Computerless streaming: Opinions?

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 989 times.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8961
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« on: 23 Jun 2019, 11:16 am »
Looking at quality pieces that provide a simple stereo (plus subs) path, that include storage (ideally 2 TB), Roon or MQA not considerations.  Have glanced at Auralic Altair, NAD C658, Teac NT 505, miniDSP SHD, and of course Sony HAP-Z1ES which was popular around these parts.  Any impressions, owner thoughts?  Other options?  Haven't read much about the Auralic.  The NAD unfortunately reportedly has flaws (introduced without full version of Dirac Live, very limited subwoofer management, sound quality especially with XLR output is questionable).  The Teac reportedly reportedly sounds great but is digital only and no storage.  miniDSP SHD hasn't measured well and lacks storage/DSD.  Sony lacks headphone jack and very limited inputs/outputs.

Personally not interested in tons of features, but headphone and XLR outputs are musts.  Dirac Live (found in the C658) would be a plus.  Having a local dealer would be huge.  I'm a computer dummy and hate to be captive to my ignorance.  Currently running iTunes and Tidal via a MacBook Air via a 10ft USB cable, which works well, but have tried a couple of computer servers with more direct connections and they offer complication but no improvement in sound quality, even when going from Redbook to DSD128 (running PS Audio DirectStream Junior into JBL 708P studio monitors).

Incentive is a potential change in venues (old fart downsizing).  TIA
« Last Edit: 23 Jun 2019, 12:46 pm by JLM »

RDavidson

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2462
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #1 on: 23 Jun 2019, 05:47 pm »
Sonore MicroRendu

Doublej

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2126
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #2 on: 23 Jun 2019, 06:01 pm »
A schematic of the envisioned components in this setup would help me think about options. My first reaction is to say, get an airplay2 DAC, send the content on your Mac to it and you are done but it sounds like you have more changes in mind than just replacing a wire with wireless.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8961
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jun 2019, 12:48 am »
Sonore MicroRendu

Doesn't that require a computer of some sort?

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8961
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jun 2019, 12:55 am »
A schematic of the envisioned components in this setup would help me think about options. My first reaction is to say, get an airplay2 DAC, send the content on your Mac to it and you are done but it sounds like you have more changes in mind than just replacing a wire with wireless.

Ideally I'd have the streamer/DAC/preamp/headphone amp plus headphones plus subs and active speakers (subs can pass through XLR signals).  Input would be TV and be controlled wirelessly via Apple laptop (currently MacBook Air).  Currently have a MacBook Air, PS Audio DirectStream Junior DAC/preamp, ProSonus T10 subs feeding JBL 708P active studio monitors, and CSS sub.

horchai

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #5 on: 24 Jun 2019, 01:07 am »
Cocktail audio players could be an option for you.

RDavidson

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2462
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #6 on: 24 Jun 2019, 04:21 am »
Doesn't that require a computer of some sort?

Yeah, sort of. It just requires a network. Of course a home network would have a computer on it with which to set up the network. Regardless, it's probably not what you're looking for.

audioengr

Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #7 on: 24 Jun 2019, 04:35 am »
Finding a good server and a good DAC in the same box is unlikely.  You can stream using a $399 Sonos Connect, but the DAC in it is crap.  You could connect it with S/PDIF coax and a good reclocker to a good DAC, like a Metrum acoustics and achieve what you want.  This is probably the cheapest way to get there.  Sonos can be controlled from an iPad or iPhone for streaming, but you will need a network storage for playing local files.  Only plays 44.1 however.  Metrum acoustics also has some turn-key solutions including DAC/Headamp.  Check them out.

For hi-res, you need something like a Bluesound and a USB DAC.  The Bluesound will hold your local files, but you are at the mercy of the SQ of both. The USB needs a regenerator like the tx-USBUltra from SOtM and a good quality USB cable like the Wireworld Platinum.

