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DIY improved digital configuration
Dear TNT team,
I highly appreciate end enjoy reading your reviews on affordable HiFi gear, lately with an increased
interest in digital streaming and DA-conversion. Having used both analog and digital sources for
the last three years or so, I now understand that each tiny particle in the digital chain also can have
an impact on sound. This convinced me that the digital audio era has only just begun.
The interesting letters from readers e.g. following Mark Whetstone's review on the APL distribution
shows that more and more audiophiles are searching for improvement in the digital audiochain.
I like to share a rather different approach, resulting in a significant step up in sound quality, i.e.
separating the music server with a local player by using two computers instead of one. As far as I
know, both JPlay and Daphile are offering such configuration, and maybe more.
Let me explain first where I (sonically) came from. I started a few years ago with a stand alone
Logitech SqueezeBox 3 (LSB) plentifull nourished by a highres flac loaded Synology NAS which
was gracefully shared with me by my audiophile neighbour (that's what we call social connectivity
The improvement in SQ when Logitech's switching PSU was swapped with a regulated proper PSU initiated my search for more. Next step was an external USB DAC, which improved overall SQ a lot. Next was using the USB DAC with a laptop running a borrowed JPlay musicserver instead of LSB, resulting in a much, very much improved SQ, a crisp detailed and deep sound. But having an incline for (free) linux OS, I switched to VoyageMPD server running on a few years old obsolete desktop.
It is surprising to notice how noisy laptops are in comparison with desktop pc's. Tweaking the settings of MPD is a time consuming, yet rewarding, process. SQ was very good, but I seemed to miss some of the sparkling detail I had learned to value with JPlay. So after tweaking the software beyond a near death, I needed to re-install and decided to go for Daphile instead, as their Linux kernel was of a newer version, and their user interface is through a webserver alike Logitech's. (You can even use the LSB as user interface).
Installation worked without a flaw, provided that the machine you're installing on is exclusively meant to be used for Daphile.
Don't even try to install Daphile on your business or home machine for you will lose the content of your
hard disk and end up with a machine that can't do anything else than fumbling around with music
files. During installation, Daphile strips off every unnecessary process and takes control over the
entire machine, which is not without reason, the resulting SQ is superb. And it gets even better!
Daphile can be configured as just a music player (i.a. without user interface), taking orders from an
external media server like Logitech media server (LMS) running on the synology NAS.
The improvement I noticed from this step was alike the switch from LSB's internal DAC to a high
quality Non Oversampling DAC like the one I'm using. Sound Quality from this configuration is
really triple plus good, lots of crisp detail, an ultra wide and deep sound-stage and an almost
resonating live experience when used with the better recordings.
I like to share this with your readers and encourage anyone to experiment with free software and
(obsolete) hardware, as there's nothing so rewarding as attaining huge improvements at the mere
cost of one's own time and effort.
Stephan - E-mail: sprocee (at) planet.nl
- Hardware: Synology 414j NAS, PC with AMD 2300MHz processor 2MB RAM, Logitech
Squeezebox 3.0, DDDAC non oversampling quad processor DAC,
- vanderVeen UL40-S2 modified amp with SED Winged-C EL34,
- Rogers Monitor v8.0 TL,
- interconnect Ketelaar type II, speakerconnect the Star DIY.
- Thorens td166 with Hadcock 228 arm, Goldring 1012 cartridge, Cambridge Audio 540P preamp.
Celebrating 20 years
thanks for sharing your experience on building your digital chain. Our readers will certainly appreciate it!
20 years together...happy anniversary TNT-Audio!
Roger - E-mail: rogerandersson6 (at) gmail.com
Petition for Amazon to offer digital music in FLAC
thanks for your kind message of appreciation! We will try to make our next 20 years even better!
Stay tuned for more fun in the years to come...
Sorry to "invade" your inbox. I created a petition for Amazon to offer digital music in lossless FLAC as an alternative to lossy MP3. Would you help promoting it so that it gets a lot of signatures and we can enjoy proper audio quality at last? =)
Thanks a lot in advance and apologies anew if this bothers you.
Jesús - E-mail: lost.dreams.palace (at) gmail.com
Dear Jesús, here it is! I hope this will bring many signatures to this online petition. Definitely we should say NO to lossy music downloads! Once it was mandatory, because there was no lossless alternative format to deal with and because internet speed was low, nowadays lossless formats should slowly substitute MP3's everywhere.
Happy lossless listening!
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