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Author Topic: After a while SQ degrades - how come ? what to do ?  (Read 3884 times)
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PeterSt
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« on: March 31, 2017, 01:14:15 pm »

Hi All,

I thought to make a separate topic of an interesting phenomenon, which is - or seems to be about build-up of noise or something.

Introduction



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
Richard



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
Richard



Context

Only a few people know that I myself experience the same. Or at least so much the same that it can be regarded a phenomenon which could be happening to others as well. Indeed this goes very unnoticed and is therefore a dangerous thing.
At this moment I know of one other person who explicitly reported the same again. So there is three of us, or ... all of us.

Description of the problem and who should be target

Of course Richard already described it, but I think the "issue" can be described more generally. It is NOT related to the Stealth or other PC in general, it should not be related to the amplifiers etc., and it can be related to the DAC (NOS1a in each of the now known cases). At least the DAC is the only common denominator that I can think of. Still I don't want to go the direction of the DAC because I don't see where it makes real sense. Here goes :

What I myself see / feel / sense happening, is that parts of the audio chain can get capacitively loaded or something. Thus, you switch on the power and something gets charged. And no, I did not measure anything of that kind and instead it is the explanation of the very same thing as Richard described - after some time (in general "days") the system does not sound well any more and something needs to be reset.

In my case this is definitively not the PC, no matter how much we'd like to think that this would be the first to get messed up if it runs long enough. So when I don't mess too much with things myself, the Audio PC keeps on running for months in a row. Btw, this under the condition that I know that the phenomenon is in order, so I explicitly watch/observe it.
(on a side note I now think that I already wrote about this maybe a year ago or so, but alas)

What helps for me in 100% of cases is switching off the amps and let that be for 20 minutes or so. Then switch back on and all is fine. Maybe 1 minute helps sufficiently too and I just never checked for this explicitly.

I started to learn about this in a fashion of coincidence. So, I switch off my amps regularly because of whatever testing, which is not realy daily. Can be daily all right, but often is after a few days being on (and 24/7 really is my base).
At some stage and many weeks, you start to learn that SQ always is better after the amps had been off for a while, and after maybe 6 months you have learned that if you want the best sound and to your idea it has been 4 days that you last switched off the amps, it is just time to do it now.
By now this goes as far as when someone comes over for auditioning, I switch of the amps by standard in advance. No risk allowed.

I know of this phenomenon for I think close to 3 years, but which I connect to having the setup as I have it at this moment. This is two-folded and therefore a bit dangerous :
1. it can be the set up itself;
2. it can be the high resolving system that easily allows to perceive it.

Ad 2.
This is not to be underestimated because most of you will have no clue at all what can be done these days with audio and how the distance for myself as an example - to say two years ago, is already "devastating". So what I try to say is that when three years ago all sounded (FWIW) 4 times worse, we also could not perceive the difference of this "charging" and getting saturated or whatever it is.

People who switch off everything (or most) each night, most probably can't ever detect this particular phenomenon. But for those who leave all on 24/7, shouldn't you try to switch "something" or maybe all off for a short while, and see whether there is a difference ?
Do notice that it won't really be so that you are listening to total rubbish when things are not right anymore (this is already because - as Richard tells - it goes slowly so you will be used to it, but it should be so that once this is re-set, you may feel in heaven because of all the goodies coming together suddenly.

Any one with similar experiences ?

Peter
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For the Stealth LPS PC :
W10-14393.0 - December 23 2016 (2.07)
*XXHighEnd Mach II Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon E5 2640v4 with Hyperthreading On (20 cores)* @~720MHz, 32GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/1/0/ Q1Factor = 10 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 120  (max 120) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 43 / Nervous Rate = 100 / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> *Clairixa USB 1m80* -> *Phisolator* 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
W10-10586.0 - May 2016 (2.05+)
*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10  (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere.

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Rmalits
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 10:00:40 pm »

Amplifiers:
In my setup ithis is very likely not related to the amplifiers. I always switch them off over night because they are tube amps (to save tube life time).

Rebooting the audio PC and switch on/off the NOS1a:
My experience from the last days is: It always brought back the perfect sound. I will go on testing it.

