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Sound differences between engines?


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#1 hismaimai9999

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 07:33 AM

I'm curious as to what you all hear for differences in sound between the three audio engines in JPLAY 6.2?  My preference has changed over the years, mostly from my audio PC improving, but also changes from various JPLAY versions.  To be clear, I'm not only interested in your preferred engine.  I would like to know what your perceived differences are between the Classic, ULTRAstream, and Xtream engines?


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#2 ThuanB

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 06:37 PM

As I remember, in JPLAY 6.2 Xtream sounded a bit drier than both Classic and UltraStream. Classic is sweet sounding (I'm using it now in Femto and 2019 core). UltraStream can be anything: bold, dynamic, detailed, or sweet, whenever it's asked to be. A friend is really fond of Xtream. I think it all comes down to personal preference.
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#3 Marcin_gps

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 06:41 PM

Technically UltraStream is best. 


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#4 TJHUB

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 07:17 PM

From years of using JPLAY, here were my thoughts prior to recent hardware changes:

Classic engine: Great imaging and balanced frequency response. The imaging was so good, things in the sound stage had clear sides to them. I also heard some odd distortions in some music, so I couldn’t listen to it.

Xtream engine: My favorite for years. Slightly narrower sound stage, but also a much deeper sound stage. Cleaner treble with better, or deeper tone. There was always more bass and it was more punchy. The imaging was always very defined, but not as good as the Classic engine.

UltraStream engine: I never like this engine. The sound stage was wider, imaging ok, and the bass was always just bad. Mid bass was thin, and the overall bass sound flabby and distorted. It was terrible for me, but everyone else thought it was the best sounding engine.


Today, I think the same overall with the engines, EXCEPT that now the UltraStream engine is my favorite now. How can this be? I stopped using my Paul Pang v2 USB card. I now use my motherboard USB port 1, and that changed the performance of the UltraStream engine significantly for the better; now I think it’s the best sounding engine overall. I still think the Xtream engine has better treble tone, but the Ultrastream engine is sweeter sounding.
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#5 FelipeRolim

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 03:39 AM

I've tested the Paul Pang USB v2 here in my system and compared to the SOtM tx-USBexp. Honestly, I really hate Paul Pang products. He uses low cost components, with a ridiculous quality, and do a "make-up" to they play a little better. The USB card is a common one with a NEC controller. The SSD is a common one with a PHISON controller, exactly the same board as used in Crucial SSDs (http://www.thessdrev...ata-3-just-yet/). He makes a little changes or improvements, hides some identification marks (specially the controllers) with something like a sink, and sells them as a hi-end item. It's unbelievable. Comparing to SOtM tx-USBexp, the PPA v2 delivers much less bass and has a soft and slower sound. The SOtM has the sound with more extensive treble, more body, delivers a more detailed sound, with more definition and wider soundstage with much more focus. Maybe people prefer PPA because of the softer sound, which could refer to a more relaxed sound. I don't like it, because isn't a sound that denotes musicality and realism, only softness and slowness, besides being inferior in general terms.

 

Then, I believe that who likes PPA v2 sound hardly ever will like ULTRAstream sound, specially if using 250/700Hz, which denotes a more precise, more focused, but also drier, harder sound. By using ULTRAxtream engine, probably these people will prefer the sound at 1Hz, maybe something next to 125Hz, but nothing more. For my ears, using PC buffer at 1Hz gives a softer and slower sound, maybe aligned to the same "school" that PPA v2 follows. However, the use of the PC Buffer of the JPLAY FEMTO at 1000Hz and femtoServer is completely different and innovative, because it can deliver musicality, lightness, delicacy, while delivering a rich, musical and extremely real sound. This frequency combines the best of both, and translates strength and lightness, precision and musicality, spatiality and focus, which I understand to be perfect. At the end, because of the great flexibility of the ULTRAstream mode (added to the possibility to change the OS timer, which also changes the overall sound), I don't think it's necessary to use the Classic and Xtream engines, unless the particularities of the use requires.

 

This still doesn't take into account other peculiarities of the system, ranging from the speakers to the adjustments made in the Audiophile Optimizer and even the software player.


  • ThuanB likes this

- Speakers KEF Reference 203/2 with spikes;

- Integrated amplifier Sunrise V8 MK IV;

- DAC Ayre QB-9 192/24 + Furutech FI-03 ( R);

- Source: the Control-PC is a dedicated computer with an Asrock Q1900-ITX motherboard, 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM 1333MHz, 1TB Samsung 840 Evo SSD and SOtM SATA II Filter; the Audio-PC is a dedicated computer with an Asrock H81M-VG4 R2.0, an Intel Core i7-4750T, an Arctic Alpine 11 Passive Cooler, 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM 1600MHz and JCAT USB Card FEMTO. Both computers use Windows Server 2019 Core Mode with RAMdisk as Operational System, JPLAY FEMTO Alternative version and Audiophile Optimizer v. 3.00 (1A in Control-PC and 4D in Audio-PC). Both also use a hand made linear power supply with a Furutech FI-06 ( R).

