Network Players - Streamers Impressions and Reviews

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by David De Lucena, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    No, they are not. It makes a lot sense to separate the noisy more or less general purpose computer from the DAC via Ethernet and some kind of application specific low noise purpose built computer endpoint with higher quality USB out (or SPDIF or I2S or AES). Yes, you can go crazy with word clocks and DCCs, etc., but you don’t need to and certainly don’t have to.
     
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  2. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    USB doesn't have to be full of nervosa. Neither do streamers, or any SPDIF/AES source for that matter.

    Just get something reputable, try to avoid FOTM, and be happy with what you have.

    With that motto, you can find some nice improvements to your SQ via a good streamer without getting stupid about it.
     
  3. pavi

    pavi Almost "Made"

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    i have an ambre feeding the jade via i2s. i use roon, and everything works very nicely together.
     
  4. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I've had one for the last 2 months. I've used it with AES (to a Holo Spring DAC) and with I2S (to a Metrum Onyx DAC). As good or better than everything I used before, which includes a range of streamers up to an Aries Femto. It's better and less complicated than "cheaper" streamers that end up being complemented with fancy power supplies, making the cost advantage of those "cheaper" units much less convincing.
     
  5. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    This will also be reviewed on innerfidelity? I have been interested in this signature version since I have been really impressed with the regular DigiOne+ iFi iPower + Picore. I imagine with them feeding the Signature seperate clean power not running through the Pi probably lifts it's performance quite a bit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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  6. Captainsubtext

    Captainsubtext Acquaintance

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    I've been using the Allo digione player in my main speaker rig with the holo audio spring over coax.

    Running volumio as OS. I haven't tried out dietPI or any other OS, so this post is primarily aimed at the pros and cons of the digione running volumio.

    I think the plethora of posts here and elsewhere already cover the benefits of using any input other than the USB on the spring, so I'll leave audio impressions out of this post and focus on a couple of things relating to the general usability of the digi one running volumio follow:
    • Ease of installation as roon end point: The roon end point packages were not pre-installed in volumio and I had to mess around with the terminal to get the packages and dependencies to install. The instructions on the roon forums didn't work for me since my pi was unable to find the correct repositories online. I was able to figure it out after some googling. TL DR - configuring volumio as an end point for room on the digi one may take above average computer skills.

    • Using the volumio web client / app to manage a library and play music is quite a sub par experience if you're used to your music player pulling down metadata from the web. The web interface is clunky and isn't particularly intuitive. Volumio doesn't seem to be designed for managing massive libraries. Creating playlists is also quite a chore. Before I installed roon I used Plex to index my music and generate libraries and used upnp dlna to play music using the digione which is one step too many. The digione when used as a roon end point offers a far superior experience IMO. That said I haven't tried playing around with HQ player and using the digione as a network player.

    • Airplay and local hotspot - my speakers are set up in my living room and I have people over often who want to play 'their music' on my rig. volumio acts as an airplay receiver and simplifies my life. Since the digione is fairly compact it's easy to carry around while auditioning gear. It creates a local WiFi hotspot and it's possible to play lossless music directly from phones during auditions and headphone meetups.

    • Tidal integration: As far as I'm aware Tidal integration is available on the myvolumio premium subscription and not on the plain vanilla volumio distribution. There is a work around using a Upnp player like bubble Upnp to use tidal as a source but again it's a little tedious to use and set up. On I devices airplay can be used (this is not optimal). Tidal integration is of course not an issue when it is set up as a roon end point.
    To sum up I find that the digione works flawlessly as a Roon end point once you get past the initial installation. If you don't plan on using Roon I don't find volumio to be very intuitive to use - perhaps a different OS may offer a better experience.

    I have a singxer SU-1 incoming. Can't wait to compare it to the digione.
     
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  7. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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  8. starence

    starence Facebook Friend

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    @Captainsubtext, if all you need is roon, RoPieee is very easy to install/configure.
     
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  9. Lasollor

    Lasollor Friend

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    My Signature arrived about a week ago, it replaced the Eitr in my system, because the Eitr caused my Yggdrasil to click and stop music for a second every time someone turned on or off something in the house.

