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Author Topic: CD vs XXHE; is the SQ comparable?  (Read 33272 times)
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arvind
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« on: September 18, 2009, 11:13:57 am »

Hi Peter,

Over the last few days I did an extensive comparison of SQ between the CD & the ripped ones, using XXHE 0.9y-3a. IMO the CD sound is significantly better in all respects. The Low Bass is tighter & deeper, mids are warm & deep & the high's are much more transparent. In fact if CD scores 10/10 ripped ones would score 6/10. The difference is too large.
Is there anyway to bridge this gap?

Arvind
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2009, 12:57:54 pm »

Quote
Over the last few days I did an extensive comparison of SQ between the CD & the ripped ones, using XXHE 0.9y-3a

how would man do that ??????????
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arvind
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2009, 01:40:31 pm »

simply play the CD with a CD Player rip the same CD & play it through XXHE. Then compare the SQ of both. I dont think there is anything so complicated about this.

Arvind
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 01:52:19 pm »

Well Arvind ... Let me start with telling you that I of course believe you. So, no problem there. What is a theoretical problem though, is that you seem to be out of line. Thus, I ditched my CD player ever costing 4K or so (a transport alone), and many more did with even much more costly players. None of us did this because playing music via a PC is more convenient, but because it sounds better. Way way better.

A part of the problem (I will call it my problem) is that I don't see how your system would not be "on par", which btw seems to be unrelated anyway (meaning : it doesn't matter much how good or pricey the chain is, PC playback -when done good- just is much better).

So ...

So let me try to tell you (call it teaching between quotes) what can be wrong with someone's perceivement of what's good and what's not.
Don't accept it without prejudice, but try to listen whether I can be right maybe ...

Generally (but this really is generally !) any more warmth means wrongness. No, don't disagree immediately, but try to follow what is going on; Happy
Any not "tight" waves, or less directioned so to say (think of (additional !) reflections) will bring "warmth". I don't think this needs further explanation by itself. However, this means that "warrmth" as a discernable phenomenon is worth nothing. It is worth nothing because it may indicate just wrongness. Now :

The opposite of warmth is not "cold" or "sterile" or anything like that, no, it is tinnyness. Tinnyness is wrong, and it is recognizeable much better than warmth or a lack of that. Surprisingly, tinnyness is the most profound thing happening with computer playback. It can spring from many sources (starting with the external DAC opposed to the internal DAC we probably were used to with the CDP and which is MUCH more easy to let sound good). In the end this (tinnyness) was the very reason I started XXHighEnd.

I am not trying to tell that you won't hear this tinnyness or whatever - and while it actually is unrelated to this subject - I *do* try to tell you that warmth never is good ... why ? ... because tinnyness is NOT there (I hope you can follow). Tinnyness from the playback means (XX) is not there because, well, I say so. I know what it is and I spend some years on that. yes And thus :

What leaves is your perceived better warmth which cannot be. It can, but then because of other sources.
Now, in order to let you understand how I see warmth, I will try to tell you that this is about the micro detail adding up so much, that all the sterile (!) details become ... warrmth. Think of a nylon string. A nylon string is a sterile thing by itself, and without its normal warmth (of the guitar's cabinet and its harmonics) it may be an interesting sounding thingy (because of detail heard) but that doesn't mean it sounds natural. This needs *another* step of detail, and once that step is there the detail of all what you heard before is still there, but warmth is now added to it. For me this is totally clear, and btw not so difficult to prove by means of removing (and adding) a preamp;

The first thing a preamp does is adding warmth, and the second thing it does it removing detail. So, here warmth is traded for detail, and this is not good. However, without ever having removed the preamp, you never will know about the detail being in there. Try it !
Side note : I wrote similar to LydMekk two or so weeks back, because I expect him to have similar "problems" (or everybody else has them Happy) but scratched that because of a too long post and me not finding it 100% appropriate in that case).

If the impedance relation is right, you really should try to remove the preamp in order to unerstand what I ever mean. Two things will happen :
1. Your jaw will drop at the detail you perceive, and you are sure you never heard something like that before;
2. Where has the bass gone.

