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  1. Euphony OS w/Stylus player setup and issues thread
    Euphony OS w/Stylus player setup and issues thread
    4 minutes ago, Johnseye said:


    I was able to use ramroot in trial.


    To further that, I also installed Euphony directly to my Optane drive using a guide provided by @Nenon a while back.  Simply put, I copied the Euphony config to an Optane drive while logged into Audiolinux.


    Post #373.

  2. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server

    Unregulated LPS update


    I am pretty much set on the 3 designs. As I explained in an earlier post, we simply add more parts to each design. You can start with v1 and then go to v2 and then to v3. As you are going up the ladder no parts remain unused. 


    The first version (aka v1) is very simple. You have an IEC inlet --> Fuse --> Soft start --> Transformer --> Mosfet rectifier --> Output connector. The version gives you very clean, fast, and transparent sound, but it does not have the body and the full expansive sound as the other two versions. Can too transparent and too fast be a problem? I think it's way too fast and transparent, hence the additional components in the other two versions. But it's all about personal taste. Some may like that version more. 


    The second version (aka v2) consists of: IEC inlet --> Fuse --> Soft start --> Transformer --> Mosfet rectifier --> Mundorf HC 22,000 uF (bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Hammond choke --> 3 x Mundorf HC 22,000 uF (each bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Output connector. This is an improvement over v1 in my opinion. It gives you a bit more of everything and is the sweet spot. This is what I have been running for months (until I tried v3). You have about 5mV ripple with this version. You get about 2.3 mOhm output impedance but that's influenced by the wiring you are using and could be higher if you use thin wires or bad connectors.


    The third version (aka v3) consists of: IEC inlet --> Fuse --> Soft start --> Transformer --> Mosfet rectifier --> Mundorf HC 22,000 uF (bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Hammond choke --> Mundorf HC 22,000 uF (bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Hammond choke --> 3 x Mundorf HC ( 2 x 47,000 uF + 1 x 22,000 uF, each bypassed with VCAP ODAM 0.1 uF film cap) --> Output connector. This version gives away some of the "clean" sound you have in v1 and v2 but is fuller, bigger, massively expensive. Amazing 5uV ripple and nearly half the output impedance compared to v2 - ~1.2 mOhm + the impact of your wiring. 


    I don't have the prices of the Noratel transformers and the Taiko rectifier, but just to get some idea, let's assume they are $200 each. Here is what I have for the bill of materials with somewhat rounded prices:



    This is just ballpark pricing to get an idea. Leave it to me, and it would get much more expensive as I would add thick pure copper busbars, multiple runs of expensive wire, exotic connectors, footers, etc. I would also have Modushop fabricate the cases for me, so it's easier to install everything. That also adds to the cost. However, if you see how massive v3 is, it would easily compare to the power supplies of very very expensive amps. If this thing was a commercial product (or a part of a commercial product) in the dealer's network I'd expect it to be over $20K. This is the beauty of DIY :). And as far as R&D goes, the amount of time spent here is on par with many commercial products to say the least. 


    If you are impatient and don't want to wait anymore, you can order a 24VAC 400VA Toroidy Supreme transformer, get a rectifier of your choice, and get this going. Not my favorite rectifier but something like the Vishay GBPC3504-E4/51 could do the job for the time being, assuming it would be replaced with something better in the future. 


    That was the easy part of the post. It gets quite complicated from here. As with anything else in life, there will be people with all kinds of different preferences. Some would like cheaper. Some would like better where cost is no object. Some would prefer easier to make. Some would prefer someone else to make it for them. Some would have existing parts they would like to use. And so on... It's hard to cover all possible cases, but here are some random notes to begin with. 

    • If you are on a budget, the above can be made a lot cheaper. You can use a cheaper chassis, cheaper IEC inlet, cheaper connectors, cheaper transformers, cheaper capacitors, etc. You can really make this a budget LPS. It would probably still be better than most linear power supplies on the market (most of them use cheap components too). 
    • If you are on the opposite end of "on a budget", you can make this even better. You can use even better chassis. You can add good feet to the chassis (i.e. the Gaia I use). You can fabricate copper busbars to screw in the Mundorf caps to (something I am looking to do for myself). You can use the Mundorf copper terminal rings. 
    • If you are not handy with drilling/milling we can have Modushop predrill all the holes on the rear panel and the bottom panel. That adds to the price - from their price list guessing around 25 Euro for the rear panel (less than 10 holes) and another 35-45 Euro (more the 20 holes for v3) for the bottom panel. BTW, I have not received this chassis from Modushop yet, so I am just speculating that v3 would fit in it at this point. Pretty sure v2 would fit. But you can also use a smaller chassis for v1 and v2.
    • Taiko does not have many mosfet rectifiers, so we have to decide if another batch is needed, if Emile is even willing to run another batch. There are a lot of complications with that... We need to see what the lead times would be. We need to know how many to order. Or we can look for some other alternatives. There is something else I have in mind but would require a PCB. 
    • There is a guy in the US and a guy in the EU who are willing to make these unregulated LPS's for other people. The labor fee negotiated was $500, given that the chassis has all the holes pre-drilled. I will make a couple myself just to get the process started and documented.  
    • We haven't discussed wiring. I am still making some tests but so far I am leaning towards busbars for the capacitors and a custom OEM copper wire I managed to procure with the Mundorf lugs (which are quite pricey by the way, but I like them). 


