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Streamers vs PC


pipis2010
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Sorry, if this has already been covered, but I am really curious about your thoughts and experiences: streamers (aurender, aries, cad, antipodes, etc) or dedicated pc with all the bells and whistles (eg. usb card, linear power, optimized software and O/S, isolation, filtering, etc)?

How about if we connected this PC to a clock unit and then to DAC, would it sound better than just streamer connected to DAC?

 

Could I have your opinions please?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Sorry, if this has already been covered, but I am really curious about your thoughts and experiences: streamers (aurender, aries, cad, antipodes, etc) or dedicated pc with all the bells and whistles (eg. usb card, linear power, optimized software and O/S, isolation, filtering, etc)?

How about if we connected this PC to a clock unit and then to DAC, would it sound better than just streamer connected to DAC?

 

Could I have your opinions please?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

 

First, as far as I recall, the Aurender and Antipodes are Linux PCs, but optimized for audio - both HW and software. They can, of course, be used in a streamer role.

The general rationale for a server>streamer setup as opposed to a straight PC with usb card etc: A purpose made streamer tends to be a low power and low noise unit. It can receive a clean quiet (data only) ethernet signal from the server (which can be a standard "noisy" PC) .

Playback to the DAC is from the streamer, and because this data stream comes from a quiet environment, the DAC doesn't have to deal with the noise it would receive if getting the audio data straight from a PC, even a fairly optimized one.

Of course a side benefit for many is the ability to ban the noisy server from the listening room, as it is connected over a network.

 

Is this a "better" solution? In many cases, yes. But many who own higher end servers like Aurender and Antipodes say they get great sound without the streamer added to the mix.

 

YMMV. There isn't one single right answer. It all depends on your mix of components. In my setup (see sig) a modest streamer with a good power supply sounds better than a fairly tweaked server connected directly to the DAC over USB (even when the server has USB add ons and good power supply).

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Seriously? You're sorry IF this has been covered? There is an enormous amount of info here on this topic. It's been an ongoing discussion for years now. Please don't take this as rude but I would suggest reading some and then ask more specific questions. You will likely find there are basically 2 camps .. can you guess what they are?

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Seriously? You're sorry IF this has been covered? There is an enormous amount of info here on this topic. It's been an ongoing discussion for years now. Please don't take this as rude but I would suggest reading some and then ask more specific questions. You will likely find there are basically 2 camps .. can you guess what they are?

 

Dude CHILL!!! I did say I was sorry...

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Dude CHILL!!! I did say I was sorry...

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

 

CHILL!!!??????? How about a little etiquette? You're obviously not new to this forum concept. Do a little research first, then ask away.

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CHILL!!!??????? How about a little etiquette? You're obviously not new to this forum concept. Do a little research first, then ask away.

 

Why don't you tell me where YOU stand in all of this and what you use?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Melvin's language may be a little too strong, but there is a point to it. That point is furthered as in your asking about it yet again means you are likely to get answers from others who have definitive and/or extreme beliefs, and not answers per se. As suggested, you would be well served to read up upon it first, and ask some specific questions associated with your findings.

Why don't you tell me where YOU stand in all of this and what you use?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Hi Pipis2010,

 

Welcome to Computer Audiophile.

 

There is nothing you need apologize for, as I tried to did a Computer Audiophile search for you using "Streamers vs PC" and even using advance search it would only search "Streamers" and drops the "vs PC" which of course are not the results you want.

 

I found several threads using google search computeraudiophile.com Streamers vs PC

 

This one from 2013 entitled Media streamers/servers vs PC might be a good place to start.

 

I would also be interested in hearing more recent opinions of people who have used both a Streamer, and a PC if they are willing to calmly share their opinions.

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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You are more likely to find the majority of one camp in the Music Servers section (ie this section) and the other camp in the Networking, Networked Audio and Streaming section. I don't think I need to state which one is where.

 

Perhaps for neutrality, this thread should really have been placed in the General Forum section.

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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Melvin's language may be a little too strong, but there is a point to it. That point is furthered as in your asking about it yet again means you are likely to get answers from others who have definitive and/or extreme beliefs, and not answers per se. As suggested, you would be well served to read up upon it first, and ask some specific questions associated with your findings.

 

Stronger than necessary? Perhaps. Two thoughts:

 

  1. This morning after reading the op and checking pipis2010 profile (and other posts) I realized while he may be a new member here, he is not a newly minted audiophile, nor do I think he is new to forum etiquette (i.e., before asking it is advised to do some research).

  2. It's exactly these "this VS that" type posts that start much of the nastiness around here. Each camp will weigh in and the normal bs will ensue .. again. Over and over, round and round we go with the same old shit. The question seemed unnecessarily provocative to me.

My bad if I read this wrong.

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Why don't you tell me where YOU stand in all of this and what you use?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

 

If you visit my profile you will know which camp I am in.

 

BTW, you qualified your original question by saying your were sorry first and I did the same when I said "please don't take this as rude ...". Doesn't work so well does it.

