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£200 streaming option beats all comers upto £5K
#1
Catchy thread title eh?  Although it just might be nearer the truth than you think.

Over the years, posts about various streaming solutions for the Devialet have been popular.  There are many options of course, just use AIR, the value for money stuff like the Cubox and Raspberry PI, Mac Mini's, Laptops, then the "good stuff" (or too expensive stuff some might think) from Aurender, Antipodes, dCS, and others.  Then network end points from SOtM and Sonore.  Then add a £3k reference clock, the list goes on.

In my experience, the options I have really liked for pure sound quality, such as the Aurender (N10 / W20) and dCS (Vivaldi Upsampler) have also been the worryingly expensive options, which is a shame.

So what is the thread title about?  Recently there have been some fascinating reports on Computer Audiophile regarding exceptional results being obtained by Intel series 7 NUCs.  The gold standard here seems to be a NUC 7 running "low latency" AudioLinux OS, which is booted into RAM from a USB stick, preferably running from the best LPSU you can find.  (which does push the price up a touch)  This can be configured as a Roon endpoint or for HQPlayer NAA etc.

It also seems that all aspects described above contribute to performance, the NUC 7 is a factor, so is AudioLinux, so is the RAM boot OS.  So how good is this little NUC option?  If you believe the reports, it is very good indeed, end game class.  Just using a NUC as an endpoint is apparently better than a Innuos Zenith SE, better than the SOtM sMS-200ultra / TX-USBultra / REF10 combo, better than the dCS Network Bridge, you get the idea.

This is very much a DIY option at the moment, not for those that want a nice reliable turnkey solution, but if reports are to be believed, this is the new audio Nirvana irrespective of the fact it is also an incredibly cheap option.  Good results have been reported using NUC 7s as either "network endpoints", servers, or a kind of two NUC solution.  Can it really be true?  With something like a Paul Hynes SR4, you could have a giant-killing solution for well under £1000.

So far I have not seen anyone try such a solution with a Devialet, so this important (for this forum) aspect is currently an unknown.  Maybe someone out there with the necessary time, skills and motivation might want to try?

Plus, for those adverse to a DIY solution, there is a guy offering bespoke NUC builds, see link:

https://nuckleheadaudio.com/

I could write a lot more on this topic, but there is no need for me to keep typing, it is currently being very extensively covered over on Computer Audiophile.

The first post that started all this NUC experimentation is per the link below.  Be prepared to read about another 100 pages (and counting) if you want the full story......

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent-860030

OK - I know some will think all this to be very unlikely and yet more subjective Audiophile snake oil nonsense, but at least it is relatively affordable for once!
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#2
Why did I buy a Devialet system? Well, I did originally hear it at a HiFi show in Bristol about five years ago. In truth I have always liked Naim products but when looking for a compromise that would run with my AV setup I also did not want another pile of boxes. I also wanted something that was easily configurable and allowed me to exclude the irrelevant. My 250 fits that bill perfectly and sounds pretty good as well. I now have a two box solution. The MacBook on which I run Roon and the 250 itself.

Now, having achieved such a minimalist and controllable solution why would I want to enter the world of NUCs  and DIY? I admit I am not really a tweeker and have zero intention of getting down and dirty with Linux either. As it stands, my “clean” solution still comes with quite a lot of messy wires attached to the TV, AV amp, the router, the switch, the DVD player, the telephone, the Sky Q box and the speakers, all six of them. If Devialet are not delivering the shortest, cleanest and clearest delivery of music from source  then we are all being short changed. In essence what you are proposing seems to contradict the ethos of buying and owning a Pro.
Devialet 250 Pro, Chord Signature Reference speaker cables, B&W 803 D3 speakers

Roon lifetime licence, Tidal. 
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#3
(27-Nov-2018, 10:21)Gerronwithit Wrote: Why did I buy a Devialet system? Well, I did originally hear it at a HiFi show in Bristol about five years ago. In truth I have always liked Naim products but when looking for a compromise that would run with my AV setup I also did not want another pile of boxes. I also wanted something that was easily configurable and allowed me to exclude the irrelevant. My 250 fits that bill perfectly and sounds pretty good as well. I now have a two box solution. The MacBook on which I run Roon and the 250 itself.

Now, having achieved such a minimalist and controllable solution why would I want to enter the world of NUCs  and DIY? I admit I am not really a tweeker and have zero intention of getting down and dirty with Linux either. As it stands, my “clean” solution still comes with quite a lot of messy wires attached to the TV, AV amp, the router, the switch, the DVD player, the telephone, the Sky Q box and the speakers, all six of them. If Devialet are not delivering the shortest, cleanest and clearest delivery of music from source  then we are all being short changed. In essence what you are proposing seems to contradict the ethos of buying and owning a Pro.

