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Building a DIY Music Server


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BTW: while you are at it, check absolute phase for both your computer rig and the CD player! PLaying an inverted signal can make music sound like mushy peas.

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6 hours ago, Nenon said:

Hmm, I always assume that people reading and participating in this thread have passed the "bits are just bits" saying long time ago... Your comment is a bit surprising. You have two completely different sources. Sources can have even bigger impact than the DAC (not always). It's not just the cable but also everything upstream of that. 

 

 +1

Nenon

 Thanks for reinforcing this .

It should be quite obvious even when playing music files saved to different SSD,HDD, or USB memory sticks directly from System Memory using a good S/W player such as JRiver with playing from System Memory enabled IF the rest of your system is revealing enough, which is the purpose behind threads like this from members like yourself, Larry,  Rajiv etc.. 

 

Unfortunately the vast majority of  IT guys , and most EEs still refuse to accept this, because they were taught this outdated "bits are bits" dogma  back at Uni many years earlier.

 

P.S. 

 A cheap way to start off, with just a few spade lugs and short lengths of heavy duty mains cable , using a D.M.M for measuring the improvements.  Unless your case also uses plastic and lots of pop rivets  , you won't need to go to the extent that Gary did.

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/60381-hdd-to-case-bonding-uptick-in-sq/?tab=comments#comment-1084599

 

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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My network connection was so crappy that I investigated and found out the wire was not connected properly, for now I have a free running cable, sound quality is better. So I sourced two Finisar 1321, and two used Zyxel switches and a bit of fiberoptics to tinker around with that for a bit. Anyone here who has experience DIying putting a new connector on fiber? it comes terminated but I'd like to try put in a the duct the old network cable was using.

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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Well, I'm happy to report that after finally ripping the HQCD it does appear that the lack of soundstage was caused b a difference in mastering. The CD transport disaplays a little better quality, but that may be because it's on the balanced isolation transformer while the audio PC's linear power supply isn't. Or something else that needs to be upgraded / fixed. Maybe the TeraDak unit isn't the greatest? In any case, I'm happy to discover that my system isn't actually broken. Not so happy to find out just how bad streaming can be.

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looks great, though I would advise against stacking transformers and you may want to consider rotating some so the magnetic fields do not overlap as much as in this configuration.

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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7 hours ago, GUTB said:

Well, I'm happy to report that after finally ripping the HQCD it does appear that the lack of soundstage was caused b a difference in mastering. The CD transport disaplays a little better quality, but that may be because it's on the balanced isolation transformer while the audio PC's linear power supply isn't. Or something else that needs to be upgraded / fixed. Maybe the TeraDak unit isn't the greatest? In any case, I'm happy to discover that my system isn't actually broken. Not so happy to find out just how bad streaming can be.

that sounds more likely, though I'm not sure your conclusion about mastering is correct. A comparison between a file that is streamed and one locally stored is hard to make, there are many factors that contribute.  

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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great, just listen to the effect of turning one tranny  90 degrees before moiunting them like this permanently!

 

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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Toroid on steroids, 13 Kg... my hypothesis is that low ripple and high peak current matter for the CPU, regulating high peaks is going to be difficult so I may do without given that the transformer is capable of 100A, a CLC filter laid out for 10A cont or so should likely do the trick for short bursts and a steady supply of 12V @ 8 A or so steady state.

Anyone caring to share some insights there, I haven't found any in depth detail on what makes a good PSU for a CPU. 

For the rest of the MB I assume a well regulated low noise PSU with good PSSR is important.

 

20201231_132256.thumb.jpg.a1330bdd6d4dee3003c6e6ba889ac3bd.jpg

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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On 12/31/2020 at 6:55 AM, MarcelNL said:

Anyone caring to share some insights there, I haven't found any in depth detail on what makes a good PSU for a CPU. 

 

Did you read my post? And did you see the link to @Soul Analogue's post there? Here it is again:

On 12/23/2020 at 4:10 PM, Nenon said:

 

Can I say this? EVERYTHING MATTERS! 

Even in a cost no object LPS design, just changing one resistor, or one capacitor (of the same value) makes a pretty audible difference in a resolving system. Even changing one wire makes a difference - for a different length of the same wire or for a different wire of the same length, or with different geometry or shielding. Sean Jacob's PCB regulator boards for example sound different when you just route some of the grounding traces a few mm away.

I've made some of the Sean Jacobs DC4 linear power supplies. We follow a blueprint. Every wire is cut to an exact length (within a millimeter of the specs) and every regulator is mounted on a specific spot to spread the heat in a specific way. And every board has specific vibration treatment. Those are some of the very fine details that are not necessarily shared - but every small detail matters!

 

And those are all super small things, not even getting to major things like ripple, voltage regulation, impedance, etc. Everything matters. Take a look at this:

 

BTW, a 3000 VA transformer may not necessarily be better than a smaller (i.e. 400VA or 600VA) transformer. Good luck with your project, but keep in mind if things were that simple, good power supplies would not cost a small fortune. 

