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FINALLY Made up my mind, making a purchase tomorrow...not popular choice here though...


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I am relatively new to the "computer audio concept".

I joined this board just 6 short months ago at which time i bought a used dragonfly on ebay.

I was quite pleased and thought i could live with that for a long time...

 

As i started reading the forums and started poking around a little more, I read some pretty amazing articles about DSD.

I downloaded audiogate software and started to up-convert. I didn't have DSD dac so i really don't know what it was doing, but to me the difference was amazing. I could hear so much more what i will call "fullness", just much more presence...not being an audiophile, i don't know what I was actually hearing, but it was very notable.

 

I already previously purchased jriver, but it still sounded better through audiogate...might be a setting, but i was telling both to maximize the sample rate as high as possible and the audiogate sounded better.

 

I bought a SONY DSD DAC, and I am not even sure it sounded better...just different. So i sold the dragonfly, sent the sony back, and decided I was going to wait until KORG came out with their DSD DAC (it wasn't out yet at that time), but i was so in love with the sound that came out via the audiogate software, that I decided that would be my solution, and I was willing to wait.

 

In the mean time, i started playing with HDMI, even though it was dissed by the masses as being inferior. To me, it sounded pretty darn good, although perhaps not as good as when i was playing DLNA through my sony blu-ray analog out to marantz reciever.

 

Anyway, i think sony does DSD right, and I am going to try hooking PC hdmi out directly to a new

Sony STR-DN1050

 

It supports true Native DSD playback (albeit just DSD: 2.8MHz; PCM: up to 24-bit/192kHz) over HDMI. I wanted to upgrade my reciever anyway to HDMI 2.0, with auto shutoff (always forgetting and leaving my reciever on), so I might as well try using the embedded DSD DAC. I also will like the 3 HDMI outputs.

 

 

I am pretty sure I will be happy with it....but even if not, i can still buy the external dac later if i think i can better the SQ, but my limited experience to date, suggests that I will be happy, even if HDMI has higher wow&flutter or whatever. I also was spoiled with the dragonfly ability to turn the volume up/down from mouse, rather than picking up a remote, which i hated doing when i bought the external dac. Using the HDMI direct, i will be able to control the volume once again with my mouse, and i pretty much live at my computer.

 

I also found a neat little utility that allows me to switch from pc speaker, to hdmi, to headphone, or any other audio device with a click of a mouse button....very sweet.

 

Creating a shortcut to change the default audio device in Windows

 

Anyway, i will probably buy the sony reciever tomorrow for $500 on ebay without tax....so much receiver for so little, unless someone talks me out of it (grin).

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Thanks for the response...Is there a midrange reciever (say $700 or less) that support that over hdmi?

Just be aware that (afaik) there is no way of getting DSD (directly) out of a computer via HDMI.

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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Just be aware that (afaik) there is no way of getting DSD (directly) out of a computer via HDMI.

 

what do you mean?

 

can't i use the dac driver that will come with the sony and follow this process?

 

http://www.audiostream.com/content/how-play-dsd-file-using-foobar2000

 

If there is NO way to play DSD over HDMI, then thanks for that info, i will have to think of a different solution.

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Just be aware that (afaik) there is no way of getting DSD (directly) out of a computer via HDMI.

 

This receiver also has a USB input that Sony says can handle DSD64, so if Eloise is correct — I'm pretty sure she is, but the stuff I looked at on the Sony website is damned confusing — then USB may be the way to go. A DLNA setup (via Ethernet) that will play back DSD64 also appears possible.

 

Seems like an economical, versatile way to go for DSD playback, and as the OP notes, he can always go to an outboard DAC at a later date.

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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what do you mean?

 

can't i use the dac driver that will come with the sony and follow this process?

 

How To Play a DSD File: using Foobar2000 | AudioStream

 

It doesn't say so, but I think the Audiostream instructions are geared toward ending up with the DSD stream going to a USB device, so it's looking good for the USB input on the Sony ... but you might want to confirm your viable DSD options before you put the money down.

 

(Compare the Foobar instructions with those for Audirvana+. Very amusing for us Mac-centric folks.)

