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fajita

Streamer with AO versus streaming DAC

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So, I am on the path to doing this experiment for myself, but have been burning to ask this question of forum members here:

 

I have a Roon Based playback system, and have found the best sound quality to be a two PC based system.  Roon core on a dedicated PC, with a linear power supply, Win Server 2019 GUI, and audiophile optimizer - and a second streamer PC, also on linear power supply, Win Server 2019 core, and AO with USB out.  All of this into a Direct Stream DAC from PS Audio.

 

I have become intrigued by certain DACs with streaming built in, wondering if the time/energy and cost of a separate streamer to be worth it (especially considering the cost of the Windows Server OS).  At RMAF, I got a lot of different opinions - The Simaudio and dCS guys seem to think a separate streamer is not worth the cost while anyone who makes a streamer says otherwise.  From my perspective, I would be willing to spring for a dCS Bartok or a high end Simaudio DAC (upcoming model to be positioned below the 780d) if I could both improve sound quality and eliminate an extra box.

 

Has anyone here compared a streamer built around a PC running Windows Server and AO (effectively acting as an Ethernet to digital converter) to an ethernet direct connection on a high end streaming DAC?

 

Thanks for your opinions in advance.

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Well, I suppose that I will have to report back after I do some experimentation.  About to establish a relationship with a couple of nearby dealers and see if any demos are possible.

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On 10/6/2019 at 10:12 AM, fajita said:

Well, I suppose that I will have to report back after I do some experimentation.  About to establish a relationship with a couple of nearby dealers and see if any demos are possible.

Anything to report yet, @fajita ? I am very interested in this topic, as I am looking for a DAC/Pre, and a couple have built-in streamers.

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Hi audiobomber,

 

Not yet.  I have to drive a ways to get to the dealers, then hopefully work out a deal where I can demo the products without my streamer in the mix.  Now that I know others are interested, I will make it a point to post followup when it happens.

 

I would add that the Simaudio guy I spoke with at RMAF seemed enthusiastic that there were technical advantages to having the streamer in the DAC, but the proof will ultimately be in the listening.

 

Thanks.

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