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Everything posted by jbpsrca

  1. Good question. There may be better solutions out there, but I'm not aware of them. CAPS interests me due to the impressive research, intergrated design, and testing done by Chris for my desired use (audiophile music server). Carbon seems right due to internal real estate and PCI connections most likely supports my Lynx card and CD Drive - but I'm not sure, so therefore my questions. Since I wont be using USB fo rmusic (for now), I would not puchase the SOTM USB card. I'm open to any other suggestions people have. Thanks!
  2. Ahhh... my music server just died. Time to build a new one. Looks like CAPS v3 Carbon for me. I'm pretty bad about understanding simple component connections, so I'd appreciate advice on the following: - I will need to use my Lynx AES16e PCI Express audio card in this server (I dont plan to go USB at this time, my current Berkeley Alpha DAC connected AES/EBU thru an Antelope DA clock works nice, and I need the Lynx digital input into the server for ripping vinyl as well). - I also need a CD drive for ripping as well (hard to pass up the $1 CDs at the local Goodwill - its amazing how much good music people throw out...). Would an external USB CD drive work best with the CAPS server? Or is there an advantage to an internal CD drive? If so , will it fit, how will it connect? Any recommends for brand / model etc? Thanks!
  3. Just upgraded to J River MC 17.0.46 and Lynx AES16e to driver 2.019c and firmware 12.3, in order to switch from using asio4all.dll to using WASAPI Event Style thru WIndows 7. The installs went fine. And it plays 44/16 wav files thru WASAPI Event Style wonderfully (noticable sonic improvement!! yeahh!!). However, when I try to play a 96/24 wav file, J River displays an error message: "something wrong with playback. Playback could not be started on the output WASAPI - Event Style using the format 96kHz 24 bit 2ch. The output format may not be supported by your hardware." A separate message says: "This format would work: 48kHz 24bit 2ch". The same 96/24 wav file plays using the ASIO output (both with the new Lynx driver, and the old asio4all). I tried a suggestion from the J River forum to toggle the "Present 24 bit data in a 32 bit package" option, but neither setting worked. Any other thoughts? My Lynx AES16e Mixer - Adapter window shows Current Rate and Rate Select as 48k. I can manually change it to 96k or 192k, but it bouncces back to 48k when J River starts. But my understanding is that the J River application overrides these values if Lynx shows Current Source as Internal
  4. ahhh... my music server hardware is dying. I could try to fix it... or take the opportunity to UPGRADE!!! (when in doubt, always upgrade!! what's the point of an insatiable hobby if you don't at least try to satiate it every now and then?) So my Berkeley Alpha DAC (series 1) might sound better thru an Alpha USB than thru my current Lynx AE16? And an Alpha 2 might sound better than amy Alpha 1 DAC? I'd love to know. Christmas is just around the corner... Test cases I'd request: - Alpha DAC 1 vs Alpha DAC 2 (all else being equal) - Lynx AE16 vs Alpha USB (all else being equal (as much as possible) - including using Alpha DAC 1 as the output for both - Alpha USB thru standard USB port, vs thru SOTM USB port (all else being equal (my theory would be the Alpha USB would mitigate the need for the expensive SOTM USB filter and interface - and let me use an off the shelf Netttop (Acer Revo 3700 vs a custom made CAPs server) Just my wishlist... looking forward to whatever insights you provide us. Cheers!
  5. As I'm about to build a CAPs like server soon, I also am curious about the SOTM USB PCI card as well, if a device like the new Berkeley USB device is used. I currently have a Berkeley DAC, and will consider the Berkeley USB to AES converter to connect to my new music server. <br /> <br /> Chris, since I believe you plan to test a Berkeley USB soon - would you consider the following test on your CAPS 2 server? Try back to back listening with the Berkeley USB plugged into the sotm usb card, and then with the Berkeley USB plugged into one of the standard Jetway USB ports.<br /> <br /> I'd be curious to know if the Berkeley USB eliminates the need for the SOTM USB card
  6. Hi folks, I've been THRILLED with my setup playing 44/16 files ripped from CD. Rock solid performance for 6 months - FAB sound. Just started trying 96/24 files, either FLAC from HD tracks or WAV ripped from vinyl. Even BETTER sound! but... periodically playback has electronic pops and clicks, sometimes in middle fo songs, sometimes when playback switches between 96/24 and 44/16 between songs. Any thoughts on where to start troubleshooting? Thanks!!
  7. Thanks Chris. Is it still th v.67 asio driver you are using, or have you moved to the current release (v2.1?).<br /> <br /> Unfortunately, I get infrequent clicks, and sometimes extended distortion, with the v.67 asio driver under win7 32 bit w MediaMonkey. Haven't tried asio v2.1 yet.<br /> <br /> For now, I've switched to wave_out, which is stable. Doesn't seem to be as magical, tho (haven't done critical back to back listening yet). Is wave_out same thing as WASAPI? I also see a Direct Sound this weekend, but haven't tried it yet.<br /> <br /> I'll switch to J River this weekend. Thanks for all the tips and research. Love this site!
