Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

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Fretless
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Just worked out that the PC I use for streaming Downstairs must be about 15 years old. When I bought it, it had Windows Vista installed with an upgrade package to the then forthcoming Windows 7.

This 'ancient' desktop unit performs excellently as an audio source running the Linux-based Volumio operating system. Output via USB with a reclocker between it and the DAC.

Microsoft are getting threatening about 'old' computers that don't have sufficient specs to run the current Windows 11, this means that a lot of perfectly good hardware will be having to be dumped by those wanting to upgrade.

So, if you are looking for a cheap way to get high-quality streaming I can recommend that one of those obsolete computers can easily be converted for audio use. Volumio is free to download and try out (Tidal /Qobuz access requires a subscription). Runs off a USB stick so you don't have to overwrite Windows until you are sure.

Even an old Vista desktop has more than enough capacity to make great music. Go for it!

:music-listening:
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slinger (Sun Apr 21, 2024 9:52 pm)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 + LS6+ Sabaj A10a (2) + Little Bear MC2
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono)Aiyima A07 MAX (2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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CN211276
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

I had been considering a better power supply for my My Cloud NAS and finally pushed the button on this, selling for £99 new on eBay.



Image

https://ifi-audio.com/products/ipowerx/


The ifi iPurifier has been doing a good job attached to the Mscaler for years and I have a lot of respect for the brand.

Right from the off the improvement was less subtle than I was anticipating. It was as if a slightly smeared window was now clear. There is a greater sense of space, openess and depth.
In addition dynamic range seems greater and bass is more extended. It is obvious that a lot of noise was being produced from the mains at the start of the chain before the switches and filters could have an effect.
I was aware that I do not have very good mains following the purchase of the BMU. The NAS was also being effected as well as the amps, from a different wall socket. So impressed, I am thinking of buying the same device for my Sky Hub router which would at least have a positive effect on the sound from Qobuz and Radio Paradise. The benefits of such devices are dependent on the quality of the mains and in my case they certainly make a worthwhile difference.
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Fretless (Sat Jun 22, 2024 4:11 pm)
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Lindy cat 6 US ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

Headphones
Grado SR325e/Chord Mojo, Beyerdynamic Avetho/AQ DF Black

RIP Doc

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

That certainly gets me intrigued.

:think:
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CN211276 (Sun Jun 23, 2024 11:56 am)

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 + LS6+ Sabaj A10a (2) + Little Bear MC2
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono)Aiyima A07 MAX (2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Latteman
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Latteman »

Any dc power device in my system has an ifi psu, with usb and coax/optical purifers too.
I like their products- well priced in a busy market
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CN211276 (Sun Jun 23, 2024 11:56 am)
Analogue Source -
GL-59 modified.
ARB uni pivot alloy wand-AT-VM95SH- RigB 9
ARB uni pivot wooden wand-AT- Signet.
Quad 34 Pre amp with mm phono stage.
Ifi Zen Phono for mc
Akai 4000DS mk2 R2R
Digital Sources- Argon Pi4 v2; IfI iUSB 3.0, Ifi Neo idsd Dac;
Fibre Ethernet connection.
Tidal / Radio Paradise
Amplification Nva 300va mono blocks
Speakers Lii Audio F-15 with Doc modded 12” in Open Baffle; Ls6
Weiduka AC8.8- for digital sources
Mini BMU for analog sources

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

Fretless wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2024 4:12 pm That certainly gets me intrigued.

:think:
The extent of the improvement will depend upon the quality of your mains. I have just ordered another one for my router as they are reasonably priced and I am so impressed by the benefits the first one has brought.
These users thanked the author CN211276 for the post (total 2):
Fretless (Sun Jun 23, 2024 12:28 pm) • Latteman (Sun Jun 23, 2024 2:04 pm)
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Lindy cat 6 US ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

Headphones
Grado SR325e/Chord Mojo, Beyerdynamic Avetho/AQ DF Black

RIP Doc

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CN211276
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

The second ifii Power X did not take long to arrive. The problem was none of the adapters fitted the socket on my Sky Hub router. I looked through the spare ones which came with the first power X and one fitted. Up and running, :grin:

Streaming Qobuz the improvement was immediately apparent and of the same magnitude as what the device has brought to the NAS. Everything was clearer and music more engaging. It is the same with Radio Paradise. :grin: I can't detect any difference with music played through the NAS.

What has surprised me is that the strength of the WiFi appears to have increased. During the summer I do a lot of listening in the back garden through headphones. The router is a good distance away at the other side of the house. Previously there was the occasional drop out, but not any more. There also seems to be a slight improvement in SQ. Also a surprise to me is a more noticable subtle mprovement of the SQ of the second system. This is in the bedroom with no wired connection to but directly above the Sky Hub router. The WiFi feeds an extender which connects to the microRendu through an ethernet cable. This has got me thinking. If the Power X downstairs suitably improves the sound upstairs what would another one plugged into the extender bring to the party. I am tempted again. The Power X has had no impact on the sound of the Sonos system, also located upstairs.

