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Thread: LMS and MQA

  1. #11

    LMS and MQA

    Quote Originally Posted by left channel View Post
    OK, sounds like it's not the LMS settings at all. I think it's OS settings related to the hardware, which Roon somehow bypasses. You can test this by using the same LMS web interface with another player, no adjustments required. For example, if you have a Windows box, try installing the free Squeezelite-X. That app makes the PC a local and remote player. Then with the S2D attached (and the S2D driver installed, of course) use that app or the web interface to play your MQA file to it.

    Pro-Ject cannot help you with this. They and their distributors are fundamentally still in the turntable business, are barely able to support Windows and Mac, and are mystified by all the questions they're getting about RasPi setups. The only one associated with the S2D project who knows about MQA and also plays with the kind of system you have there is the outside developer who created the S2D for them, John Westlake. He is not in any way paid to support us, though against his better judgement he sometimes does anyway. :-) He has popped up on the Roon forums, and also on the pinkfishmedia S2D thread where you may at least get help from other users.

    But before you do that, now that we've in theory boiled this down to just the LMS web interface and your OS hardware settings, I suggest you now try different hardware just to test my guess that it's in your OS somewhere.
    OK, let me see if I've got this. So, I have a Windows 10 box that my LMS is currently running on. My hard drive is attached to it and the the whole things acts as my "server" if you will, to this Allo USBridge, a Raspberry Pi running running Squeezelite through DietPi and a Squeezebox 2. They all pull from the 4 tb drive attached to my Windows box. So, are you saying to now to download and install SqueezeliteX on the Windows box and connect it to the S2D and see if it works? Thanks again!

    Best,

    Daina

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dainapoo View Post
    OK, let me see if I've got this. So, I have a Windows 10 box that my LMS is currently running on. My hard drive is attached to it and the the whole things acts as my "server" if you will, to this Allo USBridge, a Raspberry Pi running running Squeezelite through DietPi and a Squeezebox 2. They all pull from the 4 tb drive attached to my Windows box. So, are you saying to now to download and install SqueezeliteX on the Windows box and connect it to the S2D and see if it works? Thanks again!

    Best,

    Daina
    Yes just to assure yourself that you can indeed play MQA through LMS, connect the S2D directly to the Windows box via USB, with nothing in-between. My thinking is that Squeezelite-X will make this easier, but if you have any other instances of Squeezelite installed there could be complications.

    The weakest link in your chain is the Squeezebox 2. For a Squeezebox Touch I would install the edo extension, which enables a USB connection to an external DAC at Hi-Res bit rates. I don't think the Squeezebox 2 is capable of any of that.
    LMS: SGC microJukebox running Sonicorbiter OS
    Control apps: Squeezelite-X on Win 10; Squeezer or Material web app on Android
    Players: Duet, Touch (two), Mac SqueezePlay, Win Squeezelite-X on laptop and HTPC

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by left channel View Post
    ^^^ THIS is good advice.

    Bit rates the DAC supports (reported by my ultraRendu streamer's DAC Diagnostics app):
    44100, 48000, 88200, 96000, 176400, 192000, 352800, 384000, 705600, 768000
    But are these rates reported to Squeezelite by the PI's Alsa as supported and on which alsa devices ?
    Are these rates reported to LMS as being supported by the ASqueezelite player (e.g. enable slimproto logging on squeezelite to show what rates are being reported) ?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    But are these rates reported to Squeezelite by the PI's Alsa as supported and on which alsa devices ?
    Are these rates reported to LMS as being supported by the ASqueezelite player (e.g. enable slimproto logging on squeezelite to show what rates are being reported) ?
    Yes he should verify that, based on your good advice. I am providing those numbers just as a reference. Aside from the DAC, I do not have the same hardware here.
    LMS: SGC microJukebox running Sonicorbiter OS
    Control apps: Squeezelite-X on Win 10; Squeezer or Material web app on Android
    Players: Duet, Touch (two), Mac SqueezePlay, Win Squeezelite-X on laptop and HTPC

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by left channel View Post
    Yes he should verify that, based on your good advice. I am providing those numbers just as a reference. Aside from the DAC, I do not have the same hardware here.
    The first step should be to check whether LMS is resampling (player.source logging set to INFO or check processes when playing a file). If there is downsampling then OP needs to look why squeezelite does not support rate. If there is no downsampling then the problem is with between squeezelite and Pi ALSA and Alsa device settings.

  6. #16
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    I ran three more tests here. The weak link in each fail is a Squeezebox, which is consistent with @bpa's advice, but the successful results are proof that LMS and Squeezelite will play MQA in the right hardware chain.

    MQA, 352 kHz:
    LMS > network > ultraRendu w/ Squeezelite* > USB > S2D
    LMS > network > Windows 10 w/ Squeezelite-X > USB > S2D

    No MQA, 44.1 kHz, low volume:
    LMS > network > Squeezebox Touch with edo > USB hub > S2D (the screen says 44.1)
    LMS > network > Squeezebox Touch with edo > USB hub > DragonFly Black (the LED is green, so 44.1)**

    *Controlled by the web interface, Squeezelite-X for Windows, or Squeezer for Android.
    **The DragonFly Black doesn't do MQA (you need the Red model for that).