Stealth Mach II:
With my new Diva this effect is significantly bigger than with my older audio PC, or it's maybe coming faster. I don't know.
There is another effect with Diva, I didn't have with the old one:
Taking out the RAM-OS SSD drive, is followed by some distortion, espacially when I do that right after booting and listening to the first tracks.
Again, Diva seems to enjoy to have something plugged in Hips - oops
Gladly I will do further investigation in this.

Finally I want to state, that all this is kind of complaining on a very high level.  When I compare the sound in my living room with others, it's sometimes hard to believe how big the difference became. Diva contributes a lot to this.

Kind regards
Richard
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 10:35:37 pm »

Something I forgot to mention in my post above:
When I did this afternoon the rebooting of the audio PC and switched the NOS1a off and on (one right after the other, so more or less simultanously), XXHE didn't see the NOS1a any more and switched to the standard audio driver.
The NOS1a was switched on for sure, because I did the DC offset setting. It needed some time to bring the communication back to work:
- check the USB cable
- switch the PC off completly and restart it
- try another USB port on the PC
- switch the NOS1a off and on again
- and so on...
Finally I plugged off and on the power cable of the NOS1a, set the DC offset once more and then it worked.
So... it seems that I mayne have got some kind of an instability on the USB connection(?). But it was the first time that something like this happened in my setup.
Peter, as you described in your last post it might be that something gets capacitivly loaded. Maybe this is also somehow connected to the problem I had starting the new audio PC right after I received it.

Kind regards
Richard
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 10:56:19 pm »

Something more about:
Taking out the RAM-OS SSD disk:
It's my impression taking it out is followed by some distortion, but after some minutes SQ becomes better and better, finally significantly better than with the SSD disk in.
So, could it be that Windows is busy for some minutes searching the lost disk?
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 11:18:16 am »

Guys, I've just found the ultimate solution. Last night before going to sleep, I switched off the main 100A electricity switch to the house. Switched it back on this morning, booted up the system and had simply the best sound I've ever heard... anywhere.

This is the ultimate solution.

Mani.
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Audio PC: Phasure Mach II / Win 14393.0 on RAM-OS / controlled by RDC, no GPU card installed / connected directly to music server
XXHighEnd: 2.07 / Minimize OS / Engine#4 Adaptive / DB=4096 / Q1=0 /  xQ1=1 / Q3,4,5=0 / SFS=1.00 / XTweaks = 43, 100, 0, 0, 1 / Straight Contiguous / Clock Resolution = 1ms / Scheme 3-5 (low/realtime) / 16x Arc Prediction / Unattended
Main System: USB3 port -> *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a B75 G3  -> BD-Design BD30-SPR mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers
Office System: *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a G3  -> BD-Design BD30 stereo amp -> Impulse H2 horn speakers
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2017, 11:30:35 am »

Hi Mani, did you remember to look at the freezer this morning?  Wink

Juan
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Audio Pc: Processor i7 970: 3200MHz (reduced to 1668MHz), 6+6 cores/ RAM Corsair DDR3, 24Gb, 1333MHz/ Mb Asus X58 Sabertooth/ OS and XXHE in Peterīs RAM-Disk / The CPU fan is the only one in the Audio Pc: NF-S12A (600rpm/6.7db)/ No graphic card/ Power supply: Seasonic SS-400FL2, fanless/ Intona directly connected to mobo USB 3.0 

Configuration and Updates in HOW IīVE BUILT MY NEW PC...http://www.phasure.com/index.php?topic=1673.0

XXHighEnd: 2.07. Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN/ KS:Phasure NOS1 Out 4.0/ #4 Engine/ Adaptive Mode/ Q1=14, Q3=0, Q4=1, Q5=0, xQ1=10/ Dev.Buffer: 4096/ ClockRes: 5ms/ Straight Contiguous/ SFS: 4 (max 4)/ Not Invert/ Phase Alignment Off/ Allow format change/ Decode HDCD/ Playerprio: Low/ ThreadPrio: Real Time/ Scheme: Core 3-5/ UnAttended/ Not Switch during Playback Off/ Playback Drive none/ UnAttended/ Include Garbage Collect/ Copy to XX Drive by standard/ Always clear Proxy before Playback/ Stop Desktop Services/ Stop Remaining Services/ Stop All Services: Off/ Keep LAN Services: On - Persist: Off/ Use Remote Desktop/ Minimize OS/ XTweaks : Balanced Load 43/ Nervous Rate 100/ Cool when Idle -/ Provide Stable Power 1/ Utilize Cores always 1/ Time Performance Index: Not the best/ Time Stability Off/ Custom Filter 29510 | 705600 High.

