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Author Topic: How to get the best audio quality?  (Read 4246 times)

perry59

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How to get the best audio quality?
« on: December 09, 2018, 05:49:38 pm »

I imagine this question has been asked before, so sorry for any redundance.

I have two zones set up, one is in my den where the mediocre speakers are hardwired into the computer where MC is running. The other is my living room where my nice Klipsch's are wired into my yamaha receiver that is on my wireless network.

When the den zone is active, I can get to playback settings (DSP studio and options) a couple of ways, when I go to options I can only select the default direct sound, anything else will not work correctly.

Even though most of my music is hi res flac's, it looks like I am only getting mp3 quality. Seems like I should be able to use WASAPI here, or ASIO, maybe I just need to get a decent sound card.

When I switch zones to my living room though, which has a good sound system, my choices are even more limited! DSP studio is not available at all and my playback device is generic DNLA, any other selection does not play well, so again I am at mp3 quality.

Why am I spending money on hi res files if I only get mp3 quality ?

Several screenshots follow to illustrate this, sorry if its superfluous, I'm a visual learner ;)

First, the den.  Well, apparently you cant attach very much here, I'll try responding to my own post with the pictures..
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perry59

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Re: how to get the best audio quality
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 05:51:15 pm »

#2
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perry59

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Re: how to get the best audio quality
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 05:53:41 pm »

well, this is ludicrous so most pictures wont be posted
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perry59

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Re: how to get the best audio quality
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 05:54:26 pm »

living room 3
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 05:55:01 pm »

living room 4
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JimH

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2018, 05:55:32 pm »

If you're using DLNA, change the conversion settings on the server.  They are under Media Network.
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Scobie

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2018, 06:16:45 pm »

If your Yamaha is capable of receiving FLAC natively, then change the audio Mode to Original.

If you want to use the DSP studio, change it to PCM L16 No Header and then you can use the DSP settings whilst maintaining Hi res.
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2018, 06:27:54 pm »

If you're using DLNA, change the conversion settings on the server.  They are under Media Network.
if you are referring to the settings shown in the screenshot "livroom4", then like I said, if I change it to anything other than generic DNLA (mp3) then the sound cuts out and becomes unusable.
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2018, 06:41:49 pm »

If your Yamaha is capable of receiving FLAC natively, then change the audio Mode to Original.

If you want to use the DSP studio, change it to PCM L16 No Header and then you can use the DSP settings whilst maintaining Hi res.

I would assume my receiver could play FLAC natively since it is only a year old, but where is "audio mode"? when this zone is active I can only get into "media network" where I see no such option. Also, DSP studio seems to be completely  unavailable when this zone is active.
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Scobie

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2018, 06:48:34 pm »

In your last screenshot, where you have the Audio dropdown there is a "mode" option. Set that to Original and you should be streaming the source file untouched.
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2018, 08:42:13 pm »

In your last screenshot, where you have the Audio dropdown there is a "mode" option. Set that to Original and you should be streaming the source file untouched.

Ok, I could set mode to original so I guess other settings then become meaningless. DSP studio is still not accessable and my dsf files do not play correctly. They cut out. They will play ok on my den zone but I think that is because there DSP studio is available and any sample rates above 192K are down samples.
Glad I didn't by a lot of dsf music.
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Scobie

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2018, 09:15:01 pm »

Ok if you want to use DSP Studio, set the Mode to "Specified Output Format" and then the format to "PCM L16 No Header",then DSP Studio will be available to convert the rate etc.

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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2018, 09:45:14 pm »

Thanks for all your help Scobie!

 I did set Mode to "Specified Output Format" and then the format to "PCM L16 No Header".
dsf files still cut out though, even if I set them to downsample everything above 192K in DSP studio. Not sure why they will play on the computer, but not on the receiver.
dsf files seem to be a waste of money!
Funny, if I click the settings icon in the title bar, it still says "DSP studio is only available for local zones", but I could get to DSP studio via media network option.
I thought my living room was local !
I guess "local" means hardwired into the computer...
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Scobie

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2018, 10:02:06 pm »

Quote
I guess "local" means hardwired into the computer...

Yes I think so, that's how I treat it anyway.

Certainly anything to do with DLNA needs to be set via the Media Network option.

I would use Andrew's DLNA tool to validate your amp can play files at the rates you are setting. Search for "whitebear" in the forums, plenty of info on it and it is a great tool to show your renderer's capability.

Also if the file appear to play clearly and then cut out,  try toggling the DLNA Controller options, these can have a big effect. Right Click on the renderer in the top left under "Playing Now" and select "DLNA Controller Options"
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GaryB

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2018, 02:36:11 am »

Is it worth looking at the WiFi network as being the reason that the hi-res files drop out? I would try a network cable even if only temporarily ( to avoid partner problems).
Gary
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dtc

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2018, 09:31:41 am »

What DSD sample rate are you having trouble with? And what downsampling are you using? When MC converts DSD to PCM it does so by a factor of 8, so 1xDSD goes to 352KHz and 2x goes to 705Khz. Downsampling them by an integer factor from there will be most effective. So, down to 88 Khz or 172Khz. Worth a try to check.
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2018, 09:10:23 pm »

Is it worth looking at the WiFi network as being the reason that the hi-res files drop out? I would try a network cable even if only temporarily ( to avoid partner problems).
Gary

I can't rule out a too slow wifi speed, but stringing a cable through the house is my last resort!
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2018, 09:11:42 pm »

What DSD sample rate are you having trouble with? And what downsampling are you using? When MC converts DSD to PCM it does so by a factor of 8, so 1xDSD goes to 352KHz and 2x goes to 705Khz. Downsampling them by an integer factor from there will be most effective. So, down to 88 Khz or 172Khz. Worth a try to check.

here is what MC is showing me...
the player zone (in the den) works just fine.
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2018, 09:28:26 pm »

Yes I think so, that's how I treat it anyway.

