Interchange Ethernet renderer is shipping - customer feedbacks here

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audioengr

The Interchange Ethernet interface is my best digital audio solution ever.  I have designed 6 generations of USB interfaces and I have to say, this is better.  It supports DLNA/UPnP.

It comprises two small chassis and has S/PDIF, AES/EBU, SE I2S and HDMI differential I2s outputs.  The second chassis is a special version of the Dynamo LPS with Hynes regulation:




The front panel displays 6 PCM sample-rates, from 44.1 to 192.  The hardware is capable of outputting native DSD64 from the I2S outputs, but has not been tested.







I don't usually do this, but here are the guts:


T
As you can see, it's modular in design, with separate dual turboclock module and separate Ethernet module with an onboard SBC (single-board computer). Turboclock uses custom Crystek oscillators.   Each part of the circuit has it's own Hynes-technology regulator.  6-7 Hynes-technology regulators total, depending on options.  Options include:

- OTL mod to eliminate S/PDIF galavanic isolation and improve jitter - $150
- Hynes-technology regulator for the I2S outputs - $350
- Standard external silver BNC cable - $275
- Reference external silver BNC cable - $499

I highly recommend using one of my external BNC coax cables because the risetimes are so fast on the S/PDIF output.



The Dynamo is an ultra-fast responding linear power supply.

Superb SQ can be achieved with Linn Kinsky controlling Minimserver, both freeware for Windows, Mac and Linux.  In my system, this SQ beats Jriver, Amarra and Roon.  Unbelievable imaging and liveness.  Very 3-D, holographic.

If you want to stream Tidal, you can use BubbleUPnP with Linn Kazoo.

Here is the jitter distribution measurement:



This shows how often the ideal time period is deviated from.

About 10psec standard deviation both sides of the distribution, measured at the end of the S/PDIF cable across the 75 ohm termination.  This is a realistic jitter measurement of the source only, not dependent on the DAC.

I listened recently to about 100 remastered Beatles tracks and I have never heard them like this before.  Like McCartney and Lennon are in the room with me.

The Interchange is a DLNA/UPnP device.  Compatible with Jriver, Linn Kinsky, Linn Kazoo, Lumin, Twonky, Minimserver, BubbleUPnP and others.  No Roon.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
« Last Edit: 24 Sep 2018, 04:54 pm by audioengr »

artur9

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No product page for this yet?

audioengr

No product page for this yet?

Not yet.  What more do you need to know?

Steve N.

artur9

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I was curious about how it works.  Is it similar to a RedNet system or is it more like an SMS-200?  And price.

I already have MinimServer and Kinsky so I am curious what the interaction between the pieces are.

audioengr

I was curious about how it works.  Is it similar to a RedNet system or is it more like an SMS-200?  And price.

I already have MinimServer and Kinsky so I am curious what the interaction between the pieces are.

The Interchange is like an audiophile quality Sonos that has more outputs and supports up to 24/192.  It is DLNA/UPnP.  Works seamlessly with Kinsky and Minimserver.  Just do a refresh and it appears in Kinsky as a renderer.  Select it and you are playing music.

If you want to stream Tidal, you can download and install BubbleUPnP and Linn Kazoo, both freeware.

Price is $2999.00


firedog

And if we want to use Roon, can  Roon Bridge be installed on this so it  can be a Roon endpoint?

audioengr

And if we want to use Roon, can  Roon Bridge be installed on this so it  can be a Roon endpoint?

No Roon.  I want better audio quality.

Do you use Roon because of Tidal streaming?

Steve N.

zoom25

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No Roon.  I want better audio quality.

Do you use Roon because of Tidal streaming?

Steve N.

Hi Steve,

Can you share why you prefer the DLNA/UPnP over Roon, or why you think Roon is a compromise in SQ? I'd love to know. Thanks!

audioengr

Hi Steve,

Can you share why you prefer the DLNA/UPnP over Roon, or why you think Roon is a compromise in SQ? I'd love to know. Thanks!

It's Linn Kinsky and Minimserver that I prefer.  Much more live rendering of rain, running water, clapping, percussion etc..  The difference between live in the room with you and not.

