Chromecast audio - can anyone comment on sound quality?
Feb 1, 2019 at 4:03 PM Post #423 of 538

Ggroch

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.....Um, you mean using the CCA's DAC vs yours? Yeah, yours is going to win. Using the CCA w/ Optical to your DAC shouldn't yield any difference really, unless your DAC just doesn't do Toslink input well (which would be unfortunate)

Yeah, that was my point too. Since the output of the CCA optical using Roon is bit perfect...(that is, digitally exactly like the original signal), then the only possible differences between the two would be:

1. From a DAC that does not handle jitter well.
2. Expectation/Confirmation Bias - this would require blind A/B testing at the same levels to test.

A lot of audiophiles get P/O'd when Confirmation Bias is mentioned. They shouldn't, it happens to everyone. Or more precisely, to every human. We cannot avoid it.

That is why many objective science guys like Amir at ASR do so few subjective listening tests. Even science guys have listening bias...especially after they just measured something. I did not see any listening tests in the linked CCA/Digital Out review.
 
Feb 1, 2019 at 4:09 PM Post #424 of 538

ggetzoff

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Well, it should not sound different but it does. Not even close. Same receiver chip, but very different sonics.

I build speakers, amps, and dacs. My ears like low levels of negative 2nd order harmonics (dirt) in the grass. My amps and speakers measure very well, but not my dac; it would rank at the bottom of of his chart.

Cheers,

Greg
 
Feb 2, 2019 at 5:15 PM Post #425 of 538

tlainhart

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FWIW, I just tried the CCA in my main rig. It does not hold a candle to a dedicated Roon / Tidal / Qobuz to an Ipad to an XMOS DDC to my dac setup, as you would expect, but it's not bad! Certainly listenable. I would want glass toslink with it.

On one input (BNC SPDIF) to the Yggdrasil I have a CCA using glass Toslink (Silflex) to an iFi SPDIF Purifier. On another (RCA SPDIF), I have a Teac CD player serving as transport, that takes input from an iPad playing Tidal, using a specialized iPod/Pad USB jack on that player. I put the output of that into the iFi SPDIF purifier as well. I connect to the CCA using Tidal's Android app.

The iPad => transport => SPDIF purifier sounds better to me. But all-in-all, I'd rather be listening to a CD.
 
Feb 2, 2019 at 8:15 PM Post #426 of 538

rkw

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I have a CCA using glass Toslink (Silflex) to an iFi SPDIF Purifier
Is the iPurifier a worthwhile upgrade? I've considered it, but hesitate to buy a $150 accessory for a $15 (originally $35) device. Also, the CCA doesn't support gapless playback and someone said the iPurifier makes the gaps even worse. Do you experience this?
 
Feb 2, 2019 at 8:21 PM Post #427 of 538

gvl2016

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Is the iPurifier a worthwhile upgrade? I've considered it, but hesitate to buy a $150 accessory for a $15 (originally $35) device. Also, the CCA doesn't support gapless playback and someone said the iPurifier makes the gaps even worse. Do you experience this?

A good DAC should deal with CCA's jitter just fine. I have an iPurifier and it did make a difference with a vintage DAC with the CCA, but modern DACs have much better SPDIF interfaces and possibly other means onboard so the jitter is not of much a concern. If your DAC is problematic I'd save the money for a better DAC instead of buying an IP. The details are escaping me but I did think at the time that iPurifier exacerbated the gapless issue with the DAC I was using, it worked but the DAC was going crazy showing errors between tracks, but audibly it was ok. This is DAC dependent of course, I'm sure the majority of DACs would be fine.
 
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Feb 3, 2019 at 11:59 AM Post #428 of 538

tlainhart

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Is the iPurifier a worthwhile upgrade? I've considered it, but hesitate to buy a $150 accessory for a $15 (originally $35) device. Also, the CCA doesn't support gapless playback and someone said the iPurifier makes the gaps even worse. Do you experience this?

I believe that it makes a subtle difference, but confirmation bias may be at play. It's enough of a benefit that I ended up keeping it, if just for SPDIF. For me, I'm not sure that there's any fixing CCA/Toslink. I'm waiting for the next USB interface for the Yggdrasil, and then I'll just connect my phone to tablet via USB, get my streaming that way.

I don't know about gapless. You could buy the Purifier from some place with an evaluation period, and return it if it doesn't give you the benefits you're hoping for.
 
Feb 3, 2019 at 2:03 PM Post #429 of 538

gvl2016

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Keep an eye on eBay, they pop up used there every now and then and there doesn't seem to be much demand. I got mine for under $50 I think. If nothing else, it is a handy Toslink to Coax SPDIF converter that I like to keep around. And it also comes with a 5V iPower wallwart you can re-purpose for other things.
 
