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Audio System

About Me

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  1. WHAT IS THE TRUE EXPERIMENTAL TWEAK THREAD ALL ABOUT? I have always wanted a thread where any subject is possible. No experiment is too crazy to add here. No idea is too bold to reveal. Take it away! Enlight your thoughts and share your ideas how to improve SQ and how not to. Anyone can encurage and educate you but no one should let you down, deminage you or simply move you to another thread. Everyone is welcome as long as they accepts a different way of thinking! TOPIC DIGEST With a little help of @austinpop I have realised that this thread is all over the place. Even if this is one of the fundamental ideas behind this thread, it could be a good idea to sum-up the things that have proven to be beneficial to SQ in this thread. I will keep it plain & simple. Remember that these are essentially my own findings in my own setup with Tidal FLAC and Tidal MQA as source. As always YMMV! LAN 1. Cat 6a U/UTP 500Mhz ethernet cables sounds better than Cat5, Cat5E, Cat6 & Cat7+ in my setup. Ghent Audio Cat 6a ET02 with JSSG shielding and Metz plugs rules them all. 2. Network switch improve SQ with input on port 1 and output on the last port. Possible explanation is QoS and also that the ports are in different magnetic boxes inside the switch. 3. Using a AQVOX switch with better clock improves SQ compared to a D-Link DSG-105 network switch. 4. A wireless adapter/wireless bridge/router in client mode into a network switch sounds better than battery powered FMCs and hardwired LAN. 5. Router vastly improves SQ with a floating LPS and even more if the floating PSU is connected to a DC blocker trap filter. IME a router upgrade could be beneficial to SQ. 6. Galvanic isolation/DC blocker in the signal path pre the router improves SQ. 7. Wireless adapter vastly improves connected to a floating IT. 8. RJ45 socket enhancers seems to be more efficient on port 4 & 5. Don't ask me why! GND 1. Grounding a metal chassi network switch to a tourmaline grounding box greatly improves SQ. 2. Different tourmaline grounding boxes improves the sound signature in different ways. 3. Grounding the DC negative terminal of the floating SMPS works great. In my setup it sounds best connected to a grounding box instead of to the power strip safety ground receptacle. Just be aware of possible leakage loops between various network devices. A big thanks @JohnSwenson for this tip. USB 1. Covering the outer USB barrels with electrical tape improves SQ slightly with unshielded USB cables. Capasitive coupling between metal barrel and pins? 2. Uptone Audio´s USPCB improves SQ. 3. ATL Hi-Fi´s 8 conductor USB cable with dual unconnected shields (5v+GND & Data- & Data+) with JSSG loop improved SQ compared to other longer (<50cm) USB cables that I´ve tried. DC 1. Network switch sounds best with dual floating PSUs or battery power (but very important to disconnect the battery charger while listening to music). Dual floating PSU is slightly better than battery power, but battery power is slightly better than single floating PSU. 2. Powering several devices with a single floating SMPS sounds better than powering the very same devices with several battery supplies. Also, powering several devices with a single battery supply sounds better than using multiple identical battery supplies. Self-inflicted noise? 3. Canare 4S6 starquad does improve SQ where ever applied. Canare 4S6 with JSSG seems to be even more effective. Thanks [email protected]! 4. Grounding the DC negative output of a floating SMPS improves SQ. Grounding the chassi/case decrease SQ. Be aware of shared ground paths since this could potensially decrease SQ. 5. Dual LT3045 ultra-low noise voltage regulators in series with 1v drop-down close to the powered device improves SQ quite dramaticly. 6. Kemet aluminium Polymer caps A750 series (25v 560uF) vastly improves LT3045 when added at the DC output. On single LT3045 the Kemet improves on both in- and output. 7. Panasonic FC series type A aluminium electrolytic caps improves on the PSU output terminals. AC 1. A DC blocker trap filter pre a safety isolation transformer improves SQ even though it is dead silent (no hum). DC blockers trap filter pre a floating PSU into a router vastly improves SQ. DC stress reliever? 2. SQ improves when battery chargers is connected to a separate powerstrip connected directly to the AC wall outlet, bypassing the isolation transformer completely. 3. A safety isolation transformer with floating secondary improves SQ more than a Ultra Isolation transformer. A balanced isolation transformer with floating center-tap rules them all! 4. Daisy chained floating grounds (dual floating grounds) sounds better than a single floating ground. In my setup floating SMPS's improve SQ connected to a floating IT, even surpassing battery supplies. Thanks for the suggestion @lmitche! 5. AC mains starquad power cables greatly improves SQ. 6. AC mains voltage regulators improves SQ on the signal chain. Even cheaper versions are effective. Not as effective on high power devices such as active speakers and amp due to a still unknown reason.
