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nicholas9976

DAC with HDMI input and RCA Output (that can strip audio from HDMI streams)

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I use the Tidal music treaming app on an Apple Ipad (and also Youtube video streaming app sometimes) to stream music to Google Chromecast HDMI devices. I like the huge Tidal audio library and can accept the sound quality which is supposed to be similar to CD on a good internet connection (i.e. I don't want to change from Tidal). 

I want to get a reasonably good hifi DAC that has a HDMI input that can strip the music stream out and output via RCA audio jacks, which I will then plug into the RCA inputs on my ME25 pramplifer, and then on to the mighty ME1400 amplifer and Duntech Sovereign speakers. 

Can anyone recommend some DACs that I can plug the HDMI chromecast into and will strip out the music to RCA audio outputs? 

Or alternatively is there a good alternative to Chromecast that supports Tidal and has a decent inbuilt DAC and RCA audio outputs? 

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There are plenty of streamers that will play tidal. However if the easiest way for you is HDMI then the NAD M51 works rather well.

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+ with the NAD you you latter change to a steaming device it will accommodate coaxial, toslink and USB

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From the more affordable DACs, the Gustard DAC-X20 pro has HDMI input, but I know very little more about it.

 

EDIT: Regarding extracting audio from AV signal - for that you probably will need an AV processor, not a DAC. 

 

Edited by PleasantSounds

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Thanks, the NAD M51 looks like it could be a good option for a DAC that accepts HDMI input and also has volume control so could function as a stereo preamp. 

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3 hours ago, nicholas9976 said:

Thanks, the NAD M51 looks like it could be a good option for a DAC that accepts HDMI input and also has volume control so could function as a stereo preamp. 

Theres a couple of M51's that were on sale here recently.

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So this is the suggested system:

 

Duntech > ME1400 > ME25 > M51 > Chromecast

 

It seems a sharp drop from great gear to a dongle. Just my opinion but I would take a punt that the Chromecast may be a bottle neck in that wonderful system. I would go for a streamer/DAC that has Tidal that will be RCA direct to your ME pre. Something like a Bluesound Node 2 (Similar price to an M51) with built in DAC. You can always put a higher end DAC between the Node and the pre later. The HDMI requirement is limiting and you don't need Chromecast to enjoy Tidal. Also if you have ethernet access you can hard wire the Node which I would recommend.

 

There are a lot of devices that do Tidal. Have a look at their page: http://tidal.com/au/download

 

PS: I just have bad experiences with HDMI so I may be psychologically scarred.

Edited by SteveC

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18 hours ago, nicholas9976 said:

I use the Tidal music treaming app on an Apple Ipad (and also Youtube video streaming app sometimes) to stream music to Google Chromecast HDMI devices. I like the huge Tidal audio library and can accept the sound quality which is supposed to be similar to CD on a good internet connection (i.e. I don't want to change from Tidal). 

I want to get a reasonably good hifi DAC that has a HDMI input that can strip the music stream out and output via RCA audio jacks, which I will then plug into the RCA inputs on my ME25 pramplifer, and then on to the mighty ME1400 amplifer and Duntech Sovereign speakers. 

Can anyone recommend some DACs that I can plug the HDMI chromecast into and will strip out the music to RCA audio outputs? 

Or alternatively is there a good alternative to Chromecast that supports Tidal and has a decent inbuilt DAC and RCA audio outputs? 

 

IMHO anyone with a system including Sovereigns and an ME 1400 should NOT be considering the NAD M51.

It's just not up to the company and will be an instant weak link.

 

Everything starts at the Source so I would suggest thinking very hard about it and not using HDMI input as the defining feature!!!!

 

There are a couple of HDMI DAC's out there now including the Bryston BDA-3 but for system balance and really optimising your SQ I think you should be looking at the $5-10K level at least.

 

Don't forget that you have Speakers that retailed for over $20K and your Pre and power would have been at least $15K new.

 

Close to $40K of gear getting fed by a sub $2K DAC?????..........no point.

