HAKAI playground

A DIY digital music streamer with exceptional performance

Moderator: Staff

Spannko
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1404
Joined: 2008-01-24 21:46
Location: East of The Black Country, UK

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Spannko »

I prefer 0
User avatar
markiteight
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 369
Joined: 2012-01-13 01:50
Location: Seattle, Wa. USA

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by markiteight »

With Spotify I prefer 1. The fiddle seems more expressive during the opening and there's more swing when the rest of the band joins in.

B was close but I think I prefer 1 again. On 0 the chorus is "clearer" and more delineated, but the band sounds more together on 1. The momentum of the chorus carries into the second verse better on 1 and when the recording ends i wish it kept going. I like this song!

With C the choice was easier. I hear the despair and anguish in Fantine's voice more clearly through 1.

I did something different this time. I usually just play the clips directly off the links but this time the streams were glitchy so I tried downloading. I think I'll be doing the download in the future.
beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2288
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by beck »

I prefer 1
OscarH
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 304
Joined: 2019-03-14 10:57
Location: Exile on Dane St.

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by OscarH »

1 for me.

Nice clips!
tokenbrit
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1314
Joined: 2012-03-22 19:47
Location: New England

Re: Let's get digital...

Post by tokenbrit »

The reveal, as promised: (drum roll, please :)
0 - Volumio 2.411 with MPD 21.16
1 - Debian Buster (linux image 4.19.0-9) with MPD 21.11

Each on their own Intel 320 300Gb, same (LS)NAS running minimserver; using BubbleDS on Android phone as the control point. Clips done this way to compare apples to apples: Volumio vs Debian/MPD; all else same as poss.

So, there could be a difference between SSDs, and Volumio might be improved by using the UI & NFS or CIFS... (we'll see ;)
David Neel
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 786
Joined: 2008-02-08 23:17
Location: In the groove

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel »

Pinky: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7176okmvf5oas ... 1.mp4?dl=0
Perky: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x6ky8l8bysqk3 ... 9.mp4?dl=0

I've been lightly tweaking my digital bits, which led to this comparison...
The search for knowledge is not nourished by certainty, but by a radical distrust in certainty
beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2288
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by beck »

Listening to Perky my foot started tapping! :-)
tokenbrit
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1314
Joined: 2012-03-22 19:47
Location: New England

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by tokenbrit »

David Neel wrote: 2021-02-06 18:46 Pinky: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7176okmvf5oas ... 1.mp4?dl=0
Perky: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x6ky8l8bysqk3 ... 9.mp4?dl=0

I've been lightly tweaking my digital bits, which led to this comparison...
Feels like I'm in the bar car on Pinky's train; maybe the restaurant car on Perky's... I'm going to have a hangover after Pinky's but I'll have enjoyed the party - woo woo :)
Spannko
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1404
Joined: 2008-01-24 21:46
Location: East of The Black Country, UK

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by Spannko »

Pinky sounds a bit off colour, whereas Perky sounds, well, perky 🤪
David Neel
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 786
Joined: 2008-02-08 23:17
Location: In the groove

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel »

Punch: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m15qdmc3n9qjt ... 9.mp4?dl=0
Judy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s4yv2jdzmgljn ... 9.mp4?dl=0

Don't be distracted by the turntable! This is a purely digital comparison.
The search for knowledge is not nourished by certainty, but by a radical distrust in certainty
beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2288
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by beck »

Listening to Punch my foot starts tapping............
tokenbrit
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1314
Joined: 2012-03-22 19:47
Location: New England

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by tokenbrit »

David Neel wrote: 2021-02-07 15:49 Punch: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m15qdmc3n9qjt ... 9.mp4?dl=0
Judy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s4yv2jdzmgljn ... 9.mp4?dl=0

Don't be distracted by the turntable! This is a purely digital comparison.
Punch rather than Judy for me (just noticed: I agree with beck... unusual for me :)

Looking forward to Bill & Ben and an excuse to 'relax' with those clips... ;)
David Neel
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 786
Joined: 2008-02-08 23:17
Location: In the groove

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel »

David Neel wrote: 2021-01-26 21:03 The differences were that A and C had the Hakai running a 300GB Intel 320 with Debian Stretch, controlled from Kazoo via AssetUPnP on the LSNAS. B and D were from a 160GB Intel 320 with Volumio 2.411 running MPD 21.16, with Volumio accessing the files directly.

