Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release

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CanadianMaestro

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2460 on: 11 Sep 2019, 06:28 pm »
I have found that I'd rather purchase the CD and rip it myself as it sounds better that a download in my opinion.

 :shh: :dunno:

Krutsch

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2461 on: 11 Sep 2019, 06:56 pm »
Hi Ken,

I'll try to find some time to look into this, i personally don't really listen to any thing above 96khz 24bit and likely why I haven't noticed it on my BDP-1.

Chris

As an FYI, Chris, these are FLAC files from HD Tracks. I can send you some, if that helps.

Krutsch

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2462 on: 15 Sep 2019, 04:18 pm »
Well, I tried a variety of things to mitigate stuttering with 192/24 tracks, with varying degrees of success.

1. Mount BDP-1’s USER share via SMB
2. Edit: MPDPLAYBACK.SET
3. Add: buffer_before_play;30% (I tried 15, 20, 25, 30% w/ different effects)
4. Add: audio_buffer_size;16384 (I increased this value from 2048, 4096... 16384 w/ different effects)
5. Reboot BDP-1

This will add the line below to /etc/mpd.conf to increase playback buffering which seems to be required to remove stuttering at the beginning of 192/24 tracks (this was universal across all of my larger, high-res tracks). Playing back an album would be smooth, but tapping on a specific track would sometimes result in a stutter at the very start of the track.

See: https://linux.die.net/man/5/mpd.conf

buffer_before_play <0-100%>
This specifies how much of the audio buffer should be filled before playing a song.
Try increasing this if you hear skipping when manually changing songs. ... exactly the symptom I am hearing.
The default is 10%, a little over 1 second of CD-quality audio with the default buffer size.

audio_buffer_size <size in KiB>
This specifies the size of the audio buffer in kilobytes.
The default is 2048, large enough for nearly 12 seconds of CD-quality audio.

Finally, I’ve noticed that using AES out, instead of USB, reduces the stuttering effect (and also solves the problem of changing sample rates and the delay incurred with my DAC - using AES, it’s instant, but with USB there is a slight delay, which can clip the start of the track).

In the end, I was able to reduce, but not completely eliminate, stuttering effects w/ larger audio files when skipping around an album. Not sure why this is a problem when in the past the BDP-1 never exhibited stuttering.

I think the BDP-1 + MPD playback was such a surprise for me, when I first auditioned the box, because it's a well-designed appliance with a low powered CPU with minimal software and processing. Great combination, but I think larger high-res files are maybe pushing it past what it was designed to play. I wonder if the issue is with newer versions of MPD on the BDP-1 - I haven't tried going back to earlier versions, since that's a time-consuming change (requires resetting the MPD db and rescanning everything).

I have to think about my upgrade path; for now I will just motor on with the the BDP-1 and Roon (where everything just works, though I am not as pleased with the sound).

CanadianMaestro

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2463 on: 16 Sep 2019, 01:37 am »
I think larger high-res files are maybe pushing it past what it was designed to play. I wonder if the issue is with newer versions of MPD on the BDP-1 -

I used a BDP-1 for yrs, and large hi-res rarely gave me any problems. I did use older Moose then, and did not upgrade Moose ever. You could be right.

I liked the devil I knew, rather than risk introducing the devil I didn't know.  :o

Krutsch

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2464 on: 16 Sep 2019, 01:54 am »
^ I am in the process of re-sampling my 192/24 files to 96/24, using XLD + SoX. Of course, I am saving the originals.

I only have 51 albums that are 192/24, so I decided it was lunacy to worry about it or spend money fixing this issue with an upgrade - just re-sample with a high quality converter and enjoy the music.

CanadianMaestro

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2465 on: 16 Sep 2019, 09:47 am »
^ First post of the following page/thread:

https://www.audioaficionado.org/showthread.php?t=13739


Krutsch

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2466 on: 16 Sep 2019, 04:50 pm »
^ Interesting article. Still, it's more an issue of having to manage multiple versions of your library.

But, for now, I have a solution.

Seriously considering the BDA 3.14 as both a streamer and a DAC upgrade. Have to see what my disposable income looks like when it launches.

CanadianMaestro

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2467 on: 16 Sep 2019, 11:16 pm »
^ I am in the process of re-sampling my 192/24 files to 96/24, using XLD + SoX. Of course, I am saving the originals.

I only have 51 albums that are 192/24, so I decided it was lunacy to worry about it or spend money fixing this issue with an upgrade - just re-sample with a high quality converter and enjoy the music.

