Källa overview

A source of endless thrills

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Re: Källa overview

Post by sunbeamgls »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-25 22:19
3) Streaming services are, with 1 and 2 above applied, in general more musical than listening to the same music stored on a NAS, even when the files on the NAS are higher in resolution than what the streaming services offer.
We should all try and find out how these services are delivering this, so that we can emulate this at home with our NAS infrastructure.
Trouble is, what happens when the streaming services change their equipment - will the musicality get better or worse, or is this idea of them being more musical directly related to the protocol(s) they use as opposed to uPnP?
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Re: Källa overview

Post by teatime »

matthias wrote: 2021-04-27 09:55
DelNaja wrote: 2021-04-27 07:55 Regarding Overview2.gif, does the cable fed computer also have to be an Apple device?
IIUC, Apple and Airplay capable.

Matt
Or just Airplay capable, reasonably.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by Whatsmynaim »

Not sure if this will work but..
What if we take the albums (the ones not available on streaming services) from our NAS and put them on the Apple device and stream from there? Or upload said albums somewhere online so we can stream them. Will it sound OK, good or maybe even fantastic?
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Re: Källa overview

Post by lejonklou »

donuk wrote: 2021-04-26 22:06 Personally I am disappointed that the Kalla does not have an onboard volume control that can be bypassed. I am aware of the sonic preferences for preamplifiers.
But it would mean that one could start with a simpler system and regard a preamplifier as an upgrade when funds allowed.
As an ADS Kat user I use the internal volume control. To audition a Kalla I would need to obtain a preamplifier.
Defender wrote: 2021-04-27 08:51 @donuk: every feature means investing time and money - I understand your point in addressing a bigger target group - however digital volume control means more programming and likely more compromise on the musicality.
I have an Akurate Katalyst too - I tested the digital volume control and it was eating up the soul of music. I heard digital volume controls on several occasions- just this weekend with a different player directly into my power amps at my home. It simply draws down all the other investments you put into your stereo system.

Again I completely understand where you are coming from and I am happy for you that obviously the digital volume control of the AKDS Katalyst works for you.
It's not really a question of time and money, we have already tried it in various ways. My programmer was convinced he could make it sound really good.

What finally made us abandon it was that Källa was no longer A Source of Endless Thrills with the digital volume enabled. It sounded like a digital streamer, nice but never gripping. And then we asked ourselves whether it was good enough and the answer was a definite No.

Most people are convinced that digital volume is great. Releasing Källa into such an environment would mean that many of them would have the digital volume enabled and used. That would in turn result in the people hearing it thinking that it's an OK streamer. They wouldn't be thrilled. And I would feel that the whole project had been wasted.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by matthias »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-27 19:49 They wouldn't be thrilled. And I would feel that the whole project had been wasted.
Agree,
but what about a VC like Giella/Pi?
Thanks

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Last edited by matthias on 2021-04-28 11:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by lejonklou »

matthias wrote: 2021-04-27 19:59
lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-27 19:49 They wouldn't be thrilled. And I would feel that the whole project had been wasted.
Agree,
but what about a VC like Giella/Pi?
Thanks

Matt
That's an interesting idea. It would require a second power supply (which there's already room for) and a second main board (not sure where to put that, though). But then I'm sure some would be disappointed if it didn't have more inputs. So it would require those parts as well, which there might not be room for, at least on the rear panel.

Someone asked if I couldn't put Källa into a Boazu. That's another interesting idea. But a whole other project.

There are many ways in which Källa could evolve, both in terms of hardware additions and upgrades and software functionality and upgrades. We'll see what happens in the coming years.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by springwood64 »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-27 19:49 They wouldn't be thrilled. And I would feel that the whole project had been wasted.
"Something wonderful"
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Re: Källa overview

Post by TMV »

How about an opto link from Källa to Sagatun so it's possible to control volume with an app? And then also add the opto interface to Boazu?
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Re: Källa overview

Post by Spannko »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-25 16:11
Spannko wrote: 2021-04-25 12:56 Does this suggest that taking a feed directly from the modem/router is better than going through a network switch?
Good question.

The router affects the sound and musicality of all streamers. Källa is no exception. The musically best performing router is likely the same for all streamers, i.e. it's an intrinsic quality of the router and not a question of the right combination.

