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Sounds Great - inexpensive, no fancy computer or power supplies


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2 hours ago, audiobomber said:

Ah, if it were only that simple; read the measurements, buy the gear. For some, it is that simple, but by my definition, they are not audiophiles, they are in an adjacent hobby.

 

I bought the Topping D50s, for my headphone system, based on great measurements but also because I already owned the matching P50 LPS. Unfortunately, it sounded worse than Schitt, and by Schitt, I mean the much cheaper Modi 3. It also did not compare well with my Korg DA-DAC-100M, which has a pretty nice headphone amp. I sent the Topping back to Amazon.

Yea, i have tried several DSD dacs, korg being one of probably 10...i loved it for the audiogate software and it sounded really good to me when using audiogate.  There is something magic about the schiit sound, but apparently (according to miska and pkane) it is crap by measurements and can't even accurately recreate a 1k sine signal.

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thanks for all who assisted including the private pm's....

Seemed most people that responded like going to a remote computer or pi connected directly to dac.

I happen to have a half dozen asus vivo mini computers here, and i googled "asus vivo roon rock" and did find some have had success using it with roon rock, so i gave it a shot...i had a few initial problems, but got it working.  As much as I have bad mouthed ROON (mainly because it is subscription based) it does look pretty cool...not sure I am willing to pay the monthly subscription but i have 14 days to check it out, so i will give it a shot.  I think that it may sound a little better than jriver playing on my local every day windows computer (but not as dramatic as i had hoped), and I don't think it sounds better than me streaming dsd to my marantz...but i like the interface more and i can ff/rew music again.   Been a long day, going to bed....but I have a new toy to play with tomorrow (roon rock on asus mini)....if i do stick with roon rock, at least i didn't have to buy new hardware.

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9 hours ago, beerandmusic said:

I looked at the original altair, but they only supported apple...is that still the case?

I don't have a definitive answer, I'm still investigating. The new Altair is on my list due to SQ, but the question of how to control it is a sticking point, especially since I am an Android phone user and will never change. From the Auralic site:

 

Music can be sourced from virtually any source - locally stored files on your network, Internet radio, Airplay™, Bluetooth, USB drive, an optional integrated hard drive or a playlist of favorites from a subscription-based streaming service such as Qobuz or TIDAL. Control is via either the proprietary Lightning DS app, or the manual intuitive control on the front panel with all functions clearly shown on the high-resolution 4" colour display.

 

I am not clear on whether I can use UPnP/Android or DLNA/Windows from my NAS, as I usually do. Also, no remote wand? Maybe the reviewer can help clarify, @The Computer Audiophile?

“The best sounding audio product is the one that exhibits the least audible flaws.”

 Dr. Floyd Toole

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15 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

My gist of it was that a 16 bit R2R @ 192 Fs would produce measurable differences at the DAC output and in the audible range. This is not the same as saying it is audible. I believe the main thrust from @Miska was that DA conversion could be improved with DSP algorithms/ upsampling/ filters and this may or may not yield subjective SQ improvements (many apparently do hear improvements). All that said the choice of DAC is still important as all dacs do not perform the same.

Measurements do not not tell the whole story. There is no free lunch - only you can decide what you like - measurements can help guide you decide what to listen to, sometimes they will correlate with what you hear, sometimes not.

Yea, I am not sure what the schiits do differently that (at least to my ears) make them sound more lively, more like "real music" compared to about 10 different dsd dacs i have tried.  I even stuck with DSD for a several years, thinking that the schiit sounded better in some way, and recently bought another one just to see if I was missing something, and again, it just seemed to make the music come more "alive"...that is when i started reading more about the benefits of DSD (previously believing that with more samples you get more music) and to find out that is not true....that the only purpose of upsampling is to push the noise that is created during analog conversion out of the hearing spectrum....and i also believe I read that for a 44.1K that you can push this noise out of the hearing spectrum by upsampling to only 192k...anyway, i clearly have to read more to better understand.  But i do want a dac that does what it is supposed to do, and that is to accurately reproduce the recorded signal, and if DSD dacs do that better, then i will likely be back in the DSD camp again, and likely miss the schiit sound (grin).  Actually I still prefer streaming DSD to my marantz better than any other method I have tried...it probably has more to do with no pc noise than the dac itself.

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10 hours ago, audiobomber said:

I don't have a definitive answer, I'm still investigating. The new Altair is on my list due to SQ, but the question of how to control it is a sticking point, especially since I am an Android phone user and will never change. From the Auralic site:

 

Music can be sourced from virtually any source - locally stored files on your network, Internet radio, Airplay™, Bluetooth, USB drive, an optional integrated hard drive or a playlist of favorites from a subscription-based streaming service such as Qobuz or TIDAL. Control is via either the proprietary Lightning DS app, or the manual intuitive control on the front panel with all functions clearly shown on the high-resolution 4" colour display.

