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

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22 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

 

For the NUC form factor, most likely 8MB SmartCache from an i7-8650U should be as good as it gets for now.

 

For 3.5" SBC form factor, there's Avalue ECM-CFS with 4-pin Molex internal power connector

 

http://linuxgizmos.com/intel-coffee-lake-appears-on-3-5-inch-sbc/

https://www.avalue.com.tw/Product/Embedded-PC/Single-Board-Computer/3.5"/ECM-CFS_2709

 

We're getting 12MB SmartCache from an i7-8700T (25W with TDP-down) and the price is about $305 at the moment

 

https://www.provantage.com/intel-cm8068403358413~7ITEP5YR.htm

https://ark.intel.com/products/129948/Intel-Core-i7-8700T-Processor-12M-Cache-up-to-4-00-GHz-

 

Next up is an unlocked i9-9900K with 16MB SmartCache and 95W TDP, it would be interesting to see what's happening to power consumption when 7 outta 8 cores are disabled. We only have Mini-ITX motherboards with Z390 chipset at the moment, not sure if there were any Micro-STX or Mini-STX in the future

 

https://ark.intel.com/products/186605/Intel-Core-i9-9900K-Processor-16M-Cache-up-to-5-00-GHz-

 

There's a little birdie ASRock X299E-ITX/ac for i9-9980XE with 24.75MB SmartCache / 165W TDP

 

https://ark.intel.com/products/189126/Intel-Core-i9-9980XE-Extreme-Edition-Processor-24-75M-Cache-up-to-4-50-GHz-

 

Somehow they still managed to keep unlocked 28-core processors (38.5MB SmartCache / 255W TDP) running without a single fan

 

https://wccftech.com/intel-28-core-cpu-lga-3647-socket-6-channel-memory-aorus-motherboard/

t8NPitc.jpg

 

https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/ROG-Dominus-Extreme/

https://wccftech.com/asus-rog-dominus-motherboard-skylake-x-28-core-cpu-announced/

 

How do we take advantage of dual 24-pin ATX connectors?

 

8Q7uNUC.jpg

 

Perhaps a system board intended for server use and adapted for redundant power supplies?

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On 10/19/2018 at 10:04 AM, austinpop said:

@flkin  - thanks for your valuable impressions of the Pink Faun 2.16 and Antipodes CX/EX servers.

 

And Roy, it's always fascinating to hear about your continuing saga! I feel you and Larry are on track to unlock another "massive" leap in sonic performance.

 

 

Comparison of sMS-200ultra vs sMS-200ultra Neo

 

In the flurry of activity pre- and post-RMAF, I have not had a chance to report on a comparison Eric @limniscate and I did. We were able to compare the sMS-200ultra Neo (the same one Roy mentioned above) with Eric's vanilla unit. Both units have a reference clock input, so we were able to run both with a reference clock from the Mutec Ref-10. We did this in my system, so the chain was:

  • Vanilla: Router > TLS OCXO switch > Zenith SE (Roon Server) > TLS OCXO switch > sMS-200ultra > tX-USBultra > DAC
  • Neo:      Router > TLS OCXO switch > Zenith SE (Roon Server) > TLS OCXO switch > sMS-200ultra Neo > tX-USBultra > DAC

In both cases, the sMS was running the Roon Ready application. The nice thing about this test is we did not have to rely on auditory memory to do this comparison; we were able to A/B them in real time.

 

Sure enough - there is a difference in sound signature between the two. I would not characterize this as a large, knock-your-socks-off difference. But certainly, SOtM have managed to alter the tonality of the Neo to be mellower, and not as "bright." I think Roy is spot on when he says it's reminiscent of the smoother tonality the original mR has. The Neo has smoother treble, and slightly improved lower mids and upper bass. As I said, it's reasonably subtle, but very welcome. 

 

The second finding is even more interesting. May had suggested I try their beta firmware, where they have a new kernel that they have tweaked. She wouldn't (and hasn't) tell me what exactly has changed, but I have to say, I felt the beta version sounder better for sure. In fact, it seemed to be doing the things Roy and Larry are reporting with their experiments - more dynamic and more expansive.

 

If you want to try it - AT YOUR OWN RISK, obviously -  here are the instructions from May. I strongly recommend you make a backup of your SD card before you do.

