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Building a DIY Music Server

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16 hours ago, mikicasellas said:

Guys,

 

If you only have ONE Paul Hynes SR4 (9v, 12v, 15v and 19v), what would you choose to power with it, where the SR4 would do most benefits :

 

CPU or JCAT USB FEMTO ?

 

Thanks !!

 

I have a SR4 and use it to power (19v) my NUC endpoint in a 2PC set up.

Previously I was using it directly connected to the (12v) CPU on my server and it worked fine. However as I use HQP and upsample the SR4 did get quite warm hence swapping it to the NUC.

 

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1 hour ago, dctom said:

 

I have a SR4 and use it to power (19v) my NUC endpoint in a 2PC set up.

Previously I was using it directly connected to the (12v) CPU on my server and it worked fine. However as I use HQP and upsample the SR4 did get quite warm hence swapping it to the NUC.

 

 

My CPU is rated 65W, i believe my SR4 can't power it

 

What was you CPU rated power ?

 

 


Fully Grounded Audio Room - Topaz 1KVA - OYAIDE outlets - Paul Hynes SR4 19V for Uptone EtherRegen / HDPLEX 200W with Ghent JSSG360 DC, EPS & ATX cables + HDPLEX 800W DCATX + LessLoss Firewall 64x for HDPLEX H5 Fanless ( AMD Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Rog Strix X470-I / 8GB Apacer Industrial Ram / Optane M10 32GB ) Server - LUSH USB Cable - DENAFRIPS Terminator DAC ) + LessLoss Firewall 64x - Tellurium Ultra Black II XLR & Speaker Cables - KINKI EX-M1 Integrated - PMC Twenty5 26 speakers. ( Power Cords LessLoss DFPC Signature )

 

Euphony ( Roon + StylusEp )

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24 minutes ago, dctom said:

It runs fine with the SR4 at 2000mgz upsampling in HQP and will also work on turbo 4000mgz but does get quite warm.

What is the heaviest filter/modulator combo you are able to run with this CPU?

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6 hours ago, elan120 said:

What is the heaviest filter/modulator combo you are able to run with this CPU?

 

HQP 4, ASDM7EC, poly-sinc- xtr-lp-2s - although I tend to use poly-sinc-ext2 - all running dsd 64 at 2000mgz on AL (Have described the build on p8 of the thread).

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1 minute ago, dctom said:

 

HQP 4, ASDM7EC, poly-sinc- xtr-lp-2s - although I tend to use poly-sinc-ext2 - all running dsd 128 at 2000mgz on AL (Have described the build on p8 of the thread).

That is very good for such a low power setup.

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You responded before I managed to edit the post🙂 - Not quite so good- it is running on 64 dsd not 128. I am running 128 using the setup I posted earlier #191.

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On 2/8/2020 at 4:06 PM, Volfram said:

Great minds think alike 😉

See my current build in attached picture.

Cheers

Server_1.jpg

Did you also have the issue where the copper pipes didn't make it through the entirety of the heatsink of the CPU? How have you compensated for that? Which CPU are you using, and has it not been an issue thus far?

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1 hour ago, adamaley said:

Did you also have the issue where the copper pipes didn't make it through the entirety of the heatsink of the CPU?

 

No Problem, look:

 

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For those using the H5 case and Pink Faun USB bridge card, which bracket height of the card did you purchase- 7.4 inches (120mm) or 3.118 inches (79.2mm)?

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37 minutes ago, adamaley said:

Would that apply to the Pink Faun card as well?

 

 

If you ask them to they will send you both.  If you don't, you only get the one you pick.

 


Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS with Durand Telos composite arm; SME 3012R arm, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Reel to Reel:  Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810, Studer A812, Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC (WS 2016/AO/HQPlayer/Roon)> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

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On 2/19/2020 at 12:32 PM, Nenon said:

I have been testing the JCAT Signature LAN Cable GOLD. It's really good.

 

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/jcat-signature-gold-lan-cable.29888/#post-634557

Quote

Then comes the top performers, the SR Galileo SX and the JCat Signature Gold. To me, they were pretty much on the same level despite slightly different sound signature.

