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Author Topic: After a while SQ degrades - how come ? what to do ?  (Read 3886 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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

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« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2017, 08:48:59 pm »

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

Great! Let us know what you think...

Mani.
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2017, 03:38:50 pm »

Okay ...

Let me start with expressing something which will be vague to y'all :
I think that by now I have crossed so many lines of the impossible that I start floating above myself and am not sure any more about my own references. What is also to keep in mind is that I am unable to change (settings) fast; I must be used to them for actuallly "days" before I can judge the next change.

The change with the USB (Clarixa) cable to the front of the Stealth was nothing but "OK", though with a continous sense of "what would others think of this ?". So I envisioned a group of people auditioning the lot over here and I seriously would need to warn them for unexpected crazy too much highs. "Too much" because of what people would be used to. However, both situations hard to imagine.

The fact that I judged all to be OK but in combination with this thinking of others, makes me say that something must have been for the better. This is not obvious because all is over the top to begin with (I am serious). What occurred to me was the longer cymbal, together with a possibly less colour of them but also a way more snappy or fast and with a net result of "I like it - but now what about others". Then I plugged in the Intona in the port next to it (just dummy as per Richard's finding) and then I was sure it was over the top massively (I took it out again really in three minutes).

So I just mentioned "over the top" twice, while I can't even describe one of them. Possibly it now all comes down to very personal hearing and that I am unable to objectively listen. I mean, I only want to listen/interpret what you guys may think of it and then I can not imagine that you like it for the better. So this is my over the top to some extent; better for me but with toes curled in shoes when you'd be next to me listening.

So it has potential.

Then I might think of : and when this helps because of better paths over the MoBo, what about our good old Silverstone USB card then ? this is not on the MoBo anywhere, but ... yeah, if it starts to be about these subjects then where does this leave us ? I suppose we are left with crazyness.

There's also something else now becoming apparent but I am far from sure whether it is good or bad (I think good but alas);
To me it now seems that the "better" (?) thinks get, the more hall from the whole sound picture is springing. Yesterday I was observing this quite explicitly for many hours (like 3.5) and there seems to be no way that I can associate this with things getting blurred or less accurate. I'd almost say : the opposite. It is just that the music plays in another space. I think I already told about the perception of all being played live while it is not so at all. This gets worse and worse. Happy It also is a good example of "over the top" because at some stage it is too unrealistic (I think) to be perceived as nice and cozy. So your brain may start to be occupied with what in heaven's sake is happening for real with your lousy speakers and all.

Not sure whether caused by this particular change, but I often have examples of "deep bass" which is not so deep as we tend to believe. Well, coincidentally my low end cross-over is at 240 or so Hz and as coincidentally this just this boundary of "seems like in-woofer but probably is not at all". Thus, the examples I talk about actually always play out of woofer (in the mid) which I can easily feel. But I keep on trying because I can't believe it. And wtf that yesterday it (particular examples) really was playing in-woofer. So this front USB port gained low end ?

I see myself writing this latter and now think of all drums having the "under punch" which occurred to me yesterday. Or better, which occurs to me in aftermath from yesterday.

So yes, something has changed again and it looks to be for the better.
Peter

PS: I also suddenly know what the sound character is I hear emphasized : the Clairixa. So believe it or not, but tonight I am going to try a $1 stock cable.
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*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.
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2017, 12:27:41 pm »

Some interesting things happened :

So I started Playback and right from the start I could hear that something now was very wrong. The most wrong.
I said to myself, Peter, what the heck did you actually do with that Clairixa USB cable ? the difference seems quite impossible ...

Thus with the stock cable - remember, used by far the most prior to the Clairixa being there just because it is a good cable as such, apparently - all made no sound. I said "no sound" instead of no music, although "no sound" is figurative.
Djeezz.
So two years ago when the Clairixa just was not there we were listening to this $1 cable and judged all to be fine ? So what has changed since then ? This all seems impossible.
Sound was lifeless, and a total lack of power in everything. Bass was wobbling a bit compared to what I am used to lately. Btw, this was Supertramp - It was the best of times, "It's a hard world". If you know that (or try it) you can easily sense the whooosh of the bass in power mode and that combined with all the twinkling, at the start of that track.
Now ? nothing of that anywhere.

