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


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On 5/14/2021 at 12:16 AM, ambre said:

could only sent 32 bit to 16 bits PCM and SDM wasn’t available on macOS NAA

 

DoP enabled as SDM Pack in HQPlayer settings?

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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1 hour ago, kennyb123 said:

Agree with this.  M-Scaler on pass-through robbed the music of a good chunk of the PGGB magic in my system.  

And in mine I preferred having the HMS in the path. 

 

But I haven't done the exhaustive testing and comparisons others here clearly have. For now PGGB is a curio for me rather than a definite path as it does not provide an easy route for treating Qobuz streams, which is key for me and why I am focussing on the Dave/HMS and extracting as much performance as I can from those elements. To date I haven't heard enough "improvement" from PGGB to offest the considerable inconvenience adopting this as a core technology would entail for me.

 

 

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Streaming can of course be done via HQP with Roon, but I won't go down the Roon path.

 

Audirvana integrates well enough with both local library and Qobuz for my needs.

 

I have used HQP for many years as my primary player (that changed when I moved away from my DSD diy dac. Following other experiences here, I used HQP (all HQP processing turned off) to push my sample PGGB files to the HMS. Sounded excellent, but so does Audirvana/HMS/Dave, with the benefits of streaming functionality,  doesn't require industrial amounts of data storage, maintenance of a separate library (I need regular redbook files for portable use) and so on. 

 

We all have our priorities and PGGB - at this point in time - just doesn't make a compelling case for me. 

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1 hour ago, Miska said:

 

DoP enabled as SDM Pack in HQPlayer settings?

 

Dear Miska,

 

Yes tried DoP and No DoP several times. No difference. 
Best regards, Andreas

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Ethernet::4x Bonn Silent Angel 8P, Afterdark Emperor Doublr  Crown Masterclock and Cybershaft 75 Ohm,Mini Circuits convertor,Uptone EtherRegen with 75Ohm. SOTM Cat CAT 7.

Audio: Auralic Vega G2.1, Cambridge Edge W, Kef Reference 3 speakers.  
Power: Farad super 3 (2x) , Keces P8 ( 2 Uptone LPS1.2 ) Afterdark 5V: 

Cables:Meicord Opal, SOTM Cat7 with filtering, Ghent Audio DC , Farad Level 2, Sharkwire speaker cable

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8 hours ago, kennyb123 said:

Agree with this.  M-Scaler on pass-through robbed the music of a good chunk of the PGGB magic in my system.  

What were you feeding to the MScaler? Pggb 24bit or 32bit? Pggb noise shaped or pggb with noise shaping turned off?

Innuos Statement and Antipodes K50 - Sablon 2020 USB - MSCALER (Sean Jacobs DC4 power) - WAVE Storm bnc - DAVE (Sean Jacobs external DC4 power)

Pass Labs XA60.8 power amps - Spendor SP200 speakers

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4 hours ago, Fourlegs said:

What were you feeding to the MScaler? Pggb 24bit or 32bit? Pggb noise shaped or pggb with noise shaping turned off?

8fs and 16fs at 32bits.   Noise shaping on.
 

It was by no means subtle - else I wouldn’t have quickly arrived at the conclusion that the MScaler was a goner.  I wish it hadn’t been such a loss because I would have kept the MScaler as I love it for streaming. But no way was I going to repeatedly swap cables around for when I listen to PGGB.

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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12 hours ago, LowOrbit said:

 

But I haven't done the exhaustive testing and comparisons others here clearly have. For now PGGB is a curio for me rather than a definite path as it does not provide an easy route for treating Qobuz streams, which is key for me and why I am focussing on the Dave/HMS and extracting as much performance as I can from those elements. To date I haven't heard enough "improvement" from PGGB to offest the considerable inconvenience adopting this as a core technology would entail for me.

The improvement from PGGB was evident to me within 15 seconds of the first track I heard.   Pretty easy to hear with my TT2 - even when I just scaled up to 8fs.  My point simply being that it shouldn’t take “exhausting testing and comparisons” to hear the benefits of PGGB with a DAVE.  

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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40 minutes ago, kennyb123 said:

The improvement from PGGB was evident to me within 15 seconds of the first track I heard.   Pretty easy to hear with my TT2 - even when I just scaled up to 8fs.  My point simply being that it shouldn’t take “exhausting testing and comparisons” to hear the benefits of PGGB with a DAVE.  