 

1. Go to the following link

  URL: <your eunhasu ip address>/beta.php

2. Enable the Beta server and save.

3. Go to the Eunhasu upgrade page.

  URL: <your eunhsu ip address>/upgrade.php

4. Click the kernel check. After that, reboot the device and test.

 

After testing,

 

5. Go to the beta page again.

  URL: <your eunhasu ip address>/beta.php

6. Disable the Beta server and save.

7. Reboot the unit and use.

Thanks for this Rajiv. I have been running the beta for a day now and it does sound a bit more open and perhaps a bit richer and more colourful as well. There are a few pops and clicks and gaps in playback but it's been fairly stable so far, but obviously not ready for release. 

 

I did change sd cards at the same time as making this change and I am yet to comfirm but I think that the SanDisk Extreme 64GB A1 U3 class 10 card that I am using has better read/write speeds than my previous card and sounds a bit cleaner. The faster card definitely helps load times and navigating the ui but I think it also results in a cleaner sound. I would like to try a SanDisk Extreme PRO card with A2 - it may sound a bit better again.

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NUC7i7DNBE (with 8MB SmartCache) might seem to be pretty cheap here, though it couldn't be found on neither bbb.org nor resellerratings.com so far

 

https://servertechsupply.com/product/blknuc7i7dnbe/

 

Then I looked at something else from China with i7-8550U since that's the brother of i7-8650U, all of them seemed to have the same 4-pin Molex internal power connector

 

https://ark.intel.com/products/122589/Intel-Core-i7-8550U-Processor-8M-Cache-up-to-4-00-GHz-

 

Eglobal

http://www.eglobaltech.cn/ViewDetails238.aspx

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Newest-EGLOBAL-Fanless-Mini-PC-8th-Gen-i7-8550U-Quad-Core-DDR4-M-2-Mini-Computer/32913945612.html

t4Pobgb.jpg

Hystou

https://www.hystou.com/fanless-mini-pc/fanless-pc-i7-8550u

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hystou-8th-Gen-Intel-Gaming-PC-Core-i7-8550U-Barebone-Fanless-Mini-PC-Windows-10-Linux/32917625961.html

 

Kingdel

https://www.amazon.com/Kingdel-Fanless-Computer-i7-8550U-4096x2304/dp/B07H4MT81L

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Big-Promotion-4K-HTPC-Fanless-mini-pc-with-8th-gen-Core-i7-8550U-8MB-Cache-win10/32919532174.html

 

A barebone with fanless case would cost $350 on Aliexpress, though they might (or might not) sound as good as NUC with i7-8650U.

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Here comes my first post on CA. First I want to say thanks for creating this thread and it made me believe that each component in the chain is important. I have spent many days ready this thread but I have not yet completed reading everything. However thanks to indexing the thread.. that's something really awesome.

 

I am posting because, I have question about clocks

 Here is my Spaghetti 

I have my roon server on Synology NAS -->connected via CAT7 to-->Asus Wifi Router -->Connected via CAT7 to--> UltraRendu --> Connected via labkable USB to-->USB to i2S converter --> Connected via Ghent CAT6 JSSG360 ethernet cable to-->LKS Audio DAC-->Pass Int60->Harbeth P3ESR

 

I was planning to buy Spingxer SU1 modify by adding SOTM sCLK-EX. Later connect Mutec Ref 10 or Cybershaft.

 

However, as I understand clock closer to DAC would be better and guy who built my DAC (LKS Audio) suggested adding clock within DAC is much better than having external clock which avoids cabling and separate power supply etc. 

Now he suggested OCXO SC cut (approx. 800USD) which will be added to DAC internally. He says it is 100MHz. I have attached Phase Noise graph he shared with me. So I am wondering what's the difference between a 10MHz and 100MHz clocks. Is this a thing? 

 

If I do buy reference clock will internal clock going to have added benefit or it will make external clock useless. Ofcourse I am tirelessly googling and I thought it may be worth to bring this here as well.

 

Cheers,

Soma

mmexport1540255830720.jpg

SmartSelect_20181023-105224_WeChat.jpg

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On 10/18/2018 at 4:54 AM, rickca said:

It says standard outputs are coax, AES/EBU and optical.  It also says something about a configurable I2S/LVDS option.  No mention of USB but I do see there are USB 2.0 ports on the Tinkerboard.

Clarification from Jord at Pink Faun.  I asked him whether Scion will support HQPlayer NAA, DLNA renderer or Squeezelite.

