Ultimate Audio Playback => XXHighEnd PC => Topic started by: Scroobius on July 27, 2016, 10:04:56 pm

Title: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Scroobius on July 27, 2016, 10:04:56 pm
Oh Boy when I unwrapped my new XXHE PC, connected it up and then listened  - was I impressed. BUT NOT FOR LONG.  It very quickly became apparent to my ears that something was wrong. VERY wrong. Although the sound obviously was more detailed it had a really nasty edge to it (unheard and at a sub conscious level). So after that first evening I relegated the XXHE to the sidelines and I went back to my old PC. Phew - relief - easy to listen to and enjoyable again. Meanwhile many emails to Peter to ensure I had set up everything correctly - which it turned out I had.

Anyway I kept going back to XXHE and each time it sounded better but I always went back to my old PC. So onto today .............

I can honestly say that today is the very first day that the SQ of my new XXHE PC really and truly meets my (very high) expectations. Gone is every vestige of edginess and nastiness from the sound. Now the sound is incredibly detailed but clear and not in the least bit tiring. NOW I want to keep playing every track right to the very end. I know that whatever I listen to I will enjoy.

I compared it with my old PC again today and for the VERY FIRST TIME the comparison was very clear the old PC sounds very good and easy to listen to but lacks the transparency and detail of the XXHE which now has all of that and much more.

So it had to be burn in (and as Peter points out probably the LPS capacitors) and WOW who would have thought that it would take so long. Today is really the first time I have heard it as good as this so it has taken just over two weeks to burn in. I have never heard any audio component change so much due to burn in. Peter says that the sound can be different each night but the important thing is that I do not expect "edginess" to return (or at least I really hope it doesn't).

Wow this sounds good - and that is before receiving the BASS unit.

So BE WARNED I strongly suggest that you unpack your new XXHE PC plug it into the mains boot it up and leave it for at least two weeks before you listen to it. That way you will likely avoid all the angst that I have had for the last two weeks.

But OH BOY was it worth the wait.



Title: Re: XXHighEnd PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on July 28, 2016, 09:51:21 am
Very nice Paul. Very nice.

The edgyness may return for a day here and there, but to be honest for myself it must be a month that I detected it. Apart from one full day : 3 days ago. And I have a witness, his name starting with D.

We didn't talk about it really (because of two other things being out of order that day) but I was quite annoyed throughout. Now guess what happened ...

What was going on was the fact that the PC for Mr D. was on the same mains ring, having his heat etc. test (I do this with each single PC goung out). So it was sitting there on the floor and the stupid thing is that I perceived the same as what the Audio PC itself can do (when functioning as that) - as said, now maybe a month ago for my own.

What I now suspect, and such suspicion is going on for some longer, is that the influence of a PC on the mains ring (SMPS or LPS) is more than we like. In this case it must have been that "cold from the iron" PC for D. At least that is my explanation, because the moment the PC was out in his car, the sound was completely normal again.

So indeed, be warned.

Thank you Paul,

Title: Re: XXHighEnd PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: music33 on July 28, 2016, 02:54:03 pm
Paul and Peter -
Thanks so much for your post.  As I've been listening I have heard things changing and I didn't understand why.  I wasn't sure if it was playing at night time vs. day time, my imagination...
I was at Fred's house last night and the difference with XXHE from the first time I heard it was significant.

Time to leave XXHE on for a couple of weeks.

Again thanks,
P.S.  I also heard another system last night that had pretty expensive components and it really made me appreciate the NOS1a and XXHE even more. 

Title: Re: XXHighEnd PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: briefremarks on July 29, 2016, 06:05:53 am
Is this the new Stealth PC?

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on July 29, 2016, 08:34:55 am
Yes it is. I just changed the title to avoid furher confusion.

