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Building a DIY Music Server


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9 hours 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. 

Thanks for your advice.

I will try Windows LTSC and ProcessLasso.
I am also looking forward to the publication of your guide for tweaking Windows.

 

8 hours ago, ray-dude said:

 

I have been having a LOT of fun with this combo on my Extreme.  My recommendation is to carefully study the block diagram.  All the answers are there, and become VERY obvious as you play around with CPU affinity, memory affinity, I/O affinity, etc, and balance priorities.  Stunning what an impact even the smallest tweaks make to SQ. As a hint, pay very close attention to which PCIe slots have affinity to which CPU, the UPI channel between CPUs, and the affinity of built in I/O to CPU1.  As you get to next level, pay attention to the affinity of memory to each CPU.  This block diagram is the roadmap to design and balance processing and playback.

 

 

2029580907_WSC621ESAGEblockdiagram.thumb.png.fa0ca413589b97c5020eef3f1ed1dca4.png

 

Thanks for the block diagram of WS C612E SAGE.
I will be doing some careful research and tweaking myself.

Learning how the sound changes is going to be a lot of fun.

 

6 hours ago, OAudio said:

@ray-dude great points.

 

The sage archtecture diagram or equivalent for other dual CPU motherboard are very important inputs to working up affinity strategies.

 

Another hint @kyoya78would be not to forget that that LTSB's kernel threads, many SW device drivers and other OS owned services cannot have their CPU affinities set by user performance tuning tools.  These OS processes are scheduled by the OS across available cores on both CPU sockets, which can be challenging and needs consideration. Attaching your critical replay hardware (eg OS disk, USB ports) and setting core affinities to pin your music endpoint software to CPU socket 0 / NUMA node 0 is a good place to start for SQ. 

 

Setups that relay on the USB output audio stream being transmitted across the UPI channels don't sound so good. 

 

Using CPU socket 1 / NUMA node 1 to handel with less time dependant data in the replay chain such as reading in of music media from local storage and running the audio players UI can be useful. This removes the processing load of these functions from CPU 0 allowing it to better service realtime audio streaming to the USB port.

 

Hours and hours of fun working through all this  😉

 

Thanks for your hints.
I will try to set up Windows OS with your hints.

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On 12/18/2020 at 11:15 AM, 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. 

 

Last I checked it would be a little tricky for individual DIYers to license W10 LTSC.  Has that changed?

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1 hour ago, Darryl R said:

 

Last I checked it would be a little tricky for individual DIYers to license W10 LTSC.  Has that changed?

 

There is a trick. You need to sign a Volume Licensing contract and buy 5 licences. They can be for something cheap (i.e. $10 licenses) and you get the option to purchase Windows LTSC. I have to review the exact process and will put it in the guide. 

In the meantime, there is an evaluation version that can be used. 

Affiliated with Sean Jacobs

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https://buy.advantech.com/968TW19HL0-968TW19HL0/968TW19HL0/model-968TW19HL0.htm

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/59727-windows-ltsc-install-for-music-server/?tab=comments#comment-1063212

On 6/25/2020 at 7:10 PM, dminches said:

After that I purchased an LTSC high-end license which was required since I am running a Ryzen 3700.  They have to mail the license to you since the CLA agreement requires you to put a sticker on the case.

 

Cost was about $150 in total.

 

Or simply do a search on Google etc.

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13 hours ago, Nenon said:

 

There is a trick. You need to sign a Volume Licensing contract and buy 5 licences. They can be for something cheap (i.e. $10 licenses) and you get the option to purchase Windows LTSC. I have to review the exact process and will put it in the guide. 

In the meantime, there is an evaluation version that can be used. 

 

Thanks.  I was wondering if some were still buying from the guys on Ebay who sell a key half a dozen times until MS shuts it down.

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I wonder if anyone here has experimented with power supplies?

I am quite sure that any switching supply with lower ripple and igher power rating is cosmetic dabbling, I'm not yet so concinced that ultra low ripple is more important than a stable voltage.

 

Making a whopping 12V C-L-C PSU should prove doable, def more doable than a high current lineair well regulated low noise PSU. Ideas, pointers, links are welcome?