Hi Kenny

 

I never said there were no benefits or differences were not apparent, nor that I thought it did not sound good - just that for me, right now, it isn't an approach that makes enough sense to compel me to pursue PGGB. This tool emerged from gestation just a week or so after I got my MScaler, which in turn was only a couple of weeks after my Dave finally arrived. Had PGGB launched a couple fo weeks earlier I probably would have been more willing to jump headlong into this approach. For the sake of the costs involved (in my case a bump in RAM and a couple of big SSDs) it would have been more attractive and I would have probably convinced myself that I could live with Audirvana upsampling streamed content for me.

 

Knowing what I am like, I am sure I will end up buying a PGGB license before the year is out. There are other aspects of my system that can be improved meanwhile, and those (Mains, server etc) will bring enhancements that will maximise future PGGB use.

 

If I had a Taiko Extreme sat on my rack I'd say PGGB is a natural step. 

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Hi, does the Chord Qutest, also have the “bad” Amanero usb chipset? 

If not, will it’s “newer” usb chipset, also benefit to get bypassed with the

AudioWise SRC-DX bridge?

Also if the usb input support 16FS 32bit and the dual bnc input just 16FS 24bit? 

 

Thanks for this interesting PBBC info and I am now very tempted to try it.😉

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15 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

An excellent album, and one of my all-time favorites! There is actually a 24/96 version that does improve on the Redbook. This is one of those rare albums where you want to use the "combine" feature of PGGB (https://www.remastero.com/guide.html#Combine). Since you have this album, you know that it has 16 tracks, but in terms of continuity, tracks 1-6 and 7-16 are contiguous. When I process this, I use the combine feature to combine these into 2 longer tracks. This does take more memory, but man, is it worth it! The resulting combined tracks 1-6 gets processed at 1029M taps, and tracks 7-16 (over an hour long) at 2478M taps.

 

But back to the demo. Scrounge around your computers... you sure you don't have one that has (or can be upgraded to) 16MB? If so, you can easily gargle-blast a short Redbook track like track 14 (Neige Neige) or track 15 (Blicket auf).

Hello Rajiv, while I agree that the Solti Mahler is indeed a good vintage  DECCA analogue recording . But imho  modern hi res recordings like the ones from SSFO or LSO LIVE are better SQ wise than that one.

Regarding modern digital HI RES  like for example the BIS Sibelius symphonies you mentioned in one of your reviews or the imho very good Indian classical Vijay Gupta album you also used, could you indicate on a percentage scale the differences improvements as you hear those two examples PGGB´d compared to mscaled?

In other words if you have dumpted your Mscaler PGGB is better in your opionion right?

 

But how much better? 5 -10% or more?

 

You mentioned fingertapping  in a post here and that album with  finger-tapping is an album I really love mscaled and his violin sounds very realistic too via my electrostats.

Judging from the 4 minutes test track I´ve heard so far this thing might be what I need for future travels if they become a possiblity again.

But my test track is of genre I am not into and contains both electric guitar and what sounds like other amplified instruments or synth as well to me and not ideal so I would really like to hear PGGB both with an all acoustic testfile and hi res and as many taps as really matter.

Not sure where that limit is but according to Rob and digital theory 256M taps would be needed to fully resolve 24  bits if my understanding of that aspect of things  is correct?

I have so far only heard a native  16/44.1 PGGB ´d to 32/705   186M and would like to hear what PGGB has to deliver with hi res before investing in a better laptop.

But I can play the testrack both in Audirvana and Pure Music on my old MBP.

Cheers and thanks for informative and very good  reviews.

Chrille

 

 

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29 minutes ago, basillus said:

Hi, does the Chord Qutest, also have the “bad” Amanero usb chipset? 

 

Let's check all of their products listed on the official site

 

https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/dave/

https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/mojo/

https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/qutest/

https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/hugo-2/

https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/hugott2/

https://chordelectronics.co.uk/product/hugo-mscaler/

 

All of them were pointing to the same Windows-10-768KHz-driver.zip driver and obviously they're sharing the same hardware from Amanero.