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Scroobius on July 29, 2016, 08:58:06 pm
PC for Mr D. was on the same mains ring

OK Peter this got me checking and double checking and checking again. My old PC (with SMPS) is physically right next to my Stealth (i.e. about 10cm away) and on the same mains supply (a dedicated spur from the main distribution board and then via a 1:1 balanced i.e. centre tapped earth isolation transformer). The other night when I reported that the sound was really excellent my old PC was switched off. So tonight I switched my old PC on again just to hear if there was any difference with another PC on the same mains ring. Nada nothing zippo  -  there is absolutely no difference and my Stealth is sounding wonderful and I would have to say it is sounding the best it has sounded so far. Now upstairs (pretty much immediately above my hi fi) there is a pump running full time - an air pump and it can be noisy - very noisy. So I just switched it off and again there is no difference in SQ at all that I can hear. Indications so far (and it is early days) are that here my Stealth has good immunity to external noise. BUT it is early days and I shall continue to investigate further. But oh my goodness is it sounding good tonight. Every night over two weeks the sound just keeps getting better.



Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on July 30, 2016, 07:31:08 am
Hi Paul,

Yes, thank you for that feedback.

To be clear : what I was referring to is that the not broken in "noise" which you have heard from your PC, could be the same noise which comes from *another* same PC on the same ring.

Thus, assumed my own has been broken in, then nothing bad sounds from it. But now I am setting up yours nest to it and would I listen to that, then probably it sounds edgy. However, I don't listen to yours - I listen to mine. And what I'm saying now is that the edgyness fires back on to the mains and can be heard on my own broken in PC. At least that is what I expect that can happen.

I too have another PC on the same ring (Music Server PC with SMPS).

Please notice that maybe I am making up things. I just wondered how the sound became so edgy indeed (edgy would really be the right description).


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Scroobius on July 30, 2016, 09:44:22 pm
Hi Peter - I was just relaying what I find so far for what its worth. One factor could be the 1:1 balanced transformer which for sure dramatically reduces hash on the earth (its what it does!!). But there again it could also reduce transient response (as you have pointed out in the past) although I have not found that to be audible here. I shall try without the Balanced Tx soon just out of interest.

Anyway one thing is for sure the SQ of my Stealth has settled out and nothing that I have tried so far as affected that. It does suggest component burn in is a big thing but who knows?



Title: Re: New PC, new sound 2
Post by: briefremarks on August 02, 2016, 07:35:29 am
I received the Stealth PC on Friday, and set it up for a quick listen.

First of all, Peter has made this SO easy!  All ready to boot into W10 10586.0 BASE.  The NOS 1a DAC was recognized.  Tried the test tracks.  They sounded a little harsh with the BASE OS.  I also experienced some skipping and stuttering with the default settings.  Switched to 10586.0 RAM OS and I was truly shocked!

Even without the music server connected to the Stealth, or minimized OS, the sound was superior to what I had before: W8, minimized OS, music server (I know I've been lagging behind!)

The combination of the Stealth PC and the RAM-OS is the best sound I've heard so far, and I KNOW this has hardly been optimized.  I will get the music server connected and the video card out as well.  I also need to get the 75B upgrade done (I have the parts).

More later as I catch up with everyone  :smile:


Title: Re: New PC, new sound 2
Post by: briefremarks on August 07, 2016, 05:01:58 am
A couple of days ago I set up the Stealth with my original XXHE PC as the music server, and listened to some music RAM-OS, minimized, using Peter's settings.

I cannot believe the improvement over what I had.  It is quite astonishing, especially since I didn't particularly notice anything "missing" before.

Am going to listen some more.  Is there anything on the music server side that could contribute to better SQ?  Currently using USB drive attached to the music server.  Looking to use the two 3.5" bays available in the original XXHE PC to store music.

The only negative I have experienced is a slight occasional hum from the Stealth power supply.  I have a problem with some DC offset in my mains power and I imagine the hum might come from that.  I've noticed it only once.

Thanks Peter for this huge upgrade!!


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on August 07, 2016, 06:37:59 am
Hi Ramesh,

I have a problem with some DC offset in my mains power and I imagine the hum might come from that.

