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New Sonore Signature Server


datman

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As of today, my turntable and all of my vinyl have been packed up and placed into storage. Audiophile heresy, you say? Think again.Today is the day that my Sonore Signature Server and Signature Power Supply trumped my turntable.

 

When I originally received my Sonore, I had not purchased the Upgraded power supply. My opinion of the Sonore Server at this time was "this is really good for digital."

 

At Adrian's suggestion, I added the Upgraded power supply about 10 days later. The power supply arrived, was immediately installed and the magic happened.

 

All of the sudden things went from "good for digital" to superb regardless of the format. Images that were previously overblown shrank to exactly the right size. Voices have a "glow" to them that really amps up the believability quotient. Orchestral music is now layered and in absolutely correct perspective. Even 16/44 music sounds terrific.

 

As an aside, the Sonore products are REALLY plug and play. Install them, copy over your music (in my case it took 60 hours to copy my data) and beautiful sound ensues.

 

A terrific product that actually DOES what the manufacturer says it will do. Extremely simple installation, ease of use and audio gold comes out. How much more than this can you ask for?

 

Sonore Signature Server, Sonore Signature Power Supply, Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2DSDse, Primaluna Dialogue Premium Preamp, Dennis HAd Inspire MB12 Amp, Lowther Alerion, ExactPower EP15A Power Conditioner

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I second everything you've said datman. I've been enjoying my Sonore with upgraded PS for a couple of months now. It's a simple, excellent sounding solution, and Jesus and Adrian are a pleasure to work with.

 

BPT 3.5 Ultra/Reference 3A Reflectors/MSB Technology S201 Amplifier/MSB Technology Analog DAC/MSB Technology Network Renderer/Audirvana +

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with SME 3009/Series III arm and Audio Technica AT33PTG cartridge. I use a DACT CT100 based phono preamp

 

Sonore Signature Server, Sonore Signature Power Supply, Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2DSDse, Primaluna Dialogue Premium Preamp, Dennis HAd Inspire MB12 Amp, Lowther Alerion, ExactPower EP15A Power Conditioner

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datman. Are you using an I2S connection between your Sonore and the W4S? If so, I would recommend experimenting with some of the better HDMI cables (and keep it as short as reasonable)-you may be able to get significant improvements with a really good HDMI cable.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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Why is this better than a Mac mini?

 

- Mark

 

Synology DS916+ > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > Netgear switch > SoTM dCBL-CAT7 > dCS Vivaldi Upsampler (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 Dual 110 Ohm AES/EBU > dCS Vivaldi DAC (David Elrod Statement Gold power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > Absolare Passion preamp (Nordost Valhalla 2 power cord) > Nordost Valhalla 2 xlr > VTL MB-450 III (Shunyata King Cobra CX power cords) > Nordost Valhalla 2 speaker > Kaiser Kaewero Classic /JL Audio F110 (Wireworld Platinum power cord).

 

Power Conditioning: Entreq Olympus Tellus grounding (AC, preamp and dac) / Shunyata Hydra Triton + Typhoon (Shunyata Anaconda ZiTron umbilical/Shunyata King Cobra CX power cord) > Furutec GTX D-Rhodium AC outlet.

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Yes I am using the I2S interface. It is the reason I purchased the Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2. I figure the Cardas cable Simple Designs supplies with the Sonore is more than adequate.

 

Adrian said the Signature Power Supply is especially noticable with the I2S buss and I wholeheartedly agree.

 

Sonore Signature Server, Sonore Signature Power Supply, Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2DSDse, Primaluna Dialogue Premium Preamp, Dennis HAd Inspire MB12 Amp, Lowther Alerion, ExactPower EP15A Power Conditioner

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"Why is this better than a Mac mini?"

 

Is that datman is using the I2S connection from the Sonore to the W4S DAC.

 

Other potential reasons: The Sonore uses hardware selected specifically for audio playback, and a stripped down Linux OS developed specifically for audio playback only.

