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photonman

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  1. Doesn't the Lumin buffer the songs? I bet if you disconnected the patch cable that the music would still play for the entire song so why obsess over the network setup? Get better speakers to improve SQ.
  2. What if we are using a class D amp, still no advantage? Just curious as I am following this conversation as I am using Class D with a DAC with volume control.
  3. Just curious what type of computer you have and what streaming service you are using. Personally, I find my 2014 Macbook Pro works very quietly but that could be because it has plenty of CPU. I stream Spotify and Amazon HD. If I had to get a streamer to replace it I would consider the Bluesound Node 2i.
  4. I am glad someone else shares this sentiment about Spotify and its Ogg Vorbis. It really is pretty good considering it is lossy.
  5. I believe the latest ones no longer have Toslink output through the headphone jack. I have a 2014 model which still has Toslink and I agree with the other post about optical vs. USB. Macworld Article on Missing Digital Outputs
  6. Every time you fire up your computer and connect to this wild wild world (www) you are tracked whether you know it or not. This subject goes way beyond AS all the way to systems such as China's national social credit database. It is indeed a brave new world.
  7. I bypass the Windows volume control completely and stream my Spotify bit perfect with Amarra SQ+ on my Mac (sorry couldn't resist)
  8. Here is a mint specimen in like-new condition from original owner with all original materials and packaging. Free shipping in Continental USA via UPS ground, no Paypal fees (Friends and Family appreciated). Price: $1,350
  9. I have had my Benchmark DAC3 for almost two weeks now and could not be happier. It is great to have hardware volume control just for the convenience and control. The Benchmark is a no nonsense black box made out of bent sheetmetal and all in all it sounds very good to me. My setup is very simple: Mac to DAC to Amp. The OP's question is really hard to quantify with results and it all is a balance and wants and needs. I am sure I could get better sound but for my wants, the sound has not suffered with this remedial DAC/Pre combo. I am also very happy that I now have balanced analog out to my class d amp. The volume control for digital into this DAC is in the digital domain. Vice versa if you use it as a preamp, analog in would have volume control in analog domain.
  10. The DAC3 is Benchmark's newest 2-channel D/A converter featuring the new ESS Technologies ES9028PRO converter chip. The DAC3 converter has lower THD and THD+N noise than Benchmark's DAC2 converter. Benchmark's DAC1 and DAC2 D/A converter families have been the reference to which other converters have been compared. It is rare to find a converter review that does not draw comparisons to the DAC1 or the DAC2. Benchmark converters are in daily use at many of the world's finest recording studios and mastering rooms. Benchmark converters are also enjoyed by thousands of audiophiles. Benchmark has raised the bar again ... the DAC3 defines a new reference. The DAC3 delivers outstanding musical detail and precise stereo imaging. It employs an advanced high-headroom digital filter design, and a high-sample-rate Asynchronous USB Audio interface. All inputs are fully isolated from interface jitter by Benchmark's new UltraLock3™ jitter attenuation system. Internal digital processing and conversion is 32-bits, and this processing includes 3.5 dB of headroom above 0 dBFS. This headroom prevents the DSP overloads that commonly occur in other D/A converters. Four balanced 32-bit D/A converters are summed together to create each balanced analog output. This 4:1 summation provides a 6 dB noise reduction, and gives the DAC3 industry-leading performance. https://www.benchmarkmedia.com/ DAC3_Series_Manual_Rev_D.pdf
  11. I have same question and thoughts. I imagine it is all equipment and system dependent. I have a Benchmark DAC3 L arriving on Monday so I can compare it against my Chord Qutest. My reasoning is that I want better volume control (and balanced outs) than the software volume I am using as I am thinking I am missing out on some SQ and not having a good gain match.
  12. Welcome to AS, a great place to get information. Don't sweat the speakers as Paradigm does not seem to get much respect in the audiophile world but I love the Be drivers. My old signature 6's only have the Be tweeter so I would be interested to hear how a full line up of Be drivers sounds. You are assembling an interesting setup.
  13. Admittedly I am a sucker for a nice polished chassis and faceplate or the heavy-duty appearance with swiss watch type fasteners and hardware. I really dislike the generic black aluminum project box type cases some companies use. All my equipment tucks away out of sight though inside a night stand type piece of furniture.
  14. Try VH Audio. He cators to the DIY crowd.
  15. Spotify is one on the best for music discovery with their algorithms that track what we play and like and then present curated playlists based on that data. Many of us make concessions with music quality due to their excellent interface and features such as connect and a great selection of playlists to suit all tastes and moods. Amazon HD is trying to follow Spotify with their user specific playlists but they are not quite there yet. Amazon does have the CD quality and higher streams but honestly, I cannot tell the difference between Amazon and Spotify. The Ogg Vorbis that Spotify uses to compress the streams seems like a pretty good codec. Everytime I try divorcing myself from Spotify I run back to it. If you are not into music discovery and using their curated playlists, than the other services might be better suited expecially if you want the better quality streams. I just signed up for a month of Amazon thinking that when I know what album I want to hear, I would use Amazon to get the CD quality, but I somehow end up back on Spotify ($13 sunk).
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