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replacing standard PC (with what?)

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If I ditch the standard PC can it be replaced with something like the SOtM sMS-200?   ...or other renderers, streamers, DMR etc. Would I still need the PC, or can I control the sms-200 & NAS from my everday laptop?

 

MY HTPC:

MSI Z370i GAMING PRO CARBON AC mini-ITX + Intel® HD Integrated Graphics 630.

Intel Core i7 Coffee Lake 8700 SE Gen.8 2.9GHz LGA1151 TDP 35W CPU.

Pink Faun i2s Bridge PCI-e (expansion/riser) Card.

Samsung (only 250GB) 960 M.2 (2280) Evo PCIe 3.0 (x4) NVMe 3D V-NAND SSD MZ-V6E250BW (x1).

Patriot Viper 4 16GB Dual Ch. DDR4 3000MHz PC4-24000 DIMM PV416G300C6K.

Streacom st-fc9b-opt-alpha PC Fanless Chassis.

 

I have always used PC's & laptops as the PLAYER PC, so I have no knowledge of this area yet!

There seems to be a strong case 'on here' for ditching PC's due to the SMPS technology on the mobo etc.

There seems to be a lot of recommendations for things like; microrendu etc. So called Ethernet > USB dedicated audio devices.

A big problem for me is using the USB input on my DAC, I don't like the sound of it, so I use the i2s (HDMI) which sounds far superior to my ears. However, I can't see any Ethernet > i2s devices?

I was contemplating buying either a cheapo or expensive LPUS for the PC (maybe with pico). Would the money be better spent on a network player like the sms-200?

 

Many thanks, gratefully yours!

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There are multiple choices, first one could be USB to I2S converters

 

https://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=176

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/l-k-s-audio-usb-100-usb-audio-interface-pcm384-dsd512.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gustard-u12-32bit-384khz-xmos-usb-digital-audio-interface.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/matrix-x-spdif-2-32bit-768khz-dsd512-hifi-audio-usb-interface.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/singxer-su-1-usb-digital-interface-with-xmos-xu208-cpld-dsd256-dop.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/smsl-x-usb-xmos-usb-to-spdif-converter-dac-dsd-iis-digital-audio-interface.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gustard-u16-es8620-support-pcm32bit-768k-dsd512-dop-and-native-dsd-digital-interface.html

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/digital-interfaces/ja-d1-usb-spdif-i2s-lvds-hdmi-sdif3-digital-interface-32bit-384khz-dsd256-silver-p-12562.html

 

Another one is a streamer with I2S output via HDMI

 

https://destiny-audio.com/products/destiny-streamer-mx-1

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/network-audio-players-allo/sparkdigi-lte-i2s-kali-reclocked-network-player-i2s-lvds-hdmi-p-12132.html

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/network-audio-players-rasptouch/audiophonics-rasptouch-network-player-i2s-lvds-hdmi-audio-gd-compatible-p-12030.html

 

Regarding the latest sMS-200ultra Neo, it's still nowhere as good as an Intel NUC barebone ($120 plus the cost of other parts) if both of them were powered by Paul Hynes SR7

 

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-computer-audio-streaming/?page=396&tab=comments#comment-886576

Quote

In isolation and when powered by my SR7, my immediate inclination is that the new Neo is a winner and it definitely is. However, in comparison, I still found my NUC to be better and not by a small margin.

 

If I were looking for something to match L.K.S Audio MH-DA004 myself, I would start with the cheapest Intel NUC and find a decent PSU with 19V output. After that, give its USB a try and see how it goes. After that, maybe add the latest USB to I2S converter from Gustard since U16 will include the latest ESS ES8620.

