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Doak

"Audiophile" SD Card Transport?

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Honestly, I have gotten blaze' regarding streamers/servers/transports and am thinking more seriously now about the beauty of "simple."

 The closest thing to a "truism" I have encountered in 40+ years of "messing with" music reproduction systems is (to paraphrase Einstein): Simple sounds better - as long as it works. 

Over the past 10+ years I've done computer audiophile type stuff and then 4 years or so ago on to commercial streamers/transports/servers.  IMO it is STILL too damned complicated and a real hassle to optimize it all for best SQ.  I've heard hints over the years about SD cards being  capable of excellent SQ .... and some say that CF cards are even better but will table that discussion for now.  My research, though not painstakingly thorough, has not turned up a viable non-DIY product that fits my schema for a PnP SD Card "Server". Best solution is probably as offered in top level Resonessence DACs where SD slot is built into their top level model ($5-6K) but I would rather not give up my Lampizator nor throw that much $$ at this project.

So, how about an SD card transport with USB/I2S  output plus either a built in screen, HDMI out to monitor or WiFi w/app control?

 

If there is anything out there that even roughly resembles the above description I would love to know about it. If not, maybe we can generate some interest for product development.

*BTW: I am aware of the ongoing (several years) MicroSD Memory Card Transport Project and it IMO does not meet the criteria I have specified.

 

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5 hours ago, Norton said:

 

in spirit if not letter of request:

 

https://www.ecdesigns.nl/en/info/upl16

 

I use one with companion DAC -  best RBCD replay I’ve heard for detail retrieval.  <€800 the pair.

 

Alternatively, you can get good s/h deals on the Resonessence Mirus (factory upgradeable to signature pro spec)

Thanks for your post, Norton. 

Your latter suggestion is one I am pursuing, not w/o trepidation however. 

I do kind of Love my Lampizator. 🤓

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I understand you dismissed DIY but consider Tirna hifi as a good source of info on Sd card players.  Check under the Computer Audio heading.  There is currently progress on a group buy Dac using an SD card reader on one thread and also an earlier thread discussing commercially available devices.

 

Not as convenient as an Aries,  though.

 

Martin.

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1 hour ago, Hauser said:

I understand you dismissed DIY but consider Tirna hifi as a good source of info on Sd card players.  Check under the Computer Audio heading.  There is currently progress on a group buy Dac using an SD card reader on one thread and also an earlier thread discussing commercially available devices.

 

Not as convenient as an Aries,  though.

 

Martin.

I’ll second that. I bought one of the £40 Chinese SD card players with I2S out discovered on TirnaHifi and it’s the best sounding source I’ve tried especially with clean power.

 

It just doesn’t fit well with my system as I mostly stream music and you need to load the cards. Every now and then I hook it up to the I2S input on my PS Audio Junior DAC and smile. 

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On 1/29/2019 at 12:37 PM, Doak said:

Best solution is probably as offered in top level Resonessence DACs where SD slot is built into their top level model ($5-6K)

 

FWIW:  Their top model is the Mirus Signature Pro that is 8K US.

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18 hours ago, Doak said:

Thanks for your post, Norton. 

Your latter suggestion is one I am pursuing, not w/o trepidation however. 

I do kind of Love my Lampizator. 🤓

 

I have the Resonessence Mirus  too, but if you are prepared to gamble €800, I’d still suggest trying the EC designs player and DAC.  My wholly subjective opinion is that it’s a remarkable combination.  But only for 16/44 WAV (24/96 for more €) and navigation by numbered folders and tracks.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Norton said:

 

I have the Resonessence Mirus  too, but if you are prepared to gamble €800, I’d still suggest trying the EC designs player and DAC.  My wholly subjective opinion is that it’s a remarkable combination.  But only for 16/44 WAV (24/96 for more €) and navigation by numbered folders and tracks.

 

 

Thanks, wish the EC was my cuppa tea .... I play DSD and hi-res PCM for most of my listening.

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Having dug fairly deeply into the Tirana HiFi thread, I can now say that I feel that DIY thread is not anywhere near what I consider a “solution” of the type specified in my original post. 

While I would not dream of having an SD card music transport as my only nor my primary means of playing digital music, I’d love to have the option - while still being able to utilize a DAC of my choice. Why? Simplicity AND top sound quality. The latter reason is what is spurring on the two DIY threads mentioned here.  