For now the Scion is a ROON endpoint only. Maybe in the future more options can be added, but the Scion is developed as ROON endpoint.  There’s USB out, SPID out (coax, optical, aes/ebu) and optional I2S out.

 

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11 hours ago, Soma said:

So I am wondering what's the difference between a 10MHz and 100MHz clocks. Is this a thing? 

Hi, the 100MHz is likely to be the frequency of your DAC's clock, of which the OCXO will replace.

10MHz is the Master / World clock frequency of the the Mutec Ref10.

The Mutec Ref10 does not replace any clock it just acts to regulate any clock attached to it in order to improve its performance, closer to that of the OCXO in the Ref10.

Most clocks have a master clock pin so there needs to be a Master clock input on any device in order for it to connect to the Ref10 or similar, such as that on the Mutec MC3+ or SOTM's sCLK EX board. The good thing about the sCLK EX is that you can 'upgrade' up to 4 devices, so when attached to a REF10 it becomes cost effective, 1 OCXO regulating multiple devices with lower spec clocks.

Regarding the OCXO for your DAC it is the most important clock in the chain, however its all in the implementation, circuit design, components and power supply and also the quality of the DAC itself. For example some $5K DACS use a $25 Crystek Femto clock with very good results.

Placing the Mutec ref10 or similar prior to an OCXO in a DAC in theory should have minimal effect due to the asynchronous data flow, but in practise we know it can have dramatic effects depending on the equipment in the chain. For example it seems to have less effect on FGPA DACS like Chord DAVE but larger sound quality increases on other DACS and its also dependent on the quality of the equipment preceding, computers, NAS, Switches etc.

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1 hour ago, LTG2010 said:

Most clocks have a master clock pin so there needs to be a Master clock input on any device in order for it to connect to the Ref10 or similar, such as that on the Mutec MC3+ or SOTM's sCLK EX board. The good thing about the sCLK EX is that you can 'upgrade' up to 4 devices, so when attached to a REF10 it becomes cost effective, 1 OCXO regulating multiple devices with lower spec clocks.

Thanks for the explanation. Now I see as DAC guy mentioned me something about DAC frequency. I didnt get at that time. It make sense now. So if new OCXO SC cut installation does not have master pin or master clock input it may better to go sCLK-EX installation instead and then regulate it with Mutec Ref 10. Thanks once again 😊 

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7 hours ago, romaz said:

 

Here is what is really interesting to me.  As I have posted, I was quite surprised when this cheap AudioLinux-based NUC that I stumbled upon outperformed my much more expensive SE but only when I powered my NUC with my DR SR7.  When powered by an SR rail from my SR7, I felt the NUC still had a slight edge over the SE but with the DR rail, the superiority of the NUC was incontrovertible.  During blinded tests, friends and family unanimously chose the NUC as sounding better than the SE.  

 

At the present time, I own 5 SR7 rails but only one of these rails is a DR (double regulated) rail.  When I had my SE, I was using my DR rail on the tX-USBultra and it's impact was clearly heard.  As I shifted my lone DR rail to my NUC, I was forced to use an SR (single regulated) rail from my SR7 on my tX-USBultra and I was quite surprised/disappointed to find that my tX-USBultra was now resulting in a clear step backward with respect to dynamics and tonal richness and smoothness.  It's not like I was powering the tX-USBultra with a cheap switching PSU but that's how the DR rail made the SR rail sound like and this highlights the importance of PSUs.  In my experience, good power still trumps good clocking.  With my DR rail powering the NUC, my system sounds better without my tX-USBultra and so at this time, I have my NUC directly connected to my Chord M-Scaler. 

 

As luck would have it, Paul Hynes made me aware that one of his SR7 buyers had grown tired waiting for their SR7 and it happened to be an SR7 with 2 DR rails and so he asked me if I was interested in taking it on.  Of course, I said yes and while I don't expect to receive this SR7 until some time in early 2019, after these recent revelations, I feel like I have struck gold. 

 

 

PH has stopped taking custom orders on SR7 and I think I saw some post that he will make fixed version of SR7, like the SR4 but no commitment yet. Its just too impractical to wait for several months to get a power supply. What is the best alternative to SR7 ?

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1 hour ago, elan120 said:

Another Gotham JSSG360 successful application.

