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  • Digital Stuff ! Network or USB interface to a DAC?

    For those streaming files or Tidal or Qobuz via. SW other than Roon to your DAC setups, which interface do you prefer?

    For those running a (Roon enabled) server or PC or network device to stream, do you prefer using an Ethernet connection (with or without a bridge) or a direct USB interface connection to your DAC?

    Dre
    **************************************************
    Every day is a good day to play analog.
    - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
    - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
    **************************************************
    Every day is a good day for live music.
    **************************************************

  • #2
    I will let you know in a month or so. My new DAC has an Ethernet interface so once the sound settles down I will compare it to the USB input. My server has a JCAT net card so I will first try the bridged mode.
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Zero; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Pacific

    Comment


    • Dre_J
      Dre_J commented
      Editing a comment
      Congratulations. What tube configuration you are working with?

    • dminches
      dminches commented
      Editing a comment
      I have a slew that I will be trying. Tesla AD1, Tesla RD27AS, Tak 300Bs, RK KR PX25s, Tak 274B, Acme 274B, RK KR 5U4G

    • Dre_J
      Dre_J commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks. That should be fun and keep you busy for a while.

  • #3
    I am using Microrendu with my Lampizator DSD DAC, and it is definitely better than going with USB from the current Mac mini.

    Comment


    • #4
      Originally posted by adrianwu View Post
      I am using Microrendu with my Lampizator DSD DAC, and it is definitely better than going with USB from the current Mac mini.
      But you are still using a USB interface to the DAC, correct?
      Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Zero; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Pacific

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by adrianwu View Post
        I am using Microrendu with my Lampizator DSD DAC, and it is definitely better than going with USB from the current Mac mini.
        I've considered the Rendu models for that very purpose when the DAC doesn't have an internal Ethernet network interface.
        (Note: The folks at Sonore never returned my email from last year. So, I had shelved the idea of using one for the time being. I'm still curious to try one at some point.)

        Having the Rendu (or something equivalent) allows the possibility for more distance between the server and the system for such types of DACs.

        I'm hoping additional approaches would be mentioned in this topic with an emphasis on setup and sound quality.

        Thanks for sharing.

        Dre
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day to play analog.
        - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
        - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
        **************************************************
        Every day is a good day for live music.
        **************************************************

        Comment


        • #6
          I think the Rendus are excellent options when the server is not in the same room at the DAC.

          Just for clarity, the interface to the DAC is still USB. The Rendu takes an Ethernet input and outputs a USB data stream.

          I prefer going directly from my server to my DAC but the Rendu option is not to be discounted. It does also benefit from a power supply upgrade.
          Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Zero; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Pacific

          Comment


          • dminches
            dminches commented
            Editing a comment
            I won't have an answer for a little while since both my DAC and power supply are breaking in. I want to wait until the sound settles down so I am not confusing the source of the change in sound.

          • adrianwu
            adrianwu commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, but the main problem with USB connection is letting through computer noise. Therefore, USB going from Rendu to DAC would be different from computer to DAC. We have experimented extensively with the different connection schemes when all three of our recording team bought Rendus. I was the cheapskate with the Microrendu, my two friends bought the UltraRendu. We deliberately ran long lengths from the switch to the DAC. Cat 6a cables were felt to sound best, and somehow Cat 7 did not sound as coherent. We also tried a shorter run from switch to DAC, and longer run from music server to switch. This seems to be the better arrangement than placing the switch closer to the server and further away from the DAC. The next step would be to try optical connection. I don't do much serious listening with digital, so I am not going to spend the money.

          • dminches
            dminches commented
            Editing a comment
            There is a lot of noise via Ethernet as well. People have been testing the use of multiple switches and finding positive improvements in sound in doing so. Keeping the transmitted noise down seems to be the key here. The folks over at audiophilestyle.com have been discussing this for years. Good stuff there on this top.

        • #7
          Ethernet to my Lumin.
          Chris
          ----------------------------------------------------------------
          Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

          Comment


          • #8
            Update:

            Currently, I think I'll look at Roon compatible USB-to-USB bridge/buffers, Roon Ready Ethernet-to-USB Bridges, and Roon Ready Ethernet-to-USB Streamers (to be used as an endpoint).

            I still would like to have DNLA capability so I can use other playback SW (like JRiver, etc.) or reconfigure the setup to accommodate different DACs: even those with proprietary playback SW.

            Since the setup is 'functional' as it currently is, this may take more time to actually choose a new configuration.