  

29 minutes ago, basillus said:

If not, will it’s “newer” usb chipset, also benefit to get bypassed with the

AudioWise SRC-DX bridge?

 

It might be difficult to predict, maybe that would depend on what's actually sitting in front of Qutest?

 

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/taiko-audio-sgm-extreme-the-crème-de-la-crème.27433/page-371#post-719062

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Here's a speculative comment regarding this AudioWise USB to BNC bridge for Chord DAVE owners. I'm not convinced that bypassing Amanero on the DAVE has the same impact if you don't own an ultra low latency music server like the Extreme. For example, having owned the InnuOS Zenith SE Mk2 once upon a time, I would not consider that server to be ultra low latency. This applies to any other server that utilizes a low power CPU including an Aurender W20SE which I also had here. I thought my best DIY server effort was pretty low latency (as it outclassed both the InnuOS and the Aurender) until my Extreme arrived and the Extreme made that server sound slow and smeared and sleepy. So anything with higher latency than the Extreme that is introduced into the path after the Extreme will be a bottleneck to the Extreme and Amanero is clearly a bottleneck. But with other music servers, one may find that the Amanero in DAVE isn't really a bottleneck and so in these instances, the AudioWise bridge may not offer much. This is why I said YMMV.

 

Maybe not THAT many motherboards were "proven" to be a good fit for an ultra low latency music server except for these guys?

 

Asus WS C621E SAGE

https://www.asus.com/Commercial-Servers-Workstations/WS-C621E-SAGE/

 

Supermicro X10DRU-XLL

https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/motherboard/X10DRU-XLL

 

Supermicro X11DPU-XLL

https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/motherboard/X11DPU-XLL

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16 hours ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

It would be best to choose 5 tracks you are most familiar with and either me or someone here with PGGB can gargle-blast them for you. 

The limitation is due to Matlab's runtime that requires Mojave (10.14) or higher.

I have a Macbook Air M1 but they are still limited to 16GB RAM, it would be ok for trail but if you plan tot gargle-blast your library I would recommend something more beefy. You may be able to try even DSD and DXD if you drop the mas taps to 128M to where your Mac can handle it.

That is a tough one on 16GB as Macs don't let you allocate swap space, and you will have to try to reduce the max taps till your Mac can handle it. It is best to use the trial version to figure what works for you.

Yes and it depends on the player. Jriver, and HQplayer can handle Wavpack. Roon and A+ don't. PGGB uses lossless wavpack, though wavpack also supports lossy.

 

Yes space can be an issue and I use 12TB of NVME drive on my server.

Thanks for your response.

You suggest  I send 5 tracks I know well but my problem is that my masterfiles are already huge and I am on a slow usb internet connection in the Swedish Countryside.

It took me over an hour to download the first 16/44.1 PGGB´d testtrack a bit over 1gig in size and the files I would really like to hear are often over 1-2 gig  so I don´t know how to get around this other than possibly sending a usb stick by mail to someone to get it done.

But a good thing would be if YOU could upload an all acoustic absolutely  zero synths or amplified instruments, really good PGGB´d recording  to download as zipfile directly from HERE.

I am sure that might raise even more interest in your product if you did so.

Regarding my future  possible upgrading to do what I need  which is all out BEST possible hi res gargleblasting I would appreciate more precise recommendations not half-measures.

If at all, I  would want to take FULL advantage of what can be done with this.

I have read about all the problems people here have run into with HQP when their computers couldn´t cope.

If I really hear a definitive improvement over Mscaler with my reference files and go ahead with this I need to be on safe side of things, not half way.

Why not develop the ultimate player for this as well?

Personally I have no interest in all those subsription based streaming platforms and Server solutions all I need is the highest possible playback quality  of hi res recorded acoustic music recorded in a real acoustic space, no more.

 

I listen almost exclusively to Western or Asian classical music and some other acoustic genres and don´t want to be dependent on an internet connection once I want to play my music.

Just as with Facebook,I will never subscribe to ROON or any other such provider.

YT and lots of  classical institutions´and  orchestras free of charge streaming are all I need.

 Excuse my ignorance but what is what is NVME?

I currently use several LaCie rugged portable 2Tb harddrives but would need much bigger portable harddrives if I get into this.

My inital need would be to avoid travelling with my Mscaler in the future but maybe I would need as heavy harddrives instead to make it happen?