 

BTW, you've gotta take a look at the LKS Specification and make sure that you're getting something that's compatible

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1h5PMUBkldkpt1rCnAR4ZHYGZNeCe-vwIFyKWYMZWsX0

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12 minutes ago, seeteeyou said:

There are multiple choices, first one could be USB to I2S converters

 

https://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=176

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/l-k-s-audio-usb-100-usb-audio-interface-pcm384-dsd512.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gustard-u12-32bit-384khz-xmos-usb-digital-audio-interface.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/matrix-x-spdif-2-32bit-768khz-dsd512-hifi-audio-usb-interface.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/singxer-su-1-usb-digital-interface-with-xmos-xu208-cpld-dsd256-dop.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/smsl-x-usb-xmos-usb-to-spdif-converter-dac-dsd-iis-digital-audio-interface.html

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gustard-u16-es8620-support-pcm32bit-768k-dsd512-dop-and-native-dsd-digital-interface.html

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/digital-interfaces/ja-d1-usb-spdif-i2s-lvds-hdmi-sdif3-digital-interface-32bit-384khz-dsd256-silver-p-12562.html

 

Another one is a streamer with I2S output via HDMI

 

https://destiny-audio.com/products/destiny-streamer-mx-1

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/network-audio-players-allo/sparkdigi-lte-i2s-kali-reclocked-network-player-i2s-lvds-hdmi-p-12132.html

https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/network-audio-players-rasptouch/audiophonics-rasptouch-network-player-i2s-lvds-hdmi-audio-gd-compatible-p-12030.html

 

Regarding the latest sMS-200ultra Neo, it's still nowhere as good as an Intel NUC barebone ($120 plus the cost of other parts) if both of them were powered by Paul Hynes SR7

 

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-computer-audio-streaming/?page=396&tab=comments#comment-886576

 

If I were looking for something to match L.K.S Audio MH-DA004 myself, I would start with the cheapest Intel NUC and find a decent PSU with 19V output. After that, give its USB a try and see how it goes. After that, maybe add the latest USB to I2S converter from Gustard since U16 will include the latest ESS ES8620.

 

BTW, you've gotta take a look at the LKS Specification and make sure that you're getting something that's compatible

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1h5PMUBkldkpt1rCnAR4ZHYGZNeCe-vwIFyKWYMZWsX0

cheers! ~ a true wealth of information here, thank you very much. I'll certainly go over it several times until I have digested the content (when I get up/UK - LOL!). I am a night person. Take Care.

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23 hours ago, seeteeyou said:

There are multiple choices, first one could be USB to I2S converters.......

 

WOW! ~ that's a real slap!

Recommending a NUC, which is essentially a mini PC with SMPS's, over a microrendu & SOtM sms-200?

And you provide links to testimony's from people who have actually done this!

The sonore & SOtM are supposed to be dedicated devices and can be quite costly!

But you are putting forward the intel nuc @ £120 barebones?

This is intriguing and fascinating, and it would be nice if this was actually true?

No doubt you are aware that companies like SOtM & Sonore 'bang-on' about their dedicated topology compared to general purpose PC's & mobo's with unnecessary processes for audio & SMPS noise?

Well, this is a revelation! And I am very tempted by people's testimonies that this indeed is true!

Thank you! Time to ponder - I think!

Could be the way to go....

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A throrn in the side of the NUC perhaps?

 

"Audiophiles want the best sounding playback system they can afford. Based on my functionality tests and listening sessions, the microRendu could be the solution. I've never had better sounding audio in my room with any other device or server or streamer. Period. Those who want the best must give the microRendu a spin". 

"commercial motherboards contain extremely noisy DC to DC converters and switch mode regulators. Thus, even though an expensive linear power supply may be used on the outside, the power signal is going through a gauntlet of garbage once it hits the motherboard on its way to the USB output that feeds power to the USB DAC". 

Chris Connaker.

 

   .....what's your thoughts on this please?

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8 hours ago, chauphuong said:

Buy a Schiit Eitre, plug it into one usb port of your PC. Connect ur DAC and Eitre using a decent coaxial cable. Then enjoy the music.

Nice suggestion, very grateful. However I don't think I want a USB to SPDIF converter.

Cheers!