 

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I did read it, what seems to be missing or I did not read it properly, is results from investigating what matters most.
The fact that everything matters is clear, I am very aware of that, my point is that there usually are some key factors that matter MOST and I am looking for those first tweaking comes later. Nobody designs a PSU with exxact lengths of wire specified, those parameters are a result of tweaking and finetuning done well after initial design.

 

I am aware what a LPS is, and to make one in various ways. What I do not know is if low noise, low ripple or high headroom (ability to deliver massive peaks) are all equally important. As always every PSU is a compromise, it helps to know upfront where the wiggle room is (if there is any)/

 

f.e. my tube amp sounds best with a low value very high grade capacitor, and whopping choke (400H @80mA) 

 

I somehow imagine that PSU requirements for the CPU are different from the rest of the MB.

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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6 minutes ago, MarcelNL said:

I did read it, what seems to be missing or I did not read it properly, is results from investigating what matters most.
The fact that everything matters is clear, I am very aware of that, my point is that there usually are some key factors that matter MOST and I am looking for those first tweaking comes later. Nobody designs a PSU with exxact lengths of wire specified, those parameters are a result of tweaking and finetuning done well after initial design.

 

I am aware what a LPS is, and to make one in various ways. What I do not know is if low noise, low ripple or high headroom (ability to deliver massive peaks) are all equally important. As always every PSU is a compromise, it helps to know upfront where the wiggle room is (if there is any)/

 

f.e. my tube amp sounds best with a low value very high grade capacitor, and whopping choke (400H @80mA) 

 

I somehow imagine that PSU requirements for the CPU are different from the rest of the MB.

 

Like everything else in audio, there is no universally true answer to your question(s).

Do cables make a difference? Is copper wire better or silver? Is solid state better than tubes? Is digital better than analog? Are crossoverless speakers better than speakers with crossovers? Does a DAC with a better chip sound better? The list goes on. 

 

You are asking a very generalised question - supply for CPU is a generalized idea. You want to know if low noise, low ripple or high headroom is most important. To me that question is similar to what matters most in a DAC - is it the power supply, the digital section, or the analog section. They all matter, but are they equal? Maybe they are, maybe they are not. It depends on the design. It's the sum of all parts at the end. 

It's the same with a power supply for computer. If you want to make one where you take meticulous care of every single aspect of the design, dividends will pay at the end. And you may find this power supply to work equally well on CPUs and motherboards. Start as a no compromise design and make compromises as you go (if/when needed). 

The real problem is when you want to start with compromises, which is how understand your questions here. In that case, there are so many factors, that no one can give you a clear answer - you would have to decide what compromises work for you in your system, for your CPU, for your music taste, music genre, room, etc.

Just a couple real-world examples from my experience - excellent regulation and low noise would give you more space and depth; extra headroom would give you more dynamics, and so on...

 

There is a really good reason I keep pointing you to @Soul Analogue's post. Take a look at this section - I think it's a good summary.

On 11/20/2020 at 2:47 AM, Soul Analogue said:

2) Do all LPS sound the same?

Hell no! I would regard LPS building as an art! In fact, every components (as in Question 1 ) of a LPS can give different outcomes / favours to the sound. Different kinds of power transformers (EI, C, O, R, torridal cores), rectifier (schottky, hexfred, Silicon carbide, tube, etc....), capacitors (film, electrolytics, etc), voltage regulations (monolithic, discrete components and unregulated) ..... all sound differently!

There could be hundred of thousands of combinations. So the sound character from a LPS is the cumulative effect of all components in the circuit. So the building of LPS is like a chef, who uses the ingredients (components) to cook a dish, with their preference seasonings. A good chef is one that possesses proper knowledge/experience on the ingredients and can skillfully combine/manipulate the ingredients into a delicacy. If you agree that different chef cooks differently, LPS from different builders should sound differently.

 

Lastly, the better the power supply is, the more transparent it is, and it's easier to hear small changes. Changing two wires for example on the power supply I am testing now makes a bigger difference than different designs (with different objectives) power supplies I used to test in my system in the past. 

 

I don't think you would find the answer you need here. I would suggest that you experiment, learn, and share what worked for you. If I was to give you an advice, it would be to ditch the 3000VA 13 kg transformer. But don't listen to anyone and experiment. That's how you gain the knowledge of what impact every component has. And only then you would be able to tweak it to your taste. 

 

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My two Sean Jacobs power supplies are the basically same for (i) the CPU (one power supply, one rail. made by Sean Jacobs) and (ii) the motherboard and Pink Faun ultra OCXO bridge (one power supply, four rails, components from Sean Jacobs, assembled by Nenon).  The voltages are different, of course, along with any differentiation of parts (such as transformers) given the different voltage outputs and different number of rails.

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50 minutes ago, RickyV said:

I also use active rectifiers from https://evotronix.eu/main/ but I am un sure if that has an audible effect


Active rectifiers are not better or worse in my experience, but they sound different, so just another way to ‘voice’ your power supply. They however have a benefit of lower voltage drop and less heat dissipation which might have bigger impact than the rectifier design itself.  

