Interchange Ethernet renderer is shipping - customer feedbacks here

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andrewd01

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 30
I have been thinking about this some more, and have some more questions:

I have a mac mini which I was using as a music server via USB (via Offramp).  I found the user interface quite cumbersome, because I ran the computer without a display and tried to use a screen sharing app on the ipad.

Is it possible to install minimserver and bubbleUPnP on the mac mini, and then connect the mac mini via ethernet to the interchange, and use the Lumin ipad app to control the music?   

Is my understanding correct that Lumin replaces the need for Kinsky?


artur9

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 116
BubbleUPnP is also a server, but when set as a proxy for Minimserver, it is used instead of the Minimserver for music output to the network.  Better SQ is the result.  It appears as a proxy Minimserver library inside Kinsky that you select instead of the Minimserver library.

Steve N.

Ahy hypothesis as to why one gets better SQ this way?  Can't imagine better than Minimserver converting to WAV.

audioengr

I have been thinking about this some more, and have some more questions:

I have a mac mini which I was using as a music server via USB (via Offramp).  I found the user interface quite cumbersome, because I ran the computer without a display and tried to use a screen sharing app on the ipad.

Is it possible to install minimserver and bubbleUPnP on the mac mini, and then connect the mac mini via ethernet to the interchange, and use the Lumin ipad app to control the music?   

Absolutely, but the Mac Mini and the Interchange both connect to a router or switch. 

I suppose you could use a swap/crossover cable to connect the Mini directly to the Interchange, but I have not tried this yet.  I don't believe the SQ would be as good as a router that has DC common earth-grounded.

Quote
Is my understanding correct that Lumin replaces the need for Kinsky?
Yes.

Steve N.

audioengr

Ahy hypothesis as to why one gets better SQ this way?  Can't imagine better than Minimserver converting to WAV.

I can only surmise that BubleUPnP must be a better server than Minimserver.

Steve N.

Brucemck

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 289
No Roon.  I want better audio quality.

Roon with all the DSP and volume disabled has very high quality. The integration with HQ Player makes it even better. It'd be great if the Interchange could be Roon ready!

audioengr

Roon with all the DSP and volume disabled has very high quality. The integration with HQ Player makes it even better. It'd be great if the Interchange could be Roon ready!

I tried Roon and disabled everything, but I didn't try HQplayer.  Kinsky and Minimserver beat it hands-down.  Enable BubbleUPnP and it's even better.  This is why I decided not to pursue a Roon interface.  SQ is all that matters.

Should I try again with HQplayer?  What were the improvements you heard?

Streaming is not interesting to me because it is all FLAC files and does not sound as good as native wav.  I have made the comparisons.

Steve N.

Brucemck

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 289
Should I try again with HQplayer?  What were the improvements you heard?

The latest updates of Roon materially improved the sonics. Older versions absolutely had sonic issues, and most of the posts were based on older releases, but the latest version is very, very good.

HQ Player properly set up adds both "solidity" and "fluidity". It used to be a large improvement, but is now very subtle with the latest Roon updates.

andrewd01

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 30
Hi Steve, another question about a hard-wired setup.

I have a router and Nas in one room ported to an ethernet wall socket in the hifi room.  Ethernet cabling of unknown quality, but I am getting 80 Mbps internet download speed from the wall socket in the hifi room.  Would it be acceptable to add a switch with a high quality power supply in the hifi room only, or do you also need to upgrade the power supply of the router too?

Can you recommend a plug and play switch/ power supply solution?

Thanks,
Andrew

audioengr

The latest updates of Roon materially improved the sonics. Older versions absolutely had sonic issues, and most of the posts were based on older releases, but the latest version is very, very good.

HQ Player properly set up adds both "solidity" and "fluidity". It used to be a large improvement, but is now very subtle with the latest Roon updates.

I tried Roon about 4-6 weeks ago.  I think this is the latest version.

Steve N.

audioengr

Hi Steve, another question about a hard-wired setup.

I have a router and Nas in one room ported to an ethernet wall socket in the hifi room.  Ethernet cabling of unknown quality, but I am getting 80 Mbps internet download speed from the wall socket in the hifi room.  Would it be acceptable to add a switch with a high quality power supply in the hifi room only, or do you also need to upgrade the power supply of the router too?

It should only be necessary to add the switch with a good LPS.  Only the last device before the Ethernet renderer matters.

