Spec an Audiophile PC With Me Using CAPS 3.0 as a Starting Point, Adding HDMI for Multi-Channel Hi Rez Audio!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 840 Old 05-16-2013, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Over on the Theta Digital thread here at this forum I've discussed how impressed I am with multi-channel rips of SACD ISO files & FLAC multi-channel rips of DVD-Audio discs played via JRiver Media Center on a Dell 8500 with an AMD Radeon HD 7770 2GB GDDR5 video card. (My system: Four Aerial 9s, 1 Aerial CC5, 3 Aerial SW12 subs, pair Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks, 3 Theta Enterprise monoblocks, Theta Gen VIIII Series 3 DAC, Theta CB3 HD, etc). (The Dell 8500 is "borrowed" to demo with as I had it in my home office, and as the AMD Radeon card allows JRiver Media Center to do everything it wants with the JRiver digital audio output then unchanged out HDMI into the CB3 HD!!!@@@

Edorr, Steve Kale and Bulldogger have all discussed audiophile PCs to use for both multi-channel and also two channel.

I luv my Bryston BDP-1 for two channel, but now that I've found the pleasure of multi-channel over HDMI, I am considering bye bye Bryston, using a newly to be built audiophile PC for both two channel (probably using an external asynchronous USB to
digitial coax/etc converter) and HDMI multi-channel. Especially as I've got JRiver using JRemote on my iPad now. And I am finding JRiver so each to use and with so many powerful features including EQ.

So Edorr, Steve Kale, Bulldogger, etc help me with ideas and specs for this audiophile PC!!@@

I am in touch with Andrew at www.smallgreencomputer.com, which the online Computer Audiophile refers to that company if you want to buy a prebuilt home theater PC per specs of the models recommended by Computer Audiophile, the latest models being CAPS
(Computer Audiophile Server) 3.0, of which the one closest to my needs for multi-channel over HDMI is the CAPS 3.0 Zuma. However, with the ripped SACD ISOs in particular, this needs a lot of processing power over HDMI multi-channel, thus an add on AMD Radeon or equivalent video card for this purpose.

Here is my starting point for my audiophile PC build. The first paragraph below is the basic CAPS 3.0 Zuma.

CAPS v3 Zuma - Total Price: $1,547
Case: Streacom FC5WS EVO Price: $272.00 Link
Motherboard: Intel DH77EB / BOXDH77EB Price: $100.00 Link
Processor: Intel Core i7 i3770S Price: $305 Link
Memory: Crucial 8GB DDR3 1600 (CT2KIT51264BA160B) Price: $45.00 Link
SSD: MZ-7PD064BW Price: $100.00 Link
Power Supply: picoPSU-150-XT + 102W Adapter Power Kit Price: $76.00 Link
OS: Win 8 Pro 64-bit Price: $140.00Link
Playback App: JRMC v18 Price: $50.00 Link
Flexible Riser: EXP1-362-10 Price: $34.50 Link
Add-in Card: SOtM tX-USBexp Price: $350 Simple Design
SATA Power Noise Filter: SOtM Price: $65 Link
Cable: Internal USB 3.0 Price: $9.00 Link

Following are deletions, additions, changes to the above for my purposes:

Delete - Case: Streacom FC5WS EVO Price: $272.00 Link
Add – Case: Silverstone Crown Series SST-CW02B-MXR-USB3.0 (black + LCD/IR + multimedia + card reader)
(although case comes with supposedly "quiet" fans, will delete fans from build as components speced so won't run hot enough
to require fans)
Add – Sapphire HD 7750 1GB GDDR5 Ultimate video card (w HDMI out, video card will pass through unaltered hi rez PCM from redbook on up to 192-24 including 176-24, 96-24, 88-24, etc)
Increase memory to 16 GB RAM
Increase SSD to 128 GB SSD

Need to add a asynchronous USB to digital converter to use with Theta CB3 HD and/or Theta Gen VIII Series 3 DAC!

IDEAS, SUGGESTIONS, THOUGHTS, RECOMMENDATIONS PLEASE! THANKS!!!@@@

__________________________________________________________________________

Keep in mind as I demo with my Dell 8500 XPS that it has the following components:

3rd Gen Intel Core i&-3770 CPU @ 3.40 GHz
AMD Radeon HD 7770 2 GB GDDR5
Hard Drive 2TB SATA, 7200 RPM, & 32 GB SSD
12 GB SDSR3 SDRAM 1600MHz

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #2 of 840 Old 05-16-2013, 05:33 PM
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The power supply jumps out as not being up to the task. That cpu is 65 watts on it's own.
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post #3 of 840 Old 05-16-2013, 05:44 PM
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I know edorr was selling his fully modded up off-ramp 5 converter. About the best you can get, spec/quality vs price.

