Optimizing your DS

Hardware and software, modifications and DIY

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u252agz
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Post by u252agz » 2014-12-12 11:38

RE previous post;

Forgot to mention that the 'GS105/FS108 v2' differences which were so obvious with the kds/tundra/monos/242 in the main room were not really noticeable with the sneaky/ninkas and sneaky/kef eggs ( both of these using ethernet over mains).

Sneaky is enjoyable to listen to and seems to be very forgiving. Main system is not as forgiving but then again sounds unbelievably good with a good signal/network etc
KDS2/Sagatun Tundra Monos /242s /LP12 Kore-KRad-Ekos SE/Slip 7

Sneaky/RP3/Slip 6.1/ Boazu/ Komp110

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Post by tokenbrit » 2014-12-12 14:52

DelNaja wrote:I apologize if this has already been answered in some other thread (I have searched the forum), but when changing the stock fan in the ReadyNAS NV+, what fan would you (present and previous) owners recommend? I gather quite a few have changed the fan with good results (less noise, better musicality), but it's hard to find what model.
I used a 60mm Fractal Silent Series R2 case fan in my ReadyNAS Duo. It's much quieter than the original fan... I can't say whether it is more musical as the install took a while, and was associated with moving the NAS into the living-room with the rest of the music system.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Robert Lake » 2015-11-09 22:47

After reading this thread, I wonder what are latest opinions regarding SSDs. I have a ReadyNAS, I have changed the fan and placed the NAS closed to my DS. I havn't changed the original (6+ year) 2x250 Mb disks yet. Should I buy a new NAS or two new SSDs in my ReadyNAS? Or should I just run the NAS with one SSD? And, is there any particular brands of SSDs that are better than others?

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by lejonklou » 2015-11-10 23:07

Hi Robert!

I know that some newer SSD's have been tested by LSNAS owners. Unfortunately, the old and hard to find Intel 320's are still the best performers. If you find one, try it in your ReadyNAS.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by TMV » 2016-03-26 12:47

I have a QNAP NAS with CrashPlan for backup and I have tested with three settings:
a. CrashPlan app is off: The music flows!! :)
b. CrashPlan app is on and setting is for backup all the time: The music flows quite well!!
c. CrashPlan app is on and setting is for backup 00:00 to 07:00: The music is so bad during the day that I want to throw away my stereo.

I don´t understand what CrashPlan does when on but not backuping but clearly something messing with the data to my DS. I have also heard others switching off "things" in the NAS/Computer so this is really something to test.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by The FlatEarther » 2016-04-07 14:52

So for a HiFi Kabin social at my house last weekend, I bought one of the FRIWO Med grade 12v power supply for the gs108-200 switch and swapped it over as part of our listening tests. There was a good instant improvement, especially for £48 inc vat from RS. However it has continued to improve considerably over the last few days. Giving a more analogue LP12 like sound and most of all improves tunedem.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Music Lover » 2016-04-07 15:54

Is it this one?
On RS web http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/plug-in-p ... y/4728572/
12V dc, 1 Output, Switch Mode, Plug In Power Supply, 1250mA, 15W, Medical
Stock no.: 472-8572

(found a thread on Linnforum http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=32140 )
It's all about musical understanding!

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by The FlatEarther » 2016-04-08 08:09

Music Lover wrote:Is it this one?
On RS web http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/plug-in-p ... y/4728572/
12V dc, 1 Output, Switch Mode, Plug In Power Supply, 1250mA, 15W, Medical
Stock no.: 472-8572

(found a thread on Linnforum http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=32140 )
That's it, MPP15 spot on.

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isolation

Post by MikeF » 2017-04-15 19:29

hi there,

I have added a netgear switch between the DS and the NAS although I do not fully understand how it imrpoves and I do not have time and ears & patience to check all the tips and tricks.

But I came along another device to provide galvanic isolation between telephone lines and DS.

http://www.artistic-fidelity.de/index.p ... o-isolator

I am not sure if this is part of the switch effect or if it is not solved or irrelevant. Any opinions on this?
( sorry if this has been already discussed somewhere else)

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by jiddu_k » 2017-04-17 12:45

Hi there,

I use a Giso DS in both of my systems and found it to make a worthwhile improvement in both.
As always it is recommended to test the device in your system first.