Music Server PC (W10) totally silent with OS (W10) in SSD and music inside in SSDs - RDC > Ethernet Gigabyte cable 3m > Audio Pc > USB Clairixa cable 1.80m > Intona (industrial v., no-flash mod.) > USB Clairixa cable 0.20m > PHASURE NOS1a-75B (Driver v1.0.4) > Blaxius BNC interconnects > Genelec 1037B 3-Way Active speakers with BNC inputs
PeterSt
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 11:35:02 am »

Guys, I've just found the ultimate solution. Last night before going to sleep, I switched off the main 100A electricity switch to the house. Switched it back on this morning, booted up the system and had simply the best sound I've ever heard... anywhere.

This is the ultimate solution.

Mani.

Yeah, and when you woke up your clock still told you March 31, right ?
Logged

For the Stealth LPS PC :
W10-14393.0 - December 23 2016 (2.07)
*XXHighEnd Mach II Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon E5 2640v4 with Hyperthreading On (20 cores)* @~720MHz, 32GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/1/0/ Q1Factor = 10 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 120  (max 120) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 43 / Nervous Rate = 100 / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> *Clairixa USB 1m80* -> *Phisolator* 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
W10-10586.0 - May 2016 (2.05+)
*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10  (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere.

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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 11:39:23 am »

Hi Mani, did you remember to look at the freezer this morning?  Wink

I don't deny that there's a bit of minor inconvenience involved, but it's worth it for this level of sound.

Yeah, and when you woke up your clock still told you March 31, right ?

Don't be ridiculous Peter. My clock works off a battery and clearly stated April 1st this morning.

Mani.
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Audio PC: Phasure Mach II / Win 14393.0 on RAM-OS / controlled by RDC, no GPU card installed / connected directly to music server
XXHighEnd: 2.07 / Minimize OS / Engine#4 Adaptive / DB=4096 / Q1=0 /  xQ1=1 / Q3,4,5=0 / SFS=1.00 / XTweaks = 43, 100, 0, 0, 1 / Straight Contiguous / Clock Resolution = 1ms / Scheme 3-5 (low/realtime) / 16x Arc Prediction / Unattended
Main System: USB3 port -> *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a B75 G3  -> BD-Design BD30-SPR mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers
Office System: *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a G3  -> BD-Design BD30 stereo amp -> Impulse H2 horn speakers
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2017, 11:48:09 am »

It seems like a way to clean the mains and is somewhat similar to when the sound is better on Sundays.

Juan
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Audio Pc: Processor i7 970: 3200MHz (reduced to 1668MHz), 6+6 cores/ RAM Corsair DDR3, 24Gb, 1333MHz/ Mb Asus X58 Sabertooth/ OS and XXHE in Peterīs RAM-Disk / The CPU fan is the only one in the Audio Pc: NF-S12A (600rpm/6.7db)/ No graphic card/ Power supply: Seasonic SS-400FL2, fanless/ Intona directly connected to mobo USB 3.0 

Configuration and Updates in HOW IīVE BUILT MY NEW PC...http://www.phasure.com/index.php?topic=1673.0

