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Thoughts on a bunch of DACs (and why delta-sigma kinda sucks, just to get you to think about stuff)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by purrin, Dec 5, 2013.
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  1. mikek200
    Yes,I saw that one
    It's a bit expensive,and I am cautious on buying anything coming from Kiev.??
  2. conquerator2
    Audio gd works the same way. It takes a bit more time but I like it mostly. :)
  3. drez
    I had a revelation yesterday.  My music server is pimped out dedicated machine with no graphics card, special USB card, fanless, linear power supply etc.  I also have a gaming workstation with X99 6 core intel, fans, powerful graphics card, digital switching supply etc.
    It pains me to say but the X99 workstation blew the dedicated music server away even without special parts like linear power supply, fanless cooling, special USB card etc.
    Now could be that the old windows installation I am using on the music server is the limiting factor (Windows server installation is out of action for now - gaming machine uses Windwos 8.1) but I have a feeling it's not all down to the OS.
    I will have to report back once I get a Windows server installation back up and running, but I fear the main factor here is the 6 core intel horsepower...
    jsgraha likes this.
  4. estreeter
    Some - particularly those selling expensive TOTL audio servers - subscribe to the belief that the less time it takes for the signal to get from your storage medium to the USB or optical output, the less likely that signal will be prone to the evils of an inherently noisy (electrically noisy) environment. For the 'bits are bits' crowd that's all just clever marketing, but for me there is definitely something wrong when one of the USB ports on my TOTL Macbook Pro wont even allow me to connect my iPad without continually losing the connection : luckily the port on the other side is fine. Anyone who has messed around with something like MPD running from a USB stick will know that you can get good results without having to mess with a large GUI-driven OS, but its a pretty basic user experience. Swings and roundabouts, I guess. 
  5. jsgraha
    Nice impression!
    Any chance to upgrade the processor at music server to intel x99?
  6. johnjen
    To add to the mystery of music servers that influence the SQ from our audio systems.
    I am running a Mac Pro w/4 cpu and 16GB of ram on a SSD as the boot volume.
    It runs all the time, as in 24/7.
    Well, except when I restart.
    Ya see, I've found that the SQ will change if I re-start the mac.
    It will also change if I just re-start Jriver Media Center.
    And if I re-start just my PWD DAC.
    Any and all combinations result in cumulative SQ changes, for the better I might add.
    What I notice is the amount of ram being used drops after a system re-start, sometimes by 1GB±
    Now why a re-start should improve the SQ is a mystery.
    I mean bits is bits right?
    Well it seems some bits are more equal than other bits, or perhaps it's the order of said bits, or perhaps there are too many bits.
    I really can't explain why this happens.
    So I invite one and all to explore this, in the privacy of your own home, on your system and see.
    And I might add it seems to take 24hrs of continuous operation to effect a SQ change.
  7. mulder01
    If you could pass a blind test and pick weather or not the computer has been on for 24 hours by listening to a song I'd be mighty surprised.
    If so, I blame apple :D  Tweet Tim Cook and ask why is it so.
    bfreedma likes this.
  8. johnjen
    I doubt I'd pass that test.
    Mostly because it's the contrast from what was, to what is now playing.
    It's easiest to do if you play the first 10-30 seconds of a track then restart the 'puter and restart the same track.
    What I notice is an increase in inner and low level details, along with added low frequency 'punch'.
    As to 'letting Apple know', they have much more pressing issues to deal with in terms of OSX issues.
    It would be VERY unlikely they would even take notice.
    The response would be much like MS and their usb compatibility issues…
  9. Yoga
    I have a very open mind (including audio), but having a Masters degree in Advanced Comp Sci (architecture and data structure being key, including memory allocation and whatnot), this is really difficult to swallow. Software does not change. Your RAM will not perform better after a reboot or an application reload. I can't help but call viewer perception in this case, which is known to have profound effects on the human experience; measured, repeatable effects that are vastly more likely to be the cause than the science of hardware and software.
    Still, if it works for you - which it can - enjoy your rebooting :¬)
    kugino, preproman and bfreedma like this.
  10. Argo Duck
    ^ Not due to memory clean-up done by the O.S. from removing then reinserting the app? I've no idea - used to be a problem when you could address memory anywhere on the machine but I guess the point is there's much better protection and isolation nowadays.

    Or what about badly behaved apps - maybe Jriver is one of them - hogging resource to some degree and creating some form of low-level 'stutter'? Hence benefit derived from a restart.

    Note I am not advocating one way or the other. Just idle speculation...
  11. johnjen
    I wish it did make sense in some way as well.
    This makes no 'logical' sense.
    But the proof of the puding, so to speak…
    I'd invite you to try it for your self, just because…
    Also the biggest change to the amount of memory in use is to the browser.
  12. wmedrz
    I'm under the impression laptops are generally weak servers. Both my macbook and asus laptops sound like ass compared with a gaming desktop I've tweaked with some filters and a dedicated USB.
  13. mulder01
    If computers are such a temperamental source, maybe a portable dap would be better?  Processing the music is the only thing it does.
  14. hodgjy
    My coffee maker gets better with use every morning. The first pot of coffee in the morning is congested with lack of air and details. But, but by the second pot, it's really humming along and everything is more alive and punchy. I can only assume that it's better at brewing coffee once it's warmed up and had some water running through it.
    kazsud and Stillhart like this.
  15. Yoga
    Check to see if your computer is generating page faults / using the swap file. This happens when the RAM is full and drive space for additional storage and access is needed. This could have some kind of negative effect in the chain, if the drive is magnetic.
    Easy to find on a Mac by loading up Activity Monitor, clicking the Memory tab and viewing the bottom left item: Swap Used. It should read 0 byes.
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