Assumed (!!) that the impedance is correct, no brain cell in your head is going to tell you this is wrong. It can't be, because the preamp is just an additional thing, and the really ONLY thing it can do is destroy. Keep in mind : it has a "repair" function as well : impedance mismatch otherwise, but this was not assumed.
Btw, don't do this when you have to attenuate more than 30dB and only do it when you have a 24 bit DAC.

Where has the bas gone ? ha ! where has the bas gone the preamp added, and which you got used to.

Once you have this experience (and reference !) you will learn that detail comes forward because bass is removed. Or anyway this is one reason to let emerge detail. What I talked about earlier (the nylon string) works the other way around : warmth (not bassy sound) *adds* because of more detail. So, listen carefully to that "complete without bass" sound coming from your system without preamp, learns (or teaches you) that all the warmth you were used to before, was fake. It didn't allow for perceiving individual vibes from bass strings, or hearing the individual tones from a bass chord like Roger Waters may play it. Suddenly you hear instruments, and things in the room NOT moving before, now move (not spread bass waves have more power).


Quite a long story, and maybe highly pretentious while actually knowing nothing other than what you wrote, but ... I combine it with your earlier complaints, and think that is justified.
On a side not : I am not trying to tell you that I "listen better" than you or anything, what I do say though is :
1. I am working for quite some years on this, and I *know* how contradictionary things may work out;
2. I just recognize your problems, and recognize the possible causes.

I said it before : the foremost reason is impedance problems. You response to that was "but everything is from the same brand" (similar), so that can't be it. Well, I wouldn't be too sure of that, when you can't find a cause elsewhere;
If things sound harsh, no matter a version of XX does it, you will have an impedance problem *or* something which is even more clear (and too clear to even mention) : a jittery interface. Now, the problem with jitter is that you can't define in advance whether it works out for the good or for the better. Try Q2 and Q3 (keep in mind that it stays bit perfect) and you know what it does (somewhere). And don't tell me you don't hear a difference !

In between the lines, but very good to always have in mind, when things cannot be made consistent (for reasoning out the cause), something is very wrong. For example, very good bass with harsh highs don't go along (unless one doesn't know what very good bass actually is). However, "good bass" (which is different from very good) with not harsh highs do go along, like with the preamp example. One problem : the preamp is wrong, and it masks the real problem. The other way around can happen just the same : harsh highs with good bass, just caused by the preamp this time (impedance problem). Or what about sibilance ? just use a TVC and you know what I mean. Or use a class D to "achieve" that. Use a preamp with it, and you may never notice it.

All 'n all :

Since the preamp is a. an ever influencing piece of equipment that b. can be left out under conditions which c. I don't use at having the most good sound, there is -for now- no reason to believe that everything will be OK at your side. This means (IMHO) that one of the things to do is try what happens at removing the preamp. For sure you will learn something of it. For example, if you perceive less harsh highs in that case, there is (I think) no way to reason out the preamp made things better to that respect. In order to understand this, keep in mind that digital is still digital, and that a now "possibly too much digital" sound will pass right to your main amps, and if that sounds better for the highs, something *must* be wrong. The other way around, if "digital" now starts to be unbearable because of harshness, quite another thing will be completely wrong, most probably dedicated to the DAC (of course, normally the software could be blamed as well, but then better first come over and listen at my place yes).

Lastly for now : while removing the preamp might be a step you just don't want to make (for your own reasons), try to apply this simple test :
Get your current "soundcard" out of the way (was it the OffRamp ?) and use your motherboard's sound device instead (don't forget to set that to "Needs 32 bits"). What do you hear ? no difference ? in that case something must be wrong with your ears, which we both don't believe nor expect. So, you will hear a difference. What is it ?

The fun is, no matter what it is you hear for a difference, it is outside of XX and all is again bit perfect.
Now, supposed the mobo's device doesn't sound better, is it imagineable that the OffRamp can be exchanged by something which outbetters it ? or from an other angle : is it imagineable that USB might not be the best connection in the first place ?
I know your answers : Yes and Yes. And because this is so, you (for now) must trust me that you are bugged with something outside of XX.