A few years ago I reached my end game as far as major components are concerned. My experience of mega buck systems at the Bristol show last year convinced me of that. But I have continued my endeavour to make the most of what I have. Although individual improvements might be subtle the cumulative effect is huge. I strongly suspect that the poor sounds coming from streaming systems at Bristol had a lot to do with set up and lack of attention to detail. Although the hotel show environment is not conducive to good sound, vinyl set ups with less noise related issues compromising the signal path, sounded better.
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Fretless (Sat Jun 29, 2024 7:04 pm)
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Lindy cat 6 US ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

Headphones
Grado SR325e/Chord Mojo, Beyerdynamic Avetho/AQ DF Black

RIP Doc

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

CN211276 wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2024 1:38 pm

If the Power X downstairs subtely improves the sound upstairs what would another one plugged into the extender bring to the party. I am tempted again.

I was very tempted and pushed the button again although there had been a £10 price rise. No regrets as the improvement was immediate from the off, both from ripped CDs and Qobuz. As down stairs with the main system there was an extra degree of clarity and music is more engaging. Bass extension has increased making the Cubettes sound far from diminutive. Decided to go the whole hog and ordered a Cisco switch and Lindy unshielded ethernet cable. Should it make no difference the out lay is minimal.

The supplied Sky power supplies leave a lot to be desired where playing music is concerned. There is a lot more than 1s and 0s. This is not the case with video as the Power X connecting the router made no difference to picture quality. With regard to TV replacing the supplied Sky cable, connecting the Sky Q box to the TV, with AQ Carbon some years ago brought about a major improvement.
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Lindy cat 6 US ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

Headphones
Grado SR325e/Chord Mojo, Beyerdynamic Avetho/AQ DF Black

RIP Doc

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CN211276
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by CN211276 »

[/quote]

Decided to go the whole hog and ordered a Cisco switch and Lindy unshielded ethernet cable. Should it make no difference the out lay is minimal.


[/quote]

Not able to hear a difference but the sound is no worse so the switch will remain in place. Looking back the first switch in the main system did not make much of a difference. It was the addition of the second one near the streamer which brought about a noticable improvement. This is not practical with the second system as the extender is not far from the streamer.
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Fretless (Sun Jul 14, 2024 11:25 am)
Main System
NVA BMU, P90SA/A80s (latest spec), Cube 1s, TIS, TISC(LS7)
Sonore OpticalRendu, Chord Mscaler & Qutest, Sbooster PSs
Network Acoustics Eno, ifi iPurifier3, AQ JB FMJ, Cisco 2940 & 2960
DH Labs ethernet, BNC & USB cables, Lindy cat 6 US ethernet cable

Second System
NVA P20/ A20, Cubettes, LS3, SSP, SC
Sonore MicroRendu, Chord Mojo 2 MCRU PSs, AQ Carbon USB cable & JB FMJ

Headphones
Grado SR325e/Chord Mojo, Beyerdynamic Avetho/AQ DF Black

RIP Doc

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Fretless
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Volumio problems: some of my network players based on RPi2B boards are not working with the latest versions of Volumio OS.

The system refuses to update automatically and tells you to flash the newest download release to an SD card. Doing this then the player simply doesn't boot.

On one player I have managed it. On another I have just installed Moode OS - which has a separate version for Pi 1 & 2 models.

Thought about firing up the old Sonos Connect but Sonos have screwed up the software so much that this can go in the trash - totally useless now.

:snooty:

Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 + LS6+ Sabaj A10a (2) + Little Bear MC2
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono)Aiyima A07 MAX (2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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Fretless
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

Moode on the RPi2B is running just fine. Having played about with the various OS's that can be used for streaming purposes some years ago, this was one I remembered as being a competitor to Volumio, it is much 'lighter' in CPU-usage (and a lot smaller) but lacks many of Volumio's user-friendly features and that makes it a bit trickier to set up. However the SQ is very pleasant on my bedroom set (HifiBerry Digi+ Pro / Topping D30 / Sansui AU217 / NVA Cube3 (MDF model).

This gets me wondering if it could be time for a new Volumio - Moode - Rune shoot-out to see how they all currently perform. The holiday season is upon us so I might have time to realise this,

:geek:


Upstairs:
Vinyl
Pro-Ject 1.2 + Grado Sig Jr + Cambridge Alva Duo
DigiVolumio PC + Kiss DP-500 + Sabaj A20d
NVA: Cube2 + LS6+ Sabaj A10a (2) + Little Bear MC2
Downstairs:
Vinyl
Logic DM101 + Syrinx LE1 + Grado Sig MCX
DigiDenafrips Ares II + Volumio PC + Cambridge CXC
NVA: P50 (phono)Aiyima A07 MAX (2) + Arcam One
HP: Allo DigiOne + Sabaj A10d + AQ NightOwl
Office: Allo DigiOne SIG + SMSL M300se + Douk G4 (x2)
Mission 760 + Monolith 887 + German Maestro GMP 450

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