Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

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savvypaul
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by savvypaul »

I always think of Doc's question,,,

Are you removing the disease, or are you treating the symptoms of the disease?

I don't know the answer, but I'm asking the question.
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by karatestu »

The answer is use a cd player that transfers the data between decoder and dac via I2S over the huge length of about 3cms. A good clock (tent labs) with it's own psu and super clean regulator (pfm flea) and Robert's yer mum's brother. Believe it or not a clock is one of those things where psu impedance does not matter. The gyrator in my pfm flea has a very large output impedance and as I increased it the sound got better and better.
DIY inspired by Richard "The Doc" Dunn RIP

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by George Hincapie »

savvypaul wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:55 pm
Fretless wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:53 pm Jitter is an audible problem for digital hifi. My opinion at the moment is that relatively cheap/simple components can sound great with good quality cables utilising proper RF shielding. Clean power supplies are important too - everything that reduces the 'noise'around the signal chain.
If you were starting from scratch, aiming for the best sq but with minimal box count, what would you buy?
If the focus is purely the digital chain, up to the DAC, then the simplest high quality (Roon based) solution would be something like:

Internet Connectivity > Roon Nucleus+ > Ethernet Cable > dCS Network Bridge > AES/SPDIF/USB Cable of Choice > DAC

So two boxes (and one PSU) before the DAC. If you consider other options, like Volumio or Audio Linux, then there are other hardware options and it may be possible to drop the End Point and connect the Server directly to the DAC.

There's a lot of choice in this area which makes digital audio simultaneously great and challenging.
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savvypaul (Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:13 am)

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by George Hincapie »

Lindsayt wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:27 pm
George Hincapie wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:46 am
Lindsayt wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:58 am On the face of it, that Eno filter is a completely and utterly bonkers purchase for £500 or more.

For less money than that you could have a fibre optic cabling network set-up in your home.
Fibre optics are 100% guaranteed not to have any electrical interference on the signal whatsoever!
So instead of fixing a problem with the Eno for £500+ you could not have the problem in the first place for about £300.

And it would be interesting to open up the Eno filter to see exactly what's inside and whether a DIY equivalent could be made for 1% of the cost. With it being a passive filter it could just be a magnetic ring around an internal cable.

I'm smelling a huge amount of bullshit here. And a large amount of blinkered thinking.
Lots of Optical options for audio now I see. Sonore seem to largely favour optical as a data transit approach.
https://www.sonore.us/opticalRendu.html

I can't think of any convincing reason why anyone should spend $1000+ on a Sonore optical solution instead of getting a used switch with SFP or SFP+ ports, plus the required number and type of fibre SFP / SFP+ modules and Fibre NIC's, plus the fibre optic cables for a total of about £300.
I'm not proposing it as a performance/value proposition, just pointing out it exists. It's good that it does, choice is King.

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by savvypaul »

George Hincapie wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:10 am
savvypaul wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:55 pm
Fretless wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:53 pm Jitter is an audible problem for digital hifi. My opinion at the moment is that relatively cheap/simple components can sound great with good quality cables utilising proper RF shielding. Clean power supplies are important too - everything that reduces the 'noise'around the signal chain.
If you were starting from scratch, aiming for the best sq but with minimal box count, what would you buy?
If the focus is purely the digital chain, up to the DAC, then the simplest high quality (Roon based) solution would be something like:

Internet Connectivity > Roon Nucleus+ > Ethernet Cable > dCS Network Bridge > AES/SPDIF/USB Cable of Choice > DAC

So two boxes (and one PSU) before the DAC. If you consider other options, like Volumio or Audio Linux, then there are other hardware options and it may be possible to drop the End Point and connect the Server directly to the DAC.

There's a lot of choice in this area which makes digital audio simultaneously great and challenging.
What if you were starting with £1500 for the lot? What would you prioritise? Where would you make savings?

Roon not needed.
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by George Hincapie »

savvypaul wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:18 am What if you were starting with £1500 for the lot? What would you prioritise? Where would you make savings?

Roon not needed.
You could set up a super system very cheaply even using Roon. I am thinking on my feet here and I'm sure other contributions will follow, but you could do something like this:

1. Host Roon Core on a Windows based PC you already have.
2. Use an Allo DigiOne/USB Bridge as a Roon End Point.

The chain could look something like this:

PC > Ethernet to your router > Wireless connection to the End Point > SPDIF/USB cable to DAC

Costs:
Roon (£100 a year I think)
Allo End Point ($454 - https://www.allo.com/sparky/digione-sig ... layer.html - this includes an LPSU)
Wireless Router for End Point (£35 - https://www.tp-link.com/uk/home-network ... l-wr902ac/)

Cables you will already have.

I know there may be other hardware approaches than Allo if you wanted USB, but I'll leave Fretless to expand on those. But what is that? £500? Using a Pi based approach is very cost effective.