  2. [EDIT: The original first post of this long thread had outdated information and so is deleted.] Development of EtherREGEN is complete. The web page for it is up (UpTone Audio EtherREGEN), and a new thread for the launch has been started. Please see:
  3. Hi Everyone, I would like to know in detail about the different implementations of data pathways. I currently use windows and I can hear stark difference between music players with different libraries. Most music players with same library sound similar or identical. HQplayer, Winyl and Xmplay sound identical at identical settings while musicbee is similar but slightly sounds lacking in depth. Aimp sounds very different. Foobar sounds very different and lifeless (apparently goes through windows mixers even in asio and has measurable distortion). Albumplayer sounds very different. I can pretty much narrow it down to - if any uninteded processing is happening (like in foobar), or to the way instructions are laid out. The science of getting jitter free data out of CPU is a topic in itself, and I would like to know if there is any kernel/compiler available for linux/bsd that tries to remove the effect of speculative Execution Jitter. From what I know, the current ways are to have tonnes of Lfence instructions or modify the clang so that the instructions are in such a way that spec/ooo execution or other enhancements always returns a predictable sequence (a miss). I have tried a few such programs and while I can hear differences (with the usb dac and supra cable I have), I am not sure if it is all improvements or if there is any skipping going on. I am planning to upgrade my dac. I am thinking of the dddac but haven't setted on one single dac yet. Without a doubt it will be diy and my intention is to use custom coded upsamplers/dithers that I would pre-processes and store before sending the data in 192khz or 176khz, 24 or 32 bit.. I am now confused on the available ways to transmit the information from the processor to the DAC. I will split up the question into two parts. First question I have is, What are the available protocols that communicate data to the dac? I currently use USB, I can see that the data is fetched, packeted, sent to the USB port dma controller. From here it goes to a USB slave which also has a buffer and converts this stream to timed i2s data which will be fed to the dac. Since USB transfer sequence is timed (i think at 125ms between polls) Isosynchronous mode of USB frame skips frames if 44100hz sample rate is used (8000*5 or 6 alternating missing 100 samples). Asynchronous buffers these things so no interpolation in terms of data transfer but doesn't have any error detection or correction and god knows what type of errors/issues could pop in (I hear changes in cables so I don't believe all is well in USB). I went around looking at other protocols - spdif, toslink etc. SPDIF uses manchester encoding and the slave has to decode clock from the data stream. This kind of makes it necessary to have very good engineering in both the master and the slave, and i'm unsure if they will be that much issue free even after that. And the standard looks variable, general certification is only upto 48khz 24 bit though there are implementations that go till 192khz 24 bit. Toslink does the same with optical format (but not the high quality optical standard used in internet transmission and hence apparently varies with cables). I am unsure if any of these support error detection and/or correction. Also all of these seem to have single serial data line. Is there any dual channel data alternative (Ethernet seems to support dual channel, or is it just full duplex they are meaning?). Another interface I saw was aes which is similar to spdif (or is it a subset of spdif?). Ethernet based audio transfer seems to be what is used in the network streamers, with custom protocols on top of the ethernet protocol if I'm right and it seems to be a good way to go about things before sending to the slave. And direct i2s communication over RJ45 or HDMI seems to be available as well but then again i-i communications are a blank slate meant mainly for inter-ic data pathways and I'm unsure how the protocol will hold up to sending over a large line. I would like to get more enlightenment on this topic and subjective experiences of what works best at the moment, the reliable brands of decoders, reclockers, the available chips, diy-options etc. The second question I have is, how is the data taken out from the CPU/memory. For usb, cpu communicates to the USB controller and fills up the data in its buffer before it sends. Another option I've seen common in single board computers is that i2s is available as an i/o from the board itself. As usual, since a general mass production unit may not have good timing (besides they run out of switching power supplies), there are units that take in this i2s stream, buffer, and regenerate them into i2s,spdif or usb signals (like allo kali,digione etc). I have seldom come across chips that communicate to cpu through PCIe and spit out i2s signals (except maybe pinkfaun). Why is it so. What are the other options available for taking data out from cpu with as minimal jitter as possible (provided the software makes sure the cpu is not introducing a lot of jitter). Are there any dedicated computer architectures meant to handle music streaming well enough (ignoring realtime microcontrollers running dos like operating systems). I'm sorry if it sounded too pedantic. I already have a setup I enjoy even out of usb, and I'm only planning to get a better experience. I just want to learn all the options before diving in. And as an EE student, learning these is a lot of fun, and implementing even more so. This is the reason I'm buying diy dac as well and doing my own custom upsampling, just to learn.
  4. Looking for a decent patch panel. 24 or 16 Cat 6 or 6x ports. Nothing expensive. Just something that has worked well for you. Any suggestions?