Certainly anything to do with DLNA needs to be set via the Media Network option.

I would use Andrew's DLNA tool to validate your amp can play files at the rates you are setting. Search for "whitebear" in the forums, plenty of info on it and it is a great tool to show your renderer's capability.

Also if the file appear to play clearly and then cut out,  try toggling the DLNA Controller options, these can have a big effect. Right Click on the renderer in the top left under "Playing Now" and select "DLNA Controller Options"

tried changing the DLNA controller options, no effect. Not sure if I need to restart MC after doing so.
I'm going to have to play with the whitebear thing, it finds my receiver but when I go to test certain files it does not give a list of files to choose from as it implies.
this is all I got from it so far...
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Scobie

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2018, 09:35:21 pm »

what does the audio format tab say?
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2018, 09:59:20 pm »

what does the audio format tab say?

here is what I see, several entries at the top got cut off from the screenshot. Doesn't look too impressive.
Not sure what the asterisk means.
I'm going to be pretty disappointed if this thing can't correctly play all the 24 bit/192K music I have!

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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2018, 10:02:49 pm »

also, as stated earlier, I was able to get into DSP studio while the receiver zone was active. did so through the tools/options menu.
But when it was playing and I click the settings icon in the title bar I get this
makes me think that DSP studio is NOT working in this zone...

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MikeO

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2018, 10:07:49 am »

Itís not clear , are you configuring the DSP via Tools>media network>configure DLNA server

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MikeO

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2018, 10:19:59 am »

with pictures, I think its been said above

You need to set

Add or Configure DLNA Servers > Audio > Mode = Original [Easiest]

Or

Under Advanced you have access t o the DSP Settings [You should be able to set everything there]
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2018, 02:33:18 pm »

Itís not clear , are you configuring the DSP via Tools>media network>configure DLNA server
Yes, that is how I configured DSP, seems to be the only way I can get to those setting with this zone.
However, I get the feeling that those settings do not "hold" because once the music starts playing, if I click on the settings icon in the title bar, like in the screenshot above, it shows no alteration of the music "path" like it does in my player zone.
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2018, 02:40:02 pm »

with pictures, I think its been said above

You need to set

Add or Configure DLNA Servers > Audio > Mode = Original [Easiest]

Or

Under Advanced you have access t o the DSP Settings [You should be able to set everything there]

yes, I have tried both ways but my dsf music still cuts out. As a last resort I will get a long ethernet cable and wire my receiver directly into my router and see what happens. My home networks SHOULD be able to stream these files!
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dtc

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2018, 04:12:14 pm »

I believe Audio Path does not show conversions when DLNA is being used. That does not mean that DSP Studio is not being engaged when using DLNA.   I believe it is a limitation of Audio Path, not an indication that DSP Studio is not being used.

Under Media Networks and DLNA look at Advanced and, if you have convert only when specified,  look at the option for which audio formats to convert and see if both dsf and dff are checked. Your DSD files are probably dsf and if that is not checked then they will not be converted. If the file type is not set for conversion, then DSP Studio will not be engaged.

To see if  DSP studio is working with your DLNA server try this.  Within Media Network select the DLNA server you are using and go into DSP Studio and select Tempo and Pitch. Make a major change to rate. Then try playing a track that you know works and that is set for conversion.  If the rate change takes effect, then DSP studio is being used. If the file type is not set for conversion, then DSP Studio will not be engaged. 
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2018, 05:09:41 pm »

I believe Audio Path does not show conversions when DLNA is being used. That does not mean that DSP Studio is not being engaged when using DLNA.   I believe it is a limitation of Audio Path, not an indication that DSP Studio is not being used.

Under Media Networks and DLNA look at Advanced and, if you have convert only when specified,  look at the option for which audio formats to convert and see if both dsf and dff are checked. Your DSD files are probably dsf and if that is not checked then they will not be converted. If the file type is not set for conversion, then DSP Studio will not be engaged.

To see if  DSP studio is working with your DLNA server try this.  Within Media Network select the DLNA server you are using and go into DSP Studio and select Tempo and Pitch. Make a major change to rate. Then try playing a track that you know works and that is set for conversion.  If the rate change takes effect, then DSP studio is being used. If the file type is not set for conversion, then DSP Studio will not be engaged.

I originally had the "audio mode" set to original, but the .dsf files cut out pretty bad. The I was told that if I set audio mode to "specified output format" I could then engage DSP. So I did that, went into DSP and had it down sample everything above 192K. It still cut out, but I noticed I could not change what file types where being converted. I only wanted .dsf/.dsd to convert, everything else was fine. So, I tried setting audio mode to "specified output format only when necessary" and then I could change which file types where being converted.
Low and behold, my dsf files played correctly !! woohoo!!
As a test though, I went ahead and changed the tempo to max and sure 'nuf Alan parson project sounded like Alvin and the chipmunks on crack.
So I know DSP is working even on the DNLA zone. That was a great tip!
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perry59

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2018, 05:11:59 pm »

Thanks all for your help and patience ;D
everything work well, I documented all this in my notebook as well.
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dtc

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Re: How to get the best audio quality?
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2018, 05:15:49 pm »

 ;D

Enjoy the music.
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