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steveww
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Hello,

 

I am new here. After the laser died on my CD player (again) and of course it is NLA, I have decided to use a computer as my music source. After much Google I have ended up here.

 

At the moment I have a temporary lash up going: laptop -> Maplin A56AK -> DAC from my CDP -> Naim

 

Even though all my music is MP3 (for the iPod) the sound is quite acceptable. I have tested some recordings made by ripping to FLAC and a significant improvement is made. I am not looking forward to ripping all those CD again, my sub that out!

 

The master plan is to end up with something like this:

 

Acer Aspire Revo 3610 -> DAC -> Naim

 

The computer will run Ubuntu Linux server with MPD. The Revo has a built in SPDIF output but I am also looking at USB -> SPDIF boxes as well as USB DAC (Benchmark). I will control MPD with MPoD iPhone/Touch App available from the App Store.

 

Still not fully decided yet exactly what the DAC part will look like.

 

The DAC from my CD player is very good (TEAC VRDS 25X with tweaks) and I have a mind to rebox just the DAC section. At the moment I feel there is a greater choice of DAC available with SPDIF than USB so I think I favour this option. The problem is finding a good USB -> SPDIF converter.

 

Regards,[br]Steve W[br]http://www.steveww.org/[br]Linux MPD (silent PC) -> MF V-Link II -> Benchmark HDR -> Hypex UcD400 x 2 (mono) -> Heybrook Sextet

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Are you talking DIY options? If not, check out the ART Legato, the forthcoming Wavelength product, the M2Tech hiface, the empirical audio offramp, the Soniweld Diverter, the Haggerman device... They are out there, you just need to figure out how much you want to spend.

 

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I have looked at the ART Legato but it appears that these are not ready just yet. Some of the other bits of kit you mentioned are way too expensive for this type of device, just not VFM as far as I am concerned, I would rather spend the money on the DAC. The M2Tech needs special drivers to work, I am reluctant to go this way as how long are these going to be available. how quickly will they support new versions of the OS etc...???? A device that uses the standard USB audio device specification is the way I want to go.

 

There are some possible devices on eBay from the Far East, not so sure how good they will be but excellent VFM. The TransX looks to be a possibility. From what I have researched so far it appears that all these devices use the same chip sets, it is just their implementation that varies. Then there is the whole asynchronous arguments!

 

These sort of problems are always present when on the bleeding edge of any technology.

 

Regards,[br]Steve W[br]http://www.steveww.org/[br]Linux MPD (silent PC) -> MF V-Link II -> Benchmark HDR -> Hypex UcD400 x 2 (mono) -> Heybrook Sextet

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If a USB DAC is one of the possibilities you are considering you should certainly take a look at the dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC. It is getting extremely favorable reviews and I for one, am as pleased as I can be with the performance.

 

Plinius SA-Reference, EMM Labs DCC2/CDSD, Soliloquy 6.5 Full Range Speakers, Mac Mini, Pure Music, dB Audio Labs Essential USB Cable, Empirical Audio Offramp 4 with Turboclocks & Hynes Regulator upgrades - Power Conditioning & Cabling by Silver Circle Audio

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The Tranquility DAC is of the NOS type. I am not entirely convinced by this. Sure I get the less is more thing and the good old TDA1542. However what do you do about all the high frequency [email protected] above 22kHz? A brick wall filter here causes a whole lot of other problems and letting it though is not ideal either. This is why the later players went to oversampling to move the [email protected] higher up the frequency scale thus making the required filter more simple. Sure the manufacturers then played the numbers game and said if 4x is good then 8x, 16x is better still.

 

IMHO rather than NOS a 4x simple implementation would be a good idea, the TDA1542 can take this IIRC.