Well, for those for whom the simplicity of the system and a "one box" solution are important, then clearly this thread is of no interest.  This may be stating the obvious, but anything like this is entirely optional.  Choices are good, and ignoring this thread will be reasonable option for many.  Indeed, I have no medium term plans to try it myself, my "work life balance" is appalling at the moment, so the last thing I want to with my free time is mess around trying to get an AudioLinux NUC working.  Plus, I am not familiar with Linux, so this would be quite a learning curve and very time consuming for me, so it is just not an option at the moment.  I'd rather wait for a robust "turn key" solution to emerge.

That said, for some the "one box" solution is not the most important aspect of a Devialet.  It was not a consideration when I bought mine, I would have been more than happy with a multiple box solution, the ethos for me was achieving the best sound quality possible for the money.  And here is the key point I think, there are some with Devialet's spending a lot of cash in an attempt to get sound quality improvements.  Some streaming solutions cost £1000's, mains conditioners cost £1000's, some cables cost £1000's, room treatments can cost £1000's.  Indeed, many of us got the Pro upgrade for the sound quality enhancements, not for the CI Board functionality, and that was £1000's.

This is why I think the NUC / AudioLinux solution is so interesting.  If reports are to be believed, this offers the potential for a significant increase in sound quality, and it costs £100's, not £1000's.  Plus, if a one box solution is important, the NUC itself is pretty small and could be hidden away. 

As I mentioned above, I have no medium term plans to try this option, but it is compelling enough for me to keep an eye on developments.  Indeed, for anyone who is about to spend a lot of cash on a new streamer, it might be worth considering the a "wait and see" approach in the short term. 

As an aside, I believe some of the AudioLinux NUC goodness might be available in this:

https://thelinearsolution.com/streamer.html

This is a very new product.  I have no idea if it is any good or not, there are very few technical details available and no reports or reviews regarding sound quality.  It does have potential though, running "Low Latency" Dream OS, and the case looks very much like an off the shelf NUC case.  So an interesting new product, something else I will be keeping an eye on.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#4
(27-Nov-2018, 13:57)Confused Wrote:
(27-Nov-2018, 10:21)Gerronwithit Wrote: Why did I buy a Devialet system? Well, I did originally hear it at a HiFi show in Bristol about five years ago. In truth I have always liked Naim products but when looking for a compromise that would run with my AV setup I also did not want another pile of boxes. I also wanted something that was easily configurable and allowed me to exclude the irrelevant. My 250 fits that bill perfectly and sounds pretty good as well. I now have a two box solution. The MacBook on which I run Roon and the 250 itself.

Now, having achieved such a minimalist and controllable solution why would I want to enter the world of NUCs  and DIY? I admit I am not really a tweeker and have zero intention of getting down and dirty with Linux either. As it stands, my “clean” solution still comes with quite a lot of messy wires attached to the TV, AV amp, the router, the switch, the DVD player, the telephone, the Sky Q box and the speakers, all six of them. If Devialet are not delivering the shortest, cleanest and clearest delivery of music from source  then we are all being short changed. In essence what you are proposing seems to contradict the ethos of buying and owning a Pro.

Well, for those for whom the simplicity of the system and a "one box" solution are important, then clearly this thread is of no interest.  This may be stating the obvious, but anything like this is entirely optional.  Choices are good, and ignoring this thread will be reasonable option for many.  Indeed, I have no medium term plans to try it myself, my "work life balance" is appalling at the moment, so the last thing I want to with my free time is mess around trying to get an AudioLinux NUC working.  Plus, I am not familiar with Linux, so this would be quite a learning curve and very time consuming for me, so it is just not an option at the moment.  I'd rather wait for a robust "turn key" solution to emerge.

That said, for some the "one box" solution is not the most important aspect of a Devialet.  It was not a consideration when I bought mine, I would have been more than happy with a multiple box solution, the ethos for me was achieving the best sound quality possible for the money.  And here is the key point I think, there are some with Devialet's spending a lot of cash in an attempt to get sound quality improvements.  Some streaming solutions cost £1000's, mains conditioners cost £1000's, some cables cost £1000's, room treatments can cost £1000's.  Indeed, many of us got the Pro upgrade for the sound quality enhancements, not for the CI Board functionality, and that was £1000's.

