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rplace

DAC/Streamers, Streaming, Networked Music Systems

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2 minutes ago, cincymat said:

Thanks! That's exactly what I need. Already have integrated amp and speakers.

 

cincy

 

I have a pair of LSIs, a super old but trusty 5.1 Denon AVR and the Sonos Connect. It's amazing how the old gear just seems to pile up. We need a "garage system" thread. Many times when I'm done with a project I put a folding chair in the sweet spot and listen to garage music for a while. Now that Roon is out there I've ditched my 100 year old ipod from feeding the AVR....no more .MP3s that always bothered me knowing La Scalas were getting .MP3s😎

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11 minutes ago, rplace said:

 

I have a pair of LSIs, a super old but trusty 5.1 Denon AVR and the Sonos Connect. It's amazing how the old gear just seems to pile up. We need a "garage system" thread. Many times when I'm done with a project I put a folding chair in the sweet spot and listen to garage music for a while. Now that Roon is out there I've ditched my 100 year old ipod from feeding the AVR....no more .MP3s that always bothered me knowing La Scalas were getting .MP3s😎

My old garage system was a set of LSi's I restored. Loved it! Moved to NC a year or so ago and am just now getting around to having a garage system again. Garage is too small for LSI's but I do have a subwoofer and a set of HIII's. That should work. Nothing better than hanging out in the garage having a beer or two and listening to music. Being able to tap into my Roon setup is a major league plus. 

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5 minutes ago, cincymat said:

Nothing better than hanging out in the garage having a beer or two and listening to music.

 

Totally agree, why is that? Just seems right.

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30 minutes ago, rplace said:

 

Totally agree, why is that? Just seems right.

Dunno? It's a guy thing. Except, it's always my wife cranking up Stairway to Heaven. Right, @richieb ? 
 

cincy

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5 hours ago, rplace said:

If you had a fully digital active XO like @Thaddeus Smith 's Yamaha versus the Xilica that so many of us have (myself included) you cold stay purely digital until the XO feeds your amps. This was not a concern when I was 100% analogue up to my Xilica, but I'm pondering this in the future.

 

I'd like to say I planned it that way, but it was a happy accident. To those that are curious.. going directly from coax spdif to aes is a whole lot easier than aes to spdif. So it turns out you can connect a  digital device with coax spdif to the aes inputs of something like the Yamaha with little more than an RCA to XLR cable.

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43 minutes ago, cincymat said:

Dunno? It's a guy thing. Except, it's always my wife cranking up Stairway to Heaven. Right, @richieb ? 
 

cincy


True. Your wife and 2a3’s do not make a good combination. I imagine the nCores’ keep her Happy — 

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Quote

Any XLR to RCA cable that is made for ordinary audio will be suitable for your test. No modification should be necessary.

Over such a short distance, the impedance is of no importance.

AES/EBU operates at a slightly higher voltage than SPDIF. But most modern gear should be tolerant of the slight difference.

The most important unknown is whether the AES/EBU input will understand the SPDIF protocol.
And conversely whether the SPDIF input will understand the AES/EBU protocol.

The protocols are almost exactly the same except for one or two bits.
Many modern pieces of gear will operate properly with either AES/EBU or with SPDIF.
But there is no way of knowing unless the say so in the user manual, or if you actually try it.

 

There's some old threads out there on the topic. This one convinced me to just give it a shot with some cables I had on hand - and it worked.

 

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/connectors-cables-stands-and-accessories/1246658-aes-spdif.html

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10 minutes ago, richieb said:


True. Your wife and 2a3’s do not make a good combination. I imagine the nCores’ keep her Happy — 

We'll find out soon enough. The H3's aren’t quite the blasters my old LSIs were. Might have to invest in some Klipsch commercial gear. 
 

Nice to read a post from you! Hope all is well.

 

cincy

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/27/2020 at 3:50 PM, rplace said:

 

Yea, I'm getting old and there are a lot of you guys from TX it seems. Also lot of nice systems have passed in and out since the early 2000s.

 

 

If you are already sold on Roon and it will be a second system for casual listening I'd even argue more for not getting the Auralic, unless you are just looking for simple plug and play. If willing to do just a bit of tinkering I think you can do a lot better for less money.