  8. Great article chris.<br /> <br /> Question - what audio driver do you use with win7 and j river for the lynx card? I'm assuming the asio4all is out of the picture, as it was a legacy version that used to be in favor?<br /> <br /> Thanks!
  9. Hi folks, Thanks for everyone's comments. I got it working. Combination fo some of the Lynx mixer settings, and the connections to the Lynx card. Everything is working beautifully now. I appreciate all of your help. Couldn't have done it without you. Cheers!
  10. It worked GREAT! Just got it hooked up and sorted out last night, for the first time - and it was phenomenal. I ran the 70ft Redco made Gotham cable straight to my Berkely DAC for a few days. It worked OK, but sound quality was not as "magical" as I had heard the Berkeley DAC in another system. And then the playback started to skip, fuzz, static, and all sorts of other obscene sounds intermittently. Then I plugged the 70ft cable into the Antelope DA, and a 1m Harmonic Technologies Digital Magic 1 cable from the Antelope to the Berkeley - and it was AMAZING! Completely stable playback, no digital artifacts. And the sonic quality leapt forward exponentially - rich, vibrant, detailed, pristine - truly a phenomenal sound. Produced more out of the Berkeley than I even thought capable - based on my listenings at previous demos - and I came in with VERY high expectations. This was a home run solution for me - no doubt about it.
  11. Wow! I am just stunned by what I've been listening to. I am not a "seasoned" audiophile, but I've been in the hobby long enough to know what sounds good to me. And last night was IT! I've had a very good year. And for Christmas, my wife let me fulfill my computer audiophile fantasies (I LOVE her!!). Thanks to all of the great info from all of you at this website, I had a good list of what I wanted to build. I finally got it all hooked up and configured right for the first time last night, and I was just amazed! You kow all the adjectives: jaw-dropping, transcending, pristine, sonic-bliss, etc. It was all that I possibly imagined, and more. Tears in the eyes, totally moving experience, many many hours (years) of joyful listening to follow. This is just a thank you to everyone in this hobby for sharing, and caring - and to those who contribute to this site. Particularly to Jesus and Eloise, who helped me trouble shoot a config problem. To Happy (Paul) who introduced me to the Antelope DA reclocker (this introduced a phenomenal leap in performance!), to Music Lovers in San Francisco, who helped me prove to myself how truly wonderful the Berkeley DAC is, and of course to Chris - who provides such a great forum for us all to play. Cheers everyone! It's moments like last night that make all the time and effort pay off! Here's to many happy moments of listening, playing, and tweaking to come.
  12. Ahh... thanks for the thought, but no iTunes in this house (I'm not a fan of it). All testing so far with Media Monkey, Goldwave, and WMP. All files ripped from CD via EAC. 96k files from HDTracks or recorded from LP with Goldwave. Cheers!
  13. Hi folks. great tips. Thanks. Eloise - I plugged a DVD player into the Berkeley DAC TOSLink, and it played fine. Jesus - I tried both of your suggestions, with some success: Recording: I had ordered a custom Redco cable that would allow me to record LPs to my Music Server, as well as output Music to the DAC. So I hooked up the input end of the Redco cable to my Lucid ADC fed by my turntable, and voila, it successfully recorded 96/24 and 44.1/16 files from LP thru the Lynx card using Goldwave recording software. In Goldwave, I set the Record Input Device to Lynx 9/10 inputs. Playback: Using Media Monkey, I switched from the ASIO output plugin to both the waveout.dll and the Media Monkey Direct Sound plugins - and when I select the Lynx 9/10 outputs, I get music thru the Berkeley DAC (yeahh!!) I could also Playback thru Goldwave, using the Lynx 9/10 output. Analysis: So my Redco cable was supposed to be wired with channels 1/2 as output, and 9/10 as input. But it sounds like both wires (input and output) terminate within the HD26 on the 9/10 channel. Does this sound right? Remaining questions / problems: If ASIO is supposed to give me best sound quality, it looks like it doesn't work on inputs 9/10 from the Lynx card. Whereas the Waveout.dll shows all 8 pairs of the Lynx channels, the ASIO plugin config options only shows 1 option: ASIO Lynx, and it seems to output to channels 1/2 (as viewed thru the Lynx mixer. When Media Monkey is set to the ASIO plugin, the Berkeley DAC does seem to see something, as it auto switches sample rates based on what song is playing (yeah!!) - even if it doesn't play sound. On the other hand, when playing songs form the waveout or MM Direct Sound plugins, the Berkeley DAC plays music, but it always shows sample rate of 44.1 - even when playing a 96k file. Does best bet sound like going to Redco, and asking them to fix the cable (assuming it's configured wrong?). Or are their other ideas? Thanks!