I recently tried this route but with the sotm USB / spdif converter and battery pack. Detail and noise floor very good indeed. But overall I found the presentation to be flat and somewhat lifeless. So have gone back to streaming from my oppo using android oppo media app for ease of use. Much better sound.

Just waiting on the nad m50 to come into stock again to give that a whirl.

So I'd say go off ramp 5 or better.
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post #4 of 840 Old 05-16-2013, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Over on the Theta Digital thread here at this forum I've discussed how impressed I am with multi-channel rips of SACD ISO files & FLAC multi-channel rips of DVD-Audio discs played via JRiver Media Center on a Dell 8500 with an AMD Radeon HD 7770 2GB GDDR5 video card. (My system: Four Aerial 9s, 1 Aerial CC5, 3 Aerial SW12 subs, pair Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks, 3 Theta Enterprise monoblocks, Theta Gen VIIII Series 3 DAC, Theta CB3 HD, etc). (The Dell 8500 is "borrowed" to demo with as I had it in my home office, and as the AMD Radeon card allows JRiver Media Center to do everything it wants with the JRiver digital audio output then unchanged out HDMI into the CB3 HD!!!@@@

Edorr, Steve Kale and Bulldogger have all discussed audiophile PCs to use for both multi-channel and also two channel.

I luv my Bryston BDP-1 for two channel, but now that I've found the pleasure of multi-channel over HDMI, I am considering bye bye Bryston, using a newly to be built audiophile PC for both two channel (probably using an external asynchronous USB to
digitial coax/etc converter) and HDMI multi-channel. Especially as I've got JRiver using JRemote on my iPad now. And I am finding JRiver so each to use and with so many powerful features including EQ.

So Edorr, Steve Kale, Bulldogger, etc help me with ideas and specs for this audiophile PC!!@@

I am in touch with Andrew at www.smallgreencomputer.com, which the online Computer Audiophile refers to that company if you want to buy a prebuilt home theater PC per specs of the models recommended by Computer Audiophile, the latest models being CAPS
(Computer Audiophile Server) 3.0, of which the one closest to my needs for multi-channel over HDMI is the CAPS 3.0 Zuma. However, with the ripped SACD ISOs in particular, this needs a lot of processing power over HDMI multi-channel, thus an add on AMD Radeon or equivalent video card for this purpose.

Here is my starting point for my audiophile PC build. The first paragraph below is the basic CAPS 3.0 Zuma.

CAPS v3 Zuma - Total Price: $1,547
Case: Streacom FC5WS EVO Price: $272.00 Link
Motherboard: Intel DH77EB / BOXDH77EB Price: $100.00 Link
Processor: Intel Core i7 i3770S Price: $305 Link
Memory: Crucial 8GB DDR3 1600 (CT2KIT51264BA160B) Price: $45.00 Link
SSD: MZ-7PD064BW Price: $100.00 Link
Power Supply: picoPSU-150-XT + 102W Adapter Power Kit Price: $76.00 Link
OS: Win 8 Pro 64-bit Price: $140.00Link
Playback App: JRMC v18 Price: $50.00 Link
Flexible Riser: EXP1-362-10 Price: $34.50 Link
Add-in Card: SOtM tX-USBexp Price: $350 Simple Design
SATA Power Noise Filter: SOtM Price: $65 Link
Cable: Internal USB 3.0 Price: $9.00 Link

Following are deletions, additions, changes to the above for my purposes:

Delete - Case: Streacom FC5WS EVO Price: $272.00 Link
Add – Case: Silverstone Crown Series SST-CW02B-MXR-USB3.0 (black + LCD/IR + multimedia + card reader)
(although case comes with supposedly "quiet" fans, will delete fans from build as components speced so won't run hot enough
to require fans)
Add – Sapphire HD 7750 1GB GDDR5 Ultimate video card (w HDMI out, video card will pass through unaltered hi rez PCM from redbook on up to 192-24 including 176-24, 96-24, 88-24, etc)
Increase memory to 16 GB RAM
Increase SSD to 128 GB SSD

Need to add a asynchronous USB to digital converter to use with Theta CB3 HD and/or Theta Gen VIII Series 3 DAC!

