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Improving a 2.0 TV audio system - need for some guidance


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I'd like to improve my 2.0 TV system a bit and make it more flexible by moving from playing music (and most video) from a USB stick connected to the Oppo 103 to running it from either my Windows 7 laptop and/or an iPad Mini 2 (the laptop isn't much used now except for travel and desktop problems). I'm not looking to add a dedicated music server, but use what I have. The thing is that this is new territory for me, having concentrated on my USB cabled desktop system, so any suggestions or places to look for more information would be appreciated. My signature describes the current system. To be clear, the Oppo is currently connected to the Directstream via a Snake River coax and from there to the powered speakers via ICs. The wi-fi router is stationed upstairs near the desktop and the main cable box. Suggestions on good ways to approach this? Thanks,

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Highstream

Not what you want to hear, but have you tried recording music (and video too) to the USB memory stick with the Regen in line, then plugging it into your Oppo 103 again with the Regen in line for playback ? As my main system is in a different room to my PC, I do that for music playback from a Corsair Voyager USB memory stick via my Oppo 103 used as a transport , then Coax SPDIF to a higher quality DAC.

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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So sandyk, I aasume you're suggesting I buy another Regen and run it between laptop and OPPP? Using a Regen is not a terrible idea, because I've been planning to upgrade the Bridge card for the Directstream used with the desktop and switching to ethernet there. If that sounds as good as claimed, then the Regen and the TotalDac USB cable could be moved to the TV and used with the laptop or iPad via the OPPO, or directly to it with the USB stick(but wouldn't the stick need a power before the Regen?).

 

davide, would you spell out exactly what you're suggesting? Never thought about it before, but does the cable line to the TV box (downstairs) run the same signal as the one for internet and phone that enters (this rental condo) upstairs? If so, I could splice off and add another router by the TV, and either hook it to the OPPO (?) or maybe get a Bridge for the Directstream and run an eternet cable to it, bypassing the OPPO and running from the laptop or iPad.

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You have a lot of options there, one of the easier ones being simply streaming video from your PC to the Oppo.

 

Or you could simply share the filespace from your PC, and mount it on the Oppo. From there, you could use the Oppo to browse your audio and video files, select with the remote, and play away.

 

Or you can get really cagey, essentially building a 2ch audio system in parallel with a multi-channel system. Audio goes one way, video the other.

 

That's before you really get into some of the interesting options! :)

 

So as an exploratory question- what do you really want the system to do? And how important are things like integration of all the controls, video and video sound quality, media, streaming, and al the other questions to you?

 

You can build dynamite A/V systems that do everything well, or you can choose to sacrifice a bit of potential audio quality to get where you want to be. Or any mixture in-between.

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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Paul, The purpose is to improve music quality, with improvements in audio with videos (files) a small bonus. I'm not sure how much is gained tho sticking with a USB stick, vs. using a laptop or iPad, unless perhaps with somethig like a Regen. Note that my desktop computer is on a different floor, so using that directly is not really practicable.

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Paul, The purpose is to improve music quality, with improvements in audio with videos (files) a small bonus. I'm not sure how much is gained tho sticking with a USB stick, vs. using a laptop or iPad, unless perhaps with somethig like a Regen. Note that my desktop computer is on a different floor, so using that directly is not really practicable.

 

Usually, people find that ethernet or wireless transmissions sounds as good as (sometimes better) than a USB stick or flash device. Assuming you have wireless internet installed (and if not, why not consider putting it in?) you open up a whole world of streaming options, some of which may sound better to you than directly from your PC. Take that with a grain of salt though, since some people swear it sounds better and some people swear it sounds horrible, and other's may say you have to spend a fortune to get better sound. None of which is true all the time, but sometimes seems to be true.

 

So in this case, as long as you are willing to use, or install and use, a network of some kind, I would look at Miska HQPlayer and a small low power NAA (i.e. NUC, CuBOX, etc.) player. That combination can produce world class sound. It also would not interfere too much with your current setup.

 

Getting better video and/or better sound - upgrade to the Oppo Darbee 103 or Darbee 105. :) The Darbee 105 is utterly awesome.

 

-Paul

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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So sandyk, I aasume you're suggesting I buy another Regen and run it between laptop and OPPP? Using a Regen is not a terrible idea, because I've been planning to upgrade the Bridge card for the Directstream used with the desktop and switching to ethernet there. If that sounds as good as claimed, then the Regen and the TotalDac USB cable could be moved to the TV and used with the laptop or iPad via the OPPO, or directly to it with the USB stick(but wouldn't the stick need a power before the Regen?).

 

Highstream

I am suggesting that you try ripping your favourite music from an internal CD/DVD writer to your USB memory stick when plugged directly into your Regen with it's PSU, (preferably a good Linear or battery supply) then take the USB memory stick, the Regen and it's PSU to your Oppo 103. This is easier for me as I don't normally use flawed USB out , and I use a 12V Li Ion battery based , 9V regulated supply with the Regen. I hear a marked improvement through my main system when doing this, compared with the same music tracks already on the USB memory stick, that had been ripped there with the USB memory stick plugged directly into a front USB port.

Even when using the Regen again at the Oppo 103, the previous versions do NOT sound as good as those ripped with the Regen in line. Yes, I know it's supposed to be impossible. (grin)

I took the USB memory stick, Regen and battery PSU to a friend's house, and when plugged into his Oppo 95, and heard through his B&W 800 speakers the differences between both versions were readily obvious.

YMMV .It won't cost you a cent to try this, so if you don't hear a similar improvement you have lost nothing but a little time.

The biggest gain for me was in the soundstage area, with less obvious HF background noise.

Alex

 

P.S.

When ripping directly to the USB memory stick using the Regen in line, it's best to use a rear motherboard USB port, NOT a front USB port which uses another cheap internal USB cable.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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sandyk, thanks for clarifying your idea. It's worth a try once or every so often, though not practical in the long-term. Plus, when I update the PC connected Directstream to the new Bridge card, the Regen will be free (is my signature showing? I have a Core Audio Kora LPS, JCAT USB card and Jitterbug in the USB line).

 

Paul, Thanks. I'm not looking at a fully networked system, trying to keep things as simple as possible. I was unimpressed with the Oppo's Darbee and the dac in the 105 is far inferior to the Directstream (plus for what they charge, the Oppo's functionallity in switching and some other regards is well behind even cheap media players - and in spite of customer coomplaints they always have excuses as to why they haven't done better).

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sandyk, thanks for clarifying your idea. It's worth a try once or every so often, though not practical in the long-term. Plus, when I update the PC connected Directstream to the new Bridge card, the Regen will be free (is my signature showing? I have a Core Audio Kora LPS, JCAT USB card and Jitterbug in the USB line).

 

Highstream

BTW, we have tried the Laptop and USB Regen route at several Sydney listening sessions, and it doesn't come close to the best that can be achieved from USB audio. You need something with a much better internal PSU than a laptop etc. to get the best from USB audio.

Even then....

 

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Plus, when I update the PC connected Directstream to the new Bridge card,
If you are getting the PerfectWave Bridge II card for the Directstream DAC, it'll convert the DAC into a UPnP supporting network audio file player. Is your original question about improving your system actually directed at that combined device?

 

In which case, how is it you are not considering "fully networked system", as that is precisely what the Bridge card will give you?

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sandyk, what music player did you use in your tests?

