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Positive Feedback - A Stunning Improvement in Computer Audio Sound Quality - the Samsung 960 EVO SSD


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#1 GAR

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 12:49 PM

My brother pointed me to this article: https://positive-fee...ng-960-evo-ssd/

 

Related, Marcin, I've now read in a couple of places the importance of drivers to sound quality, in both the DAC and the computer (in this case a laptop). What's your take on drivers - should we pay close attention to them and make a conscious choice to select one over the other (when there is a choice to be made)?

 

Gary


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#2 Marcin_gps

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:00 AM

You mean drives, not drivers, right?

(btw - I moved the topic to Computer Audio section)



#3 GAR

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 12:52 PM

You mean drives, not drivers, right?

(btw - I moved the topic to Computer Audio section)

No, I mean drivers. I know that doesn't seem right but I've now read on a couple audio forums comments about how drivers can make a significant difference in sound quality. That was new news to me.

 

I'll try and post those comments here for you.



#4 MINORISUKE

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:20 PM

.....

how drivers can make a significant difference in sound quality.

.....

There is a huge difference in playback sound quality, at least for those USB-DAC/DDCs with the XMOS chip, the driver of which is made by Thesycon.  Try the latest 4.xx and the 2.xx, for example.

The issue is that you have no choice but to wait for the driver update, unless you are capable of writing it by yourself.

 

The USD 89 DAC I introduced in the "DAC recommendation for JPLAY" with its 4.14 driver might sound better than yours thanks to the latest one.



#5 Marcin_gps

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:30 PM

I'm having a déjà vu as I've explained this to someone else not so long ago :)

Yes, drivers and USB chips make a huge difference! 

Which DAC/driver are you using now?



#6 GAR

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:40 PM

I'm having a déjà vu as I've explained this to someone else not so long ago :)

Yes, drivers and USB chips make a huge difference! 

Which DAC/driver are you using now?

 

Marcin, I think you and I did have a little convo on this  :D 

 

But I'm still unclear as to how to proceed. So with a Border Patrol DAC, the driver is the C-Media CM6631A driver. The manufacturer can replace (for a fee) that driver with an XMOS chip/card but I have no idea whether for the cost it would be worth it. I just acquired an Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC, and am wondering if the driver there should be changed/updated. And finally a less well-known but great little DAC made by the Digital Amplification Company here in Pennsylvania, U.S. Same thing. 

 

Parenthetically, I'm surprised why sites like Audiogon have not focused more on this aspect of computer audio playback. Maybe I'm missing it in the threads, but I don't think so.



#7 GAR

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:01 PM

Let me add that I anticipate you're going to tell me that if the DAC manufacturer is willing/able to switch out the USB card (or whatever the correct word is) then I might consider doing so, since with a different/improved driver, the sound quality could be significantly improved (per Minorisuke's comment above about the XMOS chip / Thesycon driver). 

 

But since nearly all DAC manufacturers won't switch out their USB hardware,my wishing to try alternative drivers is likely moot. Which may be, in turn, why I don't hear much about audio drivers on the boards - in most cases, since the DAC hardware can't be altered the software (drivers) can't be altered either.

 

Let me know if I'm thinking about this right - 



#8 GAR

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:19 PM

Minorsuke,

 

The

 

Marcin, I think you and I did have a little convo on this  :D

 

But I'm still unclear as to how to proceed. So with a Border Patrol DAC, the driver is the C-Media CM6631A driver. The manufacturer can replace (for a fee) that driver with an XMOS chip/card but I have no idea whether for the cost it would be worth it. I just acquired an Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC, and am wondering if the driver there should be changed/updated. And finally a less well-known but great little DAC made by the Digital Amplification Company here in Pennsylvania, U.S. Same thing. 

 

Parenthetically, I'm surprised why sites like Audiogon have not focused more on this aspect of computer audio playback. Maybe I'm missing it in the threads, but I don't think so.

 

 

There is a huge difference in playback sound quality, at least for those USB-DAC/DDCs with the XMOS chip, the driver of which is made by Thesycon.  Try the latest 4.xx and the 2.xx, for example.

The issue is that you have no choice but to wait for the driver update, unless you are capable of writing it by yourself.

 

The USD 89 DAC I introduced in the "DAC recommendation for JPLAY" with its 4.14 driver might sound better than yours thanks to the latest one.

 

MINORISUKE,

 

The DACs I own run several hundred to over $1K USD. Are you saying this $89 DAC can play in the same sandbox with mine??