    There is a global shortage of materials. Some of the products mentioned above may be hard to obtain. I mentioned doing a potential group order in the past. I can try to organise that and get the entire BOM. If anyone is interested in that, please contact me on PM before the end of May indicating if you want v2 or v3 and if you want someone to build it for you.


    Okay, let's keep it at that for now. I can probably keep writing this post the whole day but have other things I need to do now. 


  3. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server
    1 hour ago, Nenon said:




    I would highly recommend to avoid those ultra expensive Furutech connectors/plugs/sockets. All Furutech products have been cryogenically treated and unfortunately they impose a very bad sonic signature compared to the non-cryo versions. I used to purchase Wattgate & Furutech products many years ago, before this cryo treating policy was applied to the whole array of their products. Nowadays, cryo treatment has become a standard and this is really bad for good sound.


    In addition, I have never ever listened to any Vcap capacitor that sounds really good. On the contrary, they are sterile and thin sounding.


    Last, bypassing electrolytes does not make things better. A good measuring electrolyte like Siemens or Nichicon with its characteristic angle as close to -90 as possible (at 100 Hz) has way better behavior than the one of the Mundorfs, which have been found to be unreasonably expensive.

    Putting all these down, leads to cost cutting well below 40%.

  4. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server
    20 minutes ago, dctom said:

    Hi asking for some very basic help.


    I have got my Taiko ATX however not sure how to connect the SATA power lead. My SATA lead has a 6 pin connector (as used on the HDPLX 800) but the Taiko SATA out has four pins?? 


    Sounds like you need a new cable. Here are some Molex connectors that should work with the 4-pin connector:


    4 PIN – 5V / 12V
    Part number: 39012040 (white)
    Part number: 39012045 (white)
    Part number: 39013042 (white)
    Part number: 39013045 (black)


    18 AWG Gold plated: 457501212
    16 AWG Gold plated: 457503212


    Here is what I have discovered for the other connectors:

    6 PIN – External Power:
    Part number: 39012060 (white)
    Part number: 39012065 (white)
    Part number: 39039062 (black)


    8 PIN – EPS Connector:
    Part number: 39012080 (white)
    Part number: 39012085 (white)
    Part number: 39013085 (black)


    24 PIN – ATX Connector:
    Part number: 39012240
    Part number: 39012245
    Black part that I think should work: 46992-2410

    Note: The list above was not provided by Taiko. It was compiled by my own research. 

  5. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server

    Hey guys - I am on vacation until mid-May but have been getting a bunch of messages. Some of them alerting me that I need to start moderating this thread and others asking about the unregulated LPS.


    Please get back on track here. If someone has questions about why high-end servers (or anything upstream from the DAC) matter, please open another topic. This thread is for those who want to improve their source upstream from the DAC. There is a lot of useful info on these pages but it's getting harder and harder to find between the rest of the posts (some of which are completely useless). When you post something think whether your post is on topic and whether it would be beneficial for the readers here. If not, perhaps you should not post. If you open another thread and need my attention, just tag my name, and I will get notification. Or you can always send me a private message. 

    BTW, @The Computer Audiophile - can you please give me access to delete messages here?


    I've seen some questions here I have not answered yet. Give me some time, and I will go back and catch up when I get back from vacation. 


    I've heard that Taiko has shipped most of the ATX pre-orders. And I've had a bunch of questions about the unregulated LPS and the DIY recipe. I am waiting for the Noratel transformers Taiko ordered to arrive to built a finished unregulated LPS unit. Until we get those, there isn't too much I can do. I have posted details about the unregulated LPS here - 

    On 3/22/2021 at 6:30 PM, Nenon said:

    Some updates from me on the Taiko DIY project.


    1. The Taiko ATX was delayed and scheduled for the end of April now.

    2. The Chassis is still work in progress. Emile has been super busy, but I was assured today that rendering and pricing is coming up ASAP.

    3. Taiko USB card - that unfortunately would remain exclusive to Extreme users. We, the DIY community, would not have access to the Taiko USB card for now. It's quite disappointing, and I am starting to think if I need to buy an Extreme. It's still unlikely for me to go that route, but even if I do, that would be a good thing, as I would have a reference to compare this DIY build to.

    4. TAS - that is also exclusive to Extreme owners for now. 

    5. Unregulated LPS to feed the Taiko ATX - see the rest of this message below.


    Here is a quick update on the unregulated LPS.


    It looks something like this:

    IEC Inlet / Fuse --> Soft start module --> Transformer --> Rectifier --> Choke --> 3 x Mundorf HC caps (each bypassed with a VCAP ODAM Film Cap)


    1 pcs.



    $20 - $90 range


    1 pcs.


    Emile has these on order

    Don't know the price yet.


    1 pcs.

    Soft start module




    1 pcs.


    Taiko will provide an active mosfet rectifier.