  14. Lynx Mixer is showing output (blinking bars up to -3 db) in columns 1 and 2. Mute is off in both columns
  15. Hi folks, Yahoo - all new digital music gear for me under the Xmas tree! I just wired up all my new toys - and I think I'm close, but still no sound. Does anyone have any trouble shooting tips? Windows 7 32 bit Home Premium > Media Monkey v3.2.0.1294 > asio4all.dll v.067 > Lynx AES16e w firmware v7.0a and mixer v2.0 build 17 RC 3e > Redco custom Gotham AES/EBU cable > Berkeley Alpha DAC > AudioQuest Cheetah RCA interconnects > NuForce Ref 9 v2 SE amps > Nordost Red Dawn II speaker cables > Magnepan 3.6R speakers. Speaker and amps work fine when driven by normal analog components (used for testing only. analog components unplugged and not in chain for music server setup) When Media Monkey plays a song, the Berkeley DAC displays the proper sample rate, and switches between sample rates when the song switches (44.1k, 96k). DAC volume control shows volume going up / down and mute on/off. But no sound comes out. Any tips, or thoughts on what to look at? Seems to me if the DAC is displaying the sample rate, then Media Monkey and Lynx are doing their thing - at least partly right. I'm guessing I'm missing something pretty simple here. Thanks!
  16. Thanks Vincent. Great post! I love reading real world experience with exactly the question I have. I want the Berkeley DAC because I've heard the magic it can transmit. I got to do a side by side listem of the Berkeley DAC (through a Lynx AES16) next to the new Ayre QB-9 that has been receiving rave reviews in a hi end audio store last week. While the Ayre was VERY good, the Berkeley was still light years ahead in terms of realism, clarity, and engagement. Sold me on the spot. Now I want to make sure I make no mistakes in getting the best out of it that I can. Your post certainly helps steer me in the right direction. Cheers!
  17. Excellent! I tried Remote Desktop with 2 older XP machines today, and it worked fine! I can scroll 5,000 song Now Playing lists in Media Monkey with virtually no hesitation. Fully acceptable. Interesting... I tried RDC first with an older MacBook (OS 10.3 I think - I know sooo little about Macs) to an XP server, and it was terrible. Then I tried VNC from Mac to XP, and it was better but not good enough. Then I tried VNC XP to XP, and still no good, which prompted my post. I'm thankful for your suggestion of going back to RDC, this time XP to XP - and now I'm a happy camper! Now on to the next fun steps - building an optimized Windows server (gee... is it XP or Windows 7 these days... looks like XP is still the "safe" bet in this forum?). And is it really Media Monkey as the best bet, or does J. River now win out in the "bit perfect" wars...? So much fun reading... So much fun playing ahead... Cheers!
  18. Hi folks, Tragedy: after 5 years, my squeezebox died Opportunity: so now - for Christmas - I get to rebuild my whole digital front end to the "best" available. Yeahhh!!! Dream State: using the best tips from Computer Audiophile, I am starting to buy/build: Windows laptop at listening chair, Real VNC remote control to server. PC Server running Media Monkey with Lynx AES16. Connect to Berkeley DAC. Ahhh -- Sonic Bliss!?!?! Problem #1: GRRR...It was all going so well until... VNC remote control performance is not acceptable. Screen refresh is "pretty fast", but: particularly choppy / delayed when scrolling through long playlists - or other screen motions that should be "liquid and smooth". This will not be good enough. We frequently scroll through long lists selecting music to play, and the user experience is unacceptable to "wait" for the screen to catch up. Option 1: Better remote control configuration / software? I'm using latest Real VNC server / viewer, ethernet connected? Can screen scrolling, etc be "real time" at the viewer, or will there always be hesitation? Are there settings I should try? Different sofwtare or hardware products that can make this work? Option 2: Hardware to the rescue? Run my laptop as music server. Run PCMCIA to external card cage for the Lynx card (Magma 1 or Adtech?), run long (20ft) AES/BEU cable from chair to Berkeley DAC (maybe with Antelop DA reclocker?). Allows user experience of the Media Monkey interface to be real time. But some undesirable extra costs. Option 3: simpler hardware rescue? Run my laptop as music server. Run TOSLink or BNC SPDIF from laptop to Berkeley DAC (20ft) (maybe with Antelop DA reclocker?). Allows user experience of the Media Monkey interface to be real time. But can Berkeley DAC sound as good through TOSLink or SPDIF as through AES/BEU? Would Antelope reclocker solve any problems that the TOSLink / SPDIF and distance would introduce?