 

NUC = Next Unit of Computing and is basically a tiny, powerful desktop. You can run it without keyboard/monitor for Roon and it is the nerve center. You can hide it anywhere you can stash stuff. Roon has a list of all the compatible NUCs that work with their software (ROCK). There is a ton of info here. If you want to know all about it.

https://help.roonlabs.com/portal/en/kb/articles/roon-optimized-core-kit

 

The have a link to all the parts you need about 1/2 way down the page. If money is an issue (probably not given your other equipment) you can mess around saving a few buck with an i3 or i5 processor. It can limit your library size and the ability to use Roon's DSP, something you might want down the line. My advice just buy one and be done. Get an i7.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08357VWB2/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=roonlabs0b-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B08357VWB2&linkId=6352ed6ea822cdc29eebb97cd0370728

 

From the Roon site:

 

Note that small hard drive size. It is only the Roon Database that needs to be on something very fast. The M.2 HDD is faster than a SATA solid state drive. Again don't worry about a few pennies get an i7, 8 or 16GB Ram and a proper size M.2 SDD. Smallish SSD drives are getting harder to find. So no big deal if $10-20 more and it is a 256GB or even 500GB. If you buy the three things (i7 NUC, RAM M.2 SSD) and you have a small Philips screwdriver you can put it together yourself in 10-15 minutes. Download the ROCK operating system from Roon and install it. Done. Now you have your Roon brains for 500-700 dollars.

 

Buy something like this to put your music files on:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/WD-Passport-5TB-Hard-Drive-NEW-Free-2-DAY-UPS-WDBPKJ0050BBK-WESN-/224250656095?hash=item343661755f

For less than $120 and plug that into one of the USB ports on the NUC now you have 5TB of storage directly connected to your Roon brains for well under a grand...probably $750 if  you shop around at all. After shopping a bit and waiting I got an i7 NUC, 32GB RAM and 500GB M.2 SSD for just over $500 delivered. It was a pretty good deal at the time.

 

$75 for the RPi 4, case and accessories I showed the receipt for a page or two back and any DAC for $1000 or less and you are rocking the suburbs for under $2k.

 

Everyone likes what they have or have had so spend as much time as you like running down the DAC that fits your needs. Hopefully others will chime in. Personally I can't imagine a better sounding DAC for 500-1500 dollars then a Denafrips Ares II. I just sold one to a forum member because I "upgraded" to the Venus II at 4X the money. The Venus is slightly better but for the pool and around the house I'd never spend that kind of coin. Here is the Ares II link:

https://www.vinshineaudio.com/product-page/denafrips-ares-r2r-dac

 

Note the price is in Singapore dollars, it will be about $750-$780 depending on the exchange rate and what your CCard/PayPal charges you. Both the Ares II and my Venus II play all version of my HighRez files. Cool thing about Roon it knows what your "endpoints" are. Endpoints = player (computer, phone,tablet, DAC, Oppo, etc.) and converts the DSD/HighRez files for devices that can't play them.

 

So with Roon all version of all your music can be played anywhere. Here is Roon converting a HighRez (96/24 WAV file) that my Sonos device could never play natively. If you are not familiar with Sonos they are a pretty handy way to get music in any room. All they need is a power outlet. I use them along with Roon to get music in my Office, Bedroom kitchen and garage.

 

RoonConversion.jpg.723b5b04f8808d1b8018e88eec8e236d.jpg

 

So for less than 2,000 dollars probably 1,500 if you really tired you can have a Roon system with 5TB of storage and amazing sound to your outdoor space. For another $99 you can get a refurbished Sonos Play:1 to have nice sound in any space you have an electrical outlet. https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/certified-refurbished-2 Remember Roon does Tiday/Qobuzz so nothing else needed in your laundry list from the Auralic. Get the Roon 3-month subscription today for 1 dollar (ends soon) and you can install on any laptop you have and start kicking the tires. BTW, I have nothing to do with Roon, just a happy customer....much like we all are with Klipsch.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Digesting all of this, hope to have everything purchased tomorrow if I can

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On 11/27/2020 at 5:59 PM, rplace said:

For those on the NUC fence, 200 dollars off. Up until Roon added the 10th generation NUC very recently this was the top dog. It is what I am using.

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1437353-REG/intel_boxnuc8i7beh1_nuc_kit_nuc8i7beh.html

 

 

Which DDR4 Memory Module for 32 GB? Do you have to build evenly? I.e. 2 16MB, or can it be one of the 32MB modules they offer? They offer 2 different 32MB by Crucial, and one by OWC. 