Although I had done this comparison a while back, and chosen Volumio, I had been getting dissatisfied recently, so went back to Debian. However, doing the comparison has lifted the performance of Volumio over what I've been hearing recently...
My mistake on the previous page - it was actually Buster, and not Stretch, in A and C above. And the (almost) consensus was that Volumio was better.

Since then, I have made some material changes in both LSNAS and Hakai. First, I've eliminated the internal extension power cord between the LSNAS PSU and the rear of the Node 304 case, the power cord now goes through a hole which used to be a vent in the side of the case. Second, the Hakai motherboard is now a N3050N-D2P instead of N3160N. Finally, the Hakai is now built into a Streacom FC8 Alpha case rather than FC1 Evo. I have felt that each of these changes has been a step forward.

You have been listening to the same two SSDs again. This time, however, the (almost) consensus is for Debian... unless I've misunderstood the bar car/dining car analogy. Pinky and Judy were Volumio, Perky and Punch were Debian.

Why did Punch and Judy show an apparently operating LP12? (Actually, the stylus was resting on a stationary LP.) Because I have that track on vinyl too. In the end, I didn't make a clip. First, the volume difference was significant. Second, I couldn't drop the needle and get back to start recording quickly enough. Finally, well, it wasn't even close!
The search for knowledge is not nourished by certainty, but by a radical distrust in certainty
tokenbrit
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1314
Joined: 2012-03-22 19:47
Location: New England

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by tokenbrit »

David Neel wrote: 2021-02-07 20:52 .. on the previous page - it was actually Buster, and not Stretch, in A and C above. And the (almost) consensus was that Volumio was better.

Since then, I have made some material changes in both LSNAS and Hakai. First, I've eliminated the internal extension power cord between the LSNAS PSU and the rear of the Node 304 case, the power cord now goes through a hole which used to be a vent in the side of the case. Second, the Hakai motherboard is now a N3050N-D2P instead of N3160N. Finally, the Hakai is now built into a Streacom FC8 Alpha case rather than FC1 Evo. I have felt that each of these changes has been a step forward.

You have been listening to the same two SSDs again. This time, however, the (almost) consensus is for Debian...
Curious that the changes changed the result(s) - one might expect that hardware changes would improve both; not reverse previous preferences. Results for my clips, above, echoed your latest results... One thing I have found is that the Linux kernel image changes the sound, which is why I stayed with 4.19.0-9 - have you done any software or firmware updates to your Buster install since the A and C comparison?

I'm interested in the FC8 (& where you got the N3050 ;) - looks like there's more room, and better horizontal mounting for the SSD(s)... Any chance of some photos of the installation in your case?
David Neel
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 786
Joined: 2008-02-08 23:17
Location: In the groove

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel »

tokenbrit wrote: 2021-02-08 16:40 Curious that the changes changed the result(s) - one might expect that hardware changes would improve both; not reverse previous preferences. Results for my clips, above, echoed your latest results... One thing I have found is that the Linux kernel image changes the sound, which is why I stayed with 4.19.0-9 - have you done any software or firmware updates to your Buster install since the A and C comparison?

I'm interested in the FC8 (& where you got the N3050 ;) - looks like there's more room, and better horizontal mounting for the SSD(s)... Any chance of some photos of the installation in your case?
No changes have been made to either SSD since the A and C comparison. Yes, it's curious that the results have changed - but I feel that the earlier clips may have been less representative of what was happening in the room?

Getting the reaction of others has helped me listen more carefully and reduce the effect of my expectation bias - as I make the clips I'm just confirming what I know... :)

Next steps will be to re-examine the Debian variables, to see if there are more improvements to be had. Watch this space...

The FC8 does have more room, especially when you don't install any of the passive cooling, and it feels more rigid. It also sounds a bit calmer and more authoritative. The 3050 was a lucky find, but a 3150 slipped through my fingers. I'm stupid enough to have sold TWO 3050s and a 3150 previously. When the disk is optimised, I'll also revert to 3160 for a further motherboard comparison. With my track record on evaluating changes, it's time to be more rigorous!
The search for knowledge is not nourished by certainty, but by a radical distrust in certainty
tokenbrit
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 1314
Joined: 2012-03-22 19:47
Location: New England

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by tokenbrit »

David Neel wrote: 2021-02-08 20:15 Next steps will be to re-examine the Debian variables, to see if there are more improvements to be had. Watch this space...
Happy to share what Debian variables I found work for me here, if you're interested... to either prove or disprove ;)
David Neel
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 786
Joined: 2008-02-08 23:17
Location: In the groove

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel »

Yes, very interested! I'll PM you, shortly...
The search for knowledge is not nourished by certainty, but by a radical distrust in certainty
OscarH
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 304
Joined: 2019-03-14 10:57
Location: Exile on Dane St.