Steve N.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8961
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #8 on: 24 Jun 2019, 11:49 am »
Finding a good server and a good DAC in the same box is unlikely.  You can stream using a $399 Sonos Connect, but the DAC in it is crap.  You could connect it with S/PDIF coax and a good reclocker to a good DAC, like a Metrum acoustics and achieve what you want.  This is probably the cheapest way to get there.  Sonos can be controlled from an iPad or iPhone for streaming, but you will need a network storage for playing local files.  Only plays 44.1 however.  Metrum acoustics also has some turn-key solutions including DAC/Headamp.  Check them out.

For hi-res, you need something like a Bluesound and a USB DAC.  The Bluesound will hold your local files, but you are at the mercy of the SQ of both. The USB needs a regenerator like the tx-USBUltra from SOtM and a good quality USB cable like the Wireworld Platinum.

Steve N.

Thanks but after a one box solution.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8961
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #9 on: 24 Jun 2019, 11:52 am »
Cocktail audio players could be an option for you.

Thanks.  Reading into it, find that they are flexible but heavy on gadgets, no bricks and mortar dealer support, and complex (comes with flexibility).

jtwrace

Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #10 on: 24 Jun 2019, 11:57 am »

Freo-1

Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #11 on: 24 Jun 2019, 12:43 pm »
A lot of current generation smart TV's have streaming apps already loaded within the TV.  The optical out on these TV's can be connected to the DAC.  For example, the upper end Sony Barvia's support this (as an example). 

charmerci


Mr Peabody

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 509
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #13 on: 25 Jun 2019, 01:28 am »
Look at the Lumin line up.

Aurender is stunning but it reflects that in the price.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8961
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #14 on: 29 Jun 2019, 11:22 am »
An AC buddy pointed me towards this:  https://orchardaudio.com/shop?olsPage=products%2Fpcnp-strmr

A very small, barebones, hair shirt, high quality Pi based streamer/DAC with volume control for $450 USD.  No screen, only ethernet and USB inputs, only RCA/XLR outputs, but also wireless for remote use via phone, tablet, or computer.  Hand made in the US by an engineer.

artur9

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 226
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #15 on: 29 Jun 2019, 03:11 pm »
An AC buddy pointed me towards this:  https://orchardaudio.com/shop?olsPage=products%2Fpcnp-strmr

A very small, barebones, hair shirt, high quality Pi based streamer/DAC with volume control for $450 USD.  No screen, only ethernet and USB inputs, only RCA/XLR outputs, but also wireless for remote use via phone, tablet, or computer.  Hand made in the US by an engineer.

One would need to rip on their computer and then how to get the ripped music over to the PecanPI?  I didn't see any specs for storage.

JohnR

Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #16 on: 30 Jun 2019, 04:10 am »
It's intended mostly as a player, it runs a Linux distribution from the SD card, the linked page lists several options. Usually you would have the files stored on a computer or NAS. Generally speaking if the distribution supports it you can also plug a USB stick or drive into the raspberry pi although in the latter case powering it can be tricky.

geowak

Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #17 on: 4 Jul 2019, 04:06 pm »
I am still a fan of Bluesound for the price. I think the the Node 2i and Vault 2i are very good values and one can spend the extra money on a DAC of choice. There are many other upscale brands but they come with a much higher price. Innuous and Lumin come to mind.

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8961
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #18 on: 4 Jul 2019, 05:22 pm »
I am still a fan of Bluesound for the price. I think the the Node 2i and Vault 2i are very good values and one can spend the extra money on a DAC of choice. There are many other upscale brands but they come with a much higher price. Innuous and Lumin come to mind.

Yes, an audio friend was a long time Node user/fan of it and this whole genre of computerless streaming.  As I have professional active speakers I'm looking for XLR analog outputs.  The Node's big brother, the NAD C658 is described as "the Node on steroids".  It has more of everything: newer ESS chip, more inputs, headphone output, preamp/subwoofer outputs, Dirac basic built-in (with full Dirac as an option), and two expansion ports for future proofing.  It's initial release earlier this year was rough as mentioned above but now all is apparently fixed.  Naturally the C658 cost more than Node, but still reasonable compared to other products.

ErikMi

Re: Computerless streaming: Opinions?
« Reply #19 on: 13 Jul 2019, 05:09 pm »
Naim Uniti series