I put back in the Clairixa (btw all happened in the front port) and all was back right away.
Then I thought that possibly the USB cable has not been in well, but I didn't bother to check that because I was afraid of wasting my time again.
But then ...

Then this post goes on-topic again because I realized that that the whole sound scape was "10x" better than the day before. Thus, what I tried to make clear yesterday, was that something was emphasized and what I perceived of it, should have been the Clairixa. Well, I still think it was that, but in some fashion this topic is about;

What I thus did was exchange the Clairixa with the 1$ one and back. I now don't think that this all has anything to do with either USB cable, but with the sheer fact that it was taken out and back in again. And let's not forget : this very cable (either of them) controls the DC Offset. I mean, I think that we all know that without USB cable connection to the PC or when the PC is off, it can be d*mn difficult to get the DC Offset right.

I tell you : something is in that somehow. Also (for Richard), when the PC is rebooted, the USB connection is also cut off during the time the OS is not running (this is really the OS and not the MoBo).

That I personally never noticed this and have "something" with my amplifiers ... I don't know. Point is though that I seldomly reboot but *if* I do I switch off the amplifiers. So now I just am not able to find out wht causes what. It is only that when I switch of the amplifiers without rebooting, this also helps me.

I am not sure all really adds up, but something has to be going on in this area ...

Peter
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*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.
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2017, 03:08:48 pm »

Peter hi,

I recognise the sound characteristics you mention two posts above. Using the front port I get a clearer more expansive sound which on occasion can sound just a bit overblown. What is attractive here is that there is detail present in the sound but with less upper mid digital edge and slight splashiness. I take your point regards the treble though, I can see how it could be too much, here the extra "lift" is helping. One thing that really is more pronounced and good fun is that the decay of instruments can really extend nicely coupled with pick up of ambient echoes. This seems to help generate an interesting sound stage.

I also am not sure is 100% natural [yet] but the front left port it is probably the best option for me of the 4 ports.

Regarding your second post. Its interesting that the old USB cable failed so badly. I think it could be that the Clairixa is much better but your comments about making and breaking the USB connection lines up with experience here.

Now you mention it, I occasionally (not often) get bit errors for no reason that I can figure (ticks in sound and a few errors recorded on the NOS USB interface control panel) or sound quality just does not sound that good. Usually when this happens the best chance of sorting it is if I just remove the USB cable from the NOS wait and then reconnect it. Often this is enough to stop the ticks and restore sound quality. It doesn't always work and I suspect the result can be variable in terms getting all the way back to the best sound quality but it does make a difference when these symptoms happen.

It is interesting that the USB 3.0 ports sound just a little different to each other though. I think the trace path on the Mobo might have something to do with it, but it might also be the way the Chipset or OS supports the different ports or something else ??? I suppose it would be interesting to deliberately create some HF noise deliberately next to the traces and see if this impacts sound. If its easy to do at some point I might give this a try just to see.


I am using a USB 3 cable that I have had for years, I keep meaning to order a Clairixa. The extra resolution would be very welcome for system set up. I will PM you Happy .

KR,

Nick.
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2017, 08:32:19 am »

Hi there Nick,

It keeps on amazing me how we can get consensus about in fact everything we both just wrote about. "Consensus" is actually a wrong term, because it is just agreeing in advance - I am sure there's a special English word for that.

Reading your last post I can add this :
More than once it slipped my mind that there's now a slight gap between the lower mid and real bass. This seems to emphasize the bass. In itself this is a good thing. However, what I seem to detect with it, is that now especially the basses from a same album (same production) may sound similar over tracks which is not what I am used to. This is not disturbing though because it could well be called "natural" that a same production sounds similar all over. However, one way or the other something changed in that area.

Quote
and slight splashiness

I am not even sure whether this is meant to re-write my wording (and English) I wasn't able to do well, but I feel that this is exactly what I wanted to say about the highs. Best I can describe it as : cymbals get smaller of this and perhaps too small - but this is the result of a cause and the cause you seem to describe.
Btw this also gives a general flavor to the sound which is not a bad flavor but it is one. In the very top and it is able to create (?) an extra set of harmonics which shimmer (and which to me feel realistic although I don't have sufficient experience with it yet).