IDEAS, SUGGESTIONS, THOUGHTS, RECOMMENDATIONS PLEASE! THANKS!!!@@@

Steve, I just went through the same decision making process and pulled the trigger on a Multi Channel CAPS 3.0 Zuma that Andrew @ smallgreen will be building for me. I researched this quite a bit and think I can offer good advise. However, I need to understand one parameter. Are you planning to use this as an audio only server (i.e. 2 channel + SACD MCH + DVD-A rips), and will you play all things video with the Compli 3D, OR are you planning to also rip your Blu Rays and run them on this server?
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post #5 of 840 Old 05-16-2013, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Steve, I just went through the same decision making process and pulled the trigger on a Multi Channel CAPS 3.0 Zuma that Andrew @ smallgreen will be building for me. I researched this quite a bit and think I can offer good advise. However, I need to understand one parameter. Are you planning to use this as an audio only server (i.e. 2 channel + SACD MCH + DVD-A rips), and will you play all things video with the Compli 3D, OR are you planning to also rip your Blu Rays and run them on this server?

I am doing this for audio only, I plan to continue doing my blu rays/video with the Compli Blu 3D.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #6 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I am doing this for audio only, I plan to continue doing my blu rays/video with the Compli Blu 3D.

That makes things a lot easier....
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Especially as I've got JRiver using JRemote on my iPad now. And I am finding JRiver so each to use and with so many powerful features including EQ.

JRemote is the gold standard in iPad control apps, and JRiver will put to shame any of the linux based proprietary servers....

Few considerations on your signal path though.

You are playing ISOs. You should extracting to DSF. Here is how to do it (stolen from computeroudiophile resident SACD ripping expert ted_d - ask him on that forum for more detail):

Primer to take ISOs and convert to DSF folders (in batch, even):

1) First make a new folder close to a root drive (so the naming path doesn’t get too long..sometimes the classical ones are ridiculous). Call it anything, say, C:\ISO2DSD.
2) Then make a subfolder in it called Programs (capital “P”).
3) Put the SACD-extract.exe (first link below, unzip) executable in the Programs subfolder.

sacd_extract_0.3.7_WIN32.zip - sacd-ripper - SACD Extract 0.3.7 (WIN32) - SACD ripping software using a PS3 - Google Project Hosting

4) Put the bat file (link below, unzip) in the main folder.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3487125/Ext...SF%20Files.zip

5) So then put any number of ISOs (rename the ISOs if their name is too long; something that will uniquely identify them but not too long) you want to extract in the main folder (the one with the bat, the one we hypothetically called ISO2DSD).
6) Click on the bat file and voila……and then each ISO will extract to DSF tracks, putting one album full of tracks in a folder each (20 ISOs, 20 new folders created). When you do this again (for more ISOs) remove the already-extracted ISOs or they will get worked on again! Each ISO can take 10 minutes or more, so once you have this down well do a shitload overnight.

Next, I would consider converting the files to PCM. DSD to PCM conversion on the fly in JRiver is a big load on the CPU. Once I got this all set up I will try permanent conversion for MCH files myself. One reason to do this is from what I heard Jplay 5.1 is a huge improvemenent over previous versions ("gamechanger" accroding tro some), and finally integrates seamlessly with Jriver. However, processor intensive. If you have converted your DSDs to PCM this should not be a problem to run - if you also need to do on the fly conversions your PC may choke. If at some point you want to expirement running Dirac live on the server, it gets even more processor intensive.

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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

SATA Power Noise Filter: SOtM Price: $65 Link

There is a school of thought that believes this filter is detrimental to sound quality.

Read this: http://ppastudio.blogspot.hk/2013/02/optimize-computer-audiophile-pocket.html

I have mine ripped out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Sapphire HD 7750 1GB GDDR5 Ultimate video card (w HDMI out, video card will pass through unaltered hi rez PCM from redbook on up to 192-24 including 176-24, 96-24, 88-24, etc)

Why would you need this? This is a video card that consumer tons of power, adds noise in the box and probably does not anything for your audio over HDMI. You can just use the HDMI interface on the motherboard.

In fact, there is a huge compelling argument to NOT use an HDMI video card. With a video card installed , you CANNOT use the Red Wine Audio battery power supply. This powersupply is the single biggest step up from CAPS 2.0 to CAPS 3.0. Ditch the HDMI card and get the Red Wine audio PS! For me this was a bigger dilemma than you, because I use HDMI video (which presumably is a lot better with an HDMI video card). You don't have that trade-off to make. (I ended up without an HDMI card as well, and got the Powersupply).

Other consideration:

Read this:
http://ppastudio.blogspot.com/2012/04/best-sata-cable-for-audio-in-world.html

Leap of faith, but I ordered one of thses for my build. Positive reports about these from audio only guys with six figure systems.
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post #7 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djnickuk View Post

I know edorr was selling his fully modded up off-ramp 5 converter. About the best you can get, spec/quality vs price.

I recently tried this route but with the sotm USB / spdif converter and battery pack. Detail and noise floor very good indeed. But overall I found the presentation to be flat and somewhat lifeless. So have gone back to streaming from my oppo using android oppo media app for ease of use. Much better sound.

