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Audiophile router configuration


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#1 Windows X

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Posted 23 March 2021 - 08:55 PM

I'm not sure why no one shared their experiments with router configuration that can improve sound quality after years of audiophile network switch hitting mainstream audiophile. So here's my recommendation for you guys to try and see if it will help in your system.

 

1. Use WiFi 2.4GHz for lower noise level

2. Setup 2.4GHz to use legacy mode (So you can disable WMM)

3. Disable WMM Support for lowest possible latency

 

Although your maximum bandwidth will be limited to 54Mbps only. However, you can get smooth bandwidth with lowest ping spikes with more micro detail. I'm quite surprised how WiFi can sound better than my expectations.

 

And if you want to have faster internet, you can always use 5GHz network and leave 2.4GHz for dedicated audio only. Some other options also affected sound quality too and I'm still testing to find optimal configuration.


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Transport: Emm Labs CDSD SE (UL toroidal PSU/Blackgate caps)/Self-made music server (Windows based)
DAC: Emm Labs DCC2 SE (UL toroidal PSU/Blackgate caps/upgraded opamps/Discrete buffer bypassed/wiring tuned)
Master Clock: Antelope Isochrone OCX-V (Oscon caps/UL toroidal PSU) + 10M Rubidium Oscillator
Pre: Viola Labs Cadenza
Power: Karan KA S 450
Speaker: Rockport Ankaa
Fidelizer developer from www.fidelizer-audio.com

#2 Thuan

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Posted 23 March 2021 - 09:50 PM

I did try isolating audio bandwidth to 2.4GHz a few months back. Although SQ seemed improved, I was unable to stream Hi-res Qobuz. Turned the 5.4GHz back on, and 96/24 and 192/24 streaming came back fine. Did I miss something?

Also, disconnecting Internet doesn't make audible difference (network has been reasonably optimized), but turning Internet off completely helps improve the SQ noticeably. That was my impression when local Comcast network went down for several hours.
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#3 Windows X

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Posted 23 March 2021 - 10:19 PM

I did try isolating audio bandwidth to 2.4GHz a few months back. Although SQ seemed improved, I was unable to stream Hi-res Qobuz. Turned the 5.4GHz back on, and 96/24 and 192/24 streaming came back fine. Did I miss something?

Also, disconnecting Internet doesn't make audible difference (network has been reasonably optimized), but turning Internet off completely helps improve the SQ noticeably. That was my impression when local Comcast network went down for several hours.

 

Maybe it's bandwidth limitation with 54mbps struggling with highres content. I haven't tested with highres streaming yet but full HD YouTube seems to work fine.


Transport: Emm Labs CDSD SE (UL toroidal PSU/Blackgate caps)/Self-made music server (Windows based)
DAC: Emm Labs DCC2 SE (UL toroidal PSU/Blackgate caps/upgraded opamps/Discrete buffer bypassed/wiring tuned)
Master Clock: Antelope Isochrone OCX-V (Oscon caps/UL toroidal PSU) + 10M Rubidium Oscillator
Pre: Viola Labs Cadenza
Power: Karan KA S 450
Speaker: Rockport Ankaa
Fidelizer developer from www.fidelizer-audio.com

#4 Windows X

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Posted 23 March 2021 - 10:52 PM

http://www.fast.com

 

You can test internet connection speed from this website. Quboz recommends to have over 10Mbps and my settings allow me to get only around 20Mbps (which should be enough technically).

 

However, if you have more than one device in network, it can drop down further due to bandwidth sharing so I may need to compromise the best possible sound quality for having highres streaming reliability.


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Transport: Emm Labs CDSD SE (UL toroidal PSU/Blackgate caps)/Self-made music server (Windows based)
DAC: Emm Labs DCC2 SE (UL toroidal PSU/Blackgate caps/upgraded opamps/Discrete buffer bypassed/wiring tuned)
Master Clock: Antelope Isochrone OCX-V (Oscon caps/UL toroidal PSU) + 10M Rubidium Oscillator
Pre: Viola Labs Cadenza
Power: Karan KA S 450
Speaker: Rockport Ankaa
Fidelizer developer from www.fidelizer-audio.com

#5 Thuan

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 12:26 AM

Latest report: turned out what I said about 2.4GHz struggling at hires streaming wasn't true. It did happen months ago probably due to different causes, one of which may very well be other devices in the house competing for bandwidth. Following your post I'm trying the trick again: assigned 2.4GHz to audio dedicated wifi access point, assigned 5.4 GHz to home devices AP. To my pleasant surprise, streaming Qobuz 96/24 and even 192/24 (Alison Krauss Windy City and Muddy Waters Folk Singer) is going fine and sounding pretty good, better than usual. The difference is not a night-n-day one but enough to be noticed. It's nice to be able to separate audio Wifi from non audio Wifi.

Thank you for timely bringing it up.
WS2019 DC v1889, AO3 (1A/2D), Fidelizer Pro 8.7, JPLAY Femto, MC, BubbleUPnP 3.5

#6 Chanh

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 01:50 AM

May be out of topic here but is in the same context if you may excuse me.

 

I wonder any noticeable difference perceived from this forum between 1000Mbit vs 100Mbit setting between NIC. 

 

If my memory serves me right, I could not tell audible differences between them. Would be good to hear your findings if you don't mind?  


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#7 Thuan

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 02:16 AM

This excellent question has actually been burning my curiosity for a while. While leaving network speed between router and controlPC as Auto detect or 1,000Mb, I’ve been happily setting 100Mb between audioPC and controlPC. Perhaps I need to revisit higher speed sometime.

