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A toast to PGGB, a heady brew of math and magic


ray-dude

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1 hour ago, Jean Paul D said:

I don't have enough RAM to generate PGGB files, I have a SD DAC I feed SDM via HQP per @Miska 's recommendation and logic behind HQP and thus PCM is not at its best with my DAC, PCM 8 fs capable though,  but I'll be happy to test if a proponent is willing to send/process me a file

 

Pardon my ignorance... what is an "SD DAC?"

 

If you're finding it works best with DSD from HQPlayer, and that it tops out at 8FS, I'm not sure how much it would benefit from PGGB.

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23 minutes ago, happybob said:

thinking I may just buy a separate PC (have a need for that anyway) 

 

This was my situation (had a need anyway) and so I bought a new desktop with enough capacity. My config is listed on ZB's website here: https://www.remastero.com/faq.html#Sample

 

30 minutes ago, happybob said:

And related, how long does a given 44K track take to convert on a very high performance machine (like a Taiko Extreme)?

 

Ironically, while the Extreme is a music server par excellence, it isn't exactly the ideal machine to run PGGB — mainly due to its memory capacity of 48GB. Most Extreme owners I know have chosen to do their PGGB processing offline on more suitable hardware.

 

9 minutes ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

It depends on the length of the track on CDs but, if you have at least 32GB of RAM and a fast drive for virtual memory, you can expect 3x or higher rate. So a typical CD album may take  15 - 20 minutes to process.

 

Exactly. We find a good metric to track processing speed is to use the ratio of track time/processing time. On my machine (above), I easily get 3.2-3.8x for Redbook tracks. Even "heavy" loads like long DXD tracks come in at over 2x.

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1 hour ago, Johnseye said:

@ray-dude, @romaz and @austinpop here I thought you guys were just kicking back and enjoying your Extremes.  Great to hear you're continuing to explore new improvements.  Thanks for all your efforts, and of course thanks to Zaphod.  I'm looking forward to hearing how this impacts the music.  I'll be checking this out with the Hugo TT2 and Omegas as well as with the new Holo May in my main listening environment.  I know you guys are huge DAVE fans, but if you ever get the chance to listen to the May, I'd love to know what you think.  I'm very impressed so far and it's just breaking in.

 

Hi John,

 

Long time no see. Hopefully we'll get to meet in person at AXPONA some year.

 

Yes indeed, I am indeed content to be off the hardware hamster wheel, but my ownership of the Extreme has just underscored the importance of software. PGGB has been a major exploration, but equally important has been the collaboration with Emile and the Taiko team on their TAS player, and other software tweaks.

 

You're teeing up an exciting comparison for sure! Are you able to run the May at 32FS? I've been tracking the discussion on the thread, and getting the thing to operate at 20/32FS seems to be difficult. Hopefully you'll at least get it to work at 16/32FS and at 20/16FS. And as Ray already mentioned, be sure to process content for the TT2 at 32/16FS.

 

I will be curious to know for each DAC, the SQ difference before and after PGGB. Additionally, how they both compare to each other with the best configuration of PGGB.

 

1 hour ago, Johnseye said:

I had been enjoying real time upsampling with HQP's sinc-L filter and LNS15 shaper.

 

 

This is still my configuration for listening to streaming music through Qobuz.

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41 minutes ago, Dev said:

 

Unfortunately, I run only 8Gb for sound quality reasons. Yes, the DAC supports 768khz 32 bits

 

We're still establishing which DACs will benefit from PGGB. 16FS (768) is a good sign. A NOS mode is another. A practical way to tell if it's worth trying PGGB is to first see if real-time HQP PCM upsampling using sinc-L/LNS15 produces an SQ uplift. If it does, then by all means try PGGB and see what you think.

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1 hour ago, Johnseye said:

I expect to further be astounded and will share my experiences.

 

Looking forward to it.

 

Quote

I do have an open question however as the May is a 32 bit dac.  Jussi has recommended output at 20 bit for the Holo Spring.  I'm curious as to why we wouldn't be creating 32 bit upsampled files, as you mention 20/32FS.  Was that based on feedback in the thread alone?

 

I'll let the DSP experts talk to this, but my understanding is that R2R DACs have a region of linearity up to a certain level of precision, and this can be determined by looking at the published noise plots. I believe Jussi established that for the May, 20 bits was optimum — at least that's my recollection. If it's a different number like 22, please use that instead.

