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Building a DIY Music Server


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4 hours ago, MarcelNL said:

I wonder if that SSD noise through the SATA cable is EMI due to the high speed data or is it electrical noise creeping into the MB (or both), do you know Nenon?

 

My best SQ is when I simply unplug the external PSU for the SSD, I could live with an 'OCD switch' for serious listening of a few tracks/albums from Optane...that is how big the difference is for me. No way I am coughing up the dough for 2TB or so local storage in Obscene, eeerr Optane.

 

 

A while ago I did some test using Daphile . I had an internal music ssd on sata and the same music library on an external hdd usb connected .

I was buffering in ram the same piece of music coming from the ssd and from the hdd .

The sound quality was different and always worse from the ssd !

PCserver Supermicro X11SAA under Daphile  ,Jcat pcie net card ,Etherregen,e-red dock endpoint,powered by LPS 1.2 , SPS 500 , Sean Jacobs level 3 psu,  DAC Audiomat Maestro 3, Nagra Classic Amp , Hattor passive preamplifier , Martin Logan montis

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I will make that comparison again, I have an external HDD with ly library and an internal SSD with PSU outside of the computer with the same files. I know that playing from memory sounded better for both options, yet that is bested by Optane. I am most interested in learning if copying from the external HDD sounds different than copying from external SSD and then how it sounds if I connect via f.e. ethernet. 

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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3 hours ago, flkin said:

Please do your experiment with all devices, external HDD, external SSD and Ethernet, connected even if they are not being used at that time.

 

Would be quite interesting to see if there is a difference then, especially if cached in RAM memory.

that is indeed what I am planning to do, there will be some lead time as for a reasonable comparison I need to find a way to connect the disks via ethernet in a somewhat better than makeshift way. Essentially I expect that the sonic profile of each device SHOULD remain, and ethernet SHOULD theoretically be transparant..but reality is different.

 

If I just think back to comparing ethernet cables, comparing 100 vs 1000 Mbit speed, adding a switch, shielding already shielded Cat 8.1 cable ( 2Ghz bandwidth), adding LPSU to the switch, modding the switch modestly, shielding the internet router etc etc....plenty of places where the mantra 'bits are bits' is woring and real life is clearly showing that we are not yet full control of SQ here.

 

Assuming that bits are bits, I do believe in that theoretical assumption yet am quite sure there are all sorts of effects in various layers that change final SQ. I (we?) likely know far too little about what affects final SQ, which IMO is no reason to dismiss those effects like the 'engineering brigade' usually does.

 

My gut feeling is there are a few categories of effects on final sound quality in a network (that is until delivered in the computer system where another set of variables takes over same for the next step into the DAC, then in the DAC then to and in the AMp,to and in speakers to and in room).

 

1- Data transport; packets, timing, missing data, this SHOULD all be taken care of by ethernet protocols, buffers CRC etc, probably there are some parameters that should be optimized for audio data and most of this is handled by OS /Software.

2-data conversion, also handled in the digital domain  but now in the computer

3-Energy to power all fo the above; PSU,speed, max current, noise, bandwidth, PSRR, voltage, precision of regulation, EMI

 

 

 

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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3 hours ago, MarcelNL said:

I will make that comparison again, I have an external HDD with ly library and an internal SSD with PSU outside of the computer with the same files. I know that playing from memory sounded better for both options, yet that is bested by Optane. I am most interested in learning if copying from the external HDD sounds different than copying from external SSD and then how it sounds if I connect via f.e. ethernet. 

When comparing HDDs consider 3.5 inch as well as 2.5 inch models. The former takes 12 volts for the motor and actuator, and 5 volts for the signal carrying circuits with separate circuits for each. A quality LPS for the 12 volt USB enclosure power will positively influence SQ. Likewise USB drive enclosures power the the actuator and signal carrying circuits with USB Vbus power at 5 volts.

 

2.5 inch drives don't offer the same level of flexibility.

 

With either type of HDD enclosure connection to a USB PCIE card allowing external power, like JCAT or Startech can benefit SQ.

 

Lastly USB 3.1 Gen 2 at 10gbps sounds slightly better here.