Best regards

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by MikeF » 2017-04-25 11:42

jiddu_k wrote:Hi there,

I use a Giso DS in both of my systems and found it to make a worthwhile improvement in both.
As always it is recommended to test the device in your system first.

Best regards
sure. Where do you put it? Between the telephone socket in the wall and the router or between router and switch, between switch and DS?

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by jiddu_k » 2017-05-05 08:51

MikeF wrote:
jiddu_k wrote:Hi there,

I use a Giso DS in both of my systems and found it to make a worthwhile improvement in both.
As always it is recommended to test the device in your system first.

Best regards
sure. Where do you put it? Between the telephone socket in the wall and the router or between router and switch, between switch and DS?
Between switch and DS. The GisoDS only connects the ground to one side, but as in my system it is only working in one direction I can´t remember to which side. In my setup (ReadyNAS - Netgear 108T v1 (with Router connected) - DS) the NAS produces the most noise on the mains.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Briain » 2017-07-18 16:44

The FlatEarther wrote:So for a HiFi Kabin social at my house last weekend, I bought one of the FRIWO Med grade 12v power supply for the gs108-200 switch and swapped it over as part of our listening tests. There was a good instant improvement, especially for £48 inc vat from RS. However it has continued to improve considerably over the last few days. Giving a more analogue LP12 like sound and most of all improves tunedem.
Hi

I'm afraid that I'm the mad person responsible for starting the FRIWO craze, and though it was with a mind to reduce noise which could potentially impact on my audio kit, it was principally done to reduce the radio interference I was experiencing from all these cheap and cheerful wall warts! :-) It started from me pondering getting back into amateur radio and having a shot of the short wave bands, then digging out a radio only to find the 7 MHz part of spectrum was totally unusable, so I borrowed an Audioprism to roughly figure out which of my existing SMPS units were behaving very badly (in terms of spitting noise back into the mains, which then gets radiated from the ring main and thus picked up by the radio antenna) and I discovered that almost all of them were quite bad (other than a couple of HP ones; the ones for my ancient HP Elitebook laptop and for an old HP tablet - from the Kinsky Mobile days - were very quiet) so I sought out a range of ones which were better behaved and by good luck, early in the process I discovered that the FRIWO MPP range were very good (so at least I don't have a big box of tested and rejected wall wart supplies in my store room, not to mention an empty wallet from buying them all to test them).

To test them for noise, I used a combination of the Audioprism (to detect noise in the audio range; it's not clear exactly what the Audioprism is indicating and I've not had the time to reverse engineer it to work that out) and far more 'usefully', an old HF receiver (a Kenwood TS-930S) with the antenna comprising 10 metres of wire, strung the length of my lounge (hung over my curtain rails) and me using the 7 MHz band to assess their relative merits. When I started, the signal strength meter on the HF radio was indicating that about 400 uV was being picked up by the antenna (thus making it impossible to hear any radio stations) and by the time I'd finished sorting it all out, I managed to get the noise level down to 0.4 uV, or to put that into real money, a drop of 60 dB, so that was a very significant noise reduction!

One of the big culprits was my Sky+ box (which could be picked up from an external antenna) so I temporarily fitted a mains filter and that silenced it. I later screened the two core mains cable (using the braid recovered from a tightly woven coaxial cable and some nylon sleeving and heat shrink to keep it all tidy) and that actually sorted it all out (though at some point, I'll also fit a mains filter). Once I'd fixed that, I looked at the bank of wall wart supplies (iPad, VoIP phone, Roku, HTPC, Raspberry Pi and my miniDSP) and all were generating substantial amounts of noise, so now all have been replaced with FRIWOs (a mixture of 5 V, 6V and 12 V units from both the MPP15 and MPP30 range; some MED and others non-MED) and as I say, the noise has been dramatically reduced (by 60 dB at the antenna, located about 3 meters from the bank of FRIWO units).

