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Metnoc

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  1. I've taken inspiration from Romaz post and tested setting different frequencies for the CPU on my Roon core. I've done this before, but recently I've done a few changes in my system and wanted to try it again. I have a Zotac CI620 nano computer with an Intel Core i3-8130U (dual-core 2.2GHz, up to 3.4GHz) processor for my Roon core, the endpoint is a sms200ultra. I run windows 10 (thought that it sounded better than Audiolinux last time I've tested) with Fidelizer in purist/streamer mode. I've tried setting the CPU frequency to 1,5. 1,7. 2,1 GHz (setting of 99% of max frequency gets you the highest possible steady frequency, when I put it on 100% I get +2,1 and over, which is turbo mode up to 3,4ghz) and +2,1 GHz (2,1 - 3,4 GHz). I do this by changing the minimum frequency in windows power settings and keeping the maximum frequency at 0%. This forces the CPU to stay at the selected frequency. You can see this in the picture, 71% of max frequency equals 1,5 GHz on this particular CPU model. Well does it affect the sound quality? I'm inclined to say yes. Its difficulty with these things, because it's not a massive difference. Romaz wrote: "As you go up in frequency, dynamics improves but it is at the expense of subtlety and nuance and at some point, harshness will set in." My results seem to be in line with his statement. +2,1 GHz setting gives a more open sound, the voices seem to take on a larger space. As I go down in frequency the sounds seem to become somewhat restricted in terms in terms of vertical spread. I feel like raising the volume to get that enveloping soundstage that the higher frequency gives. It seems to be a slight difference between 99 and 100%, the 99% might be a touch calmer but 100% gives more of the things mentioned above in terms of soundstage size. If I go down to 1,5 GHz the sound becomes more "vinyl-like", with a certain organic touch that's missing when setting the CPU to higher frequencies. This might be equivalent to Romaz "subtlety and nuance" remark. I won't overemphasize these differences, they are subtle and preconceived notions of what to expect might play a role here. However, I think there is a case to be made for the servers CPU frequency affects the sound quality. It would be interesting to get a high-quality PSU for my Roon core, I'm quite intrigued by the Farad PSU. Right now I'm using the PSU that came with the computer. I want to thank Romaz for his contribution to streaming audio, he's inspired me to do some tests and his insights has certainly been helpful. In conclusion, I prefer 100% max frequency, it might be a touch noisier and it lacks some "organic" qualities but the more open soundstage makes up for it. It's difficult to go back to lower frequencies when I've heard the 100% setting because of those sounds somewhat restrictive. When I did this test a couple of months ago I preferred the 1,5 GHz setting, but since then I've made a couple of changes. For example an I've bought an M-way 2DW gold power cord for my DAC, a power cord that sounds quite warm (as in "classical copper warmth", it has Iego red copper connectors). Which makes me less dependant on having to alter other things to get a certain "cozy" sound I oftentimes prefer. My experience is that power cords have a quite fundamental effect on tonality, I've for example have had Crystal power cords. It certainly made my stereo sound different.
  2. I'm planning to try: Wall outlet 1 -> standard power distributor -> first outlet of the power distributor -> dc-blocker-> hifi power cord -> hifi power distributor -> dac and amp. -> outlets 2-4 on the standard -> digital components. Perhaps not optimal either, but the fact is that the digital components disturb my amp and dac.
  3. Did some quick confirmation tests, I have done most of these before. 1. With a sms200ultra as roon endpoint, comparing my usual roon core a passively cooled computer with bridged ethernet output (it has two ethernet ports) with using my mac mini which is situated in another room. The mac mini loses out on timing, putting the mac mini to the same switch as sms200ultra sounds better. 2. Playing files from the internal SSD drive sounds better than playing the same files from an external usb hard disk with my standard roon core. 3. Isolating my amp and dac from the switch, roon core and uptone lps 1.2 sounds better. I use wall outlet nr 1 -> standard power cable -> dc-blocker -> hifi power cord -> only dac and amp in hifi power strip. wall outlet nr 2 -> standard power strip with built in power cord - > switch, roon core, uptone lps 1.2 If I just change the switch PSU, a ifi ipower from the standard power strip to the hifi power strip it sounds worse. The ifi iPower seems to pollute the dac and amp.
  4. Tried Entreq grounding: Minimus->rg45->switch Silver minimus->Apollo rca->digital input on dac. It makes the system sound more like vinyl. Vovox vocalis usb, euphoric and sonorous, it lacks some PRaT and size of soundstage, but I enjoy it very much.
  5. It probably applies to a certain degree since the result is also dependent on the inputs of the dac. SOtM is not state of the art, but certainly quite good, especially with the new software updates. You say that the cec: "probably still has less "digitalis" overall" but "less resolution", these things also has to do with taste, I might prefer your cec over your computer.
