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Tasso

Building the ideal(ish) Music Server

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Great write-up Tasso and thanks for sharing.

 

Looking forward to hearing your server at my place, in my most optimal system and at leisure. Its the best way to gauge these things, I find ...

 

Cheers,

 

 

Steve.

And with a few big Duelands stuck on top for aesthetics.

Edited by THOMO

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To preserve modesty Jon, my Duelunds are now tucked under my shorts/chassis. :P

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And a USB Pcie card from Paul Pang of PPA. Paul makes a big deal about using an TXCO clock to re-clock the signal to the DAC.

 

Just in case this creates confusion.   This isn't relocking the "audio signal".    This is the clock which governs the USB bus....   and AFAIUI the endeavour is more about providing a separate power supply to such a fast/noisy signal - rather than providing a "more accurate" clock period.

 

The results will be heavily swayed by what is on the other end of the USB cable.

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@@Sir Rab of Everest I contacted HD Plex and they cannot supply a cord which has Isense, a gadget which is fitted into the power cable of our 2009 models and enables something or other (the technical term) to sense current and without which our computers will not start. Teradak supply a special cable with their Mac 2009 specific PSU's which I assume has the Isense wiring fitted.

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Just in case this creates confusion. This isn't relocking the "audio signal". This is the clock which governs the USB bus.... and AFAIUI the endeavour is more about providing a separate power supply to such a fast/noisy signal - rather than providing a "more accurate" clock period.

The results will be heavily swayed by what is on the other end of the USB cable.

the power supply is a separate issue to the Clock. I haven't come across a device on the other end of the USb cable that doesn't reap the benefits of reclocking although results do vary. PPA advocate changing the motherboard clock as well .

The problem I have found with CA is that there is often an assumption that ordinary pCs are a perfect source for digital audio and SQ depends on DAC implementation. There is no logic to that position. What others and I are doing is putting the theories to the test and the theory that that some interfaces are immune to jitter RFI/ EMI etc has not stacked up so far.

If there is a device that you think will not benefit from this please let us know which one (s) it is so we can run experiments with it

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the power supply is a separate issue to the Clock. I haven't come across a device on the other end of the USb cable that doesn't reap the benefits of reclocking although results do vary. PPA advocate changing the motherboard clock as well .

The problem I have found with CA is that there is often an assumption that ordinary pCs are a perfect source for digital audio and SQ depends on DAC implementation. There is no logic to that position. What others and I are doing is putting the theories to the test and the theory that that some interfaces are immune to jitter RFI/ EMI etc has not stacked up so far.

If there is a device that you think will not benefit from this please let us know which one (s) it is so we can run experiments with it

Experiments? Do you mean testing with instruments (digital test equipment is expensive and tricky) or just listening? 

I think my fifo dacs with isolators and double clocks do help to alleviate the need for a perfect source,  they sound great on fanless super duper optimised pcs and sound great on bog standard pcs, maybe better on the good pc, but I wouldn't swear on it, need to sit down and hone in on it, but I doubt I can be bothered. I agree with you that its the whole digital system, not just the source and dac, but jeez digital sounds so good these days, if you've got an up to date system its  easy to just enjoy.

I do have a fifo/isolator/doubleclock dac with a very simple 1543 dac I'd like to pit against Chahn's multi 1543 - i reckon that would be interesting. Different approaches that should be very different.

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Experiments? Do you mean testing with instruments (digital test equipment is expensive and tricky) or just listening?

I think my fifo dacs with isolators and double clocks do help to alleviate the need for a perfect source, they sound great on fanless super duper optimised pcs and sound great on bog standard pcs, maybe better on the good pc, but I wouldn't swear on it, need to sit down and hone in on it, but I doubt I can be bothered. I agree with you that its the whole digital system, not just the source and dac, but jeez digital sounds so good these days, if you've got an up to date system its easy to just enjoy.

I do have a fifo/isolator/doubleclock dac with a very simple 1543 dac I'd like to pit against Chahn's multi 1543 - i reckon that would be interesting. Different approaches that should be very different.

@@Chanh DAC uses a mountain of 1794 chips but the comparison should still be interesting. I think most decent. DACs do a good job of isolation but time and time again there seems to be improvements with lower noise reclocked designs. One variable is the software and I'm finding that not all DACs react the same.

But think about it, if you were to design a new audio component from the ground up, would you:

1. Contain it in a very noisy environment that will guarantee high levels of RFI/ EMI

2. Use Switch Mode Power supplies

3 . Blame all SQ issues relating to noise, EMI etc on the equipment it was connected to and not the actual cause?