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Sorry guys, I never meant to start a war or anything, I was just curious of your personal results and experiences with these things, especially from people who have revealing systems - to my mind, it's usually the best starting point with any product.

Anyhow, I was wrong to ask this question, so I will not continue my post.

Thanks for all your replies!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

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Don't read to much into it however. Us lifers are just weary of it is all as Melvin said...

Sorry guys, I never meant to start a war or anything, I was just curious of your personal results and experiences with these things, especially from people who have revealing systems - to my mind, it's usually the best starting point with any product.

Anyhow, I was wrong to ask this question, so I will not continue my post.

Thanks for all your replies!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile mobile app

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Stronger than necessary? Perhaps. Two thoughts:

 

  1. This morning after reading the op and checking pipis2010 profile (and other posts) I realized while he may be a new member here, he is not a newly minted audiophile, nor do I think he is new to forum etiquette (i.e., before asking it is advised to do some research).
  2. It's exactly these "this VS that" type posts that start much of the nastiness around here. Each camp will weigh in and the normal bs will ensue .. again. Over and over, round and round we go with the same old shit. The question seemed unnecessarily provocative to me.

My bad if I read this wrong.

 

 

Personally i am most interested in those discussions that advance the dialogue and my understanding and knowledge as opposed to needlessly creating "pseudo votes" that engender the " I'm right and you're and idiot" kind of posts, particularly when someone didn't do their homework.

Sorry but I'm with Melvin on this .

pipis, apology accepted.

flame on everyone.

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Hi pipis2010, the choice between a streamer and an AudioPc largely depends on who you are and how much time you want to commit to this hobby.

 

If you lean to being a set it and forget it type, a streamer may be the best way forward. There are great streamers starting at $500 ranging to $20k and beyond. You should recognize that a streamer leaves much less opportunity for tweaking, and there will advances in the technology that will require an upgrade or replacement for you to gain the benefits of these advancements in the future. Many of the new streamer products are at or very close to the state of the art. There are a great many people on CA that are very satisfied with their streamer choice.

 

If you are more of a DIYer, and have learned or are happy to learn the hardware and software technology skills required, you may find the audioPC route more rewarding. The recommended PC builds on CA are a great place to get started. Warning, if you go this route, it can take a lot of time. DIY enables less expensive, incremental and more frequent enhancements as you have more control with access to the discrete components in your system at a more granular level.

 

Personally, I started my CA journey with a streamer, but later became frustrated with my inability to gain the benefits of the tweaks and enhancements I heard about on CA, and in the end made a very deliberate decision to jump into the DIY route. Luckily, I have been able to devote the time necessary to move up the learning curve and have really enjoyed sharing ideas and experiences with other DIYers on CA. But that's me, and I can easily understand that others may not enjoy this route.

 

So different strokes for different folks. The good news is that you can build a great system that will give you a high degree of satisfaction with either approach.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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So different strokes for different folks. The good news is that you can build a great system that will give you a high degree of satisfaction with either approach.

This is the most appropriate answer to the OP's question. For me, a major part of the enjoyment of this hobby is learning and tweaking my system endlessly. Just when I think my system cannot sound better I try something that improves things. There are just so many things to try that if I got a streamer solution I would be always wondering if I could improve things further. Knowing my personality if I ever get to the point of just wanting to "set and forget" I will most likely just get a Bose system as this would mean I have lost interest. Anyway, as lmitche said there is no right answer.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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If you like tweaking and tinkering with hardware, software, OS, etc. go the computer route. If you want to keep it simple go the streamer/DAC route. For me the latter beat the former in sound quality too, but that is all in the implementation and mix of components.

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Hello pipis2010.

I found this thread and thought your questions were fine.

I currently use a laptop as an entry level to computer audio and have the same quandary as you. What should be my next step?

 

Rather than cop flames for asking a question it would be good if those people would provide some links to other threads that may provide enlightenment (as some kinder souls have). I have searched this forum quite a bit to learn more but unless you use the right keywords in a search you spend a lot of time getting not very far. Sometimes the topic header does not clearly indicate the extent of discussion within. In my view this forum is the go to for information and there are enough good souls to make it worthwhile.

 

I just ignore the grumpy ones!

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Hello pipis2010.

I found this thread and thought your questions were fine.

I currently use a laptop as an entry level to computer audio and have the same quandary as you. What should be my next step?

 

Rather than cop flames for asking a question it would be good if those people would provide some links to other threads that may provide enlightenment (as some kinder souls have). I have searched this forum quite a bit to learn more but unless you use the right keywords in a search you spend a lot of time getting not very far. Sometimes the topic header does not clearly indicate the extent of discussion within. In my view this forum is the go to for information and there are enough good souls to make it worthwhile.

 

I just ignore the grumpy ones!