Quote
Can you recommend a plug and play switch/ power supply solution?
Thanks,
Andrew

I think the best will be the AQVOX:

http://www.myhifishop.de/Devices/AQ-SWITCH-AQVOX-Audiophile-Network-SWITCH-8-Ports::75.html?language=en

I'm not sure about the power supply that comes with it. It is critical that the AC earth-ground is connected to the DC-common/negative of the DC cable.

Since the AQVOX uses a wall-wart, one can add grounding by using a DC splitter cable, where the second cable connector  is clamped in a power distribution block.  The block also clamps down on a 12 gauge stranded wire that goes to an AC outlet where the end is terminated with a banana plug or similar.  This plug can be pushed into the ground hole in the outlet.

Power splitter cable:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-Power-Female-to-Male-Splitter-Adapter-Cable-for-LED-Strip-String-Light/272955132150?epid=1821681716&hash=item3f8d64c8f6:g:pKkAAOSwo4pYa00h

Power distribution block, 1-pole
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ilsco-PDB-16-2-0-1-Power-Distribution-Block-Single-Pole-Amp-Rating-175A/332493503418?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CASSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150817211856%26meid%3D1d73111117524d0fb55893a6b3298add%26pid%3D100508%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26%26itm%3D332493503418&_trksid=p2045573.c100508.m3226

The other option is to get a fast-reacting LPS with grounded power cord where ground is connected to DC common of the DC cable.

Steve N.

andrewd01

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 30
Thanks Steve

audioengr

I am almost done tweaking now and the sound quality is incredible.  Here are the hardware things I recommend for the device and cabling directly wired to the DAC:

1) Change the router/switch power supply to a fast-reacting LPS with DC-common connected to earth ground
2) use high-performance Ethernet cables like the Wireworld
3) get a modded switch or router, like the AQVOX
4) use a 0.5m Ethernet cable from the switch/router to a EMO EN-70e isolator and then another 2m cable to the DAC/Ethernet renderer

My review of Wireworld Ethernet cables compared to my CAT7:

CAT7:
- Cardboard cut-out performers arranged in a wide and deep soundstage
- Vocalists are recessed, pushed-back
- fairly good balance

Starlight CAT8:
- 3D performers arranged in a wide and deep soundstage
- Crisper attack than CAT7
- Cymbols a bit forward
- Vocalists very natural

Platinum CAT8:
- More organic, natural
- Perfect balance
- Smoother, richer
- Cymbols less in your face
- More weight, solidity to each performer
- Better focus for HF info like acoustic guitar

I decided on the Platinum.  Spendy, but worth it IMO.

Steve N.

sb6

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 7
Steve, in my configuration I have a short crossover ethernet cable from PC to uRendu and a 2nd nic in my PC to a router power by a LPSU. The PC acts as a bridge for remote PC access + internet access for Roon, etc. I would think in my configuration the optimizations you list would be of little to no benefit since the switch is physically connected to a separate nic in the PC. Thoughts?

audioengr

Steve, in my configuration I have a short crossover ethernet cable from PC to uRendu and a 2nd nic in my PC to a router power by a LPSU. The PC acts as a bridge for remote PC access + internet access for Roon, etc. I would think in my configuration the optimizations you list would be of little to no benefit since the switch is physically connected to a separate nic in the PC. Thoughts?

The only thing the would be beneficial is to use high-performance Ethernet cables and the isolator.  Maybe a 0.5m crossover cable and then the isolator and a 2M high-performance cable.

Steve N.

brj

Steve, have you tried something like the TP-Link optical media converters or maybe an optical isolator in place of the modded switch?  (Presumably powered by a clean power source on the receiving side, at least.)

And if this is beyond what you want to divulge, I understand, but does your specific Ethernet input to the Interchange minimize the impacts from these upstream devices?  Standards compliant Ethernet should have a transformer on every jack intended to provide galvanic isolation, ground offset mitigation, and common mode noise rejection.  I'd normally assume that such an interface would be less sensitive to the benefits provided by tweaked switches, etc..  Like most systems, however, I assume that the quality of implementation will vary, and with it, the potential benefit from such upstream component choices.  I'm guessing that off-the-shelf transformers could be improved, for example.

Your implementations get rave reviews, and I've enjoyed every RMAF demonstration of yours that I've heard, but I guess I'm curious as to why some things matter, mostly as an aid toward integrating the system as a whole.

FYI, another Roon/HQ Player user here, so I'll keep watching for any news on that front.  Thanks!

