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UPnP Sound Quality
#1
I have an Expert Pro 220 + CI almost for one year. At the beginning I used the USB port to connect it to my iMAC but after the stabile releases of the new firmware, I migrated to AIR. 2 days ago, I had a discussion with my wife that we were not getting the same SQ from the Dev when we compare to the first days of the purchases. You know the human ear, we laugh and said it is just a matter of getting used to the good quality sound but I was skeptic and without informing my wife, I started to do some A/B testing with different inputs (USB, AIR, uPNP)

And after listening the same albums for 2 days, we are sure the uPNP has a superior, wider and better sound quality and stage when you compare to the others. But the most significant shock we had was with AIR because USB sounds very very close to uPNP with only one difference, the music is a bit harsh and digital if you compare to uPNP. But if you ask about the AIR, sound stage is narrower, bass resolution is awful and the harmonics are not in the place.

I currently have the latest firmware (13.0.0 + 2.2.2) and I used same ethernet cable for uPNP and AIR (I also tried wireless for the tests) and I am sure the source or the medium is not the problem.

Can you please try on your side AIR vs uPNP because I am not talking about a small difference here, a normal person that doesn't care about music can understand the difference. It is that huge. Maybe I do something wrong with the AIR configuration or setup as I assume it is not possible that I am the first one discovered that huge difference.
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#2
Is that Devialet's AIR or Roon/AIR?
*
Devialetless!
Roon, Core on NUC with Debian/Audiolense XO/Music on NAS/EtherRegen/Pi4+RoPieeeXL/USPCB/ISORegen/USPCB/Sound Devices USBPre2/Tannoy GOLD 8
250 Pro CI, MicroRendu(1.4), Mutec MC-3+USB
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#3
I have felt the same that once you get used to the SQ, it does seem to take the initial wow factor away. Recently I felt compelled to compare it with an equally good hi-fi to really appreciate how good the Dev really is. Comparing AIR to UPnP, for some reason I have always preferred AIR over UPnP. Although it all depends on the implementation of your network and which software you are using. Implemented properly USB is the preferred choice of input for me via SoTM 200 Ultra. Some like using AES via the Mutec.
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#4
(03-Aug-2018, 21:34)ogs Wrote: Is that Devialet's AIR or Roon/AIR?

We did all the tests in Audirvana + AIR / uPNP but as you asked I have just created a Roon trial account and did the same comparison (this one is not a perfect testing as we change the player, I think there is no uPNP support on Roon) but still the sound is superior on Audirvana + uPNP than Roon + AIR. (I played the same song in Tidal via Audirvana and Roon)

For the ones that are interested with a quick test: A Celebration For the Death of Man is the song from Agalloch as there is a guitar intro in the song, you can feel the difference in the sound stage and the bass definition quite easily. Even the guitar sounds more bold and realistic with uPNP.

Of course all the factors should be considered for these kind of comparisons and personal taste is very important criteria but I can definitely say that for me the result is not one sounds different than other. There is a obvious quality difference. If I had the difference that I have between USB and uPNP, I am OK to say it is related with my setup but my current feeling is more like there is something wrong with AIR. (Doesn't matter if it is Roon or Devialet)

Is there any technical document about AIR? Do we know how the async streaming works in the protocol? Is there any jitter solution or any clock fixes between the player and the streamer?
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#5
(03-Aug-2018, 22:21)ada Wrote:
(03-Aug-2018, 21:34)ogs Wrote: Is that Devialet's AIR or Roon/AIR?

We did all the tests in Audirvana + AIR / uPNP but as you asked I have just created a Roon trial account and did the same comparison (this one is not a perfect testing as we change the player, I think there is no uPNP support on Roon) but still the sound is superior on Audirvana + uPNP than Roon + AIR. (I played the same song in Tidal via Audirvana and Roon)

For the ones that are interested with a quick test: A Celebration For the Death of Man is the song from Agalloch as there is a guitar intro in the song, you can feel the difference in the sound stage and the bass definition quite easily. Even the guitar sounds more bold and realistic with uPNP.

Of course all the factors should be considered for these kind of comparisons and personal taste is very important criteria but I can definitely say that for me the result is not one sounds different than other. There is a obvious quality difference. If I had the difference that I have between USB and uPNP, I am OK to say it is related with my setup but my current feeling is more like there is something wrong with AIR. (Doesn't matter if it is Roon or Devialet)

Is there any technical document about AIR? Do we know how the async streaming works in the protocol? Is there any jitter solution or any clock fixes between the player and the streamer?
First off I want to say, LOVE your avatar!!! RUSH fans are a rare breed....

Now, I am very curious about this thread you started, but right off the bat, I would like to know what version of AIR are you running?

I ask, because I had major SQ issues with 3.0.4. Absolutely hate it!! Shrill, Flat, unfocused.

