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DAC recommendations for Jplay


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#141 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 08:34 PM

thuanb said:

Peter,

Congrats on acquiring the Vega. Please report the impressions. Are you going to use it with or without a spdif/usb converter? Also wondering how its built-in preamp performs sonically.

Enjoy!

Using USB direct no spdif converter, less is more.

As usual, lots of optimising to adjust as effects so much. Here is an update on my set up and initial impressions of the Vega with more to follow when adjusted further.

Exact clock setting was loosing sync on 96Khz 24bit PCM using the motherboard USB 3 port connection. I am now using a Paul Pang Audio USB card version 1 (second hand) improving the exact clock drop out on 96KHz 24 bit PCM, nearly removing. Although the PPA card is powered by 5v I do not feed this out to the dac.

I've made a new USB cable (shorter at 20cm, old was 40cm), my third go, so a Mark 3! Using 13 amp solid core copper as before, data +&- insulated, ground bare wire,  no +5v line, a stripped TV coax outer cage, grounded, a further aluminium shield on the cage (cooking foil) and this has removed the drop out.

I've tried 2012 server R2 in core mode with all services reduced to a minimum on the audio pc but running Ultrasize at 20 on busy/complex tracks at 96khz PCM can add clicking. I am trying both increased Ultrasize (24) and varying NIC tx and rx buffer sizes (20, 48, 64, which does have an effect on 96khz 24 bit). I suspect the cause to be control to audio pc data delivery rather than audio pc speed or latency. I am also going to try upping the audio pc cpu speed from a reduced 1.6GHz to 2.5GHz. 1 step at a time, each compared.

So to the Vega, a significant step up from the Audiolab Mdac which was musical and warm but not so clean and open as the Vega.

Top end is very clean and transparent, it shows off every nuance of a recording, the best jazz recordings (Chesky) very, very good. Space, 3d, instrument position, all enhanced. Deep, very clean bass. Very open. On my Stax headphones the sound is the best I have heard, especially on remastered 24 bit. As with all moves up the fidelity curve it also shows the bad recordings up more, such as over blown bass or clipped vocals. More of those background sounds can be heard and placed. It is very musical. Acoustic guitar sounds like it is being played infront of me. Weirdly some electronic sounds made me jump thinking I had a bad connection (Goldfrapp Supernature 24bit), that is the harness (that is meant) really hits you.

So in summary, I think this DAC is very accurate indeed, more so than the best moving coil/record deck combinations I've heard and so consequently a different sound but one that is growing on me.

As to the pre-amp, I fed this directly via balanced output into my Meridian 557 power amp and also via RCA into the Stax headphone amp. The sound is open, perhaps "dry"? by which I mean little colouration and not warm or valve like. I think this could be described as getting close to the studio recording.   

More when I've tweaked the set up.

[JPlay FemtoServer][Arcam MusicLife (iOS)][ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2][JPlay 7Dalt KS Direct DACLink 1000Hz Clock 0.5ms AO 1.40][cat8@100Mbps half duplex 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Van Damme StarQuad Gold Neutrik XLR][ATC SCM40A][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 


#142 Thuan

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Posted 24 May 2014 - 12:17 AM

Thanks for sharing a nice report. Interesting you mentioned the clipped voice reproduction. I have an otherwise excellent album track with a clipped voice, and the clipping seems vanishing after I moved to the latest AO 1.26b1. At some point I'd like to pull out my headphones rig and taste how it sounds with the wonderful WS/AO / Jplay setup. I am sure you'll have many happy hours listening to the music this weekend, perhaps Bill? sons new tweaks. Cheers!
WS2019 Datacentercor 10.0.17763.557, dualPC, AO3 - 1A/2D, JPLAY Femto - KS/US/1000Hz/Hibernate, Fidata/BubbleUPnP.

#143 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 05:38 PM

thuanb said:

Thanks for sharing a nice report. Interesting you mentioned the clipped voice reproduction. I have an otherwise excellent album track with a clipped voice, and the clipping seems vanishing after I moved to the latest AO 1.26b1. At some point I'd like to pull out my headphones rig and taste how it sounds with the wonderful WS/AO / Jplay setup. I am sure you'll have many happy hours listening to the music this weekend, perhaps Bill? sons new tweaks.

Cheers!


