USB streamers...aurender, auralic, sonore etc...anyone getting into this area?

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by chopstix, Feb 4, 2017.

?

i am exploring this area and plan to within next 6mo (or already am) investing money

Poll closed Feb 4, 2018.
  1. yes

    22 vote(s)
    73.3%
  2. no

    8 vote(s)
    26.7%
  1. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    If you believe the Eitr works, why bother with the USBridge? Even a RPi Zero W is enough for your intents and purposes. Ethernet is also connected through USB bus on RPi devices anyway...

    Sparky isn't on the highest priority dev list for Volumio.

    (You can use the USB 3.0 OTG port as a normal USB 3 port.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  2. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    Any particular reason you want to keep the Eitr in the chain? Since this is budget build you might consider a DigiOne or DAC502 straight to the DAC or just use the Eitr as @Grahad2 suggests?
     
  3. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I wasn't considering the USBridge. That was @Taverius' suggestion. Maybe an RPi 3 with built in wifi is the simplest solution for me. Board, case, PSU, done.
     
  4. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    The problem with the pi is that the usb and WiFi/ethernet are all on the same (single) usb controller via an internal hub.

    Fine for redbook, but even 96khz can be an issue sometimes, let alone dsd. So evaluate depending on your library composition.

    I have one to play around with and haven't had an issue there with my library being 100% redbook, but my dsd test tracks it doesn't have the bandwidth on that controller.

    Apparently that's also because the built-in wi-fi is weak, but I haven't tried a dongle.
     
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  5. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Almost "Made"

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    I have tried Runeaudio, Volumio and Archphile in the past. For Runeaudio development is not very active lately. Archphile is better for people who like to do some tweaking as it does not rewrite the mpd configuration file at boot like the other two.
    If you want something set and forget I would go for Volumio. If you want to use USB I would stay away from the Pi family due to the mentioned bandwidth problems arising from Ethernet and US sharing the same bus. I would get an Odroid device for USB. It has separate bus for Ethernet and US. They are a little more expensive than the equivalent Pi but it is money well spent. Computing power wise a C1+ will largely be sufficient. The 64 bit architecture and higher computing power of the C2 is not really needed. It might be that in terms of support from the project (Volumio/Runeaudio) the C2 is the better choice as it is the newer device. I did run Volumio 2 on a C1 (predecessor of the C1+) and had no trouble streaming 24/176.4. The GUI of both Volumio 2 and Runeaudio are pretty self explanatory. WiFi works well with a dongle. I once pimped the PSU with a silent switcher
    https://linearaudio.nl/silentswitcher
    but SQ wise I could not hear an improvement. Of course SBC have their own regulators on board for 3.3 V for instance, so the usefulness of feeding them clean power is debatable anyway.
    If you want a Pi I2S is the way to go in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  6. mitochondrium

    mitochondrium Almost "Made"

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    One more thing when I had a Gumby Gen 5 at home the “buy better gear” light which indicates a bad USB source did not light regardless whether I used the Odroid with or without pimped PSU.
     
  7. Torq

    Torq Money can't buy class

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    The "Buy Better Gear" light has nothing to do with the USB input - it's for the S/PDIF inputs.

    The USB input, regardless of it being Gen 3 or 5, is Async USB 2.0, so the source clock is irrelevant.
     
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  8. Xecuter

    Xecuter Brush and floss your amp twice a day

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    I picked up an Auralic Aries LE as the price was just too good not to try it. 1000aud with Geiseler LPS
    I think the price is dropping as Auralic is now selling the Aries G2 streamer which will overshadow the Aries.

    [​IMG]

    My current source is pc>jriver>lynx aes16e>forsell air reference dac.
    I picked up the AES16e due to significant noise through my motherboard SPDIF. It helped, although I still noticed some days were better than others and it seems to coincide with drivers/programs open and available memory. I was never totally happy with the lynx as a source as there seems to be a crunchy, raspy, digitus tonality to everything, subtle, but always there. (this was present on all dacs i tested from this pc)

    Also the forsell dac which is directly driven by the recovered clock loses immediacy from the lynx aes16e which I figure must be due to a clocking issue I can't seem to sort out.

    I had my eye on the aries for the spotify/tidal access, I realize it's not super high fidelity but it's how I find new music and I wanted to be able to do this without turning on my Desktop. I'm in the process of setting up a NAS and a better home network but already I'm finding this thing is pretty awesome.
    I can stream from jriver/roon or even just cast movies to the aries, it can be used as a DLNA renderer or i can control spotify/tidal from my phone.

    I had some trouble initially as we are an apple free home. The only way to set up the aries is using an ios device and the Lightning DS app (not available on android), however once configured you can use the browser interface to configure it, switch it from UnPn renderer to Lightning device, change filters etc.
    The lightning DS app is really nice, on a borrowed Ipad, it was a breeze to browse my library and stream straight to the aries. I also liked that I can stream straight to the aries from jriver and noticed very quickly how much better this sounded than from my lynx.

