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Streamers ranked by sound quality


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Ranking a streamer in a one dimensional “best to worst” is not easy, preference on the type of sound plays a role here.

I have found that some streamers offer more clarity, wider soundstage, more (perceived?) details, but mostly at the cost of less fundament in the lows (or is that tighter lows?) and less accurate timbre.

In the end I tend to prefer better timbre and more substantial lows, this keeps me returning to a not usual suspect: the CCA connected through the optical output. Note the standard CCA is not great, but with an improved power supply and fed through an ethernet adapter to give the small puck the best power and a hard wired ethernet signal, it starts to sound quit good.

 

 

Chromecast audio from Roon or Tidal (Power: medical grade SMPS —> 8V LT3045 —> USB regen (only to make clean 5V)—> CCA, Network: UGreen ethernet adapter). Optical out by mini toslink.

 

Allo digione (standard wallwart, Roonbridge Gentooplayer)

SoTM SMS-100, into Uptone USB regen into Schiit Eitr (Roon to squeezelite)

 

Fanless nuc (Gentooplayer or Euphony), into Uptone USB regen, Schiit Eitr

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, misterspense said:

Note the standard CCA is not great, but with an improved power supply and fed through an ethernet adapter to give the small puck the best power and a hard wired ethernet signal, it starts to sound quit good.

I agree that CCA is excellent through its optical out - I have them in several rooms at home.  But I thought the only possible network connection was WiFi.  How do you connect a CCA to an RJ45?

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1 hour ago, athegn said:

Interesting - the responses I've seen on Google's Chromecast help page say this:  "Wired connection is only available to Chromecast Ultra".  But I just looked at the Google Chromecast ethernet adapter page again, and it now says that it works with CCA too.  This is progress that I frankly never expected, once CCA was discontinued.  The Google adapter is only $15, but I assume it has their standard USB PS inside - and whether this affects SQ is a little controversial.  It's "only" 10/100 Mbps (man, how soon we forget what an advance 100 was!).  This is plenty of bandwidth for high res audio from most streaming services.  Tidal HiFi is the highest speed spec I've seen (1.5) except for Deezer (5Mbps for elite and 10 for multiple streams at once).

 

There are many web posts on many sites about hard wiring a network connection to CCA, and they seem to be spilt about equally among "works fine", "works with some fiddling around", and "couldn't get it to work".  Did that adapter work for you immediately on plugging everything in?  Any details you can offer would be greatly appreciated, e.g. can you set a fixed IP address?   Does using an ethernet connection change the process for Chromecasting directly?  Do you know if it changes the way a CCA appears on and integrates with other zones on JRiver, Roon etc?

 

Thanks!!

 

David

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Yes just plugged in and it worked. The reason I went for this adaptor is that this CCA drives my Sennheiser RS180 headphones which is positioned a long way from a WAP but near an Ethernet wall socket.

 

I also have an Onkyo TX8270 receiver with CCA in-built, to drive my speakers; the Onkyo is next to a network switch so that also has hard-wired ethernet.

 

My source for for both CCAs is my Andriod phone or tablet; normally an old 2.4Ghz tablet (I must admit that as this is so old I sometimes have to fiddle to get it to work e.g. power down the tablet then reboot, but most days it just works) but tonight my 5Ghz phone (phone always seems to work). Only the phone has an email client and I want to pass a YouTube live code to my browser and then to a CCA.

 

I just open up Google Home on the phone/tablet start the CCA and choose the media app. Media apps I use are BBC Sounds, PowerAmp, Qobuz and Chrome browser. I only use these so no idea how Roon, jRiver or others interact.


 

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