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How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

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  • How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

    I'm just curious. I'm moving more and more in the direction of all digital and playing around with different setups.

    I'm curious what folks have. Do you use a PC, laptop, how many of you have a storage server (Synology or standalone linux box etc...), sqeezebox, and whether you listen to predominantly a collection of ripped CD's, internet downloads, (streaming, itunes etc)

    How many are using any setup thats 24/96 or 192?

    do you use foobar, jriver or some other media server?
    audioheuristics isn't around right now...

  • #2
    Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

    Hi Mark,

    I've been a long time user of a Squeezebox that morfed into a Duet whole house system a couple years ago pulling from my main PC over a wireless network. I only use the Duet receiver in my main system as a transport that sends the digital signal to a tube DAC.

    It's the best sound I've had and compares favorably with the best sound I've heard. Associated electronics and cabling do make a difference.

    Jim

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    • #3
      Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

      Jim, which DAC do you use?
      Some of my audio projects:http://www.flickr.com/photos/8626051@N04/sets/

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      • #4
        Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

        By digital audio system do you mean as in digital vs. analog or a system that plays digitized files (rather than discs)?

        To show how old school I am, I'm split about 50/50 between my DIY Teres based turntable and the Sony DVD/CD player I picked up to play CDs. When I want to play something conveniently, I play a CD. When I want to get the best out of my system or play one of the many (as in a few thousand) LPs that I'll never have on CD, I use the Teres.

        So, for example, I'm listening to Rite of Spring on Speakers Corner reissued Decca (Solti conducting) as I type. It's simply awesome. As in :eek:

        Someday, I might get a better CD player or go with a music server, but I seem to spend all my cash buying speaker stuff :D

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        • #5
          Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

          Originally posted by xavier View Post
          Jim, which DAC do you use?
          It's a Lite Audio DAC 62 modified by Pacific Valves. The current version is a Brigatta that is essentially the same unit with USB support.

          I bought mine used off Audiogon. It uses 6922 tubes. I like JJ's best. It's exceptionally smooth and detailed with great bass using the JJ tubes.

          Jim

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          • #6
            Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

            Originally posted by Jim Holtz View Post
            ...It uses 6922 tubes.

            Jim
            Wow, that's a lot of tubes. Nice warm glow, but not very energy efficient:eek:

            baboom!
            audioheuristics isn't around right now...

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            • #7
              Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

              Originally posted by markk View Post
              Wow, that's a lot of tubes. Nice warm glow, but not very energy efficient:eek:

              baboom!
              It takes that many to get that "yucky" tube distortion cranked up. :eek: It's a great room heater in the winter.

              Jim

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              • #8
                Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

                well, I've got a PC which has all my CD's ripped to flac.

                I've got a duet into a Benchmark, although, frankly, I just listen to the duet a lot.

                I'm trying to get a more standalone setup, so I've been toying with buying a synology. I know I could just rebuild an old box into a linux server and leave it on, but I like the idea of a synology box plugged into my router with all my music on it. Any PC or laptop could access the synology 24/7 and the squeezebox would just run off the synology as well.

                I just got a topping TP30 in the mail a couple of days ago and it's a really nifty way of making a laptop/PC instantly listenable. not a lot of output, but 5 to 10 clean watts in a usb plug and play solution. Not super duper audiophile, but actually, pretty darned good. I've got an Asus netbook that runs foobar fine, plug the topping in and plug in a set of mini speakers and voila! I can set up a near field listening system anywhere in the house in 5 minutes.

                My goal is to make my house "CD free":D

                but I also want setups that just work. No hassle!
                audioheuristics isn't around right now...

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                • #9
                  Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

                  Originally posted by Paul Ebert View Post
                  I seem to spend all my cash buying speaker stuff :D
                  I have that same problem ! :D I've been wanting to buy a new amp, and dag gone everytime I get ready to do so, here comes these speakers I start drooling on. ;)
                  ~ Mankind's Great Problem Is A Perfection Of Means But A Confusion Of Ends ~ Einstein

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                  • #10
                    Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

                    Ever since moving to a laptop+HD+external DAC, I rarely use the ol Sota anymore, and CD's infrequently. Its just too easy without sleeves and jewel cases. Only time I go back to hard media is when Windows pushes an auto update to the lap top.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

                      Hi Mark,

                      As you know, I've been running a Synology DS211j to flac/mp3 to my Squeezebox 3. The SB3 supports max 24bit/48KHz only, but I don't have any high-res music files anyway.

                      I replaced a Pioneer Elite SACD player with the Squeezebox 3 after the rave user reviews, and was pleasantly surprised by the sound quality. Later I saw some independant measurements, and found little to fault with the unit.

                      We moved to a smaller house recently so had to downsize, so I'm using a variant of John Krutke's All Metal System (slim 2-way with L18RNXP/27TBFCG in 14 liters). To my mind a thousand or two $ is best spent on a bigger speaker (3-way) or a better amplifier, so I've never toyed much with outboard DACs.

                      I've thought about getting a Benchmark DAC. Do you think it makes a worthwhile difference to the Squeezebox? Its hard for me to justify a 2 channel DAC for a PC, when I could get a MOTU, Apogee or Prism Labs converter with all the bells and whistles (more utility) for around the same price.

                      The Squeezebox Touch is a nice 24/96Khz unit, but I don't like the LCD screen.
                      Last edited by tktran; 12-31-2010, 02:51 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

                        Hi Mark,
                        I guess I may be an extreme case; I've reached the point where I'm using nothing but PCs for my sound system sources.

                        My CDs are ripped to waves and 320 kb/s mp3s and stored on a Windows Home Server.

                        My DVDs and Blurays are ripped to the same server.

                        J.River MC is installed on the networked PCs located at each of my systems and plays the waves, DVDs, and internet streams.

                        I'm using Total Media Theater 3 for Bluray playback.

                        Beyond TV runs 3 two channel TV cards on the WHS to record & play high def TV. Beyond TV's Link Client is used on the networked PCs for recorded and live TV playback. (I no longer use the tuners in the TVs, I've switched to Beyond TV for live TV playback.)

                        I feed the analog output from my sound cards to whatever receiver/amps I'm using.

                        I've hit the point where I don't even use the the volume controls on my amps any longer, I just use the volume control available in the software and control everything with Harmony remotes.

                        These are basically spread-out versions of Pete's PCeiver. The PC handles everything, I'm using 32" and 40" LCD TVs, but I really need no more than a video monitor with one HDMI input, a stereo power amp and speakers to complete each system.

                        The sound quality of the analog output of the Xonar DX sound card I'm using in my bedroom system amazed me, it's quiet and very accurate.
                        Jay T
                        http://sites.google.com/site/lhwidgetssite/home

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                        • #13
                          Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

                          http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=218374

                          Used my PCeiver in Iowa, got a lot of very positive feedback from the group on the sound.

                          R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
                          Byzantium Project & Build Thread || MiniByzy Build Thread || 3 x Peerless 850439 HDS 3-way || 8" 2-way - RS28A/B&C8BG51

                          95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong
                          "Gravitational systems are the ashes of prior electrical systems.". - Hannes Alfven, Nobel Laureate, Plasma physicist.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

                            Squeezebox 3 into MHDT Constantine DAC. No other source anymore.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How many of you do the majority of you listening off a digital audio system?

                              One setup is PC into a 24/192 capable asynchronous USB DAC. Music is ripped mostly to WMP lossless due to it's comparability with my Zune HD. Playback was foobar, but I have been using J. River more frequently recently now that I'm getting used to it's interface.

                              The other rig has a Squeezebox Duet and the same DAC setup, but I'm working on changing a few things around. I recently picked up a new router: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-388-_-Product I can plug an external HD into it and stream files to my laptop, which I can hard wire via USB to my DAC. Hopefully then I can dump the Squeezebox and will no longer be limited to redbook in that rig.
                              "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

                              http://www.diy-ny.com/

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