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

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3 minutes ago, BigAlMc said:

Hi @Bricki,

 

Where is your music? Do you have local files on a NAS or whatever? Or are you only streaming Tidal or one of the others?

 

Cheers,

Alan

I am only using tidal streaming for now until I figure out how to get some of my favourite music that isn't on tidal somewhere on my network that isn't going to have have a negative impact.... I am thinking of trying to put a small number of tracks on a usb stick plugged into my router... My previous experience of that with a hdd wasn't good though... It seemed to slow the router down and had a negative impact on sq... I may have to add a NAS but I didn't want to put a smps on the network and I've run out of lpsu's 😂

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7 minutes ago, MrUnderhill said:

Hi Bricki,

 

Just to double check, the drive was still connected to the power?

 

M

Yes, it was an m.2 interface and was still plugged onto the board. It would obviously show up in the bios but not as a mounted drive in AL

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Hi Bricki,

 

Like you I removed power from my server ssd, in my case, and booted using AL extreme ramboot. I host my files on four 512gb usb sticks hosted on a lpsu powered usb3.0 hub.

 

M

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7 minutes ago, Bricki said:

. I may have to add a NAS but I didn't want to put a smps on the network and I've run out of lpsu's 😂

 

Thanks Bricki

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On 12/9/2018 at 6:23 AM, Middy said:

Hopefully i can set up( haha)..try normal AL version and use roon to act as headless remote. Not headless AL.

This to me seems complicated enough

Hi Middy,

 

Using the headless V0.5 onwards, the setup is pretty straight forward.  Just boot it up.  Then issue the command

        alconf [Enter]

a menu will show up and you're done.

 

I don't use the ROON bridge but I can see it on the menu.  If you can use cursor key (the arrow keys on the keyborad that I'm sure that you can use), it should be OK.

 

Now the price of the AL has been raised, hence I am not sure if I should recommend this to you.  To me, the now $49 AL headless is still a worthy investment in audio, still one of the best investment in MPOV, YMMV.

 

Any CAers near you that you can have a try?

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19 hours ago, MrUnderhill said:

feels more frustrating at times, especially when things appear to be two steps forward and one step back. Listening to music is certainly fun.

Well said.

x2

 

L.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Bricki said:

Getting the nuc into a fanless case is a very essential part of the recipe from my experience. I also think that the server plays a larger role than the proposed 80/20 ratio. At least this is true for me in my system running roon. 

The NUC is an endpoint connected to the DAC, correct?

What weighting would you give to the server other than the quoted figure 20?

 

Thank you.

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7 hours ago, MrUnderhill said:

Hi Bricki,

 

Like you I removed power from my server ssd, in my case, and booted using AL extreme ramboot. I host my files on four 512gb usb sticks hosted on a lpsu powered usb3.0 hub.

 

M

Hi M

Have you tried battery powering the USB hub? I'm thinking to give the USB hub a go for the albums I have which are not on Tidal, also to check the SQ. But don't have a 4th LPSU.

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1 hour ago, tapatrick said:

Hi M

Have you tried battery powering the USB hub? I'm thinking to give the USB hub a go for the albums I have which are not on Tidal, also to check the SQ. But don't have a 4th LPSU.

Hi Patrick,

 

No. The LMS server and attached hub live in my loft. The USB hub is powered by an R-Core LPSU via two LT3045s, so the power is pretty clean.

 

I have to say that the sound quality of the locally held files is a tad better than those streamed from Qobuz, mastering and file quality allowing.

 

M

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50 minutes ago, rettib2001 said:

Totally agree about removing the dormant ssd, I noticed an immediate improvement.

 

I'm planning to go headless for both the server and endpoint nucs I have but in the mean time a happy by-product of removing the ssd and its accompanying metal tray is that temps dropped! Win/win.

 

I also changed the thermal paste so now tidal tracks upsampled to dsd512 via Roon result in 60-65° cpu temps of the server side, granted not ice cool but waaaay better than 90°+.

The thing that surprised me when I removed the ssd was how much better the bass was. I was expecting perhaps slightly less treble glare. Glare was reduced significantly but everything was better across the entire frequency range. More space in the midrange and better control of every aspect of the presentation. Individual sounds are less blended together and minor details are heard far more easily 

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On 12/8/2018 at 3:50 PM, austinpop said:

 

This was a quick test we ran, when I came to drop off Eric's SR-7. I brought my new i7 NUC with me so we could have a quick listen.

 

If you read my NUC impressions, I've made the point repeatedly that the NUC over the SE was a subtle improvement, which I heard in my system, only with my Dell running AL as the server, and a TLS OCXO switch in the path.

 

In Eric's system, we didn't have a reclocked switch in the path, and we ran the NUC from the bridged port of the SE running Roon Core with the 1.4.0 firmware.

 

In this configuration, the difference was indeed small. However, the key finding, that Eric agreed with, was that we were achieving essentially similar level of SQ on his system with a NUC costing 10% of his SE.

 

Finally, don't discount the benefit of the Tranquility Base. Whatever that thing does, it makes a positive impact on SQ. We've done an experiment in the past where we stacked up all his spaghetti in a neat wertical sandwich, and moved it on and off the Base. Damned if it didn't sound better.

I have a brand new Tranquility Base UEF 230V that I bought earlier in the year and eventually didn’t use. Includes 2 sets of MiG isolation footers. I bought it to use under spaghetti that I eventually ended up not buying

If anyone’s interested I’ll list it in the For Sale section

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