            Dre
            **************************************************
            Every day is a good day to play analog.
            - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
            - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
            **************************************************
            Every day is a good day for live music.
            **************************************************

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by cpp View Post
              Ethernet to my Lumin.
              Ditto. Ethernet to Lumin X1 (which replaced a Lumin S1). Very pleased with the sound quality, look and feel of the server, ease of use and support.

              Comment


              • #10
                Another USB option is MSB's Pro USB adaptor

                https://www.msbtechnology.com/accessories/prousb/
                Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod
                Pass Labs INT60
                Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s
                REL S3
                Daedalus/Wywires and Acoustic Zen cables
                Torus IS5

                Comment


                • Dre_J
                  Dre_J commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's a good option for MSB DACs with the ProISL optical module installed. The Pro USB outputs ProISL, which is a MSB proprietary interface, that only works with MSB DACs. If I had an MSB DAC, I'd have it at the top of my list.

              • #11
                Ethernet to my dCS Upsampler/streamer
                Magico M-Project, CAT JL7s, darTZeel 18NS, Kronos Pro Limited Edition/SME 3012R/Atlas SL/Opus-1,CH Precision P1, Schiit Yggdrasil, KS Elation ICs & SCs

                Comment


                • Dre_J
                  Dre_J commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Which one?

              • #12
                Originally posted by Dre_J View Post
                Update:

                Currently, I think I'll look at Roon compatible USB-to-USB bridge/buffers, Roon Ready Ethernet-to-USB Bridges, and Roon Ready Ethernet-to-USB Streamers (to be used as an endpoint).

                I still would like to have DNLA capability so I can use other playback SW (like JRiver, etc.) or reconfigure the setup to accommodate different DACs: even those with proprietary playback SW.

                Since the setup is 'functional' as it currently is, this may take more time to actually choose a new configuration.

                Dre
                Dre, what server are you currently using and what audio software?
                Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Zero; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Pacific

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by dminches View Post

                  Dre, what server are you currently using and what audio software?
                  Win 10 on an i7 for Roon and JRiver right now.

                  Local files on a CineRAID USB3.0 DAS with a RAID 5 configuration.

                  Qobuz and Tidal over Ethernet cable link through Roon.
                  **************************************************
                  Every day is a good day to play analog.
                  - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
                  - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
                  **************************************************
                  Every day is a good day for live music.
                  **************************************************

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Originally posted by Dre_J View Post

                    Win 10 on an i7 for Roon and JRiver right now.

                    Local files on a CineRAID USB3.0 DAS with a RAID 5 configuration.

                    Qobuz and Tidal over Ethernet cable link through Roon.
                    I have been on this computer-based digital music journey for over 5 years now and I feel confident in saying that the most important component leading up to the DAC is the power supply driving the PC. The components of the PC are important too, including the processor choice, ECC memory and lack of fans for cooling, but without a high quality power supply there is a limit to how well the server will sound.

                    I have also become a big fan of Euphony/Stylus for software. It is the best sound I have gotten out of my server. I have also tried an optimized version of Windows Server but the simplicity of Linux is hard to beat. Emile over at Taiko Audio has figured it out using Windows LTSC, but the Extreme has 2 processors which give it a big advantage over single processor systems.
                    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Zero; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Pacific

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by dminches View Post

                      I have been on this computer-based digital music journey for over 5 years now and I feel confident in saying that the most important component leading up to the DAC is the power supply driving the PC. The components of the PC are important too, including the processor choice, ECC memory and lack of fans for cooling, but without a high quality power supply there is a limit to how well the server will sound.

                      I have also become a big fan of Euphony/Stylus for software. It is the best sound I have gotten out of my server. I have also tried an optimized version of Windows Server but the simplicity of Linux is hard to beat. Emile over at Taiko Audio has figured it out using Windows LTSC, but the Extreme has 2 processors which give it a big advantage over single processor systems.
                      Is that only with direct connection to the PC?

                      If the PC is not in the audio room and a Bridge Ethernet-to-USB is used, does the requirement for a optimal power supply transfer to the Bridge (and possibly the switch nearby in the audio room) more so than the PC?

                      On the surface it seems the device inserted between the PC and before the DAC would be most important, but I haven't tried that yet. That's why i was leaning towards a high quality USB-to-USB or Ethernet-to-USB Bridge device with high quality power supply.
                      **************************************************
                      Every day is a good day to play analog.
                      - 12" 33-1/3 RPM or 45 RPM vinyl
                      - 10.5" 15ips or 30ips tape
                      **************************************************
                      Every day is a good day for live music.
                      **************************************************

                      Comment

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