Help  Search  Portal
 Portal  Search
Hello There, Guest!  Register  Login

Quite a fight with Aurlaic ark mx+


Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
#1
The DAC is the first one from Auralic. It got USB and COAX input.
Auralic have not updated the driver for later Windows versions so it is only working with Windows 7 or older. It is no a plug and play DAC. Dedicated software has to be installed to windows. From what I remember I in the manual 'm pretty sure that Apple, MAC does not need any dedicated driver.
I have used my Oppo 103 blu-ray player with COAX out to this DAC without problems. Recently I tought it was time to try the USB input.
As I only have Windows 10 (not working with this DAC) I conneced to a laptop I have with Ubuntu. It worked, but I had pops when playing music that I could not get rid of.
I found Snakeoil OS. It was time to try that one out. I used an old DELL D620 laptop I have. Core2Duo platform. 
Installation went fine. I got the player up and started to play music.
The first thing I noticed using MPD player with the remote app. was the sound where superior to what I was used to.
If this have something to do with now using USB input instead of COAX input I don't know. What I noticed where much cleaner sound. It was like a layer where gone.
Something in the low middle frequencys where colored using the Oppo with COAX out.
The sad thing is that sometimes I could still hear pops. I started to tweak BIOS settings. Updated Ubuntu, Snakeoil OS version. Updated firmware
on both Laptop and Auralic DAC. Tried external powered USB hub, different USB cables. Still same problem but must be said that to some degree I did might
have change the pops for the better or worse. It is also important to notice that the pops are random. In a song I used a lot that are with acoustic guitar and vocals I would
detect pops around 4 - 5 times. 
Since I where using an old HDD drive I tought as a last chance I could install a SSD 120GB. I also upgraded the RAM to 4GB. It must be said I did that before
the SSD install without any improvement. I don't know if Ubuntu detects the amount of RAM under installation and does something different. Anyway, 
now it was time to install Snakeoil OS 64-bit version to the SSD drive. 
After installation my DAC did not detect as it should. I got this full requency sound from my speakers. Just like old CRT TV with no found channel or Radio.
I tried to change some settings and rebooted the OS several times.
What solved this issue was to change the USB port. To my supprise everything worked much better now. I can still hear on some recordings pops but they are almost
not detectable. Very much better than before. It's is like the pops have shortened. It does not matter if I'm playing 16bit or 24 bit. This is not a CPU problem as far as I can tell. 
Another note is that I'm using an external SSD, USB drive where all my music is. I'm going to copy the music to the internal
SSD to see if that could improve things further. I'm also thinking of tweaking some options. What option could I use to lower or higher latency with MPD player?
I know Auralic recommends very low latency time. 
All the same I can live with this. The sound is fantastic! No way going back to playback from Oppo. I'm going to try out a laptop with Win. 7 I have at work. I keep you posted.
Thank you for a great OS for audiophiles.
[-] The following 2 users Like nikosidis's post:
  • agent_kith, hkphantomgtr
 Reply
#2
Yeah, using USB external HD/memory stick as source of music files will give you the worst sound.  The best sound is using the internal storage.
Decreasing the latency needs you go to CMOS to change some setting.  There are some steps listed in here https://www.snakeoil-os.net/Manual/.
Have fun!
 Reply
#3
(10-Jul-2019, 11:24 PM) hkphantomgtr Wrote: Yeah, using USB external HD/memory stick as source of music files will give you the worst sound.  The best sound is using the internal storage.
Decreasing the latency needs you go to CMOS to change some setting.  There are some steps listed in here https://www.snakeoil-os.net/Manual/.
Have fun!


Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately using the internal SSD did not change anything. I did not hear any improvement in sound quality either. The sound is not the issue here anyway. It is always nice if it could be further improved but I'm happy as it is.
CMOS? That makes me think of battery Wink Is not that hardware stuff? I tried to search for CMOS in the manual but found nothing.
In music player - alsa configuration. Is there something I could try there, with lower buffer or something?
 Reply
#4
(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: The first thing I noticed using MPD player with the remote app. was the sound where superior to what I was used to.
If this have something to do with now using USB input instead of COAX input I don't know. What I noticed where much cleaner sound. It was like a layer where gone.

It's the way Linux works, it just gives better sound. A custom compiled kernel that runs in RealTime just adds further icing to the cake.

 
(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: Something in the low middle frequencys where colored using the Oppo with COAX out.
The sad thing is that sometimes I could still hear pops. I started to tweak BIOS settings. Updated Ubuntu, Snakeoil OS version. Updated firmware
on both Laptop and Auralic DAC. Tried external powered USB hub, different USB cables. Still same problem but must be said that to some degree I did might
have change the pops for the better or worse. It is also important to notice that the pops are random. In a song I used a lot that are with acoustic guitar and vocals I would
detect pops around 4 - 5 times. 