I did try the FRIWO USB interfaced SMPS for my iPad, and though it is significantly better than the Apple one, it still makes a little bit of noise, but as that isn't on 24/7, it isn't really an issue as I can simply unplug it when using the radio. As the Raspberry Pi will be on 24/7, I just went for a standard 5 V MPP15 and picked up a very handy 5.5 x 2.1 mm to micro USB cable from eBay (I bought a bag of 10 for under £10, but there are adverts for single ones) so that's a handy tip for anyone needing a FRIWO MPP for a 24/7 USB fed device (like a R Pi).

As stated above, I am happy to just use the FRIWO USB interfaced supply for charging the iPad as it is quite reasonable, but I have now worked out how to interface a standard supply to the iPad (basically, you require a couple of resistors between the USB pins, the value of same inform the iPad whether the charger is capable of 0.5 A or 1.0 A; if anyone needs that information, PM me and I'll dig it out).

I am now busy building up a GPSDO (GPS Disciplined Oscillator) to give me a 10 MHz feed (with extreme accuracy; better than 1 in 10 to the 10) around the building as I need that for calibrating my microwave frequency counter (and the likes) and though it runs of 6 V, the FRIWO MPP15 output sagged a little too much (the GPSDO contains a crystal oscillator in a small temperature controlled oven, and that takes a fair bit of current to keep it nice and toasty) so I've been trying to source a 6 V MPP30, but there are no UK stockists of same (and ordering one from the FRIWO site would cost over £90) so after a big hunt for a potential alternative unit, I've just ordered medical grade supply, but this time made by a company called Egston (and Farnell have them in stock). It will be interesting to assess this unit (in terms of noise getting back into the mains wiring) as the specifications for the DC side of things are certainly very decent (50 mV ripple, so even lower ripple than a FRIWO; actually, lower ripple than almost anything else that I've yet looked at) and at £56 (including UK VAT) for the 6 V @ 3A version, the price was acceptable so once I've tested it, I'll post back with my findings. Chances are that if the 6 V one is quite, the other ones from that specific range will most likely also be quiet.

In fact, if it does pass all my noise tests, I might order the 12 V version and try it to power my miniDSP (which is used to time align for my 345 rear sub and is currently being powered by a 12 V MPP30 MED) and then see how both measure up in terms of ripple on the DC side of things, but I'll first wait to see if the 6 V one wipes out my HF radio, or not (hopefully not as if it does, I'll be forced to build a linear supply for my GPSDO unit).

Bri

PS If anyone is curious about noise being radiated from the mains wiring (and with no access to an Audioprism plus a HF receiver) you can get a good idea by waving about a medium and long wave radio when comparing various SMPS units. Remember that the internal ferrite rod antenna is directional, so a few feet from the SMPS under test, rotate the radio to get the maximum noise then leaving the radio where it is, you can plug in different wall warts and see the differences between them. Note that they must be on load (so powering the gadgets you need powered) as when off load, then tend to make very little noise (though sadly, there are one or two exceptions to that rule). Again, you can hear that on the radio (the noise level will increase when you feed the SMPS into the gadget it's intended to power up).

Whilst the radio is out, you can also have a chortle when waving it in front of the KDS display window and listening to the cacophony of digital nefariousness going on inside (sounds like techno music). I also tried that with the ADSM, but that just makes an unpleasant racket (maybe it's coming from the HDMI board)?

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by lejonklou » 2017-07-18 23:13

Hi Briain! I like the energy that you put into this!

I have a question. Not having tried any FRIWO units myself, but getting mixed impressions from people who've tried them, I wonder:
Are you evaluating the actual effect on the HiFi by listening to music, or just by how much noise you can pick up at the 7 MHz band?

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Spannko » 2017-07-21 19:16

lejonklou wrote:Hi Briain! I like the energy that you put into this!

I have a question. Not having tried any FRIWO units myself, but getting mixed impressions from people who've tried them, I wonder:
Are you evaluating the actual effect on the HiFi by listening to music, or just by how much noise you can pick up at the 7 MHz band?
That's interesting, I've never heard of anyone not liking the FRIWO. Under what circumstances did they not feel the FRIWO performed so well.