Hmm ...
But I don't think any transformer can cope with DC Offset well. The transformer in itself is super quiet and never causes problems that I experienced.
Better solve that DC Offset in the mains ... this can easily be caused by one (and one only) other power supply. Btw, that won't be the one from your other XXHighEnd PC. This is just faulty design.


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: briefremarks on August 08, 2016, 02:56:45 am
I think I've fixed the DC offset issue.  The Stealth is quiet as a whisper.

But the XXHE PC music server is not.  The fan is audible, and I do not have the three controls on the back. I seem to have one control for the fan at the back.  Any thoughts on reducing fan noise on the XXHE PC when used as music sever.  I do have it underclocked the same as when it served as the audio PC.

While I am at it, I have some general questions on good, bad or indifferent relative to SQ:

- Using wireless USB keyboard and mouse on music server; also using bluetooth keyboard and mouse on music server.  The music server is connected to the TV and so I can potentially control everything with a long range keyboard/mouse if needed.
- USB hard drive vs internal HD in XXPC hot swap bays for music server.
- Best configuration for internet connectivity, given that the Stealth has two ethernet ports.  Currently the Stealth and music server are simply connected to an ethernet hub; no internet access from either PC.
- Good or bad to stack the Stealth on top of the music server; both have plenty of circulation.
- Impact of removing sound card on Stealth.  I know some have commented this is dramatic.  I'll try it once I've "stabilized" the setup after the Orelos arrive.
- Use of power conditioner.  In my case the Audience Adept Response 24 outlets.  In the past I found the power conditioner contributed positively to SQ, and it also gave me all the outlets I needed (thanks to the LX521 setup, this requires a large number of outlets!).

The sound already is addictive!

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: briefremarks on August 08, 2016, 03:00:47 am
I just realized a lot of the questions I've asked have already been answered in previous discussions.  I'll start searching through to not waste people's time.  It would be worth knowing how people are setup with the Stealth and music server + internet connectivity.

I run remote desktop from the music server to the Stealth; so the Stealth has nothing connected to it--no keyboard, mouse, and I could remove the audio card as well.

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: jhmvl on August 08, 2016, 07:27:22 am
You control fanspeeds from the bios. Check your bios settings (just been through the exercise several times). Peter has the correct biossettings published on this archive, just follow those.


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on August 08, 2016, 08:52:29 am
Hi Hans,

The Stealth does not have any fans running. And the one in there for safety is not (PWM) controlled.

Regards and thanks !

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: jhmvl on August 08, 2016, 12:07:14 pm
Hi Hans,

The Stealth does not have any fans running. And the one in there for safety is not (PWM) controlled.

Regards and thanks !

Hi Peter,

That was clear to me, but Ramesh was complaining about fan noise from the XXHE PC if I understood his post correctly, not the Stealth PC. And I have just enjoyed going through all these settings myself as you know :-).


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: briefremarks on August 08, 2016, 02:53:32 pm

Yes, it is the XXHE PC--the music server--that has the fan noise audible.  I will look through the archive.  I know that the ASRock program allows modifying some fan settings, but they do not seem to do much.  Will investigate some more.


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: jhmvl on August 08, 2016, 07:09:33 pm
Hi Ramesh,

In my experience, what you change in the ASRock program has to be changed again after every reboot. Maybe I did that wrong but that was how it went in my XXHE pc. Changing the fan values in the bios did stick in my case.


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on August 08, 2016, 10:19:50 pm
:oops: I completely missed that post on the fan noise of the XXHighEnd PC.

The knob on the back is one, but the BIOS settings are required too, indeed.
All can be totally quiet.

To tedt whether it does something, turn eveything all the way up.


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED ** UPDATE
Post by: Scroobius on August 19, 2016, 11:32:02 am
Just thought I would provide an update on my experiences with the Stealth LPS. The sound quality has remained stable since my last post and is consistently the same every night. It also sounds consistently the same regardless of whatever else is plugged in nearby and whatever earth arrangement I have set up. However, having said that I have become more and more aware of what I perceive to be a "thickness" or maybe "slowness" to the sound in the mid range. It has taken me quite a while to start to become aware of this. So last night I played with the latency settings. I found that reducing SFS to 2 and Q1 factor to x1 really improved the sound (to my ears anyway). Gone is the thickness and the sound is fast and lively where to my ears it should be. 

