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Tuning Linux/MPD/Alsa for best sound on ALIX processor

I am interested in sharing experience and exchanging ideas on how to tune Linux/MPD for best possible sound quality on an ALIX processor.

I had very good experiences with CMP/CPLAY sound quality following the rather radical stripping of XP and the hardware down to the bare essentials. I moved to USB2 DAC via the WaveIO XMOS board. This prompted a look at Linux based on the native drivers.

I started with VoyageMPD on the Alix. Standard configuration of distributed processing with ALIX running mpd/alsa. The ALIX has no hard drives using a compact flash card to store the OS. The music is on a NAS. In my case a 1TB WDMYBOOKLIVE. An old laptop runs the GMPC client and a dedicated router/wireless access point completes the picture. Only the client is connected wirelessly. A tablet or iphone is a nice client platform as it provides a rich GUI from the listening chair.

I use separate linear power supplies on all the TDA1541a consumers. The WaveIO benefited from a nice PS. The ALIX board seems to be fine with a simple wallwort, but I gave it a branch off the WaveIO supply.

I have now moved on to use mpdpup as the ALIX OS. This puppy distribution is specifically built for great music, containing just enough OS to run mpd, usb and the ethernet link. While not real time, the linux core is optimized for low latency. Sound quality of this setup is very good. To my ear quite a bit better than my best CMP setup which was very good indeed.

Now my quest is to tune all the alsa buffer parameters for best sound. Then I'll go on to the real time patches.

All ideas welcome.

Now I am looking for a community of interest for tuning the platform.

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Topic - Tuning Linux/MPD/Alsa for best sound on ALIX processor - wlowes 19:52:01 06/13/12 (43)


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