- Cables: Nordost Tyr (speaker), Nordost Valhalla XLR (interconnect), Curious Cable (USB), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (power distributor), Transparent PowerLink MM² (integrated amp.), Purist Audio Design Canorus Praesto Revision Power Cable (DAC), Nordost Valhalla Power Cable (computer), Kimber Kable 12TC + gold plated connectors (24 way internal power supply cable of the mother board);

- Acessories: Furutech GTX-D (G); Furutech GTX-D ( R) (x2); Sunrise Deep Line (x4); spikes Viablue HS; ebony spikes, carbon fiber bases; Nordost Qv2 (x3); acoustical and electrical reinforcements.


#6 ThuanB

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 06:43 AM

Technically UltraStream is best.


Marcin, you're absolutely right, over and over again. Clock 0 stays unchanged on KS, otherwise will change to clock 3 on Classic. In addition, UltraStream, which is available on KS only, possess a clarity superior to Classic that I had to put up with in 2019 Standard. Last but not least, even though PCM and DSD may work at 1000Hz, Hi-res flac such as 48KHz 24bits may require DAC Link reduced a bit in order to play.
WS2019 Datacenter Core, Dual PC, AO3 Beta 36 - 1A/2D, JPLAY Femto - KS/US/1000Hz/Hibernate, BubbleUPnP.

#7 Marcin_gps

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 01:12 PM

Marcin, you're absolutely right, over and over again. Clock 0 stays unchanged on KS, otherwise will change to clock 3 on Classic. In addition, UltraStream, which is available on KS only, possess a clarity superior to Classic that I had to put up with in 2019 Standard. Last but not least, even though PCM and DSD may work at 1000Hz, Hi-res flac such as 48KHz 24bits may require DAC Link reduced a bit in order to play.

Can you contact us on support@jplay.eu for a debug build? We would like to see why the Clock changes, it shouldn't happen



#8 ThuanB

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 03:38 PM

The clock change issue took place when KS wasn't in place and I had to use DAC supplied ASIO driver, not JPLAY driver. Hence the Classic engine/ASIO clock change. Now that KS is in place, clock has stayed 0 with UltraEngine, I'll test Classic and report.
  • Marcin_gps likes this
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#9 motberg

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 10:58 PM

I've tested the Paul Pang USB v2 here in my system and compared to the SOtM tx-USBexp. Honestly, I really hate Paul Pang products. He uses low cost components, with a ridiculous quality, and do a "make-up" to they play a little better. The USB card is a common one with a NEC controller. The SSD is a common one with a PHISON controller, exactly the same board as used in Crucial SSDs (http://www.thessdrev...ata-3-just-yet/). He makes a little changes or improvements, hides some identification marks (specially the controllers) with something like a sink, and sells them as a hi-end item. It's unbelievable. Comparing to SOtM tx-USBexp, the PPA v2 delivers much less bass and has a soft and slower sound. The SOtM has the sound with more extensive treble, more body, delivers a more detailed sound, with more definition and wider soundstage with much more focus. Maybe people prefer PPA because of the softer sound, which could refer to a more relaxed sound. I don't like it, because isn't a sound that denotes musicality and realism, only softness and slowness, besides being inferior in general terms.

 

Then, I believe that who likes PPA v2 sound hardly ever will like ULTRAstream sound, specially if using 250/700Hz, which denotes a more precise, more focused, but also drier, harder sound. By using ULTRAxtream engine, probably these people will prefer the sound at 1Hz, maybe something next to 125Hz, but nothing more. For my ears, using PC buffer at 1Hz gives a softer and slower sound, maybe aligned to the same "school" that PPA v2 follows. However, the use of the PC Buffer of the JPLAY FEMTO at 1000Hz and femtoServer is completely different and innovative, because it can deliver musicality, lightness, delicacy, while delivering a rich, musical and extremely real sound. This frequency combines the best of both, and translates strength and lightness, precision and musicality, spatiality and focus, which I understand to be perfect. At the end, because of the great flexibility of the ULTRAstream mode (added to the possibility to change the OS timer, which also changes the overall sound), I don't think it's necessary to use the Classic and Xtream engines, unless the particularities of the use requires.

 

This still doesn't take into account other peculiarities of the system, ranging from the speakers to the adjustments made in the Audiophile Optimizer and even the software player.

I have used a PPA v2 card for many years and it still works well as the starting point in a fairly expensive USB chain... I also have always used Ultrastream with JPlay 6.2 and the system sounds fantastic..

the PPA v2 is less than 1/2 the cost of the SOtM.

I also have a JCAT FEMTO USB (now in another system), I tried it in the same place as the PPA v2 to check.. and since going back to the PPA v2, I currently see no reason to consider upgrading.

The PPA v2 is an excellent value for 129 USD shipped and I consider Mr. Pang one of the true pioneers in CA.


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