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  1. I'm still dreaming about the QB-9 Twenty...
  2. I haven't bought my QB-9 "Twenty" yet because the situation in Brazil is not very good. Is there still time to buy? Are there any plans for upgrade sales to be stopped?
  3. I'm trying to make the new driver version (4.67) work on my QB-9 (model 192/24), but with no success. I tried it on Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10, with JPLAY FEMTO, JRiver and foobar2000. In none of them did I manage to extract sound. I also tried ASIO, Kernel Streaming and WASAPI modes, also without success. I always get an error message and, in the case of JPLAY FEMTO, the computer crashes and stops working. Any tips? Or does the new version only accept the QB-9 Twenty?
  4. My exhaustive tests with dozens of storage devices were performed, mostly, at the time of JPLAY v. 6.2, where I used it in conjunction with MinimServer. At that time, I experimented with numerous filters with AVconv and FFmpeg and a lot of other things. Local storage (SSD, not HD) has always been superior (and I still think SSD and SATA cable are better than M.2 NVMe), with the computer itself managing the library and playback. More than that, I've always preferred the exclusivity of assignments, and for this reason I consider the result of the SATA connection superior only for transferring music data and, in the case of a single-PC, the network connection exclusively for remote control. The concentration of all activities inside the computer is superior, and even with two computers or a computer and a NAS, the arrangements for the pair to play better than one alone need to be rigorous. There's no use for a good computer and a bad computer, or a good computer and a bad NAS. Some NAS have the ability to manage a DLNA network or create a UPnP server. Others even allow the installation of MinimServer. It works, but not as well as using an SSD via SATA connection, with dedicated power supplies and cables (it could be a JCAT SATA Cable), and JPLAY FEMTO managing everything. In the case of femtoServer, the result is even superior to MinimServer, so I'd never consider deactivating it. If that were not enough, the femtoServer is a fundamental part to enable low latencies and a high DAC Link, which brings a result that is usually (not always) superior. It's the double combination of femtoServer and JPLAY FEMTO that makes it the fantastic tool it is, the best I've tried. So, I would use the single-PC as it actually is (and not as Audio-PC, disabling the femtoServer) and try to allocate the music files on an internal SSD, via SATA connection. If this were not possible, it would create a virtual disk to locate the NAS, but I would keep the activity of organizing the library and reproduction concentrated in the JPLAY FEMTO (in this case, the JCAT Net Card FEMTO can be just as important as the JCAT USB Card FEMTO, and you could also consider creating an independent DHCP server to connect the NAS directly to the computer - without router, instead of making a bridge connection - it is a adjustment that I consider best, with two subnets and JPLAY FEMTO between them). Regarding TIDAL, I tested it a little over a year ago, for only 30 days, and found the quality to be much lower. I don't have much experience, but I would probably see: (i) network problems (latency, packet loss, lack of response in time, etc.); (ii) problems with the cell phone or tablet controller (energy saving mode mainly, which MUST be disabled), and; (iii) lastly, there would be a problem with the computer. It doesn't seem to be the case, as the problem appears to be only via streaming. PS .: Marcin, the tool for creating a network with an independent DHCP is very small and only adds a background process. The one I used, if I'm not mistaken, had less than 1MB. Perhaps, for the next editions of JPLAY, it will be possible to implement something like this, to make it possible to connect a NAS directly to one of the ports of the JCAT Net Card FEMTO without the need for a bridge connection (in which case the router would continue to manage the IP and the data flow). Although this isn't necessary for the integration of two PCs with fixed IPs, I believe that for the direct integration of a PC and a NAS it's necessary. I don't know if any NAS behaves like the computer, where the fixed IP allows direct connection.
