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post #121 of 142

FWIW, the latest TEAC DAC seems to have a few fans over at AK - cant comment personally.

 

P86, have you been following the evolution of the CAPS server over at CA ? Specifically,

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/my-new-caps-v2-build%3B-best-digital-ive-heard-13548/

 

I dont want to derail this thread, but the OP claims his CAPS server is better than his Auraliti and any of the Mac Mini / Linux MPD variants he has ever heard. Lotsa tinkering to get there, but food for thought.

post #122 of 142

For those who dont have time to keep abreast of developments over at Naim, one of the first companies to embrace the 'network player' concept, this is their latest addiction to their horde of players with 'network capabilities':

 

http://www.whathifi.com/review/naim-nac-n-172-xs

 

I believe that the new 'streaming preamp' comes in at a little over 3K USD, and it joins the following toys:

 

NDS - the current 'reference' network player, with a pricetag to match:

http://www.whathifi.com/news/naim-launches-%C2%A36250-nds-network-music-player

 

NDX - the previous reference, inspired by the megabuck HDX hard-drive player:

http://www.whathifi.com/review/naim-ndx

 

ND5 XS - a more affordable version of the NDX:

http://www.whathifi.com/news/win-a-naim-nd5-xs-network-player-worth-%C2%A31950

 

NaimUniti2 - the second iteration of their big selling Uniti all-in-one (has a CDP):

http://www.naimaudio.com/hifi-products/naimuniti

 

UnitiLite - a cheaper version of the Uniti2, with a smaller amp (50W vs 70W) and cheaper CDP:

http://www.naimaudio.com/hifi-products/unitilite

 

UnitiQute - an even smaller, boxier all-in-one (minus CDP and 30WPC amp):

http://www.naimaudio.com/hifi-products/unitilite

 

Those with deep pockets may like to peruse the Nov, 2012 US MSRP listing via the link at the bottom of this page. Its worth noting that everything listed above starts around the 3K USD mark - obviously your local dealer can give you more details.

 

http://www.soundorg.com/brands/naim

 

Counting the original HDX, which Naim are still producing, I count no less than 8 'network-enabled' products from Naim. Is it just me, or is there a little redundancy creeping into that lineup ? I guess that is one of the advantages of separates over the all-in-one : you dont have to release an all-new product every time you want to give your customers an upgrade/downgrade path. One thing is clear - to me anyway - companies like Naim and Linn arent backing down from their willingness to embrace hard-drive based systems.

post #123 of 142
Thread Starter 
Dunno about the CAPS server. I get the feeling the OP is one of those "Wow, the search is finally over!" type of people who will be back on the market trying new stuff/finding more improvements within a year. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows... But for me the PK90 is the end of my journey in terms of SQ. Combined with a nice DAC, I get better results with it than any of the $5K, $12K, etc transports that I've owned in he past. That's good enough for me!

Naim and Linn stuff always looks good to me until I see the price. Wish they would release affordable streaming only units with no DAC.
post #124 of 142

Thanks for the feedback, P86, and I tend to agree with your point re the poster in question. Some of those guys are just inveterate tinkerers, pure and simple : that's cool, but the people reading those threads need to realise that IMO.

 

Also agree re Naim and Linn, but at least the Naim stuff seems to find music on a network a whole lot more quickly and easily than the Linn systems Nothing like slugging someone 7K for a 'streamer' then asking them to spend days/weeks wrestling with your buggy implementation.  :yikes:

post #125 of 142
Thread Starter 
Btw you mentioned the TEAC gear being well received. I'm pretty intrigued by the new Reference 501 series components they are just now releasing. USB dac, balanced HP amp, compact integrated, and a small CD player that somehow plays DSD... Not sure about that last part - maybe you burn it as a data disc or something?
post #126 of 142
post #127 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:

 

Interesting thread. I think a lot of people are in the same boat.

 

DSD playback is still fringe as far as I'm concerned. Yes, more and more units are adding support, but it reminds me of the megapixel race for point-and-shoot digital cameras: do we really need it? I suspect the answer is no in the vast majority of cases. 

post #128 of 142

I wouldnt want to pay for mammoth downloads unless I can be sure that the end result will be (markedly) better than I've experienced from my lone SACD. Read a 'warts and all' summary of SACD a while back, and the author claimed that some discs weren't even cut from the master tapes - in one horrendous example, the SACD was cut from a 16/44.1 CD ! Like vinyl, nothing can compensate for poor production/mastering, but some of us seem to think 'hi-rez' recording is a magic cure-all for all of these woes. 

post #129 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

I wouldnt want to pay for mammoth downloads unless I can be sure that the end result will be (markedly) better than I've experienced from my lone SACD. Read a 'warts and all' summary of SACD a while back, and the author claimed that some discs weren't even cut from the master tapes - in one horrendous example, the SACD was cut from a 16/44.1 CD ! Like vinyl, nothing can compensate for poor production/mastering, but some of us seem to think 'hi-rez' recording is a magic cure-all for all of these woes. 