 

$2,995

https://www.synergisticresearch.com/cables/galileo-sx/galileo-sx-digital/galileo-sx-ethernet/

 

€1,100
https://jcat.eu/product/signature-lan-cable/

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New ATX12VO Spec's

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3518831/how-intels-changing-the-future-of-power-supplies-with-its-atx12vo-spec.amp.html?fbclid=IwAR2iLZt41xB3KZGkXRjt6hVE5oCqqPJrlb9YR58EmUO-Tr-y6Zwk8RrVvdM

 

If they are placing the 3.3V & 5V's on the motherboard instead of having the rails on the power supply..this means more DC-DC converters. It's going to be tough building an audiophile PC unless that section is bypassed.


Computer (Ethernet)  EtherRegen (Ethernet)  Endpoint (USB)  Holo Audio May (XLR)  AMB Laboratories β22 (Balanced)  Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC (Headphones)
 
= ︿ =

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

I'd be interested in a comparison of these against the Goebel Ethernet cable and the Sablon Audio Ethernet cable. 

Edited by adamaley
Mistyped

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IMHO a comparison between USB cables and Ethernet cables would be quite a challenge.

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10 minutes ago, seeteeyou said:

IMHO a comparison between USB cables and Ethernet cables would be quite a challenge.

You beat me to the punch

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On 2/27/2020 at 10:12 PM, Energy said:

 

Yes I have. I haven't shared the news with anyone else other than with friends but it does sound better to me. I've got some of my audiophile friends to switch over to it. Some from NUC7I7DNHE's while other's from UltraRendu. To start off, aside from the sound quality, it has some good hardware. It's CPU and GPU (it's an APU thus combined) is a little faster than the Intel while it it's memory supports ECC and has a higher limit (3200MHz vs 2400MHz). It comes with a display port in case you ever want to use it as a normal computer and wish to pair it with higher refresh rate monitors. For the same price as the Intel offering you get better performance which when running it as an endpoint, the performance affects the sound quite a lot.

 

The setup I have is Music Server > EtherRegen > Endpoint

 

The endpoint runs AudioLinux via ramboot. The memory modules are 4GB x 2, ECC enabled, Industrial Grade. The unit runs headless after the initial setup was done to disable all unnecessary services. It occupies just a little over 3.4GB. I have it powered with a linear power supply that can handle 4A (AMB Laboratories σ11 with custom cooling) and it takes a set voltage of 12V. All superfluous (excessive) partitions in BIOS is disabled such as the WIFI card since it is not used. Now... for the sound.


I had both the NUC7I7 and this unit for about nearly 2 weeks before I decided on one and sold the other one off. It was easy to tell from the begging that I liked the iBOX-V1000 much more. It wasn't a SUPER DRAMATIC difference but I would say a 10% gain is quite significant for a product that has the same price and comes in a passively cooled fan-less case. The first thing I noticed was the imaging, detail, sound stage, and void of digital artifacts. The bass was somewhat more articulate and each sonic timbre more real with the same said about the decay. There was more edge to the sound yet it wasn't sharp. It's like re-polishing the corner of table, re-staining it, and putting a new layer of polyurethane over. It was the same sound I had liked or was familiar with but it just sounded more real yet edgy. Digital, yet analog. It only got better in time. At the 2 weeks mark I sold the Intel NUC off. 

 

Having said all this, I could come with some guesses on why it sounded better. I'm not a computer techie, but the improvements could be related to it's low TDP of 15W yet it has faster processing power. It's an APU so it's latency between CPU/GPU processes could be lower since they're both located on the same die. Since the Intel and AMD unit are both small form factor 4 x 4's, that department ends up in a tie. Since the Intel has a wide input range of 12-24 VDC, perhaps a set 12V has less DC-DC conversion going on. The higher frequency RAM meant nothing since I am using 2400MHz sticks so it didn't matter. ECC enabled for the memory does sound a little better (3%) whereas when used on the music server is less profound (1-2%). Lastly I am using the same power supply for them both as I have two of them so it couldn't be because of PSU differences. I even swapped them but they produced the same results time and time again.