Just waiting on the nad m50 to come into stock again to give that a whirl.

So I'd say go off ramp 5 or better.

I sold my OR5 because USB on my MSB DAC was equivalent or better. There are tons of threads on "best USB converter". If you're shopping for a USB converter, based on all I read the top three contenders appear to be the OR5, the Berkeley, and the Audiophilleo2. I have not compared any of these against my OR5.
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post #8 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I have already converted lots of SACD ISOs to 2 channel 176-24 PCM. I am already set up to do this for the multi-channel SACD ISOs. But its so much easier to have PC processing power and simply play direct from the multi-channel SACD ISOs, which I am presently doing with my borrowed from my home office Dell 8500 with the AMD Radion 7750 video card!

However, I will consider what you have stated and appreciate your input. Though I may go my own route. HA!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #9 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I have already converted lots of SACD ISOs to 2 channel 176-24 PCM. I am already set up to do this for the multi-channel SACD ISOs. But its so much easier to have PC processing power and simply play direct from the multi-channel SACD ISOs, which I am presently doing with my borrowed from my home office Dell 8500 with the AMD Radion 7750 video card!

However, I will consider what you have stated and appreciate your input. Though I may go my own route. HA!

At the very least consider foregoing the HDMI video card allowing you to use the battery powersupply. This will also pay big dividends on 2 channel playback. You can get the powersupply outfitted to power the SotM USB card seprately.

What program are you using for DSD to PCM conversion? I have not done this myself yet, because I can playback my 2 channels as native DSD using DoP, but for my multi-channel rips I need to convert to PCM as well.
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post #10 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

At the very least consider foregoing the HDMI video card allowing you to use the battery powersupply. This will also pay big dividends on 2 channel playback. You can get the powersupply outfitted to power the SotM USB card seprately.

What program are you using for DSD to PCM conversion? I have not done this myself yet, because I can playback my 2 channels as native DSD using DoP, but for my multi-channel rips I need to convert to PCM as well.

I have been using Korg Audiogate for DSD to PCM conversion. I find the converted hi rez PCM sounds best from dsf converted to 176-24 PCM (FLAC uncompressed is what I use), using Korg Audiogate's soft roll off and Aqua dither.

I want to simply use JRiver to play the ripped multi-channel SACD ISO files because its way easier that way. When I extract the dsf files from the ripped SACD ISO file, the track #s and info are off a lot and require manually inserting the info. But when JRiver plays the
ripped SACD ISO file, whether two channel or multi-channel, JRiver gets the correct track info and this shows on the PC LCD screen or on the iPad using JRemote. So much easier just playing the ISO file. I'll just do a separate power supply for the video card for this purpose.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #11 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

So much easier just playing the ISO file. I'll just do a separate power supply for the video card for this purpose.

I had the same idea and asked Andrew about this because I wanted an HDMI video card (for video) as well. He said it can't be done (i.e. split the powersupply), and the machine will become unstable. You can either optimize audio with the battery powersupply, or get the HDMI video card - not both.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I have been using Korg Audiogate for DSD to PCM conversion. I find the converted hi rez PCM sounds best from dsf converted to 176-24 PCM (FLAC uncompressed is what I use), using Korg Audiogate's soft roll off and Aqua dither.

Thanks. I should probably use that as well. Izotope is supposed to be better, but very pricey.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I want to simply use JRiver to play the ripped multi-channel SACD ISO files because its way easier that way. When I extract the dsf files from the ripped SACD ISO file, the track #s and info are off a lot and require manually inserting the info. But when JRiver plays the ripped SACD ISO file, whether two channel or multi-channel, JRiver gets the correct track info and this shows on the PC LCD screen or on the iPad using JRemote. So much easier just playing the ISO file.

Sounds like ISO rips is the way to go if you have the processing power. Wonder what happens when you run the ISO rips, convert to PCM on the fly and run Jplay at the same time though...
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post #13 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I should probably use that as well. Izotope is supposed to be better, but very pricey.
Sounds like ISO rips is the way to go if you have the processing power. Wonder what happens when you run the ISO rips, convert to PCM on the fly and run Jplay at the same time though...

I've already played with EQing, etc with my Dell 8500 with AMD Radeon video card and all works fine. How did you know next on my to do list is to download and use JPlay and see how this works with my setup. H!

I am getting you ideas (AVSers) and doing some demoing prior to finalizing the audiophile PC order. HA!biggrin.gif

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #14 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I've already played with EQing, etc with my Dell 8500 with AMD Radeon video card and all works fine. How did you know next on my to do list is to download and use JPlay and see how this works with my setup. H!

Again, I'm far from an expert, but in my estimation if all your HDMI video card does is draw lots of power, generate noise in your machine and pass through the audio untouched it does you no good in a music only server. The sapphire you're looking at even has a fan! Ask around with some guys they know what they are talking about far better than me (including manufacturer of the card and Andrew @ smallgreen) and decide if you really want one in your CAPS 3.0.

I'm hearing stellar reports on Jplay 5.1. I tried and ditched 4.0 myself because it made my machine unstable, but will be trying the new version shortly.
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My Dell 8500 has I7 and the right board supposedly to pass through the audio hi rez signal as modded by JRiver - but it won't for multi-channel ISO SACD ripped files - will only do the pass through for 2 channel files. This is why the video card is necessary. And how do I know - because I've been playing with ripped ISOs multi-channel SACD over HDMI!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #16 of 840 Old 05-17-2013, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I can't get JPlay to work with JRiver and my Dell 8500 with the AMD Radeon video card over HDMI - no sound when I follow the JPlay instructions. I tried SACD ISOs, DVD-Audio 96-24 FLAC files with no success. :mad:I did a "JPlay HDMI" web search and only found one small thread at the JPlay forum re HDMI, and the thread starter was unable to get his laptops to work over HDMI with JPlay. The lack of anything anywhere on the web discussing JPlay over HDMI to me demonstrates a lack of interest and no one doing this successfully. Oh well. Multi-channel hi rez audio sounds excellent just using JRiver anyway.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #17 of 840 Old 05-18-2013, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

My Dell 8500 has I7 and the right board supposedly to pass through the audio hi rez signal as modded by JRiver - but it won't for multi-channel ISO SACD ripped files - will only do the pass through for 2 channel files. This is why the video card is necessary. And how do I know - because I've been playing with ripped ISOs multi-channel SACD over HDMI!

That is disappointing. I don't think it has to do with the i7 processor, but with the implementation of the HDMI controller on the motherboard. Since the Zuma will have a different motherboard, before throwing in the towel, I would ask Andrew if he can test if MCH HDMI over Jriver works with this board. You can also post the question on the computeaudiophile forum, which is where most Zuma owners hang out.

If this fails, you still have the option of building two CAPS 3.0 - you can probably get away with the carbon (with the battery PS) for 2 channel (although I believe high rez and Jplay pushes the limiton the carbon processor), and build a Zuma with the video card for MCH. Cost of redundant component is about $1,000.

If you need the video card, I would go down the procuctline and get one without a fan. They will presumably all pass through MCH audio just fine.
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post #18 of 840 Old 05-18-2013, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I can't get JPlay to work with JRiver and my Dell 8500 with the AMD Radeon video card over HDMI - no sound when I follow the JPlay instructions. I tried SACD ISOs, DVD-Audio 96-24 FLAC files with no success. :mad:I did a "JPlay HDMI" web search and only found one small thread at the JPlay forum re HDMI, and the thread starter was unable to get his laptops to work over HDMI with JPlay. The lack of anything anywhere on the web discussing JPlay over HDMI to me demonstrates a lack of interest and no one doing this successfully. Oh well. Multi-channel hi rez audio sounds excellent just using JRiver anyway.

Very few people fiddling with MCH and Jplay. The problem could be either HDMI or MCH. I will have my Zuma outfitted with a Lynx AES16e card for multi channel, so if that works, HDMI is the problem. If it does not, it is a MCH issue.
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post #19 of 840 Old 05-18-2013, 08:32 AM
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Guys, if you are not using the PC itself as the analog audio source, the power supply or other components are going to have zero effect on audio.
The only thing that will affect audio quality is whatever device you are using as the DAC. (e.g. an AVR if you are sending audio over HDMI from the PC)

It is laughable that someone would claim a SATA cable made a difference to audio playback.
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Need to add a asynchronous USB to digital converter to use with Theta CB3 HD and/or Theta Gen VIII Series 3 DAC!
Just use the on-board sound card to Toslink or S/PDIF. (whichever it supports) A high-end DAC like that should not be susceptible to source jitter. If it is, you are better off replacing the DAC. Even cheap DACs are jitter immune these days.
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What program are you using for DSD to PCM conversion? I have not done this myself yet, because I can playback my 2 channels as native DSD using DoP, but for my multi-channel rips I need to convert to PCM as well.
The latest JRiver Media Center update just added support for DSD conversion. (to any format) You also have three filters to choose from, to eliminate the ultrasonic noise. (use the 24kHz one)
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I can't get JPlay to work with JRiver…
JPlay is a scam. JRiver already does everything necessary for the best possible audio output.
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Guys, if you are not using the PC itself as the analog audio source, the power supply or other components are going to have zero effect on audio.