I have not really explored what is the ideal setting yet but it seem that if SFS is reduced below 2 the SQ starts to suffer a bit in the higher registers.

Of course the PC is working harder with the lower SFS setting and maybe that is just introducing some artificial edge to the music - but that is not how it sounds to my ears. The sound is cleaner and "faster" now just how I like it.

By the way I tried lower latency settings when I first got the Stealth but ouch it really did not work when the sound had that pre burn in hard edge to it. Now however all has changed.

And the SQ - simply excellent I have absolutely no inclination to tinker there is just too much music to be listened to.




Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on August 19, 2016, 11:59:25 am
Hey Paul,

Thank you for this.
I will try to lower the SFS myself although I don't have the slightest hunch to want it for any reason.

The "thicknes" you describe in the mid range could be exactly what I like. To give an example : it (to my ears) makes Sergant Pepper sound exactly right.  But it is also one of the reasons that Love now sounds completely different from their counterpart originals (think the lead-ins and -outs out of the way for Love, of course), which a year ago still sounded the same to me. Today the "remaster" Love is indeed that and again flawed (to my ears).

Btw, that was meant as a positive. :)

Oh, I too do not suffer from heavily varying SQ changes from day to day any more.

Regards !

Title: Re: Stealth PC - Suddenly Improved Again
Post by: Scroobius on September 08, 2016, 09:45:24 pm
Very strange.

A couple of days ago Mani stopped by to drop off an HDD and to have a quick listen as he passed on his way back up the M40 motorway.  I had my old PC plugged in and switched on when we listened to the Stealth in my system. I have tried many times switching the old PC on and off and it has never affected the performance of the system with Stealth LPS.

However, after Mani left I realised that whilst the old PC was switched off the Dexa clocks were actually switched on (they are separately powered and have small LPS one for each of the two clocks). I had completely forgotten about the clocks being switched on (one 24MHz and one 25MHz) and they have been switched on all the time I have had the new Stealth LPS in my system.

So yesterday I switched them off - but I had not imagined they could affect the SQ of my system.

In the evening I was listening and could not understand why the system sounded so good - I mean really special  -  super, super smooth. Easily the best it has sounded and with the kind of sound you just cannot get enough of. It really does seem unlikely but switching the clocks off did seem to make a significant difference. OTOH maybe one can imagine how stray 25 and 24MHz could be picked up by the Stealth LPS - also I guess it is even possible that the clocks running could have masked the noise of the old PC running when it was switched on. Or even maybe the clock noise of any PC is the biggest contributor to noise.

Anyway I am not going to waste time investigating further. But I am going to spend time listening to more music.



Title: Re: Stealth PC - SFS Settings
Post by: Scroobius on September 08, 2016, 10:05:12 pm

I have been playing further with SFS settings and my ears tell me that the ideal choice of SFS is not a straightforward thing any more.

With multilayered not very well recorded electronic dance music (which by the way still sounds fantastic) smaller SFS settings (actually not that small x3 factor and SFS 120) seems to result in a bit of an edge to the sound - whether that edge is actually on the recording I have no idea. For this type of music x10 factor and SFS 120 is better as it seems to ameliorate the roughness of the recorded sound - but not remove it!!. But this is a relatively small effect and I would not want to overstate its importance.

On a good recording though (natural live instruments for example) x3 factor and SFS 120 sounds better. To my ears at least the sound is better delineated and cleaner with these settings.

Anyway as stated above I would not want to overstate the importance of the above but just to say that is way it seems to me.

I shall stay with x3 and SFS 120 as a compromise that suits this system.

For sure it is clear now that very small settings are not the way to go and that is not surprising given the way that Peter has set everything up with the Stealth.



Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Robert on September 09, 2016, 05:52:34 am
      Have you tried 14393 yet? Also removing the Intona?