 

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 7, Aorus X570 Elite, Corsair AX1200i, 8Gb 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 wonder if anyone here has experimented with power supplies?

I am quite sure that any switching supply with lower ripple and igher power rating is cosmetic dabbling, I'm not yet so concinced that ultra low ripple is more important than a stable voltage.

 

Making a whopping 12V C-L-C PSU should prove doable, def more doable than a high current lineair well regulated low noise PSU. Ideas, pointers, links are welcome?

 


https://www.custom-hifi-cables.co.uk/home. He also sells his dc3 and DC4 regulator and rectifier with clc buffer capacitor configuration. Just email him.

 

In the “novel way to......” thread are a few review comparisons of power supplies.

Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Raal SR1a

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus, Qobuz.

Modded Buffalo-fiber-EtherRegen, DC3- Isoregen, Lush^2

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2 hours ago, MarcelNL said:

I wonder if anyone here has experimented with power supplies?

I am quite sure that any switching supply with lower ripple and igher power rating is cosmetic dabbling, I'm not yet so concinced that ultra low ripple is more important than a stable voltage.

 

Making a whopping 12V C-L-C PSU should prove doable, def more doable than a high current lineair well regulated low noise PSU. Ideas, pointers, links are welcome?

 

 

DC ATX supplies can put in good performances but PC's are current driven devices and at the current levels required DC ATX and other switched / buck supplies will only take you so far.

 

Linear is perhaps the best route but it's a significant task developing them for ATX supplies as an application. CLC is attractive but can occupy a lot of space and needs to be carefully designed but can be done.

 

We have gone for multiple linears with a list of special features in the supplies. Performance even at high(ish) currents is good and it shows in SQ achived.

 

If you can find specs or if you build try to target the measured performance recommended here (see link below). Measured PSU performance is not everything but this is one of the rare areas :D in hifi where good figures do come through into SQ.

 

(As an aside the current figures for our supply have been re-rated. From 10amp to 15 amp contunuous and 22 amps sustained peak per module / rail. These levels are not really needed but its nice to know that the headroom is there.)

 

  https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/58164-building-a-diy-music-server/?do=findComment&comment=1086986

 

OAudio Ltd.

 

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48 minutes ago, OAudio said:

 

DC ATX supplies can put in good performances but PC's are current driven devices and at the current levels required DC ATX and other switched / buck supplies will only take you so far.

 

Linear is perhaps the best route but it's a significant task developing them for ATX supplies as an application. CLC is attractive but can occupy a lot of space and needs to be carefully designed but can be done.

 

We have gone for multiple linears with a list of special features in the supplies. Performance even at high(ish) currents is good and it shows in SQ achived.

 

If you can find specs or if you build try to target the measured performance recommended here (see link below). Measured PSU performance is not everything but this is one of the rare areas :D in hifi where good figures do come through into SQ.

 

(As an aside the current figures for our supply have been re-rated. From 10amp to 15 amp contunuous and 22 amps sustained peak per module / rail. These levels are not really needed but its nice to know that the headroom is there.)

 

  https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/58164-building-a-diy-music-server/?do=findComment&comment=1086986

 

Hi @OAudio, I just want to make sure you are still just a DIY'er and don't have a commercial offering yet?

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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thanks all!

I once upon a time built a Le Monstre 7W class A amp by Jean Hiraga, I have something akin to that PSU in mind as the general idea is the same, having enough headroom with large current swings at low voltages requires plenty capacitors to store enough Joules in the PSU. 

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 7, Aorus X570 Elite, Corsair AX1200i, 8Gb 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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thanks!  I am looking for the combination that makes it 'work', I get that low ripple is sortof important (and becomes a challenge the larger the current draw is), stable voltage is another, max current/headroom is likley another. I was hoping someone had played around with the variables enough to know what the main players are. Same for power to the Mb versus power to the CPU, I imagine that both have impact, it would be nice to know which has more impact (or what impact which PSU has).

 

I plan on starting with a PSU for the CPU, just found a 3000VA transformer that could be a promising start...

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 7, Aorus X570 Elite, Corsair AX1200i, 8Gb 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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Excellent news Nenon. I am hoping the power supply I just received after months of waiting will be on the list of recommended power supplies!