 

Regards,[br]Steve W[br]http://www.steveww.org/[br]Linux MPD (silent PC) -> MF V-Link II -> Benchmark HDR -> Hypex UcD400 x 2 (mono) -> Heybrook Sextet

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This is why I should just learn to keep my mouth shut. I pretty much don't have a clue what any of what you said means. The only thing I know is that computer audio at my house through this DAC is the most analog sounding, close to my vinyl rig, thing that I have ever had playing in my system. I'm not saying that's its better than, or even the same as, the sound that I get from my vinyl setup. But it's the closest that I have heard from any other computer audio configuration or RBCD player digital source. And for me that is what I want, as close to analog as I can get when wanting the convenience of that entire RBCD library at the tip of my fingers.

 

Plinius SA-Reference, EMM Labs DCC2/CDSD, Soliloquy 6.5 Full Range Speakers, Mac Mini, Pure Music, dB Audio Labs Essential USB Cable, Empirical Audio Offramp 4 with Turboclocks & Hynes Regulator upgrades - Power Conditioning & Cabling by Silver Circle Audio

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Not all all, the benefit of forums like this to learn stuff. Any opinion is always valid, you don't have to agree with it :-)

 

I never really got the whole vinyl is best thing. I am young enough (just) to have started my music collection with CD. I always thought vinyl was like listing to a CD whilst eating a bowl of Corn Flakes ;-)

 

I agree some digital sources can be a bit harsh just as a vinyl set up can lack detail and drive (PRaT). Each to their own. As you have guessed from the Naim amplification I am a fan of Pace Rhythm and Timing and generally prefer digital for the aforementioned reasons not to mention the convenience, which is yet another reason for going for a computer front end.

 

As I mentioned earlier at the moment I favour some sort of USB -> SPDIF interface because more DAC are available with SPDIF than USB inputs. The USB -> SPDIF box can always be dropped latter for a DAC with USB.

 

Regards,[br]Steve W[br]http://www.steveww.org/[br]Linux MPD (silent PC) -> MF V-Link II -> Benchmark HDR -> Hypex UcD400 x 2 (mono) -> Heybrook Sextet

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and I certainly don't want to instigate yet another debate over vinyl vs digital. I have both and enjoy both. I think you hit the nail on the head for part of it, being generational. Because I am old enough (just, LOL) that my collection started with vinyl. I know what you mean about that bowl of corn flakes though. I have come across some LP's that had that very characteristic. Many of them can be cleaned with remarkable success. Yet others are destined to become frisbees.

 

Happy listening.....

 

Plinius SA-Reference, EMM Labs DCC2/CDSD, Soliloquy 6.5 Full Range Speakers, Mac Mini, Pure Music, dB Audio Labs Essential USB Cable, Empirical Audio Offramp 4 with Turboclocks & Hynes Regulator upgrades - Power Conditioning & Cabling by Silver Circle Audio

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I had some time alone with my new lash up last night. I investigated the contents of the cheapo Maplin A56AK and it looks like a basic CM108 implementation, I can't be sure as they have scratched off the chip identification. However given its functionality and the package type it is a good match.

 

As mentioned before I am running the SPDIF from the Maplin A56AK to the digital input of my CD player. Taking a reference disk and a FLAC version of it I was able to quickly switch between the two formats. The only difference in playback being the digital source transport/computer.

 

The difference is pretty clear: the computer is better with more space and detail in the instruments. Deeper and more solid bass with clearer treble with out being hard. Now this might be as a result of the laser on my CD player being on its last legs. It has certainly made me more confident of pushing on with the switch over. I have ordered a TerraLink-X USB->SPDIF to replace the cheapo Maplin item hoping for even better results. I have also ordered a Acer Revo 3610 to act as the music server. I now want to listen to the new Naim DAC to complete the chain.

 

Time to start ripping all those CD to FLAC.

 

 

Regards,[br]Steve W[br]http://www.steveww.org/[br]Linux MPD (silent PC) -> MF V-Link II -> Benchmark HDR -> Hypex UcD400 x 2 (mono) -> Heybrook Sextet

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