Poll: Are you considering a Dac-less streamer for your Devialet?
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No - I'm happy with AIR or other computer-based solution
28.65%
53 28.65%
No - I already own one
38.92%
72 38.92%
Yes!
32.43%
60 32.43%
Total 185 vote(s) 100%
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Dac-less streamer survey!
#31
(27-Feb-2015, 09:42)Womaz Wrote: Thanks for the replies guys. A lot of what you say i understand and I know why people chose a dedicated streamer over say a PC.
What I dont get is if the DAC is really where the sound quality comes from then why would someone pay say £2500 fir the Aurender N100 streamer. Are you saying that the streamer can make that much difference to the SQ.? Surely the quality of the DAC is the critical thing and the streamer fairly insignificant. By the way I am not arguing either way as I dont know, but this is something I have been unable to get my head round lately.

That's a good question...and if there was a consensus about the answer, probably a lot of traffic on Internet forums would disappear overnight!  There's a spectrum of opinions about this, ranging from "bits are bits" so any digital source is as good as any other provided they deliver the same bit sequence, to "everything makes a difference" so you'd expect to hear sound quality differences between streamers whether or not it correlates to anything concrete/measurable.

If you like to experiment and/or are on a continuing quest for the ultimate in sound quality, cost no object, then trying different streamers is a natural and enjoyable way to pursue the hobby.  On the other hand it's equally fine to say a Bluesound Node or Sonos Connect at £300-£400 (for example) will be a perfectly good source, and forget about tweaking.

It's a very personal thing, and you'll see different people on this forum take different stances.  Fortunately, while there are often discussions presenting different points of view, it's all kept very civil and good-natured.  I find it very helpful to have my preconceptions challenged now and then Smile
Roon (Mac Mini), Wilson Benesch Full Circle, Sonos ZP90 (Cullen modified), Expert 1000 Pro CI, Kaiser Chiara
Warwickshire, UK
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#32
So its all just opinions really, ah just like everything else in the world of hi fi.
I have not committed to the Dev yet as i am hoping to get a home demo. But one of the things that really appeals is less boxes, less cables. So like the Dev and a streamer will be my hope. The CD player will go this time and I am hoping the headphone amp as well, depending on quality from the 200.
The SAM technology sounds a great concept and I am looking forward to hearing that with my PMC 23s.
Devialet 200 -- Melco N1A-- Sonus Faber Olympica 2 -- Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable
Auralic Taurus MK2 Headphone Amp -- HifiMan HE1000 Headphones
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
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#33
Fewer boxes and cables is what drew me to Devialet, too. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Roon (Mac Mini), Wilson Benesch Full Circle, Sonos ZP90 (Cullen modified), Expert 1000 Pro CI, Kaiser Chiara
Warwickshire, UK
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#34
(27-Feb-2015, 09:42)Womaz Wrote: Thanks for the replies guys. A lot of what you say i understand and I know why people chose a dedicated streamer over say a PC.
What I dont get is if the DAC is really where the sound quality comes from then why would someone pay say £2500 fir the Aurender N100 streamer. Are you saying that the streamer can make that much difference to the SQ.? Surely the quality of the DAC is the critical thing and the streamer fairly insignificant. By the way I am not arguing either way as I dont know, but this is something I have been unable to get my head round lately.

I can answer this one as well!  I have a mid price Pioneer Bluray player.  Now this does include streamer functionality.  A while back I set it up with lots of songs on a hard drive and did back to back trials vs AIR Ethernet.  Why should it not sound as good, bits are bits?  I was actually optimistic that it would sound ok.  It didn't!  Nominally it sounded ok, but there was a loss of detail, the biggest issue was with bass.  With AIR the bass was razor sharp and accurate, with my ultra low budget streamer, the bass was flabby.  To be frank, it did not get anywhere near to AIR.  So yes, the front end matters.  Clocking ability, cleanness of the digital feed and a few other subtle issues matter a lot.
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#35
"Audiolav M-Net" for Optic output and Coax. however there is NAS, USB input network radio etc.

Any ideas on this one ? i can offord to get this and also discard if not good ...
Airport Express > WD NAS > MacBook AIR (RoonServer) >USB (AQ Jitterbug & Cable) > Deviate 120 > Chord Silver cables >KEF 203/2
Ipad Mini 4 Roon Remote
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#36
(27-Feb-2015, 13:06)Confused Wrote: I can answer this one as well!  I have a mid price Pioneer Bluray player.  Now this does include streamer functionality.  A while back I set it up with lots of songs on a hard drive and did back to back trials vs AIR Ethernet.  Why should it not sound as good, bits are bits?  I was actually optimistic that it would sound ok.  It didn't!  Nominally it sounded ok, but there was a loss of detail, the biggest issue was with bass.  With AIR the bass was razor sharp and accurate, with my ultra low budget streamer, the bass was flabby.  To be frank, it did not get anywhere near to AIR.  So yes, the front end matters.  Clocking ability, cleanness of the digital feed and a few other subtle issues matter a lot.

Off topic, I know, but were I in this position, I would suspect I would be preconditioned by knowing that the competing product was a Pioneer which cost £500, or whatever. And yet if I'd been sent the identical innards badged using the highly rated TAD brand (which is owned by, but independent of, Pioneer) and told it cost £2,500, my preconditioning would be much reduced, and maybe absent.

