Network Players - Streamers Impressions and Reviews

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

  1. Orkney

    Orkney Acquaintance

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    I've had an Amber for a few weeks now. Works well thus far, though I'm still getting dropouts on HD material via Roon, which has been a problem on most streamers I've used. And the fintermittently lashing LAN light is now wearing tape to dull the glare.

    Would have considered a cheaper version had it been available when I bought, especially since the Ambre case is just wide enough to not fit beside the Onyx.
     
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  2. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    Your media its in a NAS or hard drive connected to computer? can you compare Amber vs Onyx USB - Computer? thanks
     
  3. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Bear in mind that the Onyx USB input sucks, so if Ambre doesn’t destroy it, then Ambre is not good.

    @Orkney are you using the I2S input? Sorry if you mentioned that before.
     
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  4. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Never had any dropouts, with the Ambre or a variety of previous networked audio sources, but then I only currently play PCM FLAC stored on a NAS, served by a dedicated Roon core server (Intel i5 NUC), everything wired with CAT 6 and pro network gear.
     
  5. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    Are you hardwired or using WiFi?
     
  6. Orkney

    Orkney Acquaintance

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    I'm hard-wired, and using the 12S link, with all media stored on a Synology NAS, though the Synology isn't hosting the core, since that proved problematic.

    SQ-wise, and on a casual listen, the Ambre is at least as good as the Ultra-Rendu it replaced, but I've been away on work so will give it a proper listen when I have some time this week and will then report back. I prefer the Onyx overall to the Gungnir MB with Gen 5 it replaced, but wouldn't say the differences are dramatic.
     
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  7. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    I had the Onyx for a while and also compared to Gungnir Multibit - I preferred Gungnir Multibit because I have a two channel setup and the Gungnir Multibit really dominates on soundstage and microplankton compared to Onxy which is much smaller stage, but has really nice tonality.

    I also had the UltraRendu for a while, but got my hands on a used SoTM SMS-200Ultra and preferred it over the uR. The uR sounded more sibilant and forward/forced and the SoTM sounds smoother and more relaxed but just as detailed and actually has better plankton/atmosphere and soundstaging than the uR, although the diffs were fairly subtle.

    Will be interested to hear what you think of the Ambre compared to the uR - do you still have the uR as well?
     
  8. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    I had an opportunity to experiment Aurender n10 in my system. It has being playing here for 5 days and don't think the sound will change. My point of comparison and previous gear that I used: intona usb, Schiit Eitr and Auralic Aries - AES (this one here since June). All connected to Yggdrasil 1 and Zana Deux Super - HD800. The reference is a OLD Rega Planet and other crappy old Denon 2560 that I have been using lesser because I cannot find rebooks to buy in Brasil. Its not practical as Roon with usb and Aries, but it was the best overall sound - enjoyment (for me).
    So after a couple of years my best music experience was, in a very idiot subjetive grade of enjoyment, that involves soundstage, plankton, tone/ timbre and lesser audio fatigue:

    Old crappy Denon: 106. :bird:
    OLD Rega Planet: 100
    Aries EBU with Auralic Software: 80
    Aries EBU with Roon: 70
    Eirt: 70
    Intona: 60
    Mac mini direct USB: 45
    Well, I really was expecting that Aurender was kind of an audio bullshit, but it is not. Its really better than every other gear that I have used. When playing Tidal, its really close/equal than redbook in Rega. Using Flac files into N10 SSD , overall I think it is better than the same music playing in Denon or Rega transport.
    I have no engineering or audio tech knowledge. I just enjoy music. Sorry I cannot provide any detailed description of this gear. If someone its nearby I can loan the N10 for measurements and more experienced ears, This Aurender IMHO don't have a good Price/ performance ratio. The performance its TOP notch, but the new retail price its absurd.
    But if you can burn some money, its IMHO end game transport for FLAC.

    some pics of the bad boys
     

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  9. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    Thanks David for your subjective ranking. The difference between the Aurender and lowly Mac mini ( of which I own) has me interested in revisiting my Raspberry Pi, which I think sounds a little better than my Mac, but using coax out vs. USB. I also am waiting for the Schiit transport. But what really made me wonder about the Aurender is why is sounds so good to you. My gut is telling me that maybe they did something special with the power supply.

    Still, even used, an Aurender is out of my price range.
     
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  10. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    I do think its the power supply. But have no understanding and knowledge to explain.
     
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  11. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Like Melco, Auralic and others, these high end streamer/servers pull out all the stops on everything they think can improve sound, which in an audio computer (which is all these are) is basically:
    - discreet linear power supplies and tightly controlled power regulation for various components
    - electronic noise reduction and shielding (from inside components as well as outside)
    - pricey wiring and other expensive internal components and circuit boards (compared to a generic computer at least)
    - high precision clocks
    - electrical noise isolated/filtered inputs and outputs
    - optimized OS/firmware/software/
     
  12. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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    Ah that picture of the Rega Planet brings back memories! Used to have one of those bad boys years ago in my 2-channel system. Was a solid performer, and loved how it looked - kind of something out of Star Trek! Upgraded to a Resolution Audio Opus 21, then switched from CDs to FLAC streaming purely for convenience, using the Opus as a DAC only.

    To go back OT, has anyone here used a Geek Source yet? Know there are a handful out in the real world. Not that LHL has the best of reputations...
     
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  13. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Has anyone compared the Ambre to DigiOne Signature both from a functionality standpoint for Roon, and sound quality of their coax outputs?
     
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  14. Greg121986

    Greg121986 Almost "Made"

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    Can anyone explain how the SOTM SMS200 player handles libraries from NAS? I think I am reading that you cannot use the SOTM on its own to parse the NAS and create a database of files for playback. Is this correct? If so, that's a massive disappointment.

    I have found Volumio and Runeaudio to be 90% unreliable on Raspberry Pi. I have reached the end of my willingness to deal with it. I need a replacement ASAP.
     
  15. winders

    winders Mentally ill. Do not engage.

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    The SMS200 is a player/endpoint much like the ultraRendu. They will not act as servers. You need some other device to act as the server. The actual music files can be on the server or stored on a NAS. In the Roon world, the SMS200 acts as a Roon endpoint that is fed by a Roon Core. The Roon Core may also store the music files locally or access them from the network.

    These endpoints are are not general purpose computers and are designed with very specific and minimal function in mind. The idea being that these devices will introduce less noise into the signal sent to the DAC which, in turn, means they should sound better.
     
  16. Greg121986

    Greg121986 Almost "Made"

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    I have my music stored on an Arch Linux server, but I do not want to run Roon off of my server. I won't get into why I have reservations on doing that.

    So if the SoTM or Rendu devices require something upstream to process and manage the library, then I might as well pony up for an Aurender because that seems to be the only device that will manage & index the server while delivering the files to my DAC.
     
  17. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Look into running Minimserver or LMS (Logitech media server) - the SMS/Rendu devices can stream from either of those servers via UPNP or SqueezeLite. There are others as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
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  18. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    Anyone with the Allo Signature - do you know if it will output coax & BNC signal simultaneously? Would be a nice feature when comparing dacs.
     
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  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    When your LPS is twice the size of your streamer...derp :D

    No I just got everything over the last couples and have zero impressions. I suppose a useless post afterall
     

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  20. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    What kind of software allo uses? Can roon identify it?
     

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