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Has anyone had a chance to listen to or read much about the Rockna Wavedream DAC?


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2 hours ago, VerdantAudio said:

That being said, we were just discussing this and he would also tell you that upgrading your server does far more than upgrading your DAC. 

 

This makes sense, Source First rules! 🙂

 

Matt

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  • 4 weeks later...

From my experience, I think VerdantAudio is spot on.

My first Server as a source was an Antipodes DX 2. From memory and shooting from the hip, I'd say it was a 30% jump in SQ over my Krell 505 transport. Upgrading to the DX 3 and switching from SqueezeBox to Roon was another 25% improvement over the DX 2. 

I was getting outstanding imaging on certain source material but un-listenable glare and blur on certain instruments...

Anna Netrebko's powerful vibrato... I'm not an opera listener but once I hone in on certain source material/frequencies that bring my system to its knees, I keep referencing back to it for neutrality check after system tweaks. I then tried a discontinued Auralic Renderer and again, another 20% SQ jump. I then upgraded to the Antipodes CX/EX and SQ jumped another 50% over the DX 3 - but the halo of glare around Anna Netrebko's vibrato remained just as un-listenable. The common denominator was USB using WireWorld Platinum Starlight 8.

I've also converted USB from the renderer to i2S using the Singxer SU-6 and then the SU-2 but these were only very minor improvements.

I did try a few USB Regens early on but only got minor incremental improvements. After reading Austinpop's Innuos Phoenix review I pulled the trigger and right from cold out of the box the SQ improved by 500%. The halo of glare around Anna Netrebko's voice was 90% reduced.

500% sounds like BS, but that's how I call it. Getting a pair of EtherRegens on Wednesday. I suspect that will also be positive.

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, AudioBang said:

From my experience, I think VerdantAudio is spot on.

My first Server as a source was an Antipodes DX 2. From memory and shooting from the hip, I'd say it was a 30% jump in SQ over my Krell 505 transport. Upgrading to the DX 3 and switching from SqueezeBox to Roon was another 25% improvement over the DX 2. 

I was getting outstanding imaging on certain source material but un-listenable glare and blur on certain instruments...

Anna Netrebko's powerful vibrato... I'm not an opera listener but once I hone in on certain source material/frequencies that bring my system to its knees, I keep referencing back to it for neutrality check after system tweaks. I then tried a discontinued Auralic Renderer and again, another 20% SQ jump. I then upgraded to the Antipodes CX/EX and SQ jumped another 50% over the DX 3 - but the halo of glare around Anna Netrebko's vibrato remained just as un-listenable. The common denominator was USB using WireWorld Platinum Starlight 8.

I've also converted USB from the renderer to i2S using the Singxer SU-6 and then the SU-2 but these were only very minor improvements.

I did try a few USB Regens early on but only got minor incremental improvements. After reading Austinpop's Innuos Phoenix review I pulled the trigger and right from cold out of the box the SQ improved by 500%. The halo of glare around Anna Netrebko's voice was 90% reduced.

500% sounds like BS, but that's how I call it. Getting a pair of EtherRegens on Wednesday. I suspect that will also be positive.

 

Sorry, wrong thread, nothing about Rockna.

There is a better thread here:

Matt

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I have been following this thread with a measure of exuberance as I have been contemplating a new DAC.

Prior to considering the Wavedream, I had the Playback Designs MPD-8, then the Tambaqui and possibly even the BAT REX DAC [which runs the Playback Designs algorithm] on my short list.

Saleh84 - Thanks for your posts. Your level of satisfaction and discovery makes them fun to read.

Having experienced the Wavedream DAC and then the NET Server, is there a way to generally quantify your level of satisfaction between the step up with the Wavedream DAC vs. the step up with the Wavedream NET source?

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@AudioBang

Thanks. well, I want to point out that I'm no expert by any means to properly review or judge, nor have listened to many dacs, just been lucky to afford buying the WD and try it out then share my personal impressions the best way i could. the humble but worth mentioning list of dacs that i heard, contains denafrips terminator (my dac prior to the WD), heard chord dave many times in my own setup, then Aries cerat behemoth of a dac called kassandra ref ii. I have never even heard of the choices you mentioned above unfortunately.

The WD dac strikes a perfect balance to me. On its own with humble source it still flexes and shows some substantial capabilities. But in my case, owning a server like N10 for long (my previous server) i knew I need a proper server to unlock any dac's full potential and could not fully judge the WD before i do that. Recently and even before i make the WD dac move, i was getting tired from aurender sound, and started to hear its weaknesses more than its advantages. So for a brief moment i considered getting one of the current superstars of today, the SGM extreme or the pink faun 2.16, but their prices were way above what I planned to spend, I didn't want to build a DYI server like some friends of mine did, then I made the move from terminator to WD dac. My initial plan was to wait for wavelight server as I had no need for CD at all, but i could not wait till rockna releases it, got the NET instead. 3 days into using the rockna stack, im short; My feeling was Rockna should push more towards selling them as a package as some told me while i was waiting my NET!

I lived with singxer as source for 2 months, borrowed  my friend's N10 few times, even borrowed an auralic G1 for a couple of days. But once you hear something "better", you get a better understanding of what was missing. In this case with NET, way more of every good trait, amplifying and lifting up the dac performance (the dac on its own is very good but no comparison). what caught my attention after the slightly disappointing day 1, is increased dynamics, increased details, beautiful textures, the perfect amount of body and sweetness was added. My laptop/singer/roon combo was behind aurender in mids/vocals reproduction and sounded thinner, but had better attack, dynamics and the transparency (its laughable but true!). The NET kept those good traits, surpassed them by a good amount, AND gave the sweetness and fullness of aurender beautiful mids. Ah, again, the incredible hard hitting, beautifully textured bass that starts and stop almost instantly (well many other components play a role in that, I'm talking about the streamer part in bass reproduction). Then the bigger, deeper stage with better separation and allocation of instruments in a virtual 3d space, the usual cliche of describing an improvement :). Also, the pitch black background quietness that you get only with a decent server design, another cliche which its true here. In all honesty if i had to put in percentage, i would say maybe 40% improvement over something that was already excellent. After hearing the changes I got, some friends are even curious to try the NET in their setups with their Dacs, particularly my friend who owns the kassandra, as he doesn't want to pay 25k euro for an extreme now. If it works fir him and the synergy was better than his aurender N10 (yeah we both had N10s), he will get one. I think it would be easily the case from what I'm hearing now!

I would advise you to try and listen first for yourself, what i might enjoy may not suit you. Rockna sound is lively, dynamic, well timed, pure, and musical. Not focused on emotional traits being "warm" or "dense" type of sound, nor laid back, but its not thin/ brutal or aggressive by any means either. it has the musicality to engage you and the right amount of everything. Its hard to characterise, really. From one track to the other, its colour changes.

It all boils down to what is your preference and must haves in your priority list of expectations from a high end dac. Hope that i have been of help ;)

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  • 1 month later...

Absolutely love the Rockna DAC.  I've got the basic model (Wavedream SE - single ended) and it smoked the yggy and Holo 2 (had all 3 in my listening room for 2+ months).  I'd like to eventually upgrade to the Signature edition when funds permit.  Definitely the one component in my system that I don't second guess at all, totally happy with it.  

 

I'm now in the game for an end game server and want to use the i2s input as well.  Looking between the Wavedream NET, WaveLight Server, and a little know Musica Pristina server that seems to really be built around i2s.  I'm also considering the Sonore Signature Optical unit and using USB out - but then I've got to get a bunch more boxes to convert from wire to fiber, audiophile power supplies etc. 

 

My biggest issue with i2s is finding a top end HDMI cable.  Almost all cable manufacturers are making reference level USB cables but very few are delivering HDMI cables with TOTL materials (more geared towards video).  I'm hoping Wireworld releases a Starlight Platinum 8 HDMI now that they've started using OCC Silver.  

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Hi ag3,

 

Glad you are enjoying the dac, its absolutely phenomenal. I have only heard the signature but I'm sure yours is very close. 

 

From the i2s servers you mentioned, I have just heard the NET. However, the discovery I made after experimenting other outputs of the NET (usb and coax), also other servers within my friend's group, such as aurender n10 (my previous server), auralic g1, DCS network bridge, and a custom built server: 

1)the NET literally walked all over those. Its better by a good margin on all aspects.

2)the NET strength is not the I2s. Its the NET itself! I2s is a slightly better, but i would recommend this server with any dac even if it doesn't have an i2s input. Any output on the NET would do, for real. honestly speaking, right now i feel its a better value than the dac. That's how awesome it is.

 

From chatting with Nucu, the wavelight server is very close to NET performance minus the CD memory player section. I would have bought a wavelight, but i just couldn't wait till its available. I have no CDs at all.

 

You wavedream dac will surprise you, how much better it would sound when coupled with NET or wavelight (any dac in fact would). My suggestion, look no further, i firmly believe in this price segment, the rockna servers are superior and will crush anything. I'm surprised they don't have more recognition for the servers, but mostly the dacs. 

 

For I2s cable, I'm an audioquest fan. They have a pure solid silver HDMI, called diamond. Its also available in 60 cm length. The shorter the better I believe with i2s. I'm quite happy with it, sound is perfectly balanced. I got 1m length, but 60cm also would work and will save you some $$$. 

 

topping all that off, just started powering my ubiquity router and etherregen with a paul hynes sr5 dual rail instead of ifi dc bricks. All i can say it was worth the 4 months wait! I can't really believe the sound that I'm getting right now. I doubt I'm touching my digital end for a very very long time. I might try at some point to source an amp which is matching my cube speaker even more (the tube LM845 amp i have right now is great, but it has some small amount of negative feedback which is not ideal). The cube speakers are quite sensitive to the specifications of amplification, and if curiosity gets me again, that's the only thing i might tinker with. Besides that, consider me retired ))

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  • 1 month later...
4 hours ago, Fife said:

What remote control options are there for the NET?

 

do you mean these options?

Schermata 2020-09-12 alle 11.21.23.png

sistema:

Server HDPlex (i7-6700-WS2016) HQPlayer con Ramdisk + HQPDcontrol> rete via cavo> TPlink mc 110cs> monomodale ottico> TPlink mc 110cs> HDPlex NAA (celeron G1840T-WS2016) NAD con Ramdisk, Denafrips Ares2, SPLvolume2 

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