 

I am not clear on whether I can use UPnP/Android or DLNA/Windows from my NAS, as I usually do. Also, no remote wand? Maybe the reviewer can help clarify, @The Computer Audiophile?

about 3-4 years ago, I was very close to buying the original altair (good clocks, lps) when i found out the only control method was apple, and like you, no apples in my house....back then i heard they were working on something for andoid, but don't know if they ever resolved for that.  I really don't want android either.  I want something i can run with windows (without an emulator).

I wish there was some player that just used a web browser, that would be nice....right now, i think volumio is the only one that does that??

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8 hours ago, audiobomber said:

I don't have a definitive answer, I'm still investigating. The new Altair is on my list due to SQ, but the question of how to control it is a sticking point, especially since I am an Android phone user and will never change. From the Auralic site:

 

Music can be sourced from virtually any source - locally stored files on your network, Internet radio, Airplay™, Bluetooth, USB drive, an optional integrated hard drive or a playlist of favorites from a subscription-based streaming service such as Qobuz or TIDAL. Control is via either the proprietary Lightning DS app, or the manual intuitive control on the front panel with all functions clearly shown on the high-resolution 4" colour display.

 

I am not clear on whether I can use UPnP/Android or DLNA/Windows from my NAS, as I usually do. Also, no remote wand? Maybe the reviewer can help clarify, @The Computer Audiophile?

I no longer have the Altair, so I can’t give you a definitive answer. There is a setting for the unit to just be a UPnP device rather than lightning.

 

I believe you can get a physical remote for it. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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On 6/11/2020 at 6:25 PM, beerandmusic said:

Of course, everything is relative, and in most cases you will get the best sound with a higher budget,

but i am curious if anyone is content with the way their relatively low cost system sounds and

without a fancy computer and power supplies?

 

If you think you have a decent sounding solution for under $3K excluding speakers and amp, please share it.

 

I personally would prefer something you can buy (vs DIY), but would consider DIY if could be done in a day with little skill and knowledge...but of course anyone is free to share.


 

I don't have the Zen MK III but I've listened to it at CAF and IMO it was the best without ascending to much loftier prices. The Mojo

I do have...it will start any one off well despite the nuisance mini connectors.

 

Innuos Zen Mk III 1TB  $2599... the "fancy stuff" is built in

Chord Mojo $400~$500 depending upon sales discounts

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Well i created a volumio image and i really like the interface!!

 

I really wanted a player I could manage from any browser, as I pretty much live on my computer.  I rarely use my smart phone because i should wear glasses, but too lazy to put on reading glasses on and off...

Anyway, I am going to cancel roon trial, because i don't want to pay a subscription...it was a nice interface, but going to try volumio for awhile...anyone know if you can use hqp with volumio?

 

I haven't done any critical listening yet, but for every day use, i think this will be my keeper solution!

 

I really LOVE that you can control all aspects (configuration and player) from a web browser...sweet!

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, davide256 said:


 

I don't have the Zen MK III but I've listened to it at CAF and IMO it was the best without ascending to much loftier prices. The Mojo

I do have...it will start any one off well despite the nuisance mini connectors.

 

Innuos Zen Mk III 1TB  $2599... the "fancy stuff" is built in

Chord Mojo $400~$500 depending upon sales discounts

 

so you wouldn't need a fancy computer with fancy power supplies to upsample to 7xxK first if you bought the zen?

Wouldn't you rather have a qutest with a different streamer ...  The zen just seems like it would be overkill for the mojo?

 

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50 minutes ago, davide256 said:


 

I don't have the Zen MK III but I've listened to it at CAF and IMO it was the best without ascending to much loftier prices. The Mojo

I do have...it will start any one off well despite the nuisance mini connectors.

 

Innuos Zen Mk III 1TB  $2599... the "fancy stuff" is built in

Chord Mojo $400~$500 depending upon sales discounts

I just googled the zen and see they make a zen mini for only $1300...maybe the zen mini and the qutest?  Not sure what the differences are with the $2600 version and the mini?

 

edit, i just saw difference is the power supply and it has 2 network ports...yea, i would consider the mini that i could upgrade the ps later and then see if the better ps gave a worthwhile performance improvement for the money....the mini may be worth considering in my budget perhaps with the d90.

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35 minutes ago, beerandmusic said:

I just googled the zen and see they make a zen mini for only $1300...maybe the zen mini and the qutest?  Not sure what the differences are with the $2600 version and the mini?