I wish I could give a list of which routers perform the best, but it's quite a challenge given how many models there are and how much time and money is required to test them. In general it seems old routers are often good while modern mesh systems can be quite bad, giving the streamer a harsh and annoying character.

The consensus has been that adding a switch between the router and the streamer is beneficial to the sound and musicality. With Källa, we have found that this is not always the case. With a bad sounding router, the addition of a switch is positive - the switch has a "smoothing" character. But with a good sounding router, it isn't always better to add a switch.

An example: At my lab I have a D-Link DWR-116, which is a cheap old router that takes a 4G dongle. It sounds pretty good and with Källa it's better to connect them directly than to add a Netgear GS-108T switch in between.
By “router”, do you mean a combined modem/wireless access point/router, or a separate router plugged into the modem/WAP/router ?

Also, have you tried Källa into a more typical family home network? Most families must have incredibly busy networks these days, what with phones, tablets, computers, games consoles, home security, TV’s etc all wanting a piece of the action. Network speed may be no longer a problem, but a constantly “chattering” network could very well be a problem for our streaming systems. Is it necessary for us to have a “quiet sub network” (if there’s such a thing) just for the streaming system?
Last edited by Spannko on 2021-04-28 22:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by matthias »

Fredrik,

in addition to Spannko's questions when going WiFi is the 2,4GHz or the 5GHz band musically superior?
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Re: Källa overview

Post by Charlie1 »

WiFi 6 might be better cos it can better prioritise real-time traffic although if the network is quiet then I doubt that would make a difference.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by Lego »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-25 16:11
Spannko wrote: 2021-04-25 12:56 Does this suggest that taking a feed directly from the modem/router is better than going through a network switch?
Good question.

The router affects the sound and musicality of all streamers. Källa is no exception. The musically best performing router is likely the same for all streamers, i.e. it's an intrinsic quality of the router and not a question of the right combination.

I wish I could give a list of which routers perform the best, but it's quite a challenge given how many models there are and how much time and money is required to test them. In general it seems old routers are often good while modern mesh systems can be quite bad, giving the streamer a harsh and annoying character.

The consensus has been that adding a switch between the router and the streamer is beneficial to the sound and musicality. With Källa, we have found that this is not always the case. With a bad sounding router, the addition of a switch is positive - the switch has a "smoothing" character. But with a good sounding router, it isn't always better to add a switch.

An example: At my lab I have a D-Link DWR-116, which is a cheap old router that takes a 4G dongle. It sounds pretty good and with Källa it's better to connect them directly than to add a Netgear GS-108T switch in between.
Switch.gif
My Hakai is on a different network from my internet .Do you think if I changed my Netgear router to the D-Link above would improve the sound quality with the added bonus of internet added to my Hakai network ?I have 45Gb of data on my plan that I hardly use.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by matthias »

Hi Fredrik,

sorry, but it is now for the third time that I ask this question without getting an answer so far.

How big is the influence of the Apple device on the overall musicality with Källa?
Is there a relation between CPU power and musicality?
Is there a difference between Intel and Apple M1 architecture?
Is there a difference between iPhone/iPad or MacBook/Pro or Apple desktop devices?

Thank you

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Re: Källa overview

Post by lejonklou »

matthias wrote: 2021-04-29 16:35 sorry, but it is now for the third time that I ask this question without getting an answer so far.

How big is the influence of the Apple device on the overall musicality with Källa?
Is there a relation between CPU power and musicality?
Is there a difference between Intel and Apple M1 architecture?
Is there a difference between iPhone/iPad or MacBook/Pro or Apple desktop devices?

Thank you

Matt
Sorry for the late reply Matt. I will post a list of recommended devices this weekend.

I don't think that CPU power influences musicality.
I don't know whether Intel or M1 matters, likely other details have a bigger influence, like the modem chip.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by lejonklou »