The upgraded powersupply allegedly turns the good Oppo 93 into a stellar digital transpart (Compli Blu). Users must all be smoking crack, and the engineers that come up with these ideas are all charlatans.
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It is laughable that someone would claim a SATA cable made a difference to audio playback.

Without a sense of humor, this hobby is no fun.
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Just use the on-board sound card to Toslink or S/PDIF. (whichever it supports) A high-end DAC like that should not be susceptible to source jitter. If it is, you are better off replacing the DAC. Even cheap DACs are jitter immune these days.

See previous comment. This is a laughable statement.
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The latest JRiver Media Center update just added support for DSD conversion. (to any format) You also have three filters to choose from, to eliminate the ultrasonic noise. (use the 24kHz one)
JPlay is a scam. JRiver already does everything necessary for the best possible audio output.

Jriver converts on the fly. I am talking about converting the files on disc.
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post #21 of 840 Old 05-18-2013, 12:23 PM
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The upgraded powersupply allegedly turns the good Oppo 93 into a stellar digital transpart (Compli Blu). Users must all be smoking crack, and the engineers that come up with these ideas are all charlatans.
If you are using it as a transport into a good DAC, it shouldn't make a bit of difference. If you are using analog out of the Oppo, you could potentially improve things with an upgraded power supply - but I doubt it. Oppo gear is generally well engineered, so an external power supply shouldn't make a difference.
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See previous comment. This is a laughable statement.
Laughable in what way? If you're sending Toslink or S/PDIF from your PC to an external DAC, it will be bit-perfect. Modern DAC designs essentially eliminate source jitter.
The PC sends the 1s and 0s, and the DAC reclocks them internally, which ignores any timing errors (jitter) from the source. Other techniques can be employed too, but that is the easiest to explain.

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Jriver converts on the fly. I am talking about converting the files on disc.
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Originally Posted by http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=80682.0 

18.0.187 (5/16/2013)
3. NEW: DSD files support conversion
You can convert DSD to any format that JRiver has an encoder for. (WAV, FLAC, ALAC etc.)
Just right-click the file (or files) and go to Library Tools > Convert Format. You can also apply DSP to the files if you want to encode that into the files for a portable device, for example.
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post #22 of 840 Old 05-18-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Folks, please lets not have this thread turn into objective vs subjective crapola! Thanks for understanding. And I started this thread with both objective and subjective intent - I am very interested in what folks like Edorr, Steve Kale, Amir, etc have to say. If someone posts "objectively" that digital is digital - well, just read Amir's objective engineering discussions in Widescreen Review, from a guy who is retired from heading the video division at Microsoft. 'Nuff said. I myself have too many times heard differences sonically in digital - and as I am experimenting with HDMI now, I am hearing differences, too, which I will discuss later on.

I have already heard the sonic improvements of the Theta mods, primarily power supply, to the Oppo 95 by virtue of the Theta Compli Blu 3D on blu ray! So if anyone wants to tell me I am hearing things, please, do so out of this thread.

Chrono, I do appreciate you insight into using JRiver, it is helpful. Thanks.

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post #23 of 840 Old 05-18-2013, 01:21 PM
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Argue objective vs subjective with CE devices if you like, but with PC-based playback to an external DAC, it is either outputting bit-perfect, or it's not.
Fancy cables or power supplies won't do a thing.
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post #24 of 840 Old 05-18-2013, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your five cents! Now we go back to the man Event!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #25 of 840 Old 05-19-2013, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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OK. I've been playing and demoing more with JRiver. I've got some interesting observations:

1. Last night, JRiver sound sucked! It reminded me of the lifeless, flat sound out of the Oppo/modded Oppo Theta players I've used, as the player converts SACD to 88-24 PCM over HDMI into the CB3 HD & also when I used the Theta Compli Blu's USB in from an external USB drive with HDMI into the CB3 HD. Was I exhilarated by the initial multi-channel sonics that I hadn't paid good attention to the important sonic attributes before? Or was there something I changed which accounted for the sonic difference? Or am I pseudo crazy?

2. AH HA! I had made a change. Initially, I had all the music on my Dell 8500 internal hard drive (2TB SATA, 7200 RPM, & 32 GB SSD)
- which at 2 TB more than handles my 1.2 TB of stereo and multi-channels ripped SACD ISOs and ripped multi-channel FLAC from DVD-Audio discs.

