View Poll Results: How do you deliver Digital Content to your DAC?

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  • USB - PCM & DSD

    12 32.43%
  • AES/EBU - PCM

    5 13.51%
  • Coaxial S/PDIF -PCM

    8 21.62%
  • Toslink S/PDIF - PCM

    3 8.11%
  • What's a DAC?

    2 5.41%
  • Other

    7 18.92%
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Thread: How do you deliver digital content to your DAC?

  1. #16
    Super User slowGEEZR's Avatar
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    My digital data resides on a 4 terabyte external drive connected to a last generation Mac mini which has Amarra software, sent to asynchronous USB DAC (Ayre QB-9 DSD), then on to the preamp.
     
    - Steve You got fins to the left, fins to the right...Wilson WP8, Pass Labs XA-100.5, Pass Labs XP-20, BAT PK-V5, Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, TTW GEM V2, K&K Audio Premium SUT, VPI 16.5 & Keith Monks Discovery One record cleaners, MacMini (on Spatial Isoplane), JRiver, Ayre QB-9 DSD, X-CAN V-3, Sennheiser HD-535 (on Woo Audio stand), Adona Racks, SRA amp bases, PS Audio PPP, Mogami w/ Neutrik XLRs, Douglas speaker cable, GIK treatments, Shunyata Venom Defenders.

  2. #17
    Super User Bernard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowGEEZR View Post
    My digital data resides on a 4 terabyte external drive connected to a last generation Mac mini which has Amarra software, sent to asynchronous USB DAC (Ayre QB-9 DSD), then on to the preamp.
    Steve, is the software in your Mac in SSD, have you made any mods to the Mac (linear power supply + filter), and have you tried the Atomic platform?

  3. #18
    Super User roberto's Avatar
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    Hola...macmini USB Mirage cable DHLabs to Bel Canto Reflink, then DHLabs coax digital D-750 to DAC. Happy listening to all!
    CLX, Stage X and Motion 4, BF-210 sub, Summits in second system. Conrad Johnson Classic One Twenty SE amp, ET-7 Conrad Johnson pre, Exasound E-32 DAC with Teddy Pardo linear power supply, Shun Mook products, Nordost and DHLabs cables. Anthem AVM-60 audio and video processor. Anthem MCA-325 center and surround power amp. BPT Signature 3.5 Plus Balanced Line Power Conditioner.

  4. #19
    Senior Member asindc's Avatar
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    External HDD containing files---> Mac Mini---> USB cable---> Berkeley USB converter---> AES/EBU cable---> DAC.

    1) The external HDD has a companion backup drive. I have a 2nd backup that I keep at the office;
    2) The Mac Mini has a SDD to run the operating system and playback software, which is Amarra. Amarra doesn't do DSD, but it is the best for PCM;
    3) I use the Berkeley USB converter because it is a substantial upgrade over USB straight from Mac Mini to DAC. It is like a major DAC upgrade;
    4) I use an AES/EBU cable because it sounds better than the equivalent coaxial cable. My guess from having read user reviews is that it is system-dependent.
    Last edited by asindc; 09-24-2014 at 07:43 AM.
    Anthony
    Analog: VPI CLASSIC 3/Ortofon Cadenza Black> ASR Basis Exclusive--->
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  5. #20
    Super User slowGEEZR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    Steve, is the software in your Mac in SSD, have you made any mods to the Mac (linear power supply + filter), and have you tried the Atomic platform?
    No Bernard. I'm willing to try further isolation, but my current understanding is that noise and such travels on the power supply side of the USB and that is where the problems can come from. Since the Ayre isolates the power coming in and uses its own power, any noise that would have come into the DAC is eliminated. I do understand the many benefits of superior isolation, though. Right now, as I'm listening to Art Blakely Jazz Messengers "Caravan" on 45rpm on my analog rig, it's hard to get worked up about digital. This is so dynamic and real sounding! This turntable is mind blowingly good! On the downside though, it took a lot of playing with setup to achieve this realism, but then again, digital requires some setup, too.
    - Steve You got fins to the left, fins to the right...Wilson WP8, Pass Labs XA-100.5, Pass Labs XP-20, BAT PK-V5, Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, TTW GEM V2, K&K Audio Premium SUT, VPI 16.5 & Keith Monks Discovery One record cleaners, MacMini (on Spatial Isoplane), JRiver, Ayre QB-9 DSD, X-CAN V-3, Sennheiser HD-535 (on Woo Audio stand), Adona Racks, SRA amp bases, PS Audio PPP, Mogami w/ Neutrik XLRs, Douglas speaker cable, GIK treatments, Shunyata Venom Defenders.

  6. #21
    Super User M15's Avatar
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    Deliver digital files to DAC:
    Buy audio CD.
    Copy to Dell desktop hard drive.
    Copy from hard drive to Kingston SE9 32Gb USB.
    Attach USB to Marantz 6004 player ( transport and DAC ).
    Press play and continuous music for hours. No trouble of selecting digital files, use remote.

  7. #22
    Super User Bernard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowGEEZR View Post
    No Bernard. I'm willing to try further isolation, but my current understanding is that noise and such travels on the power supply side of the USB and that is where the problems can come from. Since the Ayre isolates the power coming in and uses its own power, any noise that would have come into the DAC is eliminated. I do understand the many benefits of superior isolation, though. Right now, as I'm listening to Art Blakely Jazz Messengers "Caravan" on 45rpm on my analog rig, it's hard to get worked up about digital. This is so dynamic and real sounding! This turntable is mind blowingly good! On the downside though, it took a lot of playing with setup to achieve this realism, but then again, digital requires some setup, too.
    Steve, I agree completely; analog is more real-sounding....and my analog rig is considerably more modest than yours...VPI HW19 MK IV/VPI JMW Arm/Koetsu Rosewood.

    Peace, anyone who disagrees!

  8. #23
    Member sb6's Avatar
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    PC with eSATA 2GB external HDD + JRiver MC19 -> Esoteric K-03 (expected to have it in about 2 weeks). Before that, had the Esoteric P-05/D-05. Vinyl is great if you enjoy sit ups/downs (sit up, put/take a record on/off your TT, sit down - repeat every 15 minutes throughout the night)!

    A good vinyl rig can sound great though, but so can a great digital, depends on your $...

  9. #24
    Super User Bernard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sb6 View Post
    PC with eSATA 2GB external HDD + JRiver MC19 -> Esoteric K-03 (expected to have it in about 2 weeks). Before that, had the Esoteric P-05/D-05. Vinyl is great if you enjoy sit ups/downs (sit up, put/take a record on/off your TT, sit down - repeat every 15 minutes throughout the night)!

    A good vinyl rig can sound great though, but so can a great digital, depends on your $...
    Supposedly, sitting too long is bad for your health.

  10. #25
    Super User risabet's Avatar
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    Depends on the digits!

    Redbook is SPDIF to Tadac Dac from a Sony CD/SACD player
    DSD is over USB from a Toshiba laptop to a Schiit Loki
    See my system here

  11. #26
    Forum Moderator MiTT's Avatar
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    Since I started the poll I should include my own setup. Currently running Pure Music on my 2013 Mac Mini which sits on the Mojo Atomic Platform. Files are stored on an external 3TB drive, software on the Mini runs off a SSD. USB to the AURALiC Vega DAC for both PCM and DSD. I also have a Sonos box feeding the Vega via Coax, but frankly, since I started getting into Hi-Rez, the Sonos typically only sees duty when we're running music through the whole house like for a party or something, i.e. just for background music. I don't currently use any sort of CD/SACD player for the main system - everything either gets ripped as soon as I buy it, or is downloaded (Hi-Rez only). The Mini is my only source component for another 8-10 weeks while my dedicated room is finished after which I'll finally be able to add my vinyl rig back into the system.

    Soon I will be adding the AURALiC Aries streamer which will further isolate (or more correctly remove) the computer from the music signal path. Delivery to the DAC from the Aries will still be USB.
    Last edited by MiTT; 10-22-2014 at 05:07 AM.
    MiTT
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  12. #27
    Member sb6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiTT View Post
    Since I started the poll I should include my own setup. Currently running Pure Music on my 2013 Mac Mini which sits on the Mojo Atomic Platform. Files are stored on an external 3TB drive, software on the Mini runs off a SSD. USB to the AURALiC Vega DAC for both PCM and DSD. I also have a Sonos box feeding the Vega via Coax, but frankly, since I started getting into Hi-Rez, the Sonos typically only sees duty when we're running music through the whole house like for a party or something, i.e. just for background music. I don't currently use any sort of CD/SACD player for the main system - everything either gets ripped as soon as I buy it, or is downloaded (Hi-Rez only). The Mini is my only source component for another 8-10 weeks while my dedicated room is finished after which I'll finally be able to add my vinyl rig back into the system.

    Soon I will be adding the AURALiC Aries streamer which will further isolate (or more correctly remove) the computer from the music signal path. Delivery to the DAC from the Aries will still be USB.
    I'd be very interested to hear how the Auralic streamer compares to the computer. Also, I'm curious why you would connect the streamer to the DAC via USB, doesn't the Audiolab accomodate SPDIF?

  13. #28
    Forum Moderator MiTT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sb6 View Post
    I'd be very interested to hear how the Auralic streamer compares to the computer. Also, I'm curious why you would connect the streamer to the DAC via USB, doesn't the Audiolab accomodate SPDIF?
    Initial feedback on the Aries has been very favorable. I listened to it at RMAF and thought it sounded great, even under show conditions.

    I don't have an Audiolab anymore, I replaced it with the AURALIC Vega about 6 months ago. I use USB because SPDIF is limited to 24/192 whereas the Asynchronous USB goes up to 32/384 PCM as well as DSD64 and DSD128.
    MiTT
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  14. #29
    MLO owner/operator TomDac's Avatar
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    Hey Tim. Seems like the Aries is just a real fancy version of the Squeezebox, no? I'd love to hear more about it.
    Last edited by TomDac; 01-17-2015 at 05:31 PM.
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  15. #30
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    I use the Musical Fidelity M1 clic connected to the wyred 4 sound or ps audio with a ww platinum usb via my laptop. For the main system though I use the all in one sony hap z1es as its got the hard drive and Dac inside it.

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