Cheers Chrille

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4 hours ago, chrille said:

But a good thing would be if YOU could upload an all acoustic absolutely  zero synths or amplified instruments, really good PGGB´d recording  to download as zipfile directly from HERE.

I am sure that might raise even more interest in your product if you did so.

I would have loved to provide samples on the web page for everyone to download ant try, but the problem is copyright. I did try to approach few labels who already had free samples up on their site but none of them were interested in their samples being gargle-blasted and made available even if I said I will link to the originals on their site. For the same copyright reason I cannot also post a track on a public forum.

 

The alternate will be if you provide details on one or two tracks that you own and would like gargle-blasted (you need not upload them), then someone here with the same track will be able to PM you a gargle-blasted version. 

4 hours ago, chrille said:

Regarding my future  possible upgradind g to do what I need  which is all out BEST possible hi res gargleblasting I would appreciate more precise recommendations not half-measures.

I have explained it here and provided a sample build here. If you want the absolute best with anything you throw at it, A PC with 128GB RAM, 2TB of NVME SSD, a i7 or higher processor with 8 cores or more. I use a PC with Intel i9 processor with 8 cores and 64GB RAM.

 

4 hours ago, chrille said:

Why not develop the ultimate player for this as well?

I will be happy to work with anyone who is interested in integrating PGGB but lack the time bandwidth necessary to develop a player myself, it would be a significant undertaking and competing with well established players.

 

4 hours ago, chrille said:

 Excuse my ignorance but what is what is NVME?

It is a storage technology for solid state data storage: What is NVMe Storage? NVMe Storage Explained - Kingston Technology

Author of PGGB, remastero

PGGB•IT! Workflow App for Windows (from Audiowise)

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1 hour ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

I would have loved to provide samples on the web page for everyone to download ant try, but the problem is copyright. I did try to approach few labels who already had free samples up on their site but none of them were interested in their samples being gargle-blasted and made available even if I said I will link to the originals on their site. For the same copyright reason I cannot also post a track on a public forum.

 

The alternate will be if you provide details on one or two tracks that you own and would like gargle-blasted (you need not upload them), then someone here with the same track will be able to PM you a gargle-blasted version. 

I have explained it here and provided a sample build here. If you want the absolute best with anything you throw at it, A PC with 128GB RAM, 2TB of NVME SSD, a i7 or higher processor with 8 cores or more. I use a PC with Intel i9 processor with 8 cores and 64GB RAM.

 

I will be happy to work with anyone who is interested in integrating PGGB but lack the time bandwidth necessary to develop a player myself, it would be a significant undertaking and competing with well established players.

 

It is a storage technology for solid state data storage: What is NVMe Storage? NVMe Storage Explained - Kingston Technology

Thanks for your rapid response again.

1 Yes I was aware that might be a problem ie copyright issues, that is why suggested to Roy that he sits down at his piano and records something  that could be uploaded here without any CR issues.

2 That would of course be an option  for me the only one here I know of with similar tase and the same albums in  some important and imho revealing  cases would be Rajiv.

 3 I would like to stick to  mac if I go ahead with this so if someone could tell which MBP and specs  to buy that would be helpful.

4 Good luck and hope someone bites on your offer of cooperation.

if so I just hope it will be a down-loadable pay once thing NOT subscription based.

I hate all these subscription based platforms popping up everywhere these days!

The latest  seems  to be Audirvana.

No way! I am going to subscribe and have to pay annual bills in order to be able to play music I have already paid for.

Just imagine if an LP or cd would stop playing just because you haven´t paid your subscription!

 

When it comes to those things I am appalled how easily fooled most people are in this internet always having to stay connected age, we depend on so much.

Coincidentally the reason I just responded to your post now was because Firefox crashed on my i Mac and I couldn´t start it again.

Maybe they want me to pay a ransom to re-start Firefox again?

Luckily I have three computers but none capable of handling PGGB.

 Cheers Chrille

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1 hour ago, austinpop said:

 

As regards PGGB vs. MScaler, this is really something you should evaluate for yourself.

...for listeners evaluating this pathway, I will add @austinpophas always advocated for listening and making a decision specific to your system, ears, objectives...and budget. This is easy to forget.
 