Do you have a change log from AudioPhil for 1.25->1.26? Thanks

[JPlay FemtoServer][Arcam MusicLife (iOS)][ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2][JPlay 7Dalt KS Direct DACLink 1000Hz Clock 0.5ms AO 1.40][cat8@100Mbps half duplex 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Van Damme StarQuad Gold Neutrik XLR][ATC SCM40A][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 


#144 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 05:46 PM

Update on the Vega. NIC Tx and Rx buffers now at 64. Liking the space between sounds and a wide sound stage. Now using JPlay mini for PCM 24 bit 96Khz, all good. Also tried DSD, occasional dropout but better than Foobar, altough mini does not play DST whilst Foobar does (with drop outs). What impresses is how 16 bit 44.1Khz PCM improves getting closer to 24 bit 88.2/96 khz PCM. Leaving the Vega on (sleep mode) enriches and widens the sound stage when coming back on.

Edited by The Chaplin (Peter C), 25 May 2014 - 07:47 PM.

[JPlay FemtoServer][Arcam MusicLife (iOS)][ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2][JPlay 7Dalt KS Direct DACLink 1000Hz Clock 0.5ms AO 1.40][cat8@100Mbps half duplex 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Van Damme StarQuad Gold Neutrik XLR][ATC SCM40A][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 


#145 Thuan

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 01:41 AM

thuanb said:

Thanks for sharing a nice report. Interesting you mentioned the clipped voice reproduction. I have an otherwise excellent album track with a clipped voice, and the clipping seems vanishing after I moved to the latest AO 1.26b1. At some point I'd like to pull out my headphones rig and taste how it sounds with the wonderful WS/AO / Jplay setup. I am sure you'll have many happy hours listening to the music this weekend, perhaps Bill? sons new tweaks.

Cheers!

Do you have a change log from AudioPhil for 1.25->1.26? Thanks


The following are copied and pasted from AudioPhil's post:

AO currently offers no command options. ServiceTool from 1.26b1 does now offer -r switch, this will instantly start the reset procedure.

in a future release AO will offer an "ultimate mode" switch. it will offer even more options and possibilities, and some features of the current advanced mode will be transfered into ultimate mode. Ultimate mode will only be avaiable via command switch, it's only for those who know exact what they are doing.

this is what 1.26b1 currently offers, you have to log in my download page to see the link:

================================================== =======
– Harmonizing of AudiohpileOptimizer, ServiceTool & Setup (all three look and feel the same)
– MMCSS/WASAPI optimization is now optional, better settings (relevant for SQ)
– No WASAPI/MMCSS Optimization in core mode (since useless)
– Express Mode (AudioPC) now uses 4D as default SS/DF (instead of 1B)
(Express Mode (ControlPC/SinglePC) still uses 1B as default SS/DF)
– JPLAY detector (If JPLAY service doesn't run, usage type will be SinglePC)
– Upgrade detector for setup.exe (install or upgrade AO)
– Setup.exe will automatically do a reset via ServiceTool in upgrade mode
– ServiceTool will do a reset if started with parameter "-r"
– Switching to core mode will always restore default shell (command prompt)
– All shell replacements no longer hardcoded to C:
– Shell replacement for JRiver 17,18 &19 combined in one function
– Shell Replacement for Qobuz Desktop
– Shell Replacement for WiMP

Enjoy it,
Phil

swiss made high-end computer audio
WS2019 Datacentercor 10.0.17763.557, dualPC, AO3 - 1A/2D, JPLAY Femto - KS/US/1000Hz/Hibernate, Fidata/BubbleUPnP.

#146 Marcin_gps

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 03:24 AM

The Chaplin (Peter C) said:

Update on the Vega. NIC Tx and Rx buffers now at 64. Liking the space between sounds and a wide sound stage.

Now using JPlay mini for PCM 24 bit 96Khz, all good. Also tried DSD, occasional dropout but better than Foobar, altough mini does not play DST whilst Foobar does (with drop outs).

What impresses is how 16 bit 44.1Khz PCM improves getting closer to 24 bit 88.2/96 khz PCM.

Leaving the Vega on (sleep mode) enriches and widens the sound stage when coming back on.

From my experience Vega needs 3hour warm up for optimal sound

#147 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 01:00 PM

Thanks Marcin, yes better when warm, I had not measured how long so thats good to know. Do you use a different power cord? As in the instructions (from the manual) "so a heavy gauge power cord is not recommended as the weight of the power cord connector may damage the power cord socket on the back of the unit"

[JPlay FemtoServer][Arcam MusicLife (iOS)][ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2][JPlay 7Dalt KS Direct DACLink 1000Hz Clock 0.5ms AO 1.40][cat8@100Mbps half duplex 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Van Damme StarQuad Gold Neutrik XLR][ATC SCM40A][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 


#148 Marcin_gps

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 02:31 PM

Yes, currently I use Vovox Textura power cords with all components. Not heavy at all also considering price :)

#149 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 26 May 2014 - 04:55 PM

The Chaplin (Peter C) said:

thuanb said:


Peter,

Congrats on acquiring the Vega. Please report the impressions. Are you going to use it with or without a spdif/usb converter? Also wondering how its built-in preamp performs sonically.

