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Euphony OS w/Stylus player setup and issues thread

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9 hours ago, Jeff Mann said:

Rajiv (austinpop),

 

I have a number of questions relating to what magnitude of improvement that I can expect if I make certain changes to my Euphony-based online streaming of Qobuz albums.

 

I have been an audiophile (who only listens to classical music and opera) for >50 years, using a "speaker-based + LP-based" system for the first 30 years and a "headphone-based  + CD-based" audio system for the past 20 years. I started to use an Euphony PTS music server to access Qobuz about 8 months ago, but I cannot get a sufficiently good sound quality when using the Euphony PTS unit, rather than a CD-player, as my music source.

 

My audio system is as follows-: CD player (either a Jays Audio CDT2Mk2 or a PS Audio PWT) => Wyred-4-Sound 2v2se 10th Anniversary Limited Edition DAC => Niimbus US4+ headphone amplifier => HiFiMan Susvara headphones. If I assign my CD-player-based audio system as having a sound quality of 10, then I can only obtain a sound quality of 7 when I use my Euphony PTS to stream Qobuz albums - even though I am using a Keces P3 LPS to power both my Euphony PTS unit and my W4S Recovery unit that is placed in the USB line between the music server and my DAC. As an alternative to an USB connection, I also have a Matrix X-SPDIF unit that enables me to connect to my DAC using an i2S connection, but that does not improve the sound quality compared to the USB connection.

 

My first question to you is what level of sound quality do you get using your full-monty computer-based audio system that incorporates an UpTone Audio EtherREGEN unit + Paul Haynes LPS + Mutec Ref-10 clocker - compared to using a state-of-art CD-player (which I presume you own)? If your CD-player-based audio system is rated at a sound quality level of 10, do you achieve a level of 10 (or greater than 10) using your computer-based system that uses Euphony software and an Euphony Stylus endpoint?

 

Going back to my personal Euphony PTS-based audio system that I rate at a sound quality level of 7 (relative to my CD-player as the music source), how much better can I make its sound quality (using a numerical scale) if I make the following changes.

 

The first change that I could make is to replace my Euphony PTS unit with an Euphony Summus unit (https://euphony-audio.com/summus) and according to that webpage Euphony claims the following advantages -" "Activation of Stylus audio player automatically assigns transport of music files to separate CPU cores and turns down high-powered and noisy i7 platform into completely silent audio transport ------ Furthermore, Euphony Summus is booted by default into so called “ramroot” mode (widely embraced by audiophiles worldwide as the best for computer audio), allowing all system files to operate from RAM. Total absence of disk activities combined with near noise free CPU, makes Summus music server a dream come true for computer audiophiles." I don't know if those potential advantages apply equally to Qobuz streaming or only to the playback of local files stored in the Euphony music server's drive. How much positive improvement in sound quality do you anticipate that I will achieve if I replace my Euphony PTS unit with an Euphony Summus unit in terms of numerical magnitude - in terms of moving my Euphony-based from a sound quality level of 7 in the direction of 10?

 

An alternative approach to improving the sound quality of my Euphony-based system is to make the following upstream changes.

 

Step 1 - purchase a EtherREGEN unit.

Step 2 - replace the Ether REGEN unit's stock power supply with a LPS unit.

Step 3 - add a Mutec Ref-1 clock.

 

What degree of sound quality improvement can I anticipate from each step (using the same numerical scale of magnitude that is used to quantify the sound quality improvement that I can anticipate if I replace my Euphony PTS unit with an Euphony Summus unit)?

 

Jeff.

OK, I do have a system of CD player (belt drive state of the art but old CEC TL-1X) so it does play CDs pretty damn good if the CDs are of high quality ($3000 resell price) . I also have  Mitchell Gyro Turntable + SME tone arm + dedicated phono stage (>$5000).  Despite not really having time to tune them up they are are of very high quality and do sound very good if not reference.