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17 minutes ago, Nenon said:


Active rectifiers are not better or worse in my experience, but they sound different, so just another way to ‘voice’ your power supply. They however have a benefit of lower voltage drop and less heat dissipation which might have bigger impact than the rectifier design itself.  


No voltage drop so more dc out of tour ac. No heat at all only if you drive to max amperage then they get very hot. But the important thing is no switching noice, huge current delivery and fast.
So you have tried them? 

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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So in regards to linear power supplies -- all these motherboards, NUCs, etc, have switching regulators on them. How much is linear power supply quality really going to matter, especially considering the USB controller is externally powered on a battery for example? The one time I did swap back in the switching PSU I thought the difference was fairly minor. I have a TeraDak 380W. It's plugged straight in the wall socket, no power conditioning.

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4 hours ago, Nenon said:


Active rectifiers are not better or worse in my experience, but they sound different, so just another way to ‘voice’ your power supply. They however have a benefit of lower voltage drop and less heat dissipation which might have bigger impact than the rectifier design itself.  

 

Active rectifiers can provide real up tick in SQ, but to be more confident of them doing this, they need to be designed into a supply from the outset.

 

When swopped into existing circuits, particually higher current LPSs which were designed with diode bridges originally, the impact on performance and sound quality is variable. 

 

For higher current capacity supplies at least, keep in mind that dropping in an active rectifier can generate a really very significant jump in peak ripple current in the transformer, rectifier and filter components. The 'on' resistance (Ron) of an active recifier can easily be less than a tenth of the ROn value of the diode bridge being replaced. The components of the supply (transformer / filter caps in particular) may or may not deal well with the change in peak ripple current and this can pull SQ across the dial. Can be better, worse or different depending on the situation. I think its still worth experimentation swoping out diodes despite this.

 

Active rectifiers can generate a excellent sound quality up tick. But to be more confident of getting to this, the LPS has to be designed to deal with and exploit the low Ron of the active rectifier (which can easily be just 4 milli ohms). Then there are the other benifits such as the low switching noise of active rectifiers can also come into play.

 

OAudio.

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Nenon said:

 I can happily live with a good schottky-based rectifier.

 

Likewise.

Active rectifiers also increase the risk of  audible "buzzing" from Toroidal transformers., as well as increased radiation from the power cord. Occasionally, transformer buzzing can even be a problem with normal rectifier diodes.

Silicon Chip magazine had a report about transformer buzzing from some constructors of their 20W Class A amplifier design.

Their quick answer was to insert 470uH inductors in series with the positive and negative bridge rectifier outputs to the capacitor bank . The penalty of doing this, is however a drop in the DC output voltage, which may, or may not, be acceptable.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I did ogle active rectifiers, but read up some more and decided to go for some decent Schottky's....which exactly is not clear yet, there are plenty to choose from.

 

 

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meanwhile I suspect my Optane died, I was unable to boot in one go and booting became wonkier and wonkier. UNinstalling the Optane seems to work, booting succeeds in 1 go as it ought to. INitialy I suspected a Daphile update to a beta version (needed to make Tidal work again as they switched to only allowing HTTPS traffic) , a few weeks ago but since the release of the final version spotty booting stayed.

I think I'll go look for a NMVMW > USb adapter or similar to check if it's the MB or the Optane

 

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http://www.mics.ne.jp/~cdorya/#download

http://jplay.eu/forum/index.php?/topic/3063-pink-hq-minorityclean/page-42#entry53432

Quote

Holy mother of god. The depth, the low-level details, the clarity and purity of MC81 is breathtaking. MC81>>MC79

 


 

BTW, it could be fun to steal some components from this OneCoreUpdateOS / Windows 10X

 

https://forums.mydigitallife.net/threads/windows-10x-sdk-and-emulator-image-download.81144/page-2#post-1577888

Quote

6) UPDATEOS.wim located in MainOSDisk looks to be an incredibly slimmed down version of WinPE, but its edition ID is OneCoreUpdateOS. Seems to be completely new, and contains a select few standard Win32 programs like command prompt.

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/je7tk8/minimal_windows_10_onecoreupdateos_but_with/

Quote

This is OneCoreUpdateOS but the UpdateOS "Customizations" have been removed, leaving only OneCore with win32kmin, gdi32min, and other "minimal" OS components left, and BootShSvc was added to enable launching CMD at startup.

 

https://store.rg-adguard.net

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/windows-10x-emulator-image-100195780-preview/9pjss0px0j6k

Quote

Microsoft.Windows10XEmulatorImage10.0.19578.0Previ_1.0.1.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe.msix

 

https://betawiki.net/wiki/Windows_10X

https://thecollectionbook.info/windows/10x-v21h1

https://twitter.com/stroughtonsmith/status/1228089162697453570

https://msbuilds.rg-adguard.net/GetInfo?id=cfe185fb-c5a3-43b1-91a8-b0706dfb1c49

https://osg.wiki/books/windows-10x/page/installing-windows-10x-(emulator-image)-on-real-hardware

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