This is why I think the NUC / AudioLinux solution is so interesting.  If reports are to be believed, this offers the potential for a significant increase in sound quality, and it costs £100's, not £1000's.  Plus, if a one box solution is important, the NUC itself is pretty small and could be hidden away. 

As I mentioned above, I have no medium term plans to try this option, but it is compelling enough for me to keep an eye on developments.  Indeed, for anyone who is about to spend a lot of cash on a new streamer, it might be worth considering the a "wait and see" approach in the short term. 

As an aside, I believe some of the AudioLinux NUC goodness might be available in this:

https://thelinearsolution.com/streamer.html

This is a very new product.  I have no idea if it is any good or not, there are very few technical details available and no reports or reviews regarding sound quality.  It does have potential though, running "Low Latency" Dream OS, and the case looks very much like an off the shelf NUC case.  So an interesting new product, something else I will be keeping an eye on.

Certainly an interesting approach! I'd love to get my hands into this 'low latency' Linux things. Looking anyway for a nice winter project for the dark evenings. BUT, this project is nothing for the faint-hearted. Would there be appropriate help on the internet? Also, being a Mac guy, could this low-latency Linux system also be implemented on a, say, Mac Mini?
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#5
(27-Nov-2018, 10:21)Gerronwithit Wrote: Why did I buy a Devialet system? Well, I did originally hear it at a HiFi show in Bristol about five years ago. In truth I have always liked Naim products but when looking for a compromise that would run with my AV setup I also did not want another pile of boxes. I also wanted something that was easily configurable and allowed me to exclude the irrelevant. My 250 fits that bill perfectly and sounds pretty good as well. I now have a two box solution. The MacBook on which I run Roon and the 250 itself.

Now, having achieved such a minimalist and controllable solution why would I want to enter the world of NUCs  and DIY? I admit I am not really a tweeker and have zero intention of getting down and dirty with Linux either. As it stands, my “clean” solution still comes with quite a lot of messy wires attached to the TV, AV amp, the router, the switch, the DVD player, the telephone, the Sky Q box and the speakers, all six of them. If Devialet are not delivering the shortest, cleanest and clearest delivery of music from source  then we are all being short changed. In essence what you are proposing seems to contradict the ethos of buying and owning a Pro.

Agree 100%
250 Pro CI; Innuos Zen Mk3; Claro dual turntable (Koetsu + Ortofon Mono); Harbeth SHL5plus 40th Anniversary; Townshend Isolda EDCT speaker cables; [i]PS Audio P3[/i]
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#6
@Sailor4W (and anyone else who might be interested) - There is a guy on Computer Audiophile (@greenleo) who has posted some step by step guides to installing and using AudioLinux.

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent=892887

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent=892943

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent=893219

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent=893536

One point about AudioLinux on the Mac, based on what is being posted on CA, the architecture of the NUC 7 is a big contributor to decent sound quality. So for example, there are some posts relating to trying AudioLinux on other small form computers, and in some cases the results were not good.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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#7
(28-Nov-2018, 14:13)Confused Wrote: @Sailor4W (and anyone else who might be interested) - There is a guy on Computer Audiophile (@greenleo) who has posted some step by step guides to installing and using AudioLinux.  

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent=892887

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent=892943

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent=893219

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent=893536

One point about AudioLinux on the Mac, based on what is being posted on CA, the architecture of the NUC 7 is a big contributor to decent sound quality.  So for example, there are some posts relating to trying AudioLinux on other small form computers, and in some cases the results were not good.

Super, thanks a lot for the links!!! Maybe I found my winter project? If you have additional experience, by all means let us all know!
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#8
(26-Nov-2018, 23:22)Confused Wrote: Catchy thread title eh?  Although it just might be nearer the truth than you think.

Over the years, posts about various streaming solutions for the Devialet have been popular.  There are many options of course, just use AIR, the value for money stuff like the Cubox and Raspberry PI, Mac Mini's, Laptops, then the "good stuff" (or too expensive stuff some might think) from Aurender, Antipodes, dCS, and others.  Then network end points from SOtM and Sonore.  Then add a £3k reference clock, the list goes on.

In my experience, the options I have really liked for pure sound quality, such as the Aurender (N10 / W20) and dCS (Vivaldi Upsampler) have also been the worryingly expensive options, which is a shame.

So what is the thread title about?  Recently there have been some fascinating reports on Computer Audiophile regarding exceptional results being obtained by Intel series 7 NUCs.  The gold standard here seems to be a NUC 7 running "low latency" AudioLinux OS, which is booted into RAM from a USB stick, preferably running from the best LPSU you can find.  (which does push the price up a touch)  This can be configured as a Roon endpoint or for HQPlayer NAA etc.