 

By setting Output Bit Depth in PGGB (or DAC Bits in HQP), you allow its noise shaper to set the output precision to be optimum for the DAC. When you select 20 bit output depth, PGGB will generate 20-bit samples, although they will be written out as 24-bit numbers in the WAV container (file). Then, when your music player sends these samples to the DAC, it may further pad these 24-bit samples to 32-bit, but this varies by DAC, and its USB controller (XMOS, Amanero, etc). So things can get complicated, but the ultimate idea of the output bit depth is that after the data has been transported and received at the DAC, the data is at exactly the right precision to match the linear range of the DAC.

 

@Zaphod Beeblebrox please correct any errors in my description!

 

EDIT: In contrast, the DAVE and other Chord DACs have been found to sound best with Output Bit Depth set to 32. We suspect this is related to the Amanero controller used in these DACs, which is why DAVE users are advised to generate 32/16FS files with PGGB. 

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2 hours ago, ted_b said:

Hols,

Nice to hear from you.  I am specifically asking about the May as dac.  When you say "I would choose 24 bits" do you mean in PGGB, HQPlayer, or both?  If just HQPlayer then are we led to believe you are choosing 32 or 64 in PGGB, and doing the LS15 noise shaping in HQP?  And default settings for PGGB (except noise shaping)?

 

Ted, 

 

Due to the time difference with Hong Kong, and since I'm aware of @hols experiments, I think the three scenarios he describes are as below. Obviously, this is provisional until he confirms.

 

24-bit

 

native file ---------> PGGB ----------> upsampled file -----> HQP ----------> DAC

                                    out = 32fs                                            filter = None

                                    output bits = 24                                  DAC bits = 24

                                    NS = Auto (On)                                   dither = None

 

32-bit

 

native file ---------> PGGB ----------> upsampled file -----> HQP ----------> DAC

                                    out = 32fs                                            filter = None

                                    output bits = 32                                  DAC bits = 24

                                    NS = Off                                              dither = LNS15

 

64-bit

 

native file ---------> PGGB ----------> upsampled file -----> HQP ----------> DAC

                                    out = 32fs                                            filter = None

                                    output bits = 64                                  DAC bits = 24

                                    NS = Off                                              dither = LNS15

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3 minutes ago, ASRMichael said:

DAC - TAD D1000, 384 dxd max.  you can see my profile pdf for the chain. 👍

 

Ah thank you, I should have checked your profile. Nice diagram!

 

Also glad to learn PGGB had a positive impact on your 8FS DAC.

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4 minutes ago, bbosler said:

OK, I tried it. I processed a variety of files with the default settings in PGGB to 16FS. I played them back using HQplayer with all processing settings set to none , volume at 0dB. 

 

Mac Mini >>> HQP >>> USB >>> Denafrips Hermes DDC >>> I2S >>> Denafrips Terminator Plus set to NOS

 

a little different but definitely not a "game changer." You may think the Mac Mini is the "problem" and maybe you are correct, but as is it sounds fantastic and no way I'll ever invest $25,000 in an Extreme computer to play music.

 

Maybe it is the difference in a Chord DAVE and the T+. If that's the case is it possible you are compensating for inherent deficiencies in the DAVE that the T+ doesn't have? Maybe I just prefer the R2R with no processing versus whatever additional processing the DAVE does. It does strike me as being a bit extreme to use PGGB to upsample to 16FS  and then the DAVE takes that file and upsamples it to 256FS. That said, if it works for you then I'm all for it ... for you. 

 

Not worth the trouble of converting and managing another library of files. Not worth buying all of the albums I really like that are included in my Tidal and Qobuz subscriptions. Not worth switching back and forth from Roon with HQP set to upsample  when I stream to HQP alone and changing settings each time I want to listen to the PGGB files. . Not worth $500... I would rather have 15-20 new records. 

 

Not worth means not worth it to me. I'm glad you guys are enjoying this so much but this isn't for me. 

 

Enjoy, and thanks to Zaphod for helping me get it set up.

 

Before you give up, do try PGGBing to 32FS, since the T+ does 32FS. Assuming you set output bit depth to something in the 20-24 range?

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34 minutes ago, davide256 said:

DDC = Denafrips IRIS which supports 768/24bits in over USB. Output is coax, max for IRIS is 192/24 PCM or DSD64 DOP

DAC's are Metrum Octave (192/24bits) or Chord Mojo (768/32bits). I prefer the Metrum for mid range integrity but the Mojo has better dynamics.