 

I have been curious about how much benefit Gotham JSSG360 cable could help connecting external power to SOtM sCLK-EX board inside a PC where the environment is quite noisy.  Initially, I have replaced all my DC power cable to Gotham JSSG360 with very good result, but didn't have time to replace the this cable inside my PC until tonight.  The result is surprisingly good, which gave me enough motivation to do the same for my txUSBUltra soon.

 

Here are couple pictures showing the cable.

 

Stock cable:

20181024_180450.thumb.jpg.2def9a6237aee6e7cf6b6302a0c49dac.jpg

 

 

New Gotham JSSG360 cable:

20181024_190704.thumb.jpg.6babaea00db698c6e5ac22e452a4e428.jpg

Hi Kevin ,

 

Congratulations for this modification, I am in a similar situation as I have also an sCLKex board in my dual pc set up.

How you will qualify this change in term of sq. 

Is it significant ?

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sounds comparable, if not better,

4 hours ago, Dev said:

 

PH has stopped taking custom orders on SR7 and I think I saw some post that he will make fixed version of SR7, like the SR4 but no commitment yet. Its just too impractical to wait for several months to get a power supply. What is the best alternative to SR7 ?

 

I haven't had time to write a formal review, but I own a Reference One double rectified linear PSU made by The Linear Solution. The sound is quite impressive powering my OCX10.  I haven't yet been able to compare it directly to the SR7, but I believe it sounds comparable, if not better, based my previous experience with an SR7 in a different system.

 

Pricing is the same or slightly less than a similarly configured SR7.  Build time is on the order of 3-5 months depending on final specifications vs. 18-24 months for an SR7.

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good thinking Elan :)

But being the perfectionist you are you can also replace the outer pvc layer ( ugly influence because of high dielectric constant=DK) with cotton sleeve ( be careful in removing it as the copper shield underneath it is not woven) and replace the heat-shrink tube ( also not an audiophile invention  straight from the electronic industry)  with cotton self adhesive tape.

I have done it with all my Gotham dc cables as soon as I heard with my 1st trial  ( second cable) that replacing it shortens the playing in of the cable by days and makes it sounds more soft like the Lush cable sounds more soft than the Curious usb cable. This softness does not cost transparency or definition, it enhances it and transcends it more into that difficult to define concept musicality. However more relatively muted sounding systems need an extra "bite' from higher DK to articulate the multiple separate sound identities

 

A worthfull alternative especially inside noisy internal RFI compartments with digital clocks inside is to use Lessloss new Litz DIY hookup wire.  The hundreds of more intertwinings of their symmetrical configured Litz wire compared to quad  cables  does not need 360 multiple  metallic shields with their VERY high DK over 10+

 

https://www.lessloss.com/cmarc-bulk-wire-and-cable-p-225.html

I have not tried it yet but their reviews  and theory behind it are promising

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2 hours ago, kyrill said:

good thinking Elan :)

But being the perfectionist you are you can also replace the outer pvc layer ( ugly influence because of high dielectric constant=DK) with cotton sleeve ( be careful in removing it as the copper shield underneath it is not woven) and replace the heat-shrink tube ( also not an audiophile invention  straight from the electronic industry)  with cotton self adhesive tape.

I have done it with all my Gotham dc cables as soon as I heard with my 1st trial  ( second cable) that replacing it shortens the playing in of the cable by days and makes it sounds more soft like the Lush cable sounds more soft than the Curious usb cable. This softness does not cost transparency or definition, it enhances it and transcends it more into that difficult to define concept musicality. However more relatively muted sounding systems need an extra "bite' from higher DK to articulate the multiple separate sound identities

 

A worthfull alternative especially inside noisy internal RFI compartments with digital clocks inside is to use Lessloss new Litz DIY hookup wire.  The hundreds of more intertwinings of their symmetrical configured Litz wire compared to quad  cables  does not need 360 multiple  metallic shields with their VERY high DK over 10+

 

https://www.lessloss.com/cmarc-bulk-wire-and-cable-p-225.html

I have not tried it yet but their reviews  and theory behind it are promising

WOW! That Lessloss video is something. They must have paid a fortune to have that produced. Very impressive!  Not sure how to make a dc cable with this stuff, but the  graphics are way cool.

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19 hours ago, romaz said:

 

When I was first sent an Innuos Zenith SE for evaluation, as I posted on another forum, I was impressed by it, especially in comparison to a dCS Network Bridge that I also had on hand for evaluation, but it was only after I followed the SE with a tX-USBultra that I felt my SQ had elevated to a level where the purchase of the SE was justified.  It was in combination with the tX-USBultra where I felt the SE was convincingly superior to the dCS Network Bridge and what I previously owned.  And just like you, I own both the Chord Blu 2 and Chord DAVE DAC.

