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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:37 pm 
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For USB cables ,as you might noticed already, they sell the <audiophile> approved ones for a lot of money. Even used ones are 60 dollars and up to hundreds.
If you want good quality USB cables,look for the Belkin USB2 High Speed Cable Gold series , around 15 dollars for 6 feet.
George


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:36 am 
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Just noticed Bauer Systems posted a Lenovo D20 for $390. naturally it sold in seconds. Maybe because it was sold originally for I think the equivalent of $12,000 or was that a D30? See earlier Post about Bauer Systems if you need a Computer usually enterprise or heavy duty made quality.

Bauer have a few HP Z420 now they are just getting ready to list.

The HP site
http://www8.hp.com/ca/en/products/works ... !tab=specs
I believe Win 10 support (make sure on HP support site), Usb 3. Thunderbolt2 capable, etc.

Here is the Bauer site
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... l=en#gid=0

Professionals in the entertainment industry would use workstations. It is not only using better/best parts available, it is also how the box is designed for dependability and longevity and state of or edge of art.
https://temposemi.com/wp-content/upload ... 120427.pdf

I have never heard of anyone used to using a workstation prefer a consumer tower or any laptop including a workstation laptop unless required for portability. Even the latest workstation laptops have decent battery life and weight and the power bricks are no longer the size of a paperback novel due to technology marching forward.

Here are a few reasons why.
https://temposemi.com/wp-content/upload ... 120427.pdf


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:42 am 
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speedy1 wrote:
Just noticed Bauer Systems posted a Lenovo D20 for $390. naturally it sold in seconds. Maybe because it was sold originally for I think the equivalent of $12,000 or was that a D30? See earlier Post about Bauer Systems if you need a Computer usually enterprise or heavy duty made quality.

Bauer have a few HP Z420 now they are just getting ready to list.

The HP site
http://www8.hp.com/ca/en/products/works ... !tab=specs
I believe Win 10 support (make sure on HP support site), Usb 3. Thunderbolt2 capable, etc.

Here is the Bauer site
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... l=en#gid=0

Professionals in the entertainment industry would use workstations. It is not only using better/best parts available, it is also how the box is designed for dependability and longevity and state of or edge of art.
https://temposemi.com/wp-content/upload ... 120427.pdf

I have never heard of anyone used to using a workstation prefer a consumer tower or any laptop including a workstation laptop unless required for portability. Even the latest workstation laptops have decent battery life and weight and the power bricks are no longer the size of a paperback novel due to technology marching forward.

Here are a few reasons why.
https://temposemi.com/wp-content/upload ... 120427.pdf

Thanks speedy1 one for your detailed replies. I tried to PM you but for some reason I can't. Anyway, a lot of info to chew over and I appreciate it.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:32 am 
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Speedy1 - Why are you recommending old workstations?

What is your reasoning?
They are far too loud, have far too high power requirements, that Lenovo D20 does not even have USB 3 which you stated before was important.

Those types of machines are not appropriate for a music server. Overkill, too expensive to upgrade and maintain and are just not needed.

speedy1 wrote:
I have never heard of anyone used to using a workstation prefer a consumer tower or any laptop including a workstation laptop unless required for portability. Even the latest workstation laptops have decent battery life and weight and the power bricks are no longer the size of a paperback novel due to technology marching forward.

Here are a few reasons why.
https://temposemi.com/wp-content/upload ... 120427.pdf


That's like saying a person who drives a semi truck wold never prefer a ford 150 for hauling goods.
Different use case entirely than what we are talking about (computer for audio playback).

ECC memory is very expensive and completely un-necessary for audio playback.
Hard-ware raid is a horrible idea for a music playback computer.
Enterprise drives are not needed for a music playback computer.

I appreciate the info you are trying to add to this discussion, but frankly you are just muddying the waters.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Fully concur with Jared comments above.

What you are paying for in that so called $12000 used Lenovo workstation is for an extremely expensive dual Xeon’s that will never be fully utilized when playing back audio through your media player of choice. Workstations in the “professional entertainment” industry are purpose built for offloading multiple processor intensive tasks. I highly doubt there is any audiophile that is running 100% CPU utilization across multiple logical cores folding protein or rendering the next Pixar movie while listening to their favorite music

Playing a DSD file (or FLAC, WAV etc) through Foobar on my i7 barely breaks 1% CPU utilization. In fact, with the scaling technology Intel implements with their processors (AMD as well), the CPU underclocks itself to a fraction of its’ base clock. Lower clock means less heat means the motherboard now lowers the fan speed which in turn = a quieter computer.

