Canuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio ForumCanuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio Forum
It is currently Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:23 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 162 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:50 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:55 pm
Posts: 1550
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Well mahatma1 if you were not confused about computer audio at the beginning of this thread you should be now!

What exactly is an Intel with capacitor? Or a sound card with a gigabyte buffer? Or a DAC that performs a checksum on the data that is streamed to it??

Computer audio can be as simple as a laptop with a USB Thumb drive type DAC (such as the Audioquest Dragonfly) or as complex as a purpose built machine with a linear power supply and specialized PCIe card streaming to some megabuck SOTA DAC. How far you take it is entirely up to you. Start with your laptop and media player of choice, which in your case is iTunes. Find a USB DAC that fit’s your budget and go from there. My advice if purchasing a used DAC is to ensure it employs a Asynchronous USB connection. This will allow for the critical clocking to be performed at the DAC end mitigating jitter. Nearly all new DAC’s sold today employ Asynchronous USB. If you run into playback problems, then post your issues - there are many very knowledgeable users within CAM who I'm sure would be more than willing to help

andrewcat: Alienware and the likes offer a list of specialized machines usually geared toward gaming and content creation. There is no guarantee that these will offer a better audio performance than your run of the mill off the shelf Lenovo, HP or Mac. Processing power is not crucial when dealing with streaming audio. However, a machine with low latency is. Your problem sounds like a loose USB connection which the interface, and many others, are prone to. Google “loose USB connection” and you should find a fix.

I have posted this link in the past and despite it deals with a more complex DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), the process is exactly the same when dealing with playing back your favorite Lady GaGa song! Low Latency is critical!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUsLLEkswzE


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:10 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:08 am
Posts: 953
Location: burlington, ON, CA
'What exactly is an Intel with capacitor?"
I am glad you asked.

http://techreport.com/review/26086/inte ... e-reviewed

There are beefy capacitors for power-loss protection, too. If the drive loses power unexpectedly, the caps provide enough juice to ensure that any in-flight data is written to the flash. The 730 Series checks the status of these capacitors at boot and periodically during operation. According to Intel, the power-loss protection is identical to that of its datacenter drives.

I was wondering. For the NEW TO COMPUTER AUDIO people who use Microsoft. Are you all aware of the tweaking and fine tuning available within Windows Media Player and within the volume mixer?

If anyone asks I will post a step by step to get the best sound out of windows 7 with the audio chipset I am familiar with. Although there is a white paper from Intel regarding future HD audio printed in 2010 it took till around 2014 for chipsets from Intel started 36 bit, I think-up from 24 bit since around 2008. Pretty much the steps are the same but the values may be much better for you. Who knows you may not want or need JRiver and its very complicated learning curve.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:02 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:55 pm
Posts: 1550
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Well that clarifies “Intel with capacitor” The proper term is PLP or Power Loss Protection. Many SSD’s employ this tech…nothing new even for a 3 year old SSD

Bit puzzled as to why you would not recommend a SSD as a OS and application drive - especially given the performance benefits a SSD brings. Faster storage = quicker read/writes for the OS and applications = less latency! And given the fairly low price of the smaller capacity SSD’s this is an absolute no brainer!

As for Windows Media Player….WMP doesn’t even support Microsoft’s own API - WASAPI. Any audio stream processed through the Windows mixer will be resampled. WASAPI in exclusive mode lowers latency while providing unmixed audio streams directly to the audio adaptor, bypassing the Windows mixer.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:18 am
Posts: 91
Location: ottawa, ON, CA
thank you everyone for the valuable advice - as always a helpful community here on CAM


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:08 am
Posts: 953
Location: burlington, ON, CA
Hi @sthomas1049. Finally! This is exactly what this thread should be. As I ask my wife, is that an answerable question or a questionable answer? Meaning give and take. No pissing contests. Helpful advice designed to open up the discussion. Placing service above self and not be self serving. Thank you sthomas1049 for showing us and leading the way.

Intel invented SSD with PLP I believe. Then Moores Law kicked in. Remember I am often wrong and seldom right.

If this thread is primarily for new to Audio computer users then cost and learning curve is number one.

In an earlier post I mentioned just get a Lenovo S20 workstation. Bauer Systems just sold one for $120. Xenon, 500 HD, 8 ECC RAM, Optical in and out off motherboard, Win 7, DVD RW, etc. ALL enterprise quality made right. This 500 HD loaded only just with just Windows 7 will be very fast do you not agree?

