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Author Topic: Nifty Improvements  (Read 2717 times)

johnjen

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Nifty Improvements
« on: May 19, 2013, 03:47:43 am »

So for those who are running a network capable DAC, and I would assume any other network device, setting up the network device using a static IP instead of DHCP is a step up in stability and sound quality worth trying.

The PWDII rewarded me, after careful fussing with the knobs and switches, with both of the above improvements.

Try it you'll like it…  ;)

JJ
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Samson

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 08:20:42 pm »

setting up the network device using a static IP instead of DHCP is a step up in stability and sound quality worth trying.

Hi JJ, can you explain how you went about this ?
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jmrdc

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 08:29:27 pm »

Don't hold out, please.
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johnjen

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 11:34:42 pm »

Hi JJ, can you explain how you went about this ?

Sure.

I gained access to my router (a netgear WNR3500) via my web browser by typing in its IP in the URL 'bar'.
Then I found the IP assigned to the PWDII and changed it from a DHCP assigned IP to a fixed (static) IP.
(note, sometimes the static IP setup is included in the range of available DHCP IP's.  Other routers may have the static IP assignment 'outside' of the range of DHCP IP's.  Just go with what works for your setup.)

During this process I reset the router a couple of times, just to make sure it was setup correctly (the router would tell me if the settings were appropriate or not)  But that isn't to say they were the CORRECT settings.  ;D

Then I went into the DAC and changed the Ethernet settings (to turn DHCP off) and then manually entered the FULL and correct IP's, including making sure the subnet and gateway etc. settings reflect those as found in the Router (the router is master).  These 2 setups need to match.

I then (and this optional) also went into the QoS (Quality of Service) settings and used the MAC address of the PWDII to 'isolate and select' it and assign it the "highest" priority.  I also made the appropriate Ethernet ports set to the highest priority as well.  All the rest of the listed functions were set to lower priority settings.

I could go into greater detail but each router is different and even the words used will change a bit so my description is and has to be 'generic'.

Also note for those who are in unfamiliar territory with any of this…

The ABSOLUTE 1st thing to do is WRITE DOWN ALL OF THE EXISTING SETTINGS!!!!!

THIS IS YOUR INSURANCE POLICY IN CASE OF DISASTER.
You can always return to these numbers and it will work.
Be sure to write them ALL down.

JJ


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Samson

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 04:00:32 am »

Thanks that's great.  :)
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-Michael

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 04:53:22 am »

Thanks Johnjen I appreciate the time you took to spell it out "generically".
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JimH

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 06:54:57 am »

So for those who are running a network capable DAC, and I would assume any other network device, setting up the network device using a static IP instead of DHCP is a step up in stability and sound quality worth trying.
While this might help a device that is having trouble communicating, it is not normally necessary or even helpful.  If the device is playing audio, it has a good network connection, regardless of whether it has a static address or uses DHCP.

JRiver does not recommend changing to a static address to solve sound issues.  There are many other possible causes for those.  But it's harmless to do if you want to try it.
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Rogerdn

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2013, 09:05:15 am »

Changing to static improved my connection stability a lot, did my iPad too, there are PSA guide lines and threads on their forum.
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johnjen

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 03:51:47 pm »

While this might help a device that is having trouble communicating, it is not normally necessary or even helpful.  If the device is playing audio, it has a good network connection, regardless of whether it has a static address or uses DHCP.

JRiver does not recommend changing to a static address to solve sound issues.  There are many other possible causes for those.  But it's harmless to do if you want to try it.
I agree that these steps shouldn't be necessary but they do affect stability and sound quality. 
Why?
I don't know, but I can guess.  And my guess is that it isn't about the speed of packet delivery but the timing of said packets.  Especially dealing with continuous low bandwidth (ie digital sound data) packets that need to arrive 'properly' (on time and in the correct order).  That these changes DO affect and are noticeable in the delivered audio is why I made (and kept) these changes.  But the exact contributing factors and what is really going on I don't have a solid handle on.

The next changes I'll be making deal with upping the quality of the Ethernet cables themselves.  Yeah I know it shouldn't make ANY difference.  Packets are packets, as long as they show up, on time and in the correct order, everything should play nice.  But others have reported that their system plays nicer with Cat-7 cables (a standard that doesn't even really exist yet).  I'll find out if it's true in my system here shortly.

JJ
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kiwi

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 05:30:26 pm »

The only thing that DHCP will effect is the initial assigning of an IP Address (and potentially renewing it.) 

Once the device has an IP Address, it's just as if said device had that IP address manually assigned.

Now, your DHCP server could be providing the wrong information/subnetmask/etc... or forcing everything to renew leases ever 30 seconds... but it is very unlikely that any of these things are happening.
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Samson

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 07:09:07 pm »


I don't know, but I can guess.  And my guess is that it isn't about the speed of packet delivery but the timing of said packets. 

Yes, timing issues and the the whole Jitter debate has been going on for decades.I would venture to say that the only fact in all these considerations is, as you say, nobody knows. My reality is that some things sound better, I dont care why or the reasons alledged for or against. Back to the ear/brain thing. By far the greatest source of "signal processing" happens between tympanic membrane and somatosensory cortex, real or 'imagined' or recalled from sound memory or a plethora of other perceptual influences. Perceptions based on hard biomedical considerations as well as psychoacoustic (just as real).There is a lot to contemplate before we get to perception based on the illusory or delusion.

My gut ( another very sensitive perceptual organ based on hard scientific data...just kidding  ::) ) and my reasoning tells me that static vs dynamic IP shouldnt make a difference.Howvever there is just too much we dont understand to be dismissive.

The purpose for this forum is, as I understand it, is for support and technical advice. They do however tolerate audiophiles under the Music, Movies, Politics, and Other Cheap Thrills. JJ, I suggest you post similar topics there in the future.



Quote
others have reported that their system plays nicer with Cat-7 cables (a standard that doesn't even really exist yet).  I'll find out if it's true in my system here shortly.

JJ

i will be interested to hear your thoughts
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JimH

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 07:15:31 pm »

Timing can't be a factor with Ethernet and audio.  Sorry. 

There are buffers at several steps that guarantee an uninterrupted flow of data.  It's just not possible for there to be a "timing" issue. 

If the connection is really terrible, you could hear gaps in playback.  That's about it.  That kind of connection is pretty rare now in a typical home or business network.

Closing this thread now.
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JimH

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Re: Nifty Improvements
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 09:20:49 pm »

I received a friendly complaint about closing the thread.  Here's why.  The forum is a place for users to discuss their knowledge and opinions, but it is also a source of information for new users.  I don't want our customers to think they need to re-configure their networks if there are problems with sound.  It is usually the last place to look for a problem source.  Ethernet -- wireless, wired, or over powerline -- is generally very reliable. 
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