Author Topic: The Pains of Computer Audio  (Read 483 times)

Offline jimbones

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The Pains of Computer Audio
« on: September 16, 2018, 10:09:37 AM »
Vinyl is so easy take it out plop it on the platter, a quick sweep of a carbon static brush and were off!
Digital, not so much. I spend countless hours jacking around with it because of incompatibility issues, wrong formats, firewall issues, synch issues. Yesterday I spent 2 hours before I threw in the towel and listened to vinyl. Shame because a good digital setup can sound very good but the juice ain't worth the squeeze. Does anyone here have a reliable computer audio set up?(not talking about Tidal streaming I have that covered)
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Offline shadowlight

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 11:47:55 AM »
What is your setup that you constantly have to muck around with it?  I have not touched my setup in couple of years other than making sure that I keep up with the security patches and player update.  I would say enjoy which ever format works for you  :thumb:.

If you post what your setup is and what your issues are we might be able to help you stabilize the setup.


Offline richidoo

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 12:06:30 PM »
What's your digital system consist of Jim? I finally got sick of digital audio messing up so I upgraded to more reliable gear and have been happier.

I use Roon with SOtM SMS-200 endpoint to convert ethernet to USB to feed my DAC, and I'm mostly satisfied with the reliability and SQ. SMS200 is only $500. It needs a reboot about every other month. I'm upgrading my USB cable and hope that will bring it close to the DirectStream SQ. I have a Auralic Vega DAC that sells used for about $1500. It is mostly reliable, occasionally slightly quirky. Pretty hard to beat the value.

My biggest reliability issue atm is stopping the crashed Roon Core app about 2x/month when it uses up the 8GB RAM and crashes itself. No reboot, just restart Roon again. It's annoying but it's within my tolerance. My friends running Roon don't have that problem. I run it on a 5yo Dell i3.

The most reliable and best sounding digital audio I've heard is PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge2 fed by Roon. Control it with a tablet or laptop running Roon as client. It's about $4.5k from a heavily discounting dealer. Rock solid reliability and among the best digital SQ available, imo.

I wish Roon could pass through more digital music services. I keep my trusty, ever reliable Sonos player in the system to play all my compressed streams. But the Sonos SQ is not audiophile even with a good (60pS) jitter fixer after it.

Offline jimbones

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2018, 12:52:08 PM »
Ok so set up is: Windows laptop with JRiver and JPLay. HDD connected via USB3. The USB dac output into my Burson DAC.

I also have a reliable streaming set up which I wont go into it now because it is reliable.
Thanks, Jim

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Offline shadowlight

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 01:40:57 PM »
Ok so set up is: Windows laptop with JRiver and JPLay. HDD connected via USB3. The USB dac output into my Burson DAC.

I also have a reliable streaming set up which I wont go into it now because it is reliable.
Thanks, Jim

So what are the issue that you are having with the setup?  Was it the communication between JRiver/JPlay setup or JRiver and HDD? 

If I remember correctly JRiver removed the support for JPlay since they (JRiver) thought JPlay was basically leveraging JRiver was library management couple of years ago when JRiver version  was v18/19.  Also, what does your JRiver/JPlay setup allows you to do that you might miss if the set was simplified?

Isn't your streaming setup a Lumin?  If yes, I thought you have the ability to hook up the USB drive directly to Lumin and play your local files?
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 01:42:50 PM by shadowlight »

Offline jimbones

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 01:49:01 PM »
Yes streaming is Lumin D1, and sounds good. But ultimately the hi res sounds a bit better. I am using JRiver 19. That was the last version that played nice with JPLay and the reason I will not upgrade. I get errors in JPlay saying it cant connect to the server and that the firewall may be blocking it. Then JRiver wont play selection becasue of the format. It also has issues with asio, wasapi, etc. One big shitfest. i am dumping the whole thing and getting a dedicated device. Just not sure which one. I guess I will be forced to get Roon.
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Offline shadowlight

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 02:10:36 PM »
Got it.  So it is basically the integration of JRiver and JPlay that is not working correctly.  I have JRiver but no JPlay so hopefully someone else on the forum has worked with that setup before who can provide guidance.  Have you tried just straight JRiver after uninstalling JPlay.  I am not even sure that is an option for you or not.  Did anyone on JPlay forum have any insight?

