Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

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Fretless
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

luckyredfish wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:32 am
Can anyone please give me recommendations for a decent HDMI cable ?

Not used HDMI as an audio source cable (yet) but you can't go wrong with AudioQuest cables (as Slinger will probably verify :grin: ).
I have USB and Ethernet links from them. Price / quality is outstanding.

Look at the Forest, Cinnamon and Carbon ranges according to price and taste - you experience subtle improvements as you move up the scale.

https://www.audioquest.com/cables/digital-cables/hdmi

Beware of fake product from China. :hand:
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

I can vouch for the quality of Audioquest cables.
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Fretless (Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:11 am)
System: DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ Jitterbug, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, Blue Jeans dual BNC, AQ Carbon USB, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP:Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo.
Analogue: Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP.
Second System:NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA SSC, Arcam Miniblink or Mojo.
Out:Oppo PM3, AQ DF Red.

RIP Doc

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by luckyredfish »

Thanks chaps I'll have a look . TBH it's for a new 4K TV to connect to my Virgin box but I couldn't find how to start a new thread . I'm a bit ' challenged ' with this stuff :grin:

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

luckyredfish wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:15 am
Thanks chaps I'll have a look . TBH it's for a new 4K TV to connect to my Virgin box but I couldn't find how to start a new thread . I'm a bit ' challenged ' with this stuff :grin:
On the main page, below the 'Recent Topics' section is a section 'HifiSubjectivist' where the different headings are shown - like 'Multichannel and Moves' .
If you click on that then you see a button for 'New Topic' where you can start a new thread of your very own. :dance:
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by luckyredfish »

Thank you sir :grin:

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Geek time - those who are put off by terms like 'bit-rate' and 'sampling frequency' should stop reading here.

Thinking to myself that I have a vastly over-capacity PC now running streams to the DAC. Maybe I should see if I can utilise some of that wasted CPU power.

Volumio has a built-in resampling facility which I have had to use before as the TeraDak DAC doesn't like signals of above 24bit 96KHz. That is the maximum that the TDA1543 chips can process.

Internally, the DAC actually upsamples all incoming datastreams to this format which the boffins at TeraDak reckon produces better audio quality. The Chameleon has even been designed with a removable upsampling-circuit board.

Having a serious Quad-Core processor in the PC, My idea was that if I get the upsampling done in the PC then the DAC doesn't have to work so hard and should/could sound better.

So, in Volumio Playback Options, switched on the resampling facility and set it to 24bit, 96KHz and 'very high' quality.

Restart the PC to ensure that the settings have taken effect and it's time for a listen. Trouble is that the SQ from the system is so bloody good that it's hard to spot differences now.

But. I do have the sense that there is more 'easiness' in the playback. Roundness, air, space, wider soundstage, improved definition. That sort of thing.

Will have another go tomorrow as the half-bottle of very fine Bordeaux I've just had might be clouding my judgement a bit.

Hang loose y'all. :ugeek: :guiness;
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karatestu (Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:41 am)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Sobered up (a bit) and time for another play with the DAC/Volumio settings.

Checking back I see that I only got the Chameleon DAC last November, but it feels like I've had it for years. It has a warm, inviting sound and can kick serious ass when required.

Image

However it has several limitations: No DSD, no 32bit, no 192KHz, very restricted input options (coax, Toslink, USB and that's it) and blinding, industrial-strength LED's. Also the technology used is positively stone-age. The TDA1543 chips (all 16 of them) date from 1989 and the Tenor TE7022L USB processor can also be regarded as vintage.

But the thing just sounds so good! There is a big sprinkling of fairy-dust inside that simple, utilitarian casing.

Right, back on track, so the TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon has been optimised to run on its USB input, this automatically overrides the SPDIF connection and uses the separate Tenor chip to organise the incoming USB data into the I2S format for the DAC chips.

In-between is the upsampling board that converts all incoming data to 24bit blocks and a sampling speed of 96KHz. The TeraDak engineers found that they could maximise the audio quality of the venerable TDA1543 by running it at its flat-out-max of 24bit / 96KHz.

This upsampling board has been intentionally designed to be removable as that may further improve the SQ. So my software fix in Volumio effectively achieves the same, bypassing this board by doing the upsampling beforehand.

And it works! The overall feel is smoother, deeper. The removal of a hint of brittleness. Fine detail in the soundstage is clearer, bass is more defined, solid.

This won't work for every DAC but it might be interesting to play around with upsampling settings to see if there is a 'sweet spot' where a specific unit can perform at its best.

Enough for now, my brain hurts. :doh:
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CN211276 (Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:26 pm)
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

I have found that higher sample and Bit rates do improve SQ. To these ears the biggest leap is an increase in sample rate from 96kHz to 192kHz. This really seems to open up the sound stage.
System: DC Blocker, NVA BMU, Cisco 2960G, Sonore MicroRendu/MCRU PS, AQ Jitterbug, ifi iPurifier 3, Chord Mscaler, Chord Qutest/MCRU PS, NVA P90SA Mk2, NVA A80s Mk3, NVA Cube 1s, NVA TSCS, NVA TIS, Blue Jeans dual BNC, AQ Carbon USB, Cat 8 ethernet.
HP:Grado SR 325e, Chord Mojo.
Analogue: Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP.
Second System:NVA P20, NVA A20, NVA Cubettes, NVA LS3, NVA SSC, Arcam Miniblink or Mojo.
Out:Oppo PM3, AQ DF Red.

RIP Doc

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

FWIW I've got my Volumio installation set to retain the Native (Target) Bit Depth, my Target Sample Rate is set to 176.4 and the Resampling Algorithm Quality is "Very High." I prefer "natural" dividers and have convinced myself 176.4 sounds better than 192 :lol: .
Amps - NVA P50, A30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
Speakers - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
Analogue - Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB, Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 Phono
Cans - Grado SR80, ATH-M50X

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

My aim was to fool the DAC into not actively doing the internal upsampling process. Thinking / hoping that the PC would do it better.

Which I think it does.

Got your Volumio PC working then, Slinger ?
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
Digits: E-Medic ST-M PC + Volumio + AQ Jitterbug
DAC: TeraDak V4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + AQ Carbon USB
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
Cans: AQ NightHawk Carbon + MF XCAN v3

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