I tried it on a Netgear GS108 and felt that it was an improvement over the supplied PS. However, I also tried it on my main BT Home Hub router but wasn't convinced. TBH, I thought that because everyone else likes it, I must have done something wrong, time of day, wind direction or something, and because the difference was so small, I didn't investigate any further.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by lejonklou » 2017-07-22 01:51

Spannko wrote:Under what circumstances did they not feel the FRIWO performed so well.
It was tested by a customer of mine on his Netgear GS108T (feeding a KDS). I think he had two original Netgear power supplies, one old and one newer, and thought one of them was the best.

But this is rather irrelevant, as the result could be due to many other factors. I haven't tested any Friwo myself and was curious about Briain's evaluation process.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Briain » 2017-08-04 17:51

lejonklou wrote:Hi Briain! I like the energy that you put into this!

I have a question. Not having tried any FRIWO units myself, but getting mixed impressions from people who've tried them, I wonder:
Are you evaluating the actual effect on the HiFi by listening to music, or just by how much noise you can pick up at the 7 MHz band?
Hi

They are very good; you can better them in terms of the DC side (ripple and load regulation) but they are remarkably quiet in terms of the mains side. The 15W ones are free of switching spikes on the DC side and the 30W ones have better ripple (as in less of it) but do have a very small quantity of switching spikes (common mode, so easily removed via feeding the output cable - about 12 turns - through a decent ferrite ring; that's what I did for the one feeding my sub miniDSP). I have oscilloscope photos showing all of the above (MPP15 vs MP30 vs MPP30 and ferrite ring) and I'll try to post them soon (as they are very nearly almost quite interesting). :)

I did initially select them for their RF noise (well, the lack thereof) but I did note that they make no detectable noise on an Audioprism (which is a pretty cool aspect of them, too) so I did like the idea of using them to lessen lower frequency rubbish with a view to my system sounding better, but I didn't expect that they would make a difference as my HiFi mains supply is electrically distant from the lounge ring main supply. Before using my own ears, I'd suggested to a bunch of folks (specifically ones I knew had their switches (typically Netgear GS108 ones) plugged into sockets adjacent to their audio kit) that it might be worth trying a FRIWO and in every case, the feedback was very positive. One person - who had one on loan - wasn't convinced, so I took the FRIWO back and he called me a couple of hours later to ask if he could drive over - immediately - and get it back.

As to my own experience of them, I'll not go into tonnes of detail, but long before doing all this FRIWO stuff I had fitted a bespoke consumer unit (with Telemecanique impulse relays such that I could switch my 350A's and sub off via push buttons; there's a thread on another forum about it all, but just for fun, I have attached a picture of it to this post) and from this unit, a 6 mm twin & earth cable feeds each socket in my lounge, with the T&E earth connected only to the socket face plates and a 16 mm earth cable connecting the plug 'earth' pins to a central point, then that is connected to the main building earth bar (a big copper bar with big brass bolts to terminate the earth lugs; it is of a type normally found in radio stations). The consumer unit is fed by 10 mm T&E cable and it is quite a long length of cable back to the main consumer unit from which it is fed, so that's what I mean by the HiFi sockets being electrically 'distant' from all the other sockets in the room.

Give the above, I very much doubted that SMPS mains noise would be an issue for me (and it isn't; particularly so as I have waveform correctors dotted about the place; one can be seen balanced on the earth block in the attached photograph) but about a year ago, I updated my network to comprise a bunch of VLANs and for that to all work, I required to move to a managed switch and after doing so (and quite unexpectedly) the system didn't sound as good as I was used to, so after a week I dug out a GS108 and FRIWO then fed the NAS and DS's through that and to my great surprise, it was noticeably more musical.

This rather puzzles me and I plan to further investigate the reasons why. I'm starting to wonder if the differences are not only down to mains noise, but perhaps also noise being fired up the cat5 to the DS. At some stage soon, I plan to see if I can measure that and - if anything can be seen - see what I can do to reduce it. Obviously, a ferrite ring on the cat5 is one option (and I currently do have one fitted) but I am also curious to see whether I can reduce noise from the buck regulator within the switch (and see if that makes any difference to the measurements, and more critically, to the sound) but that is a project and post for yet another day (I'm having far too much fun on another project at the moment, but I promise to get round to it one day soon)!

Bri

PS Sorry if the above is a but 'scrappy' and I'll tidy it all up later this weekend; dashing out to have dinner (and lots of wine) with a bunch of tech folks! :D
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What is Your Musical Method of Evaluation?

