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Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

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Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby Paul-H » 16 Aug 2016 18:40

Hi all

Not sure if this is the correct section to ask this but

My Hi-Fi system is over 30 years old but still sounds good for vinyl and CD's but I have a huge music collection on my PC which I either play through Active Speakers attached to the PC or through the Old Hi-Fi amp via a low quality WiFi dongle from Maplin, sound is OK but connection is not stable, with signal dropout if i do things like check my e.mails or even walk between the PC and Amp which are about 20 feet apart.

In the modern music world what are you all using to play your digital collections though your Hi-Fi gear.

Thanks for any help with this

Paul
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby henkNL » 16 Aug 2016 19:25

I use an Audioquest Dragonfly (2012)in combination with an IFI iUSB NANO 3.0 (2016).
Maybe I will upgrade the DAC for a next (2017 or 18) generation Dragonfly but I'm not shure yet.
For WIFI I use the Focal Universal Wireless Receiver.
Main System:
Amp: Van Medevoort MA111
TT: Rega Planar 3 with Elys 2
Speakers: B&W CM-1
SACD: Marantz SA 15 S 2
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby JoeE SP9 » 16 Aug 2016 21:29

Currently I use an Emotiva XDA-2 via the USB output of an Acer Netbook. The sound is buffered by an Audioquest Jitterbug. All my files are FLAC that came from my CD (1600) collection. Using a multi input DAC allows for a lot of flexibility. My file server/Main PC is connected to the Emotiva DAC via an optical connection.
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby lini » 17 Aug 2016 02:52

Paul: Depends on which soundcard or external sound interface I'm using, but it's basically almost always via analogue cable between line-out (or respectively combined line-/headphone-out) to line-in. Most of my soundcards and sound interfaces have 3.5 mm stereo mini jacks, some have a pair of RCA jacks and some have TRS jacks (balanced) for the line outputs (or combined line-/headphone-out), and my pre-amps, integrated amps, receivers and headphone amps either have a pair of RCA jacks or a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack for each of the line inputs.

So I have several cable types in use: RCA <-> RCA, T(R)S <-> RCA, 3.5 mm stereo <-> 2x RCA and 3.5 mm stereo <-> 3.5 mm stereo - all plug-terminated on both ends. Still missing: 3.5 mm stereo <-> T(R)S - but I haven't really needed that in practice yet, so I haven't yet bought or made one (if I'd buy one, it would be the Cordial CFY-WPP, as that would fit to my other Cordial cables (which I like for being resonably cheap, but nevertheless well-made, using decent cable material and decent Neutrik/Rean connectors), so one can recommend these for being technically good at a very fair price level...).

Greetings from Munich!

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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby marysdad » 17 Aug 2016 06:05

PC via USB to powered USB hub; USB cable to Objective DAC; 3.5 mm. to RCA interconnect to Pioneer SX-950
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby Bonzo_Dog » 17 Aug 2016 21:16

If you have a Wi-Fi at home the simplest solution is to buy a Bluesound Node (or a corresponding Sonos or something similar) and connect it to your old Hi-Fi system with AUX or other line input using the internal DAC on the Bluesound Node (it's possible to bypass the internal DAC and use your own DAC too). I have the first Bluesound Node which is now replaced by the probably better Node 2.

You can put your audio files on an USB disk and connect it directly to the Bluesound Node or you can - even better - set up a NAS connected to your Wi-Fi and put your collection there. It is very easy to set up. Keep it simple: I use a simple 1-disk Synology NAS and have decided not to use multi-disk RAID systems which I think is overkill for personal use. Of course, you need good backup routines anyway. I've had a fatal NAS disk failure once and it took a couple hours to get back to normal with a new disk - I can live with that.

You listen to the music using an app on your tablet or smartphone that connects wirelessly to the Bluesound Node. It's also possible to have a multi-room system with more Bluesound Nodes. For me one Node is sufficient.

Digital playback is dependent on correct metadata to be able to find what you want to listen to in your library. On Windows mp3tag is a free and powerful tool to ensure your metadata is correct. You can even connect to different metadata providers to get it automatically.

You fill up your digital library from CD using AccurateRip through EAC (Windows), CUERipper (Windows) or dbpoweramp (Windows/MacOS) - or you buy digital files online - or you transfer your MC og vinyl to digital through an appropriate ADC.

I don't prefer using computers for audio playback but use them to maintain my digital music collection. Most of my digital library is my own needledrops, but it also contains purchased files, MC-drops and CD-rips. The computer is an important tool in preparing new stuff for the digital library but not in the playback.
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby jdjohn » 23 Aug 2016 22:13

For the poster, your best solution might depend on the format of your digital music. Is it WAV files, MP3 files, iTunes files, FLAC?