Many Xeon’s use a different socket from Intel’s desktop counterparts – no aftermarket “quiet” CPU coolers. Have you ever heard a stock Xeon cooler, let alone 2 of them running in tandem?? Add a couple of “Enterprise” HDD’s and you will never have to worry about how good your systems sounds cause you’ll never hear it over the damn PC!

As proven from the countless threads on Raspberry Pi, horse power is not needed for audio playback. And if you are the type of person who gets a woody over clock speeds and CPU performance, then Intel’s desktop architect will out perform clock for clock any Xeon on the market for a fraction of the price. It is not until multiple threads get utilized do the Xeons start to show their strength. Many consumer media players used for audio playback do not fully utilize the multiple cores on todays modern CPU’s.

Also as mentioned in my previous post you have no idea what these workstations were used for. There is no mileage meter on computers. Rendering 3D video can take hours, days, sometimes weeks at full CPU utilization. I have seen countless Xeons go up in smoke from being over driven. It’s not a pretty sight and they usually take the motherboard (f’n expensive one at that) with them when they give up the ghost! Your average computer user watches cat videos or emails from their PC - barely breaks a sweat in todays modern CPU's. With that in mind, which used computer would you buy?

You want to calculate Molecular Dynamic Simulations – invest in a workstation. You want to listen to music or watch YouTube – buy a much cheaper and easier to maintain consumer computer.

And to point out; that Tempo Semiconductor PDF you linked has 1 major flaw. The HD Audio/ AC97 interface they referenced is hands down the worse audio interface one could use on a computer. Analog out from the sound card is better, SPDIF or USB is preferred!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:08 pm 
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To add…the below benchmark is to compare DPC Latency between Intel’s X99 based desktop motherboards utilizing a i7 CPU (orange) vs a workstation/server Intel C612 based motherboard using different Dual Xeon CPU’s (black). Anything under 100 microseconds is acceptable latency. Over 100 microseconds could lead to an empty audio buffer resulting is distortion, pops, clicks and in worse case scenarios, breaks in the audio stream. At 714 microseconds you could not pay me to use that motherboard for audio playback.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:32 pm 
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^I was trying hard to comprehend the DPC latency one minute and then.......... :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:59 pm 
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I've been playing around with the Dac Magic 100. First I connected my iPod. It was connected to a Pure Audio i20.
The 100 gave it a little more clarity and the quality of the bass was a great improvement. Not more bass but deeper and a better sense of pace, easier to tap your toe to (I'd still say the i20 is a hell of a deal and takes the iPod sound up several notches, the 100 just gives you more).
I'm still waiting on my computer so I was thinking of other things to try. I have an Arcam CD92. A few years ago it decided to act up. First it output a squall of noise that scared the hell out of me, then it went silent. All the functions seemed to work but no sound. I put it in the closet and forgot about it for several years.
I hooked up the Arcam and lo and behold I have sound. And pretty good sound at that. It isn't a world beater but it's certainly not embarrassing either. I'm listening to Tom Waits-The Heart of Saturday Night and really enjoying it. The stand up bass sounds like a stand up bass not a gut bucket. The sound is far superior to the iPod and better than quite a few "budget" cd players.
Now I'm wondering about two things. One-how it will sound with the computer and two what would a big boy unit like Bryston or dcs or Ayre would bring to the party.
I'm enjoying this.
FWIW I'm using Ultralink 75 ohm , 6 foot cables.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:18 pm 
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It will sound much better with the computer. Even if you don't tweak the operating system.

mahatma1 wrote:
Now I'm wondering about two things. One-how it will sound with the computer and two what would a big boy unit like Bryston or dcs or Ayre would bring to the party.


And it will sound even better than that if you use dedicated music playback software.

As for a big boy DAC... you already know the answer to that. You can add Calyx and Audiomat to the list, if you want.

By the way, comparisons to analog are spurious. High-grade digital doesn't sound like analog. But in its own way, it can sound as interesting as analog.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Toby wrote:
It will sound much better with the computer. Even if you don't tweak the operating system.

mahatma1 wrote:
Now I'm wondering about two things. One-how it will sound with the computer and two what would a big boy unit like Bryston or dcs or Ayre would bring to the party.


And it will sound even better than that if you use dedicated music playback software.

As for a big boy DAC... you already know the answer to that. You can add Calyx and Audiomat to the list, if you want.

By the way, comparisons to analog are spurious. High-grade digital doesn't sound like analog. But in its own way, it can sound as interesting as analog.