Post by Ron The Mon » 2017-08-05 18:12

lejonklou wrote:Hi Briain! I like the energy that you put into this!

I have a question. Not having tried any FRIWO units myself, but getting mixed impressions from people who've tried them, I wonder:
Are you evaluating the actual effect on the HiFi by listening to music, or just by how much noise you can pick up at the 7 MHz band?
Ditto from Ron The Mon.

Briain,
I have read your above posts and dozens more on the Linn Forum. Nowhere have I seen your musical evaluation method. What Fredrik was asking above is, "Does the FRIWO power supply sound better (using tune-dem musical evaluation) than the stock power supply?"

I have replaced many power supplies over the years with some of the resultant effects being lower audible noise, and I consider that a plus. However, less noise doesn't mean more music.

You are a very entertaining writer and very prolific but I am interested in two questions;

What are your musical evaluation methods?

Noise aside, is your digital playback musically better than your vinyl?

Ron The Mon
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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Briain » 2017-08-06 18:52

Ron The Mon wrote:
---trimmed---

What are your musical evaluation methods?

Noise aside, is your digital playback musically better than your vinyl?

Ron The Mon
Tune-Dem Freak
Hi

Sorry, this has turned into yet another long post (if bored already, I'd advise using the scroll key to swiftly move onwards to the next posts). :-)

Ever since the 80's (when I had 12s/250/Isobariks) I've only ever used the foot tapping assessment method to assess HiFi components/systems; if it sounds totally 'fabulous' (in the traditional terms of bass, dynamics, etc, etc, etc), or perhaps sounds wonderfully clear and detailed (just for examples) but my foot isn't tapping, then it simply isn't playing music and thus I'd class it as being junk (as an example of same, IMHO 'unoptimised' digital volume controls - i.e. ones without an attenuator to get them working in the 'sweet zone' - had just that effect on me; might as well have just chopped my feet off and switched on the TV, instead). :-P

As mentioned in the above posts, I've about 4 FRIWO units running in my lounge (and several others elsewhere in the building) but these are really there for radio reasons (and as you say, less noise doesn't necessarily mean more music) but I did also like that they were less likely to have any influence to the music. At the worst, they could make no difference at all, but they certainly couldn't do any harm to the sound, but though I interned comparing them, I assumed it would be pointless as the electrical route from the FRIWO sockets to the HiFi sockets was a long one and thus I doubted that it would matter (as the noise would be dispersed).

Much later than all of that, I changed my switch (from a GS108+FRIWO to a D-Link managed switch) I eventually noticed the system didn't sound as tuneful (I say eventually as these days, it's mostly used for AV sound, so it took a wee while for me to realise something was not quite right) and as all I'd changed was the switch, I tried routing the Linn+NAS through a GS108+FRIWO (which was just plugged into that same D-Link switch) and to my very great surprise, it sounded more musical, so there's definitely something interesting going on with all this.

The reason I typed a fuller story was that all the folks to whom I recommended try a FRIWO (for their GS108) had their switches plugged into the same double socket as also fed their Linn systems and I did know (for sure) that the FRIWO puts out a vastly smaller quantity of noise than almost every other plug-top supply that I have tried, so I reckoned it might be worth a shot. I've always stated that I had no idea whether it would make a difference (if anything, I've 'played it down' by suggesting it likely wouldn't make any difference) but to my surprise, the feedback was very positive. Based on that feedback, my initial assumption was simply that the mains noise (from these awful wall-wart supplies) was getting into their system via the mains cable (and somehow then getting into the delicate audio stages) but in my case, the switch is quite electrically distant, so for me to also hear a difference likely means that there's more too it than just that, so that is what I eventually plan to investigate in more depth.