  6. The dac was a Aqua la scala mk2. Yes the inputs probably affects the outcome. Christiaan Punter has compared the digital inputs on the Aqua formula: https://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/review/digital-reviews/music-server-reviews/pink-faun-2-16x-2-3/ However, my usb-cable is quite "warm" and "dense" sounding, it's a Vovox vocalis, and the coax used was a Ansuz etc, which is a much more "airy" cable. So the cables might negate some of those differences between the inputs. More tests would have to be done to be sure.
  7. I've burned the cd so it should be the exact same. Well, the tl5 beats the sms200ultra handily, I think the tl5 would be even better (in my ears) with some other cabling than Ansuz.
  8. Yesterday I had a group of guys over at my place, three of them I have had never met before IRL. We did comparisons of four different transports: 1. SMS200ultra, as roon endpoint, uptone lps 1.2 power, vovox usb-cable. 2. Macbook pro 2015, vlc playback program, standard usb-cable. 3. Advance acoustic cd-player as transport with supra coax and standard power cord. 4. C.E.C. tl5 cd-transport, Ansuz a2 power cord, Ansuz dtc coax with "shield?" activated by ansuz dtc power box and Ansuz dtc darkz. We did sighted tests, they knew what transport was playing. But no discussions during the tests, the took notes which we compared and discussed afterwards. The results where mostly as expected. The aggregated score followed the price of the components. 1. Cec 2. Sotm 3. AA 4. macbook My own impressions where that the cec played in a league of its own. Its difficult to pin it down but it has a certain "flow" that makes it sound way more involving, it's a quality that's rarely heard in digital audio. The sotm is quite good, but the cec is something different.
  9. DAC: Aqua la scala mk2 with mullard tubes. Integrated amp: Karan 180 Speakers: Verity Parsifal Only copper cables, a mix of audience and some others.
  10. Router with standard PSU -> qed ethernet cable -> standard switch with ifi ipower -> supra cat 8 -> roon core on a Zotac 620 computer with standard PSU - > supra cat 8 -> OM with mostly ifi Ipower but I tried with a uptone lps 1.2 aswell -> optical cable that came with OM -> OR with Ci PSU -> Supra usb -> Aqua la scala mk2 dac.
  11. Yeah I have considered different solutions. Will report back if I find one.
  12. I have the 12V version of sms200ultra, not sure its advisable to try to power it by Ci 7V power supply.
  13. I have compared: 1. Sonore optical rendu with both copper ethernet and optical ethernet (optical module) with CI Audio VDC•7 MKII power supply. 2. SOtM SMS200ultra with Uptone Audio UltraCap LPS-1.2 power supply. Both fed by Sonore dc-cable and used as roon endpoints. Speakers are Verity Parsifal, which are capable of revealing minor differences. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to use the same power supply for both streamers, since lps 1.2 doesn’t work with OR. In summary: OR/Ci: More analytical. SMS/Uptone: More organic. Almost always I prefer the a more organic sound, which I do here as well, so all in all I prefer sms over OR. Some notes from a few test tracks, the comparison is between OR w/ copper ethernet and sms: Elanor McEvoy – The Rain falls. (flac file, 16/44) OR – Precise, clear voice. SMS200u – "Flowing sound", warmth, not as precise, piano more natural (the piano was probably of the clearest shortcomings of OR). Allan Taylor – The Beat Hotell (Tidal, 16/44) OR – Good command of the bottom end, lacks coherence due to a little bit analytical sound. SMS200u – Coherent, warmth, "flowing sound". Kari Bremnes – Rim sin stemme (flac file, 24/96) OR – Good imaging, clean, precise voice. SMS200u – "Flowing", warmth, coherent, not as analytical as OR. Fink – Troubles is what youre in (flac file, 16/44) OR – PRaT, spacious, lacking in euphoria. SMS200u – lacking in PRaT, euforic. OR with optical module had sounded cleaner and had a little bit better PRaT, however one lost in depth of tonality. To what extent the different power supplys have played a role in the outcome I don't know. Since the OR/Ci is too analytical in my ears, going with optical doesn’t improve things, quite the opposite. I prefer copper over optical ethernet, no matter what people say about optical being the technical superior technology. I think that OR is too analytical and lacks some euphoria, I crave the latter for an immersive listening experience. If you prefer a clean and precise sound OR with optical Ethernet might be the right choice. Some people might say that OR with optical ethernet sounds correct. Firstly I dont agree, it lacks too much of warmth and other aspects to sound natrual, but most importantly I don't really care about whats theortically considred (by some) to be the correct souding technology. I will return the OR and keep my own sms.
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