I wasn't considering analog at all. Apples to apples or digital to digital. I guess what is surprising me is not that it sounds good but how good it sounds. I expected ok sound, but I got good sound. Not analog good but listenable. I remember early digital and this beats it by several miles and for a lot less.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:33 pm 
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I hope everyone remembers and experiences how much free music there is available.
A wonderful source I use is straight RCA analog audio out via cable TV music out using a Motorola PVR. No converter required. If you use an up-sampling one it just may sound better. I use good cables. Very Detailed, some stations sound much better than others. I spoke to a chap years ago who said they use top of line equipment. I believe he said DCS. I spoke to the chap from Radio Paradise years ago and he was using Apogee then. I don’t know what they are using now.

Why do I recommend Workstations?
Because they are built far better than consumer stuff. Generally, Everything inside is built to last. Built and designed for precision work, likely less jitter everywhere, better motors, circuits, better connectors. Everything is designed and Built to be super dependable.

Why do I recommend Old ones?
Because say a Lenovo D series that can accept two xenon processors will run happily with only one. A Lenovo S20 That one could have bought for $120 dollars runs quiet actually since you can adjust the fan speed (lots of options) and you can fill it with enterprise platter drives that are unlikely to give you grief for many years down the road for not a great premium. Enterprise drives all the way because they are built better, less errors, far more dependable and just better-of course without encryption. How many NAS units encrypt their drives? Can someone tell the Folks what happens then? If one wants quiet, I am not sure how many SSD you can fit in filling the box to the brim. I do not recommend raid for anything. I say fill the Tower with Drives then back up using cheap hook up once in a while USB/Thunderbolt external drives. Use a second Tower for the cheapest NAS or buy a NAS or make an NAS Farm if one must but I would not buy the overpriced QNAP/Synology/etc., stuff that is so underpowered with such little memory and slow with proprietary operating systems, that cost a fortune to begin with then another fortune to upgrade that they are all selling and many different choices are available today.

Remember these used boxes run from $120 to $500.
Please tell me where you can buy an NAS with a bunch of top shelf ECC memory which is designed for least number of errors installed, that comes with a hard drive or two, excellent cooling-user adjustable, great power supply, super well made fan systems, that comes with a windows operating system installed (even win 10 upgradeable), able to accept 3/4/5/6 maybe more hard drives be it platter or SSD, has one or two Ethernet connections on it (just like a NAS), may be able to accept a thunderbolt card, may have USB 3 or better or different, may have a quality optical in and out connector running off the motherboard which is of a quality level different than most consumer motherboards. In fact the motherboards usually have a bios with so many options it is overwhelming all the choices.

The things are like fridges for our use. Plug it in and it just keeps working. If you want to upgrade, these boxes usually accept boards available years later that are now cheap because the workstations were state of art or close to that when they first came out. Now they can be bought at fire sale prices and if you buy correctly there are many used parts available IF something wears out.

In my opinion I could never buy a normal computer ever again, workstation all the way, unless of course the deal was just too good to say no to, then I would get a business class computer but absolutely never a consumer grade computer. Everything is built to a price point. Consumer grade is not quality. Business class is better. Workstation is superior quality. I prefer quality. If you can buy quality cheaper than Consumer grade wouldn’t you?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:37 pm 
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No, of course you weren't, and I beg your pardon for implying that you were.

mahatma1 wrote:
Toby wrote:
By the way, comparisons to analog are spurious. High-grade digital doesn't sound like analog. But in its own way, it can sound as interesting as analog.

I wasn't considering analog at all. ...


That wasn't what I meant to suggest, in my clumsy way. I was remembering how many times I have read the qualifier analog-like applied, inappropriately IMHO, to digital sound. But not by you !


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:59 am 
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I subscribe to this site and found it interesting:

I happened to be in the elevator when two individuals bumped into each other. One asked the other what he was up to and he mentioned that MQA was having a large impact on his business. I interjected a question, "In a good or a bad way?" He replied, "In a good way." I smiled and exited the elevator. The more I speak with engineers and other professionals, the more I realize that MQA is non-starter for me. I've never been able to get a true comparison of my own tracks in the format and understand why they will never come through on their promise to make that happen. The amount of "false advertising" and misinformation, the fact that equipment manufacturers can't do anything to the digital signal (room correction, EQ dynamic processing, gain etc) without violating the MQAness of the file, and the reality that MQA can't provide ultrasonic origami on content that doesn't have ultrasonic information in the first place make me very dubious about the technology.

After playing my tracks in DOlby TrueHD (a technology derived from Meridian's MLP format), I have no interest or need to use MQA. All of the fidelity I require is already there. People that came out of our room were very impressed.

And then there were the people that came from the rooms hosted by vendors of expensive power cords, designer speaker cables, and exotic digital interconnects. From what I heard, they're playing from the same script as in years past. In my room, I used generic power cords and multi strips and very good cables from DH Labs (very reasonably priced). But on the table out front I used a $1.00 75 Ohm coax cable to connected the Oppo to the Benchmark DAC2 HGC.

