The Hugo of streaming?

@Mr Underhill I'm not using FMCs. I had seen some of the commentary regarding extending the use of the LPS-1. Looks promising.

My network is structured with a core switch to which three additional switches are connected/backhauled via fiber. A fourth in my media cabinet is connected to the core switch over Cat 6 and is powered from the core switch with Power Over Ethernet. 

Additional I should say I am very happy with my microRendu/LPS-1 combination. It makes a noticeable improvement over the iFi unit I was using before.

Excellent information Brilliant. I have tried something similar with RaspberryPi instead of microRendu, but used a router in ethernet.

Do you think Anker USB/Ethernet 2 device is better than using a router in ethernet? I understand your system is more simple.

Is there some specific reason to use USB card in your PC with a separate LPS? Is it possible that disturbances would go through ethernet until DAC-V1 if normal USB ports of the computer is used?

Tuomo posted:

Excellent information Brilliant. I have tried something similar with RaspberryPi instead of microRendu, but used a router in ethernet.

Do you think Anker USB/Ethernet 2 device is better than using a router in ethernet? I understand your system is more simple.

I initially had the router/switch ethernet arrangement to the mR. This was improved upon by inserting an optical fibre isolation loop using FMCs. The above arrangement betters that still. All this courtesy of the folks at computeraudiophile(.)com

Is there some specific reason to use USB card in your PC with a separate LPS? Is it possible that disturbances would go through ethernet until DAC-V1 if normal USB ports of the computer is used?

Yes -  I have an older Gigabyte motherboard (GA-G41-...) This particular USB card does not use the PCI-E power. It is intended to be powered with the cleaner external power than the mobo supplies. Its design and benefits can be found on his website. In this particular usage I find that it improves on the mobo USB (easily noticeable in the higher frequencies in the above setup)

Note: When the V1 is plugged directly into this card the lowest frequecies sound a bit  rolled off compared to the mobo USB (not sure why), so I never use it that way!

Some newer Gigabyte boards apparently have cleaner USB power and some have ports that the 5V can be turned off. The underlying idea in the above setup is to reduce noise reaching the DAC.

(edited)

GregW posted:

@Mr Underhill I'm not using FMCs. I had seen some of the commentary regarding extending the use of the LPS-1. Looks promising.

My network is structured with a core switch to which three additional switches are connected/backhauled via fiber. A fourth in my media cabinet is connected to the core switch over Cat 6 and is powered from the core switch with Power Over Ethernet. 

Additional I should say I am very happy with my microRendu/LPS-1 combination. It makes a noticeable improvement over the iFi unit I was using before.

Hi Greg,

Where do you host your files?

M

Just installed a Raspberry Pi 3 with piCorePlayer. Attached my StarTech 4 USB extender. Disabled Squeezelite and installed & enabled LMS.

This is in place of using my Synology 1812+. I think it is probably an improvement, despite a reduction in RAM, 3GB vs 1GB; more CPU grunt of course.

Got an IFI 5V PSU en-route, before I decide whether to get a LPSU.

I will report back on whether I think this is a worthwhile gain in due course.

M

Personally I found computing power on the server to have a profound impact in the sound.  I had been using a ReadyNAS Duo (Arm processor), then a custom built intel Atom processor.  Never thought streaming from these sounded very good.  I built a i5 Quad Core Vortexbox and it sounds better than the others.  Also more Ram (8G) on the new server.

Hi B,

I am in full agreement. Unfortunately you can't increase the RAM on a RP.

I also played with an old Dell laptop for a couple of weeks, 2GB RAM + Celeron. Not as good as the RP3, but I listened to Foobar2k with SOX - first time I have use upsampling and actually enjoyed what it did.

I will be looking at a NUC of some sort in due course ......or a Uniticore.

M

Brubacca posted:

Personally I found computing power on the server to have a profound impact in the sound.  I had been using a ReadyNAS Duo (Arm processor), then a custom built intel Atom processor.  Never thought streaming from these sounded very good.  I built a i5 Quad Core Vortexbox and it sounds better than the others.  Also more Ram (8G) on the new server.

Curious if you had a linear power supply on the Atom? I have one on my older micro Vortexbox (that has an Atom cpu in it) and it seemed to make a subtle difference, but now I have so many tweaks after it ( switch with ups, FMC's with same, microrendu with LPS-1 etc) that I'm trying to figure if a different server will make any sound difference. 

I never had a linear psu on my atom server.  I had actually ordered one to try from a company called Welbourne Labs.  Lets just say that didn't go well.  I never got the psu and my credit card refunded my money.  

 

Also, I wasn't putting the RP3 dow .  With its optimized OS I'm sure it is a great product.  I have wanted to order one to play with several times.  I am wondering if I could use a RP3 with a small touchscreen as a control point for minimserver/MicroRendu  

Brubacca posted:

I never had a linear psu on my atom server.  I had actually ordered one to try from a company called Welbourne Labs.  Lets just say that didn't go well.  I never got the psu and my credit card refunded my money.  

I had a Welbourne Labs PSU quite a few years back for my Squeezebox. I built it from a kit which was pretty decent. Took an age to arrive but did arrive in the end. I did buy another one a few years later to power a Mac Mini. Never turned up and good old MBNA sorted it all out with a refund. Shame as they actually did some decent kit 

Ha! Those crooks got me too a few years back. Strung me along until I couldn't get a refund from my CC company. Now just using an 'el cheap' from China with an R-core that seems to work just fine. Unbelievable that people can sleep at night having ripped others off like that....

Here's my setup which I recently changed by replacing an older switch with a higher capacity model allowing me to eliminate a switch.

Notes:

- The Naim components are on a separate electricity circuit.
- The Cisco SLM2008 Switch in my media cabinet is powered by the Meraki Core switch over POE. Perhaps it's better/cleaner than using the supplied PSU. I don't know.
- I am using Roon to store and manage my local and Tidal libraries.

Hi Greg,

I was interested in where you store your files as I wondered if you had seen the threads on the StarTech USB extender?

I bought an LPSU to power my Netgear Audio switch. My general impression is that the LPSUs deliver less edge, more relaxed without reducing dynamics. Depending on the power draw you could try a splitter with the LPS1.

M

 

Brilliant posted:
Brilliant posted:
charlesphoto posted:

The Dac V1 is more than  robust running a micrRendu, but the rendu is picky about power and cabling. Uptown LPS-1 is the best bet. From there it's important the DC power cable between the LPS-1 and rendu be as short and robust as possible. I'm running a six inch custom one from China and at first it was too much bass! but running in nicely now. ..

 

Can you please shed some more light on this? Do you know the size of wire used?

I have a 10 inch DIY one, the equivalent of 17 AWG silver coated copper for each conductor, but I notice the Cardas DC-4  uses  15 AWG,  for 2A?!

Brilliant posted:
charlesphoto posted:

Let me know what they say. I just bought on a whim without questioning. 

Will do - the cable looks like it is nicely done and is well priced. The important thing is that it works well!

The Cardas copper litz wire is cheap enough (15.5 awg. is $3.28/ft ) at partsconnexion. I was planning on trying that out at a later date.

22 AWG according to the seller, but it does look bigger than that in his picture. I am not confident that he himself is sure, as he seems to me to be a re-seller, based on the number of times I asked and his responses!

Hi Brilliant and Charlesphoto,

can you confirm that it is terminated with with 5.5mm x 2.1mm plugs at both ends ?

Thx

Brilliant posted:

^ Thanks to your diagram I noted an erroneous label of the LPS-1 in mine, corrected below:

mySetup PC/mR/DAC-V1 that gives superb resolution, though thins the DAC-V1 sound a little compared to straight USB.

(old one above deleted)

 

Hi Brilliant,

Curious about your custom USB cable. Do you think leaving off the 5v power leg makes any difference with the V1? I taped off my Atlas Hyper that I am using but then worried about it gumming up the inside of the rendu so removed it and no idea if there's a sound difference. Any feedback would be great. Thanks, CP

charlesphoto posted:
Hi Brilliant,

Curious about your custom USB cable. Do you think leaving off the 5v power leg makes any difference with the V1? I taped off my Atlas Hyper that I am using but then worried about it gumming up the inside of the rendu so removed it and no idea if there's a sound difference. Any feedback would be great. Thanks, CP

Hi CP,

I experimented with the cable before many of the other tweaks. There is no way now to check it with the mR in place. But yes in the setup when I made the mod, it made a noticeable improvement in V1 clarity!

I believe there is an adapter that eliminates the Vbus pin - but I forget who makes it. Mr. Underhill might be able to help.

Brilliant posted:
charlesphoto posted:
Hi Brilliant,

Curious about your custom USB cable. Do you think leaving off the 5v power leg makes any difference with the V1? I taped off my Atlas Hyper that I am using but then worried about it gumming up the inside of the rendu so removed it and no idea if there's a sound difference. Any feedback would be great. Thanks, CP

Hi CP,

I experimented with the cable before many of the other tweaks. There is no way now to check it with the mR in place. But yes in the setup when I made the mod, it made a noticeable improvement in V1 clarity!

I believe there is an adapter that eliminates the Vbus pin - but I forget who makes it. Mr. Underhill might be able to help.

You need the Vbus2 by Sbooster

Looking for a Vbus2 in the States and not too much luck. Might have my wife's sister bring one over from Germany this summer when she visits. Looking at cable options too. I did say (to myself) this was the year of no hifi purchases.... but a wee little adaptor couldn't hurt.

charlesphoto posted:

Looking for a Vbus2 in the States and not too much luck. Might have my wife's sister bring one over from Germany this summer when she visits. Looking at cable options too. I did say (to myself) this was the year of no hifi purchases.... but a wee little adaptor couldn't hurt.

Slippery Slope Warning!!

Brilliant posted:

Without pin 4 (Gnd) the V1 is not detected by the driver. I notice Sbooster has a Vbus3 announced. They are indicating an attempt to detect/ break the ground loop- cable integrated or adapter?

