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Network to AppleTV to Optical DAC A Good Idea?


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The original plan for this secondary and old music system was to stream from a Win7 computer on the network (running JRMC19 and Airfoil) to an Airport Express in my drum practice studio, and use the Airport's internal DAC to feed the audio system. The system is controlled by an iPad Air with JRemote.

 

The game has changed.

 

I just purchased a pair of B&W 685 S2 stand mounted speakers - the first hifi speakers I've purchased since the JBL L20T's I bought when Ronald Reagan was calling the shots. In case you're thinking "those are hardly game changers", think again my friend. These little speakers are capable of first-rate sonic goodness.

 

Therefore, I've decided to step it up by one, maybe two levels, but no more due to budgetary limits. To that end, I purchased a new dedicated DAC with USB and Optical inputs - the all-new Schiit Modi 2 Uber released last month. The second phase is where my question comes in. The amended plan is to purchase an AppleTV instead of the Airport Express, and use its optical output to feed the new Schiit DAC. Before I buy the AppleTV, I was hoping to get either some validation or possibly some different ideas to improved sound quality.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Gary

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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The ATV will resample everything to 48kHz. I think it is 24 bit capable, but not certain (you can either select "automatic" or "16 bit" for audio, which implies there is a >16 bit option under automatic in the configuration menu). I have found using the ATV as a player, vs. an airplay streamer, works much better, and I think it also has the merit of avoiding the airplay 44.1 kHz (so if you are streaming say a 48 kHz track, it would get resampled to 41 kHz for airplay and then resampled to 48kHz by the ATV itself).

 

Apart from that, it should work well, and if you decide to upgrade to a mac mini later, it will be a drop-in replacement.

 

More here: Apple TV as a poor-man's Sonos system - Blogs - Computer Audiophile

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The ATV will resample everything to 48kHz. I think it is 24 bit capable, but not certain (you can either select "automatic" or "16 bit" for audio, which implies there is a >16 bit option under automatic in the configuration menu). I have found using the ATV as a player, vs. an airplay streamer, works much better, and I think it also has the merit of avoiding the airplay 44.1 kHz (so if you are streaming say a 48 kHz track, it would get resampled to 41 kHz for airplay and then resampled to 48kHz by the ATV itself).

 

Apart from that, it should work well, and if you decide to upgrade to a mac mini later, it will be a drop-in replacement.

 

More here: Apple TV as a poor-man's Sonos system - Blogs - Computer Audiophile

 

 

To use it as a player, wouldn't I have to switch from JRMC to iTunes? Also, I'd consider buying a Mac Mini now over an AppleTV if convinced it represented a huge leap forward in sound quality. Upgrades are such a waste of resources, especially when it's possible to avoid them by spending just a few more dollars the first time around.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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If you cannot hear a difference between redbook and high res, then you are probably safe with an Apple TV.

 

Yes, you have to have iTunes open and serving your music via home sharing in order to use ATV as a player, and as far as I am aware, it won't do flac. Wired airplay streaming would probably be fine, and would presumably remove that limitation.

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If you cannot hear a difference between redbook and high res, then you are probably safe with an Apple TV.

 

Yes, you have to have iTunes open and serving your music via home sharing in order to use ATV as a player, and as far as I am aware, it won't do flac. Wired airplay streaming would probably be fine, and would presumably remove that limitation.

 

 

Okay. I'll move forward with the AppleTV as planned.

 

Thanks for the input.

 

 

Gary

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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If all else fails, you can always hook it up with your TV and use it to watch movies and such.

 

It wouldn't go to waste. My wife would love to access to our movie library while in the retreat in our master bedroom. I built a pretty amazing HTPC a few years ago for our main TV and have amassed quite a collection of video since then. Between that & Neflix, we should be brain-dead before long.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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I tried it (the "good idea") and it was unsuccessful. Using a Mac direct with Toslink or Airplay is a nice concept, but a key factor is whether one's DAC has the circuitry to eliminate any annoying timing/clocking issues (drop out, jitter, etc). Some DACs work, others don't.

 

If one's current equipment is set (in stone), then here's a remedy...Remedy Reclocker. https://wyred4sound.com/products/digital-converters/remedy-reclocker

 

At $400, it's a lot of money to simply make things work. I took a pass and am looking to upgrade my DAC so that it also plays nicely with Apple sources.

Source: TIDAL HiFi/Masters, Pandora One > iPeng 9.2.1 on iPhone6s/iPad

Great Room: SBT#1 > Cullen Coax > PS Audio DL3 DAC > Audio Envy cables > Martin Logan (ML) 200Wpc Purity.