Ok, you didn't say or even suggest it is XX, but for me it is obvious that you think so, and you are entitled to. Also, you might be just questioning whether "PC playback" can ever get close to what you are used to with the CDP. Please trust me : don't rest until you threw your CDP out of the window. I mean it !

I could have started with saying "but USB is not the best connection for SQ" and leave it to that. But please try to investigate it, and do this by the same means I suggested : the mobo's sound device. It may sound better !

Sorry for a way long post (and probably many typos) ... just tryting to help.
Peter
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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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arvind
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2009, 02:14:22 pm »

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the suggestions. I propose to go in this sequence.a. Try the laptop sound card, removing the OffRamp. b.Remove the preamp from the circuit.
BTW how do you connect your PC to the DAC? Do you use XX for volume control?

I am going to be out on vacation for a week so will try it on my return.

Arvind
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2009, 03:09:25 pm »

Yes, XX for volume control. Start way low with it ! (like -80dB and still be careful). Keep in mind : when you need to attenuate beyond 48dB you will start to loose resolution. Give it 18 or 24 dB more and you will start to hear it for sure. So let's say that if you need -72dB it can't be good anymore. If the DAC is 16 bits only, you really shouldn't go under -24dB.

Furthermore, try to use as short interlinks as possible (DAC Out -> Main amps in). Thus, might you not have enough "drive" from the DAC, the shorther the interlink, the better.

Also keep in mind you must assume there won't be enough drive. So, this will be a first reason not have enough punch (or persisting bass for that matter). Try to look through that.
From here, try to interpret the difference between the OffRamp and the mobo's device. But also (and this might be the most important) they to hear -while not hearing it anymore - what the preamp does. Don't A/B, just listen for a longer while.
Assumed you will be hearing many many more details and stuff, next try to interpret this with regards to your general complaints (like harshness, assumed you still may be finding things to be too harsh). At this interpreting, keep in your mind that "not enough drive" will only make things (sound) more direct. It *is* more direct of course (no filtering from the preamp), but might harshness go less, you might proceed from there (at your interpretation of it all).

Lastly -enough drive or not- try to hear the way more detail in the bass, and next try to see through everything and start to wonder how in the world you may be able to get that detail *with* you preamp. I mean this not much in general, but merely how the chain would be able to pertain the detail while at the same time going warmer (the fun here is, *if* you don't have enough drive, you will be in lack of warmth). You will see (I hope) that adding the kind of warmth you now complain about, will remove the detail again. This, while you should have both !!

At this stage (I mean, after you tried this) it may get complicated to point to the cause, assumed you will have not enough drive (you could try to blame the DAC but this is not honest, because your DAC assumes a preamp). BUT, you will have learned what is in the music, and you will be hunting the combination of detail and warmth forever (with a good sense of knowing it can be done).
Maybe (and this is what I hope) you can determine an absolute best out of the mobo's device and the OffRamp, for detail and anything you can think of BUT warmth. Next it should be so that the best is the most warm, with recognizing it is caused by detail (and the harmonics will do this !!).

Something to look forward to for after your vacation ! ... as I look forward to your results.
Peter


PS: Try to imagine how indeed more detail brings more warmth (harmonics) while the nylon string so nicely "buzzes". The other way around, less detail will not show those harmonics, but it will also smear highs. Effect ? again more warm. But this time without details ... there will be no such thing as buzzing as how I mean to express it, except for buzzing around the room (bad placement, not fixed).
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W10-14393.0 - July 17, 2021 (2.11)
XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 14/28 cores in BIOS and set to 10/20 cores via Boot Menu) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/0/*1*/ Q1Factor = *4* / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = *10ms* / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = *10.13*  (max 10.13) / 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) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, WASAPI and W10 services / Use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD Off (!) / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *62* / Nervous Rate = *1* / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / Custom Filtering *Low* (16x) / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^3
A: W-Y-R-G, B: *W-G* USB 1m00 -> Phisolator 24/768 Phasure NOS1a/G3 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (16ms) -> B'ASS Current Amplifier -> Blaxius*^2.5* A:B-G, B:B-G Interlink -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers. ET^2 Ethernet from Mach III to Music Server PC (RDC Control).
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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arvind
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 03:35:30 pm »

HI Peter,

I problem I foresee is the connection between my laptop & the DAC. DAC input is only AES/EBU. So how do I go about doing it? My Laptop is Sony Vaio.

