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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. This is very geeky, but explains step by step how to stream Chromecast on a Pi: https://thepi.io/how-to-use-your-raspberry-pi-as-a-chromecast-alternative/ An alternative that I've tried is to install Logitech Media Server (LMS) which has a chromecast plugin. The Pi can then use LMS to serve audio to a chromecast device. This works and isn't difficult to setup.
  4. Yes, with the RPi it depends on the OS. You have to find one that has a chromecast module addin /Google music or says it works with them. Changing OS means downloading the specific OS and writing it to the SD card, accd to setup guide of the OS. This is the downside of the Pi. You have to put in some work at the beginning to get it to do what you want. Once it is setup, you pretty much won't have to do anything.
  5. The Pi can be difficult if you aren't techie. What OS software were you using? I'm pretty sure all of the above are either compatible with Roon (works with Chromecast) or can have a chromecast plugin module added if it isn't there.
  6. I think most of what you hear about a specialized PC for audio is BS. With a good modern DAC the server PC doesn't make much, if any, difference to SQ. Even recent Stereophile measurements and listening to very expensive "audiophile" servers show this. Some things to consider: Making the PC very quiet or silent: Silent is possible, but a bit more involved to build if you do it yourself. But you can make a very quiet PC, less noisy than ambient noise level. by using a special noise reducing case, and buying larger slower rotating cooling fans-lots of examples of both on the market. Without this, you may have to deal with whirring fan noise in your listening environment. Quiet PC power supplies/fans are also available. I wouldn't worry about other specialized power supplies like linear. SSD is great for the OS, as they maket the PC boot up and work a lot faster. Also good for storage, but can be pricey if you need a lot of storage. I'd think about an SSD for the OS and a conventional drive for storage. There really isn't anything like a drive especially made for audio.
  7. Matrix Element i 990 US Matrix Element M 1790 US Matrix will Fed Ex it for free if you order from them. http://matrix-digi.com/en/
  8. Budget? Suggestions: Raspeberry Pi4 Running the software of your choice- works great and is cheap. Definitely better than a Chromecast. Allo USB Bridge (fancy RPI) Used Sonore MicroRendu SOtM SMS 200 Volumio Primo Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra
  9. The SBT and RPi can do it, but they sometimes don't have enough power to power an external device that doesn't have it's own power supply. The SBT also doesn't work well with large capacity drives (large in terms of 10 years ago tech). I'm pretty sure the SOtM streamers, the Volumio Primo, and the pro-ject Steam Box S2 Ultra, can all stream from external storage attached via USB. These are all newer device desinged for this. Should work OK.
  10. There is some great sounding DSD, as DSD releases are clearly intended for audiophiles, and are generally carefully mastered without adding lots of volume compression. Some of my DSD albums are the best sounding version I know of. There are basically three types of DSD releases on the market: 1. Classical recordings: there are a few labels doing recordings in DSD and the SQ is generally fantastic. Some are conversions from DXD, but also sound fantastic. Note that some older recordings are conversions from PCM, even Redbook. They may sound great, but why buy them for those high prices? 2. Jazz: there are some smaller labels making some recordings in DSD. See nativedsd.com and HDTracks for DSD downloads of the above. 3. Legacy analog recordings remastered to DSD/SACD. There's a huge catalog of these. Literally thousands I have lots of these ranging from classic rock like Dylan and the Who, to classic Jazz like Coltrane, and there are lots of historically great classical tapes remastered to DSD. Sony turned all of the catalog it owned at one point to DSD for archival purposes. Some has been released. Acoustic Sounds specializes in such remasterings from tape and they generally sound great. In Japan, where there is still a thriving SACD market, there are a lot of remasters. Tape to DSD often sounds fantastic, I think there is something about DSD that can bring out the best in tape recordings. But many will say that such a release is "fake hi-res". I personally don't care if it is a good sounding remaster. The downsides are that some releases are only available in SACD, so you have to rip them or find a rip that someone else can give you if you can't rip the DSD layer of the SACD. In addition, there is very little new recording in DSD - it's almost all classical, as there's an established classical market for SACD/DSD, and 5.1 channel masterings on SACD. A small amount of new Jazz is recorded in DSD, and almost nothing else in terms of new recordings. If you listen to classical or legacy rock and Jazz, there's lots of great sounding albums available.
  11. The overall point is that neither his listening nor his measurements show any real difference between 5 figure devices and his standard desktop computing equipment when used with a good modern DAC. Yet, he can't actually write this in the magazine, it seems.
  12. Was he blind testing? Not clear. In any case, read between the lines - the differences were very minor at best. Sounds to me like he was trying to hear a difference - and did. But even he admits (above) it was vanishingly small. The measurements basically show that with a competent DAC like the Mytek there's zero difference. And even with the inexpensive DragonFly Red, it looks to me like the very small measured differences are below the threshold of audiability. The same team just published a review of a Wolf "audiophile" server ($10K US) with similar results. Conclusion: "The Emperor has new clothes", as it were. Get a good DAC, and in a blind test you won't be able to consistently pick out the difference between these expensive "audiophile" devices and any other well made PC/renderer. Don't waste thousands of dollars for no actual SQ benefit. JA clearly realizes this is true, but either can't (magazine policy) or won't say it explicitly. Of course, if you want the company support and like the casework - cosmetics of the expensive stuff - go for it. Just don't claim is gives you superior SQ.
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