Enjoy!

Using USB direct no spdif converter, less is more.

As usual, lots of optimising to adjust as effects so much. Here is an update on my set up and initial impressions of the Vega with more to follow when adjusted further.

Exact clock setting was loosing sync on 96Khz 24bit PCM using the motherboard USB 3 port connection. I am now using a Paul Pang Audio USB card version 1 (second hand) improving the exact clock drop out on 96KHz 24 bit PCM, nearly removing. Although the PPA card is powered by 5v I do not feed this out to the dac.

I've made a new USB cable (shorter at 20cm, old was 40cm), my third go, so a Mark 3! Using 13 amp solid core copper as before, data +&- insulated, ground bare wire,  no +5v line, a stripped TV coax outer cage, grounded, a further aluminium shield on the cage (cooking foil) and this has removed the drop out.

I've tried 2012 server R2 in core mode with all services reduced to a minimum on the audio pc but running Ultrasize at 20 on busy/complex tracks at 96khz PCM can add clicking. I am trying both increased Ultrasize (24) and varying NIC tx and rx buffer sizes (20, 48, 64, which does have an effect on 96khz 24 bit). I suspect the cause to be control to audio pc data delivery rather than audio pc speed or latency. I am also going to try upping the audio pc cpu speed from a reduced 1.6GHz to 2.5GHz. 1 step at a time, each compared.

So to the Vega, a significant step up from the Audiolab Mdac which was musical and warm but not so clean and open as the Vega.

Top end is very clean and transparent, it shows off every nuance of a recording, the best jazz recordings (Chesky) very, very good. Space, 3d, instrument position, all enhanced. Deep, very clean bass. Very open. On my Stax headphones the sound is the best I have heard, especially on remastered 24 bit. As with all moves up the fidelity curve it also shows the bad recordings up more, such as over blown bass or clipped vocals. More of those background sounds can be heard and placed. It is very musical. Acoustic guitar sounds like it is being played infront of me. Weirdly some electronic sounds made me jump thinking I had a bad connection (Goldfrapp Supernature 24bit), that is the harness (that is meant) really hits you.

So in summary, I think this DAC is very accurate indeed, more so than the best moving coil/record deck combinations I've heard and so consequently a different sound but one that is growing on me.

As to the pre-amp, I fed this directly via balanced output into my Meridian 557 power amp and also via RCA into the Stax headphone amp. The sound is open, perhaps "dry"? by which I mean little colouration and not warm or valve like. I think this could be described as getting close to the studio recording.   

More when I've tweaked the set up.

Oops, realized my mistake on the USB cable, grounded the shield on the usb cable, now covered the ground pins at both ends with insulating tape, now trying DSD........ more types of cable ordered to have a go at data only cables (d+&d- only), with and without ground (not tied to shield /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-wink.gif)

[JPlay FemtoServer][Arcam MusicLife (iOS)][ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2][JPlay 7Dalt KS Direct DACLink 1000Hz Clock 0.5ms AO 1.40][cat8@100Mbps half duplex 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Van Damme StarQuad Gold Neutrik XLR][ATC SCM40A][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 


#150 jmmbarco

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 01:43 PM

Marcin_gps said:

The Chaplin (Peter C) said:


Update on the Vega. NIC Tx and Rx buffers now at 64. Liking the space between sounds and a wide sound stage.

Now using JPlay mini for PCM 24 bit 96Khz, all good. Also tried DSD, occasional dropout but better than Foobar, altough mini does not play DST whilst Foobar does (with drop outs).

What impresses is how 16 bit 44.1Khz PCM improves getting closer to 24 bit 88.2/96 khz PCM.

Leaving the Vega on (sleep mode) enriches and widens the sound stage when coming back on.

From my experience Vega needs 3hour warm up for optimal sound

I totally agree! I though it was my imagination but now I realize I am not the only one….I couldn´t be happier with the DAC it is absolutely amazing. I can play it with all settings to maximum. I only have one doubt. My only default setting is the buffer in the Thseycon driver to 2048 samples, should I modify it???