It also seems that all aspects described above contribute to performance, the NUC 7 is a factor, so is AudioLinux, so is the RAM boot OS.  So how good is this little NUC option?  If you believe the reports, it is very good indeed, end game class.  Just using a NUC as an endpoint is apparently better than a Innuos Zenith SE, better than the SOtM sMS-200ultra / TX-USBultra / REF10 combo, better than the dCS Network Bridge, you get the idea.

This is very much a DIY option at the moment, not for those that want a nice reliable turnkey solution, but if reports are to be believed, this is the new audio Nirvana irrespective of the fact it is also an incredibly cheap option.  Good results have been reported using NUC 7s as either "network endpoints", servers, or a kind of two NUC solution.  Can it really be true?  With something like a Paul Hynes SR4, you could have a giant-killing solution for well under £1000.

So far I have not seen anyone try such a solution with a Devialet, so this important (for this forum) aspect is currently an unknown.  Maybe someone out there with the necessary time, skills and motivation might want to try?

Plus, for those adverse to a DIY solution, there is a guy offering bespoke NUC builds, see link:

https://nuckleheadaudio.com/

I could write a lot more on this topic, but there is no need for me to keep typing, it is currently being very extensively covered over on Computer Audiophile.

The first post that started all this NUC experimentation is per the link below.  Be prepared to read about another 100 pages (and counting) if you want the full story......

https://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum...ent-860030

OK - I know some will think all this to be very unlikely and yet more subjective Audiophile snake oil nonsense, but at least it is relatively affordable for once!

How does NUC compare to DigiOne Signature?

Kai
Devialet Expert 120 | SF Liuto Monitor | Nordost cables | Vancouver, Canada.
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#9
(27-Nov-2018, 10:21)Gerronwithit Wrote: Perché ho acquistato un sistema Devialet? Beh, l'ho sentito originariamente in un HiFi Show a Bristol circa cinque anni fa. In verità mi sono sempre piaciuti i prodotti Naim, ma quando cercavo un compromesso che potesse funzionare con il mio setup AV, non volevo neanche un altro mucchio di scatole. Volevo anche qualcosa che fosse facilmente configurabile e che mi permettesse di escludere l'irrilevante. Il mio 250 si adatta perfettamente e suona anche bene. Ora ho una soluzione a due scatole. Il MacBook su cui eseguo Roon e lo stesso 250.

Ora, avendo raggiunto una soluzione così minimalista e controllabile, perché dovrei entrare nel mondo dei NUC e del fai-da-te? Ammetto di non essere davvero un tweeker e non ho neanche l'intenzione di scendere e sporcarmi con Linux. Così com'è, la mia soluzione "pulita" viene ancora fornita con un sacco di cavi disordinati collegati alla TV, all'amplificatore AV, al router, all'interruttore, al lettore DVD, al telefono, al box Sky Q e agli altoparlanti, tutti e sei di loro. Se Devialet non fornisce la consegna della musica più breve, più pulita e più chiara dalla fonte, allora siamo tutti in breve tempo cambiati. In sostanza ciò che stai proponendo sembra contraddire l'etica di acquistare e possedere un Pro.


I Like it
Clearaudio Solution CMB - The Wand Plus II - AT OC9 III - SAP Relaxa 530 - JRiver 24 - Air - D200 Expert - Avalon Avatar - Meicord Eth - MIT Matrix 12 bw - PS Audio AC12

Marietto - Italia 
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#10
(29-Nov-2018, 06:27)Melville Wrote: How does NUC compare to DigiOne Signature?

Kai

I have been following the very many NUC related posts over CA and there has not been a single mention of the DigiOne Signature.  This is perhaps not surprising because they are essentially different devices in terms of functionality, if nothing else a NUC has USB output and the DigiOne S/PDIF.  Indeed, I do not think anyone has tried an AudioLinux NUC with a Devialet, so this is new territory.

Also, this is missing the point a little bit. As an example, one guy has tried an AudioLinux NUC against a fully tricked up SOtM set up, with external reference clock, upgraded DC cables, EVO caps mod, and so on.  He found the NUC to be better.  So if you can believe what you read from the "observationalists", the AL NUC is beating all-comers at all prices, not just the equivalent budget or DIY kit.  Can it be true?  This is what makes the AL NUC so interesting.
1000 Pro - KEF Blade - SOtM sMS-200Ultra Neo - tX-USBultra - Mutec REF10 - MC3+USB - Pro-Ject Signature 12
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