Nick, did you happen to track down the traces of the USB2 headers in the left hand edge of the board (my first screenshot) ?
These lead to the DVD / 2.5" removable bay which has these two USB2 ports (XXHighEnd PC and Stealth the same).

Kind regards,
Peter
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« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2017, 10:22:09 am »

Peter hi

It keeps on amazing me how we can get consensus about in fact everything we both just wrote about. "Consensus" is actually a wrong term, because it is just agreeing in advance - I am sure there's a special English word for that.

We must have a more common reference with the Orelos :-) (Of course I do not have the B'ASS and Phisilator upgrades).

I also agree with your comments about the slight gap between the lower mid and deep bass and smaller Cymbals. In the case of the bass the slight gap has the effect of emphasising the low bass thuds without the higher harmonics of the instrument being hit which makes bass notes sound more similar and the emphasis on the deep bass make the tracks rhythm down slightly. Its not a massive effect but this is what I hear.

I will take a look at the USB2 traces if they are easy to locate, and post back.

KR,

Nick.
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« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2017, 05:13:00 pm »

Quote
the effect of emphasising the low bass thuds without the higher harmonics of the instrument being hit which makes bass notes sound more similar

Exactly !
But the reference to "thuds" is also a very good one, because that is what is now happening more. Thus, if a thud is supposed to be a more "umpf" thing, then this is now more happening and in fact I like that as a phenomenon in itself. It is also well audible in most electric basses which basses for that reason therefore have a better life of their own (I am just referring to how I perceive electric basses at live events).

Strange kind of tuning we have in hour hands here !

Thanks,
Peter
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2017, 10:44:12 am »

                            WTF !


Say this is me in the left and Ciska in the right. Officially Ciska was reading a book, but this dropped.
It was our equal within 2 second and instant response after I changed something.

So a few days back, in this topic I talked about the "impossible" change of sound after replacing the Clairixa with the 1$ stock USB cable (in the front, left hand side USB3 port); The sound went completely dead, lifeless and lacking sprinkle. Now, with the Clairixa in that USB3 port as the base, I managed to go the exact other way around;

I think last night was the 3rd day of the Clairixa in that front USB3 port and as talked through yesterday, it certainly has properties for the better but with some possible doubts about some elements in the sound (put my and Nick's posts together and you'll have a nice overview of them all).
As you may have read, I wondered about the USB2 header (and traces on the MoBo) and ports. So I thought to be ahead of things and try a USB2 port in the front (bay).

Side note : Because of testing Phisolators in upgraded DACs, the Clairixa USB cable has seen a couple of other DACs than my own. That fact in itself did not change sound for the evening's session that I noticed.

So ... at some stage and after quite some hours of listening already, I stopped the album I was listening to, and put the Clairixa in the left hand USB2 port (in the DVD/2.5" bay). And ... nothing.
Pulled the cable and put it back in once again ... nothing.

Hmm ... Was this Minimized OS and USB2 requiring initialisation under Normal OS ? Is maybe my bay not connected to that USB2 header ?
OK, so apparently things did not want to work out and and I decided to then for fun try the right hand USB3 port in the front.

See pictures of us both above.

Ciska didn't even know I had been changing something, but she looked up from her book instantly and said "more dynamic ?!". I had a very similar idea about matters but merely had an overdose of clarity in mind. Well, overdose ... nothing seemed wrong with it.

Then within a few minutes dinner was ready and we had to stop listening. So more of this "mode" tonight.


What is and remains is how tf it is possible that such super drastic changes can happen. So again I say or claim or whatever, that 2 years ago such things were totally impossible and this is (must be) because all was so much lesser to begin with. I also recall from 2011 that someone for a first time thought to put in the USB2 cable/device (the NOS1) into an USB3 port, and found it better sounding. Maybe 6 months later I started doing so as well and did not really perceive a difference but thought it was OK to do.
Nothing, really nothing, resembles the crazy change in sound which is implied today with such a thing (which officially shouldn't make a change in SQ to begin with).

Peter
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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2017, 12:49:54 pm »

Hi Peter,

Q:
If you purchase for example this 'USB3 Receptacle on Bracket" (not more than 5 euro) and connect it
on MoBo USB3 header, sound will be better than through 'Silverstone' PCI/USB3 extension card?

