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The Gold Standard...imo


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#1
I've been meaning to write this for a while now but I've been too busy listening to music Thumbs Up Anyone who has read some of my posts would probably know how I feel about this awesome software....and I really don't even use it to its fullest potential.

The purpose of this post is not necessarily to leave a testimonial but to ask why is this software not the "gold standard" for those who test audio hardware and streaming devices? Allow me to explain.

My search for a cost effective Tidal streamer led me to the Raspberry Pi, a 35$ board with potential galore! With a proper HAT and a modest but overachieving power supply the caliber of sound is what I would consider to be audiophile quality. I use an Allo digione with an iFi Audio 5v power supply. Combined cost with case? About 200$ My first attempt at an audiophile quality computer cost me 200$ for the soundcard alone, and then you still needed a whole computer.....and the sound wasn't even close!

Now to the crux of the matter. Before purchasing the Pi I watched and read many reviews and noticed one thing in common no matter the HAT being tested. The software was almost always the same. The preferred software was Volumio. Now, I'm not going to down Volumio as I'll explain later but my question is why? If I was to test a piece of gear wouldn't I want the most accurate software possible?

Of course when I recieved my new Pi and added peripherals the first thing I did was load up Volumio onto an SD card and voila! Great sound! Music sounded well, musical. But there were things that bothered me that I thought were limitations specific to my setup.....room, components, speakers, etc. I had almost accepted the lack of pinpoint imaging and smeared treble and somewhat blurred focus. It sounded like I was listening to music through an analog filter, which for some might sound like a good thing.

I was looking for more accuracy and better imaging and I knew my system was capable of that so I tried other softwares and wasn't impressed until I finally found Snakeoil. The details popped out and the imaging was as if the instruments and the vocals were suspended in space right in front of me. Not sure what kind of voodoo this software uses but whatever it is it just sounds "right"

As I said before, I'm not trying to be negative about Volumio. It is great software, there is no doubt. Every once in a while I find myself wanting a more "analog" sound and I load up that SD card with Volumio and scratch that itch. But when I want my music to sound the way I think it was intended I haven't found a piece of software that rings all the bells like Snakeoil does. And that is why I think Snakeoil should be the "gold standard" in music software. Nothing else sounds as accurate....in my humble opinion, of course.
[-] The following 2 users Like mkysimes's post:
  • agent_kith, hkphantomgtr
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#2
(26-Jul-2019, 09:41 PM) mkysimes Wrote: I've been meaning to write this for a while now but I've been too busy listening to music Thumbs Up Anyone who has read some of my posts would probably know how I feel about this awesome software....and I really don't even use it to its fullest potential.

The purpose of this post is not necessarily to leave a testimonial but to ask why is this software not the "gold standard" for those who test audio hardware and streaming devices? Allow me to explain.

My search for a cost effective Tidal streamer led me to the Raspberry Pi, a 35$ board with potential galore! With a proper HAT and a modest but overachieving power supply the caliber of sound is what I would consider to be audiophile quality. I use an Allo digione with an iFi Audio 5v power supply. Combined cost with case? About 200$ My first attempt at an audiophile quality computer cost me 200$ for the soundcard alone, and then you still needed a whole computer.....and the sound wasn't even close!

Now to the crux of the matter. Before purchasing the Pi I watched and read many reviews and noticed one thing in common no matter the HAT being tested. The software was almost always the same. The preferred software was Volumio. Now, I'm not going to down Volumio as I'll explain later but my question is why? If I was to test a piece of gear wouldn't I want the most accurate software possible?

Of course when I recieved my new Pi and added peripherals the first thing I did was load up Volumio onto an SD card and voila! Great sound! Music sounded well, musical. But there were things that bothered me that I thought were limitations specific to my setup.....room, components, speakers, etc. I had almost accepted the lack of pinpoint imaging and smeared treble and somewhat blurred focus. It sounded like I was listening to music through an analog filter, which for some might sound like a good thing.

I was looking for more accuracy and better imaging and I knew my system was capable of that so I tried other softwares and wasn't impressed until I finally found Snakeoil. The details popped out and the imaging was as if the instruments and the vocals were suspended in space right in front of me. Not sure what kind of voodoo this software uses but whatever it is it just sounds "right"

As I said before, I'm not trying to be negative about Volumio. It is great software, there is no doubt. Every once in a while I find myself wanting a more "analog" sound and I load up that SD card with Volumio and scratch that itch. But when I want my music to sound the way I think it was intended I haven't found a piece of software that rings all the bells like Snakeoil does. And that is why I think Snakeoil should be the "gold standard" in music software. Nothing else sounds as accurate....in my humble opinion, of course.


Yes sir !!! I totally agree with you, those same tests I have done and I have reached the same conclusion, it is true that Volumio sounds very good, but ... Snakeoil is another story, the music woke up, with a sweet and valve sound that we are looking for All crazy quality music. He had been looking for that quality at the source for many years without the need to have a very expensive plate and vinyl.
The bases are firm, now it's up to everyone to keep this going ...
I have a question ... does Snakeoil sound the same on a Raspberry or on a PC?
I have on a motherboard with everything removed and the bios canceled almost everything except the indispensable.
Volume sounded much better to me on a 1st generation Apple TV than on a laptop.
What would be the best platform?
Greetings to all
 Reply
#3
(27-Jul-2019, 05:58 PM) luiswu Wrote: Yes sir !!! I totally agree with you, those same tests I have done and I have reached the same conclusion, it is true that Volumio sounds very good, but ... Snakeoil is another story, the music woke up, with a sweet and valve sound that we are looking for All crazy quality music. He had been looking for that quality at the source for many years without the need to have a very expensive plate and vinyl.
The bases are firm, now it's up to everyone to keep this going ...
I have a question ... does Snakeoil sound the same on a Raspberry or on a PC?
I have on a motherboard with everything removed and the bios canceled almost everything except the indispensable.
Volume sounded much better to me on a 1st generation Apple TV than on a laptop.
What would be the best platform?
Greetings to all


Take a quick look at the manual and I think somewhere in there Agent_Kith explains that it was designed for his atom based motherboard (can't remember the specific model) originally, anyway. I could be wrong about this but I think most of the folks here use high quality usb dacs to output the sound from the PC so if you have a PC laying around it doesn't hurt to try if you have a decent way to send the signal to your system. It was only until someone made a request to port the software to a pi that it became available and man am I grateful for that! I tried to get it going on an older AMD based PC I had laying around but couldn't get the network adapter to work despite trying a couple of kernels. But I was only going to use it a pure LMS server to feed the Pi so it wasn't essential anyway.

I'm sure others can chime in or you can rummage through the testimonials and other sections to get some ideas on what people use. I know for me the pi and allo digione combo sounds fantastic but those with ultra high quality dacs are probably in a different league. I was looking for bang for the buck but if you got the money there's certainly better out there in the hardware department!

Ha, I edited this after seeing a couple of your posts! Seems you have plenty of gear to play with! I guess I jumped the gun a bit..lol. I do know there are a couple heavy hitters on here that are playing around with the new Pi 4. I'm not sure if they will be using HATs or just checking usb performance but hopefully we'll get some a/b comparisons between the Pi and an optimized PC setup. Judging by the gear in this setup I'm pretty sure the Pi doesn't stand a chance Money

https://www.snakeoil-os.net/forums/Threa...uphase-ATC
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  • luiswu
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