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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It doesn't say so, but I think the Audiostream instructions are geared toward ending up with the DSD stream going to a USB device, so it's looking good for the USB input on the Sony ... but you might want to confirm your viable DSD options before you put the money down.

 

(Compare the Foobar instructions with those for Audirvana+. Very amusing for us Mac-centric folks.)

 

--David

 

The usb port on the sony is only for like flash drives...you can't hook your pc usb port to it, and i want to be able to play all my music from my pc, so that is not an option.

 

I have done DLNA 2 different ways to a reciever, and they both kind of "sucked" for convenience, although it sounded great. Using pc network, you can only play music from dlna server (e.g. via jriver in my case). I don't want the heavy resources for dlna server running all the time, and i want option of anything i play from pc to go out to the reciever without having to do switching....so i guess it means i am still stuck having to buy an external dac.

 

I REALLY don't like the inconvenience of having to use a remote to turn the volume up/down, and Paul told me that you had to use the knob on the IFI brand external dacs to change the volume. I was really spoiled by just changing volume with mouse on pc like with my dragonfly.

 

IS THERE ANY CHEAP EXTERNAL DSD DAC that i can control the volume with my mouse like i did with the dragonfly? IF it is true (eloise said afaik, so she could be wrong) that there is no way go get dsd out my hdmi, i may go back to a dragonfly? Although i want DSD, i am more about convenience. TO me upsampled music from audiogate software through the dragonfly sounded great (as good as a $1K ext sony dsd dac that i used for awhile), so i may resort back to dragonfly if no cheap (under $500) external dsd dacs exist that allow you to control volume via the pc.

 

SUMMARY OF WHAT I WANT:

1. best possible audio out of my pc

2. under $700

3. can control volume from pc

4. prefer dsd capable

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The usb port on the sony is only for like flash drives...you can't hook your pc usb port to it, and i want to be able to play all my music from my pc, so that is not an option.

 

My bad. Sorry.

 

I have done DLNA 2 different ways to a reciever, and they both kind of "sucked" for convenience, although it sounded great.

 

Agree. This is pretty much what keeps me from getting involved with DLNA.

 

I REALLY don't like the inconvenience of having to use a remote to turn the volume up/down, and Paul told me that you had to use the knob on the IFI brand external dacs to change the volume.

 

Paul is right about this — just verified it by hooking up my iFi nano to my system — but doesn't JRiver have a pretty sophisticated software volume control (like Audirvana+ does)? I think either the iFi nano DSD or the iFi micro DSD would meet your needs pretty well, but I guess it depends on whether you think software volume control is good enough.

 

Myself, I disable the volume control on the Mytek (or have the volume cranked all the way up on the nano when that's connected, but that's not the norm). My pre-amp has good analog volume control that I can adjust with a handheld remote, and that's what I use. Couldn't you do something analogous in your system?

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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My bad. Sorry.

 

 

 

Agree. This is pretty much what keeps me from getting involved with DLNA.

 

 

 

Paul is right about this — just verified it by hooking up my iFi nano to my system — but doesn't JRiver have a pretty sophisticated software volume control (like Audirvana+ does)? I think either the iFi nano DSD or the iFi micro DSD would meet your needs pretty well, but I guess it depends on whether you think software volume control is good enough.

 

Myself, I disable the volume control on the Mytek (or have the volume cranked all the way up on the nano when that's connected, but that's not the norm). My pre-amp has good analog volume control that I can adjust with a handheld remote, and that's what I use. Couldn't you do something analogous in your system?

 

--David

 

I don't want to have to pick up a remote. A mouse is always in my hand and want to adjust with that. I am all about convenience, and to me playing either a dsd file or upsampled flac file via audiogate software -> dragonfly sounded as good as it gets, even compared to using a $1K ext dsd dac by sony. I want native dsd, but not willing to give up mouse volume control to get it.

 

I was planning on buying the more expensive korg, but I see it has a volume control knob, so i am assuming it will be in same boat as the ifi brand dsd dacs, and will need to use that for volume control. I did however just now notice that their less expensive DSD DAC 100m does not have a volume control knob, so i am hoping maybe it will work with pc volume control like the dragonfly did?