 

You could start with something simple and relatively inexpensive like the new SonicOrbiter SE from Sonore and take it from there. Just install Minimserver/Minimstreamer onto a NAS or PC/MAC with your music rips, download android or iPad tablet control software, put the SE into UPNP/DLNA mode and your off. From there you can experiment with LPSes, USB cables (Supra cables are used here), network isolation tweaks, USB enhancement boxes, etc. Later you can sell the SE and upgrade to a DIY PC or better streamer depending on your tinkering inclinations, skill level and enjoyment.

 

The SonicOrbiter SE is a Swiss army knife of streamers supporting PCM, native DSD and DSD DOP up to DSD512, with DLNA, HQplayer NAA and Roon supported so it won't be obsolete anytime soon.

 

Also Sonore does a great job of supporting their customers.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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You could start with something simple and relatively inexpensive like the new SonicOrbiter SE from Sonore and take it from there. Just install Minimserver/Minimstreamer onto a NAS or PC/MAC with your music rips, download android or iPad tablet control software, put the SE into UPNP/DLNA mode and your off. From there you can experiment with LPSes, USB cables (Supra cables are used here), network isolation tweaks, USB enhancement boxes, etc. Later you can sell the SE and upgrade to a DIY PC or better streamer depending on your tinkering inclinations, skill level and enjoyment.

 

The SonicOrbiter SE is a Swiss army knife of streamers supporting PCM, native DSD and DSD DOP up to DSD512, with DLNA, HQplayer NAA and Roon supported so it won't be obsolete anytime soon.

 

Also Sonore does a great job of supporting their customers.

 

Thanks for that Imitche. I shall investigate the Sonore product with great interest. Thank you for being a good soul!

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And if you want to learn more about a dedicated PC check out the CAPS thread. That's where I started to learn more about PC audio and the various tweaks that may or may not have an impact in sound.

 

The SonicOrbiter definitely looks like an intriguing device but what's the fun in just having such a simple device that can't be tweaked? Lol.

12TB NAS >> i7-6700 Server/Control PC >> i3-5015u NAA >> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modded) >> Holo Spring L3 DAC >> Accustic Arts Power 1 int amp >> Sonus Faber Guaneri Evolution speakers + REL T/5i sub (x2)

 

Other components:

UpTone Audio LPS1.2/IsoRegen, Fiber Switch and FMC, Windows Server 2016 OS, Audiophile Optimizer 3.0, Fidelizer Pro 6, HQ Player, Roonserver, PS Audio P3 AC regenerator, HDPlex 400W ATX & 200W Linear PSU, Light Harmonic Lightspeed Split USB cable, Synergistic Research Tungsten AC power cords, Tara Labs The One speaker cables, Tara Labs The Two Extended with HFX Station IC, Oyaide R1 outlets, Stillpoints Ultra Mini footers, Hi-Fi Tuning fuses, Vicoustic/RealTraps/GIK room treatments

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this topic deals a lot with isolating RF noise from your DAC (not only: also location and quality of clock ...)

 

Streamers and dedicated Audio PC`s are nothing else than both computers.

 

Streamers are usually already more or less optimized in this respect (depending on price) but they offer less flexibility.

 

Besides you need a router nearby (or a WLAN bridge/Power Lan).

 

I did some experiments with a streamer and a Power Lan (because of a lacking router nearby) and I have recognized that there is also an issue dealing with noise coming from the ethernet.

 

I myself need the flexibility of an Audio PC: I use online room correction filters (Acourate) for near and far field listening. I also use DIRAC room correction for videos.

 

You have to get rid of the RF noise caused by the PC - here you have nearly countless choices: uptone Regen, Intona, Mutec MC 3 + USB, AFI-USB ... (I myself use the AFI-USB which has "lifted up" the sound of my system to a new dimension, it also has a reclocker).

 

Most important to me seems to avoid RF noise before it evolves (and not to cope with it afterwards) - in this respect the Sonore uRendu (soon coming) sounds very interesting to me. But again I would have to care for a clean ethernet connection.

 

But there may be a lot here who don`t share my opinions.

 

best wishes,

 

Nikander

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P.S.:

There was a big contest in the German forum "aktives-hoeren.de": Streamer vs. highly tweaked Audio PC performed by a guy who sells modified/optimized streamers (Linn, Sonos) and one of the administrators of the forum who used to be the "frontman" of the Audio PC side.

For a long time the streamer was ahead but there seem to have been a tie between the two when the "M-/S- encoding/decoding " was inserted in the systems (special software by Acourate and special hardware decoder necessary). The administrator changed the side afterwards for a modified Sonos.

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There are a lot of issues that surround this, many of which are controversial. And, you are coming to the table already loaded with assumptions about what would "improve" a music player / streamer. :)

 

Consider, streaming is most often used for any combination of three reasons - convenience, sound quality, and low cost access to material on the net. Depending upon your personal convictions regarding each of those three reasons, wildly different solutions may present themselves to you, all with their own load of "most important" issues.

 

Think along those lines for a bit and when you have pretty good answers for how important each of those issues are to you, the better options will be much clearer.

 

Yours,

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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