Lego wrote: 2021-04-29 14:27My Hakai is on a different network from my internet .Do you think if I changed my Netgear router to the D-Link above would improve the sound quality with the added bonus of internet added to my Hakai network ?I have 45Gb of data on my plan that I hardly use.
I have no idea. I haven't tried more than a handful of routers, most of which are obsolete. The router has a clear influence on the musicality of Linn streamers, HAKAI and Källa. It would be very good to make a list of which ones sound the best.
matthias wrote: 2021-04-28 17:24in addition to Spannko's questions when going WiFi is the 2,4GHz or the 5GHz band musically superior?
I have no idea. I have used both and never noticed a difference.
Spannko wrote: 2021-04-28 16:11 By “router”, do you mean a combined modem/wireless access point/router, or a separate router plugged into the modem/WAP/router?
In this case I meant a combined unit, but you may have a separate unit as well.
Spannko wrote: 2021-04-28 16:11Also, have you tried Källa into a more typical family home network? Most families must have incredibly busy networks these days, what with phones, tablets, computers, games consoles, home security, TV’s etc all wanting a piece of the action. Network speed may be no longer a problem, but a constantly “chattering” network could very well be a problem for our streaming systems. Is it necessary for us to have a “quiet sub network” (if there’s such a thing) just for the streaming system?
I have a typical busy family home network at home. I have never noticed that the amount of traffic on the network influences musicality. People have started video conferences and streamed movies on the same network while I have been listening in a different room. I don't think there's any need for a "quiet sub network".
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Re: Källa overview

Post by lejonklou »

TMV wrote: 2021-04-27 20:46 How about an opto link from Källa to Sagatun so it's possible to control volume with an app? And then also add the opto interface to Boazu?
The Control Link on Sagatun is one-way signaling, not a back and forth communication. So there would be no way for the app to know what the volume is. The only thing the app could have are the same buttons as on the infrared remote. Do you think it would be worth making a specific app for that?

There's also a definite risk that adding a Control Link Master to Källa would decrease performance slightly. Anything I have added to the computer has so far been bad and therefore best avoided.
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Re: Källa overview

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lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-30 10:28 The only thing the app could have are the same buttons as on the infrared remote. Do you think it would be worth making a specific app for that?
I use the Harmony App on my phone to control the volume of Boazu, in conjunction with the Harmony Hub. The app on my phone communicates over wi-fi with the Harmony Hub, which has an array of IR transmitters and an additional transmitter I've mounted high on the wall, the effect of which is to flood my living room with IR signals from the hub.

It mostly works ok and is much more convenient than using a separate remote. Boazue responds well to the Harmony Hub.

The operation is not perfect, mainly because the app to hub communication is a bit unreliable. The IR transmission however is very solid.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by Spannko »

Ah, I think I understand now. The routers intrinsic SQ affects overall SQ more than busy network traffic, and similarly, direct com’s between router/switch and streamer affects overall SQ more than general network traffic?

I’ve ordered a Netgear BR200 router which will enable me to make all manner of adjustments. Hopefully, I’ll be able to set up a link between the router & DS without so much chattering going on!
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Re: Källa overview

Post by Mitmu »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-30 10:28 The Control Link on Sagatun is one-way signaling, not a back and forth communication. So there would be no way for the app to know what the volume is. The only thing the app could have are the same buttons as on the infrared remote. Do you think it would be worth making a specific app for that?

There's also a definite risk that adding a Control Link Master to Källa would decrease performance slightly. Anything I have added to the computer has so far been bad and therefore best avoided.
For me yes, could not get used to the remote control of the Sagatun after using the Linn app for >10 years now, also since the components are in a closed cupboard the remote was a bit of a pain, an app for volume control would be ideal.

Any vision for a 'Linn DSM' like Kalla? I would immediately buy it with the promise of expert musicality :)
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Re: Källa overview

Post by TMV »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-30 10:28 The only thing the app could have are the same buttons as on the infrared remote. Do you think it would be worth making a specific app for that?
Mitmu wrote: 2021-04-30 20:36 For me yes, could not get used to the remote control of the Sagatun after using the Linn app for >10 years now, also since the components are in a closed cupboard the remote was a bit of a pain, an app for volume control would be ideal.
Yes for me too, same as infrared remote is enough because I only need volume control. Optimal would be using the volume buttons on iPhone (but maybe airplay volume control is digital and decrease performance?) so a simple app would be great.
lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-30 10:28 There's also a definite risk that adding a Control Link Master to Källa would decrease performance slightly. Anything I have added to the computer has so far been bad and therefore best avoided.
We don´t want that... :)
springwood64 wrote: 2021-04-30 10:56 I use the Harmony App on my phone to control the volume of Boazu, in conjunction with the Harmony Hub.
It mostly works ok and is much more convenient than using a separate remote. Boazu responds well to the Harmony Hub.
... so maybe this solution is the preferred one but so far I haven´t found a good and simple enough app (I would like volume only and not infinite menus or cloud connection...).
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Re: Källa overview

Post by matthias »

lejonklou wrote: 2021-04-25 12:12Overview.gif
Fredrik,

what is purely from a musicality POV the benefit of the protocol Källa uses in comparison to sending the data from the control point via USB to Källa. (I am sure you tried USB).
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Re: Källa overview

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matthias wrote: 2021-05-09 07:26 what is purely from a musicality POV the benefit of the protocol Källa uses in comparison to sending the data from the control point via USB to Källa. (I am sure you tried USB).
Directly to USB does not sound good at all.