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6 hours ago, Cable Monkey said:

Everything has SMPS technology on it with very few exceptions. They are pretty much everywhere now and not necessarily worse than linear regulation. How is your Pink Faun card powered? I presume it is the USB version?

powered by 4 pin molex 12v. It is a PCIe riser card. i2s is the HDMI socket type.

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You have the basis for best practice already. The benefits of the microRendu is size, convenience, DSD and plug and play capability. But my opinion is if your rig is properly sorted and you are feeding it via the i2S card it will be hard to beat for PCM. I would look at power, certainly powering the i2S card with linear power or maybe an LPS1.2. 

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32 minutes ago, Cable Monkey said:

You have the basis for best practice already. The benefits of the microRendu is size, convenience, DSD and plug and play capability. But my opinion is if your rig is properly sorted and you are feeding it via the i2S card it will be hard to beat for PCM. I would look at power, certainly powering the i2S card with linear power or maybe an LPS1.2. 

Yes I agree, when using a mini-itx based PC! "BUT!" ~ on here, we get the typical comments of bog standard mobo's built to the lowest price point with many on board 'switching' devices causing unwanted parasitic noise etc. And, that's why it is no good! Waste of time employing LPSU technology on a board that already has so many inhibiting factors and unnecessary hardware and processes as far as audiophile quality is concerned? Members HAVE told me this on here! But yet, now the members on here are worshipping the NUC, which is yet another bog standard mini PC; so I find that contradictory and conflicting messages? So, I have decided to get a used rendu and compare! May also try out the NUC (NUC7CJYH) and compare! Cheers!

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I have a 1.3 hw MicroRendu/LPS 1 and a single core NUC into an AudioByte Hydra Z and the latter is better.* But despite the insistence that USB is the way to go I want to get away from it. A low powered PC with PCIe riser and i2S card is the direction I am going in. My core (Roon) resides elsewhere on a high powered PC. 

* Clean power is the key to this and is obviously DAC dependent.

The fact is the MicroRendu LPS1 combo is great. Small, convenient and ready to go so it has a place, but it can be bettered if you have the required skills.

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On 10/21/2018 at 10:10 AM, the_doc735 said:

A big problem for me is using the USB input on my DAC, I don't like the sound of it, so I use the i2s (HDMI) which sounds far superior to my ears. However, I can't see any Ethernet > i2s devices?

 

What DAC do you have ?

 

What do you like to obtain ?

Are you looking for a solution that can be controlled form almost any device ?

 

Do you have a budget ?

 

Would you consider try the Uptone ISO Regen just to learn that your DAC usb isn’t the main problem? 

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15 hours ago, Cable Monkey said:

I have a 1.3 hw MicroRendu/LPS 1 and a single core NUC into an AudioByte Hydra Z and the latter is better.* But despite the insistence that USB is the way to go I want to get away from it. A low powered PC with PCIe riser and i2S card is the direction I am going in. My core (Roon) resides elsewhere on a high powered PC. 

* Clean power is the key to this and is obviously DAC dependent.

The fact is the MicroRendu LPS1 combo is great. Small, convenient and ready to go so it has a place, but it can be bettered if you have the required skills.

hi, my direction is microrendu 1.4 (a.k.a. ultrarendu) with sonicorbiter 2.7, + UltraDigital (USB > i2s), + LPSU; fed into LKS 004 DAC. Any good?

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6 hours ago, R1200CL said:

 

What DAC do you have ?

 

What do you like to obtain ?

Are you looking for a solution that can be controlled form almost any device ?

 

Do you have a budget ?

 

Would you consider try the Uptone ISO Regen just to learn that your DAC usb isn’t the main problem? 

hi, my direction is microrendu 1.4 (a.k.a. ultrarendu) with sonicorbiter 2.7, + UltraDigital (USB > i2s), + LPSU; fed into LKS 004 DAC. Any good?