Here are some reasons for pops in the audio.
  1. Computer related. The computer might not be able to keep up. Example if the files are streamed from a NAS, the network may not be optimised for some reason. Or if the USB bus is shared with something else (e.g. keyboard, etc) that took up more IO and leave little to the DAC. Anything could be possible and will require some diagnostics. Easiest thing to check is to run the Snakeoil LiveCD on the fastest computer you have. If you hear no pops, then it's the computer you're using. Another test is to buy a Raspberry Pi and test it on that. It will not pop.
  2. Environmental related. Things that are running in your or your neighbours house can cause pops. Examples are things with compressors (e.g. Fridges, air conditionings) or relays (aquarium heater, fridge, air cons, timers, etc) will cause a pop at random times when running. This problem usually appears when running on a computer setup. i.e. it's fine when you're using a CD player. The only way around this for me is to get a powerboard with good filters (not powerboards you buy in the supermarkets or hardware store), but hifi "audiophile-style" powerboards that are probably 20 to 100x more expensive.  To test if it's environment, completely shut down everything you think could be a cause in your house and see if the problem goes away.
 
(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: Since I where using an old HDD drive I tought as a last chance I could install a SSD 120GB. I also upgraded the RAM to 4GB. It must be said I did that before
the SSD install without any improvement. I don't know if Ubuntu detects the amount of RAM under installation and does something different. Anyway, 
now it was time to install Snakeoil OS 64-bit version to the SSD drive. 

A SSD will alter the timbre of the music. Same goes with different types of RAM (R1 vs R2)...

(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: After installation my DAC did not detect as it should. I got this full requency sound from my speakers. Just like old CRT TV with no found channel or Radio.
I tried to change some settings and rebooted the OS several times.
What solved this issue was to change the USB port. To my supprise everything worked much better now. I can still hear on some recordings pops but they are almost
not detectable. Very much better than before. It's is like the pops have shortened. It does not matter if I'm playing 16bit or 24 bit. This is not a CPU problem as far as I can tell. 
Another note is that I'm using an external SSD, USB drive where all my music is. I'm going to copy the music to the internal
SSD to see if that could improve things further. I'm also thinking of tweaking some options. What option could I use to lower or higher latency with MPD player?
I know Auralic recommends very low latency time. 

That could be the problem. Don't run the USB SSD and your DAC on the same USB host. This could be a bandwidth bottleneck. put them on seperate busses if you can. If you have the activated edition, go to the Snakeoil menu and look at the USB ports, make sure the first 2 sets of numbers are different.

(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: All the same I can live with this. The sound is fantastic! No way going back to playback from Oppo. I'm going to try out a laptop with Win. 7 I have at work. I keep you posted.
Thank you for a great OS for audiophiles.

I honestly think the Oppo is over rated. I have the BDP-105 myself. The BD picture is OK, not fantastic, and the digital sound streamed to my Marantz 8805 is rather medicore. The analog outs are average as well. I have no idea why the Oppo is so highly rated in the HT and stereo world... Whatever they're smoking, leave me out of it.. :/ Works great as a SACD ripper though.
Snakeoil Operating System - Music, your way!
[-] The following 1 user Likes agent_kith's post:
  • hkphantomgtr
 Reply
#5
(11-Jul-2019, 04:14 AM) nikosidis Wrote:
(10-Jul-2019, 11:24 PM) hkphantomgtr Wrote: Yeah, using USB external HD/memory stick as source of music files will give you the worst sound.  The best sound is using the internal storage.
Decreasing the latency needs you go to CMOS to change some setting.  There are some steps listed in here https://www.snakeoil-os.net/Manual/.
Have fun!


Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately using the internal SSD did not change anything. I did not hear any improvement in sound quality either. The sound is not the issue here anyway. It is always nice if it could be further improved but I'm happy as it is.
CMOS? That makes me think of battery Wink Is not that hardware stuff? I tried to search for CMOS in the manual but found nothing.
In music player - alsa configuration. Is there something I could try there, with lower buffer or something?


CMOS is the fundamental hardware menu which you only can find it after you pressed the "Del" key properly while booting your PC.  The setting here is very crucial as it affects how the OS and softwares run seriously.
Shutting down unnecessary job of CPU and USB, setting the right values of RAM and CPU, and etc, are the entry of "better" sound.  Otherwise, tweaking software only just like building a fancy house on a wrong ground.

