That's the route I usually take but in this case, that wouldn't work for me. When I buy used off the forum, it's something I know I want and will enjoy. In this case I have know idea if I'm going to like it. If I buy off the forum and don't like it, I'm stuck with it. And maybe I could get most off my money back by selling it. But after pp fees, and shipping fees, chances are I won't. Buying this new from an authorized dealer, I have 30 days to audition it. If I don't like it, I can simply return it. It's a small piece and wouldn't cost me much at all to ship it back.
Is the Music Streamer Pro Worth the Premium Over the Music Streamer II+? - Page 2
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No, it doesn't. Though I plan to use it both single ended and balanced. There's a post on computer audiophile(I think) that said even in single ended mode it outperformed the II+. But it doesn't matter now. It's supposed to be delivered here tomorrow, but I won't get a chance to listen to it until monday. The ebay seller who I bought the connectors from was slow shipping them out.
Oh, I even read up on that DAC and never realized that it had the single ended mode. I'm guessing I even read computer audiophile's take on it but didn't pick up on that comment about it being better. Probably because I thought it only had XLR outs on it.
That may have changed my mind a little...but I'm not entire sure how a USB DAC with the same bite rate/data depth is going to sound better for me. I would have been up for a better DAC myself but I couldn't find a better one that made sense. I read about the II+ compared to other DACs with better data depth and the II+ always seemed to win out but I did want something that would match the higher data-rate files you can download.
So I guess I can't contribute to the original question because I wondered the same thing but settled on the II+ myself. Personally, I'd like to A/B test with the 2 lower models to see what I could hear. Maybe people on here should swap out gear more for testing!
It only has balanced outputs. single ended output is achieved by using balanced to single ended adapters. I scored all of the connectors I needed really cheap, so spending a lot of money on interconnects wont be a problem for me.
- 7,098 Posts. Joined 6/2009
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Ask Skylab why he doesnt loan his gear any more. It only takes one dirtbag to ruin it for everyone - fortunately for Rob, he has no shortage of amps to enjoy, but it was still a low act. Karma catches up to scum like that.
Well as I feared, it's most likely going back. It's not the best dac in my house and is equal to my kramer. It doesn't sound bad, but it's very over rated and over hyped. I'm going to experiment with different dac cables, but with using only generic interconnects on my kramer, it's still equal to the pro. There are a few differences. The soundstage of the pro is a little wider, but it's deeper on the kramer. They both are an upgrade to my motu 828mkII. But I must say the value isn't that bad. Even though I only paid 40.00 for my kramer, you won't find it for under 650.00 anywhere on the web(still trying to figure that one out). My motu is an 800.00 unit, but keep in mind it does a lot more than digital to analog conversion. The dac in my onkyo flagship receiver it still better than both. But I'm going to keep it for a couple of weeks, and try different usb cables before making a final decision. This will also give it enough time to be fully burned in. But after reading reviews of it destroying 1000.00 dacs and reviews of it being equal to 2500.00 dacs, I'm a bit disappointed. I expected this to destroy my kramer.
Well if I didn't know it then, I definitely know it now. That's a site I don't think I will visit again. I know sound is very subjective, but in know way does this compete with dacs in 1000.00 price range let alone 2500.00 price range. From the dacs I'v listened to and owned, I would say it competes nicely with other 500.00 dacs. But if you need more features and inputs, other 500.00 dacs probably would be the better bet. For the sound I think you are sacrificing way too many features for 500.00. If you get the sound of far more expensive dacs then lack of features would be a small price to pay. But for it to still sound like a 500.00 dac and have no features what so ever, then it only make sense if you need something with a small footprint and you'll only using a computer as a transport. Otherwise I really couldn't recommend this to anyone. You could get the same sound for the same money with way more features.
- 164 Posts. Joined 5/2003
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The Rega I have now killed the HRT II+ I tried, even with the 16/44 USB input on the Rega (same USB cable). Add the HiFace EVO for S/PDIF input into the Rega and it is not even close. I also thought the Apogee Duet was preferable, and that is in the same ballpark cost wise. The Rega with a low jitter feed from the HiFace EVO is WAY better interms of relaxed, effortless presentation and is completely grainless. THis combo is very analog sounding the HRT wasn't close to sounding like vinyl/
I think the HRT is OK for the price, but there is no way it is going to compete with things like Anedio, Rega, W4S, etc.
I think the big selling point of the hrt products is being able to produce a clean digital signal from a usb input. With my kramer being connected either optical or coaxial from my motherboard, the htr beats it easily. But using my motu as a spdif converter, the kramer is just as good. There are many products out there where the usb input doesn't sound as good as the usb input. I think hrt and other have now solved to problem inherent with usb audio. My motu doesn't even use usb. It along with other really expensive units, used firewire. Firewire doesn't have the problems usb have. On paper usb is better but have issues. So recently, some companies have addressed the issues with usb. So in that aspect, the hrt products are very good. But as a dac, not so much. So it would be better IMO to get a good dac along with a good usb/spdif converter. Because the dac perfomance of the hrt pro is good, but nothing special.