I use 3.0.2 RC. Leaps and bounds better in all aspects.
DELL Win 7 PC running Foobar2000+Fidelizer+JPLAY > Wireworld Starlight ETH Cat 8 > SOtM ISO-Cat 6 > Wireworld Platinum Starlight ETH Cat 8 > Devialet 130 Expert Pro > High Fidelity Cables Reveal speaker cables > Custom built 10" cabinets...(for now)
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#6
In my setup Roon/AIR or streaming via Mutec to AES/EBU sounds quite similar in character. I'll have to try UPnP it seems. I must use JRiver MC21 (which I own) as UPnP server as I use room correction. Does anyone know if JRiver UPnP works with Devialet?
*
Devialetless!
Roon, Core on NUC with Debian/Audiolense XO/Music on NAS/EtherRegen/Pi4+RoPieeeXL/USPCB/ISORegen/USPCB/Sound Devices USBPre2/Tannoy GOLD 8
250 Pro CI, MicroRendu(1.4), Mutec MC-3+USB
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#7
Bit surprised with your findings. For me the latest releases of AIR had such a good quality that I prefer this over any other combination I've tried.
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#8
(03-Aug-2018, 21:25)ada Wrote: I have an Expert Pro 220 + CI almost for one year. At the beginning I used the USB port to connect it to my iMAC but after the stabile releases of the new firmware, I migrated to AIR. 2 days ago, I had a discussion with my wife that we were not getting the same SQ from the Dev when we compare to the first days of the purchases. You know the human ear, we laugh and said it is just a matter of getting used to the good quality sound but I was skeptic and without informing my wife, I started to do some A/B testing with different inputs (USB, AIR, uPNP)

And after listening the same albums for 2 days, we are sure the uPNP has a superior, wider and better sound quality and stage when you compare to the others. But the most significant shock we had was with AIR because USB sounds very very close to uPNP with only one difference, the music is a bit harsh and digital if you compare to uPNP. But if you ask about the AIR, sound stage is narrower, bass resolution is awful and the harmonics are not in the place.

I currently have the latest firmware (13.0.0 + 2.2.2) and I used same ethernet cable for uPNP and AIR (I also tried wireless for the tests) and I am sure the source or the medium is not the problem.

Can you please try on your side AIR vs uPNP because I am not talking about a small difference here, a normal person that doesn't care about music can understand the difference. It is that huge. Maybe I do something wrong with the AIR configuration or setup as I assume it is not possible that I am the first one discovered that huge difference.

Hello from overheated France,
I have exactly the same feeling. My setup is LE120 connected to an ALLO DIGIONE (Spdif) via router (Digione and router on LPS HDPlex) with Audirvana on a optimized Mac mini. For about 9 months, I played music through Roon (roonbridge on the Digione) but every time I was back to Audirvana via Air, I was really impressed by it. But because Roon is so much easier to live with, I stayed with it for that long. 2 weeks ago, with a bit of time ahead, I compared precisely the same files (Radiohead - In Rainbows 16/44.1 - Handel Messiah 24/192), on the same storage between Roon + AirRoon, Audirvana+Air and Audirvana+Upnp. My wife and I were stunned how the Audirvana UPNP configurations sounded : definitely a more accurate bass, lot of details and more density in the music (the meat around the bones). I am now staying with this configuration and I will end up my one year subscription to Roon next October.

Sebastien
Tweaked Mac Mini + Audirvana - Bridge ethernet - Metrum Ambre with RopieeXL - Coax - D120 - Mulidine Cadence
Cables : TWL Digital American - Coax cable : l'atelier acoustik - Ethernet : Monoprice cat5 UTP - Speakers : Duelund 16 awg
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#9
(04-Aug-2018, 00:16)MIO2013 Wrote: First off I want to say, LOVE your avatar!!! RUSH fans are a rare breed....

Thanks! It is the band of my life. Doesn't matter how much they are respected or cared, it is a personal philosophy and opinion. They guided me very well to find a meaning in this life. I will keep being appreciated because of that forever. And their 70s era is something that keeps make me cry when I listen. It is really giving a meaning to my personal journey in this life.

(04-Aug-2018, 00:16)MIO2013 Wrote: Now, I am very curious about this thread you started, but right off the bat, I would like to know what version of AIR are you running?

I ask, because I had major SQ issues with 3.0.4. Absolutely hate it!! Shrill, Flat, unfocused.

I use 3.0.2 RC. Leaps and bounds better in all aspects.

I have never tried 3.0.2 RC as it is a RC and even 3.0.4 has never been worked perfectly with a direct ethernet connection. I will try to give a try to it but honestly, the difference keeps me happy in UPnP setup. The only problem is the stability issues that I am having with UPnP nowadays. Less than AIR problems but still random pauses and crashes are happening with UPnP.

(04-Aug-2018, 11:36)Stino Wrote: Bit surprised with your findings. For me the latest releases of AIR had such a good quality that I prefer this over any other combination I've tried.

I was literally shocked when I discovered this as UPnP is a format that cares firstly the be generic and be a common standard than being audiophile solution. But here is the reality that I am facing.