 

Cebolla, I'm not interested in networking my residence, which is what I understand the suggestion to be. I'm still going to run my desktop pc off the cable box via the router, even with Bridge II. As for the TV system, which is what I'm writing about, I go back to my earlier post (#4): for Bridge II on the TV Directstream, I'd need another router there to hook that ethernet to. My first question about that is a simple one that I'd never thought about: is the cable line at the wall for the TV carrying the same signal as the one upstairs to computer and phone? If so, I could just add an adapter and run a line to a new router. The second question, how would it work and would there be any problem integrate it with the Oppo for switching between music/video files and TV (Samsung F8000). Like I say, I'm new to this part of it, having up to now used a USB stick with either a media player or the Oppo for music/video files, and switching back and forth between them and the TV. Thanks,

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sandyk, thanks for clarifying your idea. It's worth a try once or every so often, though not practical in the long-term. Plus, when I update the PC connected Directstream to the new Bridge card, the Regen will be free (is my signature showing? I have a Core Audio Kora LPS, JCAT USB card and Jitterbug in the USB line).

 

Paul, Thanks. I'm not looking at a fully networked system, trying to keep things as simple as possible. I was unimpressed with the Oppo's Darbee and the dac in the 105 is far inferior to the Directstream (plus for what they charge, the Oppo's functionallity in switching and some other regards is well behind even cheap media players - and in spite of customer coomplaints they always have excuses as to why they haven't done better).

 

Sigh - whatever. However, you just mentioned that you are getting a bridge card for the new DirectStream DAC. The *only* way to use that is if you are networked, and so, I would recommend you look that way.

 

I really get the feeling you are not asking a question so much as looking for an answer you already have though. :)

 

-Paul

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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sandyk, what music player did you use in your tests?

 

???

The USB memory stick's music folder was opened by the Oppo 103 and the files played by the Oppo 103.

With the PC itself ,for my best music files I play them using the simplistic ,but very good cPlay, via an Asus Xonar D2X soundcard using A.S.I.O. and play them from System Memory via Coax SPDIF Out to a highly modified Musical Fidelity X-DAC V3, then a DIY Class Headphone Amplifier and AT W1000 headphones.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Paul, I'm upgrading soon from Bridge I to II on my desktop computer. I don't list it in my signature because I haven't been using the I for some time due to its instability (reported solved with II). With the desktop, a cable connected computer makes things easy. That's led to my other questions about how to set up a small network for the TV system, and how it will function practically speaking all pieces considered. Sorry to ask questions you already know the answers to.

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Hi Highstream

Perhaps the list of equipment in your Signature is best linked to your Profile ?

Another member also has a far longer signature than most members' posts !

 

Kind Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Paul, I'm upgrading soon from Bridge I to II on my desktop computer. I don't list it in my signature because I haven't been using the I for some time due to its instability (reported solved with II). With the desktop, a cable connected computer makes things easy. That's led to my other questions about how to set up a small network for the TV system, and how it will function practically speaking all pieces considered. Sorry to ask questions you already know the answers to.

 

I'm sorry if I am totally missing what you are asking then.

 

I thought you were talking about your TV System, and adding a Bridge there. If you do that, it will most probably improve the stereo audio on your TV System by allowing you to stream over a network to it. I would very much recommend a wireless network, since that would be the most convenient, and to be honest, probably the best sounding option down there.

 

Since you think the Oppo 103 is inferior, you can either run the digital signal from your Oppo to the DirectStream DAC and enjoy 2ch video, or else you can replace the Oppo with something you like better. To improve the picture, you can then either use an AVR or PrePro with video processing, or you can improve the components.

 

Since you have already rejected all those types of suggestions out of hand, I can only assume you have someone else in mind and are waiting for someone to come up with what you already want so as to validate your idea. :)

 

So what it is your idea?

 

-Paul

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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It took two replies there to my OP to get me largely clear about what to do, and a couple more to clarify a couple of further points. You can read it here, if you'd like: Adding Bridge II to DS on 2.0 TV system - need basic guidance | Latest PS Audio topics | ForumsPS Audio

 

Well, there are more than two replies there, and I see Paul and others repeated pretty much what you were told here. Which is basically, you need a network, a wireless one preferred. And to stream they recommended JRMC, same as here. I note you are off trying to get JPlay to stream, and since I don't use it, other folks will have to help you there.

 

In any case, as long as you get what you need to enjoy the music, it doesn't matter. Do let us know what you eventually get to work though and how you like it. :)

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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