  5. I posted about this in another thread but it goes lost in the SOtM Trifecta chat :-) https://www.audiostream.com/content/barn-gigafoilv4-–-inline Their "FOIL" trademark stands for fiber optic isolation link so I assume it really is fiber optic. This is a brochure for their older model: https://www.djmelectronics.com/GigaFOILv3 Brochure.pdf Has anyone had any experience with any of their products? I guess it appears to function like a pair of FMC's inside the one box, with one 5Vdc power input. For background I do use a pair of TP-Link FMC's and I've been looking for a one box solution. The price is very high though to replace a pair of cheap FMC's with one box, unless it has some other features like nice internal power supply etc. I'm hoping we get to see pics of the inside board/s to see what they're really doing in there We'll learn more over time I guess
  6. Bricasti M1 > M5 > M12: Network Player - Member REVIEW w/OEM Response from Brian Zolner President/Owner Bricasti below s Hey Guys - I have been going back and forth between what to go with for a Ethernet Network Media Player - either Innuos, SOtM, Sonore, Uptone, Bricasti M1 Network Player or M5, etc. I have a thread dedicated to working toward this decision and got some fantastic help from many CA members. I learned so much and in such a short time. This forum is Fantastic - so many people are so helpful and I appreciate it very much. I am including the link below to anyone interested in that very educational journey. Great stuff if you are interested in Innuos, SOtM, Sonore, Uptone, Bricasti Network Player or M5 I purchased a bunch of these product to try and learn for myself to be sure. I did not want to question my decision with any what if's and wanted the best sounding option for me and my system. I ended up going with the Network Player Option installed in my Bricasti M1SE DAC and I wrote this feedback to one of the best people in all of Hi-End Audio, Brian Zolner President/Owner/Designer Bricasti Design. His digital and analogue products sound absolutely fantastic and the build quality is second to none and the support is as good as it is anywhere. All made by hand right here in good old Massachusetts, USA. I asked Brian if it would be OK if I share my thoughts with the super helpful crew - the CA members that were so important in helping me get to this decision. He said no problem I also asked if he wanted to respond and comment and he provided some great insight below my feedback on his thoughts on the M1, M12, M5 network players and USB audio. I am glad to be able to share this with you guys. I will send Brian this link and I am sure if any of you have any questions or feedback or thought that would be fantastic. We will get you all the info you need. This is some seriously good sounding gear and its a lot less money than the Aurender and Lumin and it blows their doors off! Also, I would love some idea's and feedback and any idea's really now that I am all in with Ethernet audio what is my next step? One member told me to buy The Linear Solution OCXO Audiophile Switch. (link at bottom of the page). This is supposed to provide a great bump in SQ and it is $679 and comes with a dedicated purpose built Linear Power Supply. Please share you thoughts on this or any other upgrade that can help me get the most out of my Bricasti M1SE Ethernet Network Media Player. Subject: Re: Feedback Send to Brian Zolner and Joe at Bricasti Hey Brian and Joe, I wanted to reach out and thank you both for the very kind and outstanding service installing the Bricasti M1SE Ethernet Network Player option in my M1SE DAC. Guys, it is absolutely fantastic! It needed about 40 to 60 hours of burn-in to get to where it was going and honestly the upgrade over that time was substantial. I get that some people don't believe in burn-in and others like me clearly hear it but I am just telling you guys this Bricasti M1SE Ethernet Network Player option is absolutely fantastic. At first I was strongly considering the M5 just because I already own all of the premium - supporting USB Gear and thought it might be great and I am sure it is but honestly guys in all fairness I didn't think the Bricasti M1SE Ethernet Network Player option would end up being this good? Man is it good! I thought it would be good and/or even great but it surpassed even those expectations and that's not an easy thing to do. I am looking for an awful lot out of my gar and I had some premium gear it needed to stand up against. I can speak from first hand experience about this Network Player option and how it compared to all the similar other gear listed below. All my thoughts are in comparison to the gear listed below. I was able to do a/b verse some really good Ethernet / USB options that are some of the hottest, best selling products going and I assumed from an a/b it would be close and/or maybe I couldn't even tell the difference but this is where my non-audiophile wifey serves as a sort of blind test. Yes her ear has evolved but she is not an audiophile. What the Bricasti Network Player option does that is so much better than everything else is actually something you never even knew was missing until you hear it and then remove it. It jumps off the page during A/B's. Sometimes A/B's can be tough but here it stands out as clear as day it was simple. To test myself I asked my wifey for her help and what she thinks. I set up the Sonore/Uptone Combo and then the SOtM/Uptone power supply combo and the Bricasti Network Player and mixed them up and she picked it out each time. She actually picked out the SOtM over Sonore also so maybe her ear is getting better than I think but she heard it and picked it out clearly and simply so that reinforced what I already knew but wanted to check it. Bricasti Network Player is so much more direct and decisive. It's immediacy and directness just can't be missed. I was like "yes, yes, oh man yes"! "Thats what I am talking about" and you know what - those are far and few between these days so when it happens you REALLY appreciate it. Thank you It not like it is a little warmer and a little clearer or it widens or deepens the stage or something like that which by the way it does all these things but that's not my point. It is immediate, decisive and startlingly quick. Its got jump and you are just much closer to the event. It was a combo of heightened transparency with just layers removed and more information magnified and exposed in all its greatness. Also, I want to make sure to note that I am not talking about being more upfront either because it offered a deeper stage and the voices are actually pushed further back which normally I don't prefer. I actually like that dynamic and sort of upfront sound