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Article: The exaSound PlayPoint Stereo/Multichannel Streamer Review

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Mode 6 is on the request list.

Awesome!!!!


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

 

If you use an iPad or iPhone, you can install the Tidal app and connect to the PlayPoint via Airplay.

 

If you are using a Mac, you need to configure the PlayPoint to be the default audio/AirPlay device.

 

On Android devices BubbleUPnP is an excellent app for Tidal and UPnP playback.


 

exaSound.com | Audio R&D

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If you use an iPad or iPhone, you can install the Tidal app and connect to the PlayPoint via Airplay.

 

If you are using a Mac, you need to configure the PlayPoint to be the default audio/AirPlay device.

 

On Android devices BubbleUPnP is an excellent app for Tidal and UPnP playback.

 

Um.. no disrespect George, but isn't there an easier and better sounding way? ..Tidal "embedded" or something?


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, congratulations on developing such a versatile, cutting edge product.

 

Of the available options my preference would be to use the PlayPoint as a UPnP renderer. I prefer my DLNA server to be JRiver running on a HTPC because Minimserver still does not support SACD iso files (AFAIK) and I have too many SACD iso files to consider ripping them to dsf. In addition, I think that JRemote is far nicer than BubbleUPnP as a control point.

 

Regarding gapless support, I understand from the article that Ted has tested the Minimserver + BubbleUPnP combo which does provide gapless. However, this does not mean that JRiver/JRemote will play gapless. I know this because of my recent experience with the new Cambridge Audio 851N streamer which played gapless with BubbleUPnP but not with JRemote.

 

George or Ted, have either of you tested gapless with JRiver/JRemote?

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George, congratulations on developing such a versatile, cutting edge product.

 

Of the available options my preference would be to use the PlayPoint as a UPnP renderer. I prefer my DLNA server to be JRiver running on a HTPC because Minimserver still does not support SACD iso files (AFAIK) and I have too many SACD iso files to consider ripping them to dsf. In addition, I think that JRemote is far nicer than BubbleUPnP as a control point.

 

Regarding gapless support, I understand from the article that Ted has tested the Minimserver + BubbleUPnP combo which does provide gapless. However, this does not mean that JRiver/JRemote will play gapless. I know this because of my recent experience with the new Cambridge Audio 851N streamer which played gapless with BubbleUPnP but not with JRemote.

 

George or Ted, have either of you tested gapless with JRiver/JRemote?

 

Thank you for the good words! Your points are valid. JRemote is one of the best control points out there and MinimServer is lacking ISO support. JRiver is one of the very best players on the Windows platform.

 

Unfortunately we were unable to achieve the same results when using JRiver with the PlayPoint. In our experience MinimServer provided better results. With JRiver we were unable to stream the high DSD sampling rates. For the lower rates JRiver supported only DSD over DoP, not native DSD. Multi-channel streaming was also unreliable. We hope to be able to work with JRiver to resolve these limitations.

 

From the immediately available UPnP configurations MinimServer with BubbleUPnP provided the best results. This combination supports flawlessly all the formats, sampling rates and resolutions available with our DACs. MinimServer is stable, lightweight and easy to configure and use.

 

You can find instructions on this forum how to convert ISO DSD files. It is possible to process multiple ISO files in batch processing mode. The positive outcome of this process is that you will have the multi-channel and the stereo tracks separated.


 

exaSound.com | Audio R&D

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Um.. no disrespect George, but isn't there an easier and better sounding way? ..Tidal "embedded" or something?

 

The easiest way to use the PlayPoint is with Airplay. We have positive feedback about the sonic experience - Emails from Customers - November 2015 > exaSound Audio Design

 

We are working on integrating he PlayPoint with the ROON service, and this will bring another option for Tidal support.


 

exaSound.com | Audio R&D

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Nice bit of kit. Awesome. I agree with Minimserver comments. But I probably wouldn't consider buying this until Tidal and Spotify is embedded properly straight into the PP unit... Sorry. Renderer Manufacturers have to make streaming from the music services an absolute soda.... so an end user can use the proprietry music streaming services apps.. That's a given now for a streamer My 2 c. Sorry... Cheers. :)


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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The easiest way to use the PlayPoint is with Airplay. We have positive feedback about the sonic experience - Emails from Customers - November 2015 > exaSound Audio Design

 

We are working on integrating he PlayPoint with the ROON service, and this will bring another option for Tidal support.