The power supply in my D-Link switch (it's an internal one) is actually not bad (in terms of noise on its DC output; there's less ripple than with a FRIWO MPP30 on a similar load) but it does put some noise back into the mains system (though as I say, it's so far away that it'll be negligible by the time it propagates to my HiFi mains sockets) so it's all now a bit of a mystery that needs some further 'poking' to get ones head around, so here are some of my plans forward (listed in no particular order):

1. Try feeding the D-Link with a FRIWO MPP30 and see if it makes any difference to the foot tapping factor.
2. Try measuring noise Ethernet cables, then if detectable, seeing if there's any difference between D-Link (original PSU) and a GS108+FRIWO
3. If I can measure noise at that point, see if I can filter it (ferrite rings, in line inductors, etc, etc).
4. Measure noise and ripple at the output of the buck converter within a small Netgear switch (of the same series)
5. Do same for my D-Link
6. See if I can improve a Netgear and see if it makes any difference to the tunes (the Netgear ones are cheap, so no worries if I break it in the process).
7. If 4, 5 and 6 provide anything interesting, I'll then try improving my D-Link switch.

Note that these switches are built to minimise cost and that if you look at the devices used to derive the different internal Voltages, the specification sheets propose designs. Most suggest optional components (typically an inductor) can improve regulation and reduce noise, but when you think about it, a switch manufacturer would assume these to be a waste of money - as it really shouldn't matter in such an application - and omit them. I'm not saying that's the reason why switches might sound different, but it's something worth investigating to see if it is a factor (and that noise is getting up the Ethernet cable and into a DS, for example).

I've recently procured some active probes (needed as my spectrum analysers have 50 Ohm inputs) so these will be a useful addition to my testing facilities (which are getting rather OTT and all based on HP / Agilent kit) but I need to find a plug-in module to measure lower frequencies (my analysers are both equipped with the 10 MHz to 21 GHz plug-in). I've a few other cool ideas for measuring all this, but I'll not get into that now as it'd take many more paragraphs to outline them; I'll wait until I have tried them and - possibly - found something worth typing about.

Bri :)

PS Answering the second question is also complicated as I reckon it depends on the media (particularly it's age and thus its origin; analogue master tape or digital master). In general, I'd say that for any recording from the analogue days, an LP12 can very easily blow a CD rip into the dust (particularly given the quality of equipment some of the studios used to transfer analogue to CD, back in the very early digital days). In fact, back in 1999 I ripped a few 1975-1985 vinyl albums (using a studio mastering processor) and recently, I found a couple of examples on a CDR (sadly, most were lost when a HDD failed back in 2001) and I converted them to FLAC. I then compared them to rips from the original CDs and the LP12 rips were massively more musical (and that was on my 1999 LP12/Ekos/Arkiv/Lingo; likely they'd be even better on a current high-spec' LP12). That said, current material is natively mastered digitally and thus it simply makes sense that once digitised, you want to remain the digital domain; transferring a digital master to vinyl can only make it worse in terms signal degradation, timing degradation and noise. I'm from the olden days (when the Linn lemon posters were up in the shop) but these days, I just use a DS as it's just so much more convenient (my 1500 vinyl albums and my LP12 have been in storage for about 16 years; my lounge is mostly glass and thus I simply lack the wall space to have racks of albums).
Last edited by Briain on 2017-08-07 15:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What is Your Musical Method of Evaluation?

Post by ThomasOK » 2017-08-06 21:36

There is some interesting research going on here and I look forward to seeing how it pans out.

However, I did want to comment on one thought brought up.
Briain wrote:...current material is natively mastered digitally and thus it simply makes sense that once digitised, you want to remain the digital domain; transferring a digital master to vinyl can only make it worse in terms signal degradation, timing degradation and noise.
I fully understand the logic of this and at one time mentioned the theory to customers. However, in my actual experience the opposite seems to be true. Even digitally mastered recordings seem to generally be more musical on vinyl. Though it runs counter to logic I can think of two possible explanations. 1) As most of us have found, the transportation and modification (resampling, volume control, etc.) of digitally stored music is anything but transparent. So it is possible that making it an analog recording actually minimizes further damage. 2) Maybe, just maybe, the LP groove is a better filtering device than current digital circuits. (Note I am not a digital circuit specialist so I likely have the terminology wrong in that last thought but hopefully you get the gist.)
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Ron The Mon
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Apparently no Musical Method of Evaluation?

Post by Ron The Mon » 2017-08-07 03:33

Briain wrote:
Ron The Mon wrote: What are your musical evaluation methods?