All one needs next is to fine tune WMP, a $50 and up optical cable going from S20 to D/A box and a $200 WD RE 2TB non encrypting HD and you would have a very dependable, easy to operate, dedicated music server for around $300 $400 plus the much more expensive upsampling pre such as an Anthem D2v or Classe 800 or an Apogee or Berkley or Spectral or DIY using an Amenero 384 USB/I2S/DSD module (Yes there ARE audiophile quality USB receivers available), like what Schitt is trying to do.

DIY ends up being very cheap compared to. The goal is spend your money wisely and end up with a converter that produces like a Pacific Microsonics Model Two and that is as lofty a thought as one can think. NOTE-the money is spent on the converter and the preamp OR at the combined preamp-processor. You want good sound? You pay the price. Cheap converters=cheap sound. End of story.

As for Windows Media Player. I may have terminology mixed up, Windows Mixer compared to the loudspeaker Icon right click, playback options, advanced, exclusive mode. @sthomas1049, would you consider for membership writing a step by step how to tweak windows media player and enable HDCD with a mind to upsampling converters that become silent due to don’t accept that input, and DVD drive error correction and space between tracks and how to map a drive and how to insert a music library location?
May I pre thank you?

I believe Microsoft bought HDCD from Pacific Microsonics for good reason and it is embedded in WMP.

I am very happy using Windows and using Windows media player. I believe Microsoft keep supporting it and automatically update it without public knowledge. I get wonderful sound but ONLY if the source was played well, recorded well, mastered well, sold with the information burned onto a quality substrate CD/DVD-A/Bluray pure audio/high-transparency and high-fluidity polycarbonate along with gold or whatever reflective and hopefully not cheap aluminum.) properly ripped to a good hard drive using well designed circuits, motors, lens, power supplies, motherboard then out using quality toslink connectors into a very good or better optical cable feeding the best sounding DAC you can afford and don’t cheap out at the DAC point. Or the Preamp or the amp or the speaker wires or the interconnects or the loud speakers or most important of all your ears.
Always take care of your ears.

So! Exactly the same as analog audio, where in the chain does one spend their figure out what to do time and where does one spend their money?

I hope more people can input like sthomas1049.

I recommend visiting http://www.bauersystems.com/price-list.html
and put your name on the mailing list.

I spoke to the fellows there and they are OK with dealing with the membership. They have a USA and Canadian warehouse and will ship anywhere. I recommended they search for and bring in starting with Intel gen 5 anything with IRIS/IRIS PRO in. These are resellers hens teeth rare laptops. They have workstations with single and multiple processors. Please don’t call them to bother them they are busy. You need to do your homework first then once you have studied the site for the product they have and what you want then you need to just buy OR watch like a hawk for any new listings.

The crème of the crop are sold/gone very quickly because resellers are the ones Bauer deal with mostly. They WILL NOT take orders and if you piss them off they will ignore you so please treat them well and they will treat our membership well. It is strictly watch the site for what is new like every reseller does and pounce on the one you want, when it comes up, stick with your decision, pay and they will ship. No asking questions and no putting in orders. Generally they don’t deal with the who are learning public. Don’t worry if you miss one or two or three times as you will learn. the product just keeps coming in and out the door, day in and day out.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:58 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:54 pm
Posts: 3299
Location: bell Island, NL, CA
mahatma1 wrote:
I've been thinking about trying computer based audio.

Hey dave
I am 90% vinyl
I only use digital for back ground
I have used oppo 105,sold it to get the new oppo 205,it will do everything for you,i use balance out to preamp
Best CD player I have owned was a Technics SL-P1200,the sound for me at close to 60 and ears not the best,the Technics was the very best i have owned
The oppo is also very good and simple to use,load times very fast

good luck

john


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:12 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 3802
Location: Ingersoll, ON, CA
z28-1980--car wrote:
mahatma1 wrote:
I've been thinking about trying computer based audio.

Hey dave
I am 90% vinyl
I only use digital for back ground
I have used oppo 105,sold it to get the new oppo 205,it will do everything for you,i use balance out to preamp
Best CD player I have owned was a Technics SL-P1200,the sound for me at close to 60 and ears not the best,the Technics was the very best i have owned
The oppo is also very good and simple to use,load times very fast

good luck

john

I'm pretty much an analog guy as well. I still buy vinyl when it's available (and reasonably priced) but there is too much good music available only in a digital format to ignore.
I've been following this thread carefully and it's been quite an education with much more to learn.
I'm getting the pieces together (maybe somewhat slowly) and with a little luck I'll be listening to some good music real soon.
Like everything else you have to start somewhere. If this works out as I hope I can see it evolving. I bought my first "real" system about 1972. So it's only taken 45 years to get to this point.
When I get the pieces all together and working properly, I hope to have a few people over for a listen and critique what I've done.
I'm excited and a little apprehensive at the same time but at the end of the day it's all about the music. When your blissed out listening to some great music it doesn't matter a whit what is playing it, all that matters is that your listening to it.