There has been a lot thrown out there in these responses, so I'll add to it. I have a Logitech Squeezebox Touch. These aren't made anymore, but you can find them on the second-hand market. It has wi-fi, an ethernet port, a USB port, optical, and digital coax, and of course RCA outputs to plug into an Aux or line input on an amp/receiver. So far I have used wi-fi for streaming and USB jump-drive for FLAC, and for output have only utilized the RCA outputs for vintage amp gear in one system, but I have a Peachtree Audio NovaPre on the way which I will connect to the SBT via the coax. I think this will sound better than the RCA outputs.

On another system, I have a newish Onkyo receiver/amp with networking capabilities and an internal DAC. It has a USB port which I used initially for wi-fi via a dongle, but eventually I connected the amp to my router via ethernet cable, which worked much better. Now I can put a jump-drive with FLAC files into the USB port.

As you can see from all of these responses, there are many different options!
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby maxlbrown » 25 Aug 2016 15:24

im using a Marantz NA7004. seems ok to me shame usb in only goes to 96khz 24 bit. but SPDIF and TOSLINK are 192/24 same as streaming.

shame apple don't do 192khz out via lightning. so not getting the best out of it yet.

Ive had it about 4 yrs shame cant get lightning to toslink adpators a bit pointless I know but at least I could get a higher bitrate.
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby wgh52 » 25 Aug 2016 23:09

Despite remaining to be a vinyl fan, my system is mostly using digital signal processing:

Digital Sources:
Cambridge Streammagic 6 for Internet & USB-Disk (SPDIF)
TV (Toslink)
CD CDP-XA555ES (SPDIF)
MiniDisk MDS-JA555ES (SPDIF)
PC (USB -> Streammagic)

Analog Source:
Turntable Technics SL-1000 Mk II feeding MD Recorder 16/44 A>D conversion (SPDIF)

Source Switching:
Funk CAS2.V3SE (all Sources incl. Turntable are switched here)

DSP & DAC:
SPDIF Reclocking AES/EBU Mutec MC-3+
Freq./Phase Response convolver (FIR & IIR DSP) & DAC DEQX PDC-2.6p feeding fully Active Speakers
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby bob_m_54 » 29 Aug 2016 09:46

I use a HDD, reclaimed from an old laptop, connected via USB to a Raspberry Pi mini computer, with an on board I2S DAC (IQaudIO Pi DAC+)running one of a couple of different OS's (Volumio, Moode, Rune etc) Then the output of the I2S DAC plugged into my amp. Can be controlled via a computer or android device, for selecting and playing music using wifi from control device to network and wifi from Raspberry Pi to network.
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby Werner » 01 Sep 2016 13:40

FLAC files on a QNAP NAS in the basement

ethernet into Cubox-i 4Pro nanocomputer in the music room, running Volumio (*)

USB into Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 integrated



(* Also two Raspberry Pies running Moode Audio in two other systems, SPDIF
into DAC resp. digital-active speakers.)
Michell Orbe/SME IV/Allaerts MC1b - Paradise - Cubox i4Pro/Volumio - Lyngdorf TDAI2170 - ProAc D40R or Quad ESL57
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby TudorTurtle » 01 Sep 2016 15:10

I use a Yamaha CD-N500 and a Western Digital NAS. My files are 95% .wav.
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby Jhayman » 16 Sep 2016 00:52

I use a Bryston BDP-2 DFP with a Bryston BDA-2 DAC with an Internal 500g laptop HD and a 240G SSD and last but not least a 3TB HD in a Vantec HD enclosure, music is 90% Flac
Going through a McCormack DNA500 and McCormack iMap preamp, PSB Stratus Goldi speakers
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby JDJX » 22 Sep 2016 00:37

Any digital signal is already converted anilog if it can drive speakers, amps.
So, I'm not sure if I fully understand the question.


Personally, I have a PC (just using the MB's sound chip), my TV, and an MP3 player feed into one of the inputs on my integrated amp.
All are feed into a simple 4 output source selector switch which is then fed into the amp.
It's simple and effective.

BTW, I can also feed my PC's video into my TV via a graphics card that can output to a HDMI jack.

So, I have all bases covered. :)
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Re: Modern Digital to Analogue System what do you use

Postby bob_m_54 » 29 Dec 2016 11:42

JDJX wrote:Any digital signal is already converted anilog if it can drive speakers, amps.
So, I'm not sure if I fully understand the question.


Personally, I have a PC (just using the MB's sound chip), my TV, and an MP3 player feed into one of the inputs on my integrated amp.
All are feed into a simple 4 output source selector switch which is then fed into the amp.
It's simple and effective.

BTW, I can also feed my PC's video into my TV via a graphics card that can output to a HDMI jack.

So, I have all bases covered. :)

If it's Analogue, then it is no longer digital.

But the rest of your answer is a little confusing too. You say you are feeding the output of your MB sound chip into an MP3 player? or do you mean you are using MP3 player software on your computer to output analogue direct to the Amp?
I don't understand what the TV does either.. :?
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