Regards to digital audio, I have found it difficult to beat CD player sound but it can be done. I use an Audio-GD R2R DAC for both the CD transport and my Euphony PC so this comparison is fair. 

I use BNC/RCA to connect to the DAC (The CD transport has no BNC out) 

USB to DAC from the PC.

My PC is mainly a AMD based PC with euphony in a single box, using SAMSUNG internal M2 drive (not the best option), I only play music files directly from file. (no streaming/network load or Roon)

Specific features of my PC - HDPlex base, with HDplex LPS, pink faun USB bridge out.

optical USB cable to DAC

Apacer ECC 32 GB RAM

Euphony OS - running RAM ROOT, buffer queue, 

 

There a few issues with your setup

1. Based on your Euphony PTS, - it does not have enough juice, I think last time I checked it is an intel 3 chip, nowadays we use i7, I can't remember the RAM, certainly no high grade RAM. It has no USB audio bridge that I am aware of,

 

2. If you are streaming from Qobuz, you may not get the best sound, this is not my experience so I could be wrong, but from other users who have compared streaming vs local files. Classical music also has huge files so it can make streaming more difficult (but don't quote me,I am not sure. You can play the same downloaded file from Qobuz vs streaming. Now perhaps there is a way to make streaming as good, but note the classical music has very complex music so any real data streaming theoretically is error prone and can affect classical music more than other genre. I am not sure if you can stream and load the entire file onto RAM before playing it, which may help.  

 

3. I am not sure how you set up your Euphony OS but you can explore all sorts of tweaks from expert setting though I have not done that so I am not sure if it would make a big difference. If you are like me who play classical music then the files can be large esp if you use DSD or DXD. U need buffer all tracks, best is buffer queue, and turn off internal volume adjustments, but you need large enough RAM, probably at least 8 GB or more.  High quality RAM makes a big difference. 

 

Sorry there is too much to discuss and not able to put all in detail. But bottom line is you should explore building your own PC or have someone does it for you so you can tweet around

 

For e.g you may want to do I2S --> I2S from PC ---> DAC, using Pinkfaun I2S bridge which can do up to 24/192 (but no DSD) which supposedly much sounds better than USB (even if you use the Matrix-->I2S)

 

Can you eventually beat CD player -- yes and no.   I manage to achieve a point where numerous DSD and PCM recordings clearly beat CD/SACD  but usually they are higher res like 24/96 or higher or DSD256. If I play only 16/44 files then maybe not. (note I do NOS mode) 

But upsampling of low res can help a lot. I would say overall it can beat CD player to 11-12, if CD = 10.   But if CD is of superb/great recordings, then it may be a 8-9 compared to CD = 10. It is difficult to compare, I have done same CD + master files of 24/96 and clearly the high RES files beat the CD but the CD is made in last few yrs and the quality has decreased a lot. (and I don't have the 16/44 files to compare) . Some CD recordings from 1990s-2010 are superb and so they just kick ass and beat the digital files (though again I don't usually have the same music files to compare).

Now if you don't have a great CD transport (<$1000)  then you can easily beat the CD sound. 

I won't go into vinyl, it is just a total different system with different pros/cons. 

 

 

 

 

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The I3 processor in the PTS is typically doing less than 3% utilization on all four cores while streaming Qobuz through Roon.

So many people think an I7 is the minimum useful processor, yet there are many who believe the I7 is noisier. 

It is so easy with Euphony to see processor utilization. I own and use the box, I know what I am talking about.

 

I am sad to see I3 isn't up to task nonsense again and again.

That is one of the brilliant things about Euphony, it does not heavily task the system.

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3 minutes ago, aangen said:

The I3 processor in the PTS is typically doing less than 3% utilization on all four cores while streaming Qobuz through Roon.

So many people think an I7 is the minimum useful processor, yet there are many who believe the I7 is noisier. 

It is so easy with Euphony to see processor utilization. I own and use the box, I know what I am talking about.

 

I am sad to see I3 isn't up to task nonsense again and again.

