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Do streamers affect the sound?

Discussion in 'audio' started by rockingdoc, May 11, 2019.

  1. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Hardly surprising, the USB spec does not demand ultra low noise 5V out. The DAC designer should expect this
  2. Foot Tapper

    Foot Tapper Foot Tapper

    I have just listened to a Chord M Scaler + DAVE fronted by an Auralic Aries G2 and then by a DCS Network Bridge. In both cases, they were fed by an Innuos server, then out via a Naim 252/300 & Kudos Titan 606 speakers.

    With the G2 streamer and Roon server (Roon DSP switched off), music flowed well and sounded tonally slightly warm. All in all very good indeed.

    Then the G2 was switched from being a Roon endpoint to using Auralic's own software. Dear me no. The drummer and bass guitarist were suddenly both so exhausted that neither of them could play in time, instead lagging behind the singer and lead guitarist. It timed as badly as a DCS Bartok does. And the sound was flat, lethargic and lifeless. Switch back to Roon again (with DSP engine switched off) and the same track came back to life.

    How is this possible? I simply don't understand it, yet I hear it.

    We then replaced the Auralic with a DCS Network Bridge. Weird. The listener is no longer drawn to the rhythm section (i.e. drums & bass guitar) but to the lead singer and lead guitarist. Tonally, the sound is a touch leaner. Yet music flows even better. This was my preferred set up of the three.

    How one streamer can make music sound leaner than another, or one make music flow while the other produces ill-timed notes using the very same dac (Chord DAVE + M Scaler at that) is just baffling. Yet that is what both I and the dealer heard. Nor were these subtle differences, discernible by those blessed with bat-like hearing. The differences were obvious within the first 5-10 seconds of each track.

    This streaming lark, it ain't 'arf complicated.

    Best regards, FT
  3. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    My experience with streaming is limited however in my current room I sometimes stream direct from my laptop (of lossless audio files from a NAS) and sometimes via a Chromecast audio using the same audio files. They now both feed into the same DAC (the laptop via USB and the Chromecast Audio via optical) and I can't tell any difference between the sound from one or the other. Previously, when they used different DACs, I could but I think that seems to have been because the DAC I was using for USB wasn't all that good. The same DAC is also used for CD's (with a coax input) but I haven't done any checks to see if that sounds better than streaming yet.

    I don't have any more expensive/upmarket streaming solutions but if I did buy one (and I might) it'll be for convenience reasons rather than sound quality I think - especially as I still think of vinyl as my main source.
  4. theadmans

    theadmans pfm Member

    ...Aye it is that Ronnie - you have to be quite forceful I find.

    But I have fitted 3 of these cases now and I haven't broken one yet.

    You have to prise the rubber feet on with a jeweller's screwdriver or similar.

    I don't bother with the light tubes as they are more trouble than they are worth

    But the wee case does the job and doesn't look as blingy as some.
  5. Moggi1964

    Moggi1964 Active Member

    I just bought the Bluesound Node 2i and have been streaming Amazon and a couple of other stations. It sounds really good though it is early days on comparing it to my laptop/Emotiva XDA2 setup.

    I'll report back!

    Aesthetically, compact and attractive setup and Blusound on the App is very intuitive!

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