I cant go shorter than 2 mtrs interconnect between DAC & amps.

Arvind
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 03:54:19 pm »

Yep, that would be a problem. It is not difficult to tweak with a little soldering BUT we better do not do that because results may become unreliable because of it (but if you really want to know I can unscrew a home made adapter I made once and tell you).

So, bad luck !
This leaves the OffRamp on its own, and it just means it will be harder for you to see through because of combining (now not possible).
But then it is only harder, not impossible. As said, you'll have good ears anyway and the only tough thing is the proper interpretation of the difference you will hear ("there is this difference, but what causes it ?").

Oh well, let's say a vacation is more important anyway. swoon

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For the Stealth III LPS PC :
W10-14393.0 - July 17, 2021 (2.11)
XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 14/28 cores in BIOS and set to 10/20 cores via Boot Menu) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/0/*1*/ Q1Factor = *4* / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = *10ms* / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = *10.13*  (max 10.13) / 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) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, WASAPI and W10 services / Use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD Off (!) / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *62* / Nervous Rate = *1* / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / Custom Filtering *Low* (16x) / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^3
A: W-Y-R-G, B: *W-G* USB 1m00 -> Phisolator 24/768 Phasure NOS1a/G3 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (16ms) -> B'ASS Current Amplifier -> Blaxius*^2.5* A:B-G, B:B-G Interlink -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers. ET^2 Ethernet from Mach III to Music Server PC (RDC Control).
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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arvind
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2009, 03:47:57 pm »

Hi Peter,

Back fresh from vacation to attack the SQ issue. Ok, now as suggested by you I removed the preamp from the circuit & connected the DAC directly to the amps. Ofcourse I had to keep the off ramp due to the connection issue discussed earlier. To my surprise there is a very faint sound from the speakers; which means the DAC cannot drive the amps even with XXHE on 0 dB. According to this I have to keep the preamp in the circuit.

Arvind
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W10-14393.0 RAM OS / Mach III LPS 14/28/XXHE 2.11/Engine#4/Adaptive Mode/16x /Custom Filter/Q1= 14/0/0/0 xQ1=1/Device Buffer:4096/Invert Phase=On/Minimise OS/PE=off/Unattended/Stop All Services/SFS=20.69/20.69(max)/ClockRes= 15ms/Straight Contiguous/Music on HDD/Lush^3 USB cable A:W-Y-R-G; B:W-Y-R/Phasure NOS 1a/75b/G3 USB DAC. > Blaxius*^2.5 A:B-G, B:B-G Interlink. Orelo MK II active speakers. ET^3 between Mach III & music server. Driver version 1.04/Driver Buffer 16ms. OSD text = Off
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2009, 02:06:23 pm »

Well, bad luck again ! Of course a(n active) preamp not only attenuates, it also amplifies. So I guess this is not so much a matter of "not enough drive" but merely "not enough juice". I didn't think about that. sorry

I must honestly say though, it has a reason I didn't respond earlier. I mean I (still) think it is strange the sound doesn't blast from your speakers. I may not know enough about this, but I would say an active preamp doesn't amplify *that* much, that now you're almost without sound ! So, "no drive" is something else and it would disturb the frequency response balance; it doesn't make everything real faint (low volume).

Can't you use headphones ? Theoretically (ok, my) whether it is not enough juice or no drive, headphones just match that.
Btw, I myself would never use headphones to really judge everything (room modes/reflections being too important), but in this case I might try. Remember it is about relative aspects, and for sure harsness would come out.

Maybe for now don't bother too much, and maybe it is better to wait for the next version. I am not sure yet, but I think SQ may be different from that.