 

Anyone else know of a low priced DSD DAC that you can control volume from pc (not just from jriver)...i want all audio to be able to be controlled from pc.

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This is what Korg says about volume control on the DS-DAC series:

 

Can I connect the DS-DAC to an audio amp?

You can connect the analog output jacks to your audio amp. Since the output level is fixed, use the controls of your amp to adjust the output volume. In cases when you are using a device such as active monitor speaker and it is difficult to adjust the output volume, you may use the master volume in AudioGate 3. But it is not bit perfect then. - See more at: Faq | AudioGate3 HIGH DEFINITION AUDIO PLAYER SOFTWARE | Audio | KORG

 

 

I think the Resonessence Herus will do what you want:

 

HERUS | Resonessence

 

(There's a description of the volume control near the bottom of the page.)

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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This is what Korg says about volume control on the DS-DAC series:

 

 

 

 

I think the Resonessence Herus will do what you want:

 

HERUS | Resonessence

 

(There's a description of the volume control near the bottom of the page.)

 

--David

 

Thanks, that looks great, and even found a very favorable review here

Resonessence Labs Herus DAC & Steely Dan: DSD vs PCM | Digital Audio Review by John Darko

 

I think i am going to try the korg 100m first though since its the same price ($350) and comes with the audiogate software that i am so in love with....i actually just made an offer on ebay for one for $300, so will see if they accept. if not, i will weigh this one in on my options.

 

Still a little upset that there is no technical way to get DSD out the pc hdmi!!

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If you end up getting the Herus, I'd be very interested in your impressions. I was seriously considering it as my "mobile" DAC but ended up going with the iFi.

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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YOU >>>Can I connect the DS-DAC to an audio amp?

You can connect the analog output jacks to your audio amp. Since the output level is fixed, use the controls of your amp to adjust the output volume. In cases when you are using a device such as active monitor speaker and it is difficult to adjust the output volume, you may use the master volume in AudioGate 3. But it is not bit perfect then. - See more at: Faq | AudioGate3 HIGH DEFINITION AUDIO PLAYER SOFTWARE | Audio | KORG

 

I just now noticed your response above...

OUCH, was that for both the 100m and the 100?

If so, that sucks! I may be trying that HERUS!

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Yeah, I think that's for both of the "DS" DACs. The FAQ that it's from is supposed to apply to the series. The volume knob on the 100 is apparently just for the headphone output.

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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I've got a Sony dn1040 hooked to one of my gaming PC's HDMI Nvidia GTX 770. With 4x JBL L830/ 1x JBL LC1 center channel. I've never tried DSD with it but it sounds pretty good with FLAC. I mainly use it for surround sound gaming though, it's PLENTY good for that. For my serious audio I have a 2 channel setup with Kef R900's.

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I've got a Sony dn1040 hooked to one of my gaming PC's HDMI Nvidia GTX 770. With 4x JBL L830/ 1x JBL LC1 center channel. I've never tried DSD with it but it sounds pretty good with FLAC. I mainly use it for surround sound gaming though, it's PLENTY good for that. For my serious audio I have a 2 channel setup with Kef R900's.

 

yea, just playing flacs out hdmi sound pretty good, but i did get a pretty dramatic improvement with either dsd files or upsampled (flac or pcm) via audiogate software, and that is direction i am going...I just have to find the avenue to accomplish, and apparently you can't play dsd over pc hdmi. I don't know if you can play upsampled over hdmi or not. I don't know if eloise was suggesting you can't play just dsd over hdmi or you can't play upsampled pcm (e.g. wav or flac) over hdmi either?

 

if i can still play flacs upsampled to 4xDSD rates over hdmi, then perhaps I could live with that.

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I haven't ever messed around with dsd so I don't know much about it, sorry. That sony 1040 I have is just a slightly older model of the one you're planning on getting though. The dn1050 is supposed to fix some of the hdmi dropout issues that were in the 1040. I'm sure there are probably other fixes in the new model also but i'm not aware of them. It's a nice receiver. You will like it, it's a real nice amp for $500.

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This taken from the review you linked to: "Feature additions are more obvious, and you can now count on aptX Bluetooth being on board, DSD playback via wi-fi and USB (previously only via HDMI) and NFC for one-touch pairing with compatible devices."

