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DAC-Free 24/96 Audio Client - Can I Buy One Or Should I Build One?


TelstarBoy
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Hi

 

I've been running a relatively home-spun wireless media server / client setup for a couple of years now using FireFly media server to stream FLAC files to 3 Roku units around the house. Apart from the occasional (and rather annoying) "rebuffering" episode, it all seems to work quite nicely.

 

At the moment I'm using a Roku M2000 unit to feed an MF Tri Vista 21 DAC using the S/PDIF link but I believe the Roku unit can only pump out 16bit/44.1kHz data. I'd like to make use of the 24/96 and even the 24/192 capability of the DAC so have been looking for a simple and relatively cheap piece of client hardware / software which will do this. No such luck :-(.

 

I've looked into the Logitech Transporter and Linn DS Sneaky but don't want to pay big money for the on-board DAC which I'm not going to use. So it looks as though I may have to build a PC based client which will do what I need.

 

I'm quite comfortable with the idea of building a PC (probably Shuttle or similar because of their small form factor) but am not sure about what additional hardware / software I might need to come up with an audiophile spec client. From this site and others it looks as though the S/PDIF (or rather AES/EBU) board of choice is the Lynx AES16 which doesn't appear to come in cheap! Are there any other options or should I just take the hit?

 

Also, what do people recommend for server / client software? I'm quite happy to change from FireFly server but whatever new server I install, it should be capable of supporting the other Roku units in the house. Also quite (well, probably, very) important is to have an iPhone / iPod touch app which allows me to dial up music from my armchair :-).

 

Thanks for any help you guys out there can come up with.

 

Peter

 

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I have not used or heard of anyone using that combination.... However, our clients have in the past asked about with the Lynx AES16 into a spdif type unit. I have to tell you its not a straight forward converson and it will also depend on your DAC liking the idea. I found a passive adapter I would consider, but some will say anything added or removed in the digital stream is bad. This post has some more information on the conversion:

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Computer-PS-Audio-DAC-III

 

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A couple of months ago there were reports / rumors of a new "touchscreen" squeezebox that supported 24/96 at around €300. Not heard anything recently. I think the Roku will work via SqueezeCentre / SqueezeServer so maybe a good solution for you.

 

Eloise

 

PS. Though your MF DAC can upsample to 24/192 I don't think it will accept 24/192 fed into it. You should check if it even accepts 24/96 before spending too much.

 

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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Thanks for your feedback, Eloise - will look into what resolution / sample rate my MF DAC supports - it may not be the youngest DAC out there but it does sound so sweet :-) so I'd like to keep it going. Will also try to dig up more info on that mystery SqueezeBox you mentioned. Will report back here if I find anything...

 

If I do go down do the PC client route, the ASUS card looks a much better bet that the Lynx card - supports S/PDIF and is much cheaper! Does anyone have any suggestions for server / client software which also iPhone remote support?

 

Thanks

 

Peter

 

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