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mkrzych

Simple question about mechanics of streaming

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Hello,

I am quite new in streaming, however with technical background I one day I was wondering what these "audiophile" streamers bring more to the table apart from the regular good quality laptop or computer connected to good external DAC? Of course they may have less noise from PSU (laptop could be powered by battery as well), built-in DAC etc, but in general when we speed about streaming itself? I am using old Macbook/A+ and have it connected to the external DAC over decent USB cable, using home WiFi networks as the source. It sound pretty good. A+ buffering data before starts to play it, so I assume that if those data are buffered there is nothing to be improved here, because after that they are streamed towards the DAC in proper resolution, like 24/96 for instance and that's it, am I right? Just to open small, but technical debate to better understand that, not opening the pandora's box.

 

Thanks for explanation,

Krzysztof Maj


--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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You will get no consensus on this one. Some will say neither the mechanics nor the SQ of the streaming are improved by an audiophile streamers; others will disagree. The mechanics may depend a bit on your software. For instance, you will probably get very good results using something like Roon Core to Roon or Roon Bridge on your streamer. When you mix software, sometimes there are some incompatibilities, issues with drivers, etc. Those are software issues, though. 


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>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>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 :)

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10 minutes ago, firedog said:

You will get no consensus on this one. Some will say neither the mechanics nor the SQ of the streaming are improved by an audiophile streamers; others will disagree. The mechanics may depend a bit on your software. For instance, you will probably get very good results using something like Roon Core to Roon or Roon Bridge on your streamer. When you mix software, sometimes there are some incompatibilities, issues with drivers, etc. Those are software issues, though. 

 

Yes, software is a big part of it, but in general once the data are stored in the music player buffer and it will starts feeding external DAC, this is to my understanding normal way of working and should not be different than regular local file playing over the same hardware right?


--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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1 hour ago, mkrzych said:

 

Yes, software is a big part of it, but in general once the data are stored in the music player buffer and it will starts feeding external DAC, this is to my understanding normal way of working and should not be different than regular local file playing over the same hardware right?

I think so, too. I was just trying to point out that there can be various glitches due to different programs on the server and on the streamer not being fully 100% compatible. In theory they are, but in practice sometimes things don't work as they "should".  That's why a program that has a sever component and also it's own streamer (receiving) component can be an advantage. 


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>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>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 :)

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The basic value of streaming is easy electrical isolation. It takes more effort to build a good all in one server thats wire connected to DAC vs stream packets to a low power

endpoint that does minimal computing connected to a DAC. You can get there either way.


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Krzysztof, you might post what DAC, speakers, etc. you have.

 

Your current setup with a USB cable may - that means MAY !! - inject EMF noise into your DAC.  Or the DAC may be immune to it.  If not immune and there is enough noise injection to affect SQ then an opto-isolator or other device may help.  Some can be purchased with a return privilege, so you could try that out.

 

As long as you can isolate any noise in the server from the DAC you will have no problems.  There are other pathways by which noise could perhaps reach the DAC, but via a USB cable is likely the strongest one.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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9 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

Krzysztof, you might post what DAC, speakers, etc. you have.

 

Your current setup with a USB cable may - that means MAY !! - inject EMF noise into your DAC.  Or the DAC may be immune to it.  If not immune and there is enough noise injection to affect SQ then an opto-isolator or other device may help.  Some can be purchased with a return privilege, so you could try that out.

 

As long as you can isolate any noise in the server from the DAC you will have no problems.  There are other pathways by which noise could perhaps reach the DAC, but via a USB cable is likely the strongest one.

Sadly,  USB out is "least cost hardware" on most servers


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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13 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

Krzysztof, you might post what DAC, speakers, etc. you have.

 

Your current setup with a USB cable may - that means MAY !! - inject EMF noise into your DAC.  Or the DAC may be immune to it.  If not immune and there is enough noise injection to affect SQ then an opto-isolator or other device may help.  Some can be purchased with a return privilege, so you could try that out.

 

As long as you can isolate any noise in the server from the DAC you will have no problems.  There are other pathways by which noise could perhaps reach the DAC, but via a USB cable is likely the strongest one.

 

Apple base station - > Macbook Unibody SSD/8G RAM 2008 with A+ latest -> Rega DAC-R -> Marantz PM6004 - > Dali Mentor 2.


--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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the DAC-R was highly touted, but some reviews thought poorly of the USB input, maybe due to sample rate limit, but maybe for other reasons

 

why not try a newer design at the $1k or $2k level that has a return privilege and see what you think?

 

the Marantz is also highly regarded (for an integrated at its price), but I bet you will get a small SQ increment if you toss a few thousand dollar bills at replacements


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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