Peter
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For the Stealth III LPS PC :
W10-14393.0 - July 17, 2021 (2.11)
XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 14/28 cores in BIOS and set to 10/20 cores via Boot Menu) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/0/*1*/ Q1Factor = *4* / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = *10ms* / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = *10.13*  (max 10.13) / 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) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, WASAPI and W10 services / Use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD Off (!) / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *62* / Nervous Rate = *1* / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / Custom Filtering *Low* (16x) / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^3
A: W-Y-R-G, B: *W-G* USB 1m00 -> Phisolator 24/768 Phasure NOS1a/G3 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (16ms) -> B'ASS Current Amplifier -> Blaxius*^2.5* A:B-G, B:B-G Interlink -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers. ET^2 Ethernet from Mach III to Music Server PC (RDC Control).
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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arvind
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2009, 04:51:58 pm »

Hi Peter,

No possibility of headphones; there are no jacks & I dont possess one too. Guess I have to wait for the new version.

I too am surprised why the volume is so low; almost unaudible.

Arvind
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W10-14393.0 RAM OS / Mach III LPS 14/28/XXHE 2.11/Engine#4/Adaptive Mode/16x /Custom Filter/Q1= 14/0/0/0 xQ1=1/Device Buffer:4096/Invert Phase=On/Minimise OS/PE=off/Unattended/Stop All Services/SFS=20.69/20.69(max)/ClockRes= 15ms/Straight Contiguous/Music on HDD/Lush^3 USB cable A:W-Y-R-G; B:W-Y-R/Phasure NOS 1a/75b/G3 USB DAC. > Blaxius*^2.5 A:B-G, B:B-G Interlink. Orelo MK II active speakers. ET^3 between Mach III & music server. Driver version 1.04/Driver Buffer 16ms. OSD text = Off
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2009, 05:54:13 pm »

hmm usually a preamp would attenuate, but I wouldn't think the preamp out of the system would be the factor here.  I mean, isn't the CDP going through the same preamp?  I'm betting something isn't right in the computer/soundcard setup, or going through all the digit jumps, hmm offramp.  Sounds like the CDP is more direct.  I recently hooked up my Sony SCD-1; it too also sounds pretty good/different (it used to be my reference and loved it against lots of more costly things friends brought over), but I like XXHE much better.  XXHE is clearly larger soundstage (especially front to back), much better bass, lyrics more intelligible, separation of instruments/voices natural, lower distortion/glare ... lately XXHE has just moved into the 'I haven't heard this much awesome evar' category.  If you're not getting that I'd say something is more wrong than a preamp.
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0.9z-8-3a WAV/CUE files on HDDs via MB FW400>; Win7 pro ttp://www.phasure.com/index.php?topic=352.msg4021#msg4021); [XXHighEnd player  Qs 7, 0, 0, 0, 0; eng 4; adaptive; scheme#3; player priority low; thread priority realtime; clock res 5ms: SFS 420 Wink dac is 24/192 w/32bits; Play Unattended; Stop Services ticked; Wallpaper & Show Back ticked - Mirror Image unticked; Start Engine unticked;garbage collect ticked; copy files to XX-drive; *quad arc prediction upsampling*: straight contiguous:>PCI FW800 card>Fireface 800 DAC [latency 2048 samples for 176.4]; usb/ethernet/mb audio shut off @ MB
ivo
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 11:31:22 pm »

OK people, here is what I did:
Given:
1) Took CD and ripped one track to hard drive using EAC in .flac format
2) Found and downloaded the same track from web in mp3 format (256 Kbit/s)
3) Prepared the same CD in CD-Player (a cheap one, just more than 100 USD)
Scenario:
Then I listened over headphones first 2 variants via XXHighend latest version unattended via USB connection to my Dr.DAC2 external DAC. And after that listened to 3rd variant via my cheap CD player via digital coax connection to the same DAC.
Conclusions:
1) Sound level the same with any variant.
2) Soundstage - XXHighend differs from CD player - both very close. No dislikes, no preferences.
3) .flac and CD track seem clearer than .mp3 - this is fine knowing what is mp3.
4) CD player actually gives the cleanest reproduction, but really speaking if I did a blind test, I would not differ what is playing CD player or XXhighend with flac or mp3.
Final word:
Well, either CD player is bad or XXHighend is great.
At last:
Several weeks have been listening to both CD player and XX also over my speakers - so both sources sound amazing to me. So, actually cannot say that XX is so much different from external CD player, it does pretty well in my setup. See details in signature.
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Music on internal HDD in FLAC-->LatestXX in QAP + PeakExt Mode[KS,Adaptive,2048,Q1=14,xQ1=1,Sch3,Low,Realtime,15 ms, SFS 2-400, Straight, stop all, MinOS]-->Windows 7 Pro SP1 x64bit-->Intel i5 based laptop [8 GB RAM]-->JKDAC32(HiFace based USB-I2S-DAC)-->Denon PMA-1500AE-->JBL E90 3-way speakers
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2009, 05:20:52 am »