 

Here is what is really interesting to me.  As I have posted, I was quite surprised when this cheap AudioLinux-based NUC that I stumbled upon outperformed my much more expensive SE but only when I powered my NUC with my DR SR7.  When powered by an SR rail from my SR7, I felt the NUC still had a slight edge over the SE but with the DR rail, the superiority of the NUC was incontrovertible.  During blinded tests, friends and family unanimously chose the NUC as sounding better than the SE.  

 

At the present time, I own 5 SR7 rails but only one of these rails is a DR (double regulated) rail.  When I had my SE, I was using my DR rail on the tX-USBultra and it's impact was clearly heard.  As I shifted my lone DR rail to my NUC, I was forced to use an SR (single regulated) rail from my SR7 on my tX-USBultra and I was quite surprised/disappointed to find that my tX-USBultra was now resulting in a clear step backward with respect to dynamics and tonal richness and smoothness.  It's not like I was powering the tX-USBultra with a cheap switching PSU but that's how the DR rail made the SR rail sound like and this highlights the importance of PSUs.  In my experience, good power still trumps good clocking.  With my DR rail powering the NUC, my system sounds better without my tX-USBultra and so at this time, I have my NUC directly connected to my Chord M-Scaler. 

 

As luck would have it, Paul Hynes made me aware that one of his SR7 buyers had grown tired waiting for their SR7 and it happened to be an SR7 with 2 DR rails and so he asked me if I was interested in taking it on.  Of course, I said yes and while I don't expect to receive this SR7 until some time in early 2019, after these recent revelations, I feel like I have struck gold. 

 

Just an update on these NUCs that Larry and I have been working on, we are planning on testing different NUC platforms including different CPUs, RAM with different timing, various storage media for the Roon database, etc., to see if we can agree on an ideal platform for both RoonServer and RoonBridge.  I will also be sending one of my NUC boards to SOtM for clock replacement to see where that leads.  While SQ is based on more than just latency, this is obviously an important metric and so Larry ran some latency tests on the Celeron NUC that we both own and got average latency readings in the 4-5us range.  Not as good as the 2.5us of latency of the Pink Faun 2.16 but very close and considering that this was achieved with hardware that cost less than $200 is astonishing.  

Great stuff! Been following this thread for some time, really interested in the NUC approach, but totally lost on what version I should buy. A generation 7 celeron? Or buy an i3 or i5 because the much faster processor will give lower latency? Or would the faster processor generate more noise? Would a fanless Asus be as good as the Intel in Akasa case? Expect that the Asus will have a better BIOS, but maybe no 'magic sauce'? Is the magic happening in the ddr3 ram? Buy ram the uses the lowest current? So much to think about...

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8 hours ago, auricgoldfinger said:

sounds comparable, if not better,

 

I haven't had time to write a formal review, but I own a Reference One double rectified linear PSU made by The Linear Solution. The sound is quite impressive powering my OCX10.  I haven't yet been able to compare it directly to the SR7, but I believe it sounds comparable, if not better, based my previous experience with an SR7 in a different system.

 

Pricing is the same or slightly less than a similarly configured SR7.  Build time is on the order of 3-5 months depending on final specifications vs. 18-24 months for an SR7.

 

Cool. What's the price on TLS PSU ? Though 3-5 months is still a lot of lead time for building a psu but I agree its far better than waiting 18-24 months on PH if it sounds as good. I have been using mojo audio Illuminati psu in my (and my friends) system for sometime and have been quiet content but I do not know if the TLS or PH will outperform it. It would be interesting to know how all these PSU rank.

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12 hours ago, jean-michel6 said:

Hi Kevin ,

 

Congratulations for this modification, I am in a similar situation as I have also an sCLKex board in my dual pc set up.

How you will qualify this change in term of sq. 

Is it significant ?

The change is quite noticeable and enjoyable.  It has the same signature of other Gotham JSSG360 DC cables I implemented connecting between power supplies and devices, and this particular cable adds more refinements to the overall music playback.  Consider the amount of effort, it is well worth the time.  Hopefully I will have enough time to change out the two stock cables inside of my txUSBUltra this weekend and see what improvement I can get.