That is one of the brilliant things about Euphony, it does not heavily task the system.

I should point out that my experience is for single box non-streaming/roon purpose, so yah it appears for streaming the PTS should be adequate, at least theoretically, esp if there is no upsampling/PCM-->DSD etc. Now, numerous users notice huge dynamic improvement with higher power CPU, as well as improvement in depth/sound stage. I have not done a head to head comparison of same PC using different CPU. But I think it really depends on what you are doing with euphony. DSD 256 takes lots more CPU power, as I can see a spike of CPU usage when loading and playing a large DSD file (e.g 1 GB)  and takes a bit of RAM as well. (if using Ramroot and buffer track). 24/96 usually is not taking much power at all. I imagine streaming takes even less CPU and RAM. 

If in doubt do go to discuss this CPU issue on the mother thread ..."A novel way to......"    

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4 minutes ago, Lukasluis said:

I have trottled my Nuc8i7 to 800 MHz and disabled Hyperthreading. I dialed the CPU frequency so that my Digital setup sounds nearly as good as my Analog setup. YMMV

Try original DSD recordings , and wow.... the analogue feel can be stunning!  Can feel like a vinyl with increased dynamics and clarity, but there are lots of crappy DSD recordings out there too....

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14 minutes ago, Chopin75 said:

Try original DSD recordings , and wow.... the analogue feel can be stunning!  Can feel like a vinyl with increased dynamics and clarity, but there are lots of crappy DSD recordings out there too....

Yup, DSD sounds like Vinyl with darker background resulting in more microdynamics. Vinyl wins on PRAT

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On 3/30/2020 at 11:17 AM, davide256 said:

I found that having local music storage degraded the midrange compared to sourcing files from NAS. And that WiFi was of lesser sound quality than wired Ethernet.

Same observation here.

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13 hours ago, Lukasluis said:

I have trottled my Nuc8i7 to 800 MHz and disabled Hyperthreading. I dialed the CPU frequency so that my Digital setup sounds nearly as good as my Analog setup. YMMV

This is power supply dependent. Ever since I acquired a JS-2 I've been able to run full speed with an 8i7BNH, throttling sounds harsher.


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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8 hours ago, davide256 said:

This is power supply dependent. Ever since I acquired a JS-2 I've been able to run full speed with an 8i7BNH, throttling sounds harsher.

My power supply doesn't even break a sweat at 4.5Ghz 30mins stress test. 😁

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Hello Friends

How does Stylus sound different from StylusEP?

 

To see if there was an answer to this, I went back in this thread about a year from when StylusEP was released and read the entire thread in the last couple of days, but there is no direct comparison.

 

If I have a high power One box server with a good power supply, designed for running stylus by itself, connected directly to the DAC, how does this sound different from having the same one box server playing only StylusEP connected directly to the DAC. 
 

The reason I ask is because I currently have a one box server connected directly to the DAC and I have Roon on my NAS. This way any processing that Roon does, and I see the hard drive light on my NAS indicating a lot of activity for Roon, removed from my server so that all my server does is process files.

 

So, if my high-quality dedicated stylus server, is fed by a good quality server,  that is handling just Roon, the only way I can do this is to have stylus EP installed on my server. 
 

What other functionality am I losing by doing this? Does StylusEP allow you to do core isolation?

 

The closest comparison I’ve seen is @flkin, but his comparison had HQ player embedded involved.

 

if we are going as far as loading tracks into RAM and waiting for all hard drive activity to cease before playing our files, why do we want Roon activity (or any player/search activity ) taking place in the same CPU?

 

Also, does the Roon server have to be running Euphony?  Currently the server that is going to run Roon is running AudioLinux. I thought I had read someplace that someone was running two servers one had AL and the other had Euphony.   But I did not find it here, it was probably on the “novel “thread?

