Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

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Neonknight
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Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by Neonknight »

Was curious to know the groups thoughts on this subject, sorry if its been covered before or in another thread.

In your experience, have you heard computers, or the music program software present music differently?

For instance, the best package I have owned was a Mac Mini running Pure Music and a PS Ausio LANRover in the system. However, there are limitations to Pure Music in that it does not interface well with Qobuz. Nor does it do higher level of DSD files.

So I dallied with a new DAC, and set up an Intel Nuc with trials of Roon and Audirvana, and this meant a removal of the LANRover due to the DSD256 I wanted to stream. That experiment did not turn out well.

So I returned my Audio Magic Kukama DAC to the system and set files to stream at 24/96 max. Now this combination of Nuc/Audiorvana did not seem to sound as good as the Mac Mini/Pure Music/LANRover set up, although it did sound better than the experimental DAC.

Pure Music will only run on Apple, so I ordered a used 2014 Mac Mini, as I had sold my old one unfortunately, and am going to reinstall it and see what occurs. I also moved the LANRover on, and cannot replace it. There is a measurement based site(we know who they are) that the USB filter devices seem to add noise to a system when engaged, whereas a pure USB feed from a computer shows to be without spurious noise. Is this the reality? I don't know, but I guess I am going to find out aren't I.

But I am curious to know if you experience meaningful differences between different computer platforms and software. I suspect there are, and I am going to confirm it for myself. But your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by Grumpytim »

I've been running Logitech Media Server since c2006 on various machines in all of it's evolving versions. I've also dallied briefly with Roon, with which I did not get on with, but not for sound quality reasons. I've not noticed any difference in sound quality per se between the different platforms however I did notice the swap from a HDD to an SSD in my old HP EX490 which is still my back up server. I'm not sure it sounded any better, but the increased speed of the SSD helped the server program get on with doing it's job.

As LMS does everything I want it to do I've never felt the need to stray on the general principle that if it's not broke... There are those in the LMS community who say that they can hear difference between say LMS 7.9 and 8.1, that may be so but either my ears or my gear is not up to observing said difference.

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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by Neonknight »

Grumpytim wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:43 pm I've been running Logitech Media Server since c2006 on various machines in all of it's evolving versions. I've also dallied briefly with Roon, with which I did not get on with, but not for sound quality reasons. I've not noticed any difference in sound quality per se between the different platforms however I did notice the swap from a HDD to an SSD in my old HP EX490 which is still my back up server. I'm not sure it sounded any better, but the increased speed of the SSD helped the server program get on with doing it's job.

As LMS does everything I want it to do I've never felt the need to stray on the general principle that if it's not broke... There are those in the LMS community who say that they can hear difference between say LMS 7.9 and 8.1, that may be so but either my ears or my gear is not up to observing said difference.
LMS, that is the software that supports the Squeezebox right? Is there still support for it, I thought I had heard that Logitech abandoned it but there has been user support for the software.

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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by Grumpytim »

Yes Logitech sort of support it but the LMS community seems to go from strength to strength LMS 8.1 was released early this year which (apparently as I don't use them) gives seamless access to Spotify etc.

Likewise the community has developed clone players such as the Squeezamp, the DAC 32 which gives 96khz/24bit playback together with a plethora of Pi based players and associated software platforms, so whilst my original players are gradually falling victim to progress in terms of being 96/24 capable, or father time, the ecosystem is very much alive and kicking.

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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by Fretless »

On Pi's I have used these 3 Operating Systems:

Volumio (best sound - improved version 3 is in the pipeline)
Moode (good)
Rune (not Roon - okay SQ)

A Volumio-driven Tinkerboard or PC sounds terrific.

On Windows PC's I have tested a variety of music-playing apps like VLC, Jet, Foobar, etc. The one I always come back to is Apollo 37zz which is a fairly simple little music-player and sounds excellent.
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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by montechristo358 »

Neonknight wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:51 pm
Grumpytim wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:43 pm I've been running Logitech Media Server since c2006 on various machines in all of it's evolving versions. I've also dallied briefly with Roon, with which I did not get on with, but not for sound quality reasons. I've not noticed any difference in sound quality per se between the different platforms however I did notice the swap from a HDD to an SSD in my old HP EX490 which is still my back up server. I'm not sure it sounded any better, but the increased speed of the SSD helped the server program get on with doing it's job.

As LMS does everything I want it to do I've never felt the need to stray on the general principle that if it's not broke... There are those in the LMS community who say that they can hear difference between say LMS 7.9 and 8.1, that may be so but either my ears or my gear is not up to observing said difference.
LMS, that is the software that supports the Squeezebox right? Is there still support for it, I thought I had heard that Logitech abandoned it but there has been user support for the software.
fortunately when Logitech canned it they were good enough to opensource the software. I'd say its developed t a faster pace since then than ever before.

its more flexible than Roon though not as polished in the metadata stakes. And its free...

I've been using LMS since before Logitech bought Slimdevices. I had a brief dally with Roon last year but concluded its plus points weren't enough to justify the move. Especially at the price
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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by Grumpytim »

I'd agree about the pace of development, and with the kind folks who still maintain the majority of the plugins there's often a fix for say a BBC related glitch long before some of the paid for platforms get there.

Going back to the OP's question, having thought about it and the evolution of the squeezebox firmware, there definitely were differences between them as the Boom/Radios evolved over the years. If I was brave enough to move to 8.1 there's new firmware for the Touch & Radio, not bad when you think about how long ago the plug was pulled.

I also did notice a difference between Picoreplayer and a self installed version of LMS/squeezelite when I first jumped into the Pi world. Apart from sounding better it's a damn site easier to use. Similarly I'm sure that V6 did sound better than V5, that said I've yet to move to V7. At some stage I may try the Max2play offering, but that will wait until I get another pi based end point.

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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by savvypaul »

I've always used LMS. I know people who say that Roon can have negative SQ issues if not implemented optimally. I'm told that Moode is very good.

LMS is easy and quick.
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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by Bencat57 »

Admission from the start I use LMS and have done since I bought one of the last Squeezebox Touches . While Logitech do not offer any support other than keeping the servers open they donated all of the system firmware and software to the Slimserver Community .

The very clever members took this on and have developed LMS since then . They have added plug ins for players to enable 24/192 output (EDO) they have recently added a BBC Sounds App then enables streaming of all BBC content at the best quality levels . They support Spotify , Deezer , Tidal , Quboz , Radio Paradise and others . One member has coded and maintained a new GUI called Material Skin which can be accessed via a URL so any item that can get online phone , tablet , PC , can control the music and also access Artist Details , Album Details , Song Lyrics when available which is for most items .
.
All of the above is free you can load it on a Microsoft / MAC PC , a Raspberry Pi or other small scale card CPU (Odroid) . In my view it just works and provides the easiest control of music but much of this is because i have used it for so long . The support and development is often better and quicker than any mfg item such as Bluos etc because this is all they do .

I use the Max2play Distro which to get the full features you have to pay for but it £25 or so for three years so nothing too much . This loads things for you and makes getting from opening the Raspbery Pi box to playing music in about 10 to 15 minutes . I think the sound quality of LMS on this distro is better than Picore which is very good and free but you have the option .
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Neonknight
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Re: Computer Music Servers Sound Different Or Not?

Unread post by Neonknight »

It does seem that there are a lot of LMS users here, but in reading the posts it seems that folks have reported that the music server programs sound different. Next question, do you notice differences in computer platforms?

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