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rrstesiak

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About rrstesiak

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  1. Just go to newegg and get a flexible cable type.
  2. All: The original post had the following requirements: At first I dismissed this post as a bit esoteric and pretty much irrelevant as far as audio playback on computers, but I do have the following rather detailed story of sorts to tell which may surprise some readers. 1. First of all, system requirements need to be stated. The OP indicated that CPU cache has a direct correlation to the perceived, but as of yet immeasurable quality, of played back music. 2. Further statements in the chain were made that the larger the cache/faster the cpu, the better the sound. 3. To narrow the scope, I would like to limit this discussion to the PLAYBACK of audio only. However, the BEST possible playback. It is in my experience, with current technology, the best sonics are obtained by carefully specifying hand picked components that can handle audio playback requiring the LEAST power possible without adversely affecting playback. In my possession I have two Linux computers, both running MPD and FLAC files out to a Bryston BDA-1 DAC via M2TECH HiFACE TWO USB/SPDIF converter via BNC cable. In my direct experience with my lengthy and thorough recent project titled My Custom Designed Music Server for under $500 that matches $3,000 Servers The minimal system far surpasses the powerful, workstation class system in audio playback. And I mean *FAR* surpasses. While I do not go into details of why the more powerful system was less capable at producing the best audio in that article, I can list some main reasons here: 1. Power Supply: The Workstation requires 750Watts; in a traditional ATX power supply. I chose an excellent one which only utilizes the fan under moderate or greater load. In the case of mpd audio playback, the fan never spun up. However, these power supplies by design are not spec'd for audio; therefore they are "noisy". 2. I chose the now dated but still very capable quad core Intel Ivy Bridge 3770K i7 CPU, utilizing 22nm tech, 1024MB L2 cache (256MB per core), and 8MB L3 cache. TDP is 77 Watts base frequency; non-overclocked. 2a. To run this CPU at core and overclocked frequencies with logevity and reliabilty in mind, I had to resort to Liquid Cooling - introducing another fan and associated but silent radiator and hosing. Of critical note, a fan of some sort is nearly mandatory for this class CPU even today. There may be some exotic (expensive) other cooling methods including custom cases, but that would blow my budget and was not necessary for my scientific work. 3. To run this CPU, as well as PCI Gen3 slots, and many other motherboard features, a significant amount of additional discrete electrical components are required... which equals noise..unwanted in audio. I could probably list a few more but these should suffice. In stark contrast, my lower power Intel Braswell Embedded Linux server far surpasses the workstation in audio playback. The main reasons are as follows: 1. Power Supply: embedded botherboard uses a simple 19v DC in, with an external laptop-like "brick" power supply rated at 60 Watts. While this falls short of a linear power supply, even it outperforms the workstation classes' high efficiency ATX power supply in audio. Further, it removes the power supply from the internals of the server. I have performed measurements in the past and EMF effects span about 12 inches from their source. EMF = bad for audio. 2. CPU is Intel Braswell N3150, utilizing 2MB L2 cache and 14nm tech, with 4 cores and TDP of a mere 6 watts! Even while playing back 192/24 flac files, cpu utilization is only on average around 12% on ONE core. 3. As the board is an embedded solution with minimal power requirements and a mini-itx form factor, reducing the amount of discrete components and circuitry to the minimum required; resulting in not only the desirable effect of improving audio playback performance, but yielding a much more aesthetically pleasing music rack component. In conclusion, I have listed a few key technical reasons WHY the lower power system prevails, but at a very high level I can simply state the workstation class solution for audio fell short of the performance of my NAD 516 entry-level audiophile CD player, but my low power system exceeds the performance of this CD player. I have written many articles on other forums detailing this comparison. Just providing a different point of view in the hopes this makes folks think twice. (it is obvious the embedded solution has a SMALLER cpu cache but sounds BETTER) In closing, another very significant fact is I am far from being alone in these concepts. In fact, Bryston's BDP series of music servers costing $3,000 follow very similar logic. I am certain if I researched, many other high-end audio companies also use this architecture. Respectfully, Ron ps. to be brutally honest, I can not think of a single reason how one could possibly actually HEAR and be able to reliably tell in a blind study, given two identically configured PC's expect for CPU cache, which computer has a larger cpu cache in music playback; all else bring equal. The law of diminishing returns is at it's greatest in this thought experiment backed up with my experimentation that in my case yielded a smaller cache is "better"; however, I again feel the many other system parameters far outweighed the effect of the cpu cache.