I gave up on 192 long ago. That was after acquiring a 192/24 of Beethoven's 9th (Abbado/Berlin). The sound was worse than my CD rip (44/16). It sounded even worse than some of my MP3-256, and that's saying a lot. Squished and congested. Lesson learned. Hit & miss. But I'm now 96/24, IF I get a hi-res file, which is not frequently. Otherwise, I am happy with 44/16 or MP3-320, on my floor system (I rarely do HPs anymore).

gbaby

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2468 on: 17 Sep 2019, 09:42 pm »
I gave up on 192 long ago. That was after acquiring a 192/24 of Beethoven's 9th (Abbado/Berlin). The sound was worse than my CD rip (44/16). It sounded even worse than some of my MP3-256, and that's saying a lot. Squished and congested. Lesson learned. Hit & miss. But I'm now 96/24, IF I get a hi-res file, which is not frequently. Otherwise, I am happy with 44/16 or MP3-320, on my floor system (I rarely do HPs anymore).

I'm with you. While I can't descend to any MP3, regular rebook 44.1/16 is fine with me and sounds more natural. James Tanner was trying to tell us this many years ago. He was tarred and feathered for doing so, but now he has the last laugh.  :lol:

Calypte

Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2469 on: 18 Sep 2019, 12:05 am »
I'm with you. While I can't descend to any MP3, regular rebook 44.1/16 is fine with me and sounds more natural. James Tanner was trying to tell us this many years ago. He was tarred and feathered for doing so, but now he has the last laugh.  :lol:

Like you I avoided MP3 for years.  But there were instances where I had to accept MP3s from Amazon if I wanted the music at all.  In one case, I have both MP3 and Redbook downloads of Mahler Sym 5 with Nezet-Seguin.  They sound identical to me.  I've bought some things with higher res, up to 192/24.  TBH, I can't hear the difference between those and Redbook spec.  But there's no deterioration compared to Redbook, either.

Krutsch

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2470 on: 19 Sep 2019, 02:47 am »

I have to think about my upgrade path...

I think the answer is Roon Nucleus+ v2.

NHSkier

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2471 on: 19 Sep 2019, 11:42 am »
Like you I avoided MP3 for years.  But there were instances where I had to accept MP3s from Amazon if I wanted the music at all.  In one case, I have both MP3 and Redbook downloads of Mahler Sym 5 with Nezet-Seguin.  They sound identical to me.  I've bought some things with higher res, up to 192/24.  TBH, I can't hear the difference between those and Redbook spec.  But there's no deterioration compared to Redbook, either.

Calypte, can you please tell us about your system? I have a rather modest setup myself and can certainly tell the difference between

1) MP3s/Spotifyand most CDs
2) MP3s/Spotify and my 96/24 downloads

Differences between CDs and 96/24 are oftentimes much harder to discern.

Salk Streamplayer II via USB >>> Schiit Modi Multibit >>> Yamaha AS-2000 >>> PSB Imagine Ts

gbaby

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2472 on: 19 Sep 2019, 01:48 pm »
Like you I avoided MP3 for years.  But there were instances where I had to accept MP3s from Amazon if I wanted the music at all.  In one case, I have both MP3 and Redbook downloads of Mahler Sym 5 with Nezet-Seguin.  They sound identical to me.  I've bought some things with higher res, up to 192/24.  TBH, I can't hear the difference between those and Redbook spec.  But there's no deterioration compared to Redbook, either.

I believe you. :o

Calypte

Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2473 on: 20 Sep 2019, 01:41 am »
I said nothing about Spotify.  I've never heard it.  I can say nothing about its quality.  I have Idagio, which has left me unimpressed at 320 kbps (i.e., MP3 resolution).  Higher-res is available from Idagio, but my dissatisfaction with the interface has discouraged further exploration of Idagio.

Discussions like this tend to devolve into who has "golden ears," and who has too much earwax, and who has too much imagination, and who is insensitive to plainly-audible defects.  For the record, my "digital music player" is a Bryston BDP-pi, feeding into an Emotiva XDA-2 Gen 2 DAC, which feeds into an Emotiva UMC-200 preamp/processor, which feeds into an Emotiva XDA-5 power amp, which feeds Hsu Research HB-1 Mk II speakers (5 ea).  I actually disliked these speakers when I heard them (two occasions) in Hsu Research's showroom in 2014.  I later bought two out of curiosity, and I liked them so much in my own system that I filled out the set with another three (one is set on its side for the center channel).  The subwoofer is a Hsu VTF-3 Mk 4.  It's a 5.1 system.  I have a multi-channel SACD player and analog, but they aren't relevant to this discussion. 

In the case of MP3 and 44/16 downloads of Mahler Sym 5 with Nezet-Seguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, I hear no difference.  My very first MP3 download (320 kbps from Amazon) was Mahler Sym 6 with Thomas Sanderling and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.  I heard substantial parts of this recording at a hi-end audio show in L.A. in 2017.  That was on a system with ADS speakers (it was the ADS demo room).  I forget the electronics, but they were much more prestigious than mine.  I liked this recording so much (sound and interpretation) that I looked for the CDs online.  I was unable to find the CDs at a price I was willing to pay, so I bought the MP3s.  I have no other comparison for this recording, but judged on its own, the sound is excellent in every respect. 

