Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Oct 18, 2019 at 3:06 AM Post #52,171 of 126,967
... Why do you think Google discontinued the Chromecast Audio? Great for the price, although not as good as the $300-$500 endpoints we discussed

I have one, bought it as soon as it became available in the Netherlands, which was actually before I got more serious about high-end audio.

It never worked well for me and as a result, I haven't made much use of it.

I've kept updating it, I've kept trying it, but still, it just doesn't work reliable for me. Not from Android phones and not from iPhones.

It loses connection, the app playing audio gets out of sync with what's playing, the app cannot properly pause or skip anymore, doesn't show what's playing, etc... All the time, with different music play apps including Google's own.
Often had to reboot it just to get it playing again.

Cheap, invisible, sound was OK in my otherwise not-so-good system, but overall not an experience to keep coming back to.

Yesterday I tried seting up a Kodi media-centre on a Raspberry Pi. The basic software is Ok, but the plugins for streaming Tidal or Qobuz give a very poor experience and poor integration with the main interface (in my opinion...) and I could never get the remote control apps to work (they can find the Kodi sw running on the Pi but cannot connect, despite me verifying all settings over and over, restarting the Pi, etc). Web based interface works, but klunky.
Conclusion: that's a no-go.

The Raspberry Pi itself will be powerful enough for a cheap network streamer, but the software that I've found so far just isn't there. (There's some other s/w available that I'll give a go but I don't know if these options have remote-control apps for iOS and Android, or Qobuz / Tidal streaming).

I can buy an Intel mini-PC for about €500 which will be sufficient to run Roon, which will feed into my DAC. That will probably give me a great streaming experience but the hardware alone will cost more than what people here say is "much".

For a bit less I have a Sonos Connect and for a bit more I have a Bluesound Node 2i (although again, many people say that the Blu app is quite bad to use and right now very unreliable on iOS13). The Sonos app is not great but OK to use for me.

I'm beginning to think that around $400 for a network streamer, that has the features I want, ain't so bad at all...

If Schiit is indeed working on some form of streamer, and if it can do the things I want (streaming files from local disk, USB disk or network, and also well-integrated streaming of Qobuz / Tidal), for the same price or less, well I'm very interested except they might release it too late for my needs. :wink:
Oct 18, 2019 at 5:35 AM Post #52,174 of 126,967
Oct 18, 2019 at 5:43 AM Post #52,175 of 126,967
Not to be a boor or anything but that's like nothing compared to these. Just stick 'em anywhere in the room, and all your Schiit will instantly become Super Schiit:

I haven't tried them and I know it's bad form to make fun of something you haven't tried, but sometimes it's just too hard to resist. To be fair, their graphene contact enhancer does make a difference when used in the right spots in the right quantity, but at least that has a reasonably plausible explanation.
Why do they remind me of peanut butter cups, only licorice?

Oct 18, 2019 at 6:07 AM Post #52,176 of 126,967
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Oct 18, 2019 at 6:11 AM Post #52,177 of 126,967
Oct 18, 2019 at 6:20 AM Post #52,178 of 126,967
Oct 18, 2019 at 6:48 AM Post #52,180 of 126,967

Madscientist-audio dot com

Cupcake black discus

"The Doctor Explanation : BlackDiscus use a simplified form of the technology employed by the time lords which we call "Relative Dimension in Space" RDIS, which means that they are considerably bigger inside than out. Not only bigger, but heavier as well, as they are filled with lead. This means that they make excellent mass-dampers, even though they only weigh a few grams. Also note that the lead has been pushed back in time/to another dimension, so this means that BlackDiscus are fully RoHS compliant. "

This is a beautifully-executed leg-pull.

I love it.

And I hope the sarcastic bastards* behind it makes some money from it.

Just not from us.

*and I mean that in a good way

I was expecting the big reveal where he admits they are discarded packing material from shipments coming into his warehouse, and he's invented a creative and lucrative way to recycle them by pawning them off on unsuspecting audiophools :wink:
Oct 18, 2019 at 7:02 AM Post #52,181 of 126,967
I was just curious about his setup :)

For the setup I'm trying to assemble, I'll need a streaming server first, not just a bridge or an end-point... :)

Tim, My experience with Roon servers is that ROCK on an Intel NUC has worked best for me (after trying Mac and Win10 servers). Since going to rock it has been solid. For Rpi endpoints, I have about 6 right now with Rpi3 with various HATs (Harware Attached on Top) that are either pure DAC or a DAC/Amp depending on use. I have used HATs form Hifi Berry and form IQAudIO in the UK. I have several other endpoints that are notebooks or desktops.

All work well on wireless mesh network, EXCEPT for my main hifi system where I get interference that is proving challenging to resolve.

Oct 18, 2019 at 8:09 AM Post #52,182 of 126,967
Not really. I built a very nice server with a Pi 3, PiTouch screen, Pi 2 Designs 502DAC, and an Audiophonics LPS, running MoOde currently, for around $300. S/PDIF and AES outputs. You can get a pre-packaged analog from Audiophonics for just a bit more. I needed a screen because I run it stand-alone at work, but it would be even cheaper without. TL;DR there are multiple good options, DIY or pre-packaged all under $500.

Do you have media directly connected to this device or is it going over a network?

I built something similar with much help from @CAPT Deadpool running MoOde and while it ran quite well with an SD car that only had about 1 GB of music on it, when I connected one of my normal media drives (1 TB SSD with ~25000 files in .flac and .wav format) even after a day it hadn't indexed all the files, I tried this a couple times before just giving up and dragging out my old Oppo 105D to use as a source/server.
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Oct 18, 2019 at 8:14 AM Post #52,183 of 126,967
My experience with Roon servers is that ROCK on an Intel NUC has worked best for me (after trying Mac and Win10 servers).

Thanks for the tip. I've been considering going that route as well, but I will probably first trial Roon to see just how well it will work for us, on one of our Windows PCs.

Alternatively, looking around for streamers, it appears that a simple Sonos Connect would do quite well -- versatile, can use it with my Modi instead of the built-in DAC, most music services work with Sonos, and I don't think I'll hear the difference going higher than CD quality (which I believe Sonos supports with Qobuz). It will also work with Spotify and with files we have on a network drive so it looks like it will give me the basic things to get started, and I can build out with a Roon Core server later, to get all the extra goodies of Roon.

But if there's something that's a pure streamer with similar features and for less money, hey that would be even better. :)
Oct 18, 2019 at 8:21 AM Post #52,185 of 126,967
I just tried strategically placing a couple of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on my power cables for Bifrost and Lyr 3 and OMG!!!! :astonished:

OK -- they didn't do anything for the sound, but at least they were quite tasty to eat after it was determined to be useless. :smirk:

You probably used the big ones, didn't you? Everyone knows the mini-size are the only ones that work. Sheeez. Do you need an instruction sheet for everything? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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