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Music Streamers that are DIY

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You are missing just a couple relevant attributes there Mick! Well Mastered/Recording, excellent frontend/player, clean and low PSSR source of power, well refined Clocks, thorough isolated setup, Refined DAC, and the rest of your downstream must the same standard ==> good sound!?! :)

I like how we are all speculating and optimistic in audio. Personally, I conduct all "practical experiments", reapeatedly, when I found something innovativedly worth doing. I will carry out the experiments, until my ears can be proven the benefit of the doubt! :D

Anyhow, as SteveM previously mentioned, would be nice that we could organise a trip down south at next opportunity. Will bring my unrefined gears for your unbiased accessments. ;)

I hardly think it will be unrefined, I look forward to an interesting day!  

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Thanks to Alcarp I've found just what I was looking for, the pinkfaun i2s bridge "sound card". Hopefully it will be near plug and play, and will go in my super duper, fanless, high power , barebones audio PC.

I'm too old to program raspberries etc, and I'm not convinced these very simple computers will outperform something with a bit more oomph. If I can get the concept of the raspberry direct to dac working in the big computer with the pinkfaun I think it should be quite capable.

In regard to noise issues in computers, I'm sure it's valid, but I think there's a point of diminishing returns, once you get to a certain level of noise suppression, that's as far as its effective, going further has more to do with DIY nerosis perhaps.

But I have found that isolaters are very effective and have a far greater effect on sound quality than over the top power supplies.

Good isolaters, good clocks, good sound.

@@statman ... let us know how you find the Pink Faun when you have it installed.

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Trying Chanh's BPi Pro with ssd and all powered by a tweaked linear power supply. Playback software is Jriver for ARM chip. The BPi Pro acts as a wireless AP so Jremote on my ipad connects directly to it.

Sonically it is excellent. Noticeably more refined and fluid over my tweaked PC server (still running fanless switch mode power supply though). Makes my PC sound a bit sharp/edgy/thin (i.e. 'digital') in comparison :)

muvkn6.jpg

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Thanks to Alcarp I've found just what I was looking for, the pinkfaun i2s bridge "sound card". Hopefully it will be near plug and play, and will go in my super duper, fanless, high power , barebones audio PC.

@@statman ... let us know how you find the Pink Faun when you have it installed.

I, too, interested in your findings with this implementation.

Two factors need be considering here:

1. Will the DAC be seating inside a computer tower?

2. Or have a long run of I2S cables from sound-card to DAC?

Given the extremely fragile and also very sensitive i2s signal, I wonder if it is wise to implement such?

We all knew, long run i2s will degrade sound and pc's environment is far from optimal for any sensitive signal carrier. Nonetheless, it would be interesting for concept's validation.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I2s was designed as a short run internal spec for CD players. There are some proprietary implementations where the spec may have been tweaked for longer external runs but it makes sense to keep the runs as short as possible

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There are some proprietary implementations where the spec may have been tweaked for longer external runs but it makes sense to keep the runs as short as possible

Any reference to this Tasso?

Other than Accuphase HS-Link proprietary, I have not made aware of any other, unless we are referring to Twister Pear Teleporter(s)?

http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/digital/teleporter.aspx

Wonder If there are audiophiles out there familiar with these Teleporter(s)! Be good to hear their feedback! I'am a little skeptical on long run i2s courier! :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Chanh

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Trying Chanh's BPi Pro with ssd and all powered by a tweaked linear power supply. Playback software is Jriver for ARM chip. The BPi Pro acts as a wireless AP so Jremote on my ipad connects directly to it.

Sonically it is excellent. Noticeably more refined and fluid over my tweaked PC server (still running fanless switch mode power supply though). Makes my PC sound a bit sharp/edgy/thin (i.e. 'digital') in comparison :)

muvkn6.jpg

I love the tube cartons sitting underneath!

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Any reference to this Tasso?

Other than Accuphase HS-Link proprietary, I have not made aware of any other, unless we are referring to Twister Pear Teleporter(s)?

http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/digital/teleporter.aspx

Wonder If there are audiophiles out there familiar with these Teleporter(s)! Be good to hear their feedback! I'am a little skeptical on long run i2s courier! :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I ve run twisted pair i2s cables from less than 25mm long to around 150mm long, and ufl cables around 100mm long, couldn't hear any difference. I'm also brainwashed that they should be as short as possible, although the PinkFuan guys say thats bullshit, maybe it is ,maybe it isnt, we shall see, proof is in the doing, not the saying. 

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....

Edited by Chanh

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Any reference to this Tasso?

Other than Accuphase HS-Link proprietary, I have not made aware of any other, unless we are referring to Twister Pear Teleporter(s)?

http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/digital/teleporter.aspx

Wonder If there are audiophiles out there familiar with these Teleporter(s)! Be good to hear their feedback! I'am a little skeptical on long run i2s courier! :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I2s in its original spec is transmitted via a serial interface. I think there are a couple of companies that might use this method as an external interface such as Ancient Audio 's system. Then you have the i2s interfaces from Naim, Linn and a few smaller companies as well. Denon has its D-Link system that has been around for a number of years. Most use twisted pairs but as we know there is an increasing number of HDMI enabled devices that use i2s. Not all pin assignments have been identical and there is not much chance of universal compatibility across a number of implementations.

iLink is a format that I thought would have been better than USB and CD style of i2s implementations. It's another Sony Philips development that is used by DCs and also in some pro applications. It has been designed specifically for audio but perhaps licensing issues have been a deterrent to some developers.

Edited by Tasso

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More progress on the music server front. Experimenting with PSU has paid dividends. Thanks to @@Chanh and @@tuyen, we were able to connect the server motherboard and SOTM card to a high quality low noise linear PSU. The SQ improvement was immediately noticeable. So much so that the server is sounding exceptionally good and the way forward is now clear.

We also hooked up the Banana Pi to a high quality PSU with outstanding results. Both approaches are performing extremely well at the moment.

d8444bd16314237160e2262158a324b4.jpg

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Loving this thread....some serious knowledge in action..

Edited by devialetar

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"Bench testing mini itx system"

"While waiting for the new high quality PSU to arrive I will be testing this Nano ITX board with SOTM card this weekend"

 

Could you post a link of the exact mini itx board you're using?

 

I've been curious lately about the benefit of using lower powered boards for audio.

 

Thanks,

 

Joel

 


ed347912651c005e1d40c34fbbc73b1a.jpg

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Has anyone tried PC Engines new APU?

 

http://www.pcengines.ch/apu.htm

 

I'm still using the old Alix 2 as my music server.

 

 

"Bench testing mini itx system"

"While waiting for the new high quality PSU to arrive I will be testing this Nano ITX board with SOTM card this weekend"

 

Could you post a link of the exact mini itx board you're using?

 

I've been curious lately about the benefit of using lower powered boards for audio.

 

Thanks,

 

Joel

 

 

 

 

There are a lot of options for motherboards and I will be starting a new thread over the next day or so about my build specifically, and research that went in to selecting  each hardware and software component.  We set our sights very high with this build so there was very little room for compromise.    But I would suggest  that if you want the very best possibility for SQ, a board with PCI or PCIe slot to take a Sotm USB card or similar is highly desirable. So too is a low EMI emitting/low power dissipation CPU - like  intel atom.  I will go into more detail shortly but i can say the server has now progressed even further with software and more PSU tweaks to the point that it is now officially a "goer".

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There are a lot of options for motherboards and I will be starting a new thread over the next day or so about my build specifically, and research that went in to selecting  each hardware and software component.  We set our sights very high with this build so there was very little room for compromise.    But I would suggest  that if you want the very best possibility for SQ, a board with PCI or PCIe slot to take a Sotm USB card or similar is highly desirable. So too is a low EMI emitting/low power dissipation CPU - like  intel atom.  I will go into more detail shortly but i can say the server has now progressed even further with software and more PSU tweaks to the point that it is now officially a "goer".

 

Thanks a lot for your reply, Tasso.

 

In fact, I'm currently using an Atom processor and a motherboard which has a PCIe slot. And, like you, I'm also using the SoTM USB card. Although what I really want to do is to get Daphile to work with my JCAT USB card. I've struggled to make that work.

 

Although it's probably pretty obvious, I'm going for a low powered CPU, as you mention, as well as software with very low demands on the CPU.

