XXHighEnd - The Ultra HighEnd Audio Player
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1  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Tidal Not Working on: June 20, 2020, 11:35:42 am
Hey Guys,

Tidal is working normally here, and received a text from Paul saying his access was working again yesterday evening. Perhaps a glitch at the Tidal service of some kind ?

2  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: V 2.11 an opus magnum on: April 02, 2020, 08:01:17 pm
Thanks Peter,
Im looking forwards to giving it a go  Happy
3  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / V 2.11 an opus magnum on: April 01, 2020, 08:54:15 pm
Peter hi,

If you went in for giving versions of HighEnd names like Google does for Android releases, I think for SQ HighEnd V2.11 should be the "Opus Magnum" release  Wink

The thing that hits first (from the very first played notes) is what is no longer part of the sound ! Distortions that hung about all over the spectrum in 2.10 have been banished... gone.

The music just flows so a beautifully, misicians are there in the room, the joy in performances is really captured so well, you can almost see the smiles on the musicians faces as they accompany each other.

Wow I was not expecting that.

Brilliant, really brilliant Peter !!

Thank you.


Ps did the cpu setting make it into the build ?
I could not see it but perhaps I need to look harder :-)
4  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: Setting CPU core count with a twist on: February 11, 2020, 07:55:27 pm
.....the numbers I show are usable cores, thus Hyperthreaded if set to that (which in my example / case is so (Hyperthreaded On).

The numbers with the Asterisks could be set in the BIOS, but are NOT respected by XXHighEnd, and thus should *not* be set.
N.b.: The due 2.11 will not allow to select the not-recognized numbers (see again the Asterisks).

Thanks Peter, this is just the info I hoped for, very helpful to know which cpu settings to avoid.

I have tried a quite number of combinations. They give a big change in sound quality and does seem to be some logic in terms of how sound is changed by the number of 'extra' cores used. 2/4 extra cores seems to be best in many cases.

Favourite setting for my 6130 CPU (with 16/32 cores) is BIOS set to 14/28 cores for XX minimization and then BIOS set to 16/32 for playing music. This gives a really clear lively and very musical sound.

Kind regards,


Note core counts above are written as the "physical / hyperthreaded" number.
5  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: Setting CPU core count with a twist on: January 24, 2020, 02:40:21 pm
Hi  Colin,

I agree windows should boot and configure to what is in BIOS provided but a few things might prevent this and I did not know these things might be done when I outlined step 2.

Provided that Peter is not; intentionally setting the Windows processor count (see the windows BOOT menu dialogue) , or has not done something in his minimise script that stops windows reconfiguring to a new BIOS processor count, and the windows BOOT menu number of CPUs parameter remains set to ALL then I agree Windows will use all of the processors set in BIOS.

I don't know if any of the above is being done, so I was just being cautious in the description of step 2.

Best regards,

6  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: Setting CPU core count with a twist on: January 22, 2020, 02:50:03 pm

I have a big smile here, so funny that we have spotted the same somewhat convoluted, though important, cpu setting :-).

Reading your post I think we are doing the same thing just that I have to use the reboot (6 times :-(  ) to tell XX what how many cores to conifigure. Your software setting looks so much better to use !

I'v been playing with this for a while but didnt want to over complicate the post with other combination settings that have been tried, there are a lot but sometimes it feels like a logic starts to emerge (then disapears... haha hours spent trying this out).

I have a couple of questions, if you don't mind.

Are the numbers in your pick list screen shot above the number of physical cpu cores being set in your XX code or the number of hyperthreaded cores ?

Also you mentioned in your post above that the software just does not support some CPU numbers. Is this also the case in version 2.10c. It would help to know what numbers of cores might behave strangely as somtimes as I have tried out sequences say 10 cpus known to XX then adding cores one by one in BIOS there has been a progressive sound change then a sudden jump. It would be go to know what core numbers might act oddly ?

Final thought is, yes there are lots of settings, but IMHO that is still one of the strengths of XX. Certainly listening here this cpu setting seems to hold real potential and that is just with my basic approach.

I would certainly like to really encorage you to finish 2.11 I know its a huge effort to complete a release and then support it as it goes out but I'm sensing that from a sound quality point of view 2.11 could be a very very rare vintage  Wink

Kind regards,

7  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Setting CPU core count with a twist on: January 21, 2020, 11:07:36 am
Peter, All,

I have come across some settings that have a really significant and generally posertive impact on sound quality. Might even be a candidate to look into / exploit in 2.11.

It relates to varing the number of active CPUs set in BIOS. Its well documented that the number of CPUs cores set active in BIOS can be used to tune sound, particually the case for 621 chipset montherboards.