    1 pcs.

    Hammond 159ZJ choke. 

    Mouser.com part #546-159ZJ



    3 pcs.

    Mundorf Capacitor 22000uF 80Vdc MLytic HC


    $100.41 each ($301.23)


    3 pcs.

    VCAP ODAM - 0.1 uF


    $53.74 each ($161.22)


    I am trying these as well now - https://www.mundorf.com/audio/en/shop/cables/mconnect_clg/Presskabelschuh-M6-Ring-Kupfer/?card=4081


    All that stuff can be made in a way that does not require soldering. For example, the capacitors look like this with screws on top:


    With the right pre-terminated cables you can just use a screwdriver to connect it.

    We can pick an IEC inlet that looks like this (and does not require soldering):



    I think we can design this whole thing so even people who can't solder anything can put it together. Obviously, there will be a lot of pictures, explanations, and disclaimers. You would need the connecting wires (with pre soldered connectors).

    BTW, I did not pick these components with the agenda to make a solder-less unit. They just sounded best, and the screw connections were a bonus.


    I've picked the wiring too. But it's a wire that is not available on the consumer market, so I'll have to figure out how to make it more accessible. The Mundorf silver/gold wire is also an option for cost no object units/


    If I were you, I would not be in a rush to get all the parts now. We may arrange a group order with some discounts. I am looking at that. I may even provide the entire kit with everything needed and detailed instructions. Or get someone else to do that. Also, there is a small chance that I may replace some parts in the last minute (be aware of that!), especially with the plan "B" rectification. I also have a plan Z in mind to test - tube rectification :). Yes, I am serious, but that's not a priority. 


    All in all, I think we are looking at around $1,000 for the unregulated LPS. Not bad at all for how good this thing sounds with the Taiko ATX. Keep in mind this is designed and voiced with the Taiko ATX. You can try it on a HDPlex DC to DC ATX if you like but it's not a regulated LPS and you can't feed your computer directly with this.



    If you are in North America or Europe, don't jump on buying all the parts. I am trying to arrange a group buy with hopefully some discounts from the retail price. There are also a couple of people who are willing to build an unregulated LPS (for a fee no more than $500 - that was my condition) for those who prefer not to do it themselves. I will also build a few units myself to kick this off and will make plenty of pictures and descriptions. In other words, wait until I get some transformers and parts and will get the DIY unregulated LPS documented. 


    @Exocer is helping me with some CAD drawings. We'll try to get some custom cases produced to host the unregulated LPS as a standalone unit. And we are still waiting for the Taiko chassis, which will have space to build the unregulated LPS inside. 


    In the meantime, the Taiko ATX is a good replacement for the HDplex 400W and 800W DC to DC ATX and it's definitely a step up. How much better it is would depend on how resolving your system is. It's a pretty significant upgrade if you have a good resolving system. Keep in mind that it takes a few days to settle. It might be a little bright and lean in the beginning. But once it settles it sounds really good.


    I have to go now, but give me some more time, and I will post everything you need to know about the unregulated LPS and more.




  6. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server

    Here is a specification sheet of our GaN based DC DC-ATX. Hopefully this provides some more insight! :)


    This is a new development, not implemented in the SGM Extreme music servers. This was originally designed to facilitate a cheaper server model, without compromising performance. As the demand for our music servers is keeping us rather busy, and so delaying the potential launch of a smaller server. As we will not get around to this anytime soon, we’ve decided to make this available for DIY projects. This design allows you to have a high-performance power supply which can be powered from an unregulated power supply as low as 100 USD costs in parts (transformer, rectifier, filter capacitance). Everyone should feel free to experiment with the unregulated DC-rail, its make-up will largely determine total system performance and sound. We are eagerly looking forward to your experiences!





    TaikoAudio_500W ATX_DCDC converter specification sheet.jpg

    TaikoAudio_500W ATX_DCDC Dimensions.jpg

  7. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server

    @Darryl R - I have seen mention of the 665P for music file storage. Good performance for the price.


    In other news, I am excited to share that the new Taiko DC-ATX module has arrived.

    I am feeding it the 19V input of the PH SR7T the same exact way I did with the HDPlex 800W DC-ATX.


    Connected this way using Mundorf Silver Gold 15.5awg wire with additional cotton sleeve:


    Pin 1 for +3.3v 

    Pin 3 for Ground

    Pin 4 for +5v

    Pin 5 for Ground

    Pin 6 for +5v

    Pin 8 for PWR-OK

    Pin 9 for +5Vsb

    Pin 10 for +12v

    Pin 16 for PWR-On


    The long-term plan is to get more of these wires connected to see if this will further improve performance but this is sounding wonderful as is. I would think 15.5awg solid core wire would probably be as good or better than the crappy relatively thin stranded wire in most basic ATX cables for transferring adequate current.


    Not sure if break-in is complete after just two days but it is sounding very good and improving 2 days in.


    Will report back with my findings after about a week but so far this has been a very good purchase!


    Many thanks to @Nenon and Emile.