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1437353-REG/intel_boxnuc8i7beh1_nuc_kit_nuc8i7beh.html/accessories/96191

 

On the internal SSD, I can get 500MB for $80, or 1TB for not much more, like $110 to 130 depending on the brand  (Intel and Samsung). 

 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1437353-REG/intel_boxnuc8i7beh1_nuc_kit_nuc8i7beh.html/accessories/98615

 

Travis

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Samsung EVO M.2 is the Roon HDD of choice... can't recall why. Bigger won't do you any good for Roon DB. Might if you repurpose down the road. I think 250GB is smallest Samsung EVO M.2 .

 

RAM can (I'd argue should) be installed one stick at a time. Get one 8 over 2x4. Gives you options down the road.

 

Crucial site has a great way to enter device and get exact RAM match. I'd buy from them unless significant savings.

 

NUC

250 Samsung EVO M.2 

8 or 16 RAM, single chip

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3 minutes ago, rplace said:

RAM can (I'd argue should) be installed one stick at a time. Get one 8 over 2x4. Gives you options down the road.

You think 16 will do it, or go 32?

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It's a $10 difference between 250 and 500 Samsun SDD 

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Here is the first set up:  Older HP laptop with Tidal subscription sending wireless to a Node 2i dac/streamer.  From there to a Primaluna Dialogue Premium HP.

 

Playing CD quality Tidal offerings this set up does not sound as pleasing as an actual CD played through a Jolida JD100 tubed output CDP and an inexpensive Maverick Tube Magic DAC.

 

Speakers and sub are the same for each set up.

 

Thoughts?

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Lots of variables there.  I would start by making sure your Tidal subscription is configured to send you the highest-quality stream possible - CD quality or better.  Then, as a second test, you could eliminate the DAC as a variable. I'm not familiar with how the Node 2i works, but it looks like you can connect its digital-out to the digital-in on your Maverick DAC?  This would allow you to directly compare Tidal-source+Bluesound-wifi versus CD-source+Jolida-transport.  Make sure your sources are the same lineage/mastering.

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1 hour ago, Tarheel said:

does not sound as pleasing as an actual CD played through a Jolida JD100 tubed output CDP and an inexpensive Maverick Tube Magic DAC

 

I agree with @pbphoto above. To make the comparison you need to have everything the same except where the digital files are coming from.

 

I'm confused as to why you have the CDP going to the Maverick DAC, unless you find the DAC in the Maverick better than the Jolida. Please don't take offence but trying to make sure we are on the same page. A CD does nothing more than provide a format for getting digital information to the DAC. CD Spins, laser reads it and the info goes to the DAC on the CDP. You could just run CDP to Prima Luna which I' sure you already know. So I can only guess you think/know that Maverick does something better and you like that over the Jolida. Please confirm.

 

As for a more direct comparison I'd take the CD(s) you are trying to compare to Tidal and rip them to FLAC and store them on your computer. Then you can have.....

FLAC on computer>>Node2>>Prima Luna

and

Tidal via computer>>Node2>>Prima Luna

 

If one is better I'd suspect version/mastering of the digital source (Tidal has a different version than your CD). If they are the same then your previous differences lie in the Node DAC vs the CDP/Maverick combo...which they almost 100% have to be different. Bottom line you want everything the same except the digital files (Tidal vs your version) or you want the music files identical and change one component, the DAC.

 

Make sure the volume between the various comparisons are identical or you will most likely prefer the louder one.

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47 minutes ago, pbphoto said:

Lots of variables there.  I would start by making sure your Tidal subscription is configured to send you the highest-quality stream possible - CD quality or better.  Then, as a second test, you could eliminate the DAC as a variable. I'm not familiar with how the Node 2i works, but it looks like you can connect its digital-out to the digital-in on your Maverick DAC?  This would allow you to directly compare Tidal-source+Bluesound-wifi versus CD-source+Jolida-transport.  Make sure your sources are the same lineage/mastering.

Thanks for the reply.  In an attempt to have an uncluttered set up all components are hidden in a cabinet except for the Primaluna and the Node.  With long enough cables I could probably do what you suggest as the CDP and the Node are on opposite ends.  Do you think I am losing anything with the wireless connection to the Node from the lap top?

IMG_9661.JPG

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