 

Same here. It's not too different from 24/192 downloads currently available. First, I'd like to know the origin of the recording - if it was originally done at 96kHz then we are better off buying that version (for less, depending on the site). If 192 is the original, then I might spring for that, if it isn't too much more expensive. 

 

But then we get to the selection of 192 options available and see that it is really small! 96 and 88.2 have way more choices. Ultimately you really have to like "audiophile" music to make even the current hi-res downloads viable. Most non-audiophile music lovers I know listen to specific genres and wouldn't bother buying all the quirky jazz, classical, and world music that makes up the current hi-res catalog. So to talk about an even more obscure format (DSD) seems like a waste to me. 

post #130 of 142

So does the Sonos Connect meet your criteria? I particularly want to know if using the digital output bypasses the volume control. I want to use my new Cambridge 851c in its digital preamp mode, and I don't want to stack volume controls or DAC's. I'm using a Squeezebox touch now, but interested in the Connect and the Sonos controller.

 

Great job with this thread, by the way. Thanks for all the hard work...

post #131 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcgarrison View Post

So does the Sonos Connect meet your criteria? I particularly want to know if using the digital output bypasses the volume control. I want to use my new Cambridge 851c in its digital preamp mode, and I don't want to stack volume controls or DAC's. I'm using a Squeezebox touch now, but interested in the Connect and the Sonos controller.

 

Great job with this thread, by the way. Thanks for all the hard work...

 

Thanks for the kind words! My original criteria is basically out the window at this point - my main source these days (Auraliti PK90) is "headless" controlled by the mPad app on my iPad. So anything goes. Unfortunately I've not had time to focus on anything else for this article due to other commitments.

 

I've not tried the Sonos Connect myself. I know someone who owns and loves his, but he had some mods done by Wyred 4 Sound. I don't know that he ever used the stock unit by itself for comparison. But the UI should be the same and he claims it is excellent, so it's probably worth looking in to. UI is half the battle (at least) when it comes to these devices. 

post #132 of 142
Thread Starter 

Just a quick note to advise: my JF Digital HDM-03S streamer is for sale. I hope it's not an abuse of the forum to add this info here, but as this is pretty much the only info (in English), anywhere, about this device, I figure it makes sense. 

 

Need a good DAC? HDM-03S can do that. Want to play music via UPnP? Yep, including hi-res material. Or connect directly to a USB hard drive and play that way. Use the headphone amp, or the analog outs, or the coaxial SPDIF out. The more I talk about it the more I think I don't want to sell it.... but my Auraliti PK90/NuForce LPS-1/Audiophilleo 1/PurePower setup is all I use these days. 

post #133 of 142

Great f-ing thread, project86! Subscribed...

post #134 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladinecko View Post

Great f-ing thread, project86! Subscribed...

 

Thanks! It was a labor of love, and unfortunately I probably won't have all that much more to add to it from this point on. I'd rather it just be used as a reference, or continue chatting about new stuff, as my initial goal of some all-encompassing reference collection is just not possible. 

post #135 of 142

I will C/P a comment I made in the N-50 review since you probably will have a notification here:

 

 

 

Quote: myself
Hi John,
How would you compare the unit to a Yulong D100 (either as a streamer or standalone) or similarly priced dedicated DACs (regardless of the different features, or the lack thereof)?
I'm on the fence to getting it for my parents. The living room is not acoustically treated and they use Focal 826W which can become quite hot up top (TNV tweeter) when fed with a poor source/amp. The exposure 2010S makes for a very good paring but the room is clearly not ideal and I actually get more pleasing result using my Fostex HP-A3 as a source due to its smooth treble (AKM sound?) compared to the Concero or the Metrum Quad and don't feel like I'm missing much compared to them (which shows the room's limitations).
I see the Pioneer as a beefier HP-A3 (same chip family, dedicated power supply) with the convenient network streamer and web tuner.
Could you give me some inputs on the sound quality? If you have any experience with the HP-P1, that would be a good comparison too.
Thanks!
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