 

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3 hours ago, the_doc735 said:

hi, my direction is microrendu 1.4 (a.k.a. ultrarendu) with sonicorbiter 2.7, + UltraDigital (USB > i2s), + LPSU; fed into LKS 004 DAC. Any good?

It won’t be bad. No doubt it will be excellent but think about all of the cables and PSU’s required to make it all work! Also think about the cost. It gets quite expensive!

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 2:10 AM, the_doc735 said:

If I ditch the standard PC can it be replaced with something like the SOtM sMS-200?   ...or other renderers, streamers, DMR etc. Would I still need the PC, or can I control the sms-200 & NAS from my everday laptop?

 

 

As said many times before.  If it has a mobo board, it's a computer in one form or another.  Then it becomes a question of how well it's purposed for audio SQ/functioning/ease of use/cost.  Make your choice and live with it.  If your looking for confirmation bias, look for other audiophiles who went the same route.  If your looking to put down others who went different routes, stop, you won't gain a thing.  Wait a year and new options shall appear.  It's an endless cycle of innovation both commercial and DIY.  Stop anytime you feel like it and enjoy what you have.  Don't listen to anyone who says that their route is the end game, their just excited about their audio system improvements and looking for confirmation bias.


(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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1 hour ago, Cable Monkey said:

It won’t be bad. No doubt it will be excellent but think about all of the cables and PSU’s required to make it all work! Also think about the cost. It gets quite expensive!

yes! ~ I still need to get the ultradigital and the rendu is on its way! At least if I don't like it, these things are highly saleable. The PSU's is a concern because I don't want half a dozen wall wart's in the system! There are some Chinese 7 way LPSU's on ebay but I don't know how much good they are considering PeterSt said that all chinese PSU's are junk and will destroy the rest of your gear?

Also I had thought of rendu>iso regen>ultradigital,but I don't know if inserting the iso regen into the equation would be 'OTT'?

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1 hour ago, ElviaCaprice said:

 

As said many times before.  If it has a mobo board, it's a computer in one form or another.  Then it becomes a question of how well it's purposed for audio SQ/functioning/ease of use/cost.  Make your choice and live with it.  If your looking for confirmation bias, look for other audiophiles who went the same route.  If your looking to put down others who went different routes, stop, you won't gain a thing.  Wait a year and new options shall appear.  It's an endless cycle of innovation both commercial and DIY.  Stop anytime you feel like it and enjoy what you have.  Don't listen to anyone who says that their route is the end game, their just excited about their audio system improvements and looking for confirmation bias.

I am currently working with a mini-itx fanless i2s PC,  on windows 10 (ummm? ~ yes I know, should be AL).

I am going to compare this with the rendu route and also the NUC route, to see which I like the best? Lot of excitement on here at the moment about these NUC's, saying things like: "NUC's are the end game/pinnacle".

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1 minute ago, the_doc735 said:

 Lot of excitement on here at the moment about these NUC's, saying things like: "NUC's are the end game/pinnacle".

Yeah, it's just their way of being excited about a new cost efficient product with great SQ.  Really NUC is just a certain sized mobo computer.  Nothing unique about it.  There are smaller ones that may offer more, depending on ones format needs.  

 

I think it's more about the power supply, software innovation with AL using memory only that is making this NUC fill the sweet spot on cost/design.  Looks like Roy is working on getting one of these NUC's built with sCLK-EX clocking, which may add another upgrade.    

 

It's moving along quick, by next summer it will be something else.  You can always try out AL at anytime, looks simple enough to do without having to change your current OS Windows 10.  That's why I'm going to give it a go.  Running everything from RAM should bring a jump in SQ.  Well find out.


(JRiver) Jetway barebones NUC (mod 3 sCLK-EX, Cybershaft OP 14)  (PH SR7) => mini pcie adapter to PCIe 1X => tXUSBexp PCIe card (mod sCLK-EX) (PH SR7) => (USPCB) Chord DAVE => Omega Super 8XRS/REL t5i  (All powered thru Topaz Isolation Transformer)

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