#9 Marcin_gps

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 08:02 PM

Marcin, I think you and I did have a little convo on this  :D

 

But I'm still unclear as to how to proceed. So with a Border Patrol DAC, the driver is the C-Media CM6631A driver. The manufacturer can replace (for a fee) that driver with an XMOS chip/card but I have no idea whether for the cost it would be worth it. I just acquired an Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC, and am wondering if the driver there should be changed/updated. And finally a less well-known but great little DAC made by the Digital Amplification Company here in Pennsylvania, U.S. Same thing. 

 

Parenthetically, I'm surprised why sites like Audiogon have not focused more on this aspect of computer audio playback. Maybe I'm missing it in the threads, but I don't think so.

 

Depends on the cost and which USB board is he going to use. You may ask him and if it's not a secret, mention it here :)



#10 GAR

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:11 PM

Depends on the cost and which USB board is he going to use. You may ask him and if it's not a secret, mention it here :)

 

Marcin, I'll try and find out.

 

MINORISUKE, the Ayre DACS apparently use the Thesycon drivers. Would it be your recommendation to see if I can install the 4.14 version?



#11 GAR

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:23 PM

Depends on the cost and which USB board is he going to use. You may ask him and if it's not a secret, mention it here :)

 

http://www.diyinhk.c...dspdif-pcb.html



#12 GAR

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:25 PM

I misspoke. The Ayre DAC doesn't use the Thesycon driver. It requires a Thesycon driver when being driven by a Windows-based computer.



#13 Marcin_gps

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:38 PM

It's a good one :) 

 

Thesycon is available on Windows only. On MacOS or linux you don't need to install any driver, because it's provided by the OS. 



#14 GAR

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:39 PM

By the way, this is the driver I was pointed to for an XMOS-based USB card: http://www.diyinhk.c...nd-signed-.html



#15 GAR

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 11:38 AM

It's a good one :)

 

Thesycon is available on Windows only. On MacOS or linux you don't need to install any driver, because it's provided by the OS. 

Thanks, Marcin. I'm still learning about this stuff  :) 



#16 GAR

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 11:42 AM

It's a good one :)

 

Thesycon is available on Windows only. On MacOS or linux you don't need to install any driver, because it's provided by the OS. 

 

And now, Marcin, the question is whether I should switch out the existing C-Media hardware/software in the DAC for this XMOS alternative. At what USD$ price maximum (ballpark) would you personally make the change?



#17 MINORISUKE

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 01:46 PM

.....

MINORISUKE,

 

The DACs I own run several hundred to over $1K USD. Are you saying this $89 DAC can play in the same sandbox with mine??

My D10 (USD 89) will come probably in 10 days, and then I will inform you of my impression.  I bought this model from my curiosity to check how the latest budget model with the latest Thesycon driver sounds.



#18 GAR

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 01:51 PM

My D10 (USD 89) will come probably in 10 days, and then I will inform you of my impression.  I bought this model from my curiosity to check how the latest budget model with the latest Thesycon driver sounds.

Okay. I hope I didn't come across as defensive. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of this driver question, and it's impact on sound quality. I'll be very interested in your impressions.



#19 MINORISUKE

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 02:18 PM

There is another one with higher specifications.

http://www.diyinhk.c...i2sdsd-pcb.html

 

The driver 3.38 is not free, which is quite unusual.  The DIYINHK XMOS boards have a black history that DIYINHK offered a modified 3.34 based on Thesycon's reference driver for developers, removing the intentional periodical beep to prevent this from being used forever.

I do not think there will be a further update of the driver, for it costs quite a lot to update the licence again.

The latest one used by other manufacturers are 4.xx.  The USD89 D10 uses 4.14.

 

Regarding your Ayre DAC, I think it is also XMOS but its official driver is too old (ver 1.xx).

You cannot use 4.xx for a different model.  This means you cannot use 4.14 for D10 onto your Ayre.



#20 GAR

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 02:33 PM

There is another one with higher specifications.

http://www.diyinhk.c...i2sdsd-pcb.html

 

The driver 3.38 is not free, which is quite unusual.  The DIYINHK XMOS boards have a black history that DIYINHK offered a modified 3.34 based on Thesycon's reference driver for developers, removing the intentional periodical noise to prevent this from being used forever.

I do not think there will be a further update of the driver, for it costs quite a lot to update the licence again.

The latest one used by other manufacturers are 4.xx.  The USD89 D10 uses 4.14.

 

Regarding your Ayre DAC, I think it is also XMOS but its official driver is too old (ver 1.xx).

You cannot use 4.xx for a different model.  This means you cannot use 4.14 for D10 onto your Ayre.

I fear your right about the Ayre but am checking with them to confirm. Question - is there a newer version of the XMOS driver I might be able to use with the Ayre? Not the 4.14 as you point out, but perhaps one that is superior to the old ver 1.xx?






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