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Rmalits on March 19, 2017, 11:08:46 pm

A few weeks ago, I got a new Stealth Mach II from Peter. Before I was using Peter's older audio PC model, which I bought about a year ago.

So I have to report about my various, sometimes strange experiences during the last weeks.

After unpacking and getting it running in my home network, I was really shocked when I plugged it on to the NOS1a and played the first songs.
What's that??? ... the sound incredible hard, cold, harsh... Extremly strong and clear highs, very good 3D image, but almost no bass... unbelievable!
The first I changed was to take the Intona out of the USB line: much better now, the basses were back, but still too hard and anoying high frequencies.
So I let it run with long playlist to burn it in for days and weeks as adviced here in this topic.
I became better by the time. A week ago I compared it once again with my old audio PC. The new Mach II was there and was even a bit better than the old one.
I also tried different values for the Q parameters and I was kind of happy but not fully convinced.

All this weekend I was playing a lot with the new Mach II. It was doing well, but something it was still (again?) annoying. Listening was somehow tiring. So I played around with different Q parameters and found out that they seem to act differently compared with my changes a week ago.
Next I activated the Intona once again and wow!!! What a difference, the sound was much softer and pleasant. So I thought, ok the Intona probably is smearing in some way and that makes the difference but not, because:
After taking the Intona out again, SQ was still pleasant, more than that: very, very good, completly different than a few minutes ago, the best I ever listened to!
What I have to add is: The audio PC and the NOS1a are running for weeks now without being switched off. Only the audio PC had been switched off a few times shortly for rebooting, yesterday the last time.

Two times takeing the Intona out and back in had an enormous impact on SQ. Imagine it 10 or even 50 times stronger than doing even big changes in the Q settings! So I wonder, what the reason could be for that enormous sudden change of SQ.
I believe that is has something to do with USB data transfer, because doing something with the Intona had such a huge impact on SQ. Maybe it is somewhere here where the burning in of a new audio PC happens.
Or maybe it is caused by something very simple like a bad contact with the USB cable. I am sure, I had it always plugged in well into the same USB3 plug.

HAPPY? - Yes!!!
Nowhere, never ever I experienced such an amazingly great SQ as tonight in my living room. But it took about three weeks with a sudden inexpected quality leap this evening.


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on March 20, 2017, 08:13:51 am
Hi Richard,

Not hearing back from you actually brought me on the verge of asking. So you are just ahead of me. :)

Maybe it is so that with the Intona things can get out of sync in that box ? Not sure how, but the potential is there. Input - Processing (in an FPGA) - Output. And there is also communication the way back. Additionally, working with the Phisolator thaught me that seemingly same situations are not the same at all and there's always ground(loop) implications one way or the other - in different fashion.

What your post reminds me of, is my own quite inconsistent situation with the Stealth. I recall that the inconsistency got less and less and I too dedicated that to burn-in of the mysterious. In aftermath I now wonder ...

At some stage this inconcistent behavior has vanished. But also at some stage I took out the Intona. Was it the same moment ? I can't tell.

There is also the sheer effect of things getting so much better. For example, the video card. Oh, at some stage we found that it better be out. But for the Stealth it became a prerequisite or else it's a simple no-go (for SQ). Then the other 3 days in a row I thought of giving up the hobby, because of sound being so bad. It had to be my ears !
And then I found that at some boot of 10074 I put in the video card because it did not want to boot for some reason, which reason of course was that dreaded date which I forgot about. And so from sheer enthusiasm I changed the date, booted and forgot about the video card. I now know this is totally devistating.
Throughout these 3 days I tried everything and all but never saw that particular culprit.

Moral : It is very very easy to "create" something bad yourself without you ever knowing. And then what to think about a lacking reference, like actually your situation, Richard. It is probably because we all want to hold on and be persistent in a "it must be me myself" instead of putting all to eBay right away.

Thank you Richard,

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Rmalits on March 28, 2017, 12:49:52 am
Hi Peter,

I have to add some more infos to my post above which I wrote about a week ago.

