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


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1 hour ago, musicme2 said:

First off a big hello to all I have  just joined .

Have been reading about the software PGGB and have downloaded the trail version to hear for my self .

After I did the resampling and installed on my Innuos , nothing happens just a slight humming . Emailed

for some feed back and was informed that Innuos Zenith is not compatable with PGGB and may ask some

one on this forum if they have had that issue and some how made it work for them .

I only play files out of the Innuos from the SSD into Dave /Mscaler , I do not stream music and buy most of

my music from Bandcamp .

Any advice would be welcomed .

petro

 

 Hi Pedro, you are right that currently the Innuos streamers do not support the 705 / 768 kHz files produced by PGGB but I am currently beta testing a version of the Innuos 2.0 app which does support the PGGB files and plays them perfectly.

 

The 2.0 app was due for public release in May so I am guessing / hoping that it will be soon (ps you will love it). Innuos have posted here regarding the intend roll out of the 2.0 app.

Innuos Zenith + Antipodes K50 + PhoenixNET + PhoenixUSB,

Sablon 2020 USB to Mscaler, WAVE Storm BNC to DAVE (Sean Jacobs external DC4 power)

Pass Labs XA60.8 power amps + Spendor SP200 speakers, ATC150 actives.

 

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2 hours ago, chrille said:

Interesting! I am still thinking of how to go about this to be able to process PGGB myself, but impressed by what I have heard mainly thanks to Austinpop.

I can play PGGB´d files on my old mbp via Audirvana+ but with recent developments on that platform and the need to get a more capable computer but ideally still a laptop this may be something to consider for me?

My only experience with Jriver was via Rob Watts MSI laptop in Singapore a few years ago. Is Jriver still a player I can buy without having  to  pay annual subscriptions?

If so, and if there are Windows laptops with at least 64gb ram  I may  consider abandoning Mac.

Or are you considering offering a similar workflow for macs?

With luck there might be 64gb ram mbps soon but will there be any players that are not subsciption based on the mac platform?

Cheers Chrille

I believe the workflow App @dmance developed is based on power shell and there is no equivalent for Mac. 

 

Jriver is available for Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. It is not subscription based but they do come up with new releases almost on a yearly basis. You can demo it on you Mac and see what you think.

 

Though PGGB-IT app requires Windows, Jriver is not a requirement, though it has better integration with Jriver. You can also build /buy a windows desktop just for PGGB and it will likely come out cheaper than a Mac even at 128GB or RAM.

Author of PGGB, remastero

New: PGGB-RT for foobar2000 (foo-RT) has been released!

Tip: Turn PGGB-RT into an offline remastering tool using PGGB.IT! V2.2

☁️PGGB.IO (Another way to audition PGGB, with credits towards PGGB purchase)

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3 hours ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

I believe the workflow App @dmance developed is based on power shell and there is no equivalent for Mac. 

 

Jriver is available for Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. It is not subscription based but they do come up with new releases almost on a yearly basis. You can demo it on you Mac and see what you think.

 

Though PGGB-IT app requires Windows, Jriver is not a requirement, though it has better integration with Jriver. You can also build /buy a windows desktop just for PGGB and it will likely come out cheaper than a Mac even at 128GB or RAM.

Thanks again ,but ideally I want to avoid buying a windows desktop just for PGGB.

And if Jriver is avavailable also for Mac I will wait and see what WDDC announcements will be from Mac before making my decision.

I want a laptop, not desktop really and if desktop then rather an iMac which I am used  to working on with lots of other things as well.

Cheers Chrille

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5 hours ago, Fourlegs said:

 

Hi Chrille, well the consensus seems to be that by avoiding the USB input into the Chord Dacs you avoid the Amanero usb controller. It is also said that when Dave is fed via its dual bnc inputs it powers down the USB circuit thereby lowering noise but I have not verified this.

 

Using the SRC-DX usb to dual bnc converter one should set PGGB to convert to 24 bit because the bnc inputs only support up to 24 bit.

 

You might not think that 32bit PGGB files via USB can be improved upon but I am pretty sure as soon as you hear it you will be convinced that 24 bit PGGB via the SRC-SX does indeed sound better than USB.

 

But don't throw away your WAVE STORM cables just yet because you may find they are perfect when used with the SRC-DX. 🤣 👍

Thanks , "not to worry",no plans to "throw away",my  Wave Storm I use them on a daily basis with my Mscaler and I have no plans to dump Mscaler either. PGGB would be a complement and more travel friendly option for me.

And I would of course be interested to hear how going from 32 bits to 24 via BNC instead might improve SQ.