There are many related and detailed discussion in different forums, maybe you can get some ideas from different forum first.  Have Fun!  Shy
 Reply
#6
(11-Jul-2019, 11:09 AM) hkphantomgtr Wrote:
(11-Jul-2019, 04:14 AM) nikosidis Wrote:
(10-Jul-2019, 11:24 PM) hkphantomgtr Wrote: Yeah, using USB external HD/memory stick as source of music files will give you the worst sound.  The best sound is using the internal storage.
Decreasing the latency needs you go to CMOS to change some setting.  There are some steps listed in here https://www.snakeoil-os.net/Manual/.
Have fun!


Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately using the internal SSD did not change anything. I did not hear any improvement in sound quality either. The sound is not the issue here anyway. It is always nice if it could be further improved but I'm happy as it is.
CMOS? That makes me think of battery Wink Is not that hardware stuff? I tried to search for CMOS in the manual but found nothing.
In music player - alsa configuration. Is there something I could try there, with lower buffer or something?


CMOS is the fundamental hardware menu which you only can find it after you pressed the "Del" key properly while booting your PC.  The setting here is very crucial as it affects how the OS and softwares run seriously.
Shutting down unnecessary job of CPU and USB, setting the right values of RAM and CPU, and etc, are the entry of "better" sound.  Otherwise, tweaking software only just like building a fancy house on a wrong ground.

There are many related and detailed discussion in different forums, maybe you can get some ideas from different forum first.  Have Fun!  Shy

I think you are talking about BIOS not CMOS. It has little to do with latency settings on your DAC. That is done with software. It is for sure still right that settings there could affect how things behave.


(11-Jul-2019, 08:24 AM) agent_kith Wrote:
(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: The first thing I noticed using MPD player with the remote app. was the sound where superior to what I was used to.
If this have something to do with now using USB input instead of COAX input I don't know. What I noticed where much cleaner sound. It was like a layer where gone.

It's the way Linux works, it just gives better sound. A custom compiled kernel that runs in RealTime just adds further icing to the cake.

 
(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: Something in the low middle frequencys where colored using the Oppo with COAX out.
The sad thing is that sometimes I could still hear pops. I started to tweak BIOS settings. Updated Ubuntu, Snakeoil OS version. Updated firmware
on both Laptop and Auralic DAC. Tried external powered USB hub, different USB cables. Still same problem but must be said that to some degree I did might
have change the pops for the better or worse. It is also important to notice that the pops are random. In a song I used a lot that are with acoustic guitar and vocals I would
detect pops around 4 - 5 times. 

Here are some reasons for pops in the audio.
  1. Computer related. The computer might not be able to keep up. Example if the files are streamed from a NAS, the network may not be optimised for some reason. Or if the USB bus is shared with something else (e.g. keyboard, etc) that took up more IO and leave little to the DAC. Anything could be possible and will require some diagnostics. Easiest thing to check is to run the Snakeoil LiveCD on the fastest computer you have. If you hear no pops, then it's the computer you're using. Another test is to buy a Raspberry Pi and test it on that. It will not pop.
  2. Environmental related. Things that are running in your or your neighbours house can cause pops. Examples are things with compressors (e.g. Fridges, air conditionings) or relays (aquarium heater, fridge, air cons, timers, etc) will cause a pop at random times when running. This problem usually appears when running on a computer setup. i.e. it's fine when you're using a CD player. The only way around this for me is to get a powerboard with good filters (not powerboards you buy in the supermarkets or hardware store), but hifi "audiophile-style" powerboards that are probably 20 to 100x more expensive.  To test if it's environment, completely shut down everything you think could be a cause in your house and see if the problem goes away.
 
(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: Since I where using an old HDD drive I tought as a last chance I could install a SSD 120GB. I also upgraded the RAM to 4GB. It must be said I did that before
the SSD install without any improvement. I don't know if Ubuntu detects the amount of RAM under installation and does something different. Anyway, 
now it was time to install Snakeoil OS 64-bit version to the SSD drive. 

A SSD will alter the timbre of the music. Same goes with different types of RAM (R1 vs R2)...
(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: After installation my DAC did not detect as it should. I got this full requency sound from my speakers. Just like old CRT TV with no found channel or Radio.
I tried to change some settings and rebooted the OS several times.
What solved this issue was to change the USB port. To my supprise everything worked much better now. I can still hear on some recordings pops but they are almost
not detectable. Very much better than before. It's is like the pops have shortened. It does not matter if I'm playing 16bit or 24 bit. This is not a CPU problem as far as I can tell. 
Another note is that I'm using an external SSD, USB drive where all my music is. I'm going to copy the music to the internal
SSD to see if that could improve things further. I'm also thinking of tweaking some options. What option could I use to lower or higher latency with MPD player?
I know Auralic recommends very low latency time. 