 

datman-I am sure the Cardas is pretty good, but there may be better HDMI cables which will make a difference. The I2S connection is pretty cable sensitive in my experience. I have had good results with Nordost, and I suspect the higher level HDMI cables from Wireworld would work great in this application-shorter is better.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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It was asked... "Why is this better than a Mac mini?" and Barrows answered "[because] datman is using the I2S connection from the Sonore to the W4S DAC".

 

Well maybe, but given that the W4S doesn't have a USB connection compatible with Linux there is no way to compare if USB direct would be better. With respect to Sonore's engineering their i2s *MAY* be no improvement over well implemented USB.

 

At the end of the day I think Barrows comments about how cable dependent such a connection is could reflect on the fact i2s is designed for short parallel PCB tracks NOT external cabling.

 

Barrows also commented the Sonore use " a stripped down Linux OS developed specifically for audio playback only" which I would actually disagree with. The VortexBox Linux distribution was specifically designed to provide CD ripping and audio serving capability via Squeezebox and UPnP (like the RipNAS which uses Windows). On device playback was added later. My point is that this isn't particularly stripped down.

 

 

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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What you say about I2S may be true. However, isn't USB also not a standard audio interface? I know it wasn't developed with audio in mind. As a result I would guess that USB has its own limitations.

 

 

 

Sonore Signature Server, Sonore Signature Power Supply, Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2DSDse, Primaluna Dialogue Premium Preamp, Dennis HAd Inspire MB12 Amp, Lowther Alerion, ExactPower EP15A Power Conditioner

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"At the end of the day I think Barrows comments about how cable dependent such a connection is could reflect on the fact i2s is designed for short parallel PCB tracks NOT external cabling. "

 

The above is not true. Standard I2S is indeed designed for internal digital communications, and additionally, it works much better when the lines are kept short: in my DAC i have found under 10 cm is best for standard I2S.

The Sonore, and the W4S do not use standard I2S (which is single ended) but instead use the PS Audio I2S format, which was developed specifically for digital connections between separate chassis. The difference is that the PS Audio format I2S is a balanced (and line driven) signal, and as such it is not subject to signal degradation the same way that standard (single ended) I2S is.

Still, the cable does matter, just as it does with async USB and every other method of data transmission (including, some people are discovering quite surprisingly, ethernet). The few times I have used products at home with the PS Audio I2S formats, I have found that a Nordost, 1 m, HDMI cable produced excellent results. I also recommended Wireworld, because they make some very nice HDMI cables which are also available in even shorter lengths. Just as with USB, shorter is better as well. I am sure the Cardas HDMI is good as well.

 

 

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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I2S via HDMI is no more or less cable sensitive than any other connection.

 

I have tried generic HDMI, Nordost Wyrewizard and PS Audio I2S-12. The difference is not subtle. The PS cable is a runaway winner.

 

Al J.

Modem/router + Keces DC-116 12V LPS - SGC Sonic Transporter + Sonore 12V LPS/Edwards Audio ISO-1 mains isolation transformer - Meicord Opal LAN cables - Aqvox Switch + Sbooster 9V LPS/Uptone LPS-1 - Etalon Isolator - Sonore Signature Rendu Special Edition + Mad Scientist Heretical USB data-only cable - Sonore Ultradigital + Uptone LPS-1 - PS Audio I2S-12 cable - HQ Player - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC -  iPeng on iPad 2 - MK Sound 300 monitors - Mad Audio Scientist Tungsten Carbide footers - Niels Larsen NLE speaker cables - Walker Audio Reference Plus HIGH Definition Links - 2 MK Sound MX350 subs - Shakti Stones - Herbie's Super Sonic Stabilizers - Herbie's Tenderfeet - Stillpoints ERS EMI/RFI sheets - Gutwire Ultimate Ground + Entreq Minimus + Silver Minimus grounding boxes - Symposium Rollerblocks - Symposium Ultra platform - Akiko Tuning Sticks

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This one, Nordost Silver Screen HDMI:

 

http://nordost.com/44/silver-screen-hdmi-hi-definition-video-cable

 

excellent.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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Vortexbox is what the Sonore servers use, and it is bascially a tuned and stripped down version of Fedora that is meant to "do everything." It is easy to turn off the uneeded services to make it no more than a player.