As I stated repeatedly in the room, there are three absolutely critical things in putting together a great system. The first — and clearly the most important — is the content. If the recording don't have the fidelity to start with the rest of the signal path is not going to be able to restore it. The second component is the speakers. Having a great set of speakers is also very important. But as I've learned from my Emotiva experience, they don't have to cost big bucks. The third factor is the room that you listen in. A 1 foot change in listening position will cause a 1 ms timing change in a 1000 Hz frequency component. You need to spend some time making sure you room is properly designed and treated. Attend to these three things before you spend any money on audiophile accessories, tweaks, esoteric gear, or snake oil products.

Back to the show. Maybe I'll see you.

If you would like to leave a comment, please visit www.realHD-Audio.com


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:19 am 
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Toby wrote:
No, of course you weren't, and I beg your pardon for implying that you were.

mahatma1 wrote:
Toby wrote:
By the way, comparisons to analog are spurious. High-grade digital doesn't sound like analog. But in its own way, it can sound as interesting as analog.

I wasn't considering analog at all. ...


That wasn't what I meant to suggest, in my clumsy way. I was remembering how many times I have read the qualifier analog-like applied, inappropriately IMHO, to digital sound. But not by you !

No worries Toby. Your point is quite valid. I've never really understood what analog like digital means either.

-- 27 Apr 2017 19:32 --

speedy1 wrote:
I subscribe to this site and found it interesting:

I happened to be in the elevator when two individuals bumped into each other. One asked the other what he was up to and he mentioned that MQA was having a large impact on his business. I interjected a question, "In a good or a bad way?" He replied, "In a good way." I smiled and exited the elevator. The more I speak with engineers and other professionals, the more I realize that MQA is non-starter for me. I've never been able to get a true comparison of my own tracks in the format and understand why they will never come through on their promise to make that happen. The amount of "false advertising" and misinformation, the fact that equipment manufacturers can't do anything to the digital signal (room correction, EQ dynamic processing, gain etc) without violating the MQAness of the file, and the reality that MQA can't provide ultrasonic origami on content that doesn't have ultrasonic information in the first place make me very dubious about the technology.

After playing my tracks in DOlby TrueHD (a technology derived from Meridian's MLP format), I have no interest or need to use MQA. All of the fidelity I require is already there. People that came out of our room were very impressed.

And then there were the people that came from the rooms hosted by vendors of expensive power cords, designer speaker cables, and exotic digital interconnects. From what I heard, they're playing from the same script as in years past. In my room, I used generic power cords and multi strips and very good cables from DH Labs (very reasonably priced). But on the table out front I used a $1.00 75 Ohm coax cable to connected the Oppo to the Benchmark DAC2 HGC.

As I stated repeatedly in the room, there are three absolutely critical things in putting together a great system. The first — and clearly the most important — is the content. If the recording don't have the fidelity to start with the rest of the signal path is not going to be able to restore it. The second component is the speakers. Having a great set of speakers is also very important. But as I've learned from my Emotiva experience, they don't have to cost big bucks. The third factor is the room that you listen in. A 1 foot change in listening position will cause a 1 ms timing change in a 1000 Hz frequency component. You need to spend some time making sure you room is properly designed and treated. Attend to these three things before you spend any money on audiophile accessories, tweaks, esoteric gear, or snake oil products.

Back to the show. Maybe I'll see you.

If you would like to leave a comment, please visit http://www.realHD-Audio.com

A couple days ago I moved one speaker as I had to get at the back of my equipment. I was too lazy to move it back and left it where it was. I put on some music and then wandered into the kitchen. While I was in there my brother dropped by and sat down in my listening spot. After a couple minutes he came out and said "It sounds different".
He was right. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as before I moved it.
Sometimes you need to sweat the small stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:01 am 
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I've been enjoying listening to music through the DAC Magic 100. I found a computer that would do everything I needed and for a reasonable price or so I thought.
I had the music on my laptop transferred to the "new" one and was ready to go but Murphy laid down the law.
The computer I had was promised to someone else. A store screw up.
The store was apologetic and said they'd make things right. I wasn't happy but $hit happens.
It didn't end there. In the process of putting the music back on the "old" computer something went wrong.
Albums were lost, a lot of them.
I thought I had backed up the music to an external drive but apparently I had botched it.
All was not lost. The music was still on the iPods. They were able to restore things back to normal from them.
The lesson about backing things up has been a good one, not doing it correctly a scary one.
Since the back up debacle, I started checking out back up services like Backblaze or Carbonite.
All I really need backed up are some photos and of course the music.
Does anyone use these services?
Appreciate your thoughts.

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