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StreamFidelity

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  1. 2.4 Music player/renderer An Audio PC is so flexible that any software, whether operating system or music player, can be tried out and used. The model and software presented here therefore describes only one of the many possible ways. In a 2 box system I prefer the variant that the highest computing power is provided by the Audio PC. Here the Control PC runs 24h as a music server (NAS) and consumes low computing power. As a Control PC, for example, a somewhat older and perhaps already existing model can be used. For music operation, the Audio PC is switched on and renders the data in best resolution and sends it to the DAC without any interference. Roon is the first to be used. The software can be divided into three parts: 1. Roon Core In the model above, the Roon server is installed on the Control PC. Headless, i.e. without graphical display, Roon works in the background and regularly scans the assigned hard disks for music files and automatically assigns them according to the stored database by music genres, artists, etc. Without DSP (Digital Signal Processor), i.e. without upsampling, room correction, etc., the computing load during music operation is extremely low, for example on an Intel Core i7 7700T (4x2.9GHz) with 1% CPU load. The load increases when new music files are scanned. 2. Roon Control The Roon Server must of course be able to be operated. This can be done easily with apps that run on the smartphone, tablet computer or laptop. Which is just at hand. It is important that the music is always streamed from the Roon Server. With Roon Control, only the operation is actually carried out, so that the music transmission is always optimally maintained, even in the event of malfunctions in the Roon app. 3. Roon Output The music data is sent to the fis Audio PC via a special protocol RAAT (Roon Advanced Audio Transport). 4. HQPlayer The fis Audio PC can render the music data for the DAC in highest quality, for example with the HQPlayer, without being disturbed by other applications. It would also be possible to use the Roon Bridge instead. In my experience, however, the increase in SQ is enormous with HQPlayer, provided the Audio PC has the necessary processing power.
  2. I'm using exact this with Roon. Be sure to set "Comfort Limit" to avoid loud noisiness. It's a very good sound!
  3. I agree that this would be optimal. For this reason Bernd wanted to solder the cable directly to the mainboard and to do without Molex plug / socket altogether. Maybe we'll do that too. At the moment it is a compromise. A high-quality cable should at least have a high-quality connector. And we will test whether it works. šŸ™‚
  4. Yes, I use HQPlayer with great enthusiasm. What do you mean by changing the music signal? Changing the frequency response is a change for me. For example, by folding for room correction. Or through the loudness switch or bass control, etc. In my opinion, the great filters, oversampling algorithms, dither and DSD modulators from HQPlayer pursue a single goal: to get as close as possible to the original analog music signal on a digital level. Is this a change in the original music signal? I'm not sure. šŸ˜‰
  5. Before I answer the question, a short story. A good friend visited me and brought two DACs: - Matrix Audio DAC X-SABRE Pro - Gustard A20H DAC Purpose of the visit: I wanted to prove to him that the source (Audio PC) is more important than the DAC. The DAC should of course be able to convert without errors. According to the Forum Audiosciencereview, both the Matrix DAC and the Gustard DAC (an other model DAC-X26) have excellent measured values. We first heard with the Denafrips Terminator: high resolution, precise, excellent space and still no digital sharpening. Very analog sound with a lot of body and bass foundation. Then we heard the Gustard DAC: musty, imprecise, no space. We connected the Matrix DAC. Better but a bit annoying in the high range, digital sharpening. Our results: - Good measurements do not mean good sound (but in my opinion, good measurements are an important basic). - The weakest link determines the sound. - Music can be heard very well with the Gustard DAC and the Matrix DAC. But compared to the Denafrips Terminator, they were disappointing. There is always an improvement on DACs possible. šŸ˜
  6. No, as far as I know, the HQPlayer does not change the music signal. In digital streams, the aim is to generate an analog amplitude from 0 and 1. In my opinion, the DAC (Digital Analog Converter) can do this better if it doesn't have to perform any filters and no upsampling (NOS). That is why it is not the output format (PCM or DSD) that matters. Important is only the format that is available shortly before the conversion. To my ears, DSD is more organic and less digital. Some manufacturers automatically convert all signals to DSD, for example PS Audio DirectStream DAC and EMM Labs DA2. These DACs are not for me because I prefer to do the DSD conversion with a powerful Audio PC and HQPlayer. See also:
  7. Thanks šŸ™‚ The number of bits depends on the DAC. My Denafrips Terminator can do 24bits / 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192KHz on all input and 1.536kHz on USB & IĀ²S input. It doesn't matter for DSD, DSD is always 1 bit. Here is a list with DACs bypass digital filtering: Which DACs bypass digital filtering?