as a rule but that is not what this is. This does it totally different! It does it the only fashioned way. It earns it. This is no designers voicing choice, this is simply a much more robust and substantial component. It performs at a much higher level and it is shows on so many levels. Vastly better separation and delineation in that more direct package. The stage opens and the walls expand and out comes a richer and more layered and more natural presentation. Man that separation is just fantastic! I just can't get over that open space it puts around everything and the air and the extension go on and on. It's just that every item is so sharp and precise and magnified in 3D space. Everything is tighter and wider and deeper and it all just holds together so well and is so confident and that heightened image precision is such an enjoyable effect. I don't want to touch anything - this the best sound I've ever had and I'm ecstatic! Better than analogue IMO. I am sure there are some uber turntables that will out do it but pound for pound I doubt it IMO. I was impressed at this much closer to the event effect. It's kind of hard to articulate but I think this might shed a little more light. Sort of that same effect you get when you have a great DAC or CD player and then you remove the preamp. The only thing with removing a great preamp is you gain that great immediate directness but then lose all that greatness that a great preamps provides but that increased directness is such a desirable effect so many people do it. I did it but then you get a great preamp and you say man I love the directness but I am giving up so much to get it. Some big time trade off's and many go back and forth. I know I did for a while. So this new Network Player upgrade was like keeping your amazing preamp and all the great benefits the pre provides while still getting that great directness a preless set up gives you. Best of both worlds! How often do you get to have your cake and eat it too? Well that is what happened here IMO with this so I think you can see why I am so happy about it and hope this does a little better job of explaining the main effect of this Ethernet Network Player option I added to my system. This preless type directness while keeping all the greatness of a preamp is worth the price of admission all by itself but there is more. All that directness has a great effect on the bass which is tighter, cleaner and more nuanced with much better separation. There isn't any more slam or power. It is not rounder or warmer which some may prefer but it is different. It is more nimble and lighter on its toes with more precision and definition. I don't think its any less powerful but it's different sort of like my Magico speakers are. People think or feel with Magico's sealed Aluminum cabinets there is less bass when in actuality there isn't any less but it is faster and more defined but some interrupt this as less bass but I don't agree but also each to their own. I find it to be a nice improvement and upgrade but I can see someone that likes to listen to a lot pop or rap music they may refer a thicker or rounder sound but everyone else will love this IMO. I will take quality and precision over quantity every time but that's just me and everyone is different. I want take a moment to thank you and your company again for your approach to supporting the folks that purchase your gear. Premium Hi-End Audiophile gear is quite expensive and so many of the top Hi-Fi companies come out with a new model every few years and that kills us. We need to sell our old one to get the new one and that makes expensive gear insanely expensive to own. Many people like me want the most recent and best gear they can afford. You guys make this possible and care more about your customers than any of the other OEM's and we appreciate it very much! You guys are totally different from the Vast Majority of high ends OEM's. Also, this feedback was not made in a vacuum. Here are the items I had in my system that I did an A/B with that allowed me great insight into how your Ethernet Network Player option worked verse the others. Some of these I only owned a for a short while because I knew there was no contest. Most have either been sold or are in process of being sold on Audiogon because your Network Player made them obsolete. I am keeping the JS-2 and P10 for my new system set up. Tellurium Q Black Diamond USB Cable Curious Regenlink USB Cables (2) Uptone Audio USPCB Connectors Uptown Audio ISO Regen USB Uptown Audio LPS-1 UltraCap Power Supply Uptown Audio LPS-1 UltraCap Power Supply Breeze Audio 12v Linear Power Supplies Breeze Audio 12v Linear Power Supplies Uptown Audio Amber Regen USB Uptown Audio JS-2 Linear Power Supply Sonore mircoRendu 2.5 Ethernet / USB Player Ghent customer DC power Cables PS Audio P10 Regenerator SOtM tX-USBultra w/50 ohm connector SOtM sms-200 Ultra w/50 ohm connector I honestly thought in my heart of hearts USB might be the way to go just because it has come so far in not that long of a time. Sonore, SOtM and Uptone Audio in my opinion changed the world in regards to the USB landscape and in a huge way. There are a few others as well. They brought, real world price upgrades to USB that made semi-inexpensive gear better than super expensive legacy products from just a few years back (CD and SACD Players) and this changed the game. Now it appears you have changed the game on the Ethernet side. I call tell anyone out there that doesn't own a Bricasti M1 is to buy the M5. I am not sure how the M5 sounds because I have not heard it but if it sounds anything like the M1 Ethernet Network Player then there is nothing that can touch it. Great job and thank you guys. With your permission I would like to share this personal email on my forum post and if you are ok with it any of your responses as well. People are waiting to hear my thoughts so I thought I could email you and inform them at the same time. Thanks Frank Fsmithjack Subject: Re: Response / Feedback from Brian Zolner Bricasti President/Owner/Designer to Frank Smith / Fsmithjack Frank, Thanks for all that commentary, and well guess only thing I can say or add is once we got the LAN working in the M12, and then the M1 ( it’s the same streamer used in all products) I never went back to USB, clearly better even just connecting with 50’ cat5 from my server to the M1. We do all shows with the LAN and try to convince users this is the way. I feel that regardless of the cables and power supplies and clockers etc for USB that seem to make some differences, one might say they create differences and subjective to if its better or not, but I feel USB is fundamentally flawed and when the player or renderer is installed