Time to throw down the gauntlet to those with the technical know-how to produce a viable product. Being a vinylphile who has, at last, fallen for digital I liken such an SD transport to a turntable of sorts - like picking a record of your choice off of the shelf putting it on (in) the the player then push a button or two to play it. 

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If you dig a little deeper into the Tirna site, there is a thread where improving functionality of the SD cad player is discussed; 'SD player Ui development'.  Despite their enthusiasm and dedication, nothing viable was achieved.  Their intention was to enable wifi to load the SD card thereby eliminating the small memory capacity and having control by wifi.  They didn't have sufficient software skills to succeed.  Probably the best bet would have been the suggestion to use Chinese skills but cost and unknowns meant this route was not pursued.

 

The SD player thread does suggest a commercial SD card player that has a screen, button control and a remote.  That should comply with the requirements of your last paragraph.

 

Martin

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9 hours ago, Doak said:

Being a vinylphile who has, at last, fallen for digital I liken such an SD transport to a turntable of sorts

 

Too bad you can’t learn  to love RBCD...the more you post, the more I think the ECD combo could be what you are looking for.  I too am a vinyl fan, with c 4K lps, plus a decent hires/DSD library too, but I’ve been bowled over by this kit.  The combination of simplicity with super detail and  unfatiguing,  airy presentation is addictive.

 

I have no relationship with ECD other than as a satisfied recent customer. I’ll shut up about it now.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Norton said:

 

Too bad you can’t learn  to love RBCD...the more you post, the more I think the ECD combo could be what you are looking for.  I too am a vinyl fan, with c 4K lps, plus a decent hires/DSD library too, but I’ve been bowled over by this kit.  The combination of simplicity with super detail and  unfatiguing,  airy presentation is addictive.

 

I have no relationship with ECD other than as a satisfied recent customer. I’ll shut up about it now.

 

 

The ECD thingee  is a neat setup, though definitely not for me.  Hi-res and DSD  is what it took for me to take digital seriously.

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9 hours ago, kelvinwsy said:

6moons audio review of the Soundaware D300Ref gives this microSD card player top marks

 

https://6moons.com/audioreviews2/soundaware4/1.html

Thanks, I had seen this solution and the Soundaware is what got me thinking about a stand-alone SD card solution. If/when I want to get away from my Auralic Aries it will be on my short list.... though no USB out does present a problem.

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29 minutes ago, Norton said:

Well there’s always this

 

https://www.lessloss.com/laminar-streamer-sd-player-p-207.html

 

might be worth buying two to get the 5% discount...

HA! Yes,  I'd been following THAT one and hoping for some "trickle down." 

I did download their free poster though: 

https://www.lessloss.com/docs/LessLoss-Laminar_Streamer-POSTER-700x450mm.pdf

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2 hours ago, Doak said:

AOK,, Thanks. Managed to miss this while wading through the techie talk.

Will look at this box very carefully and gladly pay $150 or so for a viable solution. 👍

The SD card player board in this one is the same one I tried. It really is a gem. I imagine the DAC may not be the best but the card is very simple and effective source, unbelievable quality at this price.

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28 minutes ago, Norton said:

Well there’s always this

 

https://www.lessloss.com/laminar-streamer-sd-player-p-207.html

 

might be worth buying two to get the 5% discount...

 

$91,181?!  That’s insane—and an oddly specific number (I mean really, someone paying $91K yet that extra $181 is crucial to the profit margin? x-D)

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3 minutes ago, Doak said:

HA! Yes,  I'd been following THAT one and hoping for some "trickle down." 

I've been watching that one and looks state of the art but it's a slow trickle! :) Has one even been made? its easy to generate cool visuals these days....

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1 minute ago, tapatrick said:

I've been watching that one and looks state of the art but it's a slow trickle! :) Has one even been made? its easy to generate cool visuals these days....

Just wait for the kick starter! ;)

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Found this one on AliExpress:

https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/R-018-HDP2-24Bit-HIFI-Music-Digital-Turntable-Player-DSD-PCM-CS4398-DAC-Remote-Control-SDHC/1070003_32865283913.html?spm=2114.10010108.1000023.18.40036cc7fJC978

R-018 HDP2 24Bit HIFI Music Digital Turntable Player DSD PCM CS4398 DAC Remote Control SDHC 256G

It has coax and toslink outs among other goodies and while not cheap appears to be PnP ready. 

Would appreciate others looking this one over and offering their comments, opinions, additions. 

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