Improving streaming SQ


I have an Aurender A10 and stream Tidal and Qobuz.  I'm looking for an easy and cost effective way to to improve streaming sound quality as it seems to fall a little short of my ripped CD's.  Artistic Fidelity makes an ethernet galvanic isolator (GISO GB) that plugs in between the CAT 6 cable and the Aurender.  I'm wondering if any one has tried this or a similar product and what your experience was.  I don't think this product is available in the USA, but I can get one shipped from Germany for 299 euros.  As always, any and all comments are appreciated!
shoff
For me the Wireworld Starlight CAT8 Ethernet cable made a notable difference compared to stock CAT6 cable between router and music server/streamer.
If you can manage, try the SoTM cable. I am using this cable with my N10...amazing sounding cable with a on board filter, very effective in lowering the noise floor. 

https://sotm-usa.com/products/sotm-dcbl-cat7-lan-cable

Here is the best recipe for your configuration, assuming you are using USB from the Aurender:

1) AQVOX switch added to your router

2) 0.5m Wireworld Platinum Ethernet cable

3) EMO EN-70e isolator

4) 2.0m Wireworld Platinum Ethernet cable

Your Aurender N10

5) 1.5m Wireworld Platinum USB cable

6) SOtM USB regenerator:

https://sotm-usa.com/collections/sotm-ultra/products/copy-of-tx-usbultra-regenerator-1

7) 1.5m Wireworld Platinum USB cable

Your DAC

The improvement with all of these will blow your mind.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Audioengr,

My Aurender is A10, not the N10.  The A10 is the one box Streamer/DAC combo.  What do you recommend in this case?
As someone else just pointed out, make sure you disable Tidal's volume normalization.
Ethernet is by design galvanically isolated. This is because of the distance and potential for major differences in voltage potential with different devices using different circuits.

So, I'd call BS on any Ethernet isolator.

However, power supply noise is a big deal. Make sure any other digital devices, especially those with wall warts, are not on the same power filter circuits. This applies to routers, switches, cable TV boxes, etc.

Best,
E
My Aurender is A10, not the N10. The A10 is the one box Streamer/DAC combo. What do you recommend in this case?

Everything 1-4.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio


Ethernet is by design galvanically isolated. This is because of the distance and potential for major differences in voltage potential with different devices using different circuits.

So, I’d call BS on any Ethernet isolator.

I will call BS on your suggestion. You obviously don’t know enough physics or electronics. The capacitive coupling through the transformers is the issue solved by the isolator. Leave this advice to people with experience and education.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

that - was inevitable. 

after all, this _is_ forum.audigon.com.
@audioengr 

Which is superior in terms of sound quality?  The Ethernet or USB input on the DAC?
I understand you also like the SOtM switch. Still, it is $800. I am using Cardas Ethernet cables and the “Black Box” ($100) for galvanic isolation. I run my Router into a 24 port switch to my system using CAT6 into a four-port switch. Will replacing the four-port switch with a SOtM switch make a noticeable difference? Would I have to buy two SOtM switches so I could bypass the 24-switch?

BTW, I have met Steve Nugent aka @audioengr He is the real thing: an accomplished DAC designer.
Good point about the volume equalization.... it destroys the dynamic range
Where is this "volume normalization/equalization" in Tidal??
Uberwaltz, click the heart shaped “my collection “ bottom right in the Tidal app, then click the “gear wheel” icon top right.  You will then open the page to see the slide button to disable normalization loudness compensation.
For my listening, I leave it off.  You can easily switch back and forth as needed.
That's what I thought, just in Tidal app.
I use tidal inside of Bluos app and that,option I do not see inside that app.
It is set to off in the tidal app itself but I do not know if that carries over to when tidal is being used via the bluos app or not.
But thank you!
It is not accessible through the BluOS app.  You need to go to the actual Tidal app.  
Yes it does carry over.  The Tidal app is your subscription to their service.  Whether you access that subscription through BluOS or another app from a different manufacturer, you are listening to music from Tidal via the settings in your subscription from Tidal.  So, no matter the streamer in use, the most accurate sound will be with normalization in the off position.
Then I should be good as it is switched off via the Tidal app itself.
All good to know as I did not know if it carried over.
Again thank you
Good thing to know about Tidal. I have been paying the premium price for Tidal for quite awhile. I shut this switch off too, but also noticed I had my streaming set for the "HI-Fi" mode and not the "Masters" selection. I hadn't realized it till I looked in the settings. This is my fault and should have checked it sooner. The sound with these two simple changes improved the sound quality pretty dramatically. Lesson learned.....
Mr-m.
I am on Tidal premium too but do not have a "masters" streaming option showing?
Just normal, high and hifi.
@uberwaltz,
I don't think there is a 'Masters' streaming option from the list.
If I do play a Masters album, my DAC shows that the file is in high resolution.
Bob
Bob
I know I do not see a Masters streaming option but Mr-M posted that they did so wondered what if anything I was missing?
I must state that I access Tidal via an android app, wonder if anything more to be seen on a desktop app?
I started this thread so I thought I should chime in.  I access Tidal thru my Aurender A10's Conductor app and stream fully decoded MQA files with my $19.99 subscription.  When I checked my Tidal subscription on my iMac I found that it was set to "Hi-FI" not "Masters" so I changed it.  I can't tell a particle of difference.  Prior to the change both the window on the A10 and the display on the Conductor app showed 24bit/48,96,188,192, or 352khz depending on the track.  It still shows the same thing and sounds the same so, for me, moving the button to "Masters" did not improve anything.