(By the way, while I still use HQP for upsampling and driver (not room) correction via convolution of an impulse response filter, Roon bears continued monitoring relative to their sound quality... their overall upsampling/convolution/DSP capabilities and implementation have been improving with each new release.)

zoom25

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 623
Before jumping in and buying expensive cables, see if you can get some for audition. Whatever cable you pick, see if you can get two or three of them. One can be 1m long or as short as you want. Next get one that's 2m and another that's 10m long. Do that for all the individual cables involved in the chain. You might be surprised by the results.

I'm also using Roon and have done lots of testing with various switches, routers, direct bridged connection, power supplies etc...and a LOT of ethernet cables. 30+ of Cat5e, 6, 6a, UTP, S/STP, various shield floating combinations, Belden bonded, etc. Length ranging from 1 feet to 60+ feet. Lots of cables that have been tested on Fluke DTX 1800 so you can see the individual performance of each cable.

Given that most of us are using this in a calm home environment, some of the assumptions that we think make a difference might actually not be relevant, whereas others might be getting overlooked at that are more important.

Seriously, pick your cable. Any cable. Get a 1m of it and a 10m version. Listen long term to both.

audioengr

Steve, have you tried something like the TP-Link optical media converters or maybe an optical isolator in place of the modded switch?  (Presumably powered by a clean power source on the receiving side, at least.)

I have not tried optical yet. I tried an AC power system and it was noisy and some SQ issues.

I use both an isolator, the EMO EN-70e and a modded router.

Quote
And if this is beyond what you want to divulge, I understand, but does your specific Ethernet input to the Interchange minimize the impacts from these upstream devices?  Standards compliant Ethernet should have a transformer on every jack intended to provide galvanic isolation, ground offset mitigation, and common mode noise rejection.

There is a transformer on every jack.  The noise effects are due to capacitive leakage across the transformers.

Quote
I'd normally assume that such an interface would be less sensitive to the benefits provided by tweaked switches, etc..  Like most systems, however, I assume that the quality of implementation will vary, and with it, the potential benefit from such upstream component choices.  I'm guessing that off-the-shelf transformers could be improved, for example.

Probably.  Most passive devices don't behave as well as the text-book ideal.  I had hoped that I would not need to optimize cables and router etc., but life is never easy it seems.  Like Asynch USB, we were all hoping that the computer effects would be eliminated.  So much for that...

Quote
FYI, another Roon/HQ Player user here, so I'll keep watching for any news on that front.

I suspect that I will not be doing a Roon interface.  It has to match the SQ that I am getting now, and it's not there yet.

Quote
(By the way, while I still use HQP for upsampling and driver (not room) correction via convolution of an impulse response filter, Roon bears continued monitoring relative to their sound quality... their overall upsampling/convolution/DSP capabilities and implementation have been improving with each new release.)

The problem with using DSP features of Roon is that these seem to affect SQ even more.  I have not tried these, but that is what I'm reading on the various forums.

Steve N.
« Last Edit: 18 Apr 2018, 08:45 pm by audioengr »

brj

Thanks, Steve!

Any consideration for an HQ Player NAA implementation?

(I only use Roon for the user interface. I have HQPlayer doing the upsampling, convolution, etc.)

Thanks!

andrewd01

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 30
I am almost done tweaking now and the sound quality is incredible.  Here are the hardware things I recommend for the device and cabling directly wired to the DAC:

1) Change the router/switch power supply to a fast-reacting LPS with DC-common connected to earth ground
2) use high-performance Ethernet cables like the Wireworld
3) get a modded switch or router, like the AQVOX
4) use a 0.5m Ethernet cable from the switch/router to a EMO EN-70e isolator and then another 2m cable to the DAC/Ethernet renderer

My review of Wireworld Ethernet cables compared to my CAT7:

CAT7:
- Cardboard cut-out performers arranged in a wide and deep soundstage
- Vocalists are recessed, pushed-back
- fairly good balance

Starlight CAT8:
- 3D performers arranged in a wide and deep soundstage
- Crisper attack than CAT7
- Cymbols a bit forward
- Vocalists very natural

Platinum CAT8:
- More organic, natural
- Perfect balance
- Smoother, richer
- Cymbols less in your face
- More weight, solidity to each performer
- Better focus for HF info like acoustic guitar

I decided on the Platinum.  Spendy, but worth it IMO.

Steve N.

Hi Steve, are you using the wireworld cable on both sides of the EMO EN-70e or only for the downstream 2m cable?

audioengr

Hi Steve, are you using the wireworld cable on both sides of the EMO EN-70e or only for the downstream 2m cable?

Both sides.  I tried flipping it so the short side was at the DAC.  Lost the magic.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio