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Old 14th April 2018, 12:59 PM   #501
twluke is offline twluke  Japan
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Introducing the Buffalo III-SE-Pro 9028/9038
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Originally Posted by twluke View Post
I have a few sets of customized 90/98 clocks -snip-

I performed a few experiments to check the feasibility of 90/98 clocks for DSD512 play under Amanero with Hermes/Cronus.

First the Amanero complex was connected to a BBB running Arch Linux to receive a native DSD512 source played by MPD on it and the output was sent to B3SEpro via Teleporter (and Otto II) as shown in the picture.

Results: The 90/98 clocks (actually 90MHz in this case) on the Cronus worked well for playing DSD512 in async mode. The SQ was quite satisfactory. The 45/49 clocks from Crystek also worked well in this setting, showing no stuttering in playing DSD512, though hampered by a continuous rumbling background noise.

Then the Amanero complex was directly connected to the B3SEpro, receiving upsampled DSD512 sources via USB from HQ player running on a linux machine of i7 6700k.

Results: There was severe pulsating noise when the DAC was set to sync (slave) mode by disconnecting the onboard XO, almost masking the music sound of DSD512. The DAC appeared trying to lock but could not achieve even after 10 minutes waiting. The situation became slightly improved when the sampling was changed down to DSD256 but could not eliminate the noise.

My tentative conclusion: It appears quite difficult to get optimal DSD512 sound in sync mode even using 90/98 clocks. Async appears to work quite well with these high speed clocks, whether using Amanero alone or using it in combination with Hermes/Cronus: probably reflecting the advantage of onboard XO, which was nicely placed in the vicinity of the Sabre DAC chip on the B3SEpro.

The development of Amanero firmware appears still in progress. My personal impression is that you can always resort to Botic-BBB/Hermes/Cronus if you really want to enjoy the sound of DSD512.

Regards,
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Old 14th April 2018, 01:23 PM   #502
Russ White is offline Russ White  United States
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There are actually a few on-board firmware tweeks one could pursue if they plan to run dedicated synchronous master clock that I think definitely could make DSD512/1024 more solid.

The first would be to set the 128fs_mode register - this forces sync mode. The datasheet is somewhat ambiguous on it's effect for DSD (because it only mentions PCM) - but it is worth trying.

If anyone wants to try it I will create a branch for the on-board firmware.
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Last edited by Russ White; 14th April 2018 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 14th April 2018, 01:30 PM   #503
Russ White is offline Russ White  United States
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The reason setting that register could be helpful is that it should take the DPLL out of the picture - making the DAC expect a multiple of 128fs at the master clock. That should be a better situation for any external clock.
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Old 14th April 2018, 02:06 PM   #504
twluke is offline twluke  Japan
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Introducing the Buffalo III-SE-Pro 9028/9038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ White View Post
If anyone wants to try it I will create a branch for the on-board firmware.
Hi Russ, thank you for this encouraging suggestion. Though I'm quite satisfied with the current firmware of B3SEpro for ordinary DSD512 play in async mode, I'd like to try this particular firmware. It will be fine, if it is provided with a .hex file. I remember an AVR Dragon is sleeping in the corner of a box.

Regards,
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Old 14th April 2018, 02:52 PM   #505
barrows is offline barrows
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Hi Russ, would love to be able to try firmware with that setting (sync clock), but i am not one to program a chip here, maybe time to learn...
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Old 14th April 2018, 03:04 PM   #506
Russ White is offline Russ White  United States
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Here it is for anyone who wants to try it:

AVR - ATTiny85 Fuse bytes:

Low: 0xE2
High: 0xD5
Ext: 0xFF

This firmware does not support SPDIF input - DSD/PCM only.

Switch one position one is reassigned to:
On = Normal Operation - DAC master clock can be async or sync.
Off = Sync Master Only (128FS flag set) - DAC master clock must be in sync with serial data.

Cheers!
Russ
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Old 14th April 2018, 03:08 PM   #507
Russ White is offline Russ White  United States
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This is the change for that branch

Comparing master...SyncMode * twistedpearaudio/Buffalo-III-SE-Pro-On-Board-Firmware * GitHub
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Last edited by Russ White; 14th April 2018 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 15th April 2018, 12:13 AM   #508
MartinC700 is offline MartinC700  United States
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Wondering if anyone has compared PCM vs. PCM converted to DSD both fed into a BIIIPRO? - I did briefly using Audirvana and quite liked the result, but the realtime conversion (to DSD128) was too much for my 2009 MacBook Pro which sounded like a jet engine trying to cool itself down! As a result I haven't been able to conduct any really valid long term comparisons.

With the technology that is in the new ESS chips would one expect any significant advantages is feeding DSD vs PCM?
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Old 15th April 2018, 06:38 AM   #509
twluke is offline twluke  Japan
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Introducing the Buffalo III-SE-Pro 9028/9038
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ White View Post
Here it is for anyone who wants to try it:

AVR - ATTiny85 Fuse bytes:

Low: 0xE2
High: 0xD5
Ext: 0xFF

This firmware does not support SPDIF input - DSD/PCM only.