So am I correct then in guessing that a dual headed design (or one where the power wire can be unplugged like the Elijah) would work? A bit confusing but I take it with a dual headed design one just would leave the power 'head' unplugged and therefore it wouldn't do anything, and the B side that gets plugged into the DAC would have all of the pins, just no power. Several high end designs out there (YFS etc) but also a few cheapos from China. Might be worth a try....

Charles,

When I was testing I took a cheap USB cable and used tape to cover pins 1 &/or 4 and tested what worked. In my case I found that different devices needed to 'see' different pins. For instance, the Breeze DU-U8 needed neither, which was ideal.

In the case of the StarTech LEX I use a dual head (assuming you mean a split USB cable?) and feed in the power from a Teradak LPSU.

The SBooster VBus2 is £20. Vortexbox UK sell them, if you email Martin, I am sure he would post it to you ......at a cost of course.

M

charlesphoto posted:
Brilliant posted:

Without pin 4 (Gnd) the V1 is not detected by the driver. I notice Sbooster has a Vbus3 announced. They are indicating an attempt to detect/ break the ground loop- cable integrated or adapter?

So am I correct then in guessing that a dual headed design (or one where the power wire can be unplugged like the Elijah) would work? A bit confusing but I take it with a dual headed design one just would leave the power 'head' unplugged and therefore it wouldn't do anything, and the B side that gets plugged into the DAC would have all of the pins, just no power. Several high end designs out there (YFS etc) but also a few cheapos from China. Might be worth a try....

The Elijah Konvertible would be okay, since GND stays connected - The thing with V1 though (I found), sounds different with various cables- if you like the one you have then the adapter might work best for you. The double headed one might not work if the GND is not connected in the data A connector (which I suspect is not to avoid a loop).

I use the atlas, which I think is very good. I am going to buy a split USB cable and am looking at a number which range from what I consider to be expensive (£100) to medium stupid (£250).

Just had a look at the Konvertible - some people 'elsewhere' make up cables like these for their systems; my soldering skills are a bit too Neanderthal. There is a YouTube video where the poster cuts into the interconnecting cable an splits out the power cable - which is in my skill range. Perhaps you could buy a 2nd atlas and give it a go?

That's an idea, but they're not readily available here in the States so shipping is the killer. Poking about and no thinking about trying the iFi iDefender ($45) which does a similar thing to the Vbus and cuts out any ground loop issues as well and is easily returnable here if it doesn't do it for me. So many options! Good thing I guess....

I used an Elijah Isolate CU (DATA and GND, No 5v Power) a couple of years ago when I had a DAC-V1 and it worked fine. It may have made a small improvement but it certainly wasn't night and day - YMMV.  At the time I was thinkng that if the DAC doesn't need the 5v then why provide it, and any other possible artefacts that it might introduce.

The Isolate CU doesn't work with my current Hugo as that needs to see the 5v for handshaking I believe, but doesn't actually draw power. The Elijah Konvertible would appear to be be a more flexible and sensible solution.

If you use a Mac mini and are interested in the 'direct' connection to the mR for possible further SQ improvement, there is instruction on how to achieve this at computeraudiophile / Music Servers thread :

  A novel way to massively improve the SQ of the sMS-200 and microRendu on page 50 (posts by amgradmd)

I have started exploring this subject and I must admit I am totally confused now. I recently signed up with Tidal HIFI and now I'm looking for a proper streaming solution.

My transport at the moment is the Oppo 203. As it doesn't support Tidal, I am using the BubbleUpnp workaround to stream Tidal from my iMac to the Oppo, which is connected to my Chord Mojo DAC and into my Supernait.

Now I am thinking of getting either the Sonicorbiter or the MicroRendu and exploit the Roon solution. I am leaning towards the Sonicorbiter because of its optical out (the Chord Mojo likes optical more than USB and the SQ is generally better via optical).

So my questions are:

1. Will the Sonicorbiter & Tidal (through Roon) directly into Chord Mojo sound better than Oppo 203 & Tidal (through BubbleUpbp) into Chord Mojo?

2. Is the MicroRendu so much better than the Sonicorbiter in terms of SQ to justify the price difference?

3. Any other suggestions?

Thanks.

Brilliant posted:
charlesphoto posted:
Hi Brilliant,

Curious about your custom USB cable. Do you think leaving off the 5v power leg makes any difference with the V1? I taped off my Atlas Hyper that I am using but then worried about it gumming up the inside of the rendu so removed it and no idea if there's a sound difference. Any feedback would be great. Thanks, CP

Hi CP,

I experimented with the cable before many of the other tweaks. There is no way now to check it with the mR in place. But yes in the setup when I made the mod, it made a noticeable improvement in V1 clarity!

I believe there is an adapter that eliminates the Vbus pin - but I forget who makes it. Mr. Underhill might be able to help.

In the cheap tweaks dept I received a ghentaudio .5m USB cable yesterday for the princely sum of $21 shipped. It easily betters my Atlas USB cable, and I was able to peel back the shrink wrap on the A side and carefully snip the live wire. Not sure if there was any change after that but I can highly recommend this cable if one feels like splurging and testing different USB cable sounds. 

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