_________________
He who is like the wind blowing from your pants.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:21 pm
Posts: 427
Location: Nobleton, ON, CA
I still stand by what I said about ssd and usb3. I have a shoe box half full of useless usb hard drives, they get hot and stop working. On the other hand I have notebooks that are over 5 years old and their SSD's are still running fine. As for the cost well:http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=179_1229_1088&item_id=100113 is a bargain and this particular brand comes with very good cloning software so replaceing main drives in laptops or desktops is fool proof and fast.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:41 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:14 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
highjinx wrote:
I still stand by what I said about ssd and usb3. I have a shoe box half full of useless usb hard drives, they get hot and stop working. On the other hand I have notebooks that are over 5 years old and their SSD's are still running fine. As for the cost well:http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=179_1229_1088&item_id=100113 is a bargain and this particular brand comes with very good cloning software so replaceing main drives in laptops or desktops is fool proof and fast.


I agree and want to elaborate for the sake of clarity for others reading - USB hard drives can be both traditional-type with hard disks (HDD) or SSD. In general most USB hard drives (of the traditional type) or any sort of portable hard drive will have much higher failure rates.

Drives which need to be installed inside a laptop or computer tower (like the one you linked) tend to be much more reliable.
In terms of cost, and SSD will still cost about 4x more in terms of $ per gigabyte compared to HDDs. If we are talking non-portable drive (installed inside a computer), using enterprise HDDs is more cost effective - especially when you want to run multiple for backup and data redundancy purposes (Storing 2 or more copies in case of failure).

So why pay for an SSD?
SSDs have a speed advantage compared to HDDs in both reading from and writing to the disk.
When SSDs first came onto the market there has also been the myth that SSDs have shorter operational lifespans (which is false). See: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2856052/ ... fears.html

In the end though, if you have a large music library (and store your files in lossless format), an SSD based storage might become costly. Especially once you start thinking about having backups or data redundancy. Most important is to read reviews as not all drives are made equal.

Example: in my computer I have 8 TB of storage (two 4TB HDD drives). This is 4TB of effective storage because I mirror everything across the two drives so I always have a backup if one drive dies. Doing this with SSDs would be significantly more expensive (more than I personally can afford at least).


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:08 pm
Posts: 68
Location: victoria, BC, CA
highjinx wrote:
I still stand by what I said about ssd and usb3. I have a shoe box half full of useless usb hard drives, they get hot and stop working. On the other hand I have notebooks that are over 5 years old and their SSD's are still running fine. As for the cost well:http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=179_1229_1088&item_id=100113 is a bargain and this particular brand comes with very good cloning software so replaceing main drives in laptops or desktops is fool proof and fast.


I don't think anyone is contending that replacing a HDD with an SSD in a laptop or desktop is a bad idea, it's just that for storing audio files for playback there is no advantage in using an SSD. The advantage of an SSD is read/write speed, which is not relevant to audio playback, as standard HDDs are more than fast enough. By all means if you're using a laptop as your digital music player, add an SDD so it boots up fast but keep in mind that's all it will give you and if you have a large music library that you want to also store on the laptop then prepare to pay $$ for it.

Jrifty wrote:
I agree and want to elaborate for the sake of clarity for others reading - USB hard drives can be both traditional-type with hard disks (HDD) or SSD. In general most USB hard drives (of the traditional type) or any sort of portable hard drive will have much higher failure rates.
Drives which need to be installed inside a laptop or computer tower (like the one you linked) tend to be much more reliable.


I don't see this as being the case. AFAIK the HDDs for internal desktop/laptop use are no different from those that are in a USB 3 enclosure, they just have SATA interface electronics on the drive rather than the USB 3 interface. USB external drives might fail more often as they are portable and people might not treat them well, dropping them on the floor and damaging the USB connectors etc. There must be some industry study data out there that shows failure rates for desktop HDDs vs portable external HDDs that will show if this is the case?

Jrifty wrote:
So why pay for an SSD?
SSDs have a speed advantage compared to HDDs in both reading from and writing to the disk.


There's no advantage in using SSDs for storing audio files for playback, as the speed increase of SSDs over HDDs makes no difference. HDDs are more than fast enough for playing audio. However, for a main OS drive or a scratch disk for large Photoshop/Premiere files an SDD is the way to go.

Jrifty wrote:
Example: in my computer I have 8 TB of storage (two 4TB HDD drives). This is 4TB of effective storage because I mirror everything across the two drives so I always have a backup if one drive dies. Doing this with SSDs would be significantly more expensive (more than I personally can afford at least).


