Jump to content
IGNORED

iPad Pro or Mac Airbook for server?


davide256
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm a bit tired of the spaghetti mess I have for streaming. And I'm quite impressed with how my iPhone 6 plus w/ Onkyo HF Player sounds plugged into Eitr asynch USB converter,

much more meaty in the bass/midrange and sweeter in the highs compared to microRendu. So I'm considering going to a straight server solution using an iPad Pro or Mac Air

 

iPad Pro with 512gb ram

     Pros

     basically a bigger, more powerful version of the iPhone so should have same sonic signature

     a decent amount of storage (but not enough for full library :()

 

     Cons

     no way to attach external storage while playing music via thunderbolt port

     HF Player only HQ multi format player option, poor library organization, navigation

 

Mac Airbook with 128gb SSD

     Pros 

     multiple USB 3 ports and thunderbolt ports, can attach SDXC card, external storage via USB3 and use asynch USB at same time

     can run different  HQ media players such as Jriver, Audirvarna, Amarra with good library functionality

 

     Cons

     more like a PC for SQ issues, MOBO noise and SATA  overhead

 

Right now  the Mac Airbook checks more boxes, but my concern is that it will loose out in audio performance compared to an iPad Pro where the OS resides in RAM,

no SATA drive caused audio performance degradation.

 

Anyone tried a comparison of the two or have additional thoughts on what I should take into consideration?

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes the drama with the Only player is that it copies the files onto the iDevice :(

 

Is there an ios player that accepts a network 'SAN' via fibre,  through wireless? By SAN implying some array that just has drives and less being software like most NAS these days. 

The fibre provides the speed and isolation as well as the large storage.

 

Just brainstorming! 

 

Agreed the ipad across usb is very good, but storage is the problem.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just compared the iPad into a Grace Design m920 via the CCK direct to pre-amp and the regular chain. Uisng Jremote to the "this Device' zone, the Media Server is on another, more powerful PC.

What's missing is 'air' around the instruments, and a loss of directional detail and a squashed depth of the sound stage. However, the tone and quality of reproduction is there, with the right weight of bass, so it's looking quite promising.

 

Now these 'defects' can be cured with USB fixer (have a Wyred4sound RUR spare), some decent cabling and remove the iPad SMPS, which is most likely responsible for a majority of the defects causing imaging problems. An old Kingrex linear supply I have is only 1.5A @ 5V, not enough, to supply the iPad and the DAC needs 2.5A+, so sourcing a 25W linear supply is on the horizon.

 

Note, the maximum fs is redbook, that's all the CCK seems to be capable of. There maybe 3rd party devices that exist that could go higher fs.

 

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, One and a half said:

Just compared the iPad into a Grace Design m920 via the CCK direct to pre-amp and the regular chain. Uisng Jremote to the "this Device' zone, the Media Server is on another, more powerful PC.

What's missing is 'air' around the instruments, and a loss of directional detail and a squashed depth of the sound stage. However, the tone and quality of reproduction is there, with the right weight of bass, so it's looking quite promising.

 

Now these 'defects' can be cured with USB fixer (have a Wyred4sound RUR spare), some decent cabling and remove the iPad SMPS, which is most likely responsible for a majority of the defects causing imaging problems. An old Kingrex linear supply I have is only 1.5A @ 5V, not enough, to supply the iPad and the DAC needs 2.5A+, so sourcing a 25W linear supply is on the horizon.

 

Note, the maximum fs is redbook, that's all the CCK seems to be capable of. There maybe 3rd party devices that exist that could go higher fs.

 

 

I think there is more at play there. If I recall correctly JRiver had been cryptic about JRemote when using "This Device" as a playback zone, when pressed they admitted thats just a convenience feature and not actually bit perfect.

 

JRemote is intended to be a remote control and not an actual endpoint player, even though it will function as one in the way you describe.

 

So likely what you have going on there isn't actually a CCK limitation to Redbook resolution, the culprit there is actually JRemote itself.