 

I like the idea of this technology trickling down to the DIY community! It will be interesting to see how the DIY community will have a somewhat similar foundation for these builds, and how the discovery of new tweaks/adjustments will take the sound in different directions to synergize with different DACs, Speakers, cables etc.

 

A wonderful time to be a DIYer!

 

Will start saving my pennies now 🤑

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20 minutes ago, Nenon said:

Merry Christmas to everyone!

 

As some of you may already know, I am evaluating some of Taiko's technology and working with Emile pretty much on daily basis. Impressive stuff, as you may expect. He is willing to share some of his technology with the DIY community to speed up some of the research and development. What a great idea! And I have made a commitment to help him evaluate what would be most suitable for DIY. No financial interest on my side. It's purely passion-driven, and it's an honor for me that he trusted me to do that. 

 

There is a specific process we need to go through that involves several rounds of tests, tweaks, redesigns, and repeats. Some of the exotic components he is using are not suitable for DIY, so they have to be replaced with good sounding but more affordable and more accessible parts. Exactly what is being tested would remain private until some more decisions are made

 

The plan is to come up with a generic DIY recipe that includes a list of everything you need - chassis, passive cooling, hardware components, OS, software, power supply recommendations, tweaking, etc.

There is a big chance that he might be able to make his USB card and more importantly his TAS software available for this particular DIY hardware, but there is still a lot of things to be decided. 

 

In any case, 2021 would be exciting for DIY music servers. Looking forward to it!

Santa has just come early knowing this....have great xmas everyone! 

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Okay guys, I've run into a MAJOR snag with my audio PC. Just to recap:

 

i7-7700k + passive heatsink

Common motherboard, has LEDs on it.

Paul Pang V3 controller powered by a common 5v charger battery pack.

SSD power line is isolated to a separate common 5v charger battery pack using a USB-SATA splitter cable.

TeraDak 380W linear power supply sitting on top of the case.

Win10 + Fidelizer Pro, Roon Core (not currently using HQPlayer).

15-ft USB cable from Supra

 

I setup a new CD transport from China the other day. It's apparently a Wadia clone. I just spun up a King Crimson HQCD and was immediately impressed by the strong soundstage and imaging. The highest image I've ever heard out of my system. Solid floating images and a contiguous soundstage from left to right. I was really impressed right away with the CD. Why can't any of my other albums show such performance? So, to test the transport I switched the DAC (Yggdrasil Analog 2) over to the USB and played the same album from Tidal (I'm not sure if they are literally the same as the HQCD version). The soundstage was MUCH weaker, more what I expected! In fact I had always worried about the soundstage, I figured it was just a room issue that needed fixing...but what it looks like now is that my audio PC has a weakness!

 

What is it?? What could be killing my soundstage and imaging performance? The only difference in the chain is a Supra toslink from the transport vs a Supra USB cable from the audio PC. Could a different mastering REALLY cause such a major change in soundstage and imaging?

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6 hours ago, GUTB said:

What is it??

First of all, Merrry Xmas GUTB, have a safe & sound festive season!
- Did you recently update Win10?
- What about ripping the CD to you audio PC's SSD and test again?
- Did you upgrade the Yggy's USB stage to the latest?
- Check out that the PP USB card (controller?) is not faulty and has the drivers updated.
- Check out if it had been the same mastering? Perhaps you heard a MQA version of the recording?

- OTOH, it is rare that I have read someone reporting TIDAL as sounding better than other sources ...
- Before investing into a new dedicated audio machine you may want to test an RPI4 fed by ethernet as ROON endpoint, its 100$ and many have made good experiences with that solution

- Finally, if Tidal doesn't sound as good as you new China toy, you could reflect on expectation bias ...

I am happy to hear that you have had a proper performance in your system, did you use your new PuRiFi amplifier to get there ?

best, Tom

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I'd say you should never make the mistake to compare TIDAL to an HQ CD, apples and oranges IMO.

Rip that HQ CD with EAC at highest settings, play it from your computer rig at the optimal settings and then see what gives.  

ISP, cat8.1, Zylix switch, Finisar <1321>Solarflare 8522, AMD 7, Aorus X570 Elite, Corsair AX1200i, 8Gb 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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