(06-Aug-2018, 18:13)Baldoun Wrote: Hello from overheated France,
I have exactly the same feeling. My setup is LE120 connected to an ALLO DIGIONE (Spdif) via router (Digione and router on LPS HDPlex) with Audirvana on a optimized Mac mini. For about 9 months, I played music through Roon (roonbridge on the Digione) but every time I was back to Audirvana via Air, I was really impressed by it. But because Roon is so much easier to live with, I stayed with it for that long. 2 weeks ago, with a bit of time ahead, I compared precisely the same files (Radiohead - In Rainbows 16/44.1 - Handel Messiah 24/192), on the same storage between Roon + AirRoon, Audirvana+Air and Audirvana+Upnp. My wife and I were stunned how the Audirvana UPNP configurations sounded : definitely a more accurate bass, lot of details and more density in the music (the meat around the bones). I am now staying with this configuration and I will end up my one year subscription to Roon next October.

Sebastien

Hi Sebastien,

I don't know how much I can say more over your comment. I exactly experienced the same thing. It is not loudness, it is not higher volume, there is something related with resolution and the sound quality. I hope more people will try and comment on this.

I am not a fan of UPnP, I was planning to go with USB solutions in the very near future but seems like all the audiophile grade solutions that we pay are kind of gimmick. As I have a software engineering background, I am planning to do some readings and research related with RAAT and UPnP. We all know the major problems of the USB but seems like some of these problems have already been solved in modern streaming formats. (Or we are failing in somewhere likely on our ears Smile) Anyone can guide me to extra technical documentation of these protocols will be really helpful.
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#10
As I wrote above, I started to do some research and with using wireshark (it is a package sniffing tool) I started to compare the UPnP and Devialet AIR and Roon Air.

First of all, I am now sure that UPnP via Audirvana is superior than any kind of AIR implementation (doesn't matter if it is from Roon or Devialet) because of one certain reason. UPnP streaming traffic (UPnP commands are not important as we only stream the sound not the commands) in Audirvana goes through TCP [1] and there is always a package integrity mechanism in place. This means every package that is sent by Audirvana has a response from Devialet and if somehow the package is lost or in wrong order or is corrupted, it will be fixed in process.

On the other side both Devialet and Roon AIR integrations are fully working on UDP [2] protocol. This means there is no handshaking, no guarantee of delivery, order or duplicated packages.

I have been working in OTT (video streaming) sector as an engineer and senior management profile for a long time, I know both protocols very well, we also use both of them in certain cases. For example for live traffic, you want a lower latency and much more real time stream and you don't care if you lose quality or have glitches in the traffic because that is fine as people are focused on the live content but on the other side if you provide premium VOD service, you will want to be sure the customer has the best quality and best possible user experience to compete with Netflix or any other vendor and to reach to the quality of the powerful HDR supported devices. And for case 1 UDP is the ideal protocol but for the case 2 TCP is one of the best ways to go.

Of course, I am not an expert of Roon, Devialet or Audirvana, they should know better than me but by today no power can force me to use Devialet or Roon AIR as it is sick by the fundamental to be bit perfect of any kind of perfect or even anything good. If you are OK to stream content from Spotify (lossy) and if you don't care the reliable network (means you use a cheap router) and if you use your mobile phone as the player (you don't have any Roon, Audirvana or any special hardware as the player) than I will completely say AIR doesn't have any issue at all. But! If you pay couple of hundreds or thousands of euro for your streamer, network adapter, content subscription and player software, you would be aware of this UDP vs TCP problem we are talking here.

I can't understand how Devialet sold this AIR idea as bit-perfect maybe in the past they tried to use TCP but they couldn't handle it and removed, I don't know. 

I know that I left some strong opinions in this comment and those can be a direct blame to RoonLabs or Devialet, I am totally open to hear from them and if they fix anything that I am saying here, I will ensure you, I will modify my comment and apologise for the parts that I mislead you here.


Side topic: I was investigating what can be the root cause of the instability of the UPnP between Audirvana and Devialet and I found out that there are some 401 messages [3] comes from Devialet to Audirvana for some certain commands. This may mean Devialet doesn't have fully support for all the UPnP commands or Audirvana doesn't have a proper integration. There is no simple way to be sure which one is doing something wrong. (I can read the full UPnP Architecture documentation and find out the real root cause but I don't have this much time for now) But all in all seems like there is still room to improve the UPnP integration on at least one of the sides.


[1] TCP provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of a stream of octets (bytes) between applications running on hosts communicating via an IP network. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmissi...l_Protocol

[2] It has no handshaking dialogues, and thus exposes the user's program to any unreliability of the underlying network; There is no guarantee of delivery, ordering, or duplicate protection. If error-correction facilities are needed at the network interface level, an application may use Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) which are designed for this purpose. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_Datagram_Protocol

[3]HTTP 401. Ref: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs...Status/401
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