SBT#2 >JVC 110w amp > ML Motion 4 & AudioEngine 5.

Garage: SBT3 > Audioquest TOS > Wyred mINT > Cullen Cables > Martin Logan Motion 12

Carry Anywhere: TIDAL/Pandora >iPhone 6s > Bose Mini Bluetooth speaker.

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I tried it (the "good idea") and it was unsuccessful. Using a Mac direct with Toslink or Airplay is a nice concept, but a key factor is whether one's DAC has the circuitry to eliminate any annoying timing/clocking issues (drop out, jitter, etc). Some DACs work, others don't.

 

If one's current equipment is set (in stone), then here's a remedy...Remedy Reclocker. https://wyred4sound.com/products/digital-converters/remedy-reclocker

 

At $400, it's a lot of money to simply make things work. I took a pass and am looking to upgrade my DAC so that it also plays nicely with Apple sources.

 

$400? Damn! That's $500 with the AppleTV. There has to be a better alternative.

 

OTOH, thanks for the info.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

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My experience is different, I use Korg Audiogate player on my laptop and wirelessly stream to ATV using Tuneblade software. It sounds way better than iTunes and has very few, network related, dropouts.

The ATV will resample everything to 48kHz. I think it is 24 bit capable, but not certain (you can either select "automatic" or "16 bit" for audio, which implies there is a >16 bit option under automatic in the configuration menu). I have found using the ATV as a player, vs. an airplay streamer, works much better, and I think it also has the merit of avoiding the airplay 44.1 kHz (so if you are streaming say a 48 kHz track, it would get resampled to 41 kHz for airplay and then resampled to 48kHz by the ATV itself).

 

Apart from that, it should work well, and if you decide to upgrade to a mac mini later, it will be a drop-in replacement.

 

More here: Apple TV as a poor-man's Sonos system - Blogs - Computer Audiophile

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Four ATVs and three Airports later, I find myself never wanting for SQ of functionality improvements. The network is most important here. I use a combination of wired and Powerline for the devices and wireless just for the iPads and phones.

 

Here's a suggestion. I recently bought an 2009 MacMini on Craigslist for $200 and use it as a dedicated iTunes Player in my theater. Set up with display and keyboard once as iTunes auto start on start up and optimimized. Now it runs headless with an iPAd remote. Added an external 2tb HDD for the library for less than $100.

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Four ATVs and three Airports later, I find myself never wanting for SQ of functionality improvements. The network is most important here. I use a combination of wired and Powerline for the devices and wireless just for the iPads and phones.

 

Here's a suggestion. I recently bought an 2009 MacMini on Craigslist for $200 and use it as a dedicated iTunes Player in my theater. Set up with display and keyboard once as iTunes auto start on start up and optimimized. Now it runs headless with an iPAd remote. Added an external 2tb HDD for the library for less than $100.

 

 

A solutions so cheap, even I can afford it. I've yet to acquire the ATV but the speaker stand project is in full swing and kicking some serious rear-end.

 

The posts are made from 5 pieces of solid Maple & Walnut glued together. Think of a 3-foot-long double-deck Maple sandwich - each piece almost 2" in height X 7.25" width. Add three slices of dark Walnut "bread" - each just under 1" height X 7.25 " width (where's Euell Gibbons?). When standing upright and turned to a 45 degree angle, actual width of each post is just over 6" and depth is of course 7.25". The base will be 4" thick with a similar but slightly different design, and the speaker platform will be a smaller version of the base; the latter of which I'll outfit with spikes. Finally, I'll router a deep groove along the back of each post for cable management. The weight should be sufficiently heavy for my little B&W's. LOVING those speakers, btw.

Win10 Sweetwater recording studio PC running JRMC > Soundcraft Ui24r 24-track digital mixer > JBL LSR308 via Magomi Balanced XLR cable pair

Link to comment
Four ATVs and three Airports later, I find myself never wanting for SQ of functionality improvements. The network is most important here. I use a combination of wired and Powerline for the devices and wireless just for the iPads and phones.

 

Here's a suggestion. I recently bought an 2009 MacMini on Craigslist for $200 and use it as a dedicated iTunes Player in my theater. Set up with display and keyboard once as iTunes auto start on start up and optimimized. Now it runs headless with an iPAd remote. Added an external 2tb HDD for the library for less than $100.

 

 

Can i ask how you have your Mini connected to your AVR / system components?

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