 

Welcome to the music storage can of worms. Nevertheless, IME,  music stored on 3.5 inch HDDs in a USB enclosure can sound as good as any other storage option. The modern NVME drive approach is much simpler, especially if you have a spare M.2 or PCIE slot and can avoid the PCH.

 

 

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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I only have an external 'no name" PCIe USb card left, my JCat USB died....

 

I will likely only test what HDD/SDD I have lying around, I don't plan to test across HDD types and brands simply because I don't have more than perhaps 2 lying around. (not even sure if I have 2,5 and 3.5", the external 1.5Tb external HDD is likley old enough to be 3,5")

 

It's either going to be NAS/server, or USB SDD /HDD  for me, with a small chance for PCIe IF I can get past POST when removing the graphics card from the MB. That Pink Faun I2S card is FAT...

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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1 hour ago, MarcelNL said:

I only have an external 'no name" PCIe USb card left, my JCat USB died....

 

I will likely only test what HDD/SDD I have lying around, I don't plan to test across HDD types and brands simply because I don't have more than perhaps 2 lying around. (not even sure if I have 2,5 and 3.5", the external 1.5Tb external HDD is likley old enough to be 3,5")

 

It's either going to be NAS/server, or USB SDD /HDD  for me, with a small chance for PCIe IF I can get past POST when removing the graphics card from the MB. That Pink Faun I2S card is FAT...

Yeah, the GPU thing is another can of worms. Disabling GPUs in software can work well if GPUs are difficult or impossible  to remove.

 

I look forward to mainstream support of external GPUs that are easy to disconnect.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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Daphile automatically shuts down graphics after booting and enabling the network, it is designed to run headless.

The problem is rather that the MB likely thinks it needs a GPU anddoes not let me past POST...

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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6 minutes ago, MarcelNL said:

Daphile automatically shuts down graphics after booting and enabling the network, it is designed to run headless.

The problem is rather that the MB likely thinks it needs a GPU anddoes not let me past POST...

You can usually disable the "halt on F1 errors" behavior in the bios boot settings menu.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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yeah I was going to check but need to look for the MB manual again...my browser shut inadvertedly earlier today.

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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THAT is great news indeed!!

 

 

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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no windows, no dual xeon, no extreme....still a good point to look at the block diagram of the MB!

BTW is the M.2 slot npn PCIe on that MB?

 

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch on LPS, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 9, Aorus X570 Master, Corsair AX1200i, 16Gb Apacer Ram, Pink Faun I2S OCXO on LPS, home grown RJ45 I2S cable, Metrum Amethyst (modded to accept I2S), Klangfilm 204a, Klangfilm Trionor (3Tesla 835, JBL2402)

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1 hour ago, Nenon said:

 

You should try Windows LTSC and ProcessLasso. 

I will be publishing a guide for tweaking Windows for this motherboard sometime next year. Planning to share everything I've learned since April. I am also working with Emile from Taiko on testing some of his technology that will most likely treacle down to the DIY market sometime next year. This coming year will be very exciting for DIY. 

Just when I thought I’ve just had my last purchase!!!!!!

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34 minutes ago, OAudio said:

Hours and hours of fun working through all this

 

But SO satisfying then it all clicks, you look at the diagram, and you know exactly where to make tweaks (and then they work!)

 

(and spot on insights, thank you @OAudio!)

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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1 hour ago, ray-dude said:

I can't help myself!  ;)

 

I'm on the alpha for Taiko Audio Server (the Taiko music player) and I'm doing a lot of experiments with upsampling right now.  Learning a lot about how to tweak up the Extreme to different configs.  Looking forward to the Taiko USB card at some point, which should be a game changer (the block diagram will show why ;).  I suspect there will be a part 6 to my Extreme review at some point (one year in type of thing), once the tweaks and updates accumulate a bit more.

I envy you! I’m sure that’s what I’d be doing if i had an Extreme! 👍

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1 hour ago, ASRMichael said:

Hi, are you tweaking the Extreme? 

I have servers in the late stages of development, there are single and dual socket c621 varients. SQ is comparable with the Taiko.

 

Of the single and dual socket setups the dual socket is definatly the most felxible. As ray-dude says, it's satifying to hear 

SQ benefits when data paths and software processes and priorities are well setup.

OAudio Ltd.

 

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