Thks & Brgds,
George
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2017, 03:23:21 pm »

Peter hi,

I have had a quick try at "activating" the mobo header USB2 port then switching the NOS back to the front USB 3 port (connected to the USB3 header) to listen.

In my case the USB 2 mobo port did play music with the NOS connected (interesting sound actually, but a but dull overall).

Moving back now to listen with the front USB3 port. It does indeed sound very very clear. A more pronounced effect in terms of clarity, than just plugging another USB device into a spare USB3 port whilst using the Mobo header USB3.

In addition to the clarity there is more control and sparkle (less splashyness) in highs and cymbals are bigger again. The "clarity" seems to extend through the spectrum and there is a nice dynamic lift throughout.

First impression is very much positive. What ever next ???

Kr,

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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2017, 05:50:56 pm »

If you purchase for example this 'USB3 Receptacle on Bracket" (not more than 5 euro) and connect it
on MoBo USB3 header, sound will be better than through 'Silverstone' PCI/USB3 extension card?

Hi George,

Uff, I understand what you're getting at. Anyway notice that I don't expect any difference to be there compared to the front USB ports (the principle of (electrical) connection is quite the same of course). So if you agree (but not necessary at all to do so) then I should be able to compare the Silverstone with the front USB3 ports. Two small problems : 1. I already know the result of the Silverstone and I don't like it any more (this is since 14393.0) and 2. I think that mine has died on me. Huh !? So I can't test it any more.

The idea you just brought me is that when this is to stay, it is a good idea for bringing the "header" connection to the back of the PC, because this front isn't the best looking.

Thanks and regards,
Peter
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Removed Switching Supplies from everywhere (also from the PC).

For a general PC :
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*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.
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2017, 12:18:37 pm »

Hi,

For those who are folowing the front-port escapades ... I moved my USB cable to the back again.

The right hand front (USB3) port didn't survive long anyway (too stressed sound) and with the left hand port I kepi on thinking that it sounded extraordinary but couldn't help that regularly it came to me that something was not right.

Do notice that I never changed other settings with this experiments, so I hardly gave it a real chance.

Peter
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*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.
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« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2017, 10:37:53 pm »

I may have a new observation which might be relevant to the change in sound quality being discussed.

To avoid confusion with earlier discusion this is not related to the usb port effects above but it does change sound quality.

For some months I have been using a new linear supply for my audio pc. The supply displays both supply voltage and the current being provided and can always be viewed from where listen. I have become used to seeing the audio pc's current demand (and therefore watts) consumed go through "normal" cycles as the pc boots, shuts down, programms are loaded etc etc.



When the pc is idle with xx loaded and no music playing consumption is arround 31 watts.

With music playing this "should" go upto arround 33 watts so just a little more. This level gives the best sound quality.

However I noticed that on some occations with music playing power can be at 58 watts. This is a reading of almost twice the current draw whilst playing.



The interesting thing is that the pc can start playing music at 33 watts and you can play mutiple play lists and this doesn't change. Then for no obvious reason when the next play list is loaded or even during a play list sometimes the wattage goes upto 58 watts. Once this higher consumtion has started it tends to stay at that level each time play is restarted. I am finding that setting xtweaks supply smooth power to 1 flips the consumtion back from the high level to the 33 watt level and then it stays there for new play sessions even if supply smooth power is set to 0.

In summary it looks like the high consumtion level can just start for some none obvious reason. When it does sound quality is not as good. Unless you have the power readout constantly on these changes will not be obvious.

Might this be something to do with the sound quality change. It might be something my pc is doing of course. I will do a little testiing to see of some things that people have been trying to "reset" sound, such as plug and unplug the usb cable might somehow be toggeling the pc back to the low power consumption mode whilst playing.

Kr
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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.
PeterSt
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« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2017, 08:59:04 am »

Hi Nick,

O dear my ... you always come up with "quite interesting" things ...

If you can let this happen easily, maybe try 10586.0 instead of 14393.0 (or the other way around); to me it seems a typical OS thing. And I don't think others will have that easily too. But they can. I can ...