The video card is out since some weeks already. Yes, SQ is better without it. But... the mysterious effects with the Intona described in my last post above are much bigger than with any other sound improving action I did until now. And I am able to repeat that behaviour in an even more strange way:
First I have to report that SQ during the last week was always good, never again hard or harsh as described above. So the burning in still seems to go on in some way.
Th sound became even a bit too mellow, a bit smearing (without the Intona beeing plugged in).
I was thinking about the mysterious SQ improvement with taking the Intona into the USB connection and out again and I tried something new:
I plugged the Intona into another USB port of the Stealth Mach II and without touching the USB cable directly connected to the NOS1a. So the Intona is plugged into the PC without anything plugged into the Intona.
And.... WOW! That brings the same result: an incredible improvement of SQ: much deeper sound stage, amazing holographic sound, best ever listened to! With highres music files this SQ improvement is even more impressive.
It's interesting that SQ stays the same for some time after taking the Intona off again. But after a certain period (I don't know yet how long that takes) the sound gets more mellow and a bit smearing again and the sound stage is not that great any more.
So I wonder what could be the reason for that? The Intona plugged into one of the USB ports seams to take out something evil, whatever that is. Maybe it's taking off some energy from the 5V USB power supply? That's just guessing, I didn't do any messurements, so I don't know.
I tried that 3 times during the last week, always the same incredible effect.
Because of these experiences my listening procedure changes a bit:
As always I let audio PC and the NOS1a being switched on.
When I am not listening to music I now take the Intona off.
So I will be able to enjoy this effect of incredible SQ improvement again by just plugging in the Intona into the other USB port.
Readers of this post may think that I got somehow crazy. But the result of doing it is so impressive that there is no doubt at all about it.

Kind regards

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Robert on March 28, 2017, 02:23:17 am
I'm not surprised I struggle with the Intona's affects. I currently have it back in the circuit. I will try your idea.

I have just reversed Clarixa cables so now the short one is between the Intona and Dac. This has changed the sound plus changed SFS to 4. Running with this for now.


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Nick on March 28, 2017, 02:50:22 pm

I tried your set up Richard but without using the Intona, rather I put a USB Disk into one of the spare mobo USB3 ports. There is certainly a difference in sound quality here too. It is a slightly mixed change but generally positive. Amplitude of highs is slightly greater (this is welcome), tone of voices is very slightly less full but there is more detail especially in mid frequency voices, I get just a tiny (truly very small) amount of sibilance and highs are not quite so sweet (just a tiny amount more gain - again a very small change).

Staging here recently moved onto the "stupid" scale because of other work. Having the additional USB device plugged in to the spare port defiantly reinforces size of the stage and the recovery of room detail.

Very interesting, I wonder what happens if the 3rd mobo USB port has something plugged in as well  :)



Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on March 28, 2017, 06:52:24 pm
Readers of this post may think that I got somehow crazy.

Richard, aren't we all ?
Btw, you may not know, but most of the expertise utilised today comes from crazies who tried something against all odds.

Once upon a time I myself did not listen really to ideas like "let's take out our CD Rom drive because it sounds better". Today I know better, and whatever is being suggested - as long as it is within our group - is actually always true. And so I am going to plug in my Intona in that other USB port.

Btw, looks like an expensive Jitterbug solution. I never tried one, I also did not hear about any of "us" using one (or two or three !) but I can fully imagine that it works and in the end probably by a same means that the intona implies.

So I am going to try but don't be surprised when I find the effect to be negative. This, with the notice that many of these "effects" exist and are known already, but that usually we are fooled and are fedup with it after several months. Not because we want to be fedup with whatever it is but because the true nature pops up and this is often distortion (also, it is much easier to imply distortion than that something would be "filtered" for the better, while a filter means can not even be in order).

Nick's example could be of a kind that makes the means more emphasizing, so we can better hear what the real effect is. What also can be happening is that you found a means to show the downside of the Intona in elementary form. Yes, I say "downside" while I don't even know yet. So now let's see !

