General discussion about HAKAI

A DIY digital music streamer with exceptional performance

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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by Lego » 2018-10-02 13:50

Got my Hakai up and running with the GA-N3150N-D3V flavour. Initially, Volumio wasn't seen in the network then it was, then it wasn't so decided to get another router and have a separate network for the Hakai and so far it's been very stable.

I also decided to turn off digital volume which makes me feel better if nothing else.

My first port of call for control is Linn Kazoo as this clearly sets up a playlist and sticks to it no matter what phone /tablet is doing in that some apps stop playing the next track if the device goes to sleep, goes to power saving mode or is switched off.

Listening to an album on the Haki is akin to listening to the album during the early days of discovering the album, it really is that good.

This also reminds me of a hi-fi mag article written by a reader describing his computer build that was going to play DVDs for his cinema set-up. Once finished and got it fired up he said his £2.5K Sony Dvd player was immediately relegated to the kid's bedroom. Obviously the days before eBay
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by Azazello » 2018-10-02 20:37

Lego wrote:Got my Hakai up and running with the GA-N3150N-D3V flavour. [...]
Listening to an album on the Haki is akin to listening to the album during the early days of discovering the album, it really is that good. [...]

YES!!! What did you use before the HAKAI?

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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by Lego » 2018-10-02 22:49

Azazello wrote:
Lego wrote:Got my Hakai up and running with the GA-N3150N-D3V flavour. [...]
Listening to an album on the Haki is akin to listening to the album during the early days of discovering the album, it really is that good. [...]

YES!!! What did you use before the HAKAI?
LP12 apart ,it was cheap streamers(Chromecast audio,) ,ssd netbook with Linux and maplin dac and lastly a Yamaha streame having tried the usual 5* what HiFi sub £200 dacs as I wasn't convinced by Linn streamers
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2018-10-03 02:49

The comparison of the Hakai with what's available in the marketplace is staggering in a few ways:

1. The Hakai is a fabulous sounding source (equivalent to or better than my Rega Planar 9). It's the first digital source I have found to be true HiFi.
2. The HiFi magazines regularly give five stars to products sold as digital streamers that, in my experience, do not offer basic streaming functionality or good sound quality. For example, I owned a Cambridge Audio "streamer" which only functioned properly if linked to my pre-amp by a cable. It was refunded but that "streamer" was awarded the streaming product of the year by a UK HiFi magazine.
3. I recently tried to buy a streamer for my kid. I auditioned and returned products by Pioneer, Denon, Marantz and Yahama. They sounded poor and the functionality described was not in the products. The room it was to be used in didn't have great wifi signal but all the streamers had a USB port described as supporting up to 2TB of HDD. All of the products only supported ex fat USB drives and rarely read 64GB of music, mystifying given that NTFS has been around for years. You plug a 2TB HDD into the Hakai and it's read within seconds.

My experience led me to believe that the HiFi magazines didn't take the products from the boxes, set them up and properly test the basic functionality let alone the sound quality. In sound quality terms they seem to compare products from a limited number of manufacturers and award five stars with precious little attention to sonic quality.

Hats off to Fredrik - the Hakai is phenomenal! The design solves the problem of playing digital files with a beautifully simple approach. And it sounds incredible.
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2018-10-03 03:29

And please don't get me started on the Yamaha WXAD-10. Described as, "exceptional sounding", "audiophile grade", good to great reviews. Relative to the Hakai it sounds like a mediocre transistor radio. One Joni Mitchell track later it was doomed!
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-11 22:06

Does anybody have any views on the size of memory? 4mb vs 8mb?
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-13 21:51

David Neel wrote:Does anybody have any views on the size of memory? 4mb vs 8mb?
Obviously not! So I bought another 4gb anyway. Yes, it makes a difference....
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-10-13 22:10

Positive or negative difference? I was planning on buying 8Gb... (2 x 4Gb)
Last edited by tokenbrit on 2018-10-13 22:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-13 22:40

tokenbrit wrote:Positive or negative difference? I was was planning on buying 8Gb...
If you do that in 2 x 4gb modules you can discover that too.... :)

Initial impressions are: go for 8gb...
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by kallesprätt » 2018-10-14 07:14

David Neel wrote:
tokenbrit wrote:Positive or negative difference? I was was planning on buying 8Gb...
If you do that in 2 x 4gb modules you can discover that too.... :)

Initial impressions are: go for 8gb...
Are you using the low voltage DDR3L memory or DDR3?

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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-14 11:13

DDR3L
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2018-10-16 21:05

I now have completed two builds using the following boards:

GA-N3150N-D3V
GA-N3160N-D3V

Direct comaprison between the two is tricky to do and, in my view, slightly pointless. Both sound great.
Now I have a mission to persuade the nice folks at Volumio to tell us exactly how to build a Volunio NAS.