There are a lot of different player softwares that have SQ deficiencies IME, and I believe it's mostly due to the Volume Control DSP code.  Somehow, when you set the volume to max on Kinsky, it seems to do no harm.  Amarra is also very good, but does not support networked audio. I have asked other vendors, including Twonky to add a "bypass/disable" mode to their volume controls, but they want money to do this.  They don't seem to be concerned enough about the audiophile market to make this change on their own.

Steve N.

zoom25

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 719
It's Linn Kinsky and Minimserver that I prefer.  Much more live rendering of rain, running water, clapping, percussion etc..  The difference between live in the room with you and not.

There are a lot of different player softwares that have SQ deficiencies IME, and I believe it's mostly due to the Volume Control DSP code.  Somehow, when you set the volume to max on Kinsky, it seems to do no harm.  I have asked other vendors, including Twonky to add a "bypass/disable" mode to their volume controls, but they want money to do this.  They don't seem to be concerned enough about the audiophile market to make this change on their own.

Steve N.

Interesting. I have very little experience with DLNA and UpNP playback. When I do my own testing between all of streaming/playback modes, I make sure that everything is turned off and the volume stuff is disabled. Good to keep in mind.

Was there anything in particular about Roon or RAAT that you didn't like or thought was a bad idea? In your opinion, are one of these DLNA, UpNP, RAAT or something else more sensitive or immune to network changes?

audioengr

Interesting. I have very little experience with DLNA and UpNP playback. When I do my own testing between all of streaming/playback modes, I make sure that everything is turned off and the volume stuff is disabled. Good to keep in mind.

Was there anything in particular about Roon or RAAT that you didn't like or thought was a bad idea? In your opinion, are one of these DLNA, UpNP, RAAT or something else more sensitive or immune to network changes?

I always set volume to max or otherwise disable it if possible.

I have heard that RAAT is more stable on the network than DLNA, but I have used my Sonos for many years and never had any hiccups.  It is DLNA.  I think the issue is playback/control software, not the network.  I'm not alone in this:

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/sound-quality-not-as-good-as-other-programs/22674

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/sound-quality-of-roon-versus-jriver/27810/25

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/dsp-enable-lowers-sound-quality/32283

https://www.audionirvana.org/forum/the-audio-vault/digital-playback/digital-add-ons-and-software/57762-roon

https://kb.roonlabs.com/HQPlayer_Setup

https://darko.audio/2017/06/were-gonna-jplay-in-the-sunshine/


Steve N.

artur9

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It's Linn Kinsky and Minimserver that I prefer.  Much more live rendering of rain, running water, clapping, percussion etc..  The difference between live in the room with you and not.

I have had great results with those.  Since what I feed them into processes everything at 96KHz I also use MinimServer to upsample as I trust new software a little more than old hardware.  Have you done anything similar?  Or do you play everything  at its original sample rate?

audioengr

I have had great results with those.  Since what I feed them into processes everything at 96KHz I also use MinimServer to upsample as I trust new software a little more than old hardware.  Have you done anything similar?  Or do you play everything  at its original sample rate?

I used to upsample my favorite tracks, but now I just leave it at the native rate.  My Overdrive sounds great with no upsampling.

FYI, I found that the renderer must be powered-on before opening Kinsky or it doesn't work right and even changes the SQ.

When it works correctly, Kinsky and Minimserver is simply amazing.  I wish there was another control app that would just work with Minimserver that would easily allow for Tidal or Qobuz streaming.  Any ideas?  Minimstreamer??

Steve N.

artur9

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 164
When it works correctly, Kinsky and Minimserver is simply amazing.  I wish there was another control app that would just work with Minimserver that would easily allow for Tidal or Qobuz streaming.  Any ideas?  Minimstreamer??

Steve N.

I did a quick google and found something that said MinimStreamer does not do that.  BubbleUpnp apparently is the suggested solution.

I know I used to have a few radio stations saved in a playlist that used to work.  But Tidal and Qobuz have special needs.

audioengr

I did a quick google and found something that said MinimStreamer does not do that.  BubbleUpnp apparently is the suggested solution.

I know I used to have a few radio stations saved in a playlist that used to work.  But Tidal and Qobuz have special needs.