That could be the problem. Don't run the USB SSD and your DAC on the same USB host. This could be a bandwidth bottleneck. put them on seperate busses if you can. If you have the activated edition, go to the Snakeoil menu and look at the USB ports, make sure the first 2 sets of numbers are different.
(10-Jul-2019, 08:46 PM) nikosidis Wrote: All the same I can live with this. The sound is fantastic! No way going back to playback from Oppo. I'm going to try out a laptop with Win. 7 I have at work. I keep you posted.
Thank you for a great OS for audiophiles.

I honestly think the Oppo is over rated. I have the BDP-105 myself. The BD picture is OK, not fantastic, and the digital sound streamed to my Marantz 8805 is rather medicore. The analog outs are average as well. I have no idea why the Oppo is so highly rated in the HT and stereo world... Whatever they're smoking, leave me out of it.. :/ Works great as a SACD ripper though.


Thank you for a lot of suggestions. I will look into them.
Yesterday I installed SnakeOil OS to a little netbook I have "ACER aspire one 110". Same problem.
What supprised me most is that it sounded shit. Amazing how computers with the same OS could make that huge difference.
 Reply
#7
Another day, another update ;)

First I tried some Audioquest USB DAC I had around. The pop issue where no present there. It sounded not anywhere as good as the Auralic DAC but that where not to expect.
I also installed Windows 7 on the same laptop with Aurlalic dedicated software running Foobar 2000. No pop there with the Aurlalic DAC. 
It does not sound as good as SnakeOil OS. I'm trying different settings and tweak all I can out of Windows. I doubt it will ever be as good as Snakeoil OS but lets see. 
Another idea I got is that I might find a usb to coax converter. The auralic DAC got coax input. I'm quite sure that will solve it, but I'm afraid of quality loss.
Tomorrow I go away for the weekend. Next week there will be more experimenting.
 Reply
#8
I think it's time to sell both of them and get a new one which starts supports Linux and Mac Yan audio playback. Big Grin
 Reply
#9
(12-Jul-2019, 05:55 AM) nikosidis Wrote: I'm trying different settings and tweak all I can out of Windows. I doubt it will ever be as good as Snakeoil OS but lets see. 

Actually Windows can be good. I've listened to a 2x PC setup - Windows Server + lots of audiophile software. Everything is command line driven. You queue up the song list via text. That setup sound pretty good. The downside to this is you'll need to spend a lot of money on hardware, software and audiophile software..

This is the only Windows setup that keeps the realism of the performance. It's expensive, not very user friendly, but it works.

Snakeoil can do all this in one machine. To be honest, I can't tell which is better comparing the two side by side. But if you're after something cheap, go with snakeoil - it's free Big Grin!
Snakeoil Operating System - Music, your way!
[-] The following 1 user Likes agent_kith's post:
  • hkphantomgtr
 Reply
#10
(12-Jul-2019, 08:04 AM) agent_kith Wrote: Actually Windows can be good. I've listened to a 2x PC setup - Windows Server + lots of audiophile software. Everything is command line driven. You queue up the song list via text. That setup sound pretty good. The downside to this is you'll need to spend a lot of money on hardware, software and audiophile software..

This is the only Windows setup that keeps the realism of the performance. It's expensive, not very user friendly, but it works.

Snakeoil can do all this in one machine. To be honest, I can't tell which is better comparing the two side by side. But if you're after something cheap, go with snakeoil - it's free Big Grin!


Thank you for the answer. I don't know how much more I will mess around with Windows also taken to consideratn what you say. It is at least one software player I like to try out before giving
I have a very powerfull desktop computer. I will try that one from the live CD next week. If that does not solve it I will buy some USB to COAX converter.
I donated a little to Snakeoil and will donate some more if I get everything working perfect. I totaly love the interface and the sound quality is first rate. Best I ever had.
[-] The following 1 user Likes nikosidis's post:
  • agent_kith
 Reply
 

Bookmarks
SnakeoilOS Mission
[-]

Our mission is to create a free to use computer OS that is easy to install, intuitive to operate and play music that will connect and engage with you emotionally.

SnakeoilOS gives you the freedom to spend more time on listening, enjoying and exploring music. Wasting time on computers is now a thing of the past! Everything is constantly evolving/improving. Please check back often for updates.

If you like this project, do show your support with a small token donation. All donations collected will be used to run this website, and for purchasing new equipment for the project.

Latest Threads
[-]
Advertising
[-]
 

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)