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Author Topic: Network speed - sound quality  (Read 3314 times)
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Nick
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« on: April 28, 2018, 09:01:35 pm »

Hi,

Network software driver settings make a big difference to sound quality. The context for trying the tweak that follows is an XX replay system that makes use of an ethernet network connection between a Music Server and Audio PC to pass music files and support remote desktop access to the Audio PC.   Sound will change I think with XX software playing in Attended Mode or Non Attended Mode despite the network being turned off in non-attended mode.

The tweak is to force the  ethernet connection speed between the two PC down from 1GB (which most systems will default to if left to auto negotiate ethernet speeds in control panel) to the lowest speed of 10Mb/s.

I set this up a few days ago with the thinking that the  Network Adaptor and its software drivers on the Audio PC generate masses of hardware interrupts (that influence sound) and the adaptors software driver will register different resources and possibly it and the adaptors hardware process requests at different speeds depending on the ethernet speed that is set up.

The tweak is quite simple to try.

On the Music Server PC in Control Panel > Device Manager > Network Adaptors double click the network adaptor that is used to connect to your Audio Server. In the Advanced tab go to the Speed and  Duplex property. It will probably be set to Auto Negotiate (in which case you are probably getting a 1Gb/s ethernet speed if both PC can support his). Change this to 10Mb/s Duplex (you can try 100Mb/s also) but 10MB is where the magic is here for sure.


(I am running a few other network related Advanced settings which may also add to this but I think the link speed alone will make a difference).

Sound quality is best summed up:

CLARITY and fine detail ! (in very natural and good way), Pace and PRESENCE improvments. I am really quite shocked by the difference here. And it influences sound in both XX Attended and Non-Attended modes although to differing degrees.

Be prepared to wait for your music to transfer from your Music Server to your Audio PC (the link in theory just got upto 100 times slower) so it takes longer for music to start but here is massively worth a few extra seconds wait  Happy

It may be that others are already doing this and I missed it, but give this a try and let me know what you make of it.

Regards,
Nick.

One foot note, Bass may be ever so slightly softer or perhaps everything else go so much better, or maybe is not really changes cannot make up my mind yet.
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Audio PCs
PC No. 1: 621 motherboard Xeon 32 thread CPU.
PC No 2: X99 motherboard Xeon 28 thread CPU - modified motherboard.

 w10 10393 RAM OS => XX V2.09 / adaptive mode / XX buffer 4096 / NOS USB driver v 1.02 buffer 16ms / Q1,2,3,4,5 = 30,-,1,1,0 / xQ1 =40 / unattended / SFS 5.19Mb / memory straight continuous / system clock 15.0ms / 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 50 / Cool when Idle n/a / Provide Stable Power 0 / Utilize Cores always 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability  On => Lush USB cable => modified NOS1 USB DAC => no pre amp => Orelo active horn loudspeakers with modified bass channel DSPs.

Music server: X99, Xeon 16 thread PC.

System powered from two 3kva balanced mains isolation transformers.
juanpmar
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2018, 09:59:14 pm »

Hi Nick, only a few words to give you my first impression. The sound for sure is different. There seems to be more clarity, about the bass I'm not sure if it is firmer or not. In the long run a certain hearing fatigue may occur. The load is infinitely slow, at least here with my server PC. That could make it, maybe, impractical. I will continue experimenting because as I say it is sure that a change in the sound takes place.

Thanks,
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 Peter's 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.

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

XXHighEnd: 2.10. Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN/ KS:Phasure NOS1 Out 4.0/ #4 Engine/ Adaptive Mode/ Q1=30 Q3=1, Q4=1, Q5=1, xQ1=40/ Dev.Buffer: 4096/ ClockRes: 15ms/ Straight Contiguous/ SFS: 5.19 (max 120)/ 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 52/ Nervous Rate 10/ Cool when Idle -/ Provide Stable Power 0/ Utilize Cores always 1/ Time Performance Index: Optimal / Time Stability: Stable / Arc Prediction.

Music Server PC (W10) totally silent with OS (W10) in SSD and music inside in SSDs - RDC > Ethernet Gigabyte cable 3m > Audio Pc > 1m USB Lush cable directly from the USB3.0 in the motherboard > PHASURE NOS1a-75B-G3 (Driver v1.0.4) 16ms > Blaxius BNC interconnects > Genelec 1037B 3-Way Active speakers with BNC inputs
Nick
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2018, 11:23:31 pm »

Hi Juan,

I have to tell myself ithe wait ts like going back getting up to drop the needle on  a new track or changing an album on vinyl, its sure a wait.

Interesting that you hear a difference too. 
I hear a lot of more detail with warmer more natural voices in particular.

Best regards,

Nick.
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Audio PCs
PC No. 1: 621 motherboard Xeon 32 thread CPU.
PC No 2: X99 motherboard Xeon 28 thread CPU - modified motherboard.

 w10 10393 RAM OS => XX V2.09 / adaptive mode / XX buffer 4096 / NOS USB driver v 1.02 buffer 16ms / Q1,2,3,4,5 = 30,-,1,1,0 / xQ1 =40 / unattended / SFS 5.19Mb / memory straight continuous / system clock 15.0ms / 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 50 / Cool when Idle n/a / Provide Stable Power 0 / Utilize Cores always 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability  On => Lush USB cable => modified NOS1 USB DAC => no pre amp => Orelo active horn loudspeakers with modified bass channel DSPs.

Music server: X99, Xeon 16 thread PC.

System powered from two 3kva balanced mains isolation transformers.
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