 

i know you can play dsd over hdmi from a blu ray player...eloise said you can't play hdmi from a pc hdmi port?

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Using pc network, you can only play music from dlna server (e.g. via jriver in my case). I don't want the heavy resources for dlna server running all the time, and i want option of anything i play from pc to go out to the reciever without having to do switching....so i guess it means i am still stuck having to buy an external dac.
Their DLNA server is very lightweight on system resources.

 

I REALLY don't like the inconvenience of having to use a remote to turn the volume up/down, and Paul told me that you had to use the knob on the IFI brand external dacs to change the volume. I was really spoiled by just changing volume with mouse on pc like with my dragonfly.

 

IS THERE ANY CHEAP EXTERNAL DSD DAC that i can control the volume with my mouse like i did with the dragonfly?

If there is a digital volume control, it's probably not a true DSD device.

At best, you would have a digitally controlled analog volume.

 

If you accept that you aren't getting true DSD, then why not just control volume via the player? It sounded like you use JRiver, and their 64-bit internal volume control will do a good job of it.

 

IF it is true (eloise said afaik, so she could be wrong) that there is no way go get dsd out my hdmi, i may go back to a dragonfly?
There are no PC devices which output DSD over HDMI.

 

In theory, Intel/AMD could support DoP with very little effort, but I don't think there is anything which can right now.

Nvidia won't do 88.2/176.4kHz over HDMI, so it would require more effort to get DoP working. (it uses a 16-bit 176.4kHz PCM container)

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Their DLNA server is very lightweight on system resources.

"very" is a relative term. I do not have a dedicated pc (currently) for music, and i don't want to run dlna server on it. I did it for awhile, but it's not what i want.

 

If there is a digital volume control, it's probably not a true DSD device.

At best, you would have a digitally controlled analog volume.

I want volume control at output stage. I just want to use one audio out of the pc for everything, and i want to be able to control it from the pc....just as i did with the dragonfly.

 

If you accept that you aren't getting true DSD, then why not just control volume via the player? It sounded like you use JRiver, and their 64-bit internal volume control will do a good job of it.

same answer as above.

 

 

There are no PC devices which output DSD over HDMI.

 

In theory, Intel/AMD could support DoP with very little effort, but I don't think there is anything which can right now.

Nvidia won't do 88.2/176.4kHz over HDMI, so it would require more effort to get DoP working. (it uses a 16-bit 176.4kHz PCM container)

 

So i guess i will bite the bullet and buy an external DSD DAC...it looks like the HERUS will work like the dragonfly, and that will probably be the route i go...does anyone here have one of those and can confirm i can control the volume from the pc?

 

In the mean time, someone accepted my $300 offer on ebay for the KORG 100m, but then i found out it has fixed volume. At least i will get the audiogate software for my trouble (paul says it does a remarkable job of upconverting all his pcm to dsd).....i may play with that for awhile and then get the HERUS down the road if i don't hear of anything else that meets my desires...

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"very" is a relative term. I do not have a dedicated pc (currently) for music, and i don't want to run dlna server on it. I did it for awhile, but it's not what i want.
The "server" just runs when you have the JRiver program open.

If anything it probably uses less resources than a USB or HDMI connected DAC since the PC is only serving up files rather than decoding and processing them.

 

I want volume control at output stage. I just want to use one audio out of the pc for everything, and i want to be able to control it from the pc....just as i did with the dragonfly.
You will be able to do this in the upcoming v20.
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The "server" just runs when you have the JRiver program open.

If anything it probably uses less resources than a USB or HDMI connected DAC since the PC is only serving up files rather than decoding and processing them.

 

You will be able to do this in the upcoming v20.

 

Huh? I will be able to do what with v20?

I will be able to play dsd over pc hdmi?

or

I will be able control my volume from my pc for all my pc audio?

or

something else i don't know what you are talking about?

 

Do you work for jriver? I just noticed another user responded above who's handle is jriver?

If so, I like jriver, i used it quite a bit when i got it....i did dlna, i upsampled, but never really gave it full chance.....i started toying with both audiogate and foobar, and i like both of those for different reasons...i kind of have been using all 3...

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