  8. I use JTDEAL cable clips. They come in different sizes. GhentAudio cables are still used in the old reference Audio PC. For our DIY project fis Audio PC, we decided to design our own DC cables consistently. Every plug and socket has an impedance. There is always a risk that contact resistance will form. Different materials are mostly harmful to the sound. The plan is a direct connection to 6PIN Molex or 4PIN Molex. Stay tuned šŸ™‚
  9. @austinpop gave a good answer: Of course, a Keces P8 is enough for me. Then it is currently about 3.4A at 20V. But the load is better distributed with two Keces P8. Two Keces P8 only get moderately warm. SQ (Sound Quality) is increasing - in my system and for my ears. This does not have to be the case in every system.
  10. Yes. Both driven with HQPlayer DSD 256x48, convolution and EC-Modulator now about 2 x 20V/1,7A. One Keces P8 ist good, two are better. šŸ˜„
  11. HQPLayer is really not easy to understand. For example, if you think you have to set the volume control to 0dB, because you have a preamplifier, you've already lost. It's recommend -3dB or -4dB for sufficient headroom. I now use the HQPlayer without preamplifier and control the volume with the HQPlayer. Operation is via Roon. Great sound! I prefer PCM > DSD. The DAC is to be operated in NOS (Non OverSampling). I have listed some filter and modulator settings here. Blue are my favorits.
  12. It is going on. šŸ‘ ATX power supply (24-pin) Bernd has finished the first PC / ATX cable. The arrows indicate the direction. The cable is currently being burned in. Here you can see the size ratio of the tiny gold plated Molex contact pins. These are first crimped and then fixed again with silver solder. Quite a lot of work. We also considered leaving out some unnecessary contacts. But it was too risky for us. Perhaps the specifications of new boards will change at some point and then the valuable cable would no longer be usable. Here are some more details: - It is a monocrystalline, high-purity copper, cold drawn, 18 AWG, coated with Dupont PTFE. - The individual power cables are separated 3.3V, 5V, 12V, Ground - The cables run in one direction - When the plugs are plugged in they are very firm. No further cable calming actions are necessary. If you are interested in PC / ATX cables or DC cables made in Germany, you can write to Bernd: [email protected] šŸ˜‰
  13. Bernd is still building the cables. More on that in a moment. My Reference Audio PC previously had the Streacom FC9 Alpha Case. I have converted this PC into the HDPLEX H5 2nd Gen Fanless PC Case. Here I use PCIe dust filters for the passage of two DC cables (top left in the picture). I don't use this hole. So I closed it with a fan dust filter.
  14. It is an interesting option. I am currently using a double CPU EPS supply like this: I am pursuing another idea with the project DIY Project High Performance Audio PC with high quality wiring. The second Keces P8 should supply the second CPU EPS rail (EATX12V_2) with power. Again, the idea is to supply the CPU with a lot of power. However, I still don't know if it works technically. I have the following questions: 1. Is it better for CPU Power to bypass the HDPLEX DC / ATX converter to avoid ripple noise (10mV) or 2. Is it better to give the CPU as much power as possible, for example to improve support the computing-intensive EC modulators of the HQPlayer?
  15. Building on that, it continues. šŸ™‚ 2.2.3 Switching off unnecessary services While previous optimizations were largely without deep PC knowledge, this chapter requires more attention. If you click on the "Services" tab in the Windows Task Manager, you will see all existing services. The services that are running are interesting. Sorting is possible by clicking on "Status". Not all running services are needed. I like to use regedit.exe. Take a look in Per-user services in Windows 10 and Windows Server . The start entry is set to "4" = Disabled. At the moment I have switched off the following services (be careful to do that): AppXSvc cbdhsvc CDPUserSvc TabletInputService FDResPub OneSyncSvc UsoSvc PlugPlay LanmanServer DoSvc QWAVE WpnUserService wscsvc WinHttpAutoProxySvc wcncsvc TokenBroker StateRepository SgrmBroker mpssvc cplspcon cphs jhi_service igfxCUIService LMS BDESVC SENS DusmSvc ShellHWDetection More services can be switched off if Remote Control is not used. I currently have 60 processes active. Many experts can do much less. In my experience, less is not the same as better. After every optimization, I therefore conduct a test with LatencyMon This is free software for private purposes and very reliably indicates malfunctions of, for example, faulty drivers during audio playback. For me, everything is green with extremely low latencies.
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