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Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - Printable Version

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Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - zambie - 09-Jan-2019

Hi Everyone!
So So psyched - just pulled the trigger on a 220pro with CI, and its waiting for me at home! Need to head back form work in a couple of hours and put it together.

A bit about my situation and why I'm feeling a bit like a deer caught between headlights:
I'm just starting on my journey with trying to get my dream sound system in place, with the devialet 220pro at the center of it.
My sources: completely locally stored digital files (flac, dsd (dsf)) or spotify premium (will consider tidal if they start keeping more of the music I listen to/ qobuz once they're in US)
Storage & playback: 
  • Current preferred route > I have a portable digital audio player - Onkyo DP-X1 which is supposed to have a pretty good dac and can play most of my music. It's based on Android. Have a regular 3.5mm from it that branches to 2 male RCAs. It also has wifi. If I'm using the Onkyo - i typically use the onkyo playback software since it supports flac, dsd/ dsf and has a host of good upsampling etc.
  • Alternate route > Have a Macbook pro that I could also use as a music server either with 3.5mm to 2 male RCAs or through wifi. If I'm using the MBP, I don't have too many options currently - do have itunes and vox to play flac files. Unsure of dsd/dsfs
Speakers: Martin Logan Motion 60xts in a 2.0 setup. I've had these for a while - going to see how they perform with the devialet before I make any decisions on the speaker front. I was using a gemtune tub-amp prior to this with tube rolling.

Question
  • Given my sources and my storage/ playback options - what would you advise as the preferred method of connecting to the devialet 220pro? Also - has anyone used an android device + Devialet AIR as the playback route? 
  • If i were to connect the Devialet with my 3.5mm/RCA chord v/s leveraging the Devialet AIR option - what exactly is the major difference - could anyone help me out a bit around navigating this?

I'm a whiles away from exploring options such as Roon for managing playback - will do so in due course, but first need to get the basics out of the way.
Thanks everyone and super happy to be part of the devialet family!!


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - Pim - 10-Jan-2019

Hi Zambie,

First of all, welcome to Devialet Chat. There are many experienced owners here and you will find we're quite the helpful bunch.

Secondly, you owe your boss half an hour overtime for 'wasting' your time on DC Wink

Now to the business;

I don't know how you came to buy your 220 Pro CI but you might want to read up on how it works and why. The Expert range is based on the idea that what comes in digitally will be converted and amplified via the shortest possible route. That system (ADH and Magic wire) is what makes the Expert range stand out from any other integrated amp out there. To keep a long story short, use the DAC inside the Expert and you are way ahead in sound quality compared to using the DAC in your Onkyo player or your MBP. Ditch the 3.5mm jack idea.

Just a thing about AIR; It stands for Asynchronous Intelligent Route and it can be run over Ethernet OR WIFI. The name seems to suggest it's a WIFI only thing but Ethernet is more stable. So if you can connect your 220 to your network via Ethernet that'll be the best way to start.

I have no idea whether it is possible to use the Onkyo player via AIR but the AIR software needs to be installed on a computer so I don't think you can.

Spotify connect should work via Ethernet or WIFI and you should be able to use a phone as a remote control. That means the music comes straight from the internet to the 220. Not via your phone.

To play local files, I would use the MacBook. Either via Ethernet (AIR) or USB. WIFI (AIR) is a last resort because anything wireless is less stable. Having said that, the new Expert has an external antenna so it works better now than in the past.

If you use the MBP you can use a phone / tablet as a remote control so you won't need to be getting up every time you want to change songs. That works with iTunes and if you want down the track, Roon. Don't do the Roon free trial unless you have the money ready to sign up for life. Roon is so easy to use, once you start you won't want to give it up.

Good luck,

Pim


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - zambie - 10-Jan-2019

(10-Jan-2019, 00:21)Pim Wrote: Hi Zambie,

First of all, welcome to Devialet Chat. There are many experienced owners here and you will find we're quite the helpful bunch.

Secondly, you owe your boss half an hour overtime for 'wasting' your time on DC Wink

Now to the business;

I don't know how you came to buy your 220 Pro CI but you might want to read up on how it works and why. The Expert range is based on the idea that what comes in digitally will be converted and amplified via the shortest possible route. That system (ADH and Magic wire) is what makes the Expert range stand out from any other integrated amp out there. To keep a long story short, use the DAC inside the Expert and you are way ahead in sound quality compared to using the DAC in your Onkyo player or your MBP. Ditch the 3.5mm jack idea.

Just a thing about AIR; It stands for Asynchronous Intelligent Route and it can be run over Ethernet OR WIFI. The name seems to suggest it's a WIFI only thing but Ethernet is more stable. So if you can connect your 220 to your network via Ethernet that'll be the best way to start.