  8. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server
    On 2/2/2021 at 10:24 AM, lmitche said:

    Yes, many small sized M.2 2230 form factor wifi cards carry Bluetooth radios that seem connect via a (Virtual?) USB controller. This is alongside a PCIE X1 connection to the wifi portion of the card. I have never tried bluetooth as a music signal carrier in a serious way, but will have a think about it. It could be a missed opportunity.


    Curiously, these same M.2 2230 form factor pcie slots can hold a SDcard or micro SDcard which opens some interesting music storage possibilities, especially for smaller libraries with 512gb micro sdcards in the $60 to $70 range.


    I was intrigued by the ADNACO USB subsystem bobfa is using.  It could work in my setup, but without Ethernet I couldn't go headless, and was wondering about any adverse sonic effects from long distance USB.

  9. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

    I agree it not easy to remove the stock clock from a Buffalo switch. In this case it’s a model 2008. 
    The clock is newclassD Neutron Star from Denmark. Ps is from newclassD for the clock circuit, and MPAudio for the switch itself. Im very pleased with the result. Music has come “alive”, with much more dynamics. 







  10. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

    Dunno if these have been posted before, but these are some useful tools for tweaking windows:


    Interrupt Affinity Policy Tool




    Power Settings Explorer  this allow you to see hidden power settings 



    MSI Mode Utility 



    also a registry tweak that i like to use is DisablePagingExecutive


  11. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming



    After having the EPS and ATX power supply built, I now move into cable making phase, while working on the first cable, I decided to record the sequence in more details to share here, hopefully this will help more people interested in trying out the long discussed Mundorf solid core silver JSSG360 DC cable.


    1. Slide cotton tube over the Mundorf solid core silver hook up wire.



    2. Solder wires to the connector.  In this cable, I have GX16-4 on one end and Oyaide DC-2.1G on the other end.  I started this wire from the GX16-4 side.



    3. After the wires are soldered, slide a short heat shrink tubing over the cotten tubes to help protect the end.



    4. Reassemble the GX16-4 connector.



    5. Twist the two wires.



    6. Getting the Oyaide DC-2.1G side ready.  Slide the connector outer shell over the wires, cut two pieces of heat shrink tubing.  The smaller diameter one is to protect the positive lead after wire is soldered to the connector, and the larger diameter heat shrink tubing is to help protect the cotton tube ends.



    7. Solder wires to the connector.  It is easier to solder the negative lead to the connector first, and then solder the positive lead.



    8. Heat shrink the smaller tubing over the positive lead solder join.



    9. Slide the larger heat shrink tube over the end of cotton tube.



    10. Test the connector to make sure wires soldered is open.



    11. Slide the outer shell over the connector.  It is a good idea to check continuity again after the connector is reassembled.



    12. Base cable completed.



    13. Now we will start working on JSSG360 shielding by sliding the tinned copper braid over the base cable from the Oyaide connector side.



    14. Wrap the tinned copper braid with teflon thread tape.  It is easier to work with using 1" wide gas pipe tape.



    15. Teflon tape wrapped cable.



    16. Before sliding the second layer tinned copper braid, wrap a short section of teflon tape over the end of first tinned copper braid to protect the end and prevent the wires from braid from interfere with the second layer tinned copper braid while sliding over the first one.



    17. After the second layer tinned copper braid is slided over the first layer, don't forget to remove that short section teflon tape.



    18. Cut one piece of adhesive lined heat shrink tubing and slide them over the end of two tinned copper braids.



    19. Apply heat to heat shrink tubing.



    20. Do the same two steps (18 and 19) above for the Oyaide connector side.



    21. Check continuity between the tinned copper braid and the connector to ensure it is open.



    22. JSSG360 shielding completed.



    23. Next is to dress up the cable by cutting the Techflex sleeving to proper length and then slide over the JSSG360 shielding completed cable.



    24.  Final step is using the same adhesive lined heat shrink tubing to bond them together.




    Hope these are clear and simple to follow.  Enjoy building them.


    I will now move on to work on ATX and EPS cables.





  12. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server



    Yes, you can. I recommend using a GX16-2 chassis mount male connector attached to the back of the case nearby the EPS connections with four 16AWG wires running from the GX16-2 to the 4-Pin EPS. Two wires for positive and two wires for the negative. Strip the wires with a wire stripper and crimp it to a gold plated female dupont 2.54mm connector that is made from copper (most are brass).


    The crimp tool, dupont connector, and EPS housing (8-pin) in black or white:




    The more wires used lowers the impedance thus decreases the chance of voltage sag which ultimately improves voltage tolerance.

    What I do is crimp the wire to the dupont connector, add some flux, and quickly solder the two together to create a better conducting joint. The teflon insulation should still be grappled by the bottom part of the Dupont connector with a 1/32 heatsink going over it to help add flexibility so when the wire bends after it is inserted into the plastic EPS shell, it can move freely without ripping into the wire’s strands or it’s insulation. For those wanting to add JSSG360 shielding, I recommend putting the 16AWG wire through a small cotton tube or paracord type I before adding the shield as this adds physical distance which helps reduce cable capacitance. Both material help with the accumulation of tribolectric charge (static charge) although cotton would be more optimal than the nylon found in paracord since cotton is considered neutral while nylon by nature has a negative charge.