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by OscarH »

tokenbrit wrote: 2021-02-07 18:56
David Neel wrote: 2021-02-07 15:49 Punch: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m15qdmc3n9qjt ... 9.mp4?dl=0
Judy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s4yv2jdzmgljn ... 9.mp4?dl=0

Don't be distracted by the turntable! This is a purely digital comparison.
Punch rather than Judy for me (just noticed: I agree with beck... unusual for me :)

Looking forward to Bill & Ben and an excuse to 'relax' with those clips... ;)
Punch for me too.

It really is incredible that all that amplification is fed by a DIY box and a little DJ DAC...

Also, entirely non-hakai related - how thick/heavy are those curtains? I've been meaning to experiment with various blankets to see what kind of cloth weight is needed to have a noticeable effect. I can't seem to post any clips here without someone questioning the large window behind the speakers.

(I do feel a bit guilty for buying those motherboards...)
User avatar
V.A.MKD
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 600
Joined: 2019-10-09 15:33
Location: Skopje / Europe
Contact:

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by V.A.MKD »

David Neel wrote: 2021-02-07 15:49 Punch: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m15qdmc3n9qjt ... 9.mp4?dl=0
Judy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/s4yv2jdzmgljn ... 9.mp4?dl=0

Don't be distracted by the turntable! This is a purely digital comparison.
"Punch" for me.
Music First ...
Vlado
David Neel
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 786
Joined: 2008-02-08 23:17
Location: In the groove

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by David Neel »

Thank you all for your comments! They have helped me make (or remake) a more musical digital system.

It all started last year when I decided that the LSNAS sounded better with Win10 than Debian, and then that Volumio sounded better than Debian for the Hakai hardware. Both these decisions were made after comparative listening, but not after living longer term with the new solution...

I have form when it comes to making comparisons and coming to the wrong conclusions - if you need evidence my thread on power between the socket and the hifi should demonstrate my ability to be seduced by sonics and forget the musicality...

A few weeks ago, there was an excuse (a funeral) for a family get-together despite lockdown. At mine, the digital music played in the background, until one of my sons reminded me of (years ago) comparing vinyl to CD, whereupon I switched to the same album on vinyl, and all were gobsmacked. The following day, I stopped feeling smug about my vinyl setup and wondered why digital was THAT bad.

My tentative answer is that having gone to Win10 on the LSNAS, I might have improved the sound, but reduced the musicality - and that from there, all my subsequent changes were suspect.

I'm now back with Debian on both LSNAS and Hakai. It's not vinyl, but it's not bad... :)
The search for knowledge is not nourished by certainty, but by a radical distrust in certainty
beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2288
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by beck »

So good of you to tell us your story David Neel!

It happens to all of us and it is a reminder that we can so easily get caught up in sonics and carried away in the wrong direction.

Enjoy the music! :-)
User avatar
ThomasOK
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 3341
Joined: 2007-02-02 18:41
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by ThomasOK »

Not me!

Never mind. Yeah I've done it too.
The LP12 Whisperer
Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailer and above all lover of music.
beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2288
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by beck »

ThomasOK wrote: 2021-02-10 23:00 Not me!

Never mind. Yeah I've done it too.
I simply cannot get enough of you Thomas on this forum! :-)

This is the second time just today you have made me laugh, and boy do I need it!
User avatar
springwood64
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 387
Joined: 2008-10-13 18:19
Location: UK

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by springwood64 »

Here's a before and after of my screening experiments (https://www.lejonklou.com/forum/viewtop ... 988#p54988):

2A https://www.dropbox.com/s/0426ctveukfptsh/2A.mp4?dl=0

3B https://www.dropbox.com/s/kmzqafgr6zeilig/3B.mp4?dl=0

And if you're really enthusiastic, here's a shoot-out between my vinyl and digital sources using Pink Floyds 2011 remaster of DSOTM

Time: https://www.dropbox.com/s/2d042ly207pqgpu/Time.mp4?dl=0
Run: https://www.dropbox.com/s/jlnl431gwu767h3/Run.mp4?dl=0
Pete

Linn Axis, Kinki, Hakai, Boazu, Espeks
beck
Very active member
Very active member
Posts: 2288
Joined: 2012-10-22 22:25

Re: HAKAI playground

Post by beck »

Listening to 2A and 3B I must admit I personally prefer 2A. It seems more alive (less hifi) to me. The background clapping seems more as a part of the music (party).........
Post Reply