 

(really I just want to run Stylus, and feed it a stream like I would from Tidal or Qobuz, but have it come from a different computer. But that functionality does not exist – Yet)

 

thank you

May the music bring you peace

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Hi Dr. Jimwillie, I have tried the following combinations of Euphony:

 

When I have 2 servers I am using a SonicTransporter i5 as the file server and a Pink Faun 2.16x as the renderer. If using just one server, then just the PF.
 

- separate servers running Roon in one and StylusEP in the other

- separate servers running Roon in one and StylusEP via HQP in the other

- single server running Roon/StylusEP 

- single server running Stylus alone 

 

In my particular system the last one running a single server with Euphony Stylus alone clearly provided the best sound. This is unfortunate because I prefer the Roon interface by far.
 

Since your Roon can run from your NAS why not simply try switching your renderer server (ie. endpoint) to StylusEP and see how it sounds? In StylusEP you can still set core isolation and other expert settings. The downside of running Roon to StylusEP is file resolution limitations to only 24/192kHz or dsd64 with DoP. To get past this limitation you can select to play to StylusEP via HQP. It’s not for any upsampling but Euphony found a way to use HQP as a conduit to bypass the squeezebox limitations. 
 

My ST has its own Sonicorbitor OS which runs Roon abeit you need the Roon license there for it to work so I didn’t have to install Euphony there. In earlier tests I tried using AudioLinux in the ST and AudioLinux in the PF as a two box solution. Again I preferred the single box AL installation despite it having to handle both Roon file management and Endpoint functions. CPU core isolation functions might have helped to reduce interactions. 
 

perhaps just try and see how it sounds? 

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1 hour ago, drjimwillie said:

Hello Friends

How does Stylus sound different from StylusEP?

 

To see if there was an answer to this, I went back in this thread about a year from when StylusEP was released and read the entire thread in the last couple of days, but there is no direct comparison.

 

Use the search term "StylusEP" and then filter posts (in all topics) by me and @romaz. Here's an example search URL for posts by me. At the time Željko was developing StylusEP, we did a lot of beta testing back and forth, and I'm sure we both posted our impressions of Roon vs. Roon+StylusEP vs. Stylus.

 

You might also look at this post: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-computer-audio-streaming/?do=findComment&comment=994331 While my own subjective impressions are that the gap between Roon+StylusEP is larger, you get the idea.

 

Quote

If I have a high power One box server with a good power supply, designed for running stylus by itself, connected directly to the DAC, how does this sound different from having the same one box server playing only StylusEP connected directly to the DAC. 
 

The reason I ask is because I currently have a one box server connected directly to the DAC and I have Roon on my NAS. This way any processing that Roon does, and I see the hard drive light on my NAS indicating a lot of activity for Roon, removed from my server so that all my server does is process files.

 

So, if my high-quality dedicated stylus server, is fed by a good quality server,  that is handling just Roon, the only way I can do this is to have stylus EP installed on my server. 
 

 

Because @romaz did some extensive experiments (search his posts on the novel thread) where he found that the server's quality had an equally profound impact on SQ as the endpoint. Holding the endpoint constant, he varied the server by CPU speed and PSU quality, and chronicled his findings.  

 

Quote

What other functionality am I losing by doing this? Does StylusEP allow you to do core isolation?

 

Certainly. StylusEP runs under the process name "gstp" so you do core isolation using that name.

 

Quote

Also, does the Roon server have to be running Euphony?  Currently the server that is going to run Roon is running AudioLinux. I thought I had read someplace that someone was running two servers one had AL and the other had Euphony.   But I did not find it here, it was probably on the “novel “thread?

 

No, it doesn't. I'm pretty sure in the early days I was running Roon Core on AL and Roon Bridge on Euphony OS. I think by the time StylusEP came around, I may have switched over to Euphony on both.

 

Quote

(really I just want to run Stylus, and feed it a stream like I would from Tidal or Qobuz, but have it come from a different computer. But that functionality does not exist – Yet)

 

I believe you can run Stylus on the server, and StylusEP on the endpoint. I haven't tried this, but I think this is a valid use case.