  5. I will wait to go through this crisis moment to buy my upgrade. In Brazil things are complicated.
  6. The integration of the personal computer (PC) into the home stereo system has provided a revolutionary way to purchase, organize, and play your digital music collection. The Ayre QB-9 digital-to-audio (D/A) converter provides an equally revolutionary way to play back your music files with unprecedented fidelity and realism. Connected via the ubiquitous USB port, the QB-9 generates the master audio clock and requests the data from the computer at the correct time for jitter-free playback of your music. Apple computers can use the standard device driver, while Windows PCs must install a free download available from the Ayre website. The QB-9 also utilizes opto-couplers to provide total electrical isolation for the connections between your computer and music system. This minimizes the introduction of unwanted radio-frequency interference (RFI), generated by all computers Ayre Ayre QB-9 offers a significant advance in the musical performance of high-fidelity equipment. The warmth and immediacy of a live performance are apparent from the first listening. The combination of superb resolution and a natural, relaxed quality will draw you into the music, time and time again. And, as part of the commitment to providing a lifetime of enjoyment from Ayre products, the brand are releasing an update for the QB-9 with the newest technology from the 8 series. The “Twenty” update for the QB-9 costs $1,500.00 and brings it back to the cutting edge of technology, giving QB-9 owners the excitement of discovering their music library all over again! Device Type: USB Digital to Analog Converter Input: USB Output: Single-Ended RCA, Balanced XLR Dimensions (W x H x D): 8-½" x 11-½" x 3" Weight: 5 pounds Manufacturer's product page: www.ayre.com
  7. Not every manufacturer develops its own driver or sufficiently improves a generic driver (such as Thesycon) to extract the most of hardware quality. So, it's very difficult to assess what can be better. The drivers from Hegel, Wyred4Sound and the old USB controllers from Schiit, for example, are not as improved as possible. But, even so, I always find them more reliable. Regarding the order of installation, I'm not the greatest expert on this, but I believe that the JPLAY FEMTO needs to be installed first. Audiophile Optimizer doesn't ask if we want to uninstall JPLAY, but rather disable the network service related to it. If you don't have two computers (Control-PC and Audio-PC), the answer will always be no. However, installing JPLAY FEMTO before is important because the Audiophile Optimizer changes to adapt to it. From start to finish, my sequential order is: (i) install JPLAY FEMTO; (ii) install Audiophile Optimizer, but don't run it; (iii) install the DAC driver through Service Tools; (iv) run the Audiophile Optimizer. An additional tip: using DHCP on the computer and on the router is always very comfortable and always works. More than that, remote access by mstsc.exe helps a lot and solves the vast majority of situations, eliminating a monitor, a mouse and a keyboard (which are very bad for the audio quality). But, in Audiophile Optimizer, disabling all network services brings a substantial improvement. It happens that, so that this doesn't harm the JPLAY FEMTO, it's necessary that the network controller is always configured with fixed IP. BubbleUPnP will continue to work. This, for me, is the best possible scenario for extracting the best quality: fixed IP, without network services, without remote access, without HDMI / VGA connections, and without the USB connection being shared with any other device (mouse and keyboard). Then, the computer will only have three connections: power cable, USB cable from the DAC and network cable for the remote control. I'm very grateful for your words, and for knowing that you have helped and inspired in some way to experience more. I really believe that, today, we haven't yet discovered anything that is more capable than Windows, be it together with JPLAY FEMTO, be it together with Audirvana, HQPlayer or other high level software. I've never seen a Linux perform the same way, even though I tested it all. But, for that, it is necessary to know how to make it work at its maximum. This is also why I consider some reviews to be flawed, unreliable or with little depth of experimentation, such as the one published about the JCAT Net Card FEMTO. Although I consider this card to be highly reliable and intend to buy two in the future, to get the most out of it we need a different level of intimacy with the settings, mainly using Windows Server 2019 in Core Mode.