 

But I'm happy to learn about even better options than the ones I've chosen.

 

Looking forward to your upcoming posts. I hope you'll mention your new thread in this thread.

 

Joel

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Re the Pinkfaun i2s bridge, Pinkfaun can also now supply an optional "receiver". They're a bit shy on technical details but I'm deducing that it's to optimise the i2s transmission. Has HTML connector , same as bridge, and solder holes for i2s connection to dac.

At over $500 it's an expensive experiment, I just have to check that it's compatible with my motherboard and I'll take the plunge.

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More progress on the music server front. Experimenting with PSU has paid dividends. ......So much so that the server is sounding exceptionally good and the way forward is now clear.

We also hooked up the Banana Pi to a high quality PSU with outstanding results. Both approaches are performing extremely well at the moment.

 

This raises a big question for me.

 

Does the simple little Pi board sound as good as a highly optimised server?

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I, too, interested in your findings with this implementation.

Two factors need be considering here:

1. Will the DAC be seating inside a computer tower?

2. Or have a long run of I2S cables from sound-card to DAC?

Given the extremely fragile and also very sensitive i2s signal, I wonder if it is wise to implement such?

We all knew, long run i2s will degrade sound and pc's environment is far from optimal for any sensitive signal carrier. Nonetheless, it would be interesting for concept's validation.

 

I2S = IIS = Integrated Interchip Sound

 

Although I2S was designed for intra-chassis short runs it really unknown how long the runs can be.  On one audio thread years ago a DIY had I2S on Cat5 snaking for many metres across his room and if I remember he wrote it sounded great.

 

One adaptation of I2S for inter-chassis connection is using a differential balanced pair arrangement which seems ideal. I think the Lite DAC guys used that.

 

It seems ideal  for the clock to sit right next to t he DA chip for minimising periodic jitter but in reality who knows? Maybe the clock board might produce noise harmonics that mean an off board clock would do better via long run I2S .

 

Then there's the interesting concept of reflection timing obscuring the leading edge trigger with short runs that on long runs can be timed into non-signal domains.

 

Finally some of the DIYaudio guys adjust the voltage range of the I2S signal so it operates within narrow limits to allow precise  triggering without spraying digital noise all the way into the analogue signal.

 

Experimenting with these factors should keep everyone busy for some time.

 

I understand an oscilloscope comes in handy...

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If you're going to push I2S long distance, a few implementations use LVDS.

 

I haven't used this, but TPA sell or used to sell the Teleporter PCB for this purpose.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/twisted-pear/201106-introducing-bit-teleporter.html

 

My SDCard player and DAC use LVDS to send I2S both PCM and DSD over an HDMI cable.  I have no complaints.

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Wonder If there are audiophiles out there familiar with these Teleporter(s)! Be good to hear their feedback! I'am a little skeptical on long run i2s courier! :)

 

Yes.   The cable length is not an issue with the teleporter as the I2S are properly terminated and the signals then run over LVDS.

 

The jitter is double figures ps from memory, and galvanic isolation is a bonus.

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the PinkFuan guys say thats bullshit, maybe it is ,maybe it isnt, we shall see, proof is in the doing, not the saying. 

 

The impedance needs to be correctly terminated for such a fast signal.

 

That is all.

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iLink is a format that I thought would have been better than USB and CD style of i2s implementations. It's another Sony Philips development that is used by DCs and also in some pro applications. It has been designed specifically for audio but perhaps licensing issues have been a deterrent to some developers.

 

Firewire wasn't designed specifically for audio.

 

It has a lot of jitter... so you just have to have a receiver which can make that a non-issue.

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Re the Pinkfaun i2s bridge,...

 

@@statman ... I thought you were using the FIFO-isolator from Ian Canada @DIYaudio ?

 

Im impressed you keep searching for a better  I2S feed then Ian's state of the art digital design work.

 

Id be downright shocked if any PCI card in even the best audio computer build could compete with USB into Ian's FIFO-isolator. Im also way to lazy test it out.

 

If you guys have a get together in WA to check out different streaming options I hope you can try Mick's FIFO running from any old dirty USB laptop against your SOTA servers.

 

Ill eat my USB cable if you can better Ian's FIFO.

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