    My question for @Nenon is whether or not it is possible to use two different 12V power supplies of 10A if there are two 8-Pin connectors used for EPS or will the combination cause a short?

  13. Building a DIY Music Server
    Building a DIY Music Server

    Thought I post a quick Buffalo BS-GS2016 clock replacement observation to the other datapoints posted here. I recently inquired about having Lars at New Class-D change the frequencies of some Neutron Star clocks I’ve had for years to 25Mhz to put them to use in my stable of Buffalo switches. I was pleasantly surprised that he said, no fee just shipping to and from him. I collected the 3 I have and started to box them up and realized one was already 25Mhz, Nice😊!

    I decided to start with my POE version BS-GS2016 because of Nenon’s warnings about how hard it was to remove the stock clock. Well my hot air SMD station actually got it off with not to much trouble. Please take into consideration, my photo is one of the initial experimenting stage, just to get it up and running to see if the difference was easily noticeable. So it is not the most beautiful work😉. I’m currently using the companion New Class-D 12v power supply to power the Neutron Star clock, and I use an MP Audio 5amp 10 parallel LT-3045 regulated power supply for the switch. I’m using 2 more LPS powered  Buffalo switches before this last switch and I run optical fiber into the PCIe StarTech PEX1000SFP2 card in my Taiko Extreme copied server.


    Well Let’s just say I’m quite pleased how the modded switch sounds! It is just better in every possible description of musical performance. For anyone who has used really good master clock like the Mutec or Cybershaft, it is the same type of improvement. Just more organic, better flow, better precision, noticeably more refined across the audio spectrum. I’m quite happy to stream from Qobuz for hours. Really much more musically satisfying. (Still not quite as good as playing the same track from the VROC drive and a small but notable step further behind playing the same file from the Optane drive with no network connection, which still remains the most resolving playback on my current setup.)


    Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a Pink Faun clock in the not to distant future for comparison. In the meantime, it’s always nice to be able to repurpose existing equipment that was sitting unused and get such a musically satisfying improvement to my current system😃.





  14. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    Network Fun with Buffaloes!
    My goal remains to eliminate the spaghetti on the networking path. Frankly, I don't think this is achievable yet, given my — and most people here's — experience. So my more realistic goal is to simplify this chain as much as possible. Part of this goal is to wean myself off the REF10 SE120 clock. As things stand, with my chain as shown — TLS OCXO > Cu > eR > SFP > SOtM — the SE120 is massive overkill, as its only purpose now is to reference clock the eR and sNH-10G switches. I would dearly love to sell the SE120 to offset some of my recent expenditures, but the irony is that the positive impact it has on SQ is still so great, that it would be hard to give up.
    It is against this backdrop that I recently got a chance to evaluate 2 different Buffalo switches that @Nenon sent me while he went off on vacation. Both switches started life as bog-standard Buffalo BGS-2016 16-port managed switches. @Nenon modded both of them as follows:
    • Ripped out the crappy SMPS they came with.
    • Added wiring to accept an external DC input 
    • NEW - added a capacitor board, inspired by the Melco, between the DC input and the internal power board
      • Recall that some of us had found the Buffalo to be a touch harsh compared to the Melco the last time we had tried it, and @Nenon strongly suspected that Melco's capacitor board was designed to tame this harshness. He took it one step further and constructed something, which I was very eager to try.
    Additionally, in one of the switches, @Nenon replaced (DIY) the clock with a Pink Faun OCXO, similar to the mod @auricgoldfinger had done by Pink Faun to his Melco S100.
    Since I now had 5 switches in hand, the number of combinations of possible experiments was impractically large. So I took the following approach:
    • Start with a single switch in place, and rank the switches both in terms of preference, and their character.
    • Since I have 3 rails of SR-7 DR available, pick an optimal chain of maximum 3 switches
    • Attempt to eliminate dependence on the reference clock.
    For all these tests, I listened to streaming music - i.e. using Roon/Qobuz. Even with Roon/Qobuz, I could listen in disconnected playback mode for sometimes a minute or two before playback stopped. This gave me enough to fix in my aural memory as the absolute reference SQ. This proved very helpful.
    Individual Switch rankings
    Before I get into this, here are the PSUs I used.
    PSUs used:
    • TLS OCXO: 9v from SR7 DR, PH DC6FS DC cable
    • PF Buffalo:
      • main input: 12v from DXPWR DR unit via Nenon-supplied Mundorf silver-gold cable. DXPWR DR unit fed 15v from SR7 DR via PH DC6FS cable
      • clock input: 5v from DXPWR DR unit via Nenon-supplied Mundorf silver-gold cable. DXPWR DR unit fed 9v from SR7 DR via PH DC6FS cable
    • eR, modded Buffalo:
      • 12v from DXPWR DR unit via Oyaide FTVS-910 silver cable. DXPWR DR unit fed with15v from SR7 DR via PH DC6FS cable
    • SoTM: 12v SR-7 DR, PH DC6FS cable
    Here are switches ranked from worst to best:
    1. The Linear Solution (TLS) OCXO: While still a noticeable improvement over a stock Netgear GS108 switch, the TLS has been surpassed by the others, and by a wide margin.
    2. Tie between 2 switches, that really go well together in my system!
      1. SOtM sNH-10G: Its biggest strength is the wonderful open soundstage and resolution, especially when reference clocked
      2. Uptone etherRegen: trades a bit of air and resolution from the SOtM, but adds some heft, solidity, calmness, and liquidity. Really opens up when reference clocked.
    3. Modded Buffalo: Since I no longer had the Melco S100 on hand, I can only go by recollection, but this modded Buffalo sounded very similar to the S100 as I remembered it. Further, when comparing with the eR, the same differences I described in my review were evident. What the Buffalo adds most is density, solidity, and tonal saturation. It gives up some of the resolution and air of the SOtM, and the liquidity of the eR.
    4. PF-clock modded Buffalo (or PF-Buffalo): This is the best I've heard any switch sound. This takes the qualities of the modded Buffalo and adds that clock-y goodness that those of you who've dabbled with better clocks can easily recognize. Bigger soundstage, instruments more dimensional and better delineated, and more texture.
    Switch Combinations
    As many here, including myself, @romaz and @Nenon have described, every switch you add in the chain seems to add its character to the SQ. Finding the optimal combo then becomes like a recipe — mix and match the attributes you like, and pick the best combination. In my case, I limited the chain to 3 because those were the number of SR-7 DR rails I had available.
    As in my previous post, I'll used the following shorthand:
    • Cu == copper; SOtM dCBL-Cat7 cable
    • SFP == fiber; Planet Tech SFPs with single mode fiber.
    I tried a lot of different combinations, but to cut to the chase, I'll pick 3 that were notable:
    1. Best combo with reference clock:        eR (ref clocked) > Cu > sNH-10G (ref clocked) > SFP > PF-Buffalo > Cu > Extreme