The following simple additional step to core setting really supercharges the effect, certainly on a 621 motherboard which is what i'm using here at the moment.

There are two steps:

1) set the BIOS to a desired number of processors cores and tell XX/OS software that this has been done via reboots into XX un-minimised full OS mode. Nothing new at all in this step.

2) now add a futher processor core in BIOS setting but do NOT tell XX/OS sofware that this extra processor has been added by NOT doing the reboots into full OS mode.

To explain the the setting applied by the steps in a little more detail

Step 1)

Go into BIOS and set a number of active processors. The number of cores you select has to be at least 1 processor core less than the maximum for the CPU. So in my case with a 16 core 6130 cpu, for step 1) I can set the number of CPU cores  anywhere upto 15 for this first step. After setting the cores in BIOS, reboot XX / OS back to XX unminimised level so that the OS / XX recognizes the new number of cores that have been set by the BIOS. Now go back into XX minimised OS ready to play music as normal. All this is just the normal approach to changing the number of cores used be the PC for XX music playback.

Its a good idea to play some music now just to listen to how this sounds before the next step is applied just so that you can appreciate the change the step 2) brings.

Step 2)

This is the extra step. Now go back into BIOS and add one extra core to the number set in step 1). In my case with my 6130 set in step 1 to 15 cores I now set the core count to 16 in bios, save this and reboot. (The key here is just play immediately dont go through the reboots to tell XX and the OS of the change to add this extra core).

Now listen again.

Having applied this, in my system everything tightens up throughout the spectrum, highs are particually improved with real shimmer and sparkle. Speed and dynamics are excellent and the "realness" level of the music takes a nice step forwards. Its not a subtle change.

So far I have tried the setting with 15 cores in step 1) and 1 additional core added by step 2). I won't go into the detail of why but I suspect other combinations such as 10 cores step 1) and 1 core step 2) etc will also produce a similar effect, but as long as its just 1 additional core added in step 2) I think this should work.

It would be interesting to hear what people make of this way of setting cores.

Best regards,

8  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Phisolator on: October 16, 2019, 03:43:49 pm

Hi Nick,

Won't bother you with how the issue was isolated, but it turned out to be the short USB cable on my NOS1. Once it was pinpointed I put a meter on the short USB d+ and d- pins. The resistance was all over the place anything from 100 ohms to a few K ohms ! The culprit was the moulded connector at the small end of the cable. Move the cable near the connector and the resistance went anywhere.

I am afraid that I had read that, but this is exactly the part that doesn't make sense to me.
You imply that you connected measurement wires to the d+/d- pads somehow (how ??) and you say that you move *the* (??) cable near *the* ?? connector and that this influenced the resistance.
For me this is 3 parts I each don't understand.
And oh, I am not saying that something is not - or can't be true I just don't understand.

You seem to move the cable in a magnetic field and then the resistance changed ?
So now you'll understand how I read your text, OK ?


Hi Peter,

Its nothing complex, just a faulty USB cable. The d+ d- pina in a USB cable are the data differential pair (sure you know that). The resistance measured was from the USB cable's A type connector d+ to the B type connector d+ pin (same for the d- pins).

The cable's d+ and d- wires had a physical connection problem inside the cables moulded B type connector on the cable. As the cable was put under any physical stress (eg bending) the  resistance which sould be close to zero ohms for each  data line went all over the place from a few ohms to 10s of K ohms. Amazing that the NOS worked with this problem in the short USB cable.

All I am describing measuring the "broken" cable on its own.


9  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Phisolator on: October 15, 2019, 06:56:02 pm

Even a change temprature would send the resistance of the d+ d- lines all over

Nick, how would you know the resistance of the d+ and d- lines ? And what does it mean, "all over" ?

I'm asking because I have no idea what you are talking about.

Thanks !

Peter hi,

Take a look a couple of posts back in this thread up at the link I placed in my first reply. The d+ d- resistance is the measured resitance of the short USB cable data lines that went bad.

10  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Phisolator on: October 14, 2019, 10:13:57 pm

This seems to be precisely the problem I had.  I replaced the short USB cable with another one, a short Clarixa that I had from when I was using the Intona box.  So far it has worked well.  Very few, occasional glitches, but nothing like before.


Hey Ramesh,

Result !

It drove me round the bend when I had the problem. Even a change temprature would send the resistance of the d+ d- lines all over, let alone touching / moving the USB cable. Sound quality apeared to have mind of its own until it was fixed.

I hope this is the solution for your system.