directly in the M1 it eliminates all the issues of USB, it removes it from the computer, and places it in the M1. We made our own player, running on a linux core on an ARM processor, runs off the linear supply in the M1 too. so no extra processors running as with a PC where the computer is doing all kinds of other co processing, switch mode power regulation on the PC mother board etc. But in the end of all that stuff, this approach eliminates it. For the sound of USB, People are fooled by things and as you point out someone might like the effect of the USB, but I think what we get with the streamer is true sound reproduction with no jitter and noise added to make the sound dance a bit, I hear it clearly on my Tidals, and our M28s, no loss of bass at all for me, but tight clear and excellent extension, no bloating. The M5 was made so that a user could run off the network or PC without using USB, I feel the AES is the best as removes these issues. But installed in the M1 or M12 is the best, direct I2S to the DSP and then to the DAC. The M5 with AES is darn close to what you have, I have done a lot of listening and that was the idea of that product to offer great playback and no USB for anyone and any DAC. Enjoy it, I know it changed my life, my server PC is in another part of the house and I run it all from Jremote, there is just no other way to play, besides the sound there is the convenience factor and I play tracks from my phone or stream from it to the M1, or the server, or the NAS or any PC in my home, all the computer stuff goes in another room away from the listening room. It’s a network and that is what starts becoming interesting and you don’t get that with USB or any other point to point interface. Go ahead and share the story, its what we hope others will find out too. Brian Subject: Re: Response / Feedback from Joe at Bricasti to Frank Smith / Fsmithjack Hi Frank, thank you for great write-up! Enjoy your M1, if you ever need anything just let me know. Thank you again, joe http://www.bricasti.com/en/consumer/m1se.php http://thelinearsolution.com/ocxo_switch.html
  7. I have a DigiOne player with Volumio. I've had it for about 2 weeks. It is connected to my router with an ethernet cable. I am using Audirvana+ for Windows to send audio to it. I shutdown my laptop every evening. The past 2 mornings, the player has disappeared from Audirvana's option for output. I had to reboot the DigiOne player (once yesterday, multiple times today) in order to get it to reappear. I still can't reach the Volumio interface through volumio.local (this worked when I first connected it to my network). Why does it keep disappearing? I love the player, but this will get old fast if I have to keep rebooting it.
  8. I've run into a new problem and didn't know if anyone had any similar experiences/solutions. Thanks in advance. I am currently using a microRendu in an area of my house that does not have (and cannot easily get) wired ethernet. I tried using it plugged into an eero base, but had some drop outs. I have been using TP-LINK AV2000 Powerline Adapter with good results. I changed up my system and with my new Wells Audio Milo I am picking up noise from the power line adapter. If I move the adapter to a different outlet than my amp is plugged in, it improves. I still have audible interference (sounds like data transmission to me) but it is better than when both are plugged into the same outlet. I have had some improvement adding a better/shielded power cable (Cardas Clear M). It's better but it is still there. If I turn off the DAC (Schiit Gugnir Multibit), the sound is still there in the background--so I think it is from the amp itself. Any suggestions? I'm looking into hardwiring the ethernet, but this will be expensive and require drywall work. I've considered the Auralic Aries, but like my microRendu. Thanks for any suggestions. Mark
  9. Hi all, I'm upgrading a home network to send music and video to different rooms but am confused; I'm definitely not experienced at networking! We have a small house with 3 (maybe 4 later) rooms where we *want* to watch video or listen to music. Now we only have one attached to our home network, and wirelessly at that. I know that wired is much more reliable, secure, and fast. Right now I have high speed cable broadband. The signal is split, one coax leg going to a good DVR, and the other to a new Motorola SB6141 cable modem and directly from there to a Linksys WRT54GL wireless router/4-port switch. I am about to connect my Mac Mini (late 2012) and the main audio system, which it now feeds, via CAT6A ethernet cable in place of the current, slow, wireless VNC connection. I'm also about to run 6A ethernet to the other rooms so that video and audio can be accessed. I'm only now learning to set up a home network. I have an AppleTV that I still haven't installed for the main system, and will probably get another one or two for AV sources in other rooms. All of our cables, modem, and router are located together in one small office next to the family room with the main HT-and-hotshot-audio system. Note, there is only my wife and me in a small house. I *do* want to stream HD video and Hi-rez audio to at least 3 different systems in 3 separate rooms. I have no problem with the AV components *past* the network, well except for the AppleTV which I learning to use, I designed lots of audio gear. My main question now is how I should set up the main internet connection; the advice I've heard is confusing. In a thread quite a while back, ever-helpful Eloise said in: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f22-networking-networked-audio-and-streaming/whole-house-wired-network-8547/ " Additional router thoughts... Not sure if you were already thinking this... But I would use the router purely as a router (for Internet connection). All wired Ethernet should go to a separate switch. And (optional but advised) get a separate wireless access point for your wireless connection(s). Eloise" So, what should attach to the cable modem? Should that be a good *wired-only* router with say, 8 GigE outputs and a high-capacity backplane, or would a very good wireless router with the same 8 GigE ports do the job? And what about other switches or WAPs downstream? If I get an Airport Extreme as the router attached to the cable modem, should I NOT use its wireless section, but add another wireless router/WAP downstream? We only need one wireless zone in the house, it is small enough for that. All my music is now on a HD attached to my Mac Mini and I use iTunes. (Um, just learning to do that!) Questions, questions, sorry! I'm willing to spend some coin for good networking equipment but am not sure how to arrange it. Thanks for any help!