    The filter I'm running is the pricise, which is the one that does basically nothing, there is a balanced and a smooth option (which was the most popular according to Auralic).
    I've spent some time with some other streamers such as the aurender w20, aria and the Sonos connect streamer.
    I have found that these super high end network streamers from aurender tend to be coloured sounding with boosted mid bass, thicc sounding and often have sharpened treble for that typical super filtered 'audiophile' sound. The Aria was good but really expensive and the iaria app was a bit sluggish when i tried it, the sonos was good but not sure if it would be up to audiophile standards due to lack of sample rates, however the wired for sound modded sonos sounded very good and the gui was awesome. However due to a lack of AES and usb out and the cost was approaching the Aries LE I chose to try the aries LE in home.

    The Aries is actually very neutral in precise mode, I can't detect any colouration, seems to be for the most part transparent. It is clean, digitus free and most importantly - immune to the fuckery of my Desktop PC.
    This is the best I've heard spotify with my system and even streaming Jriver from my pc was better than wired through the lynx, very similar quality to my SFT-1-SE (upgraded clock) transport which is a fairly neutral budget vintage transport.

    I'm not going into more detail with sound quality, it is either true to the recording or not. The digital side is either scuffed or it's not. I felt the aries LE passes.

    Vs the Lynx.
    It is clear there is an issue with my PC, I've been waiting for this system to die so I can justify upgrading mobo, cpu and everything else. I don't think it is really fair for me to compare the aries LE to lynx, as I feel that in my situation the Lynx is not as those described it in the nervosa thread. My lynx set-up is not clean, there is grit, transients are somehow dulled and there is a digitus that is constantly present.
    When I get a new pc I will try give the lynx another go, however it might even be this second hand lynx that has an issue.

    Issues:
    lack of android support, occasional drop outs (probably my modem), have to switch from renderer to lightning mode through browser or app if you want to switch from casting to controlling streaming services. Cheap plastic casing fairly ugly display, also display doesn't show much information (only shows song time and track number), I feel this could of shown the song title, artist and sample rate. Remote is complex and mostly useless for normal use.
    It was definitely designed for apple households but it can be managed with windows and android. Online manual was fairly bad and doesn't explain many of the main features in any detail, therefore it requires decent knowledge of networks and computers to get it working well.

    Conclusion:
    When i started streaming my music from Jriver to the Aries I was pretty emotional.. Many of you would know what it is like to have a bottle neck in your system that you can't seem to nail on the head.
    I got the SFT-1 so I could compare my PC to it and it was definitely head and shoulders better, but I wanted to be able to skip through songs on jriver and spotify while I trawl the forums and sip a good dram. I nearly gave up on audio because it wasn't super noticeable but it just kinda ruined my 'experience".
    I had experimented with laptops with spdif and DAPs as digital sources and they had their own set of issues. Also I couldn't just sit at my desk and explore music the way i wanted to with these options.

    The Aries is probably overpriced and unnecessary for almost everyone. However if you are running multiple systems or are desperate to separate your pc from your chain like I was.. I think the aries can offer a lot, it's already changed my listening habits which is what I really wanted.
     
  9. File1man

    File1man Rando

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    As a relative noob to getting better sound from computer saved files, I'm struggle with best connection- ehternet/usb, coax, optical out from my computer's Zxr sound card. I expect coax 192 is superior to optical 92 but have no experience with ehternet/ usb. About to try a lan ehternet switch to microrendu to schiit eitr (usb in, coax out) to cxn dac/streamer (coax in & out) to gungnir dac coax in(has no usb in my gungnir) . My problem is that my 10 yr old music hall cd player to gungnir dac has superior sound to the combo of cambridge cxn streamer/ dac to gungnir dac. Didnt expect that. Hoped that using JRiver flac files or tidal or spotify premium should exceed cd sound. Using my computer & tidal's vast library is convenient but I do not want a tradeoff to inferior sound. My research says cd sound 16/44 sb inferior sound, but so far, I need help with my chain because so far, cd sound is noticeabkly better than hi res flac.
     
  10. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    I assume you already have the Eitr. Try PC -USB-> Eitr -Coax-> Gungnir.
     
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  11. Gaspasser

    Gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    These posts are all ancient history now that the Eitr/Gen 5 is around. Torq went through all of this and unless you have unlimited funds it is moot. Keep reading and you shall see that unless you need extra stuff (streamers, Ethernet to USB converters, etc) the best (cheapest, great sound) route is Eitr or Gen 5. I sold my stuff and just use Gen 5.
     
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  12. File1man

    File1man Rando

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    Thank god for Torq and like minded people as I learn something new to me, almost every time & so very often.
     
  13. Telstar

    Telstar Bottom 1% of posters on SBAF

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    And this statement is backed by what?
    Using a su-1 or an Empirical (forgot model) ddc after a rendu puts it at least on par with any “sane dac” with spdif input.
    Same jitter too, without a master clock.

    I still use a PC as source, optimized but nothing crazy. And I’m curious how a streamer will sound in comparison. Usb in both cases.
     

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