 

So all in all, I highly recommend the iBOX-V1000 for those wanting to upgrade from their NUC7i7. The ECC didn't play as huge of a role as I thought but little did I know, every other component was what lead to the rest of the benefits. In regards to components, I advise you to have at least 3A of current for your linear PSU. I found that it sounded better with a 4A supply and the case is probably true when going even higher. I was going to add an MPAudio HPULN (5A) after the Linear PSU I'm using now for extra PSRR and lower output noise to see if it helps with sound (which im sure it does), but in that process I had a different idea. I looked at the unit and hold myself.. "having the endpoint attached to sCLK-EX to replace it's clocks wasn't good enough". I didn't want to improve the clocks of an area that could have been better isolated. For that I felt like the best course of action was to find a way to install both an Ethernet card and USB card into the unit to further isolate the Ethernet and USB controller so that even less jitter could be achieved. This way when the sCLK-EX connects to it, the clock signals are received in optimal fashion since the receiving circuit is now much more quiet. Then comes the discussion on the new USB output's ability creating a more ideal USB signal for the DAC. Even though I have a SOtM tX-USBultra after the endpoint that does some reconditioning to the USB signal, maybe it would do a better job if the signal arrived in better condition than it had before. Or maybe Ethernet entering the endpoint through the isolated card can now be processed more efficiently since there is a direct path to the CPU rather than running it through noisy motherboard components that are all sandwiched in the one area.

 

For this reason I came to the conclusion that despite it sounding better, I am going to go further. For those of you who want the iBOX-V1000, don't let this discourage you. It does sound better, but I think more can be squeezed from an endpoint.

 

I did a search and found that I could purchase a motherboard with the same CPU that also has a set 12V input and all the goodies that was spoken about previously. The unfortunate thing here is that the motherboard is no a longer small form factor 4" x 4". It was bigger, possibly require more power, and having more components on-board for processes that aren't used may create more noise. BUT what it did come with was a PCI-E socket for an add on card. The chassis I found does have a slot for an add on card and passive cooling.

 

This is currently what I have found. I am trying to find a motherboard with the V1605B APU but with 2 PCI-E slots as well as a chassis that can hold both cards while offering passive cooling.

 

Chassis: 

https://www.shop.perfecthometheater.com/FLM-7-Black-Fan-Less-Mini-PC-HTPC-aluminum-chassis-FLM-7-Black.htm?fbclid=IwAR1ZHJMsuS5CrmH1d6hNL7KqxdzyFHd-WT9yz_GsQkDQm2EP3nGqIXDcFLw

 

Motherboards:

[1] https://www.dfi.com/product/index/1404?fbclid=iwar1ww2swkbcrilb5dnpxw_zrsc71t-phnwc-dztnh1yx3smmzc6tk9iu6wi

[2] https://www.scan.co.uk/products/sapphire-ipc-fp5v-1ge-amd-ryzen-v1605b-embedded-cpu-vega-8-graphics-2x-1-gbe-4x-displayport-14-ddr4?fbclid=IwAR19uboDW_ialHLQKCLL30s3KKq99QubFg2aHJjDFDKGFczA9F2DuMzN1h4

 

So there you have it. This endpoint is currently satisfying me but for the future I would like to have a similar one but housed in a larger aluminum case (black) with two JCAT add-on cards for Ethernet and USB. This however would require a larger linear PSU that would have to output at least 5A so I am hoping Farad will build something that can accommodate. 

 

Did you manage to find a price for the DFI GH171?

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Sound technical reasoning... I did some experiments myself on motherboard VRMs and power supplies.  What I found was that my 6 Phase ITX motherboard (msi z97i) sounded better than a 24 Phase Gigabye one (it used doublers mind).  Sound was perhaps more detailed on the 24 Phase one, but it lacked transient attack and timing qualities of the smaller ITX motherboard.  I now think low impedance is probably more important than ripple now.  Some feedback I recieved.

 

 

I looked at Belleson regulators, but never progressed - very interested in feedback on these as written reviews are not really available (?). How are you configuring them - in a linear supply? 

 

I tried Corsair ax1600i (lowest ripple ATX SMPS available, uses GaN Transistors), but NUC + Paul Hynes SR7 still sounded better (more dynamic) to me.

 

 

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