Switch one position one is reassigned to:
On = Normal Operation - DAC master clock can be async or sync.
Off = Sync Master Only (128FS flag set) - DAC master clock must be in sync with serial data.

Cheers!
Russ
Hi Russ, thank you for your quick support. With the given hex file, I think the preparation of this experimental firmware chip went well. Please let me know if there is something wrong with my setting. BTW, I added a 10K R between Vcc and Reset and a 0.1uF C between Vcc and GND for this procedure to avoid verification error.

Code:
root@parabuntu:/usr/src/avr# avrdude -pt85 -cdragon_hvsp -Pusb -u -Uflash:w:"Buffalo-3-SE-Pro-OB-SyncMode-PCM_DSD.hex":a -Ulfuse:w:0xE2:m -Uhfuse:w:0xD5:m -Uefuse:w:0xFF:m

avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.15s

avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e930b (probably t85)
avrdude: NOTE: "flash" memory has been specified, an erase cycle will be performed
         To disable this feature, specify the -D option.
avrdude: erasing chip
avrdude: reading input file "Buffalo-3-SE-Pro-OB-SyncMode-PCM_DSD.hex"
avrdude: input file Buffalo-3-SE-Pro-OB-SyncMode-PCM_DSD.hex auto detected as Intel Hex
avrdude: writing flash (2014 bytes):

Writing | ################################################## | 100% 3.67s

avrdude: 2014 bytes of flash written
avrdude: verifying flash memory against Buffalo-3-SE-Pro-OB-SyncMode-PCM_DSD.hex:
avrdude: load data flash data from input file Buffalo-3-SE-Pro-OB-SyncMode-PCM_DSD.hex:
avrdude: input file Buffalo-3-SE-Pro-OB-SyncMode-PCM_DSD.hex auto detected as Intel Hex
avrdude: input file Buffalo-3-SE-Pro-OB-SyncMode-PCM_DSD.hex contains 2014 bytes
avrdude: reading on-chip flash data:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 3.55s

avrdude: verifying ...
avrdude: 2014 bytes of flash verified
avrdude: reading input file "0xE2"
avrdude: writing lfuse (1 bytes):

Writing | ################################################## | 100% 0.06s

avrdude: 1 bytes of lfuse written
avrdude: verifying lfuse memory against 0xE2:
avrdude: load data lfuse data from input file 0xE2:
avrdude: input file 0xE2 contains 1 bytes
avrdude: reading on-chip lfuse data:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.05s

avrdude: verifying ...
avrdude: 1 bytes of lfuse verified
avrdude: reading input file "0xD5"
avrdude: writing hfuse (1 bytes):

Writing | ################################################## | 100% 0.06s

avrdude: 1 bytes of hfuse written
avrdude: verifying hfuse memory against 0xD5:
avrdude: load data hfuse data from input file 0xD5:
avrdude: input file 0xD5 contains 1 bytes
avrdude: reading on-chip hfuse data:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.05s

avrdude: verifying ...
avrdude: 1 bytes of hfuse verified
avrdude: reading input file "0xFF"
avrdude: writing efuse (1 bytes):

Writing | ################################################## | 100% 0.06s

avrdude: 1 bytes of efuse written
avrdude: verifying efuse memory against 0xFF:
avrdude: load data efuse data from input file 0xFF:
avrdude: input file 0xFF contains 1 bytes
avrdude: reading on-chip efuse data:

Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.05s

avrdude: verifying ...
avrdude: 1 bytes of efuse verified

avrdude done.  Thank you.
After this, I picked up a 9028 pro DAC for this sync-only experiment with onboard XO off. For convenience I used a BBB-Hermes/Cronus in the DAC case, applying the combos of 45/49 and 90/98 clocks to the Cronus, respectively. As the Botic-BBB can be used as an NAA for HQ player, I used upsampled DSD512 sources via HQP for sound check.

Results: As in the case with Amanero, playing DSD512 with 90MHz was hampered by continuous pulsating, periodic noise, similar to the noise with xruns in Alsa. The pulsating interval became gradaually longer and sporadic after waiting patiently, making the music sound more audible but the noise never ceased...

Then I changed the clocks to 45/49 combo: I was surprised to hear very clear DSD512 sound with this sync-only setting. This was a great bonus but there was something odd: with the regular jumper setting for 45/49 clocks on the Cronus (1 x 2), the rate of playing music became twice faster, like using a 90/98 combo and the rate became normal when the jumper was set to 1 x 4. I'll be happy if this can be explained.

BTW, during this experiment, the Vin of noise-rich B3SEpro with 90/98 combo measured 4.38V while 5.07V with noise-free 45/49 combo.

So, I'd like to conclude that your sync-only firmware is, for now, working quite well, though there may remain something to be refined further. Thank you so much for your great support.

Best Regards,
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Old 15th April 2018, 01:22 PM   #510
Russ White is offline Russ White  United States
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It sounds like you have a sagging supply. If that is an old LCDPS you will want to replace the series resistor with a wire.

Thanks for the report!

I am pretty certain that playback speed issue would have to be on the source side.

It would also be helpful to try some high rate pcm.

Cheers!
Russ
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