  10. Hi, Everywhere I read people's testimonies that music streamed through ethernet from a NAS sounds dull compared to playing it directly from an external HDD. Even when the player pre-loads the whole song to memory like Audirvana does. How can this be? Are there any plausible explanations for this? I'm building a new system and it would be nice to know if this is simply a myth or if there's some rational behind it and if someone has done some proper comparison tests. Thanks in advance, Nuno
  11. I bought a microrendu 2 days ago and I feel I have to get a lot of accessories to make a "simple" system "complicated". The reason to choose microrendu is due to its simply design. Now I have to play with router / NAS / Music Servers / Extensions and worry about degrade of sound quality. My original plan is Sotm SMS1000Q WE (or any other optimized PC, like CAD, Mojo etc). For more details about an optimized PC : any PC with low power assumption (generate less noise), separated power supply to USB, low noise circuit design, internal power filter and linear power supply ,EMI isolation, low jitter clock etc. Any kind of optimized PC can feed signal to USB DAC with highest bit rate support via STABLE PHYSICAL connection. [PC - USB DAC + linear power supply]. How about Microrendu? I was attracted by the CA reviews and bought it. Now I realize the system is not simple at all and the system may have inferior SQ due to ethernet transport parameters, plus, the routers and photoelectric conversion modules of those systems are not audiophile grade. [Music Server / Router / Microrendu / USB DAC / Several linear power supply / Maybe Ethernet Switch / NAS]. How could I convince myself to invest further in microrendu system because I could not see any advantage now. How about SOUND QUALITY? Thanks for any suggestions.
  12. Hi; this is my first post (after the loosin' Bio data from... that time...) (Sorry for my English and... thanks to all of you) Well, after many digital sys over PC, I -finally- found the sound I like, with no differences (and if there are, they are better listenings than... CDs) from any other digital front end, I mean my transport/DAC Simaudio Moon 750D. My goal was to put away PC from the audio chain, so... NAS (QNAP TS251 fanless)... router (Fritzbox)... renderer (MiND 180 by Moon, Simaudio) and through AES/EBU_XLR 110-Ohm cable (Apogee Wide Eye) to DAC. All cabled with Ethernet CAT 6a shielded. Because "the game" to improve the sound but without spend (so much) money on other gears, even changing "the tonal balance", I was surprised when I add the "linear power supply" to router/NAS/renderer. Very good for my ears! But... "more": I want "more"! Waiting for MQA (Moon website writes... 1st quarter '18), I wrote to "iFi audio" to know if there are in their big catalogue some "good stuff", some "iSilencers" and so on: they gently said to me that over Ethernet there is nothig so significant at the moment because Ethernet is a very good place to stream direct to DAC! I also read this very interesting article about, on SoS: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/ethernet-audio So, my "QUESTION", without talking about PC's and USB's, is: what do you say about? Is there only a chance to change devices to improve the sound over Ethernet? And... What about the UPnP AV music server??? I use the "MinimServer" and it flows very good, but I heard about Roon Sever just few days ago: is this a better choice? The only way? Any advices for me? (Are you informed for something like Roon Server competitor? Free?) Thanks and sorry for the long post: I will read you. Bye, Luca from old EU
  13. I am looking into a Bryston/Marantz/CAPS/Aurender type media server. Is there a difference in sound quality having Cat-5 Ethernet directly from NAS or router to media server versus say setting airport express in the listening room and running CAT-5 out of it into the media server? My problem is that we have an old house, and large distance between room where the router/modem is and the main listening room, and hardwiring everything will cost some $$$. Present Setup: a Synology NAS upstairs in an office hardwired via CAT-5 to an Apple Time Capsule. The Time capsule, however, is NOT hardwired to the Router (downstairs), but runs off WiFi. My listening room is also on the main floor (with the router/modem), 125 feet from the main router (and downstairs and 100 feet from my NAS) I can hire someone to hardwire CAT-5 from the NAS to the listening room or router to listening room,but not sure that is worth it as the NAS is essentially already wirelessly connected? I assume, if there truly is a benefit to hardwiring it, that I would also need to run CAT-5 from the 1st Floor modem/router to the 2nd floor NAS in the upstair office, and then also to the main listening room on that 1st floor. Then, how much of an audible difference would there be, to say just getting a $99 Airport, and extending the wireless network into the listening room, and hardwiring from that Airport to said media server? I am hoping this makes sense, and appreciate any help. Thanks
  14. I know that nobody really knows, but do you have any guesses? I'm assuming they will soon be on their way out, given the direction the newest retina MBPs are taking. My MBP is just under three years old, but I'm tempted to grab a new 13" non-retina MBP (the only one left with an internal disc drive) while they're still around. (Reasons if you're interested: They are cheaper; I don't like extra hardware cluttering my desk, i.e., an external drive; I like having an Ethernet port, which the retina versions do not have.) THANKS. -Bob
  15. A recent video posted by WireWorlds David Salz blatantly shows they don't know what they are talking about:
  16. Apologies in advance for a naive question, probably answered somewhere on the site, tho I can't find it. I am using Mac Mini running J River Media Centre in one room then wifi to an Airport Express in another, connecting to my amp via a 3.5mm jack and cable. There is a solid concrete floor between, so the wifi connection is not great - annoying dropouts. Connecting the two parts of the system by wire would be difficult - the concrete floor again. I am looking at Ethernet over Powerline. Can someone please outline the connections? I realize the signal over the powerline is digital, so I need a DAC between the powerline adapter and the amp. Is it as simple as Mac Mini to router, router to powerline adapter1 by ethernet, adapter2 to DAC, DAC to amp? Any other suggestions?