If you don't want Roon then take the exact same approach hosting your music files on your PC as a network shared folder and use Volumio on the SD card in the End Point.
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savvypaul (Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:49 am)

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by slinger »

I'd say, rather than hosting files on a PC, pick up a cheap external drive, or something like a Synology NAS box and a couple of cheap 3.5" SATA-3 drives. and hang it off of your switch. You can comment to it via Volumio etc. As long as the PC's on the same network you can manage your files with it, but keep them discrete. PC's can be very noisy things. If you don't want ot use a PC then set it up on your phone, or a tablet.

For my basic system, I use an Asus Tinker Board or a Mini PC as my streamer with the aforementioned and free Volumio. I don't use streaming services, I only stream my own files from my two NAS boxes.
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savvypaul (Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:34 am)
Amps - NVA P50, AP30, A40, Stanislav Palo Tube Headphone Amp BB 85
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Cables - NVA LS1+LS3, SSC, Gotham S/PDIF, IBRA Optical
Digital - NAD C516BEE, SONY ST-SDB900 DAB TUNER, TEAC UD-H01 DAC
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Lindsayt »

There are a few ways you can get silent desktop PC's

Any desktop PC can be converted to fully silent. For example by getting this:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NOFAN-CR-95C ... Swjs5f-4sy
and 99 pence for a tube of CPU cooling paste.

plus this
https://www.scan.co.uk/products/500w-se ... 6UQAvD_BwE

Plus making sure it has SSD drives only.
As well as disconnecting any case fans and any fanned video cards and maybe getting a bigger case to fit the fanless CPU cooler which is quite a large beast (last big desktop case I bought cost me 99 pence off ebay).

Most motherboards will allow a stack of 6 hard drives to be fitted to them. Depending on your situation, you could have all your data stored inside your silent music streaming PC.

So that's about £200 ish, upwards to go from noisy PC to silent.
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savvypaul (Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:34 am)

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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Fretless »

That is the great thing about digital audio as a hobby activity. Computer gear is cheap as chips ( :dance: ) and with a bit of effort you can get a serious streaming setup running at very low cost.

But ...

Data is data and sound is sound. What you don't want is jitter being introduced along the path that will degrade your resulting audio output.

Using simpler (and cheaper) components there are things to bear in mind for optimum results.

Ethernet link: a switching unit that maintains the integrity of the network data signal and use of cable that protects from RF interference. In standard CAT8 LAN cable for instance, every internal strand is separately shielded.

Coax cable using OCC single-crystal eradicates internal crystal boundaries in the wire that can cause interference in data synch.

The weakness of Toslink / optical systems is that the electronic / photonic signals have to be converted and deconverted. This can possibly cause degradation although optical signals are immune to RF and magnetic interference which makes them very suitable for use with Tv's.

USB: PC's are electronically noisy buggers and something that offers Galvanic Isolation between them and a DAC is a good idea. This can be in the form of a reclocker that guarantees that the 1's and 0's arrive in the right order at the right time.

Clean, linear power supplies will help in the reduction of electrical 'dirt' and digital systems love loads of clean power.

Well, that's my five pennyworth. It's a fun trip trying things out anyway.
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savvypaul (Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:34 am) • CN211276 (Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:18 am) • Grumpytim (Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:23 pm)
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Interconnect cables: DH Labs Air Matrix
Digits: Intel Core i7 fanless silent PC + Volumio
USB: Oehlbach XXL Masterclock + DH Labs Mirage
DAC: TeraDak 4.5 Chameleon CD: Cambridge CXC
Ethernet: Silent Angel Bonn N8 + AQ Cinnamon
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Re: Tinker, Tailor, Streamer, Pi.

Unread post by Lindsayt »

Fretless wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:28 am
Ethernet link: a switching unit that maintains the integrity of the network data signal and use of cable that protects from RF interference. In standard CAT8 LAN cable for instance, every internal strand is separately shielded.

Coax cable using OCC single-crystal eradicates internal crystal boundaries in the wire that can cause interference in data synch.

The weakness of Toslink / optical systems is that the electronic / photonic signals have to be converted and deconverted. This can possibly cause degradation although optical signals are immune to RF and magnetic interference which makes them very suitable for use with Tv's.

That weakness does not apply in the context of a signal being passed around a copper network vs a fibre network or combined copper and fibre network.

That's because the switch will accept a packet from a host, inspect it and decide what to do with. Switches are not dumb devices that just pass packets on. All signals will be passed through the switches internal processing circuits.

Switches do not preserve the analog aspects of incoming signals when they send them out again. Not via copper and not via fibre.
Switches are chinese whisperers (as in the children's party game).
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Fretless (Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:09 pm) • savvypaul (Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:18 pm) • nilsatisnisioptimum (Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:50 am)

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