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Thursday, January 20, 2011

soundcheck's TT Beta Blog

Hi folks..


This blog is addressing the rather ambitioned  fraction of SB Touch owners.

Within this blog I'd like to share some of my ongoing Touch Toolbox developments findings and ideas that I'd like to share with you.

Feel free to join the club...

...I do appreciate your feedback.







Topics:

1. Server OS & Networking  (02/01/2011) ONGOING



02/01/2011

1. Server OS & Networking


I'm  digging into the network side of my streaming solution. I never expected the streaming-network to be such a challenge.

Having touched WLAN, routers, cables, even powersupplies of network devices, associates drivers and parameters here comes the next challenge:
Last weekend a new - from my perspective - quite serious issue was discovered.
I wanted a friend of mine to test some networking related modifications on a Linux (Ubuntu) based system. He runs a Vista/Ubuntu dual boot setup.

He obviously had to run some comparisons.

He finally got back telling me whatever he'd do, the Linux sounds ways worse then Vista.


I said: What?  ( I'm a Linux guy btw.)


Since I also run a dual boot system, I had to set up my W7. I never thought I'd have to do that.
Linux is supposed to be working quite well on the server side. 
I also prepared a second Linux PC (with newest 2.6.38-rc kernel and special server-mode (no X) ). I was able to run the test on two different Linux systems.

All that just to figure out: He's right!!!

Windows sounds clearly better then our Ubuntu Linux. That much better that I do have a problem to boot my Linux server.

Better means everything gets more coherent again. Less distortions. More depth. Better and more realistic  localizations of instruments etc.

Folks that's bugging me.

(Interesting to know would be if OSX got the same issue)

Now the question is what to do about it!?!?

potential things to do:

* tweaking whatever parameter settings
* manual compiling the server software
* review the Linux based SB server and associated libraries
* buying a DAC which is immune to anything what's going on further upstream

Any ideas are appreciated.

People with dual boot setups out there might give it a try.

Cheers

UPDATE 02/03/2010:

I received several feedbacks that e.g. QNAP based Linux systems or e.g. a ReadyNas won't make a huge difference compared to W7.
People are telling me it is rather the other way around.

19 comments:

  1. Great!

    But, when you say:

    "Your SB Touch volume control will NOT work anymore after the mod is being applied"

    do you really mean that it can't be reversed? Is it permanent or can you remove it by resetting the Touch? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just run ttvol100 again and you'll be back to normal operation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As everything else before, it just sounds great. Thank`s a lot for your work and support.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Peter Venema (Holland)January 22, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Hello Klaus,

    I did the 100% volume mod and it's a keeper!

    There is more dept,the instruments are more natural and you can pinpoint them in the soundstage.

    I also found that voices are more present and better to understand.

    Keep on amazing us with your good mods and thanks again for sharing this with all musik lovers in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I did'nt try till yet but I own also the SB classic where you could switch off the volume control. Since than I waws wondering why it was not implemented in the SBT

    Regards, Stefan

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi there again, Klaus! This is just a first impression... No time to make a "real" audition. Is it, that I already expected a great improvement? I guess not, there is a real improvement. And in my personal opinion its one of the most important ones up to now... I always listened at 100% almost all the time anyway, so the loss of convenience is only minor. So my guess is right, the volume control was a purely digital one, simply compressing the dynamics? And probably re-calculating even at 100% the stream to get 100%...? That explains the important step forward! Thanks again for making our squeezeboxes better!

    IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US!!!: Let's make use of the donation button... if we pay for a squeezebox remote control on our telephone, then we shall pay even more for a better sound!

    Urs

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks again Klaus. Made a donation.

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow, it is a new experience after all the mods. you are the man!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am one of those who had noticed immediate improvement in the sound clarity, firmness, and airiness after applying your ttvol100 mod. I was always running my Touch at 100% volume, while keeping all the volume adjustments, fade in/outs, replay gains etc. fixed on the Squeezebox server.

    The differences that this mod brings are NOT caused by the volume jumping up, because it was all the way up before I've applied ttvol100.

    The improvement in the sound quality that this mod brings is substantial, and is very easy to hear. My wife, who is not into critical audio listening, noticed the improvement right away. She even stopped to comment on how clearer the vocals now sound.

    Now why would she do that if there wasn't anything real different in there? She has no vested emotional interest in protecting the emperor's new clothes (neither do I; having received this generous offer from Klaus for free, I have no vested interest in defending it blindly).

    After all is said and done, I say let foolish people continue sitting on the sidelines and miss out on this wonderful opportunity, while the rest of us enjoy the music to the max.

    Thanks Klaus, job well done!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Klaus,
    can confirm your mods (as well as teh TTVOL=100% mod) works perfectly in both Squeezecentre 7.5.3 (latest download) and also Version 7.6 -r31840

    Great work!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good evening Klaus,
    with all your mods and a bit of Finetuning my Hardwarecomponents, it's the first Time that I can clearly hear a Difference from 320 Kbs/MP3 to 44100/16 FLAC Files.
    I always thought, my hearing isn't worth the effort to reencode my whole Music-collection.
    Experience now teached me, I was wrong!
    Cross check with a upmarket and beloved Ultrasone-Headphone made it clear - I have to go through it all again!
    Blame on You ;-) I hate You for that...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi!
    I put in some of the mods you suggested, including the 100% volume mod.
    I'm certain there is something else going on than just setting the volume at 100%. It sound a lot better now than it ever did.
    Previously, I have a feeling that it sounded best at 70-80%.

    Here's an issue I am running into:
    with the mods on, I'm hearing a little crackle on the left speaker anytime I use the remote to navigate around in the system while the music is playing. Wierd.

    Otherwise, it's awesome.
    Vielen Dank!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This thread is right on with me--I have been experimenting with a PC as my server driving a DACMAgic DAC but want to use a laptop (smaller; less intrusive in the liveing room) and have crashed against the "only USB output" problem. So just ran into this thread and now maybe will go with Touch, which is structurally similar to the PC or Laptop idea. Computer has 1 TB drive so all music files are in it. Would move it into an outboard housing with laptop or ??? with Touch. Would VERY much appreciate a nearby (New England/US) tech contact for help/chat.

    Many thanks to Klaus for his work and straightforward, no BS explanations of what's happening. I dimmly follow and agree totally.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just what to say thanks for your effort, hope that you will continue the great work.

    ReplyDelete
  15. HI Klaus, Its September, no signs of TT3.0 yet!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Klaus, its like chrismas and birthday together waiting for touchtoolbox 3.0!!! And now it is October! Pleeeeeease launch it!!!!!
    Meikel

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Klaus it is now November is
    3.0 coming out soon ?

    ReplyDelete