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Ron Ippolito

Single box vs multi-component solution

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I currently have my iMac sending music from either a USB drive or streamed from the internet.  I have a SotM tX-USBultra receiving USB via a very long cable, reconditioning it, and forwarding it into my DAC.


From what I've read here, the next step in improving my sound quality would be to get my iMac out of the picture, and going with a separate, less noisy, path to the DAC.  There seem to be two paths...

  • add a module like the SotM sMS-200Ultra Neo in front of the tX-USBultra
  • add a standalone device with the internet app(s), USB reconditioner, and one or more linear power supplies all built in


I have read much of the mountain of information here regarding the SotM trifecta.  I have read a lot elsewhere regarding the standalone boxes from vendors like Innuos, Auralic, Linn, etc. I think when you add up the costs of multiple linear power supplies, cables, etc, the system costs will be comparable.


Has anyone ever done a bakeoff and compared the sound quality of the two system alternatives, and if so, could you please point me to where the thread is that describes it?  If not, what are your thoughts?


Thank you, in advance, for any help you can give me...


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