Again i would like to share a comment about filters. Everybody says that prefer Filter 4 but I Filter 1 is the best to my ears, more focused. Maybe I am confused, what do you think guys???/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-confused.gif/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-confused.gif

Edited by jmmbarco, 27 May 2014 - 04:29 PM.

Almost finishing!!!!


#151 Marcin_gps

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 02:05 PM

I prefer filter 1 too, so you're not confused :)  Yeah, do try lowering buffer in Thesycon panel 

#152 jmmbarco

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 02:33 PM

Cheers!! OK, one more question. Which values are you using Marcin?? How do you modify in 2K12 core version???   Best, JM

Almost finishing!!!!


#153 Marcin_gps

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:12 AM

Lowest :) I modify in GUI mode then switch to core

#154 jmmbarco

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 10:08 AM

:))) ... Thank you!

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#155 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:47 PM

I have set both buffer and latency to the lowest. From Josef, if I understand correctly, in the Thesycon panel, buffer size (2nd drop down list) is only for when using ASIO, Latency (first drop down list) also when using KS (Kernel Streaming) which for me and most I think is better. 

Edited by The Chaplin (Peter C), 29 May 2014 - 03:49 PM.

[JPlay FemtoServer][Arcam MusicLife (iOS)][ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2][JPlay 7Dalt KS Direct DACLink 1000Hz Clock 0.5ms AO 1.40][cat8@100Mbps half duplex 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Van Damme StarQuad Gold Neutrik XLR][ATC SCM40A][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 


#156 jmmbarco

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:12 PM

The Chaplin (Peter C) said:

I have set both buffer and latency to the lowest. From Josef, if I understand correctly, in the Thesycon panel, buffer size (2nd drop down list) is only for when using ASIO, Latency (first drop down list) also when using KS (Kernel Streaming) which for me and most I think is better. 

I have latency to the lowest, but buffer reamins default. This weekend i´ll reconfigure the buffer length. Are you using foobar??? In preferences>playback>output there is another buffer. Should this one be modified as well???

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#157 jmmbarco

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:18 PM

I only use KS…./wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-cool.gif

Edited by jmmbarco, 29 May 2014 - 04:41 PM.

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#158 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:45 PM

I use foobar for 16 bit and jplay mini for high res (any 24 bit and DSD). I've tried different buffer sizes in foobar but going to low (50ms) degrades, presumably as too busy, so it is set back to the default 1000ms (1s). I run 64bit ASIO in foobar on high priority which monitoring in windows shows at the "real-time" priority although clearly windows is not "real-time"!

[JPlay FemtoServer][Arcam MusicLife (iOS)][ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2][JPlay 7Dalt KS Direct DACLink 1000Hz Clock 0.5ms AO 1.40][cat8@100Mbps half duplex 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Van Damme StarQuad Gold Neutrik XLR][ATC SCM40A][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 


#159 jmmbarco

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 04:05 PM

Foobar buffer is set up to 100ms in my system with no issues. Actually, I have never set a lower value.

I have never tried jplay mini, why do you use it with high-ress instead of foobar??  /wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-surprised.gif/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-surprised.gif

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#160 The Chaplin (Peter C)

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 04:41 PM

Jplay mini sounds better as it does with all but less convenient so good for "album" style listening. I run the control pc headless and remote in so using mini I always need a laptop to remote in. I use monkeymote on an iphone or ipad with foobar for shuffle track listening to 16 bit. On my system I've yet to get Foobar working with "exact" clock on the Vega at high res > 96khz (24 bit) or DSD as I always get some drop out (gaps) at low Ultrasize (20, which I like for better resolution). Better USB cable has helped and I'm going to make some more with different designs (but always no +5v). May try reducing the ethernet cable length also (3m of cat 7 between audio and control pc).

[JPlay FemtoServer][Arcam MusicLife (iOS)][ControlPC XM21M(@16v) Shuttle xh61v i7-3770t PX-128M5M Lan x2][WinServer 2012R2][JPlay 7Dalt KS Direct DACLink 1000Hz Clock 0.5ms AO 1.40][cat8@100Mbps half duplex 3m][AudioPC XM21M(@12.3v) picoPSU-160-XT Streacom FC5 B75MR2.0 Intel i7-3770t@1.6GHz JCat Usb][WinServer2012 R2 AO 1.40][CustomUSBcable no+5v][Auralic Vega filter 1, exact clock][Van Damme StarQuad Gold Neutrik XLR][ATC SCM40A][vdh 1st ultimate][Stax SRM313 SR303][LAT power cables][separate ring mains filtered]

 





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