Jump to content
Sleepow

Where to start: stream or server?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

Basically, i am looking to improve the chain upstream of my DAC, and i am not sure where to start or what is a better value.

Currently my eXasound DAC is connected to an Allo Audio Signature Player through SPDIF.

The Allo Player is connected to a basic Buffalo router (not directly, but through in wall cables and sockets).

Roon is running on a gaming PC,....

(Note that this is already an improvement from PC to DAC through USB, which i was using until last year)

 

The PC is maybe the worst part in the chain, but from my own logic, i would expect that the components closer to the DAC would have more impact, so should i better upgrade the Allo streamer, router or change to a dedicated server?

Assuming i change only one component at a time, possible options would be:

 Roon Nucleus >> buffalo router >> Allo >> DAC

 (Roon Nucleus >> DAC not possible with eXasound DAC)

 Gaming PC >> buffalo router >> Sonore streamer combo >> DAC

 Gaming PC >> SOTM router >> Allo >> DAC

 

I am open to other server and streamer suggestions as well, but the software would be Roon, and output of streamer if pricier than the Allo, should be USB and SPDIF:

I am looking to upgrade the DAC, and thus might prefer USB, but eXasound does not work with any USB streamer except their own, hanche SPDIF.

 

Cheers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your streamer is already pretty good. The server over the network is not going to have a big influence on the outcome of the OS. I would look more at the streamer/Dac combo. 
You have a lot of choices here, including whether you want to move to USB or even get a DAC with an integrated streamer. Then the Allo etc becomes moot. 

 

I would suggest you decide if a different DAC will be an upgrade, and how much it will  cost to make a noticeable improvement. If the answer to that is yes, get a DAC, then the DAC will help you decide about what you want to feed it - is the DAC setup to sound best over USB, network, or SPDIF?

The Sonore or SOTM streamers should be a small improvement over the ALLO.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.

I am looking for a DAC, but that will take some more time (I want to decide only once I had a chance to listen to the yet to be released new PS Audio Ted Smith Signature DAC; other contenders are the Dave and the TotalDAC d1-seven.

 

i am probably a couple of years away from the new DAC, so in the interim, I wanted also to ‘prepare’ a better upstream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Sleepow said:

Thanks.

I am looking for a DAC, but that will take some more time (I want to decide only once I had a chance to listen to the yet to be released new PS Audio Ted Smith Signature DAC; other contenders are the Dave and the TotalDAC d1-seven.

 

i am probably a couple of years away from the new DAC, so in the interim, I wanted also to ‘prepare’ a better upstream.

In that price category, the TotalDac with the integrated streamer could be a killer option if you can afford it. One review compared the TD streamer to the dCS Bridge and preferred the TD streamer to the Bridge. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, firedog said:

In that price category, the TotalDac with the integrated streamer could be a killer option if you can afford it. One review compared the TD streamer to the dCS Bridge and preferred the TD streamer to the Bridge. 

I am sure that you refer to the Michael Lavorgna review in Twittering Machines. I think it only fair to point out that Lavorgna uses a matching TotalDac DAC so the preference in those circumstances for the TD streamer is, perhaps, not surprising.

 

The dCS Network Bridge now has the advantage of the new Mosaic Control interface. TD appears (from their webpage ) to to require that of a third party. Still. as they say, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

 

Still when it comes to paying your money you will need almost twice as much of it for the TD compared to the Network Bridge, at least here in the EU where both are manufactured.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A rather inexpensive option that I have used to good effect is to insert a switch in between the router and your Allo.  I think most home routers are pretty noisy.  When I did that with a good used HP Procurve switch things got a bit better on my playing computer.  Less grain, blacker background.  I also threw a ferrite on the power supply cord for the ethernet switch to audible effect, but no benefit from another switch at the playback computer.

 

I know how good the Allo stuff is, since I compared a Roon core setup with an Allo USB bridge and my beloved tweeked desktop as an end point.  Let's just say the scale tipped in the Allos favor.  Not huge but audible.  I think there is more to be gained with the source feeding the dac than swapping out dacs randomly.  Doesn't mean a new dac cannot add more good ness though, if you have the cash. 

 

Also, do not be afraid to look into amplifiers.  My local team of geeks is finding more bang there than the slim differences in dacs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bixby said:

A rather inexpensive option that I have used to good effect is to insert a switch in between the router and your Allo.  I think most home routers are pretty noisy.  When I did that with a good used HP Procurve switch things got a bit better on my playing computer.  Less grain, blacker background.  I also threw a ferrite on the power supply cord for the ethernet switch to audible effect, but no benefit from another switch at the playback computer.

 

I know how good the Allo stuff is, since I compared a Roon core setup with an Allo USB bridge and my beloved tweeked desktop as an end point.  Let's just say the scale tipped in the Allos favor.  Not huge but audible.  I think there is more to be gained with the source feeding the dac than swapping out dacs randomly.  Doesn't mean a new dac cannot add more good ness though, if you have the cash. 

 

Also, do not be afraid to look into amplifiers.  My local team of geeks is finding more bang there than the slim differences in dacs.

 

I will look into a switch indeed. Any idea if it is better to have the computer and the Allo on the same switch? Or as you suggest, just a switch for the Allo and the PC anywhere else on the network is fine?

The ferrite on the power supply of? 

 

I will not switch DAC randomly, I will audition them at home :)

I did an audition at the dealer recently, using the same speakers I have (TAD ME1), but different electronics. Dave and PS Audio DS where on top, with TT2 + Mscaler and DCS Rossini close second (The PS Audio has quite a different sound signature to the others, but a like it).

I will probably give other DACs a try, and wait for the new PS Audio, but if nothing else is better, i will audition at home the Dave and DS. (TotalDAC is a wildcard as i cannot audition them in Japan but could buy and return if not satisfied)

 

But what I am looking for now is actually improve upstream of the DAC as much as possible so that those at home auditions can properly highlight the better one for me.

 

For amplifiers, I did this upgrade last year after extensive listening (using my speakers) and i went with Pass.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I run my main file share computer to the router, router to switch and player computer (allo in your case) to switch.  I use this ferrite on the wire coming from the switch outboard power supply and wrap several turns through the ferrite, then plug into swtich.  Also all my computer equipment, router, and switch is on different power circuit from player computer, dac and amp.  This makes a difference in my house.

 

https://www.newark.com/fair-rite/2675821502/length-15mm/dp/70W1683

 

The Pass stuff I have heard is excellent.  Congrats!

Share this post


Link to post
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

×
×
  • Create New...