    I feed the clean side with the same chinese lps (but 5v version) that Atomicbob measured with the MCTH and run piCorePlayer with realtime kernels and output it to Roon.

    I hear more clarity and better bass extension with the LPS compared to the iPower I also have. It might be just placebo though.

    I also have an 502DAC which I use mainly use for background music with a pair of active speakers. I’ve always felt that it is cleaner but leaner sounding than the Eitr. The Signature provides little bit better bass extension and a little bit more dynamic sound compared to the 502DAC’s AES output.

    Overall I realy like the Signature, and the engeneering behind it, but the the price (+lps) is quite steep compared to the other, also very good options.
     
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  10. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    What that f it’s “my signature”? :D
     
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  11. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    You could, but it would be mental masturbation only. Word clock is for clock distribution in a studio setting with a relatively deep signal path/routing, not for end-user hifi listening. You can make things sound worse by forcing word clock on them. At best, it's not going to help a clean source at all; at worst, it's a potential source of additional jitter. If you can't manage clock stability over a single short point-to-point link, you have more fundamental problems anyway. Use a clean source and/or a DAC with competent VxO.

    I know it's very popular on head-fi to use enormous piles of digital gear that you don't quite understand and claim magical results, but it really isn't helpful.

    At a pinch, maybe I'd use word clock to keep multiple DACs happy in an elaborate surround setup, but two channel? Better to spend the money on a decent chair.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  12. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    <-- Cat laughs and says...

    Heretic!

    :D
     
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  13. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Having rebuild my home office to have space for stacks of books as well as for gear-under-comparison and a nice listening chair, I did a first little test. 1) Roon>Ambre>I2S>Onyx vs 2) Pi+502DAC+Audiophonics LPS+piCorePlayer>AES>Onyx. Both into Apex Peak+Volcano+Psvane 6SN7-SE>Ether C Flow 1.1. The judge (my wife with the keen musical ear) declared 2) slightly harsher, less smooth than 1). The judge did not know which was which. The Metrum gear is pricey, but I'm really taken by it.
     
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  14. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    I miss you guys, sorry I haven't been posting much. Work/life is a pain.

    I love the concept of Network players. By sitting on your butt you can have access to your whole music collection (plus Qobuz/Tidal, and gods knows what else). Using your tablet and phone as your remote makes the concept work.

    But to me, that's the problem. Using your phone and tablet as the remote/terminal. LCD glare and the access to the internet on those devices makes the whole concept bothering for me. I tried the network player concept before (run an USB Cable from my Thinkpad to my Ayre Codex and Upnp it via foobar2000). It actually works great. But I then realized that I was surfing the web on my phone/tablet and wasn't giving the music the full attention it deserves.

    However, when I'm using the CD Player to my Codex via Toslink, my mind is 100% on the music (just like those who do vinyl). I would love a music server that doesn't even use a phone/tablet, and can output via USB to my Codex (and actually works on that part!). I had the Cayin IDAP-6 a few months back. Sadly it didn't work at all on my Codex (so I had to send it back).

    If there's a good sounding Music Server that I don't even need to use a phone/tablet (a screen on the unit itself would work), then sign me up. Anything to cut me off from the real world would be my goal (ok for the Music Server to access the internet just for Qobuz and Tidal).
     
  15. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Touch screen on yer Pi-Digi: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/11/musings-raspberry-pi-3-b-touch.html
     
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  16. YMO

    YMO Friend

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  17. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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  18. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Validated by Tyll removing Utopia from WOF

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    Doing the same thing with my upgraded Pavane. Ambre with Roon is very easy to setup and use. Not a cheap solution, but moving to the I2S input has lifted the Pavane quite a bit over AES via an SU-1. Worth it for me.
     
  19. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    This is a discipline problem not a streaming control device problem. When I want concentrate on the music, I use my iPad to queue up several albums in Roon and put the iPad down until the albums are done. If you can’t stop yourself from playing on the iPad, leave it plugged in away from your listening position.
     
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  20. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    I agree, minus the iPad since I hate Apple with a passion. I think the bigger problem for me is the LCD glare. I want to shut off as much light as I can. Even looking at a phone or tablet will mess around with my eyes more than I would like.

    Also I do live with in a busy apartment with mutliple people. Ehs.
     

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