      The combo of the eR and sNH-10G both clocked by the REF10 SE120 is really quite special, and pairing that with the PF-Buffalo just takes this to a new level. This was the best sounding combo of all. Sadly, this was also the most expensive. 😢

    2. Best combo with no reference clock:     sNH-10G > Cu > modded Buffalo> SFP > PF-Buffalo> Cu > Extreme

      The air and resolution of the sNH-10G balanced nicely with the density and saturation of the two Buffaloes, producing a result similar to, but not quite as good as combo 1. Another way of thinking about this is that the Pink Faun OCXO mod on the Buffalo does not deliver quite the refinement that the REF10 SE120 reference clock brings, especially when applied to the eR/SOtM combo.

    3. My combo going forward:                   eR (ref clocked) > Cu > modded Buffalo> SFP > sNH-10G (ref clocked)> Cu > Extreme

      Since @Nenon really needed his PF-Buffalo back (can't blame him - it is so good!), this is what my new chain looks like. The TLS falls off, and the modded-Buffalo gets added, for about the cost of what I paid for the TLS. A real bargain.
    Where do I go from here
    As you can see, I have a very good sounding network chain, but it leaves me no closer to my goal of eliminating (or at least reducing) spaghetti, and of weaning myself off of the REF10 SE120. I'll be the first to admit that this collection of switches + PSU + clock is insanely out of whack in terms of cost! And even then, there is still an SQ gap between local and streaming sources.
    Due to this, my thinking has shifted on the value of spending a lot on network tweaks. The network question is really two separate issues:
    • Does the network degrade local playback, and how to fix it?
      • With the Extreme, I feel I am already at a very good place here.
      • The delta improvement of disconnecting the network is very small, barely noticeable.
      • For best performance, I can always use HQP for playback, and disconnect the network.
      • So this is a SOLVED problem in my case, and for many others.
    • How to achieve the same SQ with Qobuz/Tidal as local files?
      • We've all been chasing this dream for years. Sometimes I've appeared to have closed the gap, only to find an advance in local playback that widened the gap again.
      • I've now arrived at a place where I feel this is not a realistic goal, and to spend insane amounts on network tweaks is not a good use of money.
      • I now accept Qobuz/Tidal as lower SQ sources, to explore and discover new music. If I love an album to want to listen to repeatedly, then it has to be purchased and placed in local storage.
      • Even if I buy 100 albums a year at $20/album, it's a better investment than buying a $2000 switch.
    I haven't made any firm decisions. One of the things I'm waiting to see is if Emile's forthcoming switch (see this post, and follow ons) can yield the kind of simplicity I crave. Depending on the way things evolve, I will sooner or later put my REF10 SE120 on the market. If you might be interested, but can wait, drop me a PM, so I know to contact you when the time comes. On the other hand, I am never going to sell my SR7MR3DRXL, so don't even ask. ;)

  15. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    7 hours ago, soares said:

    From the picture I guess both devices were scolded to the + and - end points.

    Yes, if you counting the soldering pads from the left, the first two are +12VDC inputs, and the next two are Gnd pads.



    7 hours ago, soares said:

    However I am not sure which parts shall I order.


    The following are list of key parts I used:

    The modification is somewhat straightforward if you are comfortable with basic soldering.  Hope to hear your listening impression if you are going to try this modification.