Having a 2nd drive in your machine that is a copy of another drive is not a backup solution, as both drives are active in your machine running all the time. This is just the same type of thing as having a NAS drive running a 2 HDD mirror raid, which is not a backup solution either. If you had the 2nd copy drive out of your machine safely stored somewhere, then that would be a backup solution.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:16 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 am
Posts: 13709
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I'm surprised anyone would suggest WMP for audio. My understanding from several years ago is that loading the file to be played wholly into RAM is important in keeping extraneous noises to a minimum. I don't believe WMP can be set up for this, but there are other players that can be.

_________________
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:43 pm
Posts: 1516
Location: *, ON, CA
I do not believe the opinion expressing that HDD and SSD storage makes no difference have given consideration to emi within the PC environment. T


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:28 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:55 pm
Posts: 1550
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Speedy1 – your post is a bit confusing so I will try my best to answer.

First off, don’t get too fixated on terms like “Enterprise” or “Workstation”. An Enterprise component does not guarantee performance nor does it guarantee longevity over it’s consumer counterparts. Hard drive specs are there to entice Reddit users into a flame war over who has the best! There is a world of difference between what a manufacture states on paper compared to real time performance and longevity. Saying that, there is nothing wrong with purchasing “Enterprise” components – just remember failure is imminent. As for a used workstation. A Xeon CPU with ECC RAM is pretty specialized. Do your due diligence and ensure what you are buying is still supported. If that Xeon gives up the ghost (and they do!) it could cost you BIG time replacing it. Otherwise you’ll end up with a big black Lenovo door stop. Keep in mind that you do not know the history of that workstation! Just food for thought. As stated earlier, processing power is no where near as important as low latency for audio playback.

As for a mechanical HDD being used as a OS drive. In simple terms, your OS and applications are constantly sending instructions, or interrupts to the CPU for processing. Should one of these interrupts, be delayed due to slow seek and read times of a HDD, then other interrupts may not get processed in time. For the average program this just means a longer process times. But in the case of digital audio, a delayed interrupt could cause a buffer underrun where the audio buffer does not receive the proper data therefore inserts garbage data for the audio device to process - this in turn creates pops, clicks, distortion or in extreme cases, breaks in the audio stream. A SSD with faster read/write times mitigates this problem.

I can’t remember the last time I “tried” to used Windows Media Player. Probably back in the 9x/ NT days. It is not favoured among audio enthusiast simply because it lacks in features compared to what is available. Sorry, no recommendations from me on WMP. As for setting exclusive mode within the Windows audio properties – a media player needs to take advantage of this in order to benefit…and as far as I know, even on Win 10, WMP does not. Give Foobar2000 a try. Once you get around the slight learning curve you will see just how flexible this free software is. There is even HDCD support. I have never used HDCD so can’t help you here. Google is your best bet. Jriver is another great program that offers a 30 day free trial - $50 to purchase

Long post but hopefully this helps :D


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 3802
Location: Ingersoll, ON, CA
I'm getting things together at last. I dug up a couple of toslink cables, a couple 75 ohm cables and a spare pair of i.c's.
I have a pair of Wireworld Eclipse 7 but one cable is intermittent. :evil: luckily I have a few others but I really wanted to use the Wireworlds.
I have two USB cables of dubious quality.
With the generous help of a fellow CAM member I decided on a DacMagic 100.
It's flexibility was a strong selling point and it will allow me to try different things and learn as I go.
The computer has been a little more difficult.
Today the store I've been talking to thought they had what I needed.
It wasn't quite right. As we were talking another customer was trading in his computer and just the luck it was damn near perfect.
It had 8GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive, Windows 10,and a malfunctioning dvd drive.
The sales assistant said he could replace the dvd drive easy enough. So why didn't I get it?
The guy that prices used stuff was off until Monday.
The sales guy was also reasonably sure that a few more laptops would be in Monday that might be as suitable and at a better price.
So worse case scenario I should have a "music computer" by next Friday.
I want to thank everyone that took time to offer their opinion and thoughts. The education has been invaluable.
I'll keep you update on how things progress.I'm quite sure my music computer education is far from over.

_________________
He who is like the wind blowing from your pants.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:34 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 7:54 am
Posts: 3452
Location: Vernon, BC, CA
tsearay wrote:
I do not believe the opinion expressing that HDD and SSD storage makes no difference have given consideration to emi within the PC environment. T

Some of us have.
Hard drives are not a source of EMI.
Care to elaborate on why you think an SSD is superior to a HDD in regards to EMI?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 162 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group