PWD II not playing 192k via bridge


#1

Here’s my set up:

Dedicated Mac Mini (OS X Yosemite) with an attached external hard drive, ethernet to network.
J River MC 20.0.8 with remote being handled by J Remote 3.15
PWD Mk. II Firmware 2.4.3
Bridge Firmware 2.14b, ethernet to network.

I’m a little slow on the uptake of new technologies compared to the rest of you here so I’m just now coming across some issues that I’ve read about a year or so ago on these forums. But, I can’t seem to find the solution so am going to ask again. My system has been nice and stable for a long while now so I have been hesitant to make any changes, you all know what I mean. Here’s my situation.

This week I finally made my first high resolution audio download purchase from HDtracks. I bought some 24/96 AIFF and some 24/192 AIFF stuff as well as got the free samplers from them, which interestingly are all 24/96. All files play perfectly through the USB connection from my Mac Mini to my NuWave DAC (which resides physically beside the Mac Mini and is used for my headphone rig) but via the bridge to my PWD Mk. II, the 24/192 will not stream at all. The 24/96 files stream perfectly.

For information, when I select the 192 file and press play, via either J Remote or directly on J River, the clock ticks a few seconds, then skips back a few seconds and starts again, repeating the cycle endlessly.

Since the 24/192 files play via USB out to the NWD and all but the 24/192 stream fine to the PWD, I’m thinking it must be something amiss in the Bridge, not handling the 192 stuff. The answer may be simply to upgrade the bridge firmware to 2.15, but I thought the problem had been solved before that was ever released. What I haven’t determined, because it will be a pain and I haven’t had the time to physically do it, is whether the PWD will play the 192 when connected via USB.

Ideas?


#2

Using Google, instead of the search function within the forum, I stumbled across some posts that suggest it may be a limitation of the bridge hardware converting 192 AIFF to WAV. I don’t recall if Media Center is transcoding to WAV or if it is the bridge is so I’ll check. Perhaps that will solve the issue.

By the way, I do use static IP for PWD and the Mac Mini, not the J Remote controller, however.


#3

I have a lot of 192/24 AIFF files and they play fine to the Bridge (previously in a PWD Mk I and II, now a DS). Check your JRMC settings to make sure it is not doing anything to the files (not converting or resampling). It could be a network issue (what it sounds like, actually). Are they plugged into the same switch or router? Some cable routers can be problematic. You might try plugging the Mini and PWD into the same gigabit switch and then connecting the switch to the router. I recently had to replace one gigabit switch with another in order to get DSD128 files to play through my Aries. The switch I replaced had previously worked fine up to 192/24 but then started having problems at times even at 176/24 and above.

Btw, wav and AIFF files are the same except for the header structure so there’s not much to convert.


#4

Thanks Steve, just when I thought my setup was stable this comes along. I did change my Ethernet switch for the PWD by itself and 192 is now playing, with a lot of skips and pauses, but at least I know where the problem is now. The server and the PWD are far apart from each other so I have to figure out what I want to do on a permanent basis should I want to acquire more 192 files or if I upgrade to the DS. At this point I only have two 192 files so it’s not a big deal since it works fine otherwise. I certainly underestimated the demands of the 192k files on the network.

i am curious though, if the two were plugged into the same gigabit switch, or router even, would that resolve the issue? One of the main reasons I’ve configured as I have is to use the Digital lens of the Bridge rather than USB straight from the server, so if they were physically close enough to plug into the same switch I could do either, or both if the network was perfectly stable.

You are using the Aurilic Aries you say, have you tried it using WiFi at all or just always wired?


#5

I think it helps (and I strongly recommend) to have the Bridge and server on the same switch but it’s not necessarily essential. The quality of the switch is also important (maybe more important). I recently assembled a BeagleBone Black streaming device (it functions like the Bridge; see computeraudiophile.com and elsewhere on this board) and my 2011 Mac Mini that is a few feet from my DS and plugged into the same switch as the BeagleBone (which was then connected to the DS USB input) wasn’t fast enough to stream DSD128 files reliably but a more powerful desktop PC on the other end of the room that had to go through another switch as well as the first switch played the same files without problems. A lot of people have had issues with the highest resolution files over time and it almost always ends up being network related.

My Aries is wired. I haven’t bothered to try wireless (no need in my case) but others have (Gordon for one) and I believe it has worked well for them. I typically use my Mac Mini server (running minimserver or JRMC) or a 4TB USB drive plugged directly into the Aries.


#6

The network issue is perplexing to be certain. At some point I will experiment with the placement of the server, switch, etc. just to see the effect. The nice thing about a headless Mac Mini is that it is easy to move and place. Thanks again for your help.


#7

Well I moved the Mac Mini to the music room and connected it to the router I use there, which is where the PWD is connected (an Airport Extreme configured as a roaming network extender) as well as via USB directly to the PWD II. High res files stream beautifully via the USB, as they did to the NuWave DAC, and essentially are pause, pop and click free via the Bridge as well. The gapless issue using the Bridge still remains, of course, but I really don’t perceive any real spund quality differences between USB and Bridge and I’m using junk USB cable because I’ve never purchased an “audiophile grade” USB cable for the NuWave and never planned to use it with the PWD because of the bridge.

I also streamed the files over my network from my NAS, which is connected to my base router not the extended one that the MM and PWD are connected to and, as expected, the hi rez files stumble and pause as before. So it seems for my setup having the server in the rack with the PWD is the best and I can use the USB only for gapless when necessary. Now I just have to decide if I want to spend the $$ for a JCAT for those occasions or keep saving for a better solution, such as Bridge II, Auralic Aries or the SSR to pair with the DS upgrade in the future.

Thanks for you help once again.


#8

In the meantime you might try a Belkin Gold USB cable. They are cheap and sound good, slightly on the warm side. Some feel that the last bit of ethernet cable is the most important. If you are not already using CAT7 you might give that a go as well. Glad that you are up and running again.


#9

That’s good news speed deacon. Thanks for the update. glen’s suggestion about the ethernet cables is a good one and can be tried relatively inexpensively (at least you can get CAT7 cables fairly cheaply–you can also spend a fortune on ethernet cables, of course).


#10

Thanks for the tip on the Belkin USB cable. One by one I’ve replaced most of my Cat5 with Cat7, including to the Extreme extender, PWD bridge, primary router, NAS, etc.but not to the server. I’ll get on that now.

My issue with the network stem from using a Powerline Adapter to get ‘wired’ into the music room. Unfortunately, due to the layout of my home, there’s no way to get a direct line to it outside of tearing up walls. It works great for the most part, just not quite well enough for the 24/192 stuff. Enter the Aries perhaps in the future?


#11

I’ve never used a powerline adaptor but others have reported good results. They seem to come in different capacities (some faster than others). You might try other outlets in the same room to see if you get better results, unless they are all on the same circuit.