 

If you use a different player app such as Onkyo HF Player, that limitation will go away, I can output 24/192 or even DSD64 using an iPad 2, CCK, and compatible DAC when using HF Player.

 

There are probably other iOS apps that can do the same.

 

 

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, davide256 said:

iPad Pro with 512gb ram

 

Thats storage capacity, not RAM.

 

6 hours ago, davide256 said:

Cons

     no way to attach external storage while playing music via thunderbolt port

 

 The iPad Pro has a Lightning port, not Thunderbolt.

 

6 hours ago, davide256 said:

Mac Airbook with 128gb SSD

    

     Cons

     more like a PC for SQ issues, MOBO noise and SATA  overhead

 

 

Bingo, the Macbook Air sounds significantly worse than an iPad, for the very reasons you describe as Cons.

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, One and a half said:

Agreed the ipad across usb is very good, but storage is the problem.

 

I like and use Mac computers, and I also have an iPad. However the solution to the problem you describe above is an Android device running the USB Audio Player Pro app.

 

The storage is kept off the device, files reside on a separate UPnP server, and can be accessed by the UAPP app over WiFi, and output bit perfect via an OTG compatible USB cable to the DAC.

 

As an added bonus, the above is also a mobile solution with local playback from either the resident storage capacity on the Android device, or as much as 400GB more from a microSDXC card.

 

In another 6 months or so, Samsung or SanDisk will likely up that to 512GB via microSDXC, but that card doesn't yet exist right now.

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, MikeyFresh said:

 

I like and use Mac computers, and I also have an iPad. However the solution to the problem you describe above is an Android device running the USB Audio Player Pro app.

 

The storage is kept off the device, files reside on a separate UPnP server, and can be accessed by the UAPP app over WiFi, and output bit perfect via an OTG compatible USB cable to the DAC.

 

As an added bonus, the above is also a mobile solution with local playback from either the resident storage capacity on the Android device, or as much as 400GB more from a microSDXC card.

 

In another 6 months or so, Samsung or SanDisk will likely up that to 512GB via microSDXC, but that card doesn't yet exist right now.

The thought of an in house lossless streaming service, like a uPNP server capable of PCM and DSD that has music files off the iPad was on my mind, then I read your post on Android. I thought the file service on iOS 11 was like Finder, but all I get is the iCloud nonsense.

 

I have the Onkyo HF player on the iphone, and it works quite well, plays DSD everything, great in the car, just studying if it accepts a network stream, but not looking like it does.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, One and a half said:

The thought of an in house lossless streaming service, like a uPNP server capable of PCM and DSD that has music files off the iPad was on my mind, then I read your post on Android. I thought the file service on iOS 11 was like Finder, but all I get is the iCloud nonsense.

 

I have the Onkyo HF player on the iphone, and it works quite well, plays DSD everything, great in the car, just studyong if it accepts a network stream, but not looking like it does.

 

It doesn't on the version I have, which admittedly is old being it runs on an iPad 2 with iOS9, but I don't recall Onkyo ever having hinted they would add a network streaming feature either.

 

If you can work up the UPnP server, there are other iOS apps that can serve the purpose on iPad, definitely 8Player for one, and probably also mConnect too.

 

Do you already run JRiver on the Mac? If so just use it's DLNA server as the source for the streaming.

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, One and a half said:

OK, there's Neutron Music player, which can obtain files from SMB, uPnP, FTP network shares. Can accept DSD64 native or DoP or output directly from the iDevice to 768kHz...and gapless. Wow. And on iOS. AUD9.99.

 

I check out mConnect and 8Player.

 

I have Neutron on the iPad 2 as well, never liked it much compared to 8Player and mConnect but your mileage may vary depending on the exact version of iOS and iPad you have, as well as personal preference.

 

Specifically I found the UPnP implementation on Neutron to be lacking, though they might have patched that by now.

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was one of the problems I had with Neutron, took forever to scan the library and ended up in some sort of endless loop, never actually completing.

