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post #376 of 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Bigshot: I used to have a Luxman amp with those. I think it may still be possible with their current series, but you have to enable it via a switch.

 

TickleMeElmo: Some audiophile types buy special USB cards for computers they are using for dedicated playback. Other than that, I've always been of the mind that it simpler to build a PC using Intel boards as the likelihood of issues with chips and drivers are minimised, but I'm not that experienced in building PCs. I do recall some of the early USB and USB 2.0 controllers being absolutely awful.

 

I was being facetious. That said the native USB plug nearest to your PCH controller (thus minimizing the length of the trace) will theoretically offer the best performance and the least steps through different logic. Some motherboards do have issues when you plug too many USB devices in.

 

If you are using a USB card for a computer (not sure they are even made anymore since most desktops have ten or more USB devices), it's probably going to be PCI-E these days, which means it will probably be going through the PCH lanes, onto another piece of silicon for the USB controller.

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post #377 of 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickleMeElmo View Post

 

I was being facetious. That said the native USB plug nearest to your PCH controller (thus minimizing the length of the trace) will theoretically offer the best performance and the least steps through different logic. Some motherboards do have issues when you plug too many USB devices in.

 

If you are using a USB card for a computer (not sure they are even made anymore since most desktops have ten or more USB devices), it's probably going to be PCI-E these days, which means it will probably be going through the PCH lanes, onto another piece of silicon for the USB controller.

 

I have embarrassingly tried one of the audiophile USB controllers and it sounded crap - I have since come to a similar conclusion that the more direct connection from the USB controllers on the motherboard chipset, and USB port with shortest signal path are in theory the best.  Mini-ITX might cut out another 10 cm of motherboard trace but I doubt the difference will be significant.  Then again maybe more signal reflections so who knows.  I think most people fail to appreciate the downsides to various noise removal techniques.  In the end USB uses differential signalling after all.

post #378 of 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvw View Post

With this configuration, they should have an WiFi option with a source selection menu. With that you can stream sound through out the house from your servers, PC, iPOD.

 

A digital receiver ? Not sure why NAD would build that into a product which already dispenses with the requirement for a separate DAC. particularly when they also sell a dedicated streamer :

 

http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/nad-c-446-digital-media-tuner-tas-223/

 

 

The $800 NAD C 446 is, indeed, an FM/AM tuner, but as part of its mission as a Digital Media Tuner it also gives you access to the near-infinite world of Internet radio, plus the ability to stream a music library from network storage devices, and most significantly to wirelessly stream from a computer, Android phone, Apple iOS device, or network hard-drive using Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnP). As is the norm today, wireless streaming is limited to conventional 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution.

The C 446 offers support for many popular digital formats including wav , aac +, and flac , and outputs them via its 24-bit/192kHz DAC. Other features include the ability to digitize FM/AM for output as S/PDIF and a front-panel USB input for thumb-drive playback. The C446 also supports cloud music services so that you can access your music library from multiple devices. Adding NAD’s optional IPD 2 Dock permits iPod/iPhone docking/charging via a back-panel input. About the only thing the C 446 doesn’t have is a USB DAC—even a company as resourceful as NAD has budgets to meet after all. But don’t fret; NAD wasn’t napping. NAD has several USB-DAC solutions that can always be added down the road. Even so, the C 446 is a veritable digital crock-pot for music delivery.

 

project86 started a very interesting thread on streamers, and reviewed a couple of the newer offerings, but it didn't get the level of interest I thought it would. He makes the point in that thread that this is a market segment that is evolving rapidly - NAD and its competitors are better served with dedicated streamers, IMO. 

 

If you still want an all-in-one that does streaming. Naim's SuperUniti gets solid reviews but costs considerably more than the C390DD. 

post #379 of 783

Streaming is almost definitely the way to go I reckon. It took me a while, but I "get" why Linn and others are big on it. It seems to remove all the issues with using a computer as a transport. I was using my iPad this way, since it can stream up to 24/96 using the Camera Connection Kit and I was happy with the results.