 

edit, i just saw difference is the power supply and it has 2 network ports...yea, i would rather have the mini & qutest and just decided later if the expensive PS gave a worthwhile performance improvement for the money....

 

 

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The problem with the hobby is that you need 3 computers, one for the player, one for the streamer, one for the upsampling and you need lots of power for the upsampling computer, and then you need to worry about heat, and if it's not quad dsd or better, then it ain't crap.  You also need highend power supplies for each computer and fancy cables, and then you need to make sure that the different vendors play nicely with each other...then everyone has their own opinion, and then when  you spend money and time to try to make it sound marginally better, you are unimpressed, and have to start all over again.  It's kind of tiring....it will be nice once a dac can do what it is supposed to do...to isolate noise and to accurately reproduce an analog signal that was previously digitized....it seems like it wasn't that long ago that if it wasn't an r2r dac it wasn't crap.

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^^^ I admit, I am more content without the spaghetti and a single simple interface that sounds "good enough".  Besides speakers and amp, nothing has given even a 10% improvement...

 

I just wish audio engineers would concentrate on fixing the DAC instead of all of the spaghetti and band-aids.... i mean really, all this effort to just accurately recreate an analog signal that was previously digitized...surely there must be a better method, when we can't hear beyond a 24/96K file.

 

Someone will think outside of the box sometime and figure it out.

 

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1 hour ago, beerandmusic said:

The problem with the hobby is that you need 3 computers, one for the player, one for the streamer, one for the upsampling and you need lots of power for the upsampling computer, and then you need to worry about heat, and if it's not quad dsd or better, then it ain't crap.  You also need highend power supplies for each computer and fancy cables, and then you need to make sure that the different vendors play nicely with each other...then everyone has their own opinion, and then when  you spend money and time to try to make it sound marginally better, you are unimpressed, and have to start all over again.  It's kind of tiring....it will be nice once a dac can do what it is supposed to do...to isolate noise and to accurately reproduce an analog signal that was previously digitized....it seems like it wasn't that long ago that if it wasn't an r2r dac it wasn't crap.

Or maybe upsampling is not the best approach...let your ears decide. 

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3 hours ago, beerandmusic said:

 

so you wouldn't need a fancy computer with fancy power supplies to upsample to 7xxK first if you bought the zen?

Wouldn't you rather have a qutest with a different streamer ...  The zen just seems like it would be overkill for the mojo?

 

The Zen runs Roon so you can do all up sampling that your DAC supports. And I'm a firm proponent that you should get the best source you can,

else you will make more mistakes over time as you try to improve the rest of your system, get less out of other upgrades.

 

 DAC behavior I find very similar to speakers; manufacturers have a house sound thats shared across the line from in  common design and filter solution.

If you like the Schiit sound, go for it... I just didn't bond with it and when the Mojo outperformed Gungnir for low bass slam in my system, that I could bond with and

reasonably expect a future  better Chord model to do same.

 

 

 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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so funny....

I just joined audio “science” review, and they seem to get more upset about even suggesting usb noise is a problem, where here it is like life & death wow moments....it's hard to believe there is such division...just like politics, i am right in the middle...ughgghg...this world sucks...i am an outcast wherever i go.

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14 minutes ago, beerandmusic said:

so funny....

I just joined audio “science” review, and they seem to get more upset about even suggesting usb noise is a problem, where here it is like life & death wow moments....it's hard to believe there is such division...just like politics, i am right in the middle...ughgghg...this world sucks...i am an outcast wherever i go.

 

Did you find much "science" there Beery ?

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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1 hour ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

Did you find much "science" there Beery ?

 

For now, i find myself in the middle, but still lean more toward measurements and logic.

Although i don't necessarily agree with all of "their views" (they seem more like groupies than this site), it was enlightening and entertaining, that it actually helped my recent frustration just seeing there were people with totally different views...between the 2 sites it's like from one extreme to the other....much like politics and news today....this world is flippin' crazy.

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4 minutes ago, beerandmusic said:

 

For now, i find myself in the middle, but still lean more toward measurements and logic.

Although i don't necessarily agree with all of "their views" (they seem more like groupies than this site), it was enlightening and entertaining, that it actually helped my recent frustration just knowing there were people with different views on both sides of the fence....from one extreme to the other....much like politics and news today....this world is f'ing crazy.

 

The assumption in there Beery is that one side is more "logical" than the other, the side that favors measurements.

 

Sometimes measurements may be flawed and/or meaningless. When accurate, sometimes subjective interpretation of the measurement is offered as science fact. As I see it, this is neither objective nor logical and hardly scientific.

Sound Minds Mind Sound

 

 

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