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Antoine's system
#21
Time for an update here! Smile

After reading all the positive experiences I decided to go for it last sunday so I bought the Audiophile Optimizer (AO) software (http://www.highend-audiopc.com) for Windows Server 2012 R2. Smile This software strips the OS to a bare minimum and optimizes it in several ways for dedicated audio playback. I have been able to get it running in 'minimal server mode'. Unfortuntely the AIR software doesn't run in it's most optimized 'Core' mode.

I created an additional partition on my dedicated playback computer to hold the Windows Server 2012 R2 (Standard) installation. I decided to keep the existing Windows 8.1 Pro system partition and create a dual boot system. So I can now easily reboot my system and boot the Windows 8.1 system which I use for more 'video related' HTPC work (watching movies, TV series etc., streaming video etc.)

The installation of the Audiophile Optimizer software is very easy and the scripts it contains work perfectly and can be used by anyone, so also the non IT literates. Smile I haven't found enough time yet to really compare the sound quality improvements but my first impressions after a few days are positive. It seems I can better hear low details from a blacker background and the whole staging/presentation and timbres are better and richer/somewhat fuller. For the people that have never heard of AO, you can read a lot about it on the Computer Audiophile and JPlay forums. (http://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum/ and http://jplay.eu/forum/)

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Since the PC has been my one and only source for quite some time now and it is placed near to the set I have also finally decided to get rid of the SMPS PSU in the PC and upgrade it's power supply to a linear low noise/low ripple one. I'll probably decide next week which one I'll go for as I'm awaiting replies to some questions I've asked.

I'm currently looking at (in order of current preference):

1.
HDPlex Linear PSU http://www.hd-plex.com/HDPLEX-Fanless-Li...evice.html
plus a HDPlex 160W DC ATX PSU: http://www.hd-plex.com/HDPLEX-160W-DC-AT...Input.html

Hong Kong company but has all required CE certifications etc. so should be safe. Price is very nice as well and it comes complete with all necessary cables, accessories etc. Delivers enough power (100W continuous, more in bursts) for me.

The PSU has a separate 12V rail (main rail for the PC is 19V) with which I can directly power my Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core which also allows me to remove and sell the separate BOTWS PSU I currenly use for this device.

2.
Teradak makes all sorts of linear power supplies in different sizes including one that looks very similar to the HDPlex but it's made and shipped directly in/from China. It doesn't seem to have the required safety certifications and I'd hate the idea to maybe be no longer insured when my house burns down because of this. Nonetheless a lot of people use their products and their most recent 'small ATX linear PSU' (http://1drv.ms/1odGQzi) looks very promising. It's not on their website (http://www.teradak.com/) yet. This PSU should be technically superior to the HDPlex as it provides all the required voltages (multi rail) to power a PC directly without a DC-DC power converter like the PicoPSU's and HDPlex DC ATX PSU.

3.
Teddy Pardo 12/4 http://www.teddypardo.com/powersupplies/...y12-4.html
From Israel, it has the required certifications. This one might be 'underpowered' though, it's their most powerful PSU bit it can deliver only 4.5A @ 12V (54W). This would be enough for music playback only at which my PC uses around 25W (measured at wall outlet) but when I torture test the machine this rises to a maximum of 100W.

4. Keces DC-16 http://www.keces.com.tw/5_english/index_5_english.htm
Taiwanese, doesn't seem to have the required certifications as well. Seems to run hot and earlier 50Hz models had transformer hum.
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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#22
Wow, these Chinese/Hong Kong guys are fast. I already received replies to my emails both yesterday and today! Smile

Anyway, I've ordered the HDPlex 100W linear PSU and 160W DC-DC converter. A full linear ATX might be a little bit better but as the products are very new, way overpowered and thus expensive I'll maybe explore that option again in the future. This'll do perfectly for now. I should receive both items somewhere this coming week. Smile
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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#23
The HDPlex linear PSU came in today but unfortunately the ATX DC converter has not. Sad I emailed the seller/manufacturer and it should follow soon, it is shipped from a different warehouse in Europe.

Nonetheless I connected the 12V output of it to my old Streacom NanoPSU and it works perfectly. Later I will use the 12V output for my Anti-Mode Dual Core and the fully isolated 19V to the new DC ATX converter. Haven't had much time to listen yet but wow, the first thing I immediately noticed were less 'distorted', smoother highs. I can't wait to finish the job after receiving the ATX DC converter. The PSU is built like a tank, weighs around 5kg, is compact in size, has four types of connection cables supplied and came packed in a double box. Very nice! Smile
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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#24
Well thanks to Rufus's post earlier in this topic and Kunters and Guillaumes posts here: http://devialetchat.com/Thread-last-mile-ethernet I've decided to upgrade my Audioquest Vodka ethernet cable (1,5m) to a Diamond (0,75m). Today I've traded it in in the shop! Smile

I could no longer bear the thought the Diamond was so much better! Wink
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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#25
(05-Sep-2014, 16:13)Antoine Wrote: Well thanks to Rufus's post earlier in this topic and Kunters and Guillaumes posts here: http://devialetchat.com/Thread-last-mile-ethernet I've decided to upgrade my Audioquest Vodka ethernet cable (1,5m) to a Diamond (0,75m). Today I've traded it in in the shop! Smile

I could no longer bear the thought the Diamond was so much better! Wink

Share your experience when you have the chance...