It sounds crazy but that is effectively what is happening in some quarters with CA community. The problem with the " blame it on everything else" approach is that CA stagnates and does not develop anywhere near to the level of its potential. But that approach has allowed the specialist server makers to charge what they do for servers delivering better results than the average PC

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@@Chanh DAC uses a mountain of 1794 chips but the comparison should still be interesting. I think most decent. DACs do a good job of isolation but time and time again there seems to be improvements with lower noise reclocked designs. One variable is the software and I'm finding that not all DACs react the same.

But think about it, if you were to design a new audio component from the ground up, would you:

1. Contain it in a very noisy environment that will guarantee high levels of RFI/ EMI

2. Use Switch Mode Power supplies

3 . Blame all SQ issues relating to noise, EMI etc on the equipment it was connected to and not the actual cause?

It sounds crazy but that is effectively what is happening in some quarters with CA community. The problem with the " blame it on everything else" approach is that CA stagnates and does not develop anywhere near to the level of its potential. But that approach has allowed the specialist server makers to charge what they do for servers delivering better results than the average PC

 

i cant argue with any of that.  I still think theres a point of diminishing returns with computer psu, but theres no doubt my super duper pc is more "organic" sounding than a laptop.

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And with a few big Duelands stuck on top for aesthetics.

Once you have duelunds anything else is forgotten ................... ;)

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I have been experimenting with more components:

Single sided memory - this also outperforms the regular memory in my setup(s). These sticks are 4GB each

8a5828c975ad9eb6fabf63ec3bcebca2.jpg

A different power supply - this one by PPA studios

be1cea17928662184c4c72b66b6d2663.jpg

And a USB Pcie card from Paul Pang of PPA. Paul makes a big deal about using an TXCO clock to re-clock the signal to the DAC.

5512a025bdf989021609e3d99632ae10.jpg

I have to say that the PPA usb card is pretty special. In my setup it outperformed the SOTM card through revealing more detail and imaging. Not night and day differences however

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The Tcxo clock is very picky to the components and power supply used ( i used a 12v car battery and steveM still does but he uses a ocxo which is miles ahead of any tcxo food for thought tasso been their done that ........................

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@@Sir Rab of Everest I contacted HD Plex and they cannot supply a cord which has Isense, a gadget which is fitted into the power cable of our 2009 models and enables something or other (the technical term) to sense current and without which our computers will not start. Teradak supply a special cable with their Mac 2009 specific PSU's which I assume has the Isense wiring fitted.

 

I'm using HD Plex with my Mac Mini 2014. Yes you need a special cable or in my case I'm using Uptone Audio MMK which gives better control to the mac mini fan.

http://uptoneaudio.com/products/mac-mini-dc-conversion-linear-fan-controller-kit-mmk

Edited by alubis

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Once you have duelunds anything else is forgotten ................... ;)

Or once one has duelunds anything else are lost! Especially the bank account and the wife! :D Edited by Chanh

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i cant argue with any of that. I still think theres a point of diminishing returns with computer psu, but theres no doubt my super duper pc is more "organic" sounding than a laptop.

I've had good success with replacing a cheap laptop brick on a purpose built audio PC with a Linear PSU - but have wondered if this success is due to the quality of the power supplied to the computer or the removal of noise being inject back into the other components (as a result of removing a laptop brick). I guess if it's the latter then similar results might be had from just using a filtered power board

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While we are debating without basics, why not have a gtg and allows Tasso to demonstrate his side of the argument?

Best to have first-hand experience and using our ears as tool. Pretty sure more than few of you here in W.A have heard his Server progression! It is time to speak up! :)

Edited by Chanh

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The Tcxo clock is very picky to the components and power supply used ( i used a 12v car battery and steveM still does but he uses a ocxo which is miles ahead of any tcxo food for thought tasso been their done that ........................

The PPA card contains its own battery for the clock - that's the big lump you can see. I also have SOTM cards as well, each had its merits.

PPA use an OCXO clock in their latest V4 USB card and also have used them for the motherboard clock.

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@@alubis The 2009 Mac Mini has an external 18.5V external brick power supply unlike the later ones which, I think (correct me if I am wrong) had an internal 12V power supply which had to be removed when fitting an external supply. In theory the 2009 is a simple "throw the brick away and plug in the new linear PSU" job ............. except for the infernal Isense wire ........ curse you, Jobs!!!!

Edited by Ancientflatulence

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