  17. After doing forum research, I decided it was possible to stream Roon from my Mac to the Roon-Tested 280D. Now I'm looking for you experts to confirm/deny before I install the over $1600 of gear purchased to make this happen! Set-up - my Mac, now with Roon downloaded, is quite some distance from the Moon 280D and the listening room where its housed. So it is impractical or impossible to directly connect a USB cable from it to the 280D. Plan - I purchased the ultraRendu microcomputer to work as a go-between. It will be directly connected to my router. As I understand things, it would recognize Roon and pass it thru via USB to the Roon-tested Moon. Concern - Simaudio is only pushing a direct computer connection, which is what they evaluated in order to become Roon Tested. I'm sure Simaudio has not tested the ultraRendu or all the many other similar products to determine their usability with Roon Hope - In spite of that, I'm hoping the envisioned solution is a workaround that's been tried and tested by others, whether the ultra/microRendu was used as the Roon end point or not. Thank you in advance for you help.
  18. My digitial audio server (iMac) resides in one of the bedrooms (office) in my house and of course, the audio system is elsewhere (living room). I having been trying to graduate from using Airport Express for this connection to benefit (or at least determine if there is a benefit) from higher def music files. My first attempt has been with an AudioEngine D2 wireless system to connect with BitPerfect on the source end. Although I've followed their guidelines on placement of the transmitter (away from other 802.11 wireless devices, setting the 802.11 network to channel 1 or 11, etc.), I still get sporadic cut-outs. Sometimes it makes the music unlistenable and other times I may get a single cut-out during hours of listening. There is also some weird noise that I can't really quite hear, but seems to come and go, that is never present when playing material directly on the audio system, such as from a CD or LP. This may simply be a lower impact result of a bad connection that doesn't occur as a cut-out. While the folks at AudioEngine have attempted to help, I'm not confident that wireless is the way to go. I found another product made by Vanco that converts digital audio (coax or TOSLINK) to something that is are transmitted over ethernet and then converts back to usable digital audio at the other end. It's very inexpensive (~$100), but I'm thinking I may end up with a different set of problems than I've already got, but more subtle and difficult to resolve. Does anyone have experience with such a device? On paper, it seems like a really good idea as it supports up to 96kHz bit rate. I'm just a little suspicious that something this inexpensive has some downside I haven't thought of. Thanks Jim If you want to see my audio system, it's posted here.
  19. In examining the benefits or disadvantages of replacing USB wiring with Ethernet wiring for transmission of audio data, there's a question on the type of NIC used for the Ethernet interface. Uncovering the typical transformer design, the class TI NIC chips use a combo of centre tapped transformers. If these are a transformer in the classic sense, there's still capacitance across the windings, so wouldn't any high impedance leakage currents be transferred through the wire? There are transformerless NICs that use caps instead, the TI notes limit the transmissions to 100Mbps which would be OK for audio, but looking at the Newegg site for Intel Nics, there are photos which don't show larger inductors, or components starting with L or H for example. There are NICs which work at the 1GB speed, but just wonder what sort of waveform that ends up to be. The transformerless designs use a set of capacitors, which effectively block DC and have a high immunity to spike voltage. Apart from cost would the transformer provide a more difficult opposition to high frequency impedance leakage currents than the caps design?
  20. Mint, as new, AQ Vodka Ethernet cable. 2.5 feet. Original box and end clips. $185 I did comparisons with Supra, Blue Jean, and stock cable and this far exceeded all of them regarding clarity, PRAT, and richness. Selling because I bought an Antipodes DX3 to replace an SOTM sms-200 and SonicTransporter, and now only require 1 Ethernet cable.