I’d say it’s also depending on other network components, DC power n cables, fiber etc. For example, I tried isolated 2.4GHz again with technical success, but after listening more I’ve come back to Smart Connect mode switching between 2.4GHz and 5.4GHz and enjoyed the music more. Unless there’s something wrong with my ears, the setup seems to be happier with a broader bandwidth.

Maybe having a JCAT Netcard XE (2 in my case) will blur the line between 100Mb and 1,000Mb.
WS2019 DC v1889, AO3 (1A/2D), Fidelizer Pro 8.7, JPLAY Femto, MC, BubbleUPnP 3.5

#8 Chanh

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 02:34 AM

Maybe having a JCAT Netcard XE (2 in my case) will blur the line between 100Mb and 1,000Mb.

Perhaps this is very personally subjective and not applicable to all. I have 2 femto network cards with my server setup. Recently tried XE in my setup and found with incremental sonic improvement. In significant to motivate me to make further investment away from Femto. If you did not have femto to begin with, XE seems a logical choice. 

 

However, the case of usb card XE vs Femto was/is very obviously audible....   


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#9 Thuan

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 04:11 AM

In fact I’m been using two Femto Net cards and a Femto USB card and still sitting on the fence. Your comments are very helpful and I’m grateful. Thanks to you I’m now more appreciative of my Femto Net cards.

Getting back to the topic, I think an EtherStream placed between modem n router, another between router and audio WiFi AP will benefit my setup.
WS2019 DC v1889, AO3 (1A/2D), Fidelizer Pro 8.7, JPLAY Femto, MC, BubbleUPnP 3.5

#10 Windows X

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Posted 24 March 2021 - 06:28 AM

Glad to hear people find this info useful. I shared in Facebook and got bashed hard lol.

100Mbps will have less than 1Gbps configuration although I wouldn't set that for my Nimitra server a some clients as also need speed.

EtherStream will be very helpful as I also tested custom high-end server with JCAT NET XE with great results. :)

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Transport: Emm Labs CDSD SE (UL toroidal PSU/Blackgate caps)/Self-made music server (Windows based)
DAC: Emm Labs DCC2 SE (UL toroidal PSU/Blackgate caps/upgraded opamps/Discrete buffer bypassed/wiring tuned)
Master Clock: Antelope Isochrone OCX-V (Oscon caps/UL toroidal PSU) + 10M Rubidium Oscillator
Pre: Viola Labs Cadenza
Power: Karan KA S 450
Speaker: Rockport Ankaa
Fidelizer developer from www.fidelizer-audio.com

#11 Thuan

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Posted 27 March 2021 - 04:30 AM

Local files playback is now sounding really good with audio only 2.4 GHz Wifi + dedicated fixed Wifi channel. I'm still fiddling with network configuration to get Qobuz streaming smoothly.

Updates: turning off other WiFi devices thus leaving bandwidth priority to 2.4GHz audio dedicated band seems to do the trick: I’m now able to play 44.1/16. 96/24 and 192/24 take longer to start playing, but I suspect upgrading control point will help.
WS2019 DC v1889, AO3 (1A/2D), Fidelizer Pro 8.7, JPLAY Femto, MC, BubbleUPnP 3.5

#12 Marcin_gps

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Posted 29 March 2021 - 11:02 AM

Not that anyone asked, but  I prefer 1Gbit :)


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#13 Ben Webster

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Posted 29 March 2021 - 11:25 AM

Not that anyone asked, but  I prefer 1Gbit :)

Don‘t know why, but I‘m too. Compared several times 100Mbit vs. 1Gbit (especially between Control- and Audio-PC) and I always preferred 1 Gbit.


System doesn’t matter - if you have mine.


#14 Thuan

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Posted 30 March 2021 - 11:44 PM

Thanks for the inputs. I'll revert back to 1Gb and report. What about master/slaver mode on controlPC netcard that connects to internet, which to choose or just leave it at Auto detect?
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#15 Marcin_gps

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:54 AM

I had Master on Control PC


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#16 Thuan

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 12:56 PM

Thanks, I should try that setting soon.
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#17 Thuan

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 06:02 AM

Perhaps this is very personally subjective and not applicable to all. I have 2 femto network cards with my server setup. Recently tried XE in my setup and found with incremental sonic improvement. In significant to motivate me to make further investment away from Femto. If you did not have femto to begin with, XE seems a logical choice. 

 

However, the case of usb card XE vs Femto was/is very obviously audible....   

 

If I would have only ONE JCAT XE network card, which PC (audio PC or control PC) should I put the XE on, given there're already JCAT Femto cards on both PCs?  Also, on control PC is it advisable to connect internet cable to 2nd JCAT port (1st port is connected to audio PC) or to integrated Ethernet port?


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#18 Ben Webster

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 07:09 AM

I have the JCat XE in the Control-PC and use both ports (one for Internet/Streaming, one for Audio-PC).
In the Audio-PC is still use the JCat Femto (one port disabled).
On both cards I use the configuration provided by Marcin (only available for buyers).
Still wondering which configuration should be used for the “Internet-Port” in the JCat XE card. The recommendation for “Audio-PC-Port” in the JCat XE card will not work.

System doesn’t matter - if you have mine.


#19 Thuan

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 07:28 AM

Thanks for sharing, Ben. I’ve been using integrated Ethernet card in controlPC but should try the 2nd port on JCAT Femto soon.

Good question on optimized configuration of internet port of JCAT card. Let’s hear what our experts have to say about this. Until then, I’d probably leave it at default,
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#20 Ben Webster

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 08:29 AM

Marcin recommended via email to use the same configuration for the „Internet-Port“ (which doesn‘t work for all settings). A few posts above Marcin recommended to set the „Internet-Port“ to „Master“.
Looking forward to get some more information.


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