  19. Excellent suggestion. I'm following your other Antelope DA thread with great interest. This device seems to have the added short term advantage for me of: 1. running a long AES cable from the Lynx to the Antelope (sounds like Wild Kingdom, here ;-) 2. using the Antelope to convert AES in to a short spdif out cable to my current Bel Canto DAC (which only has spdif input). If the Antelope handle this format conversion as well as re-clocking all in one box (as it seems to do), then its a true winner for me right now. Thanks!
  20. Great posts, folks. Helps alot. Bordin, thanks for the details of your recent project, and comparisons of the Lynx AES to the spdif route. I'm liking what you did, ad I'm leaning that route. Bruce, thanks for the real life experience in the studio with all these options. As always, great resources with helpful, pertinent info in this forum. Tim, thanks for the suggestion for the cost effectiveness of a local silent PC. That is a good option, but I also want to maintain my vinyl ripping studio (only 2,000 more albums to go!!!) at my current server location, and I'd prefer not to build a 2nd music server ( I geek all day at work, and want to minimize my geek footprint at home, if I can). I do appreciate the concerns about the cables, but: 1. I don't understand reflections as a problem in a long AES cable. I thought reflections were only a problem in too short optic cables? 2. I don't see a proper AES cable subject to environmental noise, nor it having an impact on a digital signal within the cable, as long as the cable is operating within specs. Am I missing something here? I would think Bob, in a heavily equipped studio environment, would be suffering from such environmental noise, if that were the case (for analog audio cables, I can see the signal being much more sensitive to environmental influences) Cheers!
  21. Hi folks, My PC-XP music server is 70ft from listening room audio equipment. I want to switch from current squeezebox setup, to using Media Monkey direct from server to DAC. Objective is optimal sound quality, with better software interface / responsiveness. Current DAC is Bel Canto 2 (w spdif (coax or toslink)). Future DAC (6 months / year +) targeting Bereley Alpha or similar high end. Considering 2 choices for bridging that 70ft from server to DAC: Option 1: Install a Lynx 16AES card in Music server, with a custom 70ft AES cable terminated HD26 to AES. Connect to current spdif DAC with Neutriks AES to spdif transformer. Option 2: Install a best quality spdif IO Card (ESI @ Julia?), and bridge a short TOSLink cable at each device with a 70ft CAT5 cable connected with Gefen CAT5 spdif extension transformers. Both options seem rated for this distance on paper. But I am unable to decipher to specs to determine which option offers the fewest compromises, injects the fewest jitter problems, etc. Seems there are concerns in this forum with longer AES cables? Seems like the Gefen solution is recommended in this forum for its conenience, but hasn't been tested for optimized performance with a good spdif card (if there is such a thing?) If a long AES cable works, will the Neutriks spdif transformer trash it all at the end? Any thoughts or other recommendations welcome!
  22. Hi folks, Great website and forums! I'm a 2nd gen computer audiophile (been using an original Squeezebox for 6 years), and now have cash to upgrade most of my system (long time dreamer): New system will have greatly enhanced detail and transparency (Magnepan 3.6rs with Nuforce Ref 9SE amps, Placette Remote Volume Control), so I need good computer source to match. My library is approx 10k songs in either EAC ripped WAV 16/44.1 or LP ripped 24/96 thru Pro Lucid A/D converter. The 1 piee that I currently have that I like is my slightly aged, but still good sounding, Bel Canto DAC2 (TOSLink S/PDIF input, BB PCM 1738e 24/192 DAC, Crystal 8420 upsampler, buffered internal reclocking "that eliminates jitter" !! ?? !!) For the computer source, I want to: - control from my listening chair, have - NO computer noise, - and be able to browse my files easily. Based on what I've read in the forum, I'm considering: - Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (Window XP, SSD) - - USB out (right side port) to M-Audio Transit - - - Optical S/PDIF out to Bel Canto DAC - - USB in (left side port) from USB hub which supports Lacie 500gb Drive and external CD. To achieve WAF (Wife approval Factor) everything gets hidden in respective "under sofa" sites, which requires the following cabling lengths: - 10 ft USB lengths from Dell Mini to the Transit and USB hubs - 20ft Fiber Optic link from the Transit to the DAC Media software will be on of the bit-perfect recommendations on this forum (Media Monkey, JRiver, etc - haven't started playing with them). Questions: - Any thoughts about pieces of this that will work well? won't work well? things you'd do different? - Will the Transit really let me get bit-perfect 24/96 from Media Monkey thru S/PDIF to my DAC, if the software is set up properly? - Any problem with the cable lengths? (fiber or USB?) - Will the old Bel Canto DAC reclocking "really" eliminate jitter when it receives the S/PDIF signal? Thanks so much ahead of time!
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