Why do you say you will be forced to get Roon?  Do you plan to integrate your local files with Tidal?  If not, wouldn't it be cheaper to just upgrade JRiver, if you are thinking about dumping the whole thing?  The other option is to wait for Qobuz to release their service in US and see if it meets your Hi-Res requirement and just use Lumin for everything.

Offline shadowlight

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 02:13:18 PM »

My biggest reliability issue atm is stopping the crashed Roon Core app about 2x/month when it uses up the 8GB RAM and crashes itself. No reboot, just restart Roon again. It's annoying but it's within my tolerance. My friends running Roon don't have that problem. I run it on a 5yo Dell i3.


Rich, what is your OS for the Roon Core?  Getting ready to build a Roon system and trying to get an idea.

Offline rollo

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 03:15:53 PM »
  Get a good server and be done. Sit for the whole piece of music without interruption.   


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Offline jimbones

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 05:22:21 PM »
See response embedded


Got it.  So it is basically the integration of JRiver and JPlay that is not working correctly. << Well that is only ONE of the issues>>  I have JRiver but no JPlay so hopefully someone else on the forum has worked with that setup before who can provide guidance.  Have you tried just straight JRiver <<yes and it wont play certain formats. But it gets even crazier. I  can play a tune then go back 2 hrs later and "its not compatible" I have touched a Goddam thing!!>>  after uninstalling JPlay.  I am not even sure that is an option for you or not.  Did anyone on JPlay forum have any insight? <<I am a beaten man, I have endured this for the past 3-4 years I am moving on>>

Why do you say you will be forced to get Roon?  <<what free players can I use? can I use Lumin >> Do you plan to integrate your local files with Tidal?  If not, wouldn't it be cheaper to just upgrade JRiver, if you are thinking about dumping the whole thing?  The other option is to wait for Qobuz to release their service in US and see if it meets your Hi-Res requirement and just use Lumin for everything.
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Offline richidoo

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 05:27:23 PM »
Rich, what is your OS for the Roon Core?  Getting ready to build a Roon system and trying to get an idea.

I just use the Windows 8 that came on it. 

Have you seen this? https://kb.roonlabs.com/Roon_Optimized_Core_Kit
Might be worth a try if you building a new box before buying a Windows 10 license. I don't know anyone who has used it yet.

Offline richidoo

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 05:37:39 PM »
Jim, since you're using PC connected directly to DAC, why not just play directly from the streamer apps like Tidal or whatever you use? I like Tidal app better than Roon anyway. I think that's what Tmazz does? Then use foobar or JRiver for playing local files.

Offline TomS

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2018, 06:21:26 PM »
I've used Roon on an iMac at first, then an Intel NUC with Windows 10 managed through TeamViewer from my Macs. Files are on a Synology DS1815+ NAS. Once I moved Roon to ROCK (Linux) on the NUC, I never have to touch it. It just works, no fuss.

I have the PS Audio DirectStream w/Bridge II Rich mentioned and it is a great setup. I do have Tidal only because it's CD quality, has most of the content I want (such as ECM), and integrates with Roon seamlessly. Once Qobuz is integrated I'll probably move there if the content is as good.
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Offline jimbones

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2018, 06:23:44 PM »
See response embedded

Jim, since you're using PC connected directly to DAC, why not just play directly from the streamer apps like Tidal or whatever you use? << I do I use Tidal on my Lumin, good but not as good sonically as hi res local file>> I like Tidal app better than Roon anyway. I think that's what Tmazz does? Then use foobar or JRiver for playing local files. <<JRiver wont read all my files. depends on sampling rates, bit length etc.>>


I want to buy a dedicated computer and just play from my NAS or HDD.
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Offline shadowlight

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Re: The Pains of Computer Audio
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2018, 06:52:59 PM »
Rich, what is your OS for the Roon Core?  Getting ready to build a Roon system and trying to get an idea.

I just use the Windows 8 that came on it. 

Have you seen this? https://kb.roonlabs.com/Roon_Optimized_Core_Kit
Might be worth a try if you building a new box before buying a Windows 10 license. I don't know anyone who has used it yet.

ROCK or Optimized Debian is my number one choice but wanted to keep other OS options available.  I am not sure if ROCK will work with non-NUC system.  I will try it and if it does not work I will go down the Debian route, since I already have a working bare bone install steps which I used for HQPlayer Embedded.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 07:11:10 PM by shadowlight »