Even lower noise floor?

One of the first things I noted with PGGB over Mscaler was a drop in noise.

A bit like going from Chord stock BNC cables to Stream in lowered noise.

And then a bit lower again with Storm.

And also a bit fuller and warmer too, with Storm over Stream.

 

And my  PGGB test tracks, with my humble Qutest and usb has lifted yet another digital veil even over Mscaler.

On the other hand I am also aware that  veils can be lifted by walking up Chord´s dac ladder.

I know both TT2 and especially Dave sound better than Qutest with my reference material and who knows? Maybe a dac capable of upscaling even higher than 24/768 will yield even better results?

One limiting factor as far as noise is concerned could also be SNR. In my case my headphone amp measures 126dB and Qutest 124dB.

Even at full throttle and no music playing or music stopped it is free of noise.

Dave I think measures 127dB? But there are others that at least officially boast SNR levels down to 140dB, aren´t there?

My initial impressions are also that PGGB makes massed strings sound a bit closer to live strings and my overall impressions are positive enough to want to do PGGB conversion, upscaling myself.

String sound has always been a bit of an Achilles Heel with digital imho.

I just need to find a suitable computer  first.

I may wait for the new mbps or get an iMac.

Cheers Chrille

    

 

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Is it correct to say that if your track lengths is 5-6 minutes, then having 64 or 128 GB RAM is not necessary and would not result in any better sounding up-sampled files compared to say 16 or 32 GB RAM, or does higher RAM size always improved SQ (Taps). I have read a few posts but they are generally in the context of longer tracks, like in classical music.

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45 minutes ago, sig8 said:

Is it correct to say that if your track lengths is 5-6 minutes, then having 64 or 128 GB RAM is not necessary and would not result in any better sounding up-sampled files compared to say 16 or 32 GB RAM, or does higher RAM size always improved SQ (Taps). I have read a few posts but they are generally in the context of longer tracks, like in classical music.

 

Yes, that is generally true for PCM at 16FS output rate.

 

For PCM remastered at 16FS output rate, every 6 minutes of your track is 256M taps. I will recommend  minimum of 16GB of RAM for 256M if you make sure to set max taps at 256M and also allocate 100GB of virtual memory as there is no guarantee that all the RAM is available to PGGB.  One exception to above is if you wish to remaster DXD, then it is better to have 32GB RAM as the memory pressure is higher at 4FS and higher input rates.

 

Higher RAM will not improve SQ directly, but what it gives you is the ability to process longer tracks (say 10 minutes or 15 minutes) with more taps. Processing longer tracks with the number of taps matching that track length closely does improve SQ.

 

If you wish to process DSD, the math changes significantly and every 1.5 minutes of your track can use 256M taps and with just 6 minutes of a track you can hit 1B taps. One caveat is though DSDs will be processed with more taps, it does not automatically mean they will sound better than a hires version of the same track processed with lesser taps, provenance matters here.

 

 

Author of PGGB, remastero

New: PGGB-RT for foobar2000 (foo-RT) has been released!

Tip: Turn PGGB-RT into an offline remastering tool using PGGB.IT! V2.2

☁️PGGB.IO (Another way to audition PGGB, with credits towards PGGB purchase)

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Thank you Fourlegs , good to hear that .

Will be updating to the new software when it becomes available .

After reading through all this thread about PGGB it sounds very promising and I cant wait to get started .

petro

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Now if one wants to upgrade to 128 GB RAM, is there any suggested manufacturer, speed, etc. for a PC which will be used for PGGB and playback as well. I remember lot of discussions about this on other threads as to what provides better SQ. etc. I only know of kit of four stick to make 128 GB, are there any manufacturers who can give you 128 in 2x64?

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3 minutes ago, sig8 said:

Now if one wants to upgrade to 128 GB RAM, is there any suggested manufacturer, speed, etc. for a PC which will be used for PGGB and playback as well. I remember lot of discussions about this on other threads as to what provides better SQ. etc. I only know of kit of four stick to make 128 GB, are there any manufacturers who can give you 128 in 2x64?

For the purpose of PGGB, the brand of RAM has no impact on the processed files. But if you are also using the same PC for playback, it is best to post this question on the Novel thread or DIY server thread. I think there is some benifit in making sure all RAM slots are loaded, and type and brand and speed of RAM do seem to matter. I am not expert on that and rely on more experienced folks.

Author of PGGB, remastero

New: PGGB-RT for foobar2000 (foo-RT) has been released!

