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Your Streaming (or computer audio) history

Discussion in 'audio' started by tomek, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. tomek

    tomek pfm Member

    I started with Squeezebox Classic version 3 - coax spdif- DPA DX 32 DAC and Qnap NAS

    added Super Teddy Reg PS for SB Classic

    Changed SB Classic for Squeezebox Touch

    Changed Qnap for one notebook with W7 as a dedicated server. Much faster and big step in sq, don't ask me why. Bits are bits.

    SBT Teddy PS + Buffalo DAC + Notebook as a server with wired (Draka CAT 6 cables) connection and small extra Cisco switch dedicated for streaming

    added WaveIO and changed coax spdif for asynchronous USB between SBT and BUffalo

    Borrowed and tried many USB cables, settled with 30cm Supra USB cable

    converted with dBpoweramp all my library from flacs to waves

    Tried different other solutions without streamer with notebook + usb dac only and Jriver, Foobar, Daphile etc. Also tried different software for LMS Server - Ubuntu,XP, W7/32, W7/64, W8.1/64

    finally settled with

    SBT- EDO - Waveio + Buffalo + Notebook W8.1

    In last months tried Wandboard and Raspberry Pi with different software solutions (COS, SOA, Squeezeplug, Volumio).

    Now using:

    On my desktop at home - notebook with Soundblaster XFI HD soundcard and KRK Rokit 5 G2

    In my room at work - Rpi with Squeezeplug and Wolfson Pi DAC

    In my "main" system at home:

    Rpi powered with STR PS or battery pack - Picoreplayer - i2s - Buffalo DAC + dedicated Notebook W 8.1 with last LMS nightly as a server with wired connection and small extra Cisco switch dedicated for streaming

    My plans for the future ? Trying to get rid of network connection between player and server.

    Just ordered ZOTAC ZBOX CI320 NANO

    and i will try to make a streamer&server (or player&server) in one box + USB Drive with Linux (Real time kernel ?) Squeezelite&LMS, or Windows + ??? Jriver ? Foobar + Android App ?

    Zotac - USB - Waveio + Buffalo DAC is planned.

    If it will sound better, than picoreplayer-i2s-Buffallo, than the next step will be linear PS for Zotac, if not, than Zotac will be my new media server.

    Also thinking about dsp (loudness?) with sox on the fly.
  2. Rodney gold

    Rodney gold Im just me...

    SB classic , SB Transporter , SB touch and now I just use my devialet amp's internal wireless streaming and use Jriver.
    Computers are nothing special.. a Dell precision workstation and some Bloze i5 box.
  3. Julf

    Julf Facts are our friends

    Kind of similar path.

    I guess the professional stuff doesn't count, but for home listening I started in 1998 or so by ripping my CDs to mp3's. Used built-in soundcard, and soon after got a Diamond Rio MPM300 for portable use, along with an Empeg Car for the car.

    When the Empeg company got sold to SONICblue (who also acquired Diamond) and Hugo and the guys produced the Rio Receiver (in 2002 or so?), I got a bunch of them for in-house multiroom listening (they had reasonable specs, using PCM1716 DACs and Tripath amps), as well as a SliMP3, and then later one of the original squeezeboxes.

    Somewhere around that time I put together a monster of a RAID server with 8 drives, and was finally able to have enough space to go lossless, so I re-ripped my CD collection.

    Next step was first a Squeezebox Classic and eventually a couple of Touches (one for my main system, one for the 5.1 system upstairs), and 2 Squeezebox Radios for the kitchen and workshop. The Touch in the main system was the only one with an external DAC, the 5.1 one used the built-in DAC of the Denon receiver.

    Main system Touch got replaced by RPi driving hypex DCLP as active crossover.

    My main office system has had genelec monitors for a long time, but I kept changing the DAC - currently using an audioengine D1.

    Still using most of the Rio Receivers (running squeezebox emulation), both Touches, both Radios, and the RPi with squeezelite.
  4. RickyC6

    RickyC6 Infuriate the frog-men

    iPhone 4 into Pure i-20 into main amplifier. Sounds great and is 100% reliable. Tried an SB Touch but kept getting dropouts, software glitches etc.
  5. F1eng

    F1eng pfm Member

    As a music lover who travelled abroad almost weekly for work I had a huge briefcase to contain both my work stuff and a walkman and tapes, then later CDs.
    The iPod was a complete life changer for me, probably the best thing that happened for my musical enjoyment ever, because it allowed me to travel with far more music and far less weight. I pre-ordered one when it was first announced.
    I did not consider it as part of my hifi though.
    When Wadia brought out the 170i I bought one thinking using the iPod may be more convenient than CDs.
    I was surprised how good the sound quality was, so I investigated more domestic and remote control friendly solutions for home.
    I tried, in addition to iTunes, which got worse and worse with each update IMO, Amarra, Pure music, Pure vinyl, Bitperfect, Audirvana, Decibel(?) of the ones I can think of on a Mac (both a mini and an iMac).
    I tried a Linn Klimax DS, Resolution Audio Cantata, Weiss DAC2 and Metric Halo ADAC with these bits of software.
    In the end the differences between the DACs which had no eccentric engineering was small to my ears, certainly negligible for me.