Thanks for the hint !!

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on March 28, 2017, 07:00:07 pm
I use the short Clairixa, OK ?

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Rmalits on March 29, 2017, 12:01:04 am
yes, plug in the short one first. But the long one could be even more effective  :whistle:

My new audio PC got a new name: I call this machine "Diva".
She is a pretty capricious Diva!
When she is in a good mood she plays like hell and creates a sound stage larger than my living room.
When she is not in such a good mood, I have to plug in and out something... that helps  :hips:

It's unbelievable how capricious Diva behaves. In the beginning she was harsh and abrasive, she didn't provide me any (b)ass... ha ha ha
Plugging out and in the Intona helped her a lot to become more approachable, but her tonality was still on the hard side for two weeks or so...
Now she sometimes acts preety mellow. And again... plugging the Intona into her other port gets her back into the nailing mood  :clapping:

I am pretty curious what comes next...

Kind regards

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on March 29, 2017, 09:22:18 am
Well Richard ...

You are most certainly right that this brings a h*ll of a change.

I think you will recall how my sound is; say about the "so clear !". Now envision that with your found application there's indeed this larger stage, up to being in a church somewhere. Would that imply better clarity ? I don't think so. Could it be messy because of all the hall ? I think it can.

This is what happens over here and it lasted about 45 minutes + 10 to die out.

Haha, the latter is no yoke because it seems indeed to be so that there's this after-effect. It was good that we were warned for it or otherwise I maybe wouldn't have known where to go. Anyway, I'd say that after one minute or so of pulling out the Intona, the effect started to diminish and after about 10 minutes I was completely happy again.

Explanation :
Without being able to see any of this (I did not attempt that either), it looks like something in the OS is trying to do something with that actually failing USB connection. Even at the hardware level something of that could be going on, but I think software because of the dying out nature. Thus, some process of "investigation" is started by the OS, which stabilizes because continuously no answer (while the Intona still always talks back, but with a dissatisfying answer) and this process keeps on running when the Intona is pulled out, but now once in a while looks if something is going on again, doing that less and less until all is sure that nothing will come of it any more.
Btw, I made up this scenario already after your first post about this, again saying that I believe all you people find out and tell about.

Judging the proper merit is often difficult because also personal (or better : it is difficult to take distance from personal / subjective ideas about it all) and already my "urge" to make judgements "general" for you all (try to read that I claim to be objective - hahaha) could indicate that your opposite judgement is the dangerous one. But an example which could be part of the guidelines :

When she is in a good mood she plays like hell and creates a sound stage larger than my living room.

If this was figurative then I say nothing. But if it was intended to be literal then your guideline should be that such a thing is impossible. And if it happens anyway, some "DSP" is doing it to you. Of course no real DSP in this case, but something with the effect of making all larger up to illegally large. For myself I could say : when I'd have instruments outside of the walls of my listening room, I would soon be ready for hospitalization or wear such dark sunglasses that I can not see the walls of my room.
Of course you spoke figuratively and I only wanted to give an example of failure.

Many people in here know about the examples of listening rooms which start to sound like churches, and almost always this is about the spread of energy which is the opposite of accuracy. So, the "so clear !" springs from accuracy and pinpointed bells and twinkles and things. Spread that bell and you will be in church but the bell becomes a mastodont.

Lastly, this is of course how it expresses over here. I am per se not saying that in your situation it happens the same because, for example, first something else may have narrowed the sound stage and this now could balance out nicely. Still, keep in touch with it and don't hesitate to come back with the announcement that it did not work out after all. Or, that in a month's of time you are still super happy.

And again : thanks !!
Kind regards,

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: acg on March 29, 2017, 11:05:21 pm

It may or may not be useful, but one thing that I noticed when I packed up my DAC to send over to you (i.e. I have only noticed it once and never really looked into it) is that the USB/Intona apparently draws power from the 5V Standby off the mobo.  With the Intona plugged into a mobo USB port try the following....turn off your AudioPC, but not at the wall, make sure that 5v standby voltage is still being applied...watch the lights on the Intona continue to blink when the computer is shutdown.  Of course i noticed this with a standard non-stealth PSU so your situation could be different, or perhaps it is just some caps in the Intona slowly bleeding out, but it my situation the Intona keeps flashing on and on until I turn off the PSU at the switch.



Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on March 30, 2017, 07:07:22 am
Hi Anthony,

Now you say it ... yes, I noticed that but I never gave it a thought.

I guess it should be so that the USB port of concern is one you can use to charge batteries ? Such ports stay live and this is on purpose.
Btw I recall that officially the red USB ports are for that, but I wonder whether I have ever seen them on MoBo's. So now it is just guessing, or by now all USB ports can serve that purpose ?

Besr regards,

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: Rmalits on March 30, 2017, 11:39:30 pm
Hi Peter, Anthony and others...

thanks a lot to you Peter for your so detailed explanations!

An important point for me is: I am not talking about distortion, hall effects or something similar, when my Diva - Stealth Mach II - is acting in her best way. It's the clear, clean sound what makes it so impressive and so pleasant to listen.
The size of the sound stage is not so important here. So let's discuss that maybe later.
When my Diva is not doing well, SQ is becoming slowly worse and worse. That happens so slowly that you would realise it after hours, or next day or after an even longer period. Especially more complex music tracks with higher frequencies are effected by low precision, kind of smearing, ... what makes the listening pretty anoying.
I never ever used an hifi equipment with such variable SQ!
In her good hours I would give Diva&NOS1a 99 points out of 100 without any doubt about it.
When she is in her bad mood she get's not more than about 10 out of 100. It's a huge drop of SQ. The sound becomes more and more inaccurate. This doesn't happen within 10 minutes, it takes a day or so, I guess, to get her there.
The good point is, that there are means to bring her back to the "make me happy" mode. I mentioned the procedure to plug in / plug out the Intona (in line or into another USB port). I tried this more often recently and found out that it doesn't always help. Sometimes the sound may change even a little to the worse when plugging the Intona into another USB port, but only a little bit (maybe a change 5%). Peter, that's probably the same what you experienced.
This afternoon it was like that, I was not happy at all with the SQ. E.g. Al Di Meolas album "Splendido Hotel" was hard and anoying to listen. Plugging in/out the Intona didn't help. So I thought... ok, it's Windows running on this PC. Maybe it just needs a reboot (as PCs running Windows need it quite frequently, right?). So I rebooted Diva and during that reboot I switched off and on my NOS1a too and set the DC offset as always.
And... bingo! Diva was playing nicely and precisely again. Incredibly good SQ. She was doing that for some hours. No it starts to get slowly worse again.
What I realised later is, that I forgot to take out the Intona when doing the reboot, what's interesting.
All that is still pretty confusing... Hard to say, if these effects depend on somehing physical like the 5V USB voltage or on software activities.
What I will do in the near future: Reboot the the PC and switch off/on the NOS1a whenever I am not happy with the sound. And I will try this with and without the Intona plugged in.
I wonder why I haven't got this idea earlier...

Important point concerning all this: Peter, as you suggested a few month ago I keep all this equipment running for days, weeks and even longer without switching it off even once. What I also do is: I let a long playlist run in lower volume, when I am not listening (amplifiers switched off).
So maybe that's too much for a Windows based system(?). We will see...

Once more I have to state: When my Diva is doing well, I am most likely one of the most happy music listeners on this planet. I am sure we will find a way to make her always going that way.

Kind regards

Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on March 31, 2017, 08:51:39 am
Dear Richard,

Actually because of a lack of time, I did not write yet what I am going to write now. I even wanted to open a new topic for it. ... OK, I am going to do that anyway. You will see it appear somewhere automatically during this day.


Title: Re: Stealth PC - ** BE WARNED **
Post by: PeterSt on March 31, 2017, 01:15:26 pm

Here's what I wanted off my chest :

After a while SQ degrades - how come ? what to do ? (http://www.phasure.com/index.php?topic=3826.0)