 

I can only tell you my own experience. For me, a single all-in-one high quality server running Stylus is the best SQ.

 

You should just try them and decide for yourself.

 

 

 

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Thank you for the good info.

 

ultimately that’s what I’m trying to achieve, stylus an all in one server, All buy itself.

but rather than run the file/song selection software on the same machine that I’m sending out my data to my DAC, I want to offload it.

I would just like that offloaded computer to process the files. That way I’m using my all in one server playing stylus, just as an endpoint.

 

I am obsessed with reading all of the stuff on all these pages and do it for a couple of hours every day. I love all of the information.

 

I have not seen a comparison by anyone of stylus all by itself compared to stylusEP - playing stylus. 
 

thank you

 

 

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1 minute ago, drjimwillie said:

I have not seen a comparison by anyone of stylus all by itself compared to stylusEP - playing stylus. 

 

Neither have I. Why not try it yourself and report your findings back here? You will be contributing to the body of knowledge.

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It is my highest ambition to be able to contribute to the body of knowledge here.

 

I would love to make the comparison, but I do not have the second computer yet.

 

i’m doing this in preparation to receive a new computer and I would like to be able to use the existing computer in an contributive way. With a pathway to upgrade that computer in the future.

 

The reason I’m trying to get an idea of this now is, if someone helps me optimize a system, I do not want to waste that effort, so I need to know what I want.🤨

 

with a highly optimized system is it useful to bring in that second computer for offloading, or detrimental to the sound?

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41 minutes ago, drjimwillie said:

Thank you for the good info.

 

ultimately that’s what I’m trying to achieve, stylus an all in one server, All buy itself.

but rather than run the file/song selection software on the same machine that I’m sending out my data to my DAC, I want to offload it.

I would just like that offloaded computer to process the files. That way I’m using my all in one server playing stylus, just as an endpoint.

 

I am obsessed with reading all of the stuff on all these pages and do it for a couple of hours every day. I love all of the information.

 

I have not seen a comparison by anyone of stylus all by itself compared to stylusEP - playing stylus. 
 

thank you

 

 

Hi, I’ve tried this. 
 

My one box, JCAT, Pink Faun USB, Sean Jacobs 7 rail LPS. Running Stylus

 

I also have NUC with OXCO clocks & 2 LPS. 
 

I tried running both Roon & Stylus on the NUC, (doing hard work) sending to my one box server running Stylus EP. 
 

I really thought “it must be better” but It wasn’t. I preferred my one box server. Don’t ask why! I just go with my ears! 
 

If looking for advice, then my opinion is to put all your hard earned cash into one box server, starting with a very good LPS. 
 

Note I have two full versions of Euphony which helped me experiment until I found the best sq. 

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That is exactly what I’m doing, putting all my hard earned cash in one place.😅

 

I was also trying to figure out how to use Roon without the sound penalty.

 

I guess one variable here is that my Roon server would be xenon caps pipeline, with a good PSU. Who knows if it’ll make a difference? If the theory is that the other computer should be faster and a better quality system then it might help?.
 

I really value your judgment, thank you.

so you don’t use Roon?

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On 4/3/2020 at 5:33 AM, Lukasluis said:

Same observation here.

Interesting how different systems behave, I have been thinking of using Euphony as an end point. I currently use AL RAMroot in my HQP server and HQP naa on the NUC end point.  Have just loaded my library onto a 2Tb NVMe SSD in one of my server.'s M2 slots. I have a separate boot ssd which I can disconnect once OS is in RAMroot. In this set up the files sound better playing from the NVMe SSD than the NAS.

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10 minutes ago, drjimwillie said:

That is exactly what I’m doing, putting all my hard earned cash in one place.😅

 

I was also trying to figure out how to use Roon without the sound penalty.

 

I guess one variable here is that my Roon server would be xenon caps pipeline, with a good PSU. Who knows if it’ll make a difference? If the theory is that the other computer should be faster and a better quality system then it might help?.
 