 In settings though, I was able to find a tab under "Sound" called "Sound Output".  It has two choices, "Default built-in output" or "Built-in output".  If you click on Built-in output, you can enable/disable 3 features: Exclusive Mode, Force Volume (which I assume is the volume normalization), and Passthrough MQA.

The text under Exclusive Mode reads:"With Exclusive Mode, Tidal has exclusive use of the audio device.  This option only has effect for HiFi and Master playback"  Does anyone know what this means?  Also, I wonder if disabling MQA decoding has any effect on SQ for those without MQA DAC's?"
Shoff, there is a separate slider button to disable normalization.  It is on the main page, not within the the sound tab.
rhljazz,

Thanks for trying to help.  However, I can find no such slider button on the main page.  On the left, from the top down is my user name with icon, "Home" and "Explore".  Then, under My Collection, I see icons for My Mix, Albums, Tracks, Videos, and Artists.  Then comes My Playlists with an icon for New Playlists.  I can't find a slider button.  What am I missing?
Press the gear wheel icon on the upper right corner.  This will open the page.
It sounds like there IS a setting for masters but in a desktop app, might have to load it onto my pc to check as under the android app max setting is hifi.

OP, as said top right corner there is a little gear wheel, this will open a few more settings like normalization and streaming quality etc.
So just downloaded the desktop app and there is indeed a selection for masters available under streaming that is not shown using the tidal android app.
Very interesting.
You keep on learning!
On the desktop app on my pc is where I found all the info about the Masters setting.
Thx Mr_m.

As you can see from my previous posts it is ONLY to be found on desktop app, it is NOT shown on android app, only 3 choices there, 4 choices on desktop app.
rhljazz,

Thanks again for trying to help.  However, there is no gear wheel in the upper right of MY app, only the search box.  Could this be an iMac vs. PC difference?
My Tidal app is on an iPad and iPhone.  So it appears that the app format is different between pc and portable devices.
Perhaps uberwaltz can point out where the loudness normalization setting exists in the pc format.
It appears that the loudness normalization is only extant on my android Tidal app and the streaming "masters" option is only on my windows pc desktop app.
TBH....ABSURD!
I can't hear difference of CAT5 CAT6 or Wifi. But PC unfolding MQA makes big difference.
Thanks to all who have contributed to this discussion.  No one seems to have any direct experience with the Artistic Fidelity GISO GB Isolator, but I did find a dealer in Germany who is willing to refund my $$ if I'm not completely satisfied with it, providing I pay with PayPal  and pay return postage.  I may do this.  Although audioengnr's solution would probably sound  best, I'm not looking to spend over $2k to find out.  

However, in researching I did find that Transparent Audio makes a two port $155 Plug-In Protector that accepts the ethernet cable from your wall, plugs into your power conditioner and then provides for a shorter ethernet cable to reattach to your streamer (In my case the Aurender A10.)  My local dealer demoed this contraption that they affectionately call the Transparent Widget.  Of course the 1 meter piece of ethernet cable happened to be Transparent's $275 cable so total cost would be $430.  They streamed Tidal and Qobuz (16/44.1) for the demo and both I and another customer did hear a significant improvement in SQ.  The dealer said it had something to do with "draining" the noise.  FYI in case any of you have local Transparent dealers and want to listen for yourselves.  

Regarding Tidal, it was interesting to learn that there is a difference in apps between Desktop and Android.  I would still like to know what the "Exclusive Mode" brings to the table and if non MQA DACS are in any way affected by the MQA Passthrough.