XXHighEnd: 2.07. Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN/ KS:Phasure NOS1 Out 4.0/ #4 Engine/ Adaptive Mode/ Q1=14, Q3=0, Q4=1, Q5=0, xQ1=10/ Dev.Buffer: 4096/ ClockRes: 5ms/ Straight Contiguous/ SFS: 4 (max 4)/ Not Invert/ Phase Alignment Off/ Allow format change/ Decode HDCD/ Playerprio: Low/ ThreadPrio: Real Time/ Scheme: Core 3-5/ UnAttended/ Not Switch during Playback Off/ Playback Drive none/ UnAttended/ Include Garbage Collect/ Copy to XX Drive by standard/ Always clear Proxy before Playback/ Stop Desktop Services/ Stop Remaining Services/ Stop All Services: Off/ Keep LAN Services: On - Persist: Off/ Use Remote Desktop/ Minimize OS/ XTweaks : Balanced Load 43/ Nervous Rate 100/ Cool when Idle -/ Provide Stable Power 1/ Utilize Cores always 1/ Time Performance Index: Not the best/ Time Stability Off/ Custom Filter 29510 | 705600 High.

Music Server PC (W10) totally silent with OS (W10) in SSD and music inside in SSDs - RDC > Ethernet Gigabyte cable 3m > Audio Pc > USB Clairixa cable 1.80m > Intona (industrial v., no-flash mod.) > USB Clairixa cable 0.20m > PHASURE NOS1a-75B (Driver v1.0.4) > Blaxius BNC interconnects > Genelec 1037B 3-Way Active speakers with BNC inputs
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2017, 11:56:42 am »

It seems like a way to clean the mains and is somewhat similar to when the sound is better on Sundays.

Juan, I think you're right here.

I'm certain now what happens: the electrons get tired and simply need a rest. Not a lot of people know that electrons have a consciousness... and feelings too. This has been proved beyond a doubt now with Quantum Chromo Dynamics. This theory shows that working 24/7 is fatiguing for them.

So look, do your electrons (and the environment) a favour and switch your house off for the night. You'll never look back.

Mani.
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Audio PC: Phasure Mach II / Win 14393.0 on RAM-OS / controlled by RDC, no GPU card installed / connected directly to music server
XXHighEnd: 2.07 / Minimize OS / Engine#4 Adaptive / DB=4096 / Q1=0 /  xQ1=1 / Q3,4,5=0 / SFS=1.00 / XTweaks = 43, 100, 0, 0, 1 / Straight Contiguous / Clock Resolution = 1ms / Scheme 3-5 (low/realtime) / 16x Arc Prediction / Unattended
Main System: USB3 port -> *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a B75 G3  -> BD-Design BD30-SPR mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers
Office System: *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a G3  -> BD-Design BD30 stereo amp -> Impulse H2 horn speakers
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2017, 10:09:08 pm »

Taking full notice of the effect of tired electrons into account of course....

This is a very interesting topic for projects on the go here. I thought I would post some observations and put forward an idea about a possible cause here. All relates to the Asock x99m mother board.

Each of the 4 USB 3.0 ports sound different to each other (honestly).
There is also defiantly a difference in sound quality if there is an additional USB device plugged in as well as my NOS.

Trying to work out why the USB ports at the back of the PC sound different I traced out the routing of the USB data traces on a dead x99m board I have lying about. The traces run right across the board from the x99 chipset to the connectors on the back of the mobo. The route goes straight across the pice slots and under the network chips sets and clocks and switching power buck chips.

Seeing this I traced out where the USB traces run for the USB 3.0 internal header that is on the mobo next to the Sata ports. These traces are much shorter and pass way less of the mobos systems.

So I tried the usb3 ports from the internal header (these are the ports ones on the front of the silverstone PC case for most people). These ports sound much better than those on the back of the mobo.

Of the two USB ports at the front of the PC the left port (looking at the front of the PC) is the best sounding, much better sound here from this port. In addition having an additional USB device plugged in to the other front USB port (I have been using a USB 3.0 16gb disk) defiantly improves sound.

I've been trying all this out since Richards first post. I had noticed myself that having a USB disk plugged in whilst playing music made sound different but dismissed it until Richards post. Now after a week or two of carful listening, I think using the front left USB port and having the USB dis plugged in is the way to go Happy

I cannot defiantly say that the mobo layout is responsible for the difference in USB port sound but I "know" for sure that noise induced in the USB data lines could explain the type of sound differences that exist between the ports.