  21. Guys, I'm about to have new flooring put in and would appreciate guidance on cabling to future proof the family's media/music consumption as much as possible. Needs -We want to remove any WiFi use. -Listening room is currently the TV Room (including modem) which will continue -Want to listen to music in front room (may relocate Turntable there) -Kids will want to listen to music in their bedrooms soon -Would also like to have wired Security cameras around house. Current set-up in TV/Listening room -Gigabit Internet with Comcast, Netgear CM1000 (Docsis 3.1), Synology Router RT2600ac, Synology NAS, Ultrarendu>W4S Dac-2>Mcintosh C46 Preamp>Job 225 amp>Salk Song Tower Speakers Specific Questions: -Any recommendations on Ethernet cable to future proof? -Would XLR cabling from the Mcintosh degrade if it was around 36ft -Any other equipment recommendations/tips based on your experience? Thanks in advance.
  22. Hello. I am confused about what is the best means (sound quality wise) of moving digital music files to a DAC. I read all about USB DACs using asynchronous connections so that the DAC takes over clock duties from the Pc (is that something to do with jitter?), how the various types of connections can be limited in the music file's maximum bit depth and sampling frequency etc etc. How does ethernet fare up sound quality wise? I assume it is unlimited when it comes to the music file's bit depth and sampling frequency, but what about jitter, clock ownership? Please, can someone out there tell me what the best connection is, technically? I am assuming that the best connection technically will also be the best connection for outright sound quality?? Many thanks.
  23. Hello, I just received my USBridge. It connects to the network fine using the onboard ethernet. When I try to use the gigabyte dongle purchased from ALLO, it fails to power up from any of the sparky ports. I tried it on my PC and it powers up just fine. Please advise.
  24. Hi, I have an hifi electrician installing 2 dedicated power lines for my audio system to isolate it from the rest of the house's appliances. I took the opportunity and asked him to also add 3 CAT 6 ethernet cables. So, once this is done, I can turn off wifi on my MacMini and use ethernet instead (both for increased speed and interference reduction). The electrician said that I should leave the end of the cable as a loose jack instead of finishing it with an ethernet wall plug. He said the connections are the weakest point and he doesn't know of any decent ethernet plugs he could use. Instead, to allow for some flexibility in the future (extending the cables if needed) he suggested adding a female plug right at the end of the ethernet jack. He argues that this female plug's connections are of much higher quality. The downside is that I am left with loose ethernet wires in the living room (which I can hide, ok) instead of a neat ethernet socket. Does he have a point? Can this affect the sound somehow? Or should I just tell him to end the cables in CAT 6 ethernet sockets? BTW, I still don't know if I'll actually stream my music through ethernet, since, for some strange reason, everywhere I read, people say the sound quality is inferior to having an external HDD connected to my MacMini). But I'll definitely want to use it to remotely control my player. Thanks in advance, Nuno
  25. I have some questions about digital interface limitations and am hoping that the more knowlegeable among you might correct any misunderstanding I have. I just upgraded my DAC, making the connection from my computer the weakest link in my digital audio chain. I am looking for the best solution that maximizes the capability of the new DAC while minimizing inherent down-sides of the different interfaces. My currect set up is: iTunes library on an external USB 2.0 HD -> MacMini (early 2009, 10.11.6) -> TOSLINK output -> Gefen Digital Audio Extender sender -> Cat6 cable -> Gefen DAE receiver -> TOSLINK Cable -> Schiit Bifrost Multibit. The MacMini is limited to 24 bit/ 96 kHz over TOSLINK. The Gefen DAE has the same limitation. The goal is to restore 192 kHz sampling rate ability for the DAC. The distance between my computer and DAC is currently 6 meters, but I hope to move my computer farther away in the near future. Here are the solutions I am considering. I'm not set on the linked products; they are included just to give a better idea of the proposed solution. MacMini -> Active USB 2.0 extension -> USB cable -> DAC: lowest cost, 25 m limitation, higher jitter MacMini -> USB cable -> USB-over-Cat6 extender -> USB cable -> DAC: 50 m limitation, higher cost, higher jitter http://www.gefen.com/product/gefen-usb-20-sr-extender-over-one-cat-5-cable-EXT-USB2.0-SR MacMini -> USB cable -> USB-S/PDIF converter -> S/PDIF cable -> DAC: higher cost, more suceptable to interferance https://wyred4sound.com/products/dacs-converters/%C2%B5link MacMini -> USB cable -> USB reclocker -> USB cable -> DAC: 10 m limitation, higher cost https://wyred4sound.com/products/digital-converters/recovery Switch to Roon, ethernet -> Roon Endpoint -> S/PDIF Cable -> S/PDIF Reclocker -> DAC: lower jitter, highest cost, most effort https://www.hifiberry.com/shop/bundles/hifiberry-digi-bundle/ https://wyred4sound.com/products/digital-converters/remedy-reclocker Thank you for your help.
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