Thanks again Fredrik, the music is hugely enjoyable!
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-16 21:13

FairPlayMotty wrote:I now have completed two builds using the following boards:

GA-N3150N-D3V
GA-N3160N-D3V

Direct comaprison between the two is tricky to do and, in my view, slightly pointless. Both sound great.
Now I have a mission to persuade the nice folks at Volumio to tell us exactly how to build a Volunio NAS.

Thanks again Fredrik, the music is hugely enjoyable!
So happy to hear that FPM!

(I moved your post from HAKAI playground to this thread as it didn’t contain any clips)

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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-17 20:26

My HAKAI is now up and running but it has certainly been a trial. I built it as recommended but with the J3455 main board. At first Volumio couldn’t find my 600GB drive in the HAKAI but it turned out just as well (it was new and probably not formatted). So I reluctantly opened my LS-NAS to use Azazello’s technique, which worked brilliantly, thanks. When I popped open the NAS I noticed I had a formatted but unused 300GB Intel SSD in there so I installed Volumio on that. I also had a 1TB Seagate HD in there with nothing on it so I tried unplugging it and the music improved on the ADS I was using! So I removed it. The LS-NAS has two 600GB drives on it now, one has the OS and one the music. Once I get another 2.5” to 3.5” adapter bracket I’ll put the third 600GB in there for backup.

So with the 300 Intel back in the HAKAI it boots to Volumio. But I couldn’t connect to it. Tried multiple computers and then just on a hunch moved the Ethernet cable form one connector to the other and up it popped on the LS-NAS screen. So last night I went through the configuration and put in the pathway to the music but Volumio shows it unmounted. :-( After going through the whole process a few times with the same results I noticed the radio section on the iPhone app and tried it - success, I had music playing on my HAKAI! But the Volumio app still didn’t find the music library, although I could choose radio stations (less than a third of which actually played).

Then this morning (I’m home sick so I have some time to futz with this) I remembered people saying it worked fine with LUMIN so I tried it and was able to play music from my library!!! LUMIN is a bit kludgy not letting me do random play and not always playing what I tell it, and it’s volume control and reverse controls don’t work well-if at all, but I mostly have gotten it to work.

Then I noticed somebody else said it worked with Kazoo which I am now using. I haven’t put it in random mode yet but am currently building up a big playlist which I will save. But so far it seems like to be working with Kazoo, although a bit slow scrolling the playlist. There is one weirdness with Kazoo, I told it to load my whole Porcupine Tree catalog, which it did, but it loaded it in alphabetical order by song rather than by album and track number and I am used to. Always something a bit strange!

No comparisons so far but it does sound quite good and it is just starting to burn in. I do have a N3160N-D3V on order so it may get better yet.
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-17 20:54

ThomasOK wrote:I do have a N3160N-D3V on order so it WILL get better yet.
Fixed that for you :)
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-17 21:23

A little addendum on Kazoo with HAKAI, on the playlist I had it appeared that it had loaded the Porcupine Tree stuff twice, once alphabetically by song and also by album. So I went in to delete the individual tracks, not a simple task when there are hundreds. Since I was doing it quickly using a finger for the minus sign and my thumb for delete I didn’t notice that I had just told it to delete the song it was playing. The circle spun for a little bit and then it dumped the entire playlist (over 1000 tracks-which I had never been able to do before on Kazoo). So I had to start from scratch.
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-17 21:26

David Neel wrote:
ThomasOK wrote:I do have a N3160N-D3V on order so it WILL get better yet.
Fixed that for you :)
You sound rather confident, a good sign.
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-17 21:31

Another hiccup. I was playing my new playlist and decided to skip a track I didn’t want to hear (a particular Nirvana track was not good for my head right now). It did go to the next track and played it fine, but at the end of it the music stopped. When I went back to Kazoo I found the whole playlist had been unceremoniously dumped again!

Luckily I had saved the 1012 track playlist, reloaded it, put it on random and it is now playing the second track just fine. Still not quite as solid as vinyl. ;-)
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-22 21:34

[moved from 'Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.]'

Yes, interestingly HAKAI has none of that digitized, fragmented sound.

It's certainly not perfect in all aspects, but it's very direct, real and engaging.

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-23 10:43

lejonklou wrote:Yes, interestingly HAKAI has none of that digitized, fragmented sound.