This also has me wondering if this also might be the reason that people are hearing the PC's sound "deteriorating". When this deterioration happens for me the difference in sound heard is very similar to the sort of differences I hear between the 4 USB ports.

Could be a stupid theory but the differences in sq are defiantly there  Happy

Kr
Nick.

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28 core CPU Audio PC / w10 10393 RAM OS => XX V2.07 / adaptive mode / XX buffer 4096 / NOS USB driver v 1.02 buffer 8ms / Q1,2,3,4,5 = 7,0,1,0,1 / xQ1 =1 / unattended / SFS 0.27Mb / memory straight continuous / system clock 1.0ms / Threadprio RealTime / Playerprio Low / CPU scheme 3-5 / 16x Arc Prediction / Peak Extend off / Phase alignment off / Phase off  / XTweaks : Balanced Load 43 / Nervous Rate 1 / Cool when Idle n/a / Provide Stable Power 1 / Utilize Cores always 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability  On => modified NOS1 USB DAC => no pre-amp => Orelo active horn loudspeakers

Music server 16 core LGA 2011 PC.

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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2017, 10:12:25 am »

Really. really interesting Nick. Thanks for sharing.

... I traced out the routing of the USB data traces on a dead x99m board I have lying about.

Surely you haven't been doing surgery on your mobos Wink

Of the two USB ports at the front of the PC the left port (looking at the front of the PC) is the best sounding...

So the one I've highlighted in the pic? If so, how are you connecting to it? Using some sort of adaptor?

Now after a week or two of carful listening, I think using the front left USB port and having the USB dis plugged in is the way to go Happy

Isn't this going against the 'philosophy' of keeping active devices attached to the mobo to the absolute minimum?

Mani.


* Front internal USB port - left.jpg (77.94 KB, 754x214 - viewed 158 times.)
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Audio PC: Phasure Mach II / Win 14393.0 on RAM-OS / controlled by RDC, no GPU card installed / connected directly to music server
XXHighEnd: 2.07 / Minimize OS / Engine#4 Adaptive / DB=4096 / Q1=0 /  xQ1=1 / Q3,4,5=0 / SFS=1.00 / XTweaks = 43, 100, 0, 0, 1 / Straight Contiguous / Clock Resolution = 1ms / Scheme 3-5 (low/realtime) / 16x Arc Prediction / Unattended
Main System: USB3 port -> *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a B75 G3  -> BD-Design BD30-SPR mono amps -> Tune Audio Anima horn speakers
Office System: *Lush* -> Phisolator -> Phasure NOS1a G3  -> BD-Design BD30 stereo amp -> Impulse H2 horn speakers
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 11:03:52 am »

Hi Mani (Nick, allow me),

See below at the mouse pointer in the left. Those are the two USB headers Nick will be referring to (2 USB connections per header are provided).

Also notice that Nick will be referring to the Silverstone case of the "XXHighEnd PC", which for almost all is not about the X99M (chipset) ASRock MoBo. Or better the other way around, those with the Stealth will be the ones with this MoBo. Of course this is outside of people who obtained the X99M board themselves.

Quote
Of the two USB ports at the front of the PC the left port (looking at the front of the PC) is the best sounding

This doesn't tell a thing for the Stealth for two reasons :
1. Which of those USB headers we used is at random (sounds strange but this is related to other wireing and wirelengths which is not always the same (and out of our control);
2. Where this ends up at the two front ports is not up to us.

Ad 2.
Thus, one standard wire(set) is provided and how this is attached to the front panel and how it's internally passed on to the two (white) USB2 ports - I don't know; we'd need to measure it to find out.

Done ?
No, not yet. See the second picture at the mouse pointer. THAT will be the USB3 header Nick is referring to. Now, what I said above under #1 and #2 still counts, but with the exception of this header not being used in the Stealth. Why ? there is no connector in the case for it ...
And so I am afraid that we are a bit out of luck now for Nick's application :

A. Those with the "XXHighEnd" Solverstone case will not have this MoBo;
B. Those with the Stealth will not have USB3 connectors for this header.

Peter


* ASRock01.png (1006.43 KB, 682x692 - viewed 149 times.)