I have no idea whether it is possible to use the Onkyo player via AIR but the AIR software needs to be installed on a computer so I don't think you can.

Spotify connect should work via Ethernet or WIFI and you should be able to use a phone as a remote control. That means the music comes straight from the internet to the 220. Not via your phone.

To play local files, I would use the MacBook. Either via Ethernet (AIR) or USB. WIFI (AIR) is a last resort because anything wireless is less stable. Having said that, the new Expert has an external antenna so it works better now than in the past.

If you use the MBP you can use a phone / tablet as a remote control so you won't need to be getting up every time you want to change songs. That works with iTunes and if you want down the track, Roon. Don't do the Roon free trial unless you have the money ready to sign up for life. Roon is so easy to use, once you start you won't want to give it up.

Good luck,

Pim

Hi Pim - thanks so much for your very warm welcome and the nudge in the right direction for me - frankly, while I've read up on a bunch of things, I've been confused by a bunch more and needed to just figure out a half decent baseline and then move from there with respect to config options to pursue.
Boss better get used to me slacking for a few minutes here and there over the coming days ...  Big Grin ... I got the unit up and running with my mac and speakers with source material playing out of the Mac through airplay. Have to say - wow! The first thing that's hit me is just the resolution of every instrument coupled with the soundstage, the finer decay in various instruments, greater bass presence and the dynamic nature of the music (there appears to be a greater range between the loudest portions v/s the quietest portions) at any given volume. Ofcourse -  no critical listening in yet. I'm struggling with getting AIR over wifi to play any music - I just need to clear my head and think through what I'm screwing up.

I will have to figure out whether audirvana is the way to go or roon longer term - so far been using vox and it's resolving my dsd/dsf files well.
Also - lots to explore with regards to cabling, and source playback optimization. Baby steps I suppose.

Always eager to learn tricks of the trade - will keeping a close watch on a bunch of threads here to broaden my knowledge.


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - David A - 10-Jan-2019

You said you're having trouble getting AIR over wifi. I never managed to get that to work for more than a few minutes from my Mac Mini. My solution was to use a wifi link from my Mac Mini to a second Airport Extreme which I connected to my Devialet via ethernet. That worked without problems. Instead of an Airport Extreme you could use an Airport Express and connect your Devialet via ethernet or you could use an Apple TV (not an Apple TV 4K) and connect that to your Devialet via optical. I didn't try an Apple TV with an optical connection but it should work. I simply couldn't get a reliable wifi connection to my Devialet but I had no problems with another Apple device making the wifi connection and using a wired connection from it to the Devialet.

Definitely use the Devialet AIR app on the Mac Mini and connect using that rather than Apple's own AirPlay which has limitations.


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - Pim - 10-Jan-2019

(10-Jan-2019, 05:38)zambie Wrote: Tinkered around a bit - and yes - doesn't appear that AIR can be installed on android. But I am able to play locally stored music through the android remote (albeit it's a clunky experience). I suppose in this case, all that the android device is acting as - is a source?

I will have to figure out whether audirvana is the way to go or roon longer term - so far been using vox and it's resolving my dsd/dsf files well.
Also - lots to explore with regards to cabling, and source playback optimization. Baby steps I suppose.

Always eager to learn tricks of the trade - will keeping a close watch on a bunch of threads here to broaden my knowledge.

If with locally stored you mean files on the device itself then yes, it's a source.

Before you get into cables, watch this:

http://audiofi.net/2019/01/audio-engineer-claims-his-null-tester-settles-the-debate-on-wires/

Make of it what you wish but I would rather spend ten hours on setting up my speakers and chair right than work 5 hours to pay for a 'better' cable.


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - Gerronwithit - 10-Jan-2019

Might as well just buy Roon. That way you can get access to all of your music as long as it is on your LAN. My Devialet is connected via Ethernet to my router and Roon runs from my MacBook Air. I only use Tidal these days as I got fed up with having stuff on a NAS. The only limitation is having to have Roon open on the MacBook to access it, say, from my iPad or iPhone. Maybe a Roon nucleus would resolve that at a price. Depending on what speakers you use, these might be SAM’d so check that out and configure it on your 220 and give it a try.

In purchasing my Devialet I was trying to get to the optimum sound with the minimum of hardware and complexity. This is as simple a route as you could get but not necessarily achieving the absolute capability of your system, but it will get you firing on all cylinders very quickly and satisfactorily.


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - zambie - 10-Jan-2019

(10-Jan-2019, 09:10)Pim Wrote:
(10-Jan-2019, 05:38)zambie Wrote: Tinkered around a bit - and yes - doesn't appear that AIR can be installed on android. But I am able to play locally stored music through the android remote (albeit it's a clunky experience). I suppose in this case, all that the android device is acting as - is a source?

