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  1. One of the Topping DACs is a good choice, you have lots of models for $500 and much less. Features that match your system and listening habits are important here. You might also want to take a look at the new Schiit Modius, it's gotten good reviews and measurements for only $200 US. Has balanced and unbalanced output, and an AKM chip.
  2. I built something with the same motherboard and an i7-10700K CPU. Basically the same speed as what he built. But instead of fanless or water cooled, I went with a gaming case with soundproofing on the case panels and large, slow spinning CPU and case fans. It's basically dead quiet - below the ambient noise threshold in my home - and stays cool even when doing heavy duty work. The quiet fans and the case aren't outrageous, so you can build something that will function just as well as what Chris built for much less. Doesn't look as cool, though.....
  3. He's not talking about straight playback, he's talking about using a Linux streamer and heavy duty up-sampling using HQ Player. It does take a powerful PC to fully exploit the capabilities of HQP. For some of the HQP settings you even need to add a CUDA capable video card and offload some of the processing to the video card.
  4. I'm a big proponent of the RPi 4. I think many audiophiles won't hear any difference between a Pi4 as an endpoint and many much more expensive endpoints. It's biggest issue is that it doesn't fit the audiophile paradigm of " it has to be expensive and esoteric to be good" and also ongoing audiophilia nervosa. It's peanuts to try, and if you don't like it you can re-purpose it for some other task in your home. Maybe you WILL like it, and you will save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars. Pay a few dollars for a nice aluminum case, and it even looks like a hi-fi component. BTW, I've used expensive hi-end streamers, and I think the difference in SQ in my system is either small or non-existent. YMMV.
  5. Partition - Beyonce Spanish Harlem - Rebecca Pidgeon, the Raven
  6. Yes, I do it, and I also sometimes convert all music on the fly for playback as DSD. I find that PCM presents more "space" between the instruments; DSD presents the playblack as if the instruments are more "connected" or what I call a more "solid" presentation - less "space". DSD playback also sounds a bit more "relaxed" . I mostly listen in PCM, but sometimes switch to DSD mode. I agree about the Kii ASRC - it seems to do such a good job that the "DSD" attributes are preserved even when converting internally to PCM. I also have an external DAC connected to the Kiis, and sometimes send DSD over it to the XLR input of the Kii. Even here I can hear the characteristics of DSD vs. PCM, even with the double conversion.
  7. Once you place the order, the VPN doesn't matter. You can download it without the VPN.
  8. I've used the online contact page for issues like that and they've given me the ability to download again.
  9. Hans is probably one of the worst sources available for this. He has no clue. There is no "third unfold", as he claims somewhere. There is first unfold and then second unfold. The second unfold is actually just upsampling with filtering by the MQA fllters. Hans is just parroting MQA marketing speak without understanding what he's talking about.
  10. You can do the "first unfold" of MQA in software like Audirvana . IMO, that's most of the benefit-if you hear one. I wouldn't buy a DAC on the basis of whether is does the second unfold or not. I'd buy one based on sound, features, and price. Then if it also does the "second unfold" - that's a bonus. The second unfold is either upsampling and use of an MQA filter, or just the use of the MQA filter built into the DAC. The first unfold in your software gets the file up to 88 or 96k. If the original file was at a higher sample rate, it is then upsampled in the MQA DAC to that sample rate. Then the MQA filters are applied. There's nothing particularly special about those filters in about 99% of MQA DACs (there area a handful of expensive DACs where the manufacturer has worked with MQA to write DAC specific filters) as most MQA DACs use a standard set of MQA filters - that aren't made especially for that DAC. You can probably have Audirvana do the first unfold, and then use it's upsampling using SOX to get something indistinguishable from what an MQA DAC does. There are people who have done this with SOX and published their settings that mimic MQA on the web.
  11. It could be DC offset on the line. Sounds to me like it is. I had an issue with that once. there's a thread here: https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/239149-buzzing-toroidal-transformer/ Here's one perspective on it: https://www.pooraudiophile.com/2015/03/how-to-fix-dc-offset-and-transformer.html The symptom of that IS the amp transformer humming. And yes, a specific device in the house like a heater, lamp, printer, fridge, etc. Can cause it. There are relatively inexpensive DC blockers on the market This one works: https://avahifi.com/products/humdinger-dc-line-blocker?_pos=1&_sid=016edc167&_ss=r There's also this, which is Australian, but many times more expensive. Some power conditioning devices also block DC. It will say so in the product description if it does. If you want to be sure that's the cause is DC offset, get yourself some time alone in the house. Unplug everything in the house. Also turn off all the breakers in your electric board except the one powering the amp. Turn on amp? Hum? then it isn't the heater. No hum.:Turn on breaker for, heater: hum? no? and then heater itself: hum? yes, it's the heater. You can turn on the other breakers and devices one by one to see if a specific item is causing the DC on the line. You can also have DC coming into your home from something outside the home, which is why I wrote the procedure above. If you thoroughly do the procedure above and still can't find an in house source, you may have DC coming in from a neighbor or some other source outside the home that's on your part of the grid. Of course, the first thing you should do is check that the screws attaching the transformer to the amp aren't loose....
  12. I produced the standard audiolense correction filters at 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192. Roon chooses the correct filter for the sample rate and the suitable number of taps are applied. Nunber of taps changes according to what you are playing back.
  13. If you have a PC server you can use free software like REW or for pay software like Audiolense to do DRC. Many users are happy with these solutions. The digital signal is corrected and then sent on to your/player DAC. No hardware in line.
  14. Sonore doesn't market computer servers. If it's a sever with an i5- it's SGC or a different company. EtherRegen is from Uptone Audio - also not Sonore. The DCS is a network transport - you connect it by ethernet and it's output is to your DAC. It's not a computer/server, it has to be connected to a file source/network server. It also has a USB input for connecting an external drive with files. It has AES, SPDIF and SDIF-2 outputs. This seems to be compatible with your DAC so it can replace 2.3,4. It can't serve files like 1. If 1 is actually a computer server, you will probably get better performance leaving it in place. But you can replace 1 also if you attach an external drive to the NB via USB. If I was you, I'd check with the dealer or DCS to make sure there are no issues with that setup (such as speed or limit of number of files) - just to be sure - before you buy.
  15. For music, if you have pretty clean extension without a big rolloff down to 30hz, very few would be dissatisfied. Better than that is for those who want to physically feel the bass, and not just hear it well. Subwoofer territory. Also helps with movies - explosions, etc.
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