Tip: Turn PGGB-RT into an offline remastering tool using PGGB.IT! V2.2

☁️PGGB.IO (Another way to audition PGGB, with credits towards PGGB purchase)

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@Zaphod Beeblebrox Rob Watts has today posted some comments on Head-Fi regarding PGGB and it would be useful to hear what you think is important and if you have any thoughts on the points he raises?

 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/hugo-tt-2-by-chord-electronics-the-official-thread.879425/page-942#post-16390263

Innuos Zenith + Antipodes K50 + PhoenixNET + PhoenixUSB,

Sablon 2020 USB to Mscaler, WAVE Storm BNC to DAVE (Sean Jacobs external DC4 power)

Pass Labs XA60.8 power amps + Spendor SP200 speakers, ATC150 actives.

 

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On 5/3/2021 at 11:13 PM, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

Mscalar will be truncated and noise shaped to 24 bits via DBNC input to DAVE

 

Hi @Zaphod Beeblebrox, in this old post, are you saying that the DAVE will internally apply its own noise shaping to the signal when fed via DBNC?

 

I'm trying to decide if I should convert my files with adaptive noise shaping turned on or off. I'm currently running my upscaled audio files thru USB to M-Scaler (in pass-thru mode) to Opto-DX to DAVE via DBNC. And soon I'll be switching over to using SRC-DX without the M-Scaler.

 

I'd like to get some version of noise shaping applied but also want to be sure it's not being applied "twice"...

hqplayer, pggb > src-dx > opto-dx > dave > pass labs x150.8, bakoon amp-13r, cayin ha-300 > abyss phi tc, susvara, utopia, auteur

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7 hours ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

I will be happy to answer, and sorry in advance of a very long post:

 

Inspiration:

MScalar was the inspiration for PGGB. MScalar showed that a well implemented sinc interpolation would result in a more natural and transparent sound. An iconoclast of a product in many ways, in spite of a lot of misinformation about linear filters and pre-ringing etc.

 

PGGB started as an experiment to see if it is possible to do a software based Multi-M-Scaling based on sinc interpolation to go beyond 1M taps and to see if it resulted in any improvement. Through Robs many posts I was already made aware that just the number of taps don’t matter and the quality of the taps, specifically how close they are to the true sinc coefficients matter more. I also was aware of the significance of noise shaping in being able to reproduce small signals and to decreases noise floor modulation due to quantization errors. What I was skeptical about was the significance of both the quality of taps and quantization noise.

 

Windowing experiments:

I started the experiments with 'off-the-shelf' window functions like Kaiser. I increased the number of taps, and conducted listening tests (myself and group of friends), it became clear that to come close to MScalar we needed 32 Million taps or more. Which meant, the taps using Kaiser window or similar was just not good enough and was not efficient enough. Kaiser window tapers from get go and very few taps are truly Sinc. Now, I was able to verify what Rob has said many times before, so the next step was to go a different direction, find a window that keeps more of the Sinc coefficients as is, then taper faster to zero. While our listening tests showed this window seemed to improve in some ways in terms of transient accuracy, the frequency domain performance was not as good as the Kaiser window in out of band rejection or having narrow transition band and we felt there was room for improvement.

 

I needed a windowing function that was closer to Kaiser window on frequency domain performance but retain as many sinc coefficients as is. I needed a windowing function I can parameterize , optimize and easily adjust to obtain the right trade off between reconstruction accuracy and frequency domain performance and with the constraint that it retain 50% or more sinc coefficients without any change and still achieve close to Kaiser window like performance in the frequency domain. It was indeed an up-hill task. With more research, I arrived at the window function I use now. It is not a window that is off-the-shelf, it is a custom window that is parameterized to not only control the % number of taps that are true sinc, I am also able to control when, how fast and the shape of how the window tapers from 100% sinc coefficients to zero. While the percentage of true sinc coefficients had a direct correlation to transient accuracy, the shape of the taper affected the tonal qualities more. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, PGGB allows the user to control the tradeoff between reconstruction accuracy (by allowing more true sinc coefficients) and frequency domain performance via the transparency and presentation options. The windowing is adaptive, with longer tracks, even more taps are true sinc  (i.e well beyond 50%) and reconstruction accuracy increases.

 

Noise shaping:

We were quite happy with these results based on listening tests, so I started focusing on designing noise shapers. Here too, I did not want a one-size-fits-all approach. Though PGGB was inspired by MScalar attached to my Chord DAVE, I was aware that other DACs can benefit too and DACs operate at different rates all the way to 32FS and bit depths between 16 to 32. PGGB applies different noise shaping based on the output rate and bit depth but there were two goals I had in the design, to be able to reproduce small signals accurately and to have a quantization noise floor very very low. As an example, the noise shaper PGGB uses for 16FS signal to noise shape output signal to 32bits has a noise floor below -350dB in the audible range and can easily reproduce a tone at -200dB anywhere in the audible range.