I sometimes do not experience the same effects/outcomes Rajiv describes in his experiences, for whatever reasons.
 

Because Rajiv is a respected and experienced "influencer" it would be easy to just forge ahead on his path, but my path sometimes diverges. Perhaps yours does too...but that's up to you to figure out. 
 

I am writing this post because I find Rajiv's latest post to be an insightful and honest reminder that he (and a small cadre of maniacs) is offering experiential guidance...and not prescriptions. And that is still very, very helpful...

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6 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

Hi Chrille, 

 

I find PGGB to improve everything — from the crappiest recording in my collection to the best. In general — and I'll defer to @Zaphod Beeblebrox to weigh in if this is predicted by the math — the improvement is greatest with Redbook albums, and smallest with DXD. Stated another way, the greater the upsampling multiplier, the greater the apparent improvement. Here are a few examples:

  • Redbook: Haydn Creation (Arkiv, mid-80s) (16x multipler)
    - I love this performance, but never really thought of this as a great recording. PGGB has just transformed this album.
  • 24/96: the aforementioned Sibelius BIS recordings by Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra (8x multiplier)
    - These are already-great modern recording, but improved even more with PGGB. Are they "transformed?" Perhaps not, but I would never go back, having heard the PGGB version.
  • 24/352.8: The 2L Arnesen Magnificat album (2x multiplier)
    - This DXD version is considered reference quality already. Yet, PGGB improved it in important ways. 

All that said, a PGGBed lower-res mastering does not leapfrog a PGGBed hi-res mastering, although the delta between the 2 PGGBed versions will certainly be smaller. Anyone who wants to try this for themselves should just go to the 2L testbench and try the experment with some of the samples there.

 

 

 

Check your PM.

 

As regards PGGB vs. MScaler, this is really something you should evaluate for yourself. I have always asked that readers of my reviews and postings not use my findings as a basis for making purchasing decisions. At best, my findings are a guide, a suggestion to explore for yourself to try, and then let your ears be the ultimate judge. What is "transformational" to my ears on my system may be "hm, nice, but not amazing" to your ears on your system.

 

I actually wish I had kept my MScaler for use with streamed Qobuz music. Since you don't stream music, your decision may be simpler. If you find PGGB to your liking and sufficiently superior to using MScaler, then the sale of the latter could easily fund the purchase of a PGGB license, a kickass system for PGGB processing, extra storage for your music server, and still have a nice chunk of change left over.

 

You just have to hear it for yourself and decide for yourself. 

From your system description, you listen exclusively through headphones, is that correct?

 

HQ Player 4 Mac Mini M1

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Firstly, would like to thank @Zaphod Beeblebrox for allowing me to experience this wonderful upsampling app. Just have time around it and immediately pggb'ed a single track using different settings. Tried a natural-moderate-moderate, natural-dense-moderate, and natural-transparent-moderate to dxd 32bit 81M(should be 24bit) and I am already liking what im hearing with the dCS Rossini(too bad I cannot bypass the filters. Still...). The tonality indeed becomes dense or transparent/lean as with the settings, improved air and separation that gives a subtle 3d feel in my case. I prefer the natural-moderate-moderate settings and going forward would use this settings. I also have a Holo Spring 2 currently on loan to a friend, I am expecting more noticeable improvements with it in in nos mode. So i'll go on and upsample some other tracks.

 

 

 

 

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That’s great to hear.

 

15 minutes ago, 3ggerhappy said:

to dxd 32bit 81M(should be 24bit)

 

Yes, you should noise shaper to 24-bit for dCS.

 

15 minutes ago, 3ggerhappy said:

and I am already liking what im hearing with the dCS Rossini(too bad I cannot bypass the filters. Still...).
 

 

I was under the impression that the Rossini would bypass the internal filters when presented 24/8FS. Isn’t this effectively what happens if preceded by the dCS Upsampler?

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5 minutes ago, austinpop said:

I was under the impression that the Rossini would bypass the internal filters when presented 24/8FS. Isn’t this effectively what happens if preceded by the dCS Upsampler?

 

For the vivaldi I believe it is, since the upsampler is separate. For the Rossini it still goes through the filter even at 24/8fs since it is built in. https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1540339/Dcs-Rossini.html?page=40#manual

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