 

www.vortexbox.org

 

Also, one of the folks here has a super stripped down puppy linux based player, I don't have the link available, but search here for Puppy Linux MPD and it will show up quickly. Very impressive.

 

-Paul

 

 

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Gentoo Linux is the ultimate stripped-down Linux distro. You install only what you want.

 

What you say is literally true, but few users are conversant enough with the requirements of a Linux audio system to know just what is needed - what to add to a minimal Gentoo install, or what to delete from a normal install. Also, dependencies are determined by those who develop the distro rather than your specific needs, so installing one item can pull in many others, especially if the one item happens to be part of one of the mega desktop environments, KDE or Gnome.

 

There are a couple of other possibilities for Linuxen that might come close to the "stripped down" goal.

 

One is "Linux From Scratch," where you start from nothing and build your own Linux distribution. There are no automatic dependencies installed. What this means is that you must know a great deal about how Linux works in order to build something that does what you want (or really, anything useful).

 

The other is to choose one of the mini distros that will fit on a USB key and install it to an SSD or HDD. But of course you would then have to know how to add the audio capabilities you want.

 

All in all, it might be easier and ultimately more successful just to go with something like Vortexbox or Voyage MPD.

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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@barrows (and possibly others)

 

I'm going to start off here that I accept I may be completely wrong here...

 

My understanding is the primary reason for parallel short tracks for i2s is down to timing errors. i.e. the clock signal must be 100% synchronised to the data for perfect transmission as by using i2s there is no ability to recover from timing errors. If this is correct, how does the differential signal actually allow for this to be corrected when (again my understanding) the point of differential cabling is to correct for external interference which by acting on both the normal and inverted signal are able to be canceled out. If I am incorrectly informed (the information about why short parallel connections basically has come to me from dCS and I believe is backed up by comments from Gordon @ Wavelength) please could someone enlighten me.

 

At the moment I stand by my observation that the i2s connection is bypassing an inferior USB implementation rather than in itself allowing a superior connection.

 

Eloise

 

PS. I'm not suggesting that the Sonore system is in anyway bad, I was just questioning some of the conclusions Barrows was reaching about WHY it is good. i.e. the Wyred4Sound being best connected via i2s does NOT mean i2s is the best connection method.

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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"What you say is literally true, but few users are conversant enough with the requirements of a Linux audio system to know just what is needed - what to add to a minimal Gentoo install, or what to delete from a normal install."

 

You don't need to know what to add to a minimal Gentoo install because of the dependency tree. Just 'emerge mpd gmpc' after a minimal install and everything you need to be installed for playback is installed because of the dependency tree.

 

"Also, dependencies are determined by those who develop the distro rather than your specific needs, so installing one item can pull in many others, especially if the one item happens to be part of one of the mega desktop environments, KDE or Gnome."

 

Dependencies exist in Gentoo because certain software packages depend on other software packages in order to function. There are no required dependencies for any package in Gentoo's dependency tree that are not essential for that package's functionality. If a package depends on KDE in order to function, and you install that package, Gentoo will also install KDE. Why would you want to install a package that depends on KDE in order to function without installing KDE? Maybe if you like broken software. Optional dependencies are controlled by the user via USE flags.

 

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we have actually had the W4S DAC here and we tested it and our own DAC and we really prefer the i2s input. Nothing wrong with USB, but i2s is really good. Consider that the W4S DAC and our DAC both use internal mater clocks and thus some of the features of the asynchronous approach are not utilized. It's also not a competition and just a matter of preference.

 

Barrows said it well, but to make it extra clear i2s is meant for short connections and LVDS i2s is meant for connections between two units. LVDS is what is used by PS Audio, K&K Audio, W4S, MSB and the Sonore DAC so we are in pretty good company.

 

There is a lot of talk about a so called "stripped down Linux OS dedicated for audio" IMHO it's really just people being paranoid:)

 

just my 2 cents...

 

Jesus R

www.sonore.us

 

 

 

 

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