Nativ Vita crowdfunded streamer

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by uncola, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    My Vita arrived yesterday, spent a day setting it up and getting used to the touchscreen interface.

    Brief impressions: sound quality is excellent via bnc to coax cable, as good as my laptop with jriver 23 but the vita is a bit smoother and easier to listen to, similar to when I had a high end usb to coax/i2s converter in my audio chain(singxer kitsune edition). I mostly have redbook or high res flacs and the vita played them gapless with no problem. The artist and album browsing views were good as was playlist creation. The build quality and materials are amazing. The vita metal enclosure is super strong and premium and so is the wooden stand. Seems to be cnc'ed from a giant single piece of hardwood?

    The remote is the heaviest with the thickest metal I've ever used.. very premium feeling and sturdy.

    Things I learned during setup: Don't use any digital cables with long strain relief boots.. my blue jeans cable bnc to coax are a bit too long to use and the vita kind of sits on the strain relief.

    Hard drive installation was pretty easy. After I installed the hard drive I set up the vita and started copying my music collection to the hard drive using the vitas built in public smb share over ethernet. I accessed it in windows file explorer by typing \\192.168.1.52 which was the IP my router gave to the vita. It seemed to go kind of slowly, 7MBps or so. The UI was slow but I assumed that was because I was copying files over and it was scanning them to import them into the library.
    After using the vita for a while I thought maybe my hard drive was slowing down the system so I switched to having a Network Library and pointed the vita to my NAS music library share IP address.. but it was still very slow to navigate the UI. So I replaced the 2TB hard drive with a 250GB Samsung 840 SSD and copied about 200 gigs of music to it. It did seem to speed up but the UI was still kind of slow. I eventually learned that's the normal speed of the UI.

    I set up Tidal hifi and it works correctly but sometimes asks me to update, then the update tries to open google play store and fails. I don't have a roon sub so couldn't try it.

    Negatives: UI frustratingly slow, too slow to be used as a daily music playing device. No ability to browse library and queue music with smartphone app yet unless you have Roon so you can only use it if you're sitting next to it. Remote is basically only for play/pause and track skip. The ui isn't really good to use from across the room with the remote control to browse or add music to a playlist.

    Positives: Great build quality and materials, gorgeous looks. High sound quality, good file format support. Good artist and album browsing views with playlist creation and queuing. UI is very pretty with automatically generated backgrounds for the album covers that match its color tones, kind of like having phillips ambilights behind your lcd tv. It has a lot of potential but they need to speed up the UI and add remote operation via smartphone. The company also has great communication and customer service with very good online manuals and faqs.


    Here's some setup pics
    https://imgur.com/a/o8faK
     
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  2. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    Thanks for the impressions. I wonder is it really better than a DAP in a dock with USB or coaxial SPDIF out. At least DAPs are quite fast. The bigger screen is a convenience, though. If the sound is good, probably you can control it from a phone or tablet with its own app. For that reason I wish it didn't have a screen and was cheaper (eventually kept the wooden housing in a neat, flat design). I realize I was just asking for the sort of a Lumin D1 :). Wait, that has an okay DAC too.
     
  3. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    The circuit board looks good. Again, I wish it didn't have a screen, just running a music server. But then the SoTM SMS-200 [Ultra] or the ultraRendu are doing nearly the same.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    Nice to see this one come through- I had a look at the campaign last year and it sounded high risk (new hardware + new software).
     
  5. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    It's a Linux computer, right? Looks pretty though.

    Afterthought... both for and against.

    Yes, it probably is, and I am dead against selling PCs as hi-price-hifi*. But, build your own box with the same i/o and you probably need a board from someone like RME, which is not going to come cheap. And audiophiles object to board-in-the-noisy-box on principle. but that is what this is, right?

    So, add the display and the storage, factor in one of those really nice-looking cases with silent heat-pipe cooling and... the price is probably not that bad.

    But is it a ground-breaking thing that does anything different, or better, than a PC with the appropriate board? That I doubt. And you can control the PC with the touch interface on your phone or tablet. But you still have to add the polished-wood stand.

    And... it is undeniably pretty.



    *See, for instance, Linn, although I am sure there are many others.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  6. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    It is possible to build a computer e.g. with an SotM pci-e sound card and clock board, but the mobo needs to be modified for that, it's not for everyone. SotM does such things, send in your mobo, they mod it and add a clock board and a sound card, and optionally SATA filters. However, the end cost is about the same or more as here, and you're still to add the SW.

    My concern for this design: both the SATA drives are noisy, and the display, too. I think the best design is to have a dedicated audio board around an SoC that can run the minimal SW stack from an SD card. You feed it via Ethernet from a NAS or computer or SD card, and control it with a tablet/phone/computer (e.g. Roon). It outputs USB or SPDIF audio, or analog if it also has a DAC (driven by the same high quality clocks). This seems to be the best setup today, and it is what most manufacturers follow.

    The all-in-ones done nicely (like the Vita) actually do have their market. I am happy for this product, but I realized it's not what I need, or want. I just wish they'd also have a product like this, but without the screen.

    If simplicity is the driving principle, an SD-card player + streamer seems to be it. If you want a screen that can be small, buy a good DAP + dock. If big screen is needed, buy the Vita (or similar tablet + SoC solutions, e.g. around the RPi).
     
  7. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Computeraudiophile stuff. I have allergies.
     
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