Cheers...

Kunter
D800, Rockport Altair, Cubox, Clearaudio Master Solution, AR REF2SE Phono, Echole Omnia, Audioquest Diamond, Torus, Entreq
Istanbul, Turkey
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#26
Wow, I have only been listening for the past two hours but spotting the differences is way too easy and to conclude at the beginning: the Vodka "sucks"! Wink

The Diamond gives me increased microdetailing/-dynamics leading to not only hearing more but also a much more relaxed and natural musicality. Everything sounds more real and in the case of live recordings the feeling you're there. Instruments/notes are heard longer until they completely fade out/decay. The soundstage has expanded, is more 3D and like I saw you or Guillaume write it's easier to hear the separation between instruments and also vocals (e.g. main and background). Another thing I noticed are increased dynamics although this could also be because of my cranking up the volume a bit more because it sounds so d#mn good! Big Grin

I'm actually shocked a bit, the last taboo for me, some years back, were power cables but it shows that even ethernet cables can make a rather easy to notice difference and improvement so for me another taboo cracked.

I have to be honest though and admit that only yesterday I introduced a linear PSU for my music server so I might confuse some changes to be caused by the Diamond. However I did listen to a number of songs earlier today before changing the cable as well and the differences seem to be the same as in songs I didn't hear earlier today. The linear PSU did a great job at 'cleaning up'/removing the light distortion especially in the highs and fortifying low frequencies. It actually gives me a feeling that both changes are somewhat synergistic/complementing each other in a 1+1=3 way.

So I guess I can underwrite your (Kunters) findings! I'd also very much recommended to try the Diamond out especially if you like me heavily 'depend' on ethernet in your system! Smile

edit: I've been playing with the dealers 1,5m demo cable. My 0,75m cable wasn't in stock but should be delivered next Tuesday, so no 'break-in' issues today/this weekend. Smile
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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#27
Wow Antoine, your description of the Diamond is pretty much exactly what I thought when hearing them! I felt a similar way about the Sarum Ethernet but the Diamond takes it further. It's definitely microdynamics that is the thing I can quantify more than anything. I didn't notice at first but when you become aware of what to listen out for it becomes more obvious.
Devialet 200, Melco N1A, Rega RP6/Exact, Raidho C-1.1, grounding boxes.
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#28
That's good to read Rufus! I really thought the differences were clear but it's always nice to see them confirmed! Smile

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I'm still waiting for the HDPlex 160W DC ATX converter to finalize my music server setup (for now Wink). The first one seemed to have gotten lost/stolen in the mail so HDPlex offered to send me another one. I've asked to use a more reliable shipping provider than Chech Post (Česká Pošta) and they used DPD like they did for the linear PSU. I hope to receive it tomorrow or early next week.
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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#29
Indeed I received the HDPlex DC ATX converter last friday, except they didn't send me the 160W but the more expensive 250W "hi-fi" version! Smile http://www.hd-plex.com/HDPLEX-250W-Hi-Fi...Input.html

I've installed it and connected it to the 19V output of the HD-Plex linear PSU and it works like a charm. Also connected my Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core to the 12V output of the same linear PSU and this works as well.

My BOTWS 12V linear PSU powering the Anti-Mode before was up for sale but I pulled the ad last week since I figured I could perhaps use it to power the Netgear network switch (also 12V) to which one of the network interface cards of my music playback machine is connected. And indeed this works as well! So no more switching PSU's are used for powering devices connected to the Devialet. Smile


[Image: lpsug3.jpg]

[Image: HDPLEX250WDCATX1.jpg]
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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#30
Like Kunter did (see: http://devialetchat.com/Thread-CuBox-Project-X) and just for fun I've also ordered a Cubox i4Pro! Smile It's currently out of stock but hopefully I'll receive it and the other items next week.

Also ordered:
Anker E4 2nd gen 13000mAh battery
Anker E5 15000mAh battery
Akasa Lokstor X21 ESATA-SATA Enclosure
2x Sandisk Ultra microSDHC memorycards 8GB

I'm curious how this solution compares to my Server2012/AO/AIR setup. If it's not better sounding or not as convenient I'll find other uses for this hardware or sell them again.

Planning to use the Voyage MuBox MPD realtime OS package as well (first). http://mubox.voyage.hk/ Later I might also try Volumio and VortexBox/Squeezelite.

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For my main music server I've also ordered some new items to experiment and play with:

Intel i210 server NIC (to replace the Intel Desktop CT gigabit adapter which isn't officialy supported in Windows Server 2012 R2)
ApeXi - PCI/PCI-e filter card which should filter the PCIe power inside the PC, see: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ApeXi-Power-Filt...43cfef6982

Plus some better PCI-E 1x risers to install both inside my Streacom case.
PS Audio P3, Shunyata ΞTRON Alpha Digital/Lessloss DFPC Signature/Furutech power cables, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-MR4, Roon, SoTM sMS-200, Curious USB cable, Audioquest Diamond RJ/E ethernet, Mutec MC-3+ USB, Shunyata ΞTRON Anaconda Digital XLR AES/EBU, Devialet Expert 250 Pro, Nordost Tyr Reference LS cables, Von Schweikert VR-5 SE Anniversary Edition, Anti-Mode Dual Core 2.0, JL Audio Fathom F112. More detail here.

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