  8. Hello. I did very extensive tests with every smartphone/iPhone software I found. I can't say that they were all conclusive, but I managed to make a good impression of them. So, here are some reports: 1 - MConnect is the worst software I've tried, with a good margin. I believe this is because, with MConnect, the mobile device becomes the signal path, so the wireless signal (which I try to avoid as much as possible) becomes fundamental, the quality of the device too, and in the end, we create a path that doesn't seem to be the best. It contradicts what we have as most perfect in audiophile terms, which is the wired connection. 2 - BubbleUPnP has always been the best on my system (although I never tried Audirvana). But, it also has particularities that I consider important for the extraction of the best quality. In my case, I have two individual subnets, one general for the house and the other for computers (Control-PC and Audio-PC). It's the general network that serves to control playback, and even though there is NO transfer of music data through it, BubbleUPnP still improves the quality by having the controlled computer and the cell phone set with fixed IP on the router. Furthermore, the quality of the router makes difference, the wireless network, and also the mobile device itself. I installed the same version of BubbleUPnP on a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and a Galaxy Note 9. The playback commanded by Note 9 was clearly better. And, if all this wasn't enough, more recently (I would say the last five updates), BubbleUPnP has considerably improved its quality and stability. So, it all depends on the circumstances and several other factors. I find it very difficult to identify the best one, as the circumstances of the experiment are decisive for the result. For a while I used and preferred the fidata Music App, but the BubbleUPnP updates did it the best again, on my system.
  9. The ATX adapter is the Mini-Box M4-ATX, which I prefer to use in conjunction with other elements to power the motherboards. In my experiments, I saw no advantage in using independent power sections for them, especially because I don't use M.2 SSD and because the processors have an independent 12v power path. Today, if I were to buy an ATX DC-DC adapter, I would buy the M3-ATX, as it is much smaller and fits directly on the motherboard. It's an application that I made after a lot of experimentation, but without any pretension of being correct in something. I only achieved a superior result with the DC-DC adapters together with a special model of power supply that I developed. About the shielding, everything in this computer was thought and adjusted by finger to extract the best sound, to play in the most natural way possible. So inside it there's a combination of Jupiter Pure Silver wiring, Mundorf resistors, Mundorf and Elna capacitors and other things. Each part is meticulously designed for the sound that I aim for, including the wooden cabinet, the cushioning of some parts with cork, cotton and polymeric tape. Because of that, I decided to leave the experiments with grounding and shielding as the last step and, today, the only part of this computer that is effectively shielded is the AC cable from the transformer, which comes out of a Furutech FI-06 NCF inlet. Today, the computer is more or less as in the photo below, and there are two JCAT Net Card FEMTO still missing:
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnKynfjuIp8
  11. I bought the JCAT USB Card FEMTO a year ago, and I'm still postponing the purchase of the Net Card FEMTO. I need two units., but it seems better to wait a little longer, hehehe...
  12. I had scheduled the upgrade for February, but a number of things happened and I'll have to postpone it a little longer. I don't want to delay, as I'm very optimistic about the improvements. I currently have version 192/24, and tell you: try the Synergistic Research Orange fuse. If you are surprised by the QB-9, wait until you hear it with this fuse... Please, keep the topic updated with your impressions and also with comparisons with other DACs....
  13. A friend installed the new version of the driver and was able to get his QB-9 DSD to work. I don't know if the problem is only in version 192/24 or if it is on my computer, but I'll reiterate the experiments calmly and post again here.
  14. I tried driver version 4.67.0, but it didn't work. In principle, I experimented with foobar2000 and JRiver, but neither could play sound. I tried using Kernel Streaming and ASIO modes, but none of them worked. foobar2000 gave the message "Unrecoverable playback error: Could not create ASIO buffers". JRiver gave the message "Format not supported". When I reinstall version 1.26S, everything works again. Too bad. I'd like a more updated driver, because this old one (1.26S), still prepared for Windows 7, causes me many problems installing on Windows Server 2019 Datacenter Core Mode. Does this happen because my QB-9 is 192/24, not the "Twenty" version? PS: version 4.67.0 I tried to install on a normal Windows 10. On the dedicated server I use JPLAY FEMTO. PS 2: I would like buffering and latency options to remain available, just as it was in version 1.26S. I do not know if this is possible, but are key parameters to make the most of the DAC.
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