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My Setup with optimized Source

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dheerajin

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Guys I wanted to share my experience with you since long about my Source component

You can see them in my signature-



Initially I was playing through my laptop, which was heavily optimized for audio

Players were, foobar, then Jriver and then Bughead. Incremental improvement in sound was there.

But what I was really missing from my chain is timing of sound, Vocal clarity and many other things.

In search of the missing things, I changed DAC- Schiit Gungnir,Audio-GD, Holo spring.

Changed the cables too, XLR , RCA, Speaker cables

It was bit frustrating because, shift in frequency was there but the real change.



Then after reading so many forums, I got to know that real culprit is source.

So I started searching, and fortunately evolving single board linux based devices attracted my attaention and tried Raspberry Pi.

With some improvements I tried SOTM SMS200 and wow it was a big change in sound.

I always wanted Vocal density and clarity and choosing Holo Spring was on those lines only.

So after further reading I got to know about USB Reclocker and I got SingxerSU-1.

Meanwhile I got SBOOSTER linear power supply for SOTM.

Singxer already has linear power supply built in but inserted sbooster's 79 euro ULTRA module to make it better.

and i was almost halfway through my personal sound preferences.

Then after further reading I got USB regenerator called ISO regen with same 79 Euro ultra power supply.



Fortunately, I got to know about Belden 8402 Cable from FM JLA001 and that made the vocal real in sound.



I was fortunate to have FM JLS001 and FM BHAGWAN for the listening session at my home

last week.

But it is better to have the impression in their words and I would be obliged if they can contribute to this thread.



I did many tweaks in my system and I will tell them in my later posts.

Anyone wants to listen, always welcome and can ask any questions in this forum by posting on this thread or by PM.
 

bhagwan

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Excellent Post.
If you would be so kind so as to share details with pics - would make it easy for a lot of FM's to understand what you have done.
We shall later get into specific items & why you chose them.
Specific LPS's etc.
1st I request you to post pics & with captions & details.
Most FM's will appreciate it & the details will go a long way.
This is just a suggestion.
Kindly consider.
 

dheerajin

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Last edited:

mshifi

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Guys I wanted to share my experience with you since long about my Source component

You can see them in my signature-



Initially I was playing through my laptop, which was heavily optimized for audio

Players were, foobar, then Jriver and then Bughead. Incremental improvement in sound was there.

But what I was really missing from my chain is timing of sound, Vocal clarity and many other things.

In search of the missing things, I changed DAC- Schiit Gungnir,Audio-GD, Holo spring.

Changed the cables too, XLR , RCA, Speaker cables

It was bit frustrating because, shift in frequency was there but the real change.



Then after reading so many forums, I got to know that real culprit is source.

So I started searching, and fortunately evolving single board linux based devices attracted my attaention and tried Raspberry Pi.

With some improvements I tried SOTM SMS200 and wow it was a big change in sound.

I always wanted Vocal density and clarity and choosing Holo Spring was on those lines only.

So after further reading I got to know about USB Reclocker and I got SingxerSU-1.

Meanwhile I got SBOOSTER linear power supply for SOTM.

Singxer already has linear power supply built in but inserted sbooster's 79 euro ULTRA module to make it better.

and i was almost halfway through my personal sound preferences.

Then after further reading I got USB regenerator called ISO regen with same 79 Euro ultra power supply.



Fortunately, I got to know about Belden 8402 Cable from FM JLA001 and that made the vocal real in sound.



I was fortunate to have FM JLS001 and FM BHAGWAN for the listening session at my home

last week.

But it is better to have the impression in their words and I would be obliged if they can contribute to this thread.



I did many tweaks in my system and I will tell them in my later posts.

Anyone wants to listen, always welcome and can ask any questions in this forum by posting on this thread or by PM.
Out of the above changes can you quantify which are the major contributers to the improvements that have occurred. It would help FM's fix their problems
 
M

mpw

Guest
Hi dheeraj

congratulations on getting to a very happy space music wise.

Credit must go to you since you knew what you wanted ( sound wise ) from the start and that helps a lot to find direction.

Else its a series of hits and misses and lighter wallets..:eek:

Your setup deserves to be better visually as well and it will only add to the experience.

njoi !

mpw
 

dheerajin

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Just added a USB Regen between the dac and computer, has made a lot of difference. Likewise would adding an lps, change in cables or dac improve the sq
There is a difference between usb regen and iso regen...clock plays a major difference
 

dheerajin

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Your setup deserves to be better visually as well and it will only add to the experience.

njoi !

mpw
Agree,

Yes, next year I am going for a bigger house specifically keeping audio in mind. Dedicated room.

That time I can think of visual treat as well and it will definitely add to the experience.
 
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prem

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Dheerajin, doesn’t Holo Spring reclock the signal internally? I remember Jeff Zhu mentioning that in one of the forums. If that is the case I really don’t see the need for a reclocker between the dac and the source unless the reclocker is far superior to the one the Holo Spring has. Something maybe like the one Antelope Audio has.