Ron The Mon
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Ever since the 80's (when I had 12s/250/Isobariks) I've only ever used the foot tapping assessment method to assess HiFi components/systems...
Yet just over a year ago you wrote on the Linn Forum about the Friwo power supplies (emphasis mine):

"Of course, the main issue I was trying to address was not the noise coming out from the DC side, but the noise coming out from the other end; the noise that these SMPS spit back into the AC mains wiring (which, in turn, can act as an antenna and thus cause significant radio interference); that was my entire reason for seeking these out. I doubt it much matters too much if you feed a switch with a slightly noisier supply (though to be honest, I've never compared supplies by listening to music, so I really can't say, one way or the other), but noise can never be a good thing, so it can certainly never do any harm to get rid if it."

I disagree that "noise can never be a good thing, so it can certainly never do any harm to get rid if it." Often, a little measured (or heard) noise is better than none. I have demonstrated this hundreds of times. You also seem to be a fan of ferrite rings and I haven't met a ferrite ring I've yet to smash with a hammer. Ferrite rings suck the tune out of music every time I've compared using them; this of course with tune-dem listening.

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Briain
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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Briain » 2017-08-07 10:07

ThomasOK wrote:There is some interesting research going on here and I look forward to seeing how it pans out.

However, I did want to comment on one thought brought up.
Briain wrote:...current material is natively mastered digitally and thus it simply makes sense that once digitised, you want to remain the digital domain; transferring a digital master to vinyl can only make it worse in terms signal degradation, timing degradation and noise.
I fully understand the logic of this and at one time mentioned the theory to customers. However, in my actual experience the opposite seems to be true. Even digitally mastered recordings seem to generally be more musical on vinyl. Though it runs counter to logic I can think of two possible explanations. 1) As most of us have found, the transportation and modification (resampling, volume control, etc.) of digitally stored music is anything but transparent. So it is possible that making it an analog recording actually minimizes further damage. 2) Maybe, just maybe, the LP groove is a better filtering device than current digital circuits. (Note I am not a digital circuit specialist so I likely have the terminology wrong in that last thought but hopefully you get the gist.)
Though I used to work in a Linn shop and have owned LP12s since the early 80s, over the last few years my exposure to them has been quite limited. That said, someone brought an elderly one round a few months back (it still had a Troika on it) and when I played it, it sounded musically phenomenal (even though it was just dumped on a heavy rack and I was just using an ADSM as a MC preamp to feed into my KK) so I can well believe that a current one is really quite astonishing. I found that with music with only acoustic instruments and vocals, it was really amazing, but I did quite like how the DS conveyed complex 'electronic' types of music (I don't mean Kraftwerk; I'm covering a far wider range of genres with the term 'electronic music'). I do like the idea of the LP12 acting as an analogue 'filter' (pondering all the potential 'mechanisms' of that as I type this). :-)
Last edited by Briain on 2017-08-07 15:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Apparently no Musical Method of Evaluation?

Post by lejonklou » 2017-08-07 12:27

Ron The Mon wrote:I disagree that "noise can never be a good thing, so it can certainly never do any harm to get rid if it." Often, a little measured (or heard) noise is better than none. I have demonstrated this hundreds of times. You also seem to be a fan of ferrite rings and I haven't met a ferrite ring I've yet to smash with a hammer. Ferrite rings suck the tune out of music every time I've compared using them; this of course with tune-dem listening.
I agree with you regarding noise, Ron. To reason in the lines of "it can never be a good thing" is simply wrong and usually a sign of inexperience.

Ferrites, however, are very useful when applied correctly. Especially inside circuits. It's always a delicate balance, where using too much results in what you describe; the music becoming lifeless. Simply adding them externally to cables is almost always a disaster.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Briain » 2017-08-07 14:20

lejonklou wrote:
Ron The Mon wrote:I disagree that "noise can never be a good thing, so it can certainly never do any harm to get rid if it." Often, a little measured (or heard) noise is better than none. I have demonstrated this hundreds of times. You also seem to be a fan of ferrite rings and I haven't met a ferrite ring I've yet to smash with a hammer. Ferrite rings suck the tune out of music every time I've compared using them; this of course with tune-dem listening.
I agree with you regarding noise, Ron. To reason in the lines of "it can never be a good thing" is simply wrong and usually a sign of inexperience.