 

Also.......I wouldn't look at DAC/PRE's unless they have low output impedance otherwise the ME1400 won't be at it's best. 

 

FWIW maybe you could simply use a HDMI de embedder

DAC choice should also depend on whether you are an avid DSD fan or not.

 

Personally IME something like the Jeff Rowland Aeris would match up magnificently on a pure SQ basis. 

 

No use skimping on cabling either........

If you want to hear your superb gear at it's very best..........it's a package deal

 

If you do plan on feeding the system a mediocre signal then your gear is MAJOR overkill and you may as well sell it and get something a LOT cheaper that suits you better. 

 

You will simply be driving a Ferrari only in 1st gear otherwise. 

 

If it's a budget thing for now then that's fine.........the journey doesn't have to end here.

Edited by JohnL

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So this is the suggested system:
 
Duntech > ME1400 > ME25 > M51 > Chromecast
 
It seems a sharp drop from great gear to a dongle. Just my opinion but I would take a punt that the Chromecast may be a bottle neck in that wonderful system. I would go for a streamer/DAC that has Tidal that will be RCA direct to your ME pre. Something like a Bluesound Node 2 (Similar price to an M51) with built in DAC. You can always put a higher end DAC between the Node and the pre later. The HDMI requirement is limiting and you don't need Chromecast to enjoy Tidal. Also if you have ethernet access you can hard wire the Node which I would recommend.
 
There are a lot of devices that do Tidal. Have a look at their page: http://tidal.com/au/download
 
PS: I just have bad experiences with HDMI so I may be psychologically scarred.

Great suggestion thanks, I will look into the Bluesound Node 2 or similar streamers to replace my existing Chromecast for music duties.


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1 hour ago, SteveC said:

It seems a sharp drop from great gear to a dongle.

100% and that is coming from a budget mid level guy. I bought some Google Chromecast Audio's when they first came out and was hoping (along with reviewers such as John Darko) that these little things would be a real game changer when using the SPDIF output to a DAC but unfortunately NOT. The DAC in a generic AVR was better but they are still great for multiroom situations.

I understand that you are using the HDMI version but since the Chromecast Audio was designed for audio you would think it would be better.

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IMHO anyone with a system including Sovereigns and an ME 1400 should NOT be considering the NAD M51.
It's just not up to the company and will be an instant weak link.
 
Everything starts at the Source so I would suggest thinking very hard about it and not using HDMI input as the defining feature!!!!
 
There are a couple of HDMI DAC's out there now including the Bryston BDA-3 but for system balance and really optimising your SQ I think you should be looking at the $5-10K level at least.
 
Don't forget that you have Speakers that retailed for over $20K and your Pre and power would have been at least $15K new.
 
Close to $40K of gear getting fed by a sub $2K DAC?????..........no point.
 
Also.......I wouldn't look at DAC/PRE's unless they have low output impedance otherwise the ME1400 won't be at it's best. 
 
FWIW maybe you could simply use a HDMI de embedder
DAC choice should also depend on whether you are an avid DSD fan or not.
 
Personally IME something like the Jeff Rowland Aeris would match up magnificently on a pure SQ basis. 
 
No use skimping on cabling either........
If you want to hear your superb gear at it's very best..........it's a package deal
 
If you do plan on feeding the system a mediocre signal then your gear is MAJOR overkill and you may as well sell it and get something a LOT cheaper that suits you better. 
 
You will simply be driving a Ferrari only in 1st gear otherwise. 
 
If it's a budget thing for now then that's fine.........the journey doesn't have to end here.
Thanks for the suggestions.
Am a big believer in putting budget into speakers first, then room acoustics second. Everything else is far behind that for SQ. The ME amp suits the Sovereigns and sounded slightly better than other amps tested, but not by much, honestly any amp still blows your mind on the Sovs. Anything digital you feed the Sovereigns will be infinitely better quality and dynamic range than the tape decks and records when they came out. A $10k+ DAC would be more than the Sovs cost me so not gonna happen and my priority now will be room and acoustics. But definitely will look into some better streamers/DACs to replace my existing chromecast as others have suggested. Let's see if my wife or I can hear any difference...