  16. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

    Some listening impression and modifications of Buffalo BS-GS2016 switch



    I have been working on building power supplies for the past couple months, and missed the Buffalo switch heat wave until I can no longer find more of them on the open market.  Thanks to @Nenon, I got one a  few weeks ago and started to do some burn-in with everything stock, following the recommended settings.  The sound is fairly harsh cold from the start, it did improve slightly a week later, but still quite fatiguing, I lost the patience to wait further at that time, and pull the unit from the system, removed the stock SMPS, replace it with Mundorf silver/gold hook up wire, so I can connect it to a 12V linear power supply.  While doing the DC conversion, I also added a 0.1uF MLCC and an EVOX capacitor to the DC input on the switch board, and below is a picture of the modification.




    Once I connected the switch back in the system, upon the first listen with no burn-in, the result is very encouraging, the harshness experienced with stock unit is almost gone, but some hint of thinness is there, but the experiment trying port setting from 100Mbps to 1Gbps took that thinness away, and this is now becoming my new setting.

    After a week of additional burn-in, the sound quality continues to improve, and the harshness can no longer be detected.  This is the time I decided to add another 1.0uF Mundorf film bypass cap to the DC input, and found the result is more encouraging, and at this point with the improvement I get, I will let the switch burn-in continue with no further changes for a while to see how things go from here.  Below is a picture showing the added Mundorf bypass cap.




    Overall, the SQ improvement is very evident, the bass is tighter, stronger, and quicker, clarity is improved by couple notches, dynamic is better, and the sound stage is more 3-D like, and the sense of you are there is much better.  I am very happy with adding this switch to my system as the third switch, and will continue to experiment the combination once burn-in is done.


    As a reference, below is my current setup:

    Buffalo BS-GS2016 (Modified) →  ZyXEL (Modified) → oM → eR with Master Clock

  17. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

    I've decided to try the Startech PCI-E Fiber card from the Taiko Extreme: https://www.startech.com/Networking-IO/Adapter-Cards/pcie-gigabit-ethernet-fiber-card-open-sfp~PEX1000SFP2


    I am using it with the Finisar SFPs recommended by @auricgoldfinger between the server and Etherregen:  FTLF1318P3BTL


    Also using 10M of this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I2ESG9W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


    Very much enjoying this setup. This was an experiment to hold me over until I purchase an audiophile PCI-E network card and I don't know that I will switch from this any time soon, it sounds really good. Ghent JSSG is now between my last BS-GS2016 switch into A side Etherregen.



    Lower Noise floor

    Improved microdetails

    Slightly improved dynamics

    Sound is slightly "thicker", the opposite of what I was expecting.


    This is in direct comparison to the TG-3468 v3 ethernet card I have been testing lately.


    For those wondering, this Startech card worked with GentooPlayer without a hitch.

  18. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    1 hour ago, BigAlMc said:

    Is it possible to tell what the 12V input board connector is from the photo?

    Yes, Alan, this is a Molex 09-50-1041 SPOX Crimp Housing  that plugs into Molex 09-65-2048 Header on the switch board.

  19. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming


    BS-GS2008, 16 & 24 all make use of the same chips inside. I have checked the specs on Broadcom site, only difference is support for 8,16 & 24 ports respectively. 


    All have same sound quality, character and flavor. Checked 2008 vs original Melco. In earlier posts, the 16 port has been evaluated against Melco.


    Melco has some shortcomings and advantages against Buffalos. Melcos are powered externally so you can directly connect LPS without extra mods. The shortcoming is that I have been told (do not know if it is 100% true) that you cannot disable the unused ports which according to my listenings and some comments on this thread, does make a positive difference. 


    2008 accepts directly LPS without extra mods while 2016 & 2024 do require mods to be powered externally with LPS. 


    Regarding SQ wise, I do not expect any serious differences to occur. For absolute best sonics you should go for the 2008 version with external LPS because it is the most cost effective and most minimal. Now, if you have soldering skills, you are maniac for best sound and can manipulate the p/s section inside 2016 or 2024, you should go for them because you have more space inside for mods and clocks replacement. This is not convenient to be done inside 2008 and increased space will make your life easier. 


    You should know that 2 pairs (4 units) of any of 2008, 2016 or 2024, stacked one upon the other will lift your sound quality to stratospheric levels. You should avoid using 1 or 3 units. The quad lifts the SQ to uncharted territories, all have been evaluated in 2 systems with both SMPS & professionally built LPS. Results were noted straightforward without the slightest hesitation in less than 5 seconds of critical listening. 


    All serial switches need to be connected on the same ports. Pay attention :

    Switch #1: input port 2, output port 1

    Switch #2: input port 1, output port 2

    Switch #3: input port 2, output port 1

    Switch #4: input port 1, output port 2


    5 switches were worse than 4, while 6 did not have any positive impact at all. 


    Hope my comment helps a bit. 

  20. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    17 minutes ago, Johnseye said:


    That looks familiar ;)


    LOL :). I am sure it does. You recognized the two almost destroyed holes / pads :))? I gave up using those and soldered the wires on the other two. For the record - the switch with the red Neotech wire is @Johnseye's switch. 