 

Well Roon integration would be great..but that requires an additional OSX/Win computer to be running in the network... (Roon can't be configured in Linux..) which means it won't run on NAS drives..where most streaming users store their libraries...which kind of defeats the purpose of a simple NAS<>streamer<>DAc set up.. Cheers..


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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The PP and E28 combo looks great though.. :)


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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Thanks George. I've found that one of the best ways to batch extract dsf from SACD iso files is using JRiver. Even so, the process is long and tedious since the program just outputs a string of dsf files. The proper artist and album folders need to be reconstructed manually. In addition, the dsf files need re-tagging as well. Still, it's something that I will eventually get around to doing once I finish extracting all my DVD-A iso files.

 

Assuming I don't mind using DSD over DoP and I don't have any DSD files sampled > DSD 64, will the PP do gapless with JRiver/JRemote?

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Thanks George. I've found that one of the best ways to batch extract dsf from SACD iso files is using JRiver. Even so, the process is long and tedious since the program just outputs a string of dsf files. The proper artist and album folders need to be reconstructed manually. In addition, the dsf files need re-tagging as well. Still, it's something that I will eventually get around to doing once I finish extracting all my DVD-A iso files.

 

Assuming I don't mind using DSD over DoP and I don't have any DSD files sampled > DSD 64, will the PP do gapless with JRiver/JRemote?

 

I don't know, I don't think so. We had to abandon the JRiver usage scenario at the early testing stages.

 

We will be working on enabling additional support for third party services and applications. Based on the feedback that we are getting here we will prioritize and we will start with the ones that open the most exciting possibilities.


 

exaSound.com | Audio R&D

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^ kaboom! :)


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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Thanks George. I've found that one of the best ways to batch extract dsf from SACD iso files is using JRiver. Even so, the process is long and tedious since the program just outputs a string of dsf files. The proper artist and album folders need to be reconstructed manually. In addition, the dsf files need re-tagging as well. Still, it's something that I will eventually get around to doing once I finish extracting all my DVD-A iso files.

 

Assuming I don't mind using DSD over DoP and I don't have any DSD files sampled > DSD 64, will the PP do gapless with JRiver/JRemote?

 

You are making way more work for yourself to extract DSF that way (and depending on the workflow you use in JRIver you are also possibly doing a PCM conversion, since JRIver does PCM from one DSD format to another).. When you get around to that project lemme know. What, pray tell, are you using for your DVD-Audio project?

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Thanks Ted. After writing my post I did some research on this site regarding SACD conversion and learned about the various pitfalls, including JRiver converting DSD to PCM before DSF and the potential SACD > DSF clicking issue. Luckily I never got past the testing stage for SACD conversion and still use my iso files with JRiver. Even more luckily I've now learned about (Computer Audiophile user) Bogi's SACD conversion tool that converts SACD>DFF>DSF to avoid the clicking issue and also automatically writes tags from the iso to the DSF. A very nice solution if it works well. Have you tried it?

 

For DVD-A iso conversion I use Foobar to create multichannel FLAC files. This works very well and the resulting files play properly. As anyone who has looked at the native tagging found on DVD-A iso disks knows the tags are often a mess. In addition, there is generally no standardized DVD-A disk layout. Many contain various combinations of stereo, multichannel, alternate versions, redundant tracks, set-up tracks, etc. so any attempt at batch conversion will probably produce an unusable mess. As a result, my first step was to create accurate tags in Foobar and separate each DVD-A iso into it's constituent parts using Foobar's tagging tool. Then I would use Foobar to convert each iso into it's stereo or multichannel component (leaving behind the garbage tracks often found on these disks) and finally re-tag the FLAC files so that they are properly searchable in my collection.

 

The process for DVD-A is labour intensive but produces great results. Unfortunately (fortunately?) my SACD iso collection is more than twice as large and I wouldn't want to attempt to convert it without a batch process.

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Thanks Ted. After writing my post I did some research on this site regarding SACD conversion and learned about the various pitfalls, including JRiver converting DSD to PCM before DSF and the potential SACD > DSF clicking issue. Luckily I never got past the testing stage for SACD conversion and still use my iso files with JRiver. Even more luckily I've now learned about (Computer Audiophile user) Bogi's SACD conversion tool that converts SACD>DFF>DSF to avoid the clicking issue and also automatically writes tags from the iso to the DSF. A very nice solution if it works well. Have you tried it?