    I was hoping to see at least 48 kHz in the latter two tests.
    Last edited by left channel; 2018-07-26 at 16:23.
    LMS: SGC microJukebox running Sonicorbiter OS
    Control apps: Squeezelite-X on Win 10; Squeezer or Material web app on Android
    Players: Duet, Touch (two), Mac SqueezePlay, Win Squeezelite-X on laptop and HTPC

  7. #17

    LMS and MQA

    Quote Originally Posted by left channel View Post
    Yes just to assure yourself that you can indeed play MQA through LMS, connect the S2D directly to the Windows box via USB, with nothing in-between. My thinking is that Squeezelite-X will make this easier, but if you have any other instances of Squeezelite installed there could be complications.

    The weakest link in your chain is the Squeezebox 2. For a Squeezebox Touch I would install the edo extension, which enables a USB connection to an external DAC at Hi-Res bit rates. I don't think the Squeezebox 2 is capable of any of that.
    Ok, actually, this is in response to the entire chain of posts that have come in since my last post. So, ok, I will see if I can set that up with the Windows box this weekend. Shouldn't be too hard. You said that the Squeezebox 2 will be the weakest link in the chain, and that makes sense, and I don't really care about hi rez on the Squeezebox 2, just the Allo, but are you saying that just having another instance of Squeezelite could potentially cause complications with the Allo set up? Because I do have a second instance of Squeezelite running - it's Raspberry Pi, with an IQ Audio Pi-Digiamp+ hat on top, giving me a 24/192Khz DAC and 35 watts per channel to play music in my kitchen and outside on my deck. As for higher rez files, I've successfully played a 352khz file back but DSD isn't working. But I believe this is because I need to upgrade to 7.9. I'm running 7.7.0. Is this correct and would you suggest I do this too, before doing anything else?

    Further information, the Allo replaced another Pi, which I still have laying around, and it and the Pi with the Digiamp+ were running Volumio. I had the Squeezebox doing its own thing with LMS in a bedroom and I wasn't paying much attention to it. It worked - that was all that mattered. I had Volumio because at one point I'd read that they just about had MQA going, but now I read that it's still on the way and is part of a new version of Volumio that you pay for. Volumio is ok - I used it for three years up until I bought the Allo, then I went to LMS and changed the Kitchen Pi over to LMS as well. I'm more comfortable with LMS.

    One more question, after I do all this and let's say I get MQA (and DSD) playing, am I still not going to get full MQA out of Tidal without the Tidal Desktop app? I think I inferred that from an earlier comment. Just wondering. Like I said in my second post, while I'm not any kind of sold on MQA, I just want to try it out and hear what it sounds like. Since I got the Allo a few weeks ago and the S2D last week, I have not really stopped to listen to my own 16/44.1 FLAC files very much. I did so last night, and I do think it makes a difference over my old streamer (Pi) and DAC (HRT Streamer II). But if MQA becomes less important to me, I might opt for another DAC. iFi makes several DACs that render MQA, but don't decode -otherwise I probably might have gotten one of them. I'm also a little concerned about Pro-Ject's support. As I discovered and as you've said, Left Channel, they don't know squat. It's amazing how behind the curve they are. I might feel more comfortable with another brand.

    http://iqaudio.co.uk/hats/9-pi-digia...411999650.html

    Best,

    Daina
    Last edited by dainapoo; 2018-07-27 at 15:04.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dainapoo View Post
    Ok, actually, this is in response to the entire chain of posts that have come in since my last post. So, ok, I will see if I can set that up with the Windows box this weekend. Shouldn't be too hard.
    Having at least one box that can exercise all the features of your S2D will be very satisfying, I'm sure. But your Allo ought to be able to do that too! @bpa has provided excellent advice on diagnosing the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by dainapoo View Post
    You said that the Squeezebox 2 will be the weakest link in the chain, and that makes sense, and I don't really care about hi rez on the Squeezebox 2, just the Allo, but are you saying that just having another instance of Squeezelite could potentially cause complications with the Allo set up?
    I'm saying forget about any actual Squeezeboxes for this purpose, and focus on the Allo as well as your Windows machine. When I mentioned avoiding an additional instance of Squeezelite, I was referring to Windows because I recommended Squeezelite-X and was worried you'd installed player software there along with the LMS. But yes, run one instance of Squeezelite per box.

    Quote Originally Posted by dainapoo View Post
    I had Volumio because at one point I'd read that they just about had MQA going, but now I read that it's still on the way and is part of a new version of Volumio that you pay for. Volumio is ok - I used it for three years up until I bought the Allo, then I went to LMS and changed the Kitchen Pi over to LMS as well. I'm more comfortable with LMS.
    The Volumio founder and CEO recently stated that Volumio can pass a bit perfect MQA signal to the S2D for full 4x decoding, but that Volumio itself will not do 1x software decoding (needed by people who have only an MQA renderer DAC or no MQA DAC at all) because incorporating that proprietary decoder would violate the MPD GPL license. He didn't mention any forthcoming MQA version of any kind, but he did specifically mention your DAC by name, how about that?

