The Euphony StylusEP sounds better in a dual computer Digital Music Source system.  It overshadows Roon and Squeezelite bridges.
  3. Changing to a single box system running Euphony Stylus sounds better than Roon in any combination.  Note I did not play with large buffers in Squeezelite.
  4. Testing between my NUC and my Xeon machines the Xeon sounds better.  Same power supply same cables, same music sources, same output.  Euphony Stylus win! Dynamics, detail, digital harshness, depth, and placement are all improved.  

 All of these changes are incremental improvements. I am looking back at a couple of months of testing, and I feel that the I missed out by not listening to the folks at Euphony and giving Stylus player a fair trial.  I had blinders on to my physical system design of two boxes.

 

For TODAY for ME!  Euphony Stylus single box won the shootout. 

 

 

Here is the hardware summary
NUC:  https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55681-from-0-to-xeonalroon-server-in-2-days

Server: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/55383-from-0-to-nucalram-in-2-hours

 

 

--

On the Kii Three Speakers, I have the following configuration around the Digital Music Source.

 Networking is fiber from the main house network switch.  
The computer and FMC are powered by the HDPLEX 400
In the USB audio chain, an UpTone Audio LPS-1.2 powers the IsoRegen.

---
I transferred the NUC endpoint to my desktop system for headphone listening. The NUC is now running Euphony Stylus.  Powering the NUC is an UpTone Audio JS-2.  The Schiit LYR3 with their multi-bit DAC follows.

---

 

Reading what others have built and experience it appears that I have several areas of potential hardware improvements.  At this time, the only thing I am considering is changing the stock power cabling between the HDPLEX 400 and the Xeon motherboard.   There will be research into USB such as the JCAT USB card or a tXUSB  Ultra.   I will also be examining how HQplayer works in my system.  I am still comparing music on a local drive vs. the NAS.  

 

In closing this note out.  I am still learning Stylus player.  I have printed the manual to read.  

 

Bob

 

Thanks Bob!

I just did a quick and dirty test of the trial version of Euphony/stylus only on my NUC7PJYH  server (instead of current AL NUC server and NUC endpoint which still sounds awesome to me each day) And I'm not impressed yet. I know I have just done a quick listen, running off a usb stick but it sounds very harsh and soundstage collapsed. More testing needed...


Tidal Streaming only: ATL DC Blocker > Topaz 2.5Kva Isolation Transformer > Sine SA5 Cryo 5 power strip > Aqvox 8 port network switch > Antipodes Dxe roon core> PS Audio Directstream Junior Dac 'Windom' > Decware SE84UFO3 Mono Amps > Omega Super Alnico Monitors.

PH SR4 power supplies

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2 hours ago, tapatrick said:

Thanks Bob!

I just did a quick and dirty test of the trial version of Euphony/stylus only on my NUC7PJYH  server (instead of current AL NUC server and NUC endpoint which still sounds awesome to me each day) And I'm not impressed yet. I know I have just done a quick listen, running off a usb stick but it sounds very harsh and soundstage collapsed. More testing needed...

Boot your endpoint with the USB stick and use it as a single unit running Euphony Stylus.  

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On 5/25/2019 at 3:49 PM, romaz said:

I have recently been educated that modern motherboards that have M.2 NVMe slots that aren't necessarily "Optane ready" (i.e. AMD boards) can still utilize an Optane card as a storage (or OS) drive but not as a cache drive, which is what Optane was originally designed for.  This means that if your motherboard has an M.2 drive capable of NVMe, you are probably capable of using an Optane drive.  It should be easy enough to try it.

 

Confirming this works. 

I tried one of these - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XSXX3NS/ - on a server that does not support Optane. Euphony recognized the Optane card and I was able to move the installation over. Euphony is up and running from this card. 

Thanks @romaz

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1 hour ago, luisma said:

From the Global perspective I believe it is great some new players are coming into the field, it was too Roonish already :)

I hope the testing works out for you.  I am very happy with where i am right now.  I just finished a first config of my Headphone system with my NUC.  So I have two systems running.   I have to read the manual on the Stylus software...  I actually printed it!

 

I found that you have check the Stylus settings for Volume control.  It seems to default to software and my systems do not do that.  The volume ends up low or something and you do not know why.  I was a bit weirded out by the low volume on my LYR3 just this evening.    Maybe I should do a video tutorial. 

 

I know that the folks at Wolf Audio Systems are using Jriver and are moving to Linux.  There are a lot of changes in the Digital Source world.

 

If you have a problem with Euphony get them a ticket.  They fix stuff.  I put in one bug report and three feature requests just now.  

 

 

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9 minutes ago, bobfa said:

I found that you have check the Stylus settings for Volume control.  It seems to default to software and my systems do not do that.  The volume ends up low or something and you do not know why.

 

And it sounds horrible if you use the software volume control, not just too quiet. 

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1 hour ago, vassils said:

 

Confirming this works. 

I tried one of these - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XSXX3NS/ - on a server that does not support Optane. Euphony recognized the Optane card and I was able to move the installation over. Euphony is up and running from this card. 

Thanks @romaz

Not sure I should post it here but I hope there is an enhancement at Euphony to be able to assign cache and the size to Optane or Ram for read in data either from USB or Ethernet.  Also likewise an output cache to USB output (not sure it is necessary to do so). This like what Austinpop has pointed out. Thank you Bobfa for looking into this for ours benefit. Then may be audiophile net card or USB card won't play big role in sound quality and we can just use Startech pcie cards with good PS. 

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5 hours ago, bobfa said:

Boot your endpoint with the USB stick and use it as a single unit running Euphony Stylus.  

Thanks Bob. Yes that's what I have tried - Euphony with Stylus, but not getting any of the magic reported recently. I know there is more to it, with different hardware recommended etc. but thought I'd give it a try and mention this for anyone else wondering about using on their low powered NUC7s.

 

I also wanted to see what life without Roon might be like and just using Tidal which surprisingly I think I could live without if SQ was superior.


Tidal Streaming only: ATL DC Blocker > Topaz 2.5Kva Isolation Transformer > Sine SA5 Cryo 5 power strip > Aqvox 8 port network switch > Antipodes Dxe roon core> PS Audio Directstream Junior Dac 'Windom' > Decware SE84UFO3 Mono Amps > Omega Super Alnico Monitors.

PH SR4 power supplies

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6 hours ago, tapatrick said:

Thanks Bob. Yes that's what I have tried - Euphony with Stylus, but not getting any of the magic reported recently. I know there is more to it, with different hardware recommended etc. but thought I'd give it a try and mention this for anyone else wondering about using on their low powered NUC7s.

 

I also wanted to see what life without Roon might be like and just using Tidal which surprisingly I think I could live without if SQ was superior.

Make sure the the volume control setting in stylus is set to hardware.  

And if it does not sound like you want then we have another data point.  

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