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Article: The exaSound PlayPoint Stereo/Multichannel Streamer Review


ted_b

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Very interesting - a cute little thingee. HDMI input interesting too - for "future use."

Would it be fair to say the PlayPoint is kinda like an Auralic Aries for use with Exasound DACs?

 

It is an HDMI output, eventually it will be used for displaying playback information on external screen.

 

exaSound.com | Audio R&D

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Perhaps, if the Aries did multichannel. ;-)

 

Yes, and did NAA for HQPlayer, and was also perfectly happy playing in the MPD world (and again, in stereo or multichannel for each/any).

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Can the display be turned off while playing music (which is what I would want, and one of the things I like about the e22)?

Looking at the manual online it says that a screensaver turns the screen dark 15 minutes after use, but it's not clear if this means 15 mins after touching the screen, or 15 mins after finishing playing music...

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Not seem a firewire, more important than HDI

Best regards

? By HDI I assume you mean HDMI. And why is firewire important? Currently this is an exaSound-specific appliance; why would they include a connection that none of their DACS use, and is not considered an agnostic interface like USB (where exaSound could, at least, update it to UAC2 compliance for connectivity to some non-exaSound equipment)? I can't see firewire ever being on their radar.

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Ted, your review specifically talks about HQP upsampling to DSD64 5.1. Can I assume that PP also can easily upsample stereo PCM or DSD to 256 using HQP?

 

Esau

 

I was under the impression that HQP upsampling was not handled by the PP, but rather it was just acting as an NAA device to HQP performing the upsampling on another, move capable machine somewhere else on your network.

CAPS Pipeline with HDPlex Linear PSU running Win10 64 bit, AO 2.0, RoonServer, HQPlayer -> T+A DAC8 DSD -> Linear Tube Audio's MicroZOTL2 Headphone Amp with Mojo Audio's Illuminati Linear PSU -> Focal Utopia/Audeze LCD-3

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I was under the impression that HQP upsampling was not handled by the PP, but rather it was just acting as an NAA device to HQP performing the upsampling on another, move capable machine somewhere else on your network.

 

Correct, it's the job of the HQP client machine (which is why it should be a powerful cpu). Sorry if my wording in the review was confusing. The PP is acting as the back-end FIFO buffer (isolation and low cpu requirements).

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Ted. A simple question, does the PP turn itself on automatically when it receives a signal, like the my e28 mk2 does, or do you physically have to turn on the device first? Will the PP automatically turn on the dac in turn?

 

Thanks

 

Paul

 

Hi Paul,

 

There is no auto-start feature on the PlayPoint. It has to be on in order to be available for discovery on the home network. However the e28 Mk II and e22 Mk II will start automatically when they get a request for playback from the PlayPoint.

 

At this time, the closest that we can get to sleep mode is to turn off the screen. The screen-saver is now configured for 15 minutes, we will make it customizable with a firmware update.

 

George

 

exaSound.com | Audio R&D

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George,

 

Not sure that your reply to Paul quite answers my earlier question that I thought Ted might pick up; can you please help? :

 

'Can the display be turned off while playing music (which is what I would want, and one of the things I like about the e22)? Looking at the manual online it says that a screensaver turns the screen dark 15 minutes after use, but it's not clear if this means 15 mins after touching the screen, or 15 mins after finishing playing music...'

 

Also, when using an external USB drive with MPD, does it matter to the Playpoint, or make any difference, what file system the drive is formatted to?

 

Best

Craig

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George,

 

Not sure that your reply to Paul quite answers my earlier question that I thought Ted might pick up; can you please help? :

 

'Can the display be turned off while playing music (which is what I would want, and one of the things I like about the e22)? Looking at the manual online it says that a screensaver turns the screen dark 15 minutes after use, but it's not clear if this means 15 mins after touching the screen, or 15 mins after finishing playing music...'

 

Also, when using an external USB drive with MPD, does it matter to the Playpoint, or make any difference, what file system the drive is formatted to?

 

Best

Craig

Craig,

 

The screen saver is cancelled by touching the screen, by playing music or by other activities that require interaction with the PlayPoint. Turning the screen off while playing music is not possible at this time. We will implement this feature with a firmware update.

 

The PlayPoint is tested with FAT32, NTFS, Mac HFS+, and Linux ext4. We haven't noticed any advantages or disadvantages of the different file systems.

 

exaSound.com | Audio R&D

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Ted +/- George.. Just confirming all formats (includ dsd stereo and Mch) I assume play gapless via all modes 1 thru 5?

 

I have an e28. Can't wait.. Wap.

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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George 1/ will you at some stage be doing your own app for control and upnp control point? 2/ Would you *please* consider adding a Mode 6: Spotify Connect? :)

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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Ted +/- George.. Just confirming all formats (includ dsd stereo and Mch) I assume play gapless via all modes 1 thru 5?

 

I have an e28. Can't wait.. Wap.

 

The PlayPoint is built for gapless support, stereo and multichannel:

 

Airplay: The connection between the playback device (iPad, Mac etc.) and the PlayPoint stays open between tracks for about 12 seconds. There is no need to reset the connection between tracks. If your Mac player supports gapless, it will work with the PlayPoint.

 

UPNP/Open Home: Our implementation is built to support gapless.

 

MPD: The MPD service and most MPD clients are built to support gapless.

 

HQPlayer: The Network Audio Adapter (NAA) works as a network sound driver. It keeps the connection active. There is no need to restart the service or the connection between tracks. NAA works just like on any Linux computer.

 

Gapless works when the subsequent tracks are of the same format and sampling rate. Since our DACs always play in the native format that comes from the player, the DAC performs a reset when the format changes. The reset is needed to load the optimized settings for each format.

 

exaSound.com | Audio R&D

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^ Awesome. I soooooo want one of these!!!!

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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How does a user get Tidal into this thing? Thanks

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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