I will have to figure out whether audirvana is the way to go or roon longer term - so far been using vox and it's resolving my dsd/dsf files well.
Also - lots to explore with regards to cabling, and source playback optimization. Baby steps I suppose.

Always eager to learn tricks of the trade - will keeping a close watch on a bunch of threads here to broaden my knowledge.

If with locally stored you mean files on the device itself then yes, it's a source.

Before you get into cables, watch this:
outlets 
http://audiofi.net/2019/01/audio-engineer-claims-his-null-tester-settles-the-debate-on-wires/

Make of it what you wish but I would rather spend ten hours on setting up my speakers and chair right than work 5 hours to pay for a 'better' cable.
I'm not super finicky about cables - that's a research topic for way later. Will take a look at the link you shared! I think at this time; I have some relatively inexpensive mediabridge 12awg speaker cables and I've tried them interchangably at another friend's plae who has a much higher value cable layout - couldn't seem to make a discernible difference in sound signature. Am intrigued more, however, by the power chord as well as the 20amp outlets and how much of a difference they make. As of now - need to make AIR work - tonight's job - try AIR through ethernet and see if I can get it to behave :Smile..


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - zambie - 10-Jan-2019

(10-Jan-2019, 07:32)David A Wrote: You said you're having trouble getting AIR over wifi. I never managed to get that to work for more than a few minutes from my Mac Mini. My solution was to use a wifi link from my Mac Mini to a second Airport Extreme which I connected to my Devialet via ethernet. That worked without problems. Instead of an Airport Extreme you could use an Airport Express and connect your Devialet via ethernet or you could use an Apple TV (not an Apple TV 4K) and connect that to your Devialet via optical. I didn't try an Apple TV with an optical connection but it should work. I simply couldn't get a reliable wifi connection to my Devialet but I had no problems with another Apple device making the wifi connection and using a wired connection from it to the Devialet.

Definitely use the Devialet AIR app on the Mac Mini and connect using that rather than Apple's own AirPlay which has limitations.

Yeah - going to give AIR through ethernet a try today once I get back home. I seem to have downloaded and installed AIR on my mac correctly - it's showing up in my audio midi panel as well as in the mac menu bar. So - if i get this right - airplay is 16bits 44.1KHz .... while AIR can stream at upto 24bits 192KHz (as should USB). Optical is 24bits 96KHz?

Out of curiosity - does anyone use AES/ EBU port/ cable? What is the typical other end of such a cable that would warrant usability? The devialet help article below seems to reference it as a good go-to option.
https://help.devialet.com/hc/en-us/articles/203402551-How-to-play-High-Resolution-music-on-a-Devialet-Expert-


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - yabaVR - 10-Jan-2019

(10-Jan-2019, 09:10)Pim Wrote: Before you get into cables, watch this:

http://audiofi.net/2019/01/audio-engineer-claims-his-null-tester-settles-the-debate-on-wires/

Make of it what you wish but I would rather spend ten hours on setting up my speakers and chair right than work 5 hours to pay for a 'better' cable.

The following is the copy/paste of a comment on the page under the link. Nothing to add from my side. The guy doing the test is completely clueless:

"I always get a kick out of one idiot trying to claim everyone else is the same. Stuff like this ruins the reputation of science – real science.

Boys and girls, science begins with an observation. We can talk all about the circumstances and reliability of that observation, but it begins there nonetheless. If I hear a consistent difference between cables in a stereo system – and YES, I do and so do others, at least with some cables… and YES in double blind listening tests… then we make a hypothesis to test. If that hypothesis is that there is a voltage difference in the cable to account for the sound difference, well the null test described above strongly suggests that our hypothesis is not correct. But it does not DISPROVE the observation. We have to come up with another hypothesis and test again… and round and round it goes. Science, by the way, rarely “proves,” but instead builds evidence. The evidence here does nothing to prove or disprove whether I hear a difference in cables. The absurdity goes further, because the actual claim is that “all wires sound the same.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t listen to cables with an oscilloscope, and I sure as hell don’t plug them into my tympanic membranes. Cables are part of a much larger system that can only be “heard” as a whole after that electrical crap is transduced to an entirely different form of energy at the speaker. Sorry, but we haven’t proven anything here except that we can’t show a measurable electrical difference between whatever cables he tested"

gui


RE: Questions, questions & questions! New 220pro - David A - 10-Jan-2019

I don't have an AES/EBU input on my 140 so I can't help you on that question.

Re your comment on AIR over ethernet/USB vs optical vs Airplay, you're right. Each of them has a limit to what can be passed over those connections and those limits are different as is the limit for USB. Using ethernet or USB will let you pass a higher quality signal to the Devialet. AIR is a data transmission protocol that Devialet devised for use with ethernet and wifi signals. It isn't available for USB. If you're using ethernet or wifi then AIR is a good choice if you're using iTunes for your music.