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Kernel streaming with Foobar 2000 - sounds good


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Hi all-

 

My usual setup is:

Dedicated music server>Logitech Duet>Empirical Audio Pace-Car>MF X-DACV3>MF-X-150>Devore Super Gibbon 8s.

 

A very good sounding system.

 

But, I'm upgrading to a SB Touch (so I can listen to native playback of 96K files)and the Touch and Pace-Car have been sent to Empirical for mods.

 

In the meantime I've changed my source to:

 

Dedicated server>M-audio 24/192 Audiophile soundcard (via Foobar and ASIO driver >Soundcard SPDIF Out> MF X-DACV3.

 

This is usually a good sounding setup, equivalent to what most people would call a good quality stereo, but not nearly as good as the setup with the Pace-Car.

 

However today I upgraded my Foobar Player to the latest version, and added the "kernel streaming" component. So with the same hardware, I'm now using "kernel streaming" through the SPDIF out to the DAC.

 

This sounds much better! Cleaner, easier to hear detail, a bit of harshness is gone, and at least "seems to be" louder (maybe I can just hear more so I perceive it as louder).

 

 

I have to say I'm very surprised. I didn't expect this to sound much different than listening with the ASIO driver, but it is clearly superior. Recommended to those with players that can use "kernel streaming". I'm now wondering what the setup would sound like with an M2Tech Hiface in place of the sound card.

 

One caveat: using this driver I do get a few drop outs of the audio stream. I assume (hope) this will be fixed in future versions.

 

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 Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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