It's certainly not perfect in all aspects, but it's very direct, real and engaging.
I've heard a couple of versions of HAKAI built from bits that are (or were at the time!) currently available. Whilst the original HAKAI might be fantastic (I haven't heard one built from the complete original parts list), its not a useful reference given the variability / availability of bits to build it.
One of the iterations I heard was pleasant to listen to but the timing was not great, the other had much better timing but was rather congested so the music wasn't easy to follow. I think the difference was only in the motherboard/memory - the PSU, DAC and SSD being swapped between boxes to keep that and the software consistent. Maybe there are other iterations of HAKAI that do suffer from digitized, fragmented sound now or in the future.

I only mention this because reference to HAKAI probably needs to be more specific to be truly relevan? Also, how does HAKAI sound if recorded on a phone, posted on YouTube, compressed however YouTube compresses stuff, and then played back on iPad speakers? Does YouTube amend the compression / quality level of the sound to suit the bandwidth and/or device in use?
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-23 11:10

sunbeamgls wrote:
lejonklou wrote:Yes, interestingly HAKAI has none of that digitized, fragmented sound.

It's certainly not perfect in all aspects, but it's very direct, real and engaging.
I've heard a couple of versions of HAKAI built from bits that are (or were at the time!) currently available. Whilst the original HAKAI might be fantastic (I haven't heard one built from the complete original parts list), its not a useful reference given the variability / availability of bits to build it.
One of the iterations I heard was pleasant to listen to but the timing was not great, the other had much better timing but was rather congested so the music wasn't easy to follow. I think the difference was only in the motherboard/memory - the PSU, DAC and SSD being swapped between boxes to keep that and the software consistent. Maybe there are other iterations of HAKAI that do suffer from digitized, fragmented sound now or in the future.

I only mention this because reference to HAKAI probably needs to be more specific to be truly relevan? Also, how does HAKAI sound if recorded on a phone, posted on YouTube, compressed however YouTube compresses stuff, and then played back on iPad speakers? Does YouTube amend the compression / quality level of the sound to suit the bandwidth and/or device in use?
Please state the parts of the units you listened to!

HAKAI is clearly defined by the parts list. If you substitute parts for untested ones, it's no longer a HAKAI and should not be called that.

There is a massive difference between for instance motherboards - the best sounding one makes it rival the latest KDS, while picking a similarly specified one can put it far below a Sneaky DS. The same is true for the SSD - Intel 320 is in a class of its own and substituting it usually kills performance.

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Lego » 2018-10-23 11:35

sunbeamgls wrote:
lejonklou wrote:Yes, interestingly HAKAI has none of that digitized, fragmented sound.

It's certainly not perfect in all aspects, but it's very direct, real and engaging.
I've heard a couple of versions of HAKAI built from bits that are (or were at the time!) currently available. Whilst the original HAKAI might be fantastic (I haven't heard one built from the complete original parts list), its not a useful reference given the variability / availability of bits to build it.
One of the iterations I heard was pleasant to listen to but the timing was not great, the other had much better timing but was rather congested so the music wasn't easy to follow. I think the difference was only in the motherboard/memory - the PSU, DAC and SSD being swapped between boxes to keep that and the software consistent. Maybe there are other iterations of HAKAI that do suffer from digitized, fragmented sound now or in the future.

I only mention this because reference to HAKAI probably needs to be more specific to be truly relevan? Also, how does HAKAI sound if recorded on a phone, posted on YouTube, compressed however YouTube compresses stuff, and then played back on iPad speakers? Does YouTube amend the compression / quality level of the sound to suit the bandwidth and/or device in use?
were you listening to it fully burned in and what were you actually trying to listen to, the motherboards?
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-23 12:08

sunbeamgls wrote: One of the iterations I heard was pleasant to listen to but the timing was not great, the other had much better timing but was rather congested so the music wasn't easy to follow. I think the difference was only in the motherboard/memory - the PSU, DAC and SSD being swapped between boxes to keep that and the software consistent.
Unless you've found somebody else with two Hakais (!) that was presumably my N3050N-D2P and J3455N-D3H. You're right, the difference was motherboard and memory, but also the PSU board and case. The PSU brick and DAC remained the same, and the SSD was swapped from one case to the other. There is an open invitation for a return visit now that my N3160N-D3V has arrived, and the N3050N-D2P timing has improved.
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI (Split from original thread)

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-23 12:50

I wrote a longish reply but it has been lost in the ether.

No time now, will try again later.
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Re: General discussion about HAKAI

Post by fatjulio » 2018-10-26 11:07

Are people using Volumio as just a renderer (controlling it from another app, like Lumin, Bubble etc), as opposed to it finding the music to play? I've just put a Hakai together and going through the find the library stage. It sees my Synology NAS, but not the shares. I tried manually connecting with no luck.
I can use Bubble Upnp to play music to it. Should I just use that and not worry about it's library?

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