* ASROck02b.png (571.6 KB, 687x401 - viewed 147 times.)
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For the Stealth LPS PC :
W10-14393.0 - December 23 2016 (2.07)
*XXHighEnd Mach II Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon E5 2640v4 with Hyperthreading On (20 cores)* @~720MHz, 32GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/1/0/ Q1Factor = 10 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 120  (max 120) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 43 / Nervous Rate = 100 / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> *Clairixa USB 1m80* -> *Phisolator* 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
W10-10586.0 - May 2016 (2.05+)
*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10  (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere.

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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2017, 06:36:40 pm »

Wait a minute ...

I am just into connecting my Clairixa to the front anyway, and I now see that earlier today I was only looking from a too large distance and saw the two white USB2 ports in the front from the DVD drive bay. Thus, there *are* two USB3 ports in the front (but from a distance they are "absorbed" by the black front).
So this time we "investigated" better (also with bright sunlight which helps for PC's in closets) and now see that the headers from the first picture in my last post are used all right, but for the DVD drive bay which thus has the two USB2 ports. The two USB3 ports connect to the header Nick undoubtedly refers to (see second picture in my previous post).

Well, my Clairixa is in the left hand port and nothing is in the right hand. Now put up some music ...

Peter
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For the Stealth LPS PC :
W10-14393.0 - December 23 2016 (2.07)
*XXHighEnd Mach II Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon E5 2640v4 with Hyperthreading On (20 cores)* @~720MHz, 32GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/1/0/ Q1Factor = 10 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 120  (max 120) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = 43 / Nervous Rate = 100 / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 0 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> *Clairixa USB 1m80* -> *Phisolator* 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
W10-10586.0 - May 2016 (2.05+)
*XXHighEnd PC -> I7 3930k with Hyperthreading On (12 cores)* @~500MHz, 16GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 10586.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/1/1/1 / Q1Factor = 1 / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = 1ms / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = 0.10  (max 60) / not Invert / Phase Alignment Off / Playerprio = Low / ThreadPrio = Realtime / Scheme = Core 3-5 / Not Switch Processors during Playback = Off/ Playback Drive none (see OS from RAM) / UnAttended (Just Start) / Always Copy to XX Drive (see OS from RAM) / All Services Off / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD On / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *43* / Nervous Rate = 1 / Cool when Idle = 1 / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = *Optimal* / Time Stability = *Stable* / Custom Filter *Low* 705600 / -> USB3 *from MoBo* -> Clairixa USB 15cm -> Intona Isolator -> Clairixa USB 1m80 -> 24/768 Phasure NOS1a 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (4ms) -> Blaxius BNC interlink *-> B'ASS Current Amplifier /w Level4 -> Blaxius Interlink* -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers.
Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere.

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Nick
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2017, 07:08:48 pm »

Hi Peter,

Your last post has got it. The two ports on the front of the case are blue ones, easy to miss this in low light  Happy They connect to the usb 3.0 header  as you highlighted above with your mouse pointer.

Hope the sound is nice.

Mani hi,

Surgery on motherboards, never  !  Wink

Kr

Nick.


* 20170409_175647.jpg (1252.43 KB, 2560x1440 - viewed 146 times.)
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28 core CPU Audio PC / w10 10393 RAM OS => XX V2.07 / adaptive mode / XX buffer 4096 / NOS USB driver v 1.02 buffer 8ms / Q1,2,3,4,5 = 7,0,1,0,1 / xQ1 =1 / unattended / SFS 0.27Mb / memory straight continuous / system clock 1.0ms / Threadprio RealTime / Playerprio Low / CPU scheme 3-5 / 16x Arc Prediction / Peak Extend off / Phase alignment off / Phase off  / XTweaks : Balanced Load 43 / Nervous Rate 1 / Cool when Idle n/a / Provide Stable Power 1 / Utilize Cores always 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability  On => modified NOS1 USB DAC => no pre-amp => Orelo active horn loudspeakers

Music server 16 core LGA 2011 PC.

System powered from two 3kva balanced mains isolation transformers.
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