    My problem has been that since I mainly listen to classical music and none of the software I have tried is any good at producing useful (to me) tags on the rips I end up having to edit all of them.
    I find iTunes more tedious to do this on now than the original version, obviously not an important feature for their main customers.

    Anyway, it is such a frustrating time waster that I have gone back to CD and LP for that classical music I hadn't already ripped for travelling. Pop music still gets ripped, but I probably listen less than 50% of the time to computer music and that is how it is likely to stay.
  6. Bluedroog

    Bluedroog pfm Member

    My first foray would be the freebie Spotify on a laptop out of the headphone jack, later I added a DAC. Then I build up a FLAC collection on the laptop and added a SBT. Still suing the SBT now but exclusively use steaming services such as Spotify, Qobuz and now Tidal.

    I have no urge to swap the Touch, I hope to use it for a few more years by which time I hope they’ll be a more mature market. In the mean time I’d like to upgrade my DAC for something with USB and try the S-Booster and iFi USB power thingy.
  7. JMack23

    JMack23 New Member

    Started with the Squeezebox 3, which was excellent, nice display for the time. Integrated DAC not too shabby for its price. Then I upgraded to the SB Touch, added a SBooster (more changed the sound than necessarily improved it) I couldn't really decide whether it was worthwhile, in the end I removed it from the chain.

    Then powered it from a DC battery (marginal improvement) but huge improvement on DAC at the time (Beresford Bushmaster MK2) a very underrated piece of equipment. Biggest improvement actually was to install Toolbox Touch 3 mods, improved it no end...and believe me I was skeptical beforehand. Installed EDO also, but the 2 didn't work together (skipping audio) Since I could only have one I A/Bd Toolbox mods vs EDO. I expected EDO to come out on top, surprisingly the TT3 mods were better than EDO alone, and the difference wasn't subtle. After a while I got sick of having to power up my PC for hard drive access so got a Synology DS214+

    Then I moved to a PC setup, at first just a bog standard tower PC I was using as my main computer. Even though this setup was a long way of a CAPS setup it was a big improvement versus the SBTouch. But by this time I had picked up an Auralic Vega as my DAC and was outputting via USB using JRiver. Upsampling everything to 384kHz made a big difference, which surprised me as the Vega, internally upsamples everything to 1.5MHz so I'm led to belive, again the difference wasn't subtle.

    I tried outputting via the Synology DS214+ direct to the DAC, beforehand I expected the sound to be superior, much cleaner since it is a much simpler signal path, but I expected the user interface to be a big deterrent. Again, i was surprised it was really weak compared to my PC setup (including versus non-upsampled JRiver outputted content) I didn't have to listen for long, stopped after a few songs, there was no point, it was outclassed.

    Then I bought a Samsung Ativ 9, an ultrabook with SSD storage. I didn't buy it specifically for music playback but thought I would try it out. It was a big improvement over the desktop (and indeed another laptop I tried without SSD) As good as it was, I was starting to get a bit disillusioned with all the tweaking, having to run Fidelizer which crippled the machine until rebooted and I couldn't really use this laptop for playback as I wanted to move around my flat with it.

    So I took the plunge and purchased an Auralic Aries, I'm sure some of the CAPS systems can better it for sound quality but I'm at the stage now where the simplicity of what Aries has to offer is just right. I have only just received the Aries and wanted to hear it to evaluate. Turns out you NEED an Apple product to activate it for the first time, its lightning app is only available currently on IOS and you need it to set up the device. So I ordered an IPad and soon will get to evaluate. All the reviews seem positive, time will tell. I think Auralic designed a really great product with the Aries but it should have been cheaper.
  8. ultrawomble

    ultrawomble Sith Lord

    Synology DS114 + Audio Station via ethernet to a current generation Airport Express. Files ripped as ALAC using iTunes. Analogue out to integrated. Also have a unused SBT in its shrink wrap.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Apple all the way here. I started building an iTunes library just for an iPod and over the years that has grown to a predominantly Apple Lossless library of currently 2072 albums. There's still some AAC in there and even the odd MP3, but it's mainly lossless now. It's stored on a 1TB SSD in my MacBook Pro and mostly streamed via a 5m optical lead into a Cambridge 752BD Blu-Ray / SACD player and a passive pre, Quad 303 and Klipsch La Scalas. I also have an Airport Express optically connected to a Rega DAC in the other system, plus a small subset of the library on my 64GB iPhone for when I'm out and about. I had a very brief interlude with a Squeezebox Touch when Amazon were knocking them out really cheaply, but I far prefer the Apple way of doing things so sold it on within a week or two.
  10. Bemused

    Bemused What's this all about then?