I have not heard the USB 5 but have never been impressed with a USB 3. I would anyday choose a AES connection over it. Unfortunately my Aries Mini didn’t have AES compatibility. So went with Lifatec glass optical cable. Clearly preferred that to any other connection type. That’s been my learning with my limited experience with computer audio. Am sure you guys have much more experience but my suggestion is do look at options other than USB. With a USB you’re most of the time cleaning and clearing up the signal :)
 

dheerajin

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Dheerajin, doesn’t Holo Spring reclock the signal internally? I remember Jeff Zhu mentioning that in one of the forums. If that is the case I really don’t see the need for a reclocker between the dac and the source unless the reclocker is far superior to the one the Holo Spring has. Something maybe like the one Antelope Audio has.

I have not heard the USB 5 but have never been impressed with a USB 3. I would anyday choose a AES connection over it. Unfortunately my Aries Mini didn’t have AES compatibility. So went with Lifatec glass optical cable. Clearly preferred that to any other connection type. That’s been my learning with my limited experience with computer audio. Am sure you guys have much more experience but my suggestion is do look at options other than USB. With a USB you’re most of the time cleaning and clearing up the signal :)
Prem,
Holo spring Reclock signal only in case of USB input, for rest of the inputs it uses source clock. If reclocker is superior to Holo Spring , the definitely it makes a difference, so Chrystec clock in singxer is superior to Holo and several users have proved it in results.

I am using I2S input for HOLO, which is even superior to AES connection, if you can see my signature it is mentioned that I am using HDMI for I2S connection.
yes USB is weakest link in all connection and you can only replace it with the chain I am using or one box solutions that has been mentioned by FM bhagwan-Zentith se MK-II
http://innuos.com/en/catalog/go/zenith-se-mk2-std
In my opinion one should go for one box solution like zenith if one has money, otherwise my longer chain budget solution is somewhat good enough.
 

prem

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Dheerajin, thanks for the clarification. I didn’t know you were using I2S. I thought Holo reclocks signal from every input. Yggdrasil does that. So I just assumed Holo also does:)
 

dheerajin

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Such an important post.
Do site examples of both with links to products and indicative prices, so many can understand the difference... Many thanks...
Link for USB Regen with Price-$ 175.00
https://uptoneaudio.com/products/usb-regen
Link for ISO Regen with Price-$ 325.00
https://uptoneaudio.com/products/iso-regen
Difference between both Devices
1-ISO REGEN’s input uses the world’s only integrated high-speed USB isolator chip, the Silanna Semiconductor ICE08USB. It
creates a “moat” to isolate the power and signal grounds from computer/stream USB sources before your DAC. This “moat” blocks leakage currents and other low level interference from the source. You can expect to hear more accurate bass and a lot of micro-dynamic details that you previously missed. Vocal breath and intonation may seem more "real" and the "air" around drum and wood snaps are likely to have more "space."
2-A USB 3.1 hub chip specially selected for both its proven compatibility and for its extraordinary measured signal integrity (the best we have seen)
3-A world-class ultra-low-phase-noise oscillator (Crystek CCHD-575), the sort of “Femtosecond” low jitter clock normal found only in top-quality DACs as an audio master clock.
4-Five of the world’s lowest noise integrated 200mA voltage regulators (the wonderful Linear Tech. LT3042).
5- As with the original REGEN, we still create a very clean 5VBUS output—for DACs that need it—with the terrific TI TPS7A4700 ultra-low-noise 1-amp regulator. Other aspects of the power networks were improved as well.

Whatever technical differences given above, is apparent in sound . And linear power supplies take the sound to higher notch.
 

jls001

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Sorry for jumping in so late into the thread. I had wanted to post earlier but felt overwhelmed by the complexity of the chain, and wanted to understand it better. Things have become clearer as Dheeraj took time to put together the pieces for us.

The chain is very well thought out and everything in the chain is there for reducing troublesome clocks (the USB reclocker and Regen) or providing the best path (note the use of I2S link which is the native format used in CD transports). Unfortunately I2S doesn't have a real standard as it's really meant for very short runs of few centimeters within a CD player/transport, but two "standards" are generally followed, namely, HDMI cable and Ethernet. I think it was PS Audio that first used I2D over HDMI and many other OEMs adopted it. I2S over Ethernet is used by others like aqua DACs.

Another well thought-out aspect of the chain was the use of linear power supplies. A clean and powerful power source is critical to give proper dynamic swing, bring out tiny details and nuances in the music, and give better clarity to the music.

Dheeraj has also taken pains to find the optimal speaker placement in his room. This involves quite a bit of "contortion" as one speaker needs to be pulled out into "play" position - well into the room and half blocking the main door, and back to "stow" position when not in use. He has an understanding family who also happen to enjoy the music. If he had not been as adventurous in placing the speakers correctly, I'm certain his sound wouldn't sound half as good.