 

I am not a Roon user, but a friend in San Diego is and he just recently mentioned how the most current Roon update makes any iOS device a Roon endpoint.

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, MikeyFresh said:

That was one of the problems I had with Neutron, took forever to scan the library and ended up in some sort of endless loop, never actually completing.

 

I am not a Roon user, but a friend in San Diego is and he just recently mentioned how the most current Roon update makes any iOS device a Roon endpoint.

 

I used all these apps before (Neutron, 8Player, mConnect, BubbleUPnP, JRiver).

 

There was no looking in the rear view mirror after playing with a free 2 week Roon trial.... And now both iOS and Android devices are Roon endpoints which opens up heaps of possibilities.

 

The price is high but you really do get what you pay for, especially if you have more than one "endpoint" around the house.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

 

I used all these apps before (Neutron, 8Player, mConnect, BubbleUPnP, JRiver).

 

There was no looking in the rear view mirror after playing with a free 2 week Roon trial.... And now both iOS and Android devices are Roon endpoints which opens up heaps of possibilities.

 

The price is high but you really do get what you pay for, especially if you have more than one "endpoint" around the house.

 

 

That's interesting, a different friend seemed convinced his Android device was not capable of being a Roon endpoint after the recent update, unlike iOS.

 

I have no doubt Roon is superior to DLNA/UPnP, however the price is just too steep for me at this time, and unlike some others, I don't have any ongoing troubles with UPnP using JRiver as the server and a Sonore microRendu as the endpoint. It's been pretty rock solid for me with JRemote as the Control Point.

 

I have one other "zone" or endpoint, an RPi3 running the superb Moode distro. JRemote has no trouble with this, but I will likely bite the bullet at some point and move to Roon, especially if they ever lower the price.

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Boycott Radio Paradise

Boycott TIDAL

Boycott Warner Music Group

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, MikeyFresh said:

the price is just too steep for me at this time, and unlike some others, I don't have any ongoing troubles with UPnP

 

Agreed. I never had issues with UPnP (forgot to add Audirvana to the list).

 

It's just that when I tried Roon, it kind of clicked that this is how music browsing and playback is supposed to be. Just in terms of ease of use. Their multizone playback solution is really slick too which is why I mentioned Roon starts to come into it's own with more than one endpoint around the house. Even if you're not using multiple zones at the same time (which it can do), you have all the DSP options for each zone at your fingertips and transferring music from one zone to another is also slick. 

 

But I know some die hard classical fans and they've long complained about Roon's struggles with classical (in terms of library management).

 

I do love Moode on my Pi3's. I have RoonBridge installed on them and I play with Audirvana playing to my Moode UPnP endpoints when I play around with Tidal MQA streaming, since A+ does the 1st unfold.

 

Lots of great options out there. I've tried nearly all the popular ones and all have pro's and con's. No perfect solution yet but plenty of great options.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Em2016 said:

 

I used all these apps before (Neutron, 8Player, mConnect, BubbleUPnP, JRiver).

 

There was no looking in the rear view mirror after playing with a free 2 week Roon trial.... And now both iOS and Android devices are Roon endpoints which opens up heaps of possibilities.

 

The price is high but you really do get what you pay for, especially if you have more than one "endpoint" around the house.

 

Thanks Em2016 for commenting on iOS and Android being endpoints for Roon.

 

How does it work, does Roon catalog all devices on the network and sends the music via a zone, or does an app be installed on the iPad to work? All I see are Roon remote control apps or apps for Airbnb....stoopid search tool. I can spell, Roon, not Room.

How does an IPad work with DSD?

This is sending the file, presumably by Roon protocol to the lightning port, then the DAC.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, One and a half said:

Thanks Em2016 for commenting on iOS and Android being endpoints for Roon.

 

How does it work, does Roon catalog all devices on the network and sends the music via a zone, or does an app be installed on the iPad to work? All I see are Roon remote control apps or apps for Airbnb....stoopid search tool. I can spell, Roon, not Room.

How does an IPad work with DSD?