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Feb 17, 2019 at 9:19 AM Post #431 of 538

Zenithcric

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Never heard any ‘issues’ with mine, and have three in different systems, with different DACs ... but figure all will die one day and wonder what my options will be for simple network streaming. Otherwise as Schiit would say “the music I have” satisfies me; may one day burn the interesting CDs (or resurrect my crates of vinyl) but no DLNA needs yet. I’ve at times used Apple TV gen 3 out via optical but Airplay’s been more wonky than GCA. Any suggestions for possible/ eventual replacements?
 
Feb 17, 2019 at 10:42 AM Post #432 of 538

Ggroch

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RE: Any suggestions for possible/ eventual replacements?

While CCA is still available at higher prices on eBay. That will be the best choice for many for a while.

The most similar device I know of are the Linkplay system WiFi receivers.

One example is the Dayton Audio WBA31. This is the only WiFi Audio adapter I know of with Digital Optical Out. You can get it under different names from China for less money (Like Here) I do not know the quality of the Optical Out. That is, I have one and the Optical sounds great, but I do not know if it is bit perfect, or how it handles hi-res files. These Linkplay devices do some but not all streaming services.

Amazon recently had a sale on the Echo Input at $20 (now not on sale). No Digital Out. Lacks some CCA streaming options. But, voice control which is nice.

I know of nothing that does everything the CCA does.
 
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Feb 17, 2019 at 11:12 AM Post #433 of 538

audiobomber

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Never heard any ‘issues’ with mine, and have three in different systems, with different DACs ... but figure all will die one day and wonder what my options will be for simple network streaming. Otherwise as Schiit would say “the music I have” satisfies me; may one day burn the interesting CDs (or resurrect my crates of vinyl) but no DLNA needs yet. I’ve at times used Apple TV gen 3 out via optical but Airplay’s been more wonky than GCA. Any suggestions for possible/ eventual replacements?
Just for clarity, are you streaming DSD or hi-rez files (i.e. sample rates higher than 48kHz)?

I replaced Chromecast Audio with a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and very happy with it. About double the cost but more reliable streaming for hi-rez and better SQ from USB with minor tweaking.
 
Feb 17, 2019 at 1:31 PM Post #434 of 538

Zenithcric

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Thanks! So far no DSD or hi-rez stuff, the DACs i have with indicators never go above 48 ... but of course would like to sample some in the future ... which with three GCAs might be awhile, unless i get antsy for experimentation and try either of the above, or Tidal or now Qobuz. Anyone actually use the Dayton Audio for say, Spotify out the optical? I was just listening to one of the 20-something versions of Parsifal ... there’s a wealth of obsessive listening i’’m relieved from needing to purchase ...
Yeah, i guess i’m thinking of trying some high-rez streaming at some point, though i’m not sure my silver ears would hear a difference. I’m reminded of reading (somewhere) of a blind study that showed those tested couldn’t reliably tell the difference between SACD and standard. That said i thought i’d free up the optical input of my DAC by getting a mini-stereo Y and connecting the GCA directly into the preamp; right away i preferred the Modi to the GCA’s internal. I have a mid/late 90s Denon DCMDCM-370 which has an “HDCD” decoder, and recall having listening joy, & looking up to see the HDCD indicator light on: “aha.” That player also has some hybrid multibit - DS DAC chip, and when i A-B between the player directly into the preamp’s CD input & the auxiliary input via coaxial out to the Modi — it’s not blind, since i know what i’m manually switching - but i cannot say i truly hear a difference. Score one for the old gear, or mourn the ears i don’t know ... i know i seem to be able to get used to almost anything but am often satisfied with none ... i just put on a burned “old “Yessongs”” DVD and was struck immediately that it sounded like utter crap ... but after having it on, basically as background, a half hour later i was into the music / performance ... count my blessings
 
Feb 17, 2019 at 2:07 PM Post #435 of 538

audiobomber

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Thanks! So far no DSD or hi-rez stuff, the DACs i have with indicators never go above 48 ... but of course would like to sample some in the future
Yes, as I suspected. Playing 44/16 or 48/24 music through Chromecast Audio into an external DAC is reliable. It's only with high resolution files into an external DAC that it starts to drop out.

I know what you're saying about getting into the music even with a lower quality source. It's the music that is most important, not the means. However that doesn't stop me from tweaking and improving my systems. I'm an audiophile, it's my cross to bear. :wink:
 

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