Kind regards,

11  Ultimate Audio Playback / XXHighEnd Support / Re: Phisolator on: October 13, 2019, 12:42:46 pm

I dont know if you have seen this post. The problem I had is likley to be a very rare failiure but I had a VERY fustrating time solving similar clicking and viariable sound quality symptoms that were localised to my NOS USB input. It turned out to be an intermitant fault on the NOS's short USB cable. Full details are here, its very simple to rule this out, just swop out the short USB cable with another USB cable and see if you still get the clicks.


Kind regards,

12  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: RAM OS .Vhd file refresh on: August 04, 2019, 09:17:33 pm

I could postpone 2.11 for a while longer by putting in my ToDo a means to automate this copying
Or maybe I can't keep this promise because I would let this go while booted from RAM, and the Mach II/III owners may find their Mach's running (too) hot during the process. I just don't know that. So mind you, as we know, copying the file to RAM takes a minute or two, but copying from disk to disk (SSD to SSD) will take (way) longer. Not CPU intensive at all, but well, I just don't know.

Kind regards,


If it helps copying the Vhd file from a usb 3 attached hard drive to my RAM OS SSD takes 3 - 4 mins for a 20Gb Vbh file whilst in WIN 8 BASE. I don't get any heat issues on my C621 PC whilst the copy takes place. A copy from SSD to the same SSD is going to be quicker.

My feeling is copying the file manually is straight forward. Knowing that this is an occational housekeeping activity and keeping an ear out for a gradually loss of SQ should be enough.

All code for looking forwards to 2.11 as soon as your ready  Wink


13  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: RAM OS .Vhd file refresh on: August 04, 2019, 06:29:43 pm
Peter hi,

These are really interesting insights and guidance on what to do for the best usage, thank you. So get into RAM OS asap and only dip in and out of non-RAM boots quickly. I may not always able to do this for a while longer but for now I can always just restore the file when needed.

Thanks for the help and kind regards,

14  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: RAM OS .Vhd file refresh on: August 04, 2019, 05:34:58 pm

Nick, next time, look at the date/time of your vdh file; if you leave out step g of my list, nothing in the world is going to change that file, while it sits in your drawer.

Btw, notice the theoretical language problem (on your side - haha) with "drawer" I literally mean that. Like in the dashboard closet of your car. And explicitly NOT the removable drive bay. And oh, you can let it stay in there if you want (it is not advised at all re SQ) and it still won't change a single bit, but in that case it is not by guarantee (you, knowing yourself etc.). Have it in that drawer, and again tell me what changes it ?
Yeah, the sheer fact that you change it explicitly by means of the copying, does things. Trust me. Whether audible I can't tell, but the location *will* change and all what's required to let your case be a sort of true, is that the memory mapping changes because of that changes too (and my estimate is that it does). Always for the better ? doubtful.
And so how many copies did you apply by now, this afternoon ?


Voodoo is nothing for me, you know. And for your sake, I still hope for a misunderstanding.


Reading this again, I think you may be assuming that I remove my RAM OS disk from the PC once booted into RAM. In fact I proberbly remove the disk only a 1/5 th of the time.  I agree that if the disk is removed safely to the storage "draw" and nothing is saved back to the vhd file at the end of the session then the file just won't change, how could it ? So no change to SQ.

My listening setups are varied and don't often follow the steps in you post above. So the answer lies somewhere here.

Most of the time I play with OS in RAM and with the RAM OS disk in the PC. The Vhd file is mounted.

I also play music in BASE OS mode on occasion  (eg OS not loaded into RAM). The Vhd file is mounted and open for persistent changes I think.

I am in and out of minimised OS mode, now and again to add or remove drivers Eg PCs native sound card / other dacs. Sometimes I will also listen for while in this state. Again the Vhd file is mounted and open to persistent changes.

Finally I reboot a LOT in some sessions, shutdown always gracefully and Bios changes happen between sessions (red black screens etc etc).

So with the way I use my PC, there is opportunity for the file to be changed persistently I think.

With the intricacy of the RAM OS system and Vhd file use, exactly when and if changes happen to a Vhd and how it could become audible is your domain. When the SQ is restored Im just assuming the old file must have changed how I used it, and I am very pleased I am not doing the old 2 hour OS reinstal and system build from a Windows CD.



15  Ultimate Audio Playback / Your thoughts about the Sound Quality / Re: RAM OS .Vhd file refresh on: August 04, 2019, 01:56:10 pm
Peter hi,

I didn't spot that you had replied twice. I am equally dumb founded as to the possible cause at file level. Boy what a thing. What is good is how straight forward it is to restore compared to the old days of 2 hour rebuilds from cd OS installations.

You have given me a thought, I think a couple of refreshes ago I might have kept a copy of an "old" Vhd file. If I can might have a file available to try an A/B of. If I don't have the file I will save the next one.

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