    Quote Originally Posted by dainapoo View Post
    One more question, after I do all this and let's say I get MQA (and DSD) playing, am I still not going to get full MQA out of Tidal without the Tidal Desktop app? I think I inferred that from an earlier comment. Just wondering.
    Correct. The Tidal plug-in for LMS does not do MQA, and the official Tidal desktop app doesn't look for LMS or any other streamer on your network either. Sending Tidal Masters streams across your network currently requires Roon, Audirvana+, or one of the pricier closed/proprietary streaming boxes.

    I like Qobuz more than Tidal. You can stream true Hi-Res music up to 24/192 using the Qobuz plug-in for LMS (even to my Touch that failed the MQA test above). A beta feature in their desktop app now looks for UPnP streamers too, and though it doesn't work with my ultraRendu yet, I think that is yet another example of the fact that Qobuz gets audiophiles and computer audio in general, and in ways that Tidal does not. Qobuz is an EU service and is launching in the US this fall.

    Quote Originally Posted by dainapoo View Post
    I'm also a little concerned about Pro-Ject's support. As I discovered and as you've said, Left Channel, they don't know squat. It's amazing how behind the curve they are. I might feel more comfortable with another brand.
    To be charitable, Pro-Ject has a core competency but this is not it. John Westlake created the S2D for them on contract but has since moved on. In a recent post he told us he will release one more free bug fix update, after which he plans to offer an unofficial update at a nominal cost that may take the DAC to another level. Since you like to roll your own, you may want to follow his DIY streamer and DAC project, MDAC2: [web] [wiki] [forum]
    LMS: SGC microJukebox running Sonicorbiter OS
    Control apps: Squeezelite-X on Win 10; Squeezer or Material web app on Android
    Players: Duet, Touch (two), Mac SqueezePlay, Win Squeezelite-X on laptop and HTPC

  9. #19

    LMS and MQA

    Quote Originally Posted by bpa View Post
    The first step should be to check whether LMS is resampling (player.source logging set to INFO or check processes when playing a file). If there is downsampling then OP needs to look why squeezelite does not support rate. If there is no downsampling then the problem is with between squeezelite and Pi ALSA and Alsa device settings.
    Hey guys, thanks for all the great information. I didn't get to trying the Windows machine last weekend. An emergency and a pre-existing concert took my time away, but I definitely plan on getting to it at least by this weekend. One thing I didn't quite understand was this quote by BPA. I'm not sure what I need to do to determine what rate it is passing. I learned how to do something like this in DietPi - it would tell me what rate it was streaming, but I apologize I'm not sure i understand what exactly I need to do. More later.
    Best,
    Daina

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by left channel View Post
    Having at least one box that can exercise all the features of your S2D will be very satisfying, I'm sure. But your Allo ought to be able to do that too! @bpa has provided excellent advice on diagnosing the problem.



    I'm saying forget about any actual Squeezeboxes for this purpose, and focus on the Allo as well as your Windows machine. When I mentioned avoiding an additional instance of Squeezelite, I was referring to Windows because I recommended Squeezelite-X and was worried you'd installed player software there along with the LMS. But yes, run one instance of Squeezelite per box.



    The Volumio founder and CEO recently stated that Volumio can pass a bit perfect MQA signal to the S2D for full 4x decoding, but that Volumio itself will not do 1x software decoding (needed by people who have only an MQA renderer DAC or no MQA DAC at all) because incorporating that proprietary decoder would violate the MPD GPL license. He didn't mention any forthcoming MQA version of any kind, but he did specifically mention your DAC by name, how about that?



    Correct. The Tidal plug-in for LMS does not do MQA, and the official Tidal desktop app doesn't look for LMS or any other streamer on your network either. Sending Tidal Masters streams across your network currently requires Roon, Audirvana+, or one of the pricier closed/proprietary streaming boxes.

    I like Qobuz more than Tidal. You can stream true Hi-Res music up to 24/192 using the Qobuz plug-in for LMS (even to my Touch that failed the MQA test above). A beta feature in their desktop app now looks for UPnP streamers too, and though it doesn't work with my ultraRendu yet, I think that is yet another example of the fact that Qobuz gets audiophiles and computer audio in general, and in ways that Tidal does not. Qobuz is an EU service and is launching in the US this fall.



    To be charitable, Pro-Ject has a core competency but this is not it. John Westlake created the S2D for them on contract but has since moved on. In a recent post he told us he will release one more free bug fix update, after which he plans to offer an unofficial update at a nominal cost that may take the DAC to another level. Since you like to roll your own, you may want to follow his DIY streamer and DAC project, MDAC2: [web] [wiki] [forum]
    As I've gone through this and paying attention to Quoboz, I've begun to wonder if that wouldn't be a better alternative. I just wanted to hear what the MQA thing was all about. I think that the S2D will be just fine - I just need to have patience to see my best way forward. I had the impression things were already farther along in general, but, as some of you have said, I should be able to make this work with a downloaded file. Did I ask about needing LMS version 7.9 to play DSD files? Thanks again.
    Best,

    Daina

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