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Hello fellow audiophiles!

 

First my system (digital stream only):

Neko Audio DAC2, "Modified" Bottlehead Seduction, DIY RH84SE, Klipsch Cornwalls

 

I have an iMac with a TON of music on it including some 24/96 from HD Tracks that I converted from FLAC to AIFF to get into iTunes. The problem is this Mac is an an adjacent room (~20 feet away). I used to have a 6" USB cable with remote power injection to a HiFace2 through a 30' Blue Jeans S/PDIF Cable to my DAC. I saw the NAD DAC 2 and decided I wanted to go wireless so I sold the HiFace. I never tried the DAC 2, but am looking to get the digital set-up again and was reading that USB cables should be long and the S/PDIF short. The key seems to be the quality of the re-clocking converter. I want to keep iTunes so I can use the Remote app on my iPad to control the system. I also have a lot of DRM music that I want to play.

 

My DAC is limited to 24/96, so really no need to go beyond that ... if I want better quality, I'll break out the vinyl! :P

 

So now I am bombarded with too many options and not sure which way to turn ... any advice is much appreciated!

 

 

  1. NAD DAC 2
  2. Audioengine D2
  3. 30' USB to iLink & IUSBPower

 

HELP!

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... and was reading that USB cables should be long and the S/PDIF short.

 

I don't know who told you that USB cables should be long, but I would suggest he should re-read the USB specification. Maximum run is 5m /15 ft. and I would not even use this length. Use a few feet of USB into a USB converter and transmit S/PDIF over the longer distance. You already proved that it worked previously.

 

Another option would be the use of a network audio adapter, which essentially is a small computer running a music player in streaming mode. You stream audio from your main PC to the adapter which feeds S/PDIF into your DAC. Connection could be established via your existing network or with a dedicated run of ethernet cable.

 

Wireless streaming depends very much on signal quality. I get occasional dropouts accessing 24/96 files over a wireless link spanning a distance of 3 meters - there is lots of interference in the fresnel zone. Streaming through walls over a distance of 7 m is something you should check before investing.

Primary ::= Nabla music server | Mutec MC-3+USB w/ Temex LPFRS-01 RB clock | WLM Gamma Reference DAC; Secondary ::= Nabla music server | WaveIO | PrismSound Lyra

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Just responding to the title/headline: 5 audiophiles each with a dog?

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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...was reading that USB cables should be long

 

What you read is definitely wrong. As iago says, the maximum spec is 5 m. but for audio most people would suggest that the maximum effective length is 3m. or less. Wired is generally considered to be of better quality and more reliable than wireless.

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Just responding to the title/headline: 5 audiophiles each with a dog?

 

Actually it reminded me of Sixteen Tons.

Primary ::= Nabla music server | Mutec MC-3+USB w/ Temex LPFRS-01 RB clock | WLM Gamma Reference DAC; Secondary ::= Nabla music server | WaveIO | PrismSound Lyra

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I don't actually have the NAD device ... and it appears it is line of sight only (not through walls).

 

I guess I will go back to the converter on my desk by the Mac and a 30' long S/PDIF cable. I was referring to testing done with the Transparent USB cable where it still showed good signal at 50' ... but $$$!

 

Any recommendations on converters? Thinking about the iFi iLink.

 

5 audiophiles with a dog ... laden or unladen?

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I guess I will go back to the converter on my desk by the Mac and a 30' long S/PDIF cable. I was referring to testing done with the Transparent USB cable where it still showed good signal at 50' ... but $$$!

 

Range extenders for USB do exist, but these would require testing (not sure if they are completely transparent) and they are definitely more expensive than 30' of S/PDIF cable.

 

There is a thread about USB converters on CA: 15 USB/SPDIF converters shootout

Primary ::= Nabla music server | Mutec MC-3+USB w/ Temex LPFRS-01 RB clock | WLM Gamma Reference DAC; Secondary ::= Nabla music server | WaveIO | PrismSound Lyra

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I don't know who told you that USB cables should be long, but I would suggest he should re-read the USB specification. Maximum run is 5m /15 ft. and I would not even use this length. Use a few feet of USB into a USB converter and transmit S/PDIF over the longer distance.

 

Or go USB -> AES3 (AES/EBU)

That vill give you safe runs longer than you will ever need.

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub
Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

iPhone SE 2 ->  Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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I think I just came up with a better solution! I just received the WD My Cloud Mirror and I am copying my iTunes library to it as I type this. I can configure it as a DLNA server and then use my HP laptop running JRiver or something to play the files at the stereo system with nice SHORT cables. I like JRiver since I can get JRemote and run everything from my iPad.

 

The only issue is Apple DRM-protected content ...

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I think I just came up with a better solution! I just received the WD My Cloud Mirror and I am copying my iTunes library to it as I type this. I can configure it as a DLNA server and then use my HP laptop running JRiver or something to play the files at the stereo system with nice SHORT cables. I like JRiver since I can get JRemote and run everything from my iPad.

 

The only issue is Apple DRM-protected content ...

If you find any files with Apple DRM you just need to download them again - iTunes music has been DRM free for about 5 years...

 

On the other hand with JRiver I would configure the WD My Cloud as basic file sharing and point JRiver to that via SMB/CIFS (Windows file sharing).

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I might add, have a look at the new Jriver Id. Then you wouldn't need your PC on at all.

 

There are many of these 'renderer' popping up all over the place. The nice thing about the Id is that it's supported directly by J river and Jremote

 

Regards

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