 

Are you feeding the Mojo through the DDC, or only the Metrum? I didn't think so, but just want to clarify: to get the benefit of PGGB on the Mojo, you'll want to process files to 32/16fs as ZB said, and pass them directly to the Mojo via USB.

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3 hours ago, davide256 said:

I'll try both. I eventually plan to upgrade to a Denafrips Pontus so that I can use I2S/768 from the IRIS. The Mojo really doesn't gain much from the IRIS

 

Just keep in mind that you're trying to offload the digital filtering in your DAC to PGGB. With the Mojo (and Chord DACs in general), this means your goal is to bypass the WTA1 stage in the DAC. To do so, you have to present the DAC with a 16FS signal, which you can only do through USB or DBNC (not sure Mojo supports this? H2, TT2, DAVE all do).

 

Inserting a DDC that can only output 4FS (176.4/192) in the path will defeat this. So for PGGB evaluation on the Mojo, you really do NOT want the Iris in the path!

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28 minutes ago, davide256 said:

Doesn't defeat it completely since a well mastered HDCD (44/20) recording improved.


Hi David,

 

Just try it both ways (with/without DDC in the path) and see what you think.

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5 hours ago, Jean Paul D said:

From your own FAQ : "What if a song is composed of many 30 second recordings that all got digitized and mixed together? Any tap length more than 30 seconds would be using bad information. "

 

Not to mention an artist (ie Bjork) recording her voice in her bedroom and then completing the track in 3 different studios, even a classical movement is more often than the other way round made of splices of different takes. Seems to me that without knowledge there's a risk of doing serious harm in many cases with modern digital productions. 

 

Of course, analog tapes digitized in one effort escape that risk.

 

A question : I would be thankful to know how you define short length in the following (reference to HQP filters would help me digging ) "For the above reason, for short lengths, minimum phase have a significant advantage over linear phase filters. " 

 

Hi Jean Paul,

 

In practice, I have not run into any album/track where this was an issue. I've PGGBed hundreds of albums now, mostly classical, followed by prog rock, jazz, and a smattering of others. I've yet to hear a case where the PGGBed track sounded weird, nor one where it sounded worse than the original. 

 

Naturally, YMMV, so I'd say just try it and judge for yourself with your favorite tracks.

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59 minutes ago, mrkoven said:

Is there a way 32fs pggb files can conveniently co-exist with HQPe streaming within one library? maybe via euphony stylus?

ideally itd be great if HQPe automatically applies filters when it detects qobuz/tidal, then automatically removes filters when a local file (pggb) is played, etc

 

Not sure this is possible, unless you make a feature request to HQPe. 

 

Simplest would be to play back PGGB files directly via Stylus, without HQPe in the path.

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9 hours ago, kelvinwsy said:

l a hHave set None on both 1x and Nx filters as well as zero dither on HQPlayer Control Panel

Gustard A22 set to SLow and Slow PCM settings. Sorry No NOS mode on this DAC.

 

We've received a glowing report from someone with the older brother X26 Pro. Apparently this DAC, while ESS9038Pro based, has a true (claimed) NOS mode, and accepts a 10MHz reference clock. Still only 16FS, but would be an intriguing one to try.

 

9 hours ago, kelvinwsy said:

Nice effect is that on a High Spec Overclocked PC, the fans just dont come on. That comes with an advantage that one can use a low powered machine to play back the 16fs files. For 32fs it will be still a high spec machine I guess.

 

I don't see the A22 supporting 32FS, unless I missed it? So 16FS would be the sweet spot, same as for the X26 Pro.

 

9 hours ago, kelvinwsy said:

The SQ is really nice. I can guess 32fs files would be up there against the DSD upsampled files using say HQPlayer. 

Still testing but was so excited I got up at 5AM this morning to reallt try the 16fs files on my system


Intial Findings:

1. Frequency response quite smooth across the audible range. 

2. I do not hear any audible HF or Ultrasonic nasties.  -

3, I find the presence in voices and instruments to be good. 

4. Even on HF dominated music, the music never gets edgy or hot to the hearing.

5. Sound stage is nice, wide and positioning of vocals and instruments is good.

 

Will be experimenting on more  tracks. Highly recommended for those with capable DAC's (16fs and even 32fs), dont want to invest in a super spec PC to upsample and wishes to go fanless without concern about overheating issues.

 

 

 

Sounds promising!

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