 

 

While the noise shaping improved depth detail and texture and overall sounded cleaner, it felt more like an icing on the cake and the biggest improvement was still through the multi-million taps and windowing function. With that background. I would like to address the questions that were raised:

 

 

Answers:

Let me answer the question by asking a question. Whitaker Shannon also requires the signal to be band limited, and it is well known that CD audio is not perfect and it aliasing distortion is common. If the original CD audio  signal already contains aliasing distortion, does retaining the signal as is and applying Sinc interpolation produce better timing information than removing the aliased portion  and applying the sinc interpolation? How do the aliased components affect timing?

 

The above is really moot because PGGB in beta had the option to apply Whitaker Shannon without modifying the original signal in any way (i.e. no apodization)  but there was no interest in using it. For the sake of science, I will reinstate this option in the next release of PGGB so it does not appear ‘heavy handed’ on my part and there will be a non-apodizing option for 44.1khz and everyone can happy.

 

 

I will respond to this with another question. That is true, a windowed sinc function is not a true sinc following Whittaker-Shannon interpolation filter. That is true with any windowed sinc function including WTA and the window function PGGB uses. But is it not true that a windowed sinc function with 256M or more taps that retains more than 50% of its Whittaker-Shannon coefficients is closer to a true Shannon interpolation filter than a 1M windowed sinc function that retains 50% or more of the Whittaker-Shannon coefficients? Also is it not true that it is possible to reap the benefits of using Whittaker-Shannon filter by using more and more taps that are true Whittaker-Shannon coefficients?

 

The answer is quite simple, it is an overkill based on our listening tests compared to additional time and processing resources needed which are both finite quantities and have a cost attached. The benefits of using tap lengths longer than the track length at the output sample rate diminished. There are added benefits to being able to process tracks relatively quickly and with limited resources and RAM, not everyone is ready to buy a monster machine for upsampling. Though PGGB is currently being primarily used for off-line resampling, it was designed with the idea of being able to be used to do real-time resampling even with streamed audio. I already have it in a sdk form and benchmarked on multiple platforms to be able to do up to 256M taps with a few second startup delay and no delay after that with the right pipelining/threading, multimillion-taps close to Whitaker Shannon upsampling is possible while retaining more than 50% of the true sinc coefficients and also being able to do real-time digital volume control with noise shaping and EQ too.

 

Regarding the accuracy of 64bit floats and quantization noise, while PGGB uses 64bit floats for the sinc coefficients, I applied optimal scaling to reduce the effect of quantization noise on accuracy. Internal computations are done in 80bit extended precision; the output is still 64bit floats but I too noise shape the output to the desired bit depth.

 

End

How does the cumulative effect of the approach I have outlined compare to what Mscalar (or any other upsampling software or hardware)? That is subjective and it is not for me to say, those curious to know can find out for themselves.

 

 

 

You’ll need a bigger hat soon! 😂

1682AD1E-BF35-45BA-AEB4-F0F8CC0A3F54.jpeg

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I posted this on head-fi in the Antipodes thread.

 

I’ve been redoing all my pggb to 16fs 24b and actually prefer it to 32b. The extra space recouped is nice too. I have tried playback in every way available to me... roon direct, roon and hqplayer, hqplayer with hqpdcontrol, hqplayer with client player, lms and squeezelite and mpd. I’ve settled on roon and hqplayer. Many of the golden ears (not derogatory) have left roon. To me it is just too essential a part of my musical enjoyment and workflow. The best quality is probably mpd but the roon curation makes up for the slight difference with hqplayer. 

I would be interested to hear what other users of pggb have settled on.

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13 minutes ago, Progisus said:

I posted this on head-fi in the Antipodes thread.

 

I’ve been redoing all my pggb to 16fs 24b and actually prefer it to 32b. The extra space recouped is nice too. I have tried playback in every way available to me... roon direct, roon and hqplayer, hqplayer with hqpdcontrol, hqplayer with client player, lms and squeezelite and mpd. I’ve settled on roon and hqplayer. Many of the golden ears (not derogatory) have left roon. To me it is just too essential a part of my musical enjoyment and workflow. The best quality is probably mpd but the roon curation makes up for the slight difference with hqplayer. 

I would be interested to hear what other users of pggb have settled on.