Last, but not the least, he has a sound in mind that he wants to achieve. This clarity of thought is not too common amongst audiophiles. He wants a vocal centric sound and he has achieved it well.

Thanks for having us over at a short notice. And sorry for keeping you waiting as Google Map took us on a rather wild ride from Anjuna to Kolhapur:D
 

dheerajin

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Sorry for jumping in so late into the thread. I had wanted to post earlier but felt overwhelmed by the complexity of the chain, and wanted to understand it better. Things have become clearer as Dheeraj took time to put together the pieces for us.

The chain is very well thought out and everything in the chain is there for reducing troublesome clocks (the USB reclocker and Regen) or providing the best path (note the use of I2S link which is the native format used in CD transports). Unfortunately I2S doesn't have a real standard as it's really meant for very short runs of few centimeters within a CD player/transport, but two "standards" are generally followed, namely, HDMI cable and Ethernet. I think it was PS Audio that first used I2D over HDMI and many other OEMs adopted it. I2S over Ethernet is used by others like aqua DACs.

Another well thought-out aspect of the chain was the use of linear power supplies. A clean and powerful power source is critical to give proper dynamic swing, bring out tiny details and nuances in the music, and give better clarity to the music.

Dheeraj has also taken pains to find the optimal speaker placement in his room. This involves quite a bit of "contortion" as one speaker needs to be pulled out into "play" position - well into the room and half blocking the main door, and back to "stow" position when not in use. He has an understanding family who also happen to enjoy the music. If he had not been as adventurous in placing the speakers correctly, I'm certain his sound wouldn't sound half as good.

Last, but not the least, he has a sound in mind that he wants to achieve. This clarity of thought is not too common amongst audiophiles. He wants a vocal centric sound and he has achieved it well.

Thanks for having us over at a short notice. And sorry for keeping you waiting as Google Map took us on a rather wild ride from Anjuna to Kolhapur:D
Thanks Joshua for putting your observation. Even your whole day travel could not keep you from listening to sound, that is commendable thing may be its natural for us audiophiles :p. Thanks for coming over despite tiresome travel that day.
Looking forward to your next visit, after some other tweaking has been done.
 

dheerajin

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Dheerajin, thanks for the clarification. I didn’t know you were using I2S. I thought Holo reclocks signal from every input. Yggdrasil does that. So I just assumed Holo also does:)
Hi Prem,
If happen to come to Pune, Please come to listen to the system.:).
 

prem

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Thanks for the invite Dheerajin, if I am that side will call and come
 

bornfi

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I too had similar kind of journey. I have a Yggdrasil. I was running it with Logitech Squeezebox Touch. I lived with this combination for long time thinking digital is digital whether you take it from computer or any other device.

As with all of us, I also keep reading in different forums on internet and found out a consistent agreement that coax is better than optical that I tried and found it to be true.

Again, somewhere in some forum somebody said that Mike (designer of Yggdrasil) finds AES to be best in put with DAC. So, I started using Canare's coax to AES converter for substantial improvement in terms of overall quietness.

Sorry for this detailed story but looking at Dheeraj's effort, felt like writing mine.

Then one fine day, since I never tried my DAC's USB, thought why not give it a try with iPad and I did and that presented a different perspective on soundstage. I got better locked-defined soundstage. But, that realness was still lacking.

After that, I bought a used Logitech Transporter and used its digital out to DAC and that was an eye opener. Eye-opener because this made me convinced that everybody is doing something messy in digital side of this whole thing.

While I was in that experiment mode, somebody brought up Dante and though I cursed that fellow, I thought since I am already in so much of debt (that is how this hobby is) why not give this a try too. I tried and the change it brought in, still makes me think ever after a year that "Yes, this is how it should be". You feel that there was always some sort of humm/noise in the background that robe the sounstage (making separation difficult).

It can get a complicated implementation depending on your savviness. Below is what I use in my system. Also, those who play with multiple sample rates might find this trouble some because the sample rate does not change on this automatically.

https://hermanproav.com/product/304313/RDL-SF-ND2-Network-to-Digital-Audio-Interface

Though I haven't used any such other devices in past but the kind of quality this brings in, will make you think that expecting anything more than this is not fair.
 

dheerajin

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Bornfi,
Audio over internet protocol is the future down the line..already products are being used by studios-
https://pro.focusrite.com/category/audiooverip

for those who dont know about DANTE(Digital Audio Network Through Ethernet) , here are the advantages-
Digital audio provides several advantages over traditional analog audio distribution. Audio transmitted over analog cables can be adversely affected by signal degradation due to electromagnetic interference, high-frequency attenuation, and voltage drop over long cable runs. Thanks to digital multiplexing, the cabling requirements for digital audio distribution are almost always reduced when compared to analog audio. Dante also provides specific advantages over first-generation audio over Ethernet technologies, such as CobraNet and EtherSound. Technological advancements include native gigabit support,[6] higher channel count, lower latency, and automatic configuration.
 
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