Ferrites, however, are very useful when applied correctly. Especially inside circuits. It's always a delicate balance, where using too much results in what you describe; the music becoming lifeless. Simply adding them externally to cables is almost always a disaster.
Hi

When one of my friends visited, we tried a 50 mm ferrite ring on a patch cable feeding a KDS. With 6 turns, we thought it sounded marginally better (note that I live on a hilltop and there are lots of radio systems very close by, so there could be RFI as well as noise coming from the switch; these are things I all have yet to measure) but once we got over about 6 turns, it started to kill the tunes. At the moment, I am not using one on the patch cable (I'm using one of these Audioquest Cinnamon cables, but that is another story) but when I get my test rig built, it'll be very interesting to see if I can measure any unwanted stuff and whether 6 turns is enough to block it.

Incidentally, I also use a ferrite ring on the DC output cable of the 12V MPP30 feeding my sub DSP (and yes, as well as a scope, I also used my ears). The MPP30 has lower ripple than the MPP15, but unlike with the MPP15, you can see some switching spikes. The 'scope settings are identical for all pictures (other than tweaks to the trigger). It's only a cheap and cheerful scope (as my Tectronics 465 went bang just as I was about to do the tests; sounded like a tantalum that had been used in a low impedance part of the circuitry, so that's another job in the to do stack).

Below shows the SMPS that came with the miniDSP (this being measured on input pins of the DSP's board, and all pictures are captured with the miniDSP connected, so loading the PSU). The supplied PSU is actually quite a nice laptop supply (I did some research and found the diagram for it; it was used for several Toshiba laptops) and there's no problem with RFI to nearby radio equipment (which is sadly quite unusual for a SMPS).
1 DSP_Original_S.JPG
1 DSP_Original_S.JPG (79.01 KiB) Viewed 8636 times
The above is actually not too bad (compared to some real horrors that I've seen) but te next picture shows the same measurement, but this time with it being fed by a FRIWO MPP30 (an MPP15 would be enough, but I liked the lower ripple of the MPP30, though as you can see, it does have some switching spikes). The only change - if any - to the 'scope settings would have been a slight tweak to the trigger (to latch onto the spikes) but other than that, it is all set as per the first measurement.
2 MPP30_S.JPG
2 MPP30_S.JPG (75.81 KiB) Viewed 8636 times
The next photo shows the MPP30 with its power cable spun 10 times (from memory) through the ferrite ring (the trigger was unchanged, but I did also try 'finding' the spikes by adjusting the trigger and as you can see, I couldn't do so):
3 MPP30 Ferrite_S.JPG
3 MPP30 Ferrite_S.JPG (87.08 KiB) Viewed 8636 times
Once I'd cleaned up all the rubbish, I could then trigger the scope on the ripple. As we're limited to 3 photos per post, I'll add a brief post showing that screen shot and also a diagram I made up showing the optimal way to wind cables through a ferrite ring (to minimise capacitive coupling between the input and output side).

Bri :)
Last edited by Briain on 2017-08-07 15:11, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Optimizing your DS

Post by Briain » 2017-08-07 14:23

Continuing on from the previous post, with the ring in place, below shows me now being able to trigger on the ripple (as opposed to the switching spikes):
4 MPP30 Ferrite Triggered_S.JPG
4 MPP30 Ferrite Triggered_S.JPG (78.88 KiB) Viewed 8635 times
Below shows how I wind cables through a ring (though it doesn't capture the Tourettes involved in getting the plug through as you as the hole gets smaller due to all the wire)! :-D
Ferrite_Winding_LCC.jpg
Ferrite_Winding_LCC.jpg (138.95 KiB) Viewed 8635 times
Ferrite McBri Jnr

PS Of course, what I have yet to do is to work my way through the miniDSP and see what they have done with the on-board buck converters (which will also generate switching noise) but rather than have the sub 'off air' whilst I potter about inside the miniDSP, I plan to buy another one and work on that. My one is the one with 8 outputs, but they now make a 24/96 version of the smaller one (and there's also less to 'get my head round' inside it, so it should be a lot easier to work on than my current one).

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