There is a pattern in this that repeats itself but that we understand only partially. It's about direct versus indirect connections. Sometimes it works best to have a short, direct and "stiff" connection between two units. But often it's better to have something in between, something with a little delay and other parameters which you can fine tune. Then, interestingly enough, you reach a higher level of performance.
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Re: Källa overview

Post by u252agz »

This is all very exciting and I am expecting great things from Kalla.

I am however still a little confused about how the Kalla receives its music data, or indeed how any streamer such as Linn KDS receives its data.

I always thought that the Kazoo app ( eg spotify) on, say an i phone would instruct the KDS streamer to retrieve the music via spotify through the internet ( by way of the router) and that this was therefore source feeding the streamer.

I am getting the impression now that with Kalla - the spotify app is actually sending its music data to the router via wifi and then this is transmitted to the streamer via ethernet connections.

Help!
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Re: Källa overview

Post by macrotech2 »

u252agz wrote: 2021-05-11 15:54 This is all very exciting and I am expecting great things from Kalla.

I am however still a little confused about how the Kalla receives its music data, or indeed how any streamer such as Linn KDS receives its data.

I always thought that the Kazoo app ( eg spotify) on, say an i phone would instruct the KDS streamer to retrieve the music via spotify through the internet ( by way of the router) and that this was therefore source feeding the streamer.

I am getting the impression now that with Kalla - the spotify app is actually sending its music data to the router via wifi and then this is transmitted to the streamer via ethernet connections.

Help!
I think you've got it. As I understand it, with Kalla, the Spotify App on the iOS device is receiving the music data via WiFi from the router. You instruct the Spotify App to use Kalla, rather than the iOS device, as the output device, so the Spotify App retransmits the music data in Kalla Protokoll to the router via Wifi, and then this is transmitted to the streamer via ethernet connection.

What I still don't understand though is how the Spotify App knows how to encode in the Kalla Protokoll .
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Re: Källa overview

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u252agz wrote: 2021-05-11 15:54 I always thought that the Kazoo app ( eg spotify) on, say an i phone would instruct the KDS streamer to retrieve the music via spotify through the internet ( by way of the router) and that this was therefore source feeding the streamer.
This is my understanding:

The UPnP protocol and Spotify Connect are different protocols but both work something like this:
  1. The control app (eg Kazoo OR Spotify app) sends via the wifi router, addressed to the streamer, the web address of a track to play
  2. The streamer receives the address of the the track from the control app, via ethernet and the router (and any intervening switch)
  3. The streamer connects to the track web address, via ethernet, router, internet service provider and the www
  4. The streamer downloads some or all of the track data via the same route and starts playing it
u252agz wrote: 2021-05-11 15:54 I am getting the impression now that with Kalla - the spotify app is actually sending its music data to the router via wifi and then this is transmitted to the streamer via ethernet connections.
The AirPlay protocol is very different. The AirPlay server offers the ability to receive and play an AirPlay stream. An AirPlay client has a stream that it wants to send, in order for it to be played on an AirPlay server. An iPhone is an AirPlay client and Källa looks to it like an AirPlay server.
  1. The AirPlay client connects to a track web address, via wifi router, internet service provider and the www, just like the streamer does above
  2. The AirPlay client sends a request via the wifi router, addressed to the AirPlay server to establish a connection
  3. The AirPlay server (streamer) receives this request via the wifi router over ethernet
  4. The AirPlay client exchange requests and responses via the wifi router, and agree the parameters of the data about to be streamed
  5. The streamer opens a channel to receive the data from the AirPlay client via the wifi router
  6. The AirPlay client downloads some or all of the track data and sends it to the AirPlay streamer
Last edited by springwood64 on 2021-05-11 16:42, edited 3 times in total.
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