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Advice on obtaining best SQ from Zen Mk3 in order to stream Qobuz


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All,

I have finally decided to try Qobuz as my first on-line music streaming service. Admittedly, having followed computer audiophile and audiophile style for years, I should know the answer to the following question. I am using the iPeng player app to interface with the Innuos Zen Mk3 music server (which feeds a Berkeley Alpha DAC 2 via a Berkeley Alpha USB). The Ethernet connection from router to Zen is currently a cheap Ethernet cable.  Aside from a plan upgrade of the ether cable and powering the router using my JS2 LPS from UpTone, I am looking for additional ways to improve the sound quality.  Can anyone offer some best practices and/or point me in the direction of forum/site that can provide some basic information as how best to improve the signal chain from my router to the Zen?  

Thank you,

Tom

 

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I am now using the iPeng application with my Zenith Mk3.  Previously I had been using Roon - so all my network optimizations were assessed with Roon.   The sound quality is even better though without Roon, so I think the network optimizations are just as beneficial in this mode.

 

My home's physical network is illustrated below.  I can highly recommend the exact path you see in my listening room.  The biggest bang for the buck will come from adding an EtherRegen (ER).  A better power supply (like a Farad Super3) for the ER will improve it by a surprising amount.  

 

I took the next step of isolating segments with fiber.  This stripped away a lot of grunge once I did it right - with the opticalModule and the Finisar SFPs.  The other leg of fiber down in my wiring closet brought a very subtle improvement. I pursued this as happened to have extra pieces I could use.  I'm sure I could optimize even further, but I like what I hear from what I have now.

 

A good test is to actually unplug the network cable while listening.  No network is still better but I was still left sufficiently pleased with how much more enjoyable the music had become with the moves I made.  

 

There are a couple good threads here that go into much more detail on optimization.  Under Music Servers, see the "A novel way..." thread.  There's an index on the first page.  Also under the Uptone section, see "The EtherREGEN thread for various network, cable, power experiences and experiments."

 

A killer ethernet cable for the money, by the way, is the Cable Matters CAT8 (after it's been given at least 3 days to burn in).

 

436936313_WiringMess.thumb.jpg.31e365c3b3bf45e4fb952612854f9252.jpg

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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