Just compared BubbleUPnP with Kazoo to Kinsky with Minimserver.  Kinsky wins hands-down.

The problem I have with Tidal is that it is all FLAC files.  I did a comparison of FLAC to WAV on Kinsky and like all other players I have tried, WAV is much better, more lifelike.

Steve N.
« Last Edit: 31 Mar 2018, 05:50 pm by audioengr »

joerossdrs

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I have been using the Interchange for a couple of weeks this is the best digital frontend I have had in my system. My previous server the Aurender N10 was wonderful but not as smooth and natural as the Interchange. I am using Minimserver and bubbbleUpnp as the media/proxy server and Lumin ios app as the controller. The Interchange is connected using I2S to the Overdrive SX Dac. If you are looking for a great digital music experience give the Interchange a try! Steve is also a great guy to work with he is always improving his products and sharing this info with his customers.

audioengr

Just discovered, thanks to a European poster on What'sbest forum, that running BubbleUPnP as a proxy server with Minimserver improves the SQ even more.  You set proxy server inside BubbleUPnP and then select the Minimserver proxy rather than Minimserver for the music library inside Kinsky or Lumin control point.

Also, I am auditioning some really good Ethernet cables.  I was skeptical whether they would be an improvement on my CAT7 generic cables, but I was pleasantly surprised.  So far I have tested the WireWorld Starlight CAT8 and it is definitely better.  Much more live.  Next I will compare the Starlight Platinum CAT8.

Steve N.

andrewd01

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Just discovered, thanks to a European poster on What'sbest forum, that running BubbleUPnP as a proxy server with Minimserver improves the SQ even more.  You set proxy server inside BubbleUPnP and then select the Minimserver proxy rather than Minimserver for the music library inside Kinsky or Lumin control point.

Also, I am auditioning some really good Ethernet cables.  I was skeptical whether they would be an improvement on my CAT7 generic cables, but I was pleasantly surprised.  So far I have tested the WireWorld Starlight CAT8 and it is definitely better.  Much more live.  Next I will compare the Starlight Platinum CAT8.

Steve N.

Hi Steve,
Its been a few years since I messed with my CA setup. It now seems like you need a degree in computer science to deal with this stuff! Could you please answer some questions about the basic setup that you are recommending for this interface:

1.  Is it still recommended to use a dedicated computer close to the hifi system, or is this device like a sonos connect device that streams from a nas?

2. If using a dedicated computer is recommended,  does it matter if it is a generic computer or does it benefit from being an 'audiophile'' optimised system (for example antipodes server etc).

3. If it works like a Sonos connect, are you recommending hard-wired ethernet cable all the way to the NAS, or is there some sort of wireless alternative?  The former option is obviously quite inconvenient and expensive.

4. Could you please provide a simple explanation of what the various software required actually does?

Many thanks,
Andrew

audioengr

Hi Steve,
Its been a few years since I messed with my CA setup. It now seems like you need a degree in computer science to deal with this stuff! Could you please answer some questions about the basic setup that you are recommending for this interface:

1.  Is it still recommended to use a dedicated computer close to the hifi system, or is this device like a sonos connect device that streams from a nas?

It is like a Sonos connect, so it can be used with WIFI.  NAS is not necessary, but is an option.

Quote
2. If using a dedicated computer is recommended,  does it matter if it is a generic computer or does it benefit from being an 'audiophile'' optimised system (for example antipodes server etc).

Generic computer is fine.

Quote
3. If it works like a Sonos connect, are you recommending hard-wired ethernet cable all the way to the NAS, or is there some sort of wireless alternative?  The former option is obviously quite inconvenient and expensive.

I offer a WIFI adapter for $1K.

Quote
4. Could you please provide a simple explanation of what the various software required actually does?

Linn Kinsky is the player control software that you use to organize your playlists and library.  You can drag and drop files. It has the play/stop/pause controls.  This is the user interface.

Minimserver is the server that actually outputs the data stream to the network.  You select the Minimserver library inside of Kinsky.  The only settings in Minimserver are: the path to your music and any optional tags you want attached to the track names, such as sample-rate or filetype.

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.

andrewd01

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Thanks Steve