    SB Receiver hooked up to Naim kit
    The Naim became replaced with DIY stuff and I added
    Squeeze Radios x 4
    Squeeze Boom x 1
    Squeeze Touch x 1
    Server ran on an old PC, then on ReadyNasDuo, then Micro Linux PC, then Rpi then BBB.
    SBT went I2S to DAC shortly after it smoked out and was replaced with a Joggler and asynchronous USB.
    Flacs were on a ReadyNasDuo, now on a WD MyCloud.
    Now probably replacing Joggler with Rpi, I2S and picoreplayer.
  11. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

    MacBook was our first streamer, various Sboxes, custom made 'audio' Pc, various other streamers we have had for evaluation, at home I use the Weiss MAN301 network player ,sometimes a MBP with Amarra/Driac for demonstrations.
  12. zippy

    zippy pfm Member

    Bought a Cambridge NP30 just to try out the technology and was so impressed that I consigned my CD's to the storeroom. Then when my pre-amp failed, I upgraded to a Cyrus StreamX2 and DACXP+

    The NP30 (£400 at the time) was really good vfm, and it's now sourcing my spare room system.
  13. sls4321

    sls4321 pfm Member

    Started with a Linn Akurate DS streamer, Zoneripper Max (rips and 2x1TB mirror drives) and Iomega network drive backup.

    Zoneripper max was slow to rip, made lots of errors, hated the embedded Windows Media Server and had noisy fans. (It is made by Ripcaster, they have improved it a lot since.)

    Replaced it with a Zara Premium from Ava Media. Much the same as a Naim Uniti Serve, but better made and cheaper. Bit perfect ripping, no errors, AMG database license, plays back with n-serve. 2x1TB mirror drives.

    Replaced Akurate DS with a PS Audio DAC Mk2, huge improvement.

    Recently got a 16TB Qnap from Ripcaster, backs us the Zara Premium, 5 macs, photo library and remote computers in my office.

    Zara Premium and PS Audio DAC Mk2 works a treat, up there with my vinyl.

    Also have a UnitiQute2 in the office, sourcing from the Zara Premium over my network.
  14. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    Mac all the way, in two systems. An old MacBook Pro and a Mac Mini each with a 2TB external HDD. Everything ripped as / transcoded to ALAC. iTunes control via a tablet. USB DAC. I no longer own a CD player.
  15. fjk2009

    fjk2009 New Member

    Linux all the way! NAS device on wired LAN running Openmediavault serving both my office system - a PC running Linux Mint 17 -> Beresford Caiman via USB -> Rega Mira -> B&W DM601 and my lounge system - a mini PC running Linux Mint 17 -> Yamaha rx-v673 (over hdmi) -> Miller&Kreisel K5/K9s. I also use the DLNA service on OMV to stream straight to the receiver but prefer the UI on the PC.

    I'm just re-ripping my collection using EAC (it runs on Linux via WINE) to get bit-perfect FLAC copies and am astounded at the difference this is making over the original FLAC rips - they're starting to sounds as good as via my Rega Planet CD player:)
  16. HiFiman

    HiFiman Don't tell him Pike

    Started with Squeezebox duet (receiver)
    Few months later added a Lavry DA10 which the receiver fed.

    Ditched the receiver for a Touch and kept the DA10 and applied the freebie software hack which improved things no end. Added TTouch PSU to the Touch.

    Sold the DA10 for a nDac and fed the Touch into it, few months later added XPS2, ran this for about a year.

    Sold the Touch and bought a UQ 24/96, Qute fed the nDac/xps2
    Then moved the UQ 24/96 to the kids play room and bought a UQ 24/192

    Then sold the nDac/xps2 and purchased a Hugo.

    The UQ 24/192 into the Hugo has now cured my upgrade bug, it's that good.
  17. darrenyeats

    darrenyeats pfm Member

    Do you mean EDO? I sometimes think about trying it. What improved? Were you using the digital volume control like I do?
  18. Julf

    Julf Facts are our friends

    Likewise - since 1998 :)

    How about having a look at morituri instead of having to use WINE?
  19. HiFiman

    HiFiman Don't tell him Pike

    Used the TT3 mod made a big difference and since it's free is a no brainer. Everything improved, detail and soundstage plus adding the pardo TTouch PSU added a nice touch (excuse the pun)
    Volume control always through my Naim pre amp.
  20. Julf

    Julf Facts are our friends

    Except that it seems to make the system unstable in some conditions, and prevents you from using the higher sample rates that EDO enables.

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