Hi Ivo - Thanks for this report.

Since you have this track probably still on your mind, and especially thinking of the "cleanness" of either playback means, what changes on the XX side if you put your Q2-Q5 to 0 instead of 15 ? Just give it one run and try to judge what you hear for a difference ...

If you want of course !

Peter
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For the Stealth III LPS PC :
W10-14393.0 - July 17, 2021 (2.11)
XXHighEnd Mach III Stealth LPS PC -> Xeon Scalable 14/28 core with Hyperthreading On (set to 14/28 cores in BIOS and set to 10/20 cores via Boot Menu) @~660MHz, 48GB, Windows 10 Pro 64 bit build 14393.0 from RAM, music on LAN / Engine#4 Adaptive Mode / Q1/-/3/4/5 = 14/-/0/0/*1*/ Q1Factor = *4* / Dev.Buffer = 4096 / ClockRes = *10ms* / Memory = Straight Contiguous / Include Garbage Collect / SFS = *10.13*  (max 10.13) / 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) / Stop Desktop, Remaining, WASAPI and W10 services / Use Remote Desktop / Keep LAN - Not Persist / WallPaper On / OSD Off (!) / Running Time Off / Minimize OS / XTweaks : Balanced Load = *62* / Nervous Rate = *1* / Cool when Idle = n.a / Provide Stable Power = 1 / Utilize Cores always = 1 / Time Performance Index = Optimal / Time Stability = Stable / Custom Filtering *Low* (16x) / Always Clear Proxy before Playback = On -> USB3 from MoBo -> Lush^3
A: W-Y-R-G, B: *W-G* USB 1m00 -> Phisolator 24/768 Phasure NOS1a/G3 75B (BNC Out) async USB DAC, Driver v1.0.4b (16ms) -> B'ASS Current Amplifier -> Blaxius*^2.5* A:B-G, B:B-G Interlink -> Orelo MKII Active Open Baffle Horn Speakers. ET^2 Ethernet from Mach III to Music Server PC (RDC Control).
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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arvind
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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2009, 11:42:41 am »

Hi Guys,

In my set up I am still finding CD sounding much better than XXHE. Dont know if it is the Soundcard (Off Ramp) or some other factor influencing this. Other than the laptop & sound card the rest of the equipments are the same in both comparison. I have asked a friend to lend me his Empirical Audio Overdrive DAC to do a comparison, maybe it is the DAC which makes it sound different. The reason why I say this is that with the CD Transport it uses a different input ( EMM Proprietary Link) whereas with the Off Ramp it is AES/EBU. This may make some difference.

Just trying to eliminate the variables.

Arvind
Logged

W10-14393.0 RAM OS / Mach III LPS 14/28/XXHE 2.11/Engine#4/Adaptive Mode/16x /Custom Filter/Q1= 14/0/0/0 xQ1=1/Device Buffer:4096/Invert Phase=On/Minimise OS/PE=off/Unattended/Stop All Services/SFS=20.69/20.69(max)/ClockRes= 15ms/Straight Contiguous/Music on HDD/Lush^3 USB cable A:W-Y-R-G; B:W-Y-R/Phasure NOS 1a/75b/G3 USB DAC. > Blaxius*^2.5 A:B-G, B:B-G Interlink. Orelo MK II active speakers. ET^3 between Mach III & music server. Driver version 1.04/Driver Buffer 16ms. OSD text = Off
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