3. So I loaded all the music back onto the Dell 8500 hard drive. And the "magic" was back, sounded really nice! I prayed on this one.
Fortunately, those who worship Doug Winsor's objective view of audio (you have had to hang hear for some years and you would understand this "inside" joke) are wrong, as I know my system and what I am hearing. YEA! What I learned from this is HDMI may be different than PCM hi rez stereo when it comes to audiophile PCs. Mebbe. When I get time, I will load the JRiver program onto the external USB hard drive, and see if using JRiver on the external hard drive (rather than using it on the Dell 8500 with the music files on the external USB hard drive) makes a difference. I really don't get it??? I have JRiver setup to play from the music file loaded into the Dell 8500 RAM, so why should whether the music is on the Dell 8500 vs being on the external USB hard drive make such a large sonic difference? But it does!

4. I played some hi rez ripped SACD ISOs vs the DFF multi-channel DSD files extracted from the ISOs. Sounded the same to me. And this is great!! Because I was unable to edit the extracted multi-channel DFF files. Don't know why? Each DFF file has the proper song # and title extracted automatically from the ISO file. But when you try to edit, the edit page has no info at all and won't let me edit.And by the way, JRiver plays the ripped SACD ISOs and does apply a great sounding filter automatically. Also interesting is that I have no problem converting two channel (whether from combined two and multi-channel ripped SACD ISOs, or from just two channel ripped SACD ISOs) to stereo DSF files for each individual track , and then using Korg Audiogate (applying soft filter and Korg Aqua dither, I find this sounds best) to convert to 176-24 FLAC stereo. But although JRiver I understand allows you also to convert from ripped SACD ISO files to DSF (DSD) stereo files for each track to two channel FLAC, currently JRiver doesn't provide for such multi-channel conversion from
ripped SACD ISO to DFF (DSD) and then to multi-channel FLAC. Somehow or other, I was able to right click on the multi-channel DFF (DSD) files on "convert" and use DBPowerAmp to convert to multi-channel FLAC files - but they wouldn't let me edit and they wouldn't play except for like "white noise"!!! My conclusion is absolutely that I want to play multi-channel ripped SACD ISos natively and let JRiver do the rest, using an AMD Radeon 7700 series plus video card. Also, Korg Audiogate I found only only converts the two channel DSF (DSD) files, it will not convert the multi-channel DFF (DSD) to multi-channel FLAC!

5. How is the sonic quality comparing two channel - using the Dell 8500/JRiver out HDMI into CB3 HD (with Theta Gen VIII Series 3 DAC for front right and left channels) vs the Bryston BDP-1 digital coaxial out into the Theta Gen VIII Series 3 DAC vs the Bryston BDP-1 AES/EBU digital into the Theta CB3 HD (again using Theta Gen VIII Series 3 DAC for front left and right speakers.
First, keep in mind the coaxial, toslink and AES/EBU connections into the CB3 HD were designed years ago, and the CB3 HD over these connections will only handle up to 96-24. Also, the current CB3 HD DSP works at 48-24, with higher rez downsampled – even though my CB3 HD has the new digital out card which handles to and including 192-24. Since my ripped SACD ISOs are all 176-24 I can’t even try them via the the Bryston BDP-1 AES/EBU digital into the Theta CB3 HD (using Theta Gen VIII Series 3 DAC for front left and right speakers). I tried some 96-24 in this manner, and this method is inferior sounding to both of the other connection methods described above. Not surprising as from an objective standpoint with top notch speakers, monoblock amps, and the Gen VIII, this was to be expected.
Two channel Dell 8500/JRiver over HDMI to the CB3 HD sounds surprisingly good though! If I didn’t have the Bryston BDP-1 I would I think be quite happy using JRiver for this. But the Bryston BDP-1 bnc digital to Gen VIII clearly wins and is my favored method for two channel.

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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #26 of 840 Old 05-19-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

So I loaded all the music back onto the Dell 8500 hard drive. And the "magic" was back, sounded really nice! I prayed on this one.
...
I really don't get it??? I have JRiver setup to play from the music file loaded into the Dell 8500 RAM, so why should whether the music is on the Dell 8500 vs being on the external USB hard drive make such a large sonic difference? But it does!
This is where placebo and expectation bias come into play.

Try to think about this logically. If the data were somehow different off the USB drive compared to the internal hard drive, the file would be corrupt, and Media Center wouldn't be able to play it.
If files were somehow different when stored on an external hard drive, they would be completely useless for storing data, whether that is music, important documents, system backups..

And even more than that, you were loading the file into RAM during playback, so the storage device couldn't affect the sound quality. JRiver works by loading the entire file into RAM, and then decoding it. It's not decoding off the drive and into memory.

This sort of thing is the reason that companies are able to sell big ticket audiophile gear. Even if it is exactly the same equipment, knowing that one item is more expensive than the other will often cause people to perceive it as being better sounding due to expectation bias.
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But although JRiver I understand allows you also to convert from ripped SACD ISO files to DSF (DSD) stereo files for each track to two channel FLAC, currently JRiver doesn't provide for such multi-channel conversion from ripped SACD ISO to DFF (DSD) and then to multi-channel FLAC.