I really value your judgment, thank you.

so you don’t use Roon?

Yes on & off but much prefer sq from Euphony. 

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When I started this thread just over a year ago, I could not have imagined how far Euphony has come with software updates and more.  I think the one thing we have proven is that there is a direction here.  Euphony Stylus  as an OS and music playback is easy to install, operate and sounds great!  

 

There are a lot of permutations that can change how things sound.  Keep testing!

 

While I have personally moved to other software and hardware (Sonore Optical Module to the Antipodes CX+EX with Roon)  which sounds better to me in my system.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Hi, I’ve tried this. 
 

My one box, JCAT, Pink Faun USB, Sean Jacobs 7 rail LPS. Running Stylus

 

I also have NUC with OXCO clocks & 2 LPS. 
 

I tried running both Roon & Stylus on the NUC, (doing hard work) sending to my one box server running Stylus EP. 
 

I really thought “it must be better” but It wasn’t. I preferred my one box server. Don’t ask why! I just go with my ears! 
 

If looking for advice, then my opinion is to put all your hard earned cash into one box server, starting with a very good LPS. 
 

Note I have two full versions of Euphony which helped me experiment until I found the best sq. 

46 minutes ago, drjimwillie said:

That is exactly what I’m doing, putting all my hard earned cash in one place.😅

 

I was also trying to figure out how to use Roon without the sound penalty.

 

I guess one variable here is that my Roon server would be xenon caps pipeline, with a good PSU. Who knows if it’ll make a difference? If the theory is that the other computer should be faster and a better quality system then it might help?.
 

I really value your judgment, thank you.

so you don’t use Roon?

There are a few of us who have stuck with single box with no issues, "Nenon" has experience in building an ultimate single box server (Though I think it can be an end point or whatever else you want as well). Basically he puts all the juice in a single box that just runs on Euphony OS,  he uses optane SSD M.2 drive and APacer ECC RAM etc....  great internal wires etc....... 

I guess you can use 2 ultimate machines to do Roon--> Stylus endpoint. I am not sure if the worsening of sound with 2 boxes is the need to connect the 2 boxes and this is where the degradation comes from. 

Nowadays using RAMroot and even buffer Queue, eliminating a large SSD drive, loading files to Ecache in a single box may be adequate enough to reduce most of the background noise when SW/HW is working even in the same single box. Remember, Euphony is originally designed for single box use. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good point, I’ve had similar thoughts, however, think about how much you could spend on 2 boxes?. Could the same amount of money be better spent on a single box!!! 
 

Will it ever end?!  “Nenon’s quote”’
 

Me personally It needs to stop sometime, so what’s next? Awaiting Nenon’s new Xeon build+JCAT new ethernet card with OXCO clock! Hopefully I’m done! 

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56 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

Good point, I’ve had similar thoughts, however, think about how much you could spend on 2 boxes?. Could the same amount of money be better spent on a single box!!! 
 

Will it ever end?!  “Nenon’s quote”’
 

Me personally It needs to stop sometime, so what’s next? Awaiting Nenon’s new Xeon build+JCAT new ethernet card with OXCO clock! Hopefully I’m done! 

Not sure what would be more cost effective. For 2 box u need double of almost everything, so may cost more overall. Eg LPS and USB cable etc

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Euphony playing Stylus, in a one box system directly to the DAC Is a special sauce I want to try. 
 

To do it I’m going to change the way I’ve been playing music for years, which is with HQ player.

 

Eventhough it will be high powered I’m still thinking about it as an endpoint. 
 

I think people that continue to use HQplayer might want a two box system. Especially in the future if they think they are going to be able to use the EC modulators to DSD512.  Who knows what the future will bring, but you might not be able to passively cool it.  Regardless, you would not want that much noise/activity in the machine connected to your DAC. 
 

and you would want that DAC connected machine to play Stylus. 

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