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Computer running software program VS Audio Player


beerandmusic
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With all the talk about USB noise, computer noise, different software programs sounding better than others, what is your thought on the possibility of using a hardware/firmware audio player vs a computer and software program?

 

If you don't need a usb filter, isolator, don't need tweeks for the os, maybe a hardware device is the better answer? Someone mentioned in another thread about giving up on player software for a SONY UHP-H1. It does got really good reviews and it has both analog and digital out, so you can run it to your dac still or go directly to amplification and it handles 4X DSD.

 

Could this be an easier and better choice? I am sure that most people are comfortable with their interface now (whatever that may be), but for someone that isn't locked down to a certain interface yet, is this a worthy way of going?

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I suppose you first have to know what you would like to accomplish with any digital playback option. For me, the reason was so that I could digitize all of my CD's and LP's and be able to play them back remotely.

 

That's easily done with a laptop, JRiver and JRemote. I run USB out directly to my DAC with up to 24/192. I've tried the usb isolators and filters and quite honestly never heard a difference - it's now all back to a straight connection.

 

Frankly, I'm more than pleased with the sound I'm getting and don't see any need to tweak or change anything. If I do make changes, it's on the analog side where a different cartridge on the turntable makes a significant difference.

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Could this be an easier and better choice? I am sure that most people are comfortable with their interface now (whatever that may be), but for someone that isn't locked down to a certain interface yet, is this a worthy way of going?

It's neither easier (for some) nor better (for most); go with what best fits the way you plan to use it. Certainly, the Sony HAP series has been well-received and is quite worthy. If you eventually want a whole house solution with zones it may be better to start with a server-based solution or Sonos/Bluesound.

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Take a look at the Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-res Audio Player, it's a better 'appliance' comparison to PC-based 'audiophile' music servers than one of Sony's consumer-grade Blu-ray players. You could also consider the Oppo BDP-105D player if you need something that spins discs in addition to being capable of network streaming, it is far more optimized for high-quality audio playback and well-reviewed by the audiophile and HT media alike.

 

Whether they present an 'easier' and/or 'better' digital playback experience is really up to you.

 

 

With all the talk about USB noise, computer noise, different software programs sounding better than others, what is your thought on the possibility of using a hardware/firmware audio player vs a computer and software program?

 

If you don't need a usb filter, isolator, don't need tweeks for the os, maybe a hardware device is the better answer? Someone mentioned in another thread about giving up on player software for a SONY UHP-H1. It does got really good reviews and it has both analog and digital out, so you can run it to your dac still or go directly to amplification and it handles 4X DSD.

 

Could this be an easier and better choice? I am sure that most people are comfortable with their interface now (whatever that may be), but for someone that isn't locked down to a certain interface yet, is this a worthy way of going?

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