 

I wonder if streaming servers can power USB devices. I imagine not.

post #380 of 783

The Marantz and CA streamers have onboard DACs and USB-B connections for same, but AFAIK none of the streamers have support for connection to a USB-only DAC, but the purpose-built music servers are way out of my budgetary sights. Chris Connaker has a very high opinion of the Aurender S10, but at over 8 times the sticker price of the Marantz NA7004 DAC/streamer, I have a sneaking suspicion that they wont get the same slice of  this market. Interesting times. 

post #381 of 783

I think more often than not streaming servers just have linux boxes hidden inside, albeit really stripped back linux install with realtime bios or something.  There are a couple of companies that sell dedicate music server computers which basically do exactly this.  If someone did an open source linux distro that could do the same thing you could replicate one of these music server son a $50 Raspberry Pi or some similar minimalist computer.  Or you could use a squeezebox, or even an Ipad as you say or another similar portable music player may be plausible.  I've seen a box that streams wave files from SD cards which might be useful if you find all your music on SD cards for some reason.

 

I don't think computer transports are completely flawed, they are quite powerful devices just unfortunately with an excess of functionality which sometimes gets in the way of reliable, high quality audio streaming.  Personally I prefer to have the hard drive withing the music server for my own audiophool reasons, as well as my rather biased mistrust of wireless networks.  I guess I am a compulsive tinker so the promise of improved performance spurs me on [to misadventure.]  I also don't think a thousand dollar USB cable is going to magically transform your computer based music setup - its only a cable after all and it can only do so much, for better or worse.  I do find things that continue to surprise me with computer based music, both good and bad (I've been burned a few times now by recommendations of others unfortunately.)


Edited by drez - 9/1/12 at 8:01am
post #382 of 783
My music server is Mac Mini based. It's pretty much plug and play and the sound is all you could wish for. I stream music 24/7 throughout my house using Airports. The same server drives my hidef projection system. Everything patched using HDMI.. I'm extremely happy with it. Very dependable, even though it's been running all the time for two years.
post #383 of 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Streaming is almost definitely the way to go I reckon. It took me a while, but I "get" why Linn and others are big on it. It seems to remove all the issues with using a computer as a transport. I was using my iPad this way, since it can stream up to 24/96 using the Camera Connection Kit and I was happy with the results.

I wonder if streaming servers can power USB devices. I imagine not.

This is why I use a Logitech Transporter (highly modified with toroidal trafos, two Audio-gd clocks, Audio-gd power supply, all caps replaced, DAC section severed, analog outputs severed) solely as a streamer to generate the S/PDIF signal feeding the Ref 7.1. It is the best sounding solution I've found, and takes the computer out of the computer. The nice thing about the Transporter is that there is ample empty space inside the unit to put these extras.

They don't sell the original Transporter anymore because apparently they couldn't get anymore tactile feedback knobs, so they put a plastic plug in its place and now sell it as the Transporter SE for several hundred less. You use the remote in place of the knob. With the original version like I have you can use either. Granted the black plastic plug isn't very pretty but the performance should be identical to the original. And for those who don't already have a DAC the internal one is still quite good, but not in the same league as the Ref 7.1.

I can control the entire system using iPeng on my iPhone and iPad, or you can use the Squeezebox controller app for iPhone but it is not as good as iPeng. When using the computer though, you have to use the Squeezebox Server software which, while it works fine, isn't as pretty or easy to use as iTunes – it's only downside.
Edited by IPodPJ - 9/1/12 at 11:28am
post #384 of 783

Amazon has eight Transporters left from 1180 USD, but that would I'm guessing the mods you've got on your Transporter would add a significant lump of cash to that sticker price.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0011YZ1R6/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

 

RIP Squeezebox. 

post #385 of 783

I guess there is no open source/control software available to put in a single remote control device like an Ipod..

 

I can stream with just window from one PC to another. I also stream from my Ipod with a creative giztmo. I also used a media player. But this is like have three different remote with a terrible UI. If only I can integrate all these player with an unified UI instead  of walking around with my portable 1TB HDD.

post #386 of 783
I use a Harmony link in my theater. It is a IR to wifi converter so I can use my iphone to run everything. Works like buttah!
post #387 of 783

DLNA

post #388 of 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Amazon has eight Transporters left from 1180 USD, but that would I'm guessing the mods you've got on your Transporter would add a significant lump of cash to that sticker price.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0011YZ1R6/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new


RIP Squeezebox. 

Those are the Transporter SE I was talking about, not the original Transporter. Still good prices though, and sonically is the same unit. Surprisingly my mods weren't as much as you might think, but the cost to repair damage caused by a Power Plant Premier added to it.
post #389 of 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Because any dielectric will polarize the electrons. Essentially the cable becomes a capacitor.

The EMI theory however is more sound. I actually got a subtle, but notable improvement by wrapping my USB cable with aluminum foil.


I find wearing the foil on my head makes everything sound so much better! wink.gif
post #390 of 783

lulz

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