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Dream Studio Low latency kernels

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I recently installed Dream Studio on my laptop. Linux mint 10 was my favorite software for music playback until I tried the latest version of Dream Studio which has a low latency kernel. I have my laptop connected via USB and plugged into my Benchmark HDR and McIntosh MC-275 amp. Right across the music spectrum there is a notable reduction in coloration and greater inner detail when playing into my MAC or using my Denon AH-D7000 headphones. I also have Windows 7 and JRM 15 installed on my laptop and find Linux Dream Studio and Audacious music player produces far superior sound quality than the Windows/JRM15 combo. Wondering if others have tried this Linux combo and how this might compare to other music servers like Sonore, etc?




Bill[br]Old HP Laptop. Benchmark HDR DAC1, McIntosh MC-275 (Treasure KT88Z tubes), McIntosh MR-71 tuner, Rogers Studio Monitor II speakers. Denon AH-D7000 headphones.

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  • 2 months later...

Replying to an older thread here.


Several weeks ago I went thru more than a dozen different music players in linux to pick one for playback. Based upon subjective sound quality I chose Audacious. This running Fedora and PCLOS. I thought it probably surpassed Foobar using WASAPI. I went into all the players I tried and turned off any extra plug ins or such it was using. Setting all available preferences to as simple as possible.


Today I ran into this how-to showing how to get bit perfect playback with linux using Ubuntu and either Audacious or Deadbeef as the music playing software. I would think this of interest to people who use linux, want bit perfect playback, but don't wish to get involved in using the command line as it involves nothing more than opening some preferences to enable or disable a few check boxes.




This is using Ubuntu, but I would imagine any of the other linux variations with an up to date kernel would work as well. I haven't confirmed Audacious is bit perfect in the versions of linux I use though it certainly had the best sound quality. While I have used Deadbeef a little I didn't have it in my survey of players as I didn't like the interface as much as some others. For what it is worth I thought Quod libet was the second best sounding with a fair gap to all others. Clementine was 3rd though almost as much because of the interface as sound. I did think it among the better sounding of the players not in my top two.


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Your update suggestions are great and I will give mpd a try. Right now I am using ubuntu 11.10 with a low latency kernel and a generic kernel. Like the generic kernel best for sound quality. Still using Audacious with alsa and my Benchmark dac as set up in your article. It is amazing how good online 128 kps radio is with my setup. CD playback quality is stellar and I much prefer it to windows (wasapi) and JRM 15. Linux has a steeper learning curve but well worth the effort.




Bill[br]Old HP Laptop. Benchmark HDR DAC1, McIntosh MC-275 (Treasure KT88Z tubes), McIntosh MR-71 tuner, Rogers Studio Monitor II speakers. Denon AH-D7000 headphones.

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you may want to give Lubuntu a try instead of Ubuntu. It is also a full featured distro but lighter than Ubuntu. With respect to sound, it has only ALSA installed and no Pulseaudio (as Ubuntu does) which you do not need and is competing with ALSA. The load on my Atom processor is about 1% when I run MPD with GMPC as client.

Dynobot who is also around here some times has also some quite interesting tweaking ideas (use only one processor core for mpd) on his page (hope he does not mind putting it here):



To my ears, my Lubuntu server (with general kernel) sounds significantly better than the Ubuntu setup (with and without low latency kernels) that I had before.


From my experience MPD is bit perfect. I was able to check this once with a Weiss DAC 202 that I had on loan. According to the guys at Weiss I was the only guy around who connected the Weiss by Firewire to Linux (mpd, alsa, ffado), and then you can check it as they have special files. Weiss were at the time working on the MAN 202 which has also Linux inside, although not mpd.


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Hi Lugili,


From my previous message, I am in fact using Lubuntu. I just forgot to put an L in front of ubuntu. Like you, great improvement over other linux distros.


At the young age of 76 I am still learning linux and liking the results. Will have a go at MPD after the Xmas holidays. I have a single core processor with my desktop computer that I will try MPD with. Right now I use my laptop (dual core) for music playback through my Benchmark HDR. Hopefully the mpd route will provide the same results as you have had with it. Your links are helpful and I do appreciate them.




Bill[br]Old HP Laptop. Benchmark HDR DAC1, McIntosh MC-275 (Treasure KT88Z tubes), McIntosh MR-71 tuner, Rogers Studio Monitor II speakers. Denon AH-D7000 headphones.

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