This is sending the file, presumably by Roon protocol to the lightning port, then the DAC.

 

No worries at all.

 

Yep if you have a bunch of iOS and Android devices on your home network, they will need just the Roon Remote app installed on them.

 

This app will allow them to be "seen" by your Roon Server on the network and you are free to select any single zone or any multiple (for grouped) playback.

 

No drama with DSD out of the lightning port. Check out this dude doing DSD256 via DoP out of the iPad. Possibly DoP because of his DAC.

 

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/roon-1-4-feedback/35229/153

 

For anyone not familiar with Roon, it's not the iPad doing the up-sampling here - that'd be done by his Roon Server (PC/Mac/Linux). The iPad is just the "endpoint" or transport in this case.

 

Try the 2 week free trial! If you need an extra week or two, they are pretty cool with extending if you ask them.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been three hours, Roon has detected all 50,000 files, but is 10% through the 'analyzing' process. The whole process will take well into Sunday to complete. I tried to use 14 cores, but the analysis count didn't increase at a corresponding rate, so left the process with 6 cores.

Using HQPlayer as the engine, there's no click at the beginning of a DSD album's next track, hooray!

Next to install the remote on the iPad.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, One and a half said:

It's been three hours, Roon has detected all 50,000 files, but is 10% through the 'analyzing' process. The whole process will take well into Sunday to complete.

 

Nice. This background analysis doesn't really matter though. This background analysis is really just for some bonus features (automatic volume levelling, dynamic range figure calculation etc) and the analysis gets done super quick when you actually play an album, and it keeps chugging away in the background for the stuff you're not playing. Pay no attention to it. 

 

5 minutes ago, One and a half said:

Using HQPlayer as the engine, there's no click at the beginning of a DSD album's next track, hooray!

Next to install the remote on the iPad.

 

Gapless playback too of course. I think you're gonna love it ! :-)

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, a DSD64 is played through the iPad at 352.8 according to the m920 DAC. Playing high rates for DACs that have a driver and a 'real OS' behind them is kind of difficult for an iPad, maybe there's a DoP setting somehwere.

There's a lot of info missing listening to Shelby Lynne, 'Just a little lovin' ' that reverb is non existent, but early days yet in finding the way through. At least Roon sending data to the iPad is a start.

It looks like PCM is played correctly, 96kHz, 48, 44.1, cool.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, One and a half said:

maybe there's a DoP setting somehwere.

 

Yep check that DoP is selected, see below:

 

5a461c528ad38_ScreenShot2017-12-29at9_35_00pm.thumb.png.441549726272e4bf8db037545258509e.png

 

20 minutes ago, One and a half said:

There's a lot of info missing listening to Shelby Lynne, 'Just a little lovin' ' that reverb is non existent,

 

Hmmm this isn't good at all. SQ is most important thing. Hopefully that's only because of the DSD64 > PCM conversion.

 

20 minutes ago, One and a half said:

At least Roon sending data to the iPad is a start.

It looks like PCM is played correctly, 96kHz, 48, 44.1, cool.

 

Yup, when Roon says playback is bitperfect (signal path = lossless) it really is. I made sure to verify by Ted Smith's bit-perfect test file for the DirectStream DAC, where the FPGA verifies if what's coming into the DAC is really bitperfect.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, DoP is working correctly in the DAC, the differences are now the volume compared to the main DAC which is a lot down, but at least it's there :) Differences can be A/B directly, so it's a matter of HQPlayer engine versus RAAT and the m920 DAC and all the associated USB fixing. 

 

Certainly easier to setup than Neutron even with HQPlayer added on. 

 

I tried the previous versions of Roon, which were hard to stomach, there was a point in the software's operation that really annoyed me on several points, only lasted a few days, then cancelled.

Version 1.4 is different and not annoying enough to scrap it, so something is working like a regular player. The metadata is another issue whether that came through OK. Although the critics comments still suck, there's only a sentence or two, just wish it would begone, have the Internet to look up such data if needed. Now where's that button.

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...