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direct play to USB - Printable Version

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+--- Thread: direct play to USB (/showthread.php?tid=2975)

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direct play to USB - richo - 09-13-2020

Hello,
I am quite new to moode and also to many of the terms as PCM, DSD.
I have E30 DAC connected to USB 2.0 of Pi4.
I like to play files in exact format as their are on my NAS.
I have disabled the SoX

Now when I play I see on display of E30 DAC corresponding 44.1 PCM or 96 or anything corresponding to file format.
I see also on Audion Information page of moode always 32 bit instead of bits in file.
For example:


Code:
Decoded to: 16 bit, 48 kHz, Stereo, 434 kbps
Destination: Local
Output rate: 32 bit, 48 kHz, Stereo, 3.072 Mbps


I have quite a few questions:

Is it possible to turn this off and keep also bits same as in file?
Does it has any effect on audio quality?
What exactly is DSD and its relation to PCM?

I must say that currently audio over moode on Pi4 to E30 DAC is producing little less quality audio then my CD. (FLAC from same CD, exact audio copy sw used)

Here few info on my configuration:

Code:
[b]Audio Device[/b]
Device: USB audio device (E30)
Mixer name: E30
Chip: 

Interface: USB
Formats: S32_LE, SPECIAL, DSD_U32_BE
Platform: Pi-4B 4GB v1.2

64 bit kernel
0.22~git MPD
i2s audio = none
DSD over PCM  = no


Thank you very much for your kind help


RE: direct play to USB - Tim Curtis - 09-13-2020

Differences in SQ can be due to a variety of physical factors including quality of power supply, noise levels, equipment compatibility, etc and some psychological factors including expectation bias, placebo effect, being used to a systems sound characteristics, etc.

Your audio device prolly has a USB receiver chipset that only accepts 32-bit word length. This is pretty common these days. In this case Linux/ALSA will automatically zero-pad the bit depth to 32-bits. This does not change the original 16 or 24 bits of audio in the samples and does not affect SQ.

DSD stands for Direct Stream Digital. It's a 1-bit (or multi-bit) audio format based on Pulse Density Modulation (PDM) that was used as the format for the Super Audio CD (SACD) created in the late 90's. The SACD was supposed to be the successor to the PCM based Compact Disc (CD) but it failed in the marketplace for a variety of reasons.

As a result there's not much music in SACD format. What little there is is typically ripped into a file format named DSF which contains the original DSD bitstream from the SACD plus metadata for each of the tracks.

moOde can play DSF format files in three ways.

1. Native DSD bitstream -  The audio device has to support native DSD
2. DSD over PCM (DoP | DSD encapsulated in PCM) - The audio device has to support DoP
3. DSD to PCM on-the-fly conversion


RE: direct play to USB - hifinet - 09-13-2020

What is your CD player?

How are you ripping or obtaining flac files?

The power supply is very important. For low cost, I can recommend USB lithium battery with USB-A or USB-C to barrel DC jack adapter to fit your DAC. Allo.com makes very high quality supplies.

In stages, try first MPD 0.22~git test. This will rescan the library.

Try 32/384 very high quality SoX upsampling.


RE: direct play to USB - hifinet - 09-13-2020

Forgot to mention burn in. The caps in the DAC can take 50-100 hours to properly form. Don't be too critical at first.

With all due respect (and to the Moode creator the highest respect), this is the audiophile forum. It's all about sound. No placebo effect. No RCTs needed. It just needs to sound better to you.


RE: direct play to USB - Tim Curtis - 09-13-2020

Of course but Audiophiles have been known to want an explanation for why the sound has changed. I offer both physical and psychological reasons. Both have been discussed ad-nauseam for generations.


RE: direct play to USB - richo - 09-14-2020

@Tim Curtis thank you very much for the explanations.
The whole point of my post was to understand more moode and mainly to see if I didn't made (in my ignorance of beginner user of moode) some incorrect settings and or decisions.

Shortly, if I understood you right, there is nothing seriously incorrect in my setting to have as much as possible same data from file going into my DAC, correct?


I am in process reading long thread named Sound Tweak Rpi4 and I will experiment.
Once again Tim, thank you very much for answering my beginner questions.

@hifinet I am also aware of endless discussion about subjective view on Sound quality and I really didn't want to go into it. I am running Pi4 and E30 on battery power and using same rest of the system for producing the sound (amp, speakers) as my CD player.


RE: direct play to USB - Tim Curtis - 09-14-2020

Correct. The DSP options including resampling, replaygain, cross fade, EQ, Volume (Hardware/Software), etc will alter the digital signal leaving moOde.

If you want an unaltered signal coming out of moOde turn off all DSP and set MPD volume control to "Disabled (0dB). Just keep in mind that in this configuration the signal will be at full volume and so you will need to have a down stream volume control before the amplification.


RE: direct play to USB - hifinet - 09-15-2020

(09-14-2020, 07:26 AM)richo Wrote: @hifinet I am also aware of endless discussion about subjective view on Sound quality and I really didn't want to go into it. I am running Pi4 and E30 on battery power and using same rest of the system for producing the sound (amp, speakers) as my CD player.

My SMSL has the same AK4493 DAC chip as the E30. I experienced a significant improvement in sound quality after over 100 hours of burn in (listening Smile ). The sound over here is really fantastic. You could leave the units on with power supplies and loop sine sweeps for several days. It takes a while for the caps to settle. High frequencies tend to be harsh and forward, then fairly abruptly smooth out one day to the next with the SMSL. Assuming your rips are good, Accurate Rip confirmed, etc. (btw, CUERipper is easier to use and setup than EAC, but if EAC is setup properly you get the same results. CUETools can Accurate Rip verify your files if you didn't do that with EAC). If your CD player still sounds better, I would like to know what CD player you have. I started ripping and streaming over the network with the Squeezebox in about 2003.


RE: direct play to USB - richo - 09-17-2020

Thank you for the suggestions. I am now in process of enjoying my music and adjusting some meta data in the way they can be displayed by moode. It is great to be hearing my FLAC music properly after years.
-r-


RE: direct play to USB - philrandal - 09-17-2020

(09-15-2020, 07:12 PM)hifinet Wrote:
(09-14-2020, 07:26 AM)richo Wrote: @hifinet I am also aware of endless discussion about subjective view on Sound quality and I really didn't want to go into it. I am running Pi4 and E30 on battery power and using same rest of the system for producing the sound (amp, speakers) as my CD player.

My SMSL has the same AK4493 DAC chip as the E30. I experienced a significant improvement in sound quality after over 100 hours of burn in (listening Smile ). The sound over here is really fantastic. You could leave the units on with power supplies and loop sine sweeps for several days. It takes a while for the caps to settle. High frequencies tend to be harsh and forward, then fairly abruptly smooth out one day to the next with the SMSL. Assuming your rips are good, Accurate Rip confirmed, etc. (btw, CUERipper is easier to use and setup than EAC, but if EAC is setup properly you get the same results. CUETools can Accurate Rip verify your files if you didn't do that with EAC). If your CD player still sounds better, I would like to know what CD player you have. I started ripping and streaming over the network with the Squeezebox in about 2003.

One of the first tests I did on my SMSL Sanskrit was to feed the coax output from my Marantz CD6004 into it, and compare the difference.  Sound quality noticeably improved via the Sanskrit.

Cheers,

Phil