The result from me might well have been the same, but I suspect the Pioneer would get to it much more easily!
Antipodes CX and EX and P1 with P2 to come/MacBook Pro/
Draytek Vigor 2860v-Plus/Devialet Original d'Atelier CI Nos. 54A&B/Magico Q1 pair/Wilson Benesch Torus

Shunyata cables (digital/interconnect/loudspeaker/power)/Shunyata power units (Triton/Typhon)

 Dialog/Phantom Gold/Tree pair
Missing Link cables (power)
England
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#37
Had I been posting on this thread 18 months ago, I would have been close to the "bits are bits" camp: 

- firstly, because what can be that tough about lifting loads of stuff equivalent to noughts and ones off a CD and sticking those noughts and ones into a DAC; and

- secondly, because Devialet (the manufacturer of allegedly the world's best piece of electronic kit between your CD and your speakers) effectively claimed that a Mac and iTunes was the perfect source for their optimal ("the best cable is no cable") AIR input. (Albeit AIR in its original form.)

I think I am still close to the "bits are bits" position, but the continued inability of Devialet to deliver AIR to all users - meaning one therefore has to use a (previously categorised) inferior USB or optical input to connect your Mac - does open up the debate - yet I think the general market stance on this has been slightly surprising.

Why? Because the list of high-end dacless streamers is dominated by those without rippers - as though the ripping process is exempt from any quality issue whereas the post-ripping process is up for grabs in a number of ways, whether HDD or SSD, internal or external power supplies, and so on. For a layman like me, it would seem tougher to get your noughts and ones from a moving CD (stage 1) to whatever we define as stage 2, than it would seem to get from stage 2 to DAC input (stage 3).

Indeed, of those dacless streamers that do rip, I can see only on the Antipodes website any advocacy of why they include a ripper and why their ripping process is configured in a certain way.

A cynical view might be that sourcing a dedicated CD transport ripper of appropriate quality (or modifying one) might be pretty expensive given that the demand for CD transports is rapidly declining.

Maybe it's just that my little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Antipodes CX and EX and P1 with P2 to come/MacBook Pro/
Draytek Vigor 2860v-Plus/Devialet Original d'Atelier CI Nos. 54A&B/Magico Q1 pair/Wilson Benesch Torus

Shunyata cables (digital/interconnect/loudspeaker/power)/Shunyata power units (Triton/Typhon)

 Dialog/Phantom Gold/Tree pair
Missing Link cables (power)
England
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#38
I think that the only reason that some manufacturers include rippers in their streamers is for customer convenience - there's no need to use ripping s/w on a PC or Mac. I havent actually seen any claims that these integrated rippers produce better rips.

I actually don't think it's too difficult to get a 'perfect' rip. Some people have in the past claimed that their rips sound better than other - at one time even conservative Naim claimed this but those claims have now quietly been dropped.

Most ripping software compares the rips produced to an accurate rip database and reports any discrepancies. As long as you use zero compression for ripping there's no reason why a rip made by e.g. DBPoweramp in a PC should sound any different to a rip made by XLD on a Mac Wink
MacBook Pro Retina OS X 10.12.6 / Linn LP12 / Devialet 200 Wilson Benesch Discovery. 
Qobuz Desktop Latest Version / Audirvana Plus 3.2.4 / A+ Remote / iTunes 12.6 / AIR 3.0.4 / Wi-Fi / FW 8.1.0 / SAM 50%
Cambridge, UK (Updated 8th January, 2018)
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#39
Hi Phil

As I said, I've a degree of cynicism about this whole issue though not enough to stop me being curious ...

Anyway, here is what Antipodes say about their dedicated ripper component in their dac-less streamers, one of which is commented on by a Devialetchat member (not that he has expressed a specific view about the ripper as far as I can see):

"Most ripping software is designed to get you a decent rip in just a few minutes. The problem is it means a lot of error correction is used. The difference between a typical rip and an excellent rip is very significant. Getting an excellent rip requires two things: the right software (not all ripping software has a 'paranoid mode' which keeps ripping till it gets the best possible result) and the right optical drive (many optical drives include additional processing which means a perfect rip is impossible). We have assembled both of these ingredients for you in Antipodes music servers, enabling you to get the best possible rips and therefore the best possible sound. Some other combination of software and optical drive may be capable of just as good a result but we have taken the uncertainty out of it for you. But you do need to appreciate that a perfect rip does take more time, and can fail with non-compliant disks (with the Redbook standard). A common non-compliance problem is when a 'hidden' track is inserted at some point in the disk, but there are other examples. You may need to rip non-compliant disks on a more forgiving, if less accurate, device."

It's fair to say that Devialet's original proposition was that Mac/iTunes for ripping (and for all the rest of the front end too) was all that one needed.

And it's also fair to say that Antipodes aren't saying that theirs is uniquely the best, simply that the typical rip is worse in some (unspecified) respect.
Antipodes CX and EX and P1 with P2 to come/MacBook Pro/
Draytek Vigor 2860v-Plus/Devialet Original d'Atelier CI Nos. 54A&B/Magico Q1 pair/Wilson Benesch Torus

Shunyata cables (digital/interconnect/loudspeaker/power)/Shunyata power units (Triton/Typhon)

 Dialog/Phantom Gold/Tree pair
Missing Link cables (power)
England
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#40
Looks like I will have a Linn Akurate DS on Monday for testing. Whilst the Akurate is not a DAC-less streamer it does supposedly have an excellent digital output. It also means I will also be able to test Linn Kazoo's Tidal integration. I'll start a new thread and also post some screen shots.

Guillaume
Industry disclosure: UK distributor for Shunyata Research

Absolare Integrated Signature v2, totaldac d1 server with additional external power supply, totaldac d1-seven, Echole PSU for Totaldac, Wilson Audio Sasha 2, Shunyata Research cables, Shunyata Triton v3 + Typhon QR + DPC-6 v3, Audioquest Diamond Ethernet, Various Entreq ground boxes and cables, Entreq Athena level 3 rack, AQVOX Audiophile High-End Network Switch, Etalon Isolator, sonicTransporter w/ 1TB SSD & MCRU LPS
UK
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