Somehow or other, I was able to right click on the multi-channel DFF (DSD) files on "convert" and use DBPowerAmp to convert to multi-channel FLAC files - but they wouldn't let me edit and they wouldn't play except for like "white noise"!!! My conclusion is absolutely that I want to play multi-channel ripped SACD ISos natively and let JRiver do the rest, using an AMD Radeon 7700 series plus video card.
I don't know if their stance has changed since introducing this new conversion, but I believe JRiver recommend that you do not use Media Center to convert SACD ISO to DSD files - the way they have to do it is to decode to PCM and then re-encode to DSD. The command line tool sacd_extract will extract DFF/DSF files without conversion. JRiver does a fine job of converting SACD to PCM though, and then storing that in the format of your choice. (FLAC, ALAC etc.)

You never want to go from DSD to PCM to DSD though, because it's just adding ultrasonic noise to your files. (every time you convert to DSD you add more ultrasonic noise)
It does look like there's a bug preventing SACD ISO to FLAC conversion. Converting to WAV works though, and you can then convert that to FLAC without any trouble. (if you report the problem, they should be quick to fix it)
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post #27 of 840 Old 05-19-2013, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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This was the opposite of Placebo effect.

I've got JRiver Options set to play from the PC's memory/RAM, so when I copied all the ISOs onto the external USB drive, I expected no change in sonics - just like using an external USB drive with my Bryston BDP-1 media player. I didn't load the music onto the external USB drive to demo purposes - I planned to just keep the music on the external USB drive. Late Friday evening, I simply put on some multi-channel music to relax and enjoy, and I quickly realized that something was off, and I played a # of selections uniformly hearing the loss of audio quality. What surprised me even more was that the FLAC hi rez from DVD-Audio stuff also sounded flat and tinny.

Fortunately, today, once I reloaded the music to the Dell 8500 internal hard drive, the magic was back for both ripped SACD ISOs and DVD-Audio multi-channel FLAC files. If the internal Dell 8500 hard drive had sounded about the same as late Friday night's session, then I would be abandoning this PC-HDMI-multi-channel music project. But fortunately, my ear-brain knows what sounds excellent vs poor and I'm not afraid to use them. Any custom PC I order will have a sufficiently large internal hard drive to cover all of my SACD ISO files and DVD-Audio FLAC multi-channel files.

Chrono - are you related to DougWinsor? I wonder?tongue.gif I note in your AVS Profile you state that you are a "critic". Really - do you make a living as a political critic, food critic - or perhaps you simply mean as a hobbyist - an audio critic - here at AVS???

Again, I appreciate your knowledge and info re using JRiver. Please stick to that.

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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #28 of 840 Old 05-20-2013, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
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That is disappointing. I don't think it has to do with the i7 processor, but with the implementation of the HDMI controller on the motherboard. Since the Zuma will have a different motherboard, before throwing in the towel, I would ask Andrew if he can test if MCH HDMI over Jriver works with this board. .
To output all the resolutions, like 24/176, you need to use either an Intel motherboard or one of the AMD GPUs. With an Intel motherboard you don't need the AMD card. However, a card like the Radeon HD7750 is only a little more than 100.00 for those who don't have Intel motherboards. Also, the higher end AMD cards give you the ability to do advanced video processing like madVR http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=146228 . MadVR is pretty awesome looking processing at it's best settings.

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.
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post #29 of 840 Old 05-20-2013, 04:47 PM
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Again, I'm far from an expert, but in my estimation if all your HDMI video card does is draw lots of power, generate noise in your machine and pass through the audio untouched it does you no good in a music only server. The sapphire you're looking at even has a fan! Ask around with some guys they know what they are talking about far better than me (including manufacturer of the card and Andrew @ smallgreen) and decide if you really want one in your CAPS 3.0.

I'm hearing stellar reports on Jplay 5.1. I tried and ditched 4.0 myself because it made my machine unstable, but will be trying the new version shortly.
You almost need two servers, one for music and one for video. Caps 3.0 with a Berkeley Alpha USB for example and then another server with the multichannel HDMI out and higher end video card. All projectors have fans so you already have a fan going in the room for home theater. I have the Sapphire card and it's extremely quite. Also you can do a silent card http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1249-page2.html

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post #30 of 840 Old 05-20-2013, 05:13 PM
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I was thinking along the same lines (i.e. get two servers). However, even for concert blu rays I'll take better audio (which I'll get with the battery power supply) over better video (which
I'll get with the video card), so I decided against it and will get one server with
Lynx for multi channel and SotM USB for 2 channel and the power supply instead.
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