I currently use HQPe->NAA->SRC-DX->DAVE for PGGB, and Roon->HQPe->NAA->DAVE for discovery, the time I spend doing the later has gone down dramatically though

 

@lmitche Will be setting up MPD, UPNPCLI, Minimserver on my AL server next week so I wish to compare that to HQPe playback of PGGB files soon and at that time will compare with Roon too. It would be great to be able to use the same playback chain for both PGGB and discovery, but no such option exists for me. I also plan to revisit Roon->HQPe->NAA with PGGB

Author of PGGB, remastero

New: PGGB-RT for foobar2000 (foo-RT) has been released!

Tip: Turn PGGB-RT into an offline remastering tool using PGGB.IT! V2.2

☁️PGGB.IO (Another way to audition PGGB, with credits towards PGGB purchase)

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5 minutes ago, ted_b said:

Zaphod, what do you use as an NAA machine?

Both  HQPe and NAA run on the AMD server (AL) built by Larry. 

Author of PGGB, remastero

New: PGGB-RT for foobar2000 (foo-RT) has been released!

Tip: Turn PGGB-RT into an offline remastering tool using PGGB.IT! V2.2

☁️PGGB.IO (Another way to audition PGGB, with credits towards PGGB purchase)

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31 minutes ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

 

I currently use HQPe->NAA->SRC-DX->DAVE for PGGB, and Roon->HQPe->NAA->DAVE for discovery, the time I spend doing the later has gone down dramatically though

 

@lmitche Will be setting up MPD, UPNPCLI, Minimserver on my AL server next week so I wish to compare that to HQPe playback of PGGB files soon and at that time will compare with Roon too. It would be great to be able to use the same playback chain for both PGGB and discovery, but no such option exists for me. I also plan to revisit Roon->HQPe->NAA with PGGB


i use and prefer MPD on my Antipodes K50 playing via usb to an SRC-DX to Dave via dual bnc. I can use this for discovery as well because MPD controlled by MConnectHD on an iPad integrates Qobuz and Tidal. 
 

 

Innuos Zenith + Antipodes K50 + PhoenixNET + PhoenixUSB,

Sablon 2020 USB to Mscaler, WAVE Storm BNC to DAVE (Sean Jacobs external DC4 power)

Pass Labs XA60.8 power amps + Spendor SP200 speakers, ATC150 actives.

 

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10 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

I can use this for discovery as well because MPD controlled by MConnectHD on an iPad integrates Qobuz and Tidal. 

I was not aware of that, that sounds closer to what I am looking for. Now I just need to figure out a way to jam PGGB-RT some where in there!

Author of PGGB, remastero

New: PGGB-RT for foobar2000 (foo-RT) has been released!

Tip: Turn PGGB-RT into an offline remastering tool using PGGB.IT! V2.2

☁️PGGB.IO (Another way to audition PGGB, with credits towards PGGB purchase)

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22 minutes ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

I was not aware of that, that sounds closer to what I am looking for. Now I just need to figure out a way to jam PGGB-RT some where in there!

7AEFE6AB-7ED3-4AC9-A775-DF1157EE0628.thumb.png.4df57c69d9dbbc2df4cc88c629461abf.png

Innuos Zenith + Antipodes K50 + PhoenixNET + PhoenixUSB,

Sablon 2020 USB to Mscaler, WAVE Storm BNC to DAVE (Sean Jacobs external DC4 power)

Pass Labs XA60.8 power amps + Spendor SP200 speakers, ATC150 actives.

 

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1 hour ago, Zaphod Beeblebrox said:

Both  HQPe and NAA run on the AMD server (AL) built by Larry. 

?? Why would you add NAA to the same cpu as HQPlayer?  The N is not used. 😀

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1 minute ago, ted_b said:

?? Why would you add NAA to the same cpu as HQPlayer?  The N is not used. 😀

Because it is more stable and I have less issues such as random static or clicks or stops when used this way

Author of PGGB, remastero

New: PGGB-RT for foobar2000 (foo-RT) has been released!

Tip: Turn PGGB-RT into an offline remastering tool using PGGB.IT! V2.2

☁️PGGB.IO (Another way to audition PGGB, with credits towards PGGB purchase)

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2 hours ago, Fourlegs said:

7AEFE6AB-7ED3-4AC9-A775-DF1157EE0628.thumb.png.4df57c69d9dbbc2df4cc88c629461abf.png

Does mconnect point the player directly to the source or does the file go through mconnect on it’s way to the player. i.e. after starting can you disable mconnect and the song keeps playing? For optimum quality direct play is preferred. 

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