 

For DVD-A iso conversion I use Foobar to create multichannel FLAC files. This works very well and the resulting files play properly. As anyone who has looked at the native tagging found on DVD-A iso disks knows the tags are often a mess. In addition, there is generally no standardized DVD-A disk layout. Many contain various combinations of stereo, multichannel, alternate versions, redundant tracks, set-up tracks, etc. so any attempt at batch conversion will probably produce an unusable mess. As a result, my first step was to create accurate tags in Foobar and separate each DVD-A iso into it's constituent parts using Foobar's tagging tool. Then I would use Foobar to convert each iso into it's stereo or multichannel component (leaving behind the garbage tracks often found on these disks) and finally re-tag the FLAC files so that they are properly searchable in my collection.

 

The process for DVD-A is labour intensive but produces great results. Unfortunately (fortunately?) my SACD iso collection is more than twice as large and I wouldn't want to attempt to convert it without a batch process.

 

I believe the newest version of the sacd_extract tool (0.38) fixes the "clicking issue" when extracting dsf files from your iso's. I don't think you need to first go to dff files in order to avoid the clicks in your dsf files.


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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Yes, sorry that I sort of hijacked my own review thread. Let's talk detailed DVD-A and SACD ripping and extracting elsewhere. EC is right; v38 fixes the DSF click issue (caused by bad blocks being written). And yes, I've used and documented the use of Bogi's tools (along with Jussi's DFF to DSF conversion app he uses in that workflow). It's a nice alternative to simply doing ISO2DSD in batch mode (both Windows and MAc version use the newest v38), especially if you want simple Windows Explorer right-click autocontext. For DVD A, DVD-Audio via Foobar is one solution, as long as you have the working DVDA plugin (for MLP decoding, etc) but there are wayyyy easier ways to rip DVD-A and then tag, like a simple DVD Audio Extractor, then MP3Tag workflow.

 

Back to the PlayPoint. I am now VERY impressed with the SBooster power supply when used with the Chord 2Qute and will report the PP (and e12) eval with it starting tmrw. I promised to update the thread/review.

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Sorry Ted. I can't agree on the ripping issue. Once your DVD-A iso files are properly tagged in Foobar using it's built-in tagging tools, it's a lot easier to rip DVD-A iso files compared to using DVD Audio Extractor. I've tried both. Of course, Foobar is unbelievably configurable and the ease of use will really depend on how your metadata is displayed and how the GUI is configured. A huge bonus is that once the DVD-A iso files are properly tagged in Foobar the converted tracks are also properly tagged and require almost no further work.

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Sorry Ted. I can't agree on the ripping issue. Once your DVD-A iso files are properly tagged in Foobar using it's built-in tagging tools, it's a lot easier to rip DVD-A iso files compared to using DVD Audio Extractor. I've tried both. Of course, Foobar is unbelievably configurable and the ease of use will really depend on how your metadata is displayed and how the GUI is configured. A huge bonus is that once the DVD-A iso files are properly tagged in Foobar the converted tracks are also properly tagged and require almost no further work.

 

? I was simply responding to your

The process for DVD-A is labour intensive

 

Sounds like it isn't. Great!

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I don't get these dedicated streamer devices. It replaces the computer, but it's just a computer running Linux, mpd and some other software. It doesn't have a DAC or any other specific hardware.

 

So why do I want to replace my $50 Raspberry PI, or my $500 mac mini with this $2000 computer?

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Out of all the professional music equipment that I own midi,audio interfaces,guitars,amps,speakers,why and how is this thing worth 2 grand,can somebody please justify

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got a cheap micca box and some software and can do the same thing,I mean i know people ain't buying rack systems and all like a few years ago ,but this is pure robbery,2 or 3 company own all the speaker,receiver,etc,then you got the other group acting like they making specialized stuff,when 99% of the parts come from china anyway,why not get together and try to sell to the masses instead of trying to fleece em

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got a cheap micca box and some software and can do the same thing,I mean i know people ain't buying rack systems and all like a few years ago ,but this is pure robbery,2 or 3 company own all the speaker,receiver,etc,then you got the other group acting like they making specialized stuff,when 99% of the parts come from china anyway,why not get together and try to sell to the masses instead of trying to fleece em

 

So what does it sound like when you stream DSD 256 files with your Micca box?

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So what does it sound like when you stream DSD 256 files with your Micca box?

whats does it sound like wasting money

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