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1 hour ago, misterspense said:

Great stuff! Been following this thread for some time, really interested in the NUC approach, but totally lost on what version I should buy. A generation 7 celeron? Or buy an i3 or i5 because the much faster processor will give lower latency? Or would the faster processor generate more noise? Would a fanless Asus be as good as the Intel in Akasa case? Expect that the Asus will have a better BIOS, but maybe no 'magic sauce'? Is the magic happening in the ddr3 ram? Buy ram the uses the lowest current? So much to think about...

 

Indeed great stuff, but what I would like to know is it the “hardware” or is it just the software, AudioLinux from ram that does the trick. 

For instance would the  SQ be just as good with a mini-itx board with the same power supply but with audiolinux playing from ram?

 

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5 hours ago, kyrill said:

good thinking Elan :)

But being the perfectionist you are you can also replace the outer pvc layer ( ugly influence because of high dielectric constant=DK) with cotton sleeve ( be careful in removing it as the copper shield underneath it is not woven) and replace the heat-shrink tube ( also not an audiophile invention  straight from the electronic industry)  with cotton self adhesive tape.

I have done it with all my Gotham dc cables as soon as I heard with my 1st trial  ( second cable) that replacing it shortens the playing in of the cable by days and makes it sounds more soft like the Lush cable sounds more soft than the Curious usb cable. This softness does not cost transparency or definition, it enhances it and transcends it more into that difficult to define concept musicality. However more relatively muted sounding systems need an extra "bite' from higher DK to articulate the multiple separate sound identities

 

A worthfull alternative especially inside noisy internal RFI compartments with digital clocks inside is to use Lessloss new Litz DIY hookup wire.  The hundreds of more intertwinings of their symmetrical configured Litz wire compared to quad  cables  does not need 360 multiple  metallic shields with their VERY high DK over 10+

 

https://www.lessloss.com/cmarc-bulk-wire-and-cable-p-225.html

I have not tried it yet but their reviews  and theory behind it are promising

Very interesting information, thank you.

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Or isn’t it even AudioLinux but is it a “playing from ram thing” like @PeterSt is doing with his OS’s from ram.

In any case AudioLinux is the best value for money.

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15 minutes ago, RickyV said:

Or isn’t it even AudioLinux but is it a “playing from ram thing” like @PeterSt is doing with his OS’s from ram.

In any case AudioLinux is the best value for money.

In my opinion and experimentation, it's the AudioLinux is what is causing the improvement in SQ. I have tested this on three separate computers. An i7-6700 powered by an HDPlex 350W ATX power supply, a J1900M powered by PH SR7 with an HDPlex DC-DC ATX converter, and NUC C7CJYH1 power by PH SR7. In my testing for couple of weeks, actually J1900 sounded the best. My hypothesis on it's improved sound is that I was using a better-than-average DC-DC converter with J1900, compared to what is on the NUC board. We have discussed this before that DC-DC on motherboards are not of the best quality, compared to a purpose built DC-DC converter. There might be other factors, but this is what I concluded. I was not running AudioLinux in RAM for this experiment. Now I will add 16GB RAM to J1900 and run it that way.

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Apart from Audiolinux root fs running from ram, another level of improvements for Roon users can be had from preloading the entire track into ram before playback. JRiver does this. During playback, Roon constantly accesses the tracks from their configured storage area which is typically the hard drive when they are stored locally. There is a bunch of discussion around this and it looks like Roon folks haven't been able to grasp their hands on it so far..

 

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/option-to-enable-ram-memory-playback-to-avoid-caching-problems/2081

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30 minutes ago, sig8 said:

In my opinion and experimentation, it's the AudioLinux is what is causing the improvement in SQ. I have tested this on three separate computers. An i7-6700 powered by an HDPlex 350W ATX power supply, a J1900M powered by PH SR7 with an HDPlex DC-DC ATX converter, and NUC C7CJYH1 power by PH SR7. In my testing for couple of weeks, actually J1900 sounded the best. My hypothesis on it's improved sound is that I was using a better-than-average DC-DC converter with J1900, compared to what is on the NUC board. We have discussed this before that DC-DC on motherboards are not of the best quality, compared to a purpose built DC-DC converter. There might be other factors, but this is what I concluded. I was not running AudioLinux in RAM for this experiment. Now I will add 16GB RAM to J1900 and run it that way.

 

if you are running Audiolinux headless mode, 8Gb Ram should just work as it does for me.

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