    30 minutes ago, Exocer said:

    What type of connector do you preferfor DC input typically? If IEC inlets make a difference wouldn't Audiophile grade connectors be preferred?

    Yes, they make a difference. However, you may not be able to hear a difference between connectors on these switches, so anything decent would work. Here is cheap but decent one: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/502-721AFMS

    I do prefer the the GX16 connectors. If you want to go over the top look at the Jaeger's Paul Hynes uses. 


    1 hour ago, Superdad said:

    Ever use the Chip Quik SMD removal flux and solder?

    No, not yet. Another member suggested it a while ago. I decided to bring it to a friend technician who had access to many good tools and more experience. But I may give it a try myself on the next switch. I bought plenty knowing I would break some. Thank you for the suggestion. Very nice of you to help us tweak other switches :).



  21. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

    You're very welcomed @BigAlMc and I was referring to @Nenon's question regarding the difference(s) between the relative affordable BS-GS2016 & somewhat pricier BS-GS2016/A here




    It's also mentioned here earlier this month, they're also having fun with Buffalo




    Basically restore the default config of BS-GS2016/A, change the speed of specific port to 100Mbps only, then those settings should be getting even closer to what could be found on Melco S100.

  22. A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming
    A novel way to massively improve the SQ of computer audio streaming

    Melco S100





    Buffalo BS-GS2016





    BTW, we could download of copy of bsgs_a100.exe here in order to retrieve the default config of BS-GS2016/A




    Then extract that downloaded file with 7-Zip and simply restore the config with that file BS-GS2016_A_default_config.bin afterwards.

  23. Slc wide temp ssd
    Building a DIY Music Server

    FYI - it's interesting to read what Marcin posted about his storage options with this pseudo-SLC drive




    Apacer SLC SSD for OS (industrial extended temp. range)  64GB
    APRO pSLC SSD for music (industrial extended temp. range)


    And then I also found a way to get some affordable SLC SSDs (Samsung 983 ZET) that used to be bloody expensive







    Insanely fast random 4K read





    Fairly decent prices for *REAL* SLC (not like others with only SLC cache, actually 983 ZET is powered by 1.5GB LPDDR4 DRAM buffer) drives, 480GB / 960GB = 1500 RMB / 3000 RMB (i.e. about $220 / $440) respectively and obviously 5-year warranty should be only valid in China










    Here's what I found on fleBay






    IMHO they should be awesome storage options for WS C621E SAGE etc. since all on-board USB / LAN / SATA / M.2 ports are connected to the chipset, therefore *ALL* PCIe slots and U.2 ports are connected to both CPUs directly




    To power Samsung 983 ZET externally, not sure if stuff like this with Mini SAS HD cable were able to do the trick?




    And then here's another adapter with USB type-C




  24. Ph to molex
    DIY Project High Performance Audio PC with high quality wiring
    45 minutes ago, WilliamWykeham said:

    How to connect the Keces P8 to the 6 pin DC power intake on the HDPlex 400W DC-ATX.  Imagine I need a cable or an adapter, however I can’t find anything online.  Am trying to avoid having to make any cables myself as I have no experience.  Once I do get the correct cable or adapter, how should I route this into the computer? Should I send it through the back plate where the AC cable plug would otherwise go?


    Molex P/N is 46992-0610 for 6-pin DC connection to HDPLEX 800W Converter - presume same for 400W.

    I don't know of any factory-made products.

    I built up a cable per my own design for relay from [19V] SR7 using Mundorf Silver/Gold [per Nenon's suggestion]. By the time it's finished the cable has ideas of its own. Mine in situ pre-arrival of SR7 is here. Hope remarks and photo help.


    The hole thru which the built cable passes to the rear of the case is part of a standard HDPLEX ATX plate. Thankfully there is only so much vertical wiggle room so only very little wire strain at the molex connector is possible. Anyway there is a stand outside the case for additional support - taking the most part of the cable's weight - as it traverses towards the rear of the SR7 [when it arrives].

    The cable is built from a 4-pin XLR [at the SR7] where Pin 4 is +ve and Pin 1 -ve / 3 yellow wires to Pin 4  + 3 white wires to Pin 1 / start with silver solder inside silver-plated ferrules on pins / solder in wires / shrink over soldered pins / cotton sheath over each set of 3 Mundorf wires / shrink tube over whole length / then very heavy tube copper shield over this soldered to XLR chassis only (not bothered about JSSG) / another shrink tube over / solder Mundorf wires to Molex pins / dress + shrink to terminals - I should have photographed as I went.

    I used 1mm Mundorf wire for this cable (as 3 co-connected). I will use 1.5mm for hooking from Converter to mobo.

    The case is the vastly underestimated Streacom F12C - neither top nor side mesh panels in place in photo. This case permits the copper cooler you can see - plus full height PCIe cards e.g. in my case Optane memory and ethernet card. You can see there is plenty of room for the 800W Converter. I have side-mounted it [custom holes] even tho' there is room for it to lie horizontally.

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