  3. I somehow missed the whole bit about using HQPlayer. I am not familiar with it, but have heard nothing but positive remarks. I listen strictly to FLAC PCM files, but plan on going to DSD in the future. Having said all of this, many of my ideas still translate, but you may or may not need a more powerful CPU and a GUI to utilize HQPlayer. Ideally, I would have a workstation class PC running full Ubuntu 14.04 with GUI and HQPlayer, and for under $500, build a second server for dedicated music playback only and place that in your music rack utilizing all of the theory and components of my design. Best Regards, Ron
  4. Chris: Thank you for the validation. I frequent some other forums and even here on Computer Audiophile I've read accounts of folks able to discern sound from *behind* their listening positions. I will resume with my linux music server project. Respectfully, Ron
  5. Kelly: I also run Linux, and am looking to upgrade from my M2TECH HiFACE TWO USB/SPDIF converter... I was almost going to finally get the PUC, only to find it doesn't support Linux. What did you settle on that is Linux compatible? I am hoping to get AES output as that seems to be the best for my Bryston BDA-1 DAC. Best Regards, Ron
  6. Different strokes for different folks... for me, I have found a new Braswell based 7 watt embedded motherboard running Debian Linux with realtime kernel and then files loaded to and played from RAM to be my holy grail of sonic goodness. It's all command line with zero GUI, so not for everyone but I think sonically the best within the realm of computer audio. so, a server is best in my opinion.. Previous to this I had a much more expensive Apple MacBook Air, but my Linux box far surpasses it now. With your budget, to my server I would add the HDPLEX Linear Power Suppy; the logic board already has a DC in so it's just plug n play. I would also add either a [email protected] sound card with AES/Coax SPDIF, or a SoTm or Paul Pang USB card with USB /SPDIF converter of your choosing. The Bel Canto you have is already excellent. I am unfamiliar with the details of Paul Pang computers, but if budget is generous, swapping out more components for the Paul Pang versions probably wouldn't be a bad idea. However with my design, I feel I am getting the absolute highest return with minimal investment. My entire system, including the case, a "slightly better than ATX" laptop power supply, and M2TECH HiFACE TWO USB/SPDIF BNC converter comes in well under $500. And to achieve sound better than my Rega P1 turntable and 2014 MacBook Air is an accomplishment. If you are interested, I have a decent thread here titled [h=3]My Custom Designed Music Server for under $500 that matches $3,000 Servers[/h] Best Regards, Ron some pics of my server: logic board: case: my overall system:
  7. Greetings And Salutations: Are many people able to hear effects coming from *behind* them using only TWO speakers plus maybe sub(s)!???? The best I'm able to get are sounds "next" to me off to right or left about 6 feet away..but I have yet to hear anything *behind* me with only two speakers. I have both the redbook 1992 and 2015 192/24 FLAC versions. As for sounds coming from behind, could someone provide specific songs and times into the songs where these effects are heard? I would like to think my system capable of this wizardry (see signature below for specs) but after seeing some of the systems other members have maybe not. I think my DAC, with dual differencial chips and detail with the analogue stage is excellent.. But maybe I need an improvement elsewhere or room treatments? Perhaps folks are listening "near field"? Any and all advice appreciated - Respectfully, Ronald R. Stesiak, PhD National Science Foundation
  8. All: After discussing Bryston's design decisions and the [email protected], I am excited at my own implementation. I was not aware Bryston did NOT use the Linear Power Supply as a separate power feed for their implementation of the [email protected] I intend as mentioned on using the DYI deltasigma power supply and supplying the [email protected] from it. In theory, and with a lot of research, my humble little Linux box should exceed the specifications and quality of the Bryston BDA-1 Music Server. Exceeding the performance of an A+ rated piece of gear from Stereophile for pennies on the dollar would be a great feat! Best Regards, Ron
  9. RayBan: Thank you for the information and kind words - Sincerely, Ron
  10. iago: Thanks for the very good information and validation. Yes, Bryston did modify the [email protected], but there are also a lot of articles on the net of various [email protected] mods too. I have no issue with using the breakout cable, then just mounting the cable end to a custom backplane. If I decide to get a [email protected], I'll also look into the feasibility and pros/cons of tapping directly into the card for AES. I've also investigated the now many USB-based SPDIF converters and think the [email protected] is just a classic of sorts and a bargain vs. say a $500 Audiophileo or costlier designs. Respectfully, Ron
  11. Reply to Dynobot Thank you so very much for truly taking time out and comparing in detail the M2TECH with the Gustard. That was again very kind! I also appreciate your well written philosophy on why you choose a particular DAC over another and what matters most to you. Intrigued by the tube hybrid approach, I looked up Havana and it looks very promising and a very different design from most DACS. I understood immediately its appeal. Unfortunately, it looks like an older model only available in Asia. But I could be wrong. Back to the M2TECH vs. Gustard: I would humbly submit that though the Gustard presents higher frequencies perceptively "better", I fear it is these exact stronger higher frequencies that can lead to listener fatigue. Your Havana DAC's tube buffer stage helps offset this, but I fear my entirely solid state Bryston would sound too brittle. So, I am choosing to stay with the M2TECH and pursuing the [email protected] soundcard...it appears a lot of people did some serious mods to it as well. Thanks Again, Ron
  12. RayBan: I am aware to many people this technology is obsolete and passé...however, I can't argue with an A+ rating on Stereophile for the Bryston BDA-1 which used the [email protected] card.. Any further information or links would be greatly appreciated. I'll also look into GregStew. Which architecture/design did you and others migrate to after your experimentation with the [email protected]? Thanks In Advance, Ron
  13. Perfect! so tell me if you think moving from the M2TECH to the Gustard is a lateral move or a significant upgrade? Best Regards, Ron
  14. NAIDIVER: I've never had the pleasure of auditioning Paul Pang gear; however, the articles I've read all praised his designs. Having said that, it certainly comes at a price. I would carefully examine the specs and details of any equipment you plan to buy and just go with it! It would be great if you could share a link to the motherboard or anything else and we can render more accurate and useful replies. Resoectfully, Ron
  15. and my M2TECH is also XMOS.... Have you by any chance ever compared or heard the M2TECH HiFACE TWO card vs. the Gustard or read any articles comparing those two? Best Regards, Ron
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