I'm 74 years old, and you can weigh that fact as you wish.  It's been several decades since I was able to hear the 16kHz scanning frequency of NTSC TV.

Krutsch

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2474 on: 5 Oct 2019, 08:49 pm »
Well, I tried a variety of things to mitigate stuttering with 192/24 tracks, with varying degrees of success.

...

I couldn't let this go, so I experimented further  :duh:

I started trying different encoding formats, after giving up on MPD playback settings and assuming my SSD is plenty fast.

One thing that occurred to me is that the BDP-1 is memory constrained. While a lossless-compressed FLAC file should load faster than just about any other lossless format from storage (NAS or USB), MPD doesn't load more than what it needs to meet its buffering requirements (as set in MPD.conf). For FLAC files, MPD then needs to unpack the container, decompress the PCM audio and then feed it to the Alsa interface.

So, what would happen if I went the other way? That is, use a WAV file for my problematic 192/24 long duration files? Straight PCM with no decompression required.

The answer is: no stuttering, whatsoever.  :lol:

Even if I rapidly skip around to other tracks. I tried a whole bunch of problematic tracks, looking for stuttering or gap issues between tracks. Everything worked ... well, sort of. WAV files can cause problems with metadata using MPD and Manic Moose. I tried id3 tags and/or INFO chunk; some worked and some did not and I couldn't find a common pattern that worked reliably for metadata.

But, AIFF metadata (encoded with macOS XLD - not iTunes) works just fine. And, AIFF is also uncompressed PCM that is just big endian, instead of WAV's little endian format. A byte-swap is all that changes. So, I tried a bunch of these. Also worked great.

Now, all I need is @zoom25 to chime in about how uncompressed PCM formats sound better than FLAC and I am off to reformatting my entire digital library.

In ...3...2...1  :popcorn:

zoom25

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2475 on: 5 Oct 2019, 10:39 pm »

Now, all I need is @zoom25 to chime in about how uncompressed PCM formats sound better than FLAC and I am off to reformatting my entire digital library.

In ...3...2...1  :popcorn:


LOLOLOLOL  :thumb: :thumb: :lol: :lol:




CanadianMaestro

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2476 on: 5 Oct 2019, 10:51 pm »
WAV, everybody!!!

 :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave: :wave:


zoom25

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2477 on: 5 Oct 2019, 11:04 pm »
I have been back to maintaining two libraries. FLAC with highest compression and metadata backed twice for use as master library and with Roon. A secondary batch transcoded WAV library on the NAS for use with BDP-1. Transcoding the secondary 1.5TB library from scratch took me 2 days with minimal effort. It was worth it.

As far as formats go and theories on CPU processing or byte swaps...I'm sticking with WAV over AIFF, FLAC compressed/uncompressed, ALAC. Not stating a fact for anyone or trying to convince otherwise, but there's this hunch whenever I've done shootouts. Doesn't make sense to me either, but there it is.  :slap:

Hope you figure it out Krutsch!

Krutsch

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2478 on: 6 Oct 2019, 12:48 am »
^ I am also maintaining multiple libraries:

1. My original iTunes library started 16 years ago... lots and lots of playlists, some of which I originally created from my cassette tape mixer collection. This is my master and my Roon library.

2. FLAC collection that has been groomed for device compatibility; this is my Bryston library.

3. Sonos library - the FLAC collection with hi-res tracks down sampled and dithered for 16-bit playback, which is all the Sonos supports;

4. Walkman library - iTunes playlists exported w/ Doug's Scripts for flight/cabin/work use on my Sony Walkman;

5. Car library - iTunes playlists exported w/ Doug's Scripts for car use on a thumb drive (max VBR AAC);

Anyway, I am getting ready to greatly simplify things around an eco-system of: Roon (Head-Fi and Sonos use) and Spotify (work/travel/car). The Soundiiz web app has been great for syncing my iTunes playlists with Spotify.

I am not flying like I used to, so as much as like the Walkman, I am probably going to revert to Spotify at work via my phone. Even my car has a built-in Spotify app, so I am covered there, as well.

That allows me to stop maintaining libraries 2-5 above, assuming macOS Catalina doesn't destroy my audio world. I am waiting for the Catalina launch and the impending "Music" app to see if I can stay with my iTunes collection. Otherwise, I will pivot to my FLAC collection and bye-bye iTunes library.

One way or another, I am committing fully to Roon at home and Spotify outside of the home.

artur9

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Re: Manic Moose (S2) - BDP's third major firmware release
« Reply #2479 on: 6 Oct 2019, 02:17 am »
I have one library with whatever.

I use Minimserver to convert to wav for the BDP-1.
I use Sonospy to convert to what the Sonos needs.