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Thanks for the suggestions.
Am a big believer in putting budget into speakers first, then room acoustics second. Everything else is far behind that for SQ. The ME amp suits the Sovereigns and sounded slightly better than other amps tested, but not by much, honestly any amp still blows your mind on the Sovs. Anything digital you feed the Sovereigns will be infinitely better quality and dynamic range than the tape decks and records when they came out. A $10k+ DAC would be more than the Sovs cost me so not gonna happen and my priority now will be room and acoustics. But definitely will look into some better streamers/DACs to replace my existing chromecast as others have suggested. Let's see if my wife or I can hear any difference...


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So what are the best sound quality streamers/DACs under $5k second-hand that support Tidal and could input into the RCA inputs on my ME 25 preamp for music?

Also I saw a post that the ME25 preamp could be easily setup for HT bypass. Does anyone know how to do this?

BTW, sorry for all the newbie questions, this high-end gear is new to me.


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26 minutes ago, nicholas9976 said:


Great suggestion thanks, I will look into the Bluesound Node 2 or similar streamers to replace my existing Chromecast for music duties.


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the blue sound is a very good thing. i am using a dac with it but then the dacs are not budget types.

 

personally i really dont see the need for hdmi in this equation certainly not for tidal or any music streaming services I can think off. 

 

yes move on from the chromcast ... its more a device to make TVs smart and aimed more towards the video streaming and general use music streaming than hooking than really trying to hook upto a hifi...

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2 minutes ago, nicholas9976 said:

 


So what are the best sound quality streamers/DACs under $5k second-hand that support Tidal and could input into the RCA inputs on my ME 25 preamp for music?

~

 

 

I see price mentioned a few places. i wouldnt get too caught up in price.

 

bluesound would be where id start.

 

 

 

2 minutes ago, nicholas9976 said:

 

~

Also I saw a post that the ME25 preamp could be easily setup for HT bypass. Does anyone know how to do this?

~

 

 

am not sure what that has to do with the price of fish ?

 

the only reason you'd need a ht bypass own the me25 if trying to integrate in with an av system.

 

theres a few ways to do that. one is you run the me25 with volume knob at 12 o'clock position each time you run as part of av system

 

or maybe you can have it modded. first have heard of that. if possible, I would be hearing about it a lot more I would have thought having been using pres for last decade plus with htbypass ability. 

 

the other way is to have switchable dual inputs on your power amp...what ever that was. but again depends on your need and a htbypass certainly doesnt have anything to do with anything posted in this thread.

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PS Audio has just announced that they'll have Tidal (and MQA) support in a software update for their Bridge 2 which is built in to the DirectStream Junior DAC. If your budget is 5K it's gotta be a candidate.

 

Even if you don't like the way Tidal is implemented there you can get cheap HDMI audio extractors off eBay etc to grab the data from your Chromecast and send it to any DAC via SPDIF. One of the under-appreciated talents of the DirectStream DACs is their optical input: the combo would work really well, I'm certain.

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1 hour ago, :) al said:

 

I see price mentioned a few places. i wouldnt get too caught up in price.

 

bluesound would be where id start.

 

 

 

 

am not sure what that has to do with the price of fish ?

 

the only reason you'd need a ht bypass own the me25 if trying to integrate in with an av system.

 

theres a few ways to do that. one is you run the me25 with volume knob at 12 o'clock position each time you run as part of av system

 

or maybe you can have it modded. first have heard of that. if possible, I would be hearing about it a lot more I would have thought having been using pres for last decade plus with htbypass ability. 

 

the other way is to have switchable dual inputs on your power amp...what ever that was. but again depends on your need and a htbypass certainly doesnt have anything to do with anything posted in this thread.


Yes, sorry, HT bypass is discussed in my other thread. My bad. 
 

 

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