I coincidentally kind of "know" that I don't suffer from this, BUT this experience is not from 14393.0. I am not even sure from when it is, but it should be 10586.0. So, I too observed such a meter (with btw very similar results - 29-30W) and I never saw that happening.
With the Stealth I would see it happening, because if indeed the consumption would increase as you describe, the thermal protection would kick in and a bright led shows it (all Stealth owners have this the same). And this exactly never happened ... (also not with 14393.0).

What you should do is let TaskManager run and observe the CPU core graphs (per logical core). From there you will easily see how more cpu usage implies more wattage - also during playing. IIRC this works with 14393.0 all over and with 10586.0 it does not work with Q3,4,5 = 1 (TaskManager wil be frozen).

Maybe we can relate this to Mani's hot power supply (Teradak) which occurred once, or maybe you even have that exact one ...

Regards,
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 #29 on: May 11, 2017, 03:05:55 pm »

Hi Peter,

I will give the suggestions a go.

Good thing is that sound is very good event at high wattage. It is just better at low consumption :-)

Hi Nick,

Maybe we can relate this to Mani's hot power supply (Teradak) which occurred once, or maybe you even have that exact one ...


It was heat management that go me really looking into this. It could certainly have contributed to Mani's Teradak heat problem.

Regards,

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.

System powered from two 3kva balanced mains isolation transformers.
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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2017, 03:25:26 pm »

Hi folks,

I was off from this forum for some time. The reasons for that are that 1) I had to listen to music with much lower SQ on my sailboat in Croatia for some weeks and 2) I found a way to keep SQ in my living room with Stealth Mach II and NOS1-a constantly on a pretty high level. More on that further down in this post.

Before that I tried different USB ports on the back side of my Stealth and yes, they seem to produce quite different SQ. So maybe it's just a plug-in/plug-out effect. Something similar happened with plugging in and out the Intona, as described before.

I will never forget the very odd way the new Stealh Mach II behaved after I had installed and listened music through it for the first time. Taking the Intona in or out had such a huge impact on SQ, what's still amazing for me.
I still wonder, why a new PC needs such a long burn-in time, what was also reported by others. So I guess there is something weard and somehow unknown going on through the USB connection.

And there is probably another effect, Peter was describing in a post some month ago: some static load of electricity (no sure about my Englich here) on the output of the NOS1-a towards the preamp (or amps).

I usually let the audio PC and the NOS1-a running for a long time I just switch off my tube preamp and amps when I don't play music.
I and found out that SQ became worse after a day so or even already after some hours, when the audio PC and the NOS1-a are never switched off. After 3 days the sound became really bad, smearing low dynamics, enoying...

So, what I found out and I am practizing since about two month with amazing success:
With everthing switched on, preamp and amps too, I switch off the NOS1-a for about 10 seconds. Before that I put the volume control of my preamp to a lower level, so the noise and clicks coming through the speakers right after swiching off the NOS1-a don't are not too loud.

This easy to do precedure always perfectly cures the system. Maybe it has a double effect:
1) The USB connection gets reinitialized and
2) the static load on the output side of the NOS1-a gets completly unloaded what you can hear very well for a second or two.

After doing it, SQ always is improving a lot and is on such a high level that didn't try anything else after I had started doing it.

Therefore I don't know, if this effect would be the same without the preamp and amps switch on. I also didn't do any more testing with plugging in and out something on the USB ports of the audio PC. And I have no intention to put the Intona back again into the USB line, because I know, that won't be better.

There is one thing I will do after reading the recent posts in this topic: I will try the front USB ports. Maybe there will be a further improvement of SQ. We will see....

Kind regards
Richard
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PeterSt
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« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2017, 04:08:30 pm »

Thank you again for sharing, Richard.

FWIW (additionally to your outlays) :
Three days ago I myself was sure I couldn't stand the sound any more and I could only dedicated to a necessary reboot (which had probably been a month ago). And for sure it helped ...

Related or not, the DAC is shut off regularly (say daily) for whatever test purposes.

Thank you,
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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« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2017, 10:33:11 am »

What really improves the sound, in my case, is to disconnect the USB cable from the Audio Pc. Logically you have to turn off the Audio Pc and the NOS1, but if you only turn off the Audio Pc and the NOS1 without disconnecting the Clairixa from the Audio Pc the improvement is imperceptible. It is not necessary to disconnect the Clairixa from the input of the NOS1. That is my experience.

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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