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Posted (edited)

Hello there,

I am trying to under stand about the music streamer and came to know that most streamer will have jitter? Is that true?

 

Do we need to be cautious when selecting a streamer to achieve best results? 

 

Planning a streamer + Gieseler Klein (DAC)

 

Any streamer recommendations?

 

Thanks in advance for the thoughts.

 

Currently using Chromecast audio.

 

Thank you

Edited by SBM

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It's not a universal problem as DACs are wildly variable in their ability to handle and remove any incoming jitter, and you also have the option of adding a usb to spdif converter than can virtually resolve the issue of any incoming jitter at a relatively affordable price these days, such as this exceptional piece of equipment:

https://www.matrix-digi.com/en/products/314.html

Not only that but the jitter of that device is lower than most DACs in production today, and because the signal would be coming in via coaxial spdif, the intrinsic timing of that converter will be driving the DAC and improving the overall jitter of the DAC.

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4 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

It's not a universal problem as DACs are wildly variable in their ability to handle and remove any incoming jitter, and you also have the option of adding a usb to spdif converter than can virtually resolve the issue of any incoming jitter at a relatively affordable price these days, such as this exceptional piece of equipment:

https://www.matrix-digi.com/en/products/314.html

Not only that but the jitter of that device is lower than most DACs in production today, and because the signal would be coming in via coaxial spdif, the intrinsic timing of that converter will be driving the DAC and improving the overall jitter of the DAC.

Thank you mate, so if we use USB(Streamer) to S/PDIF (DAC) it  will solve the Jitter issue? 

 

 Please correct me if my understanding is wrong?

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4 minutes ago, SBM said:

Thank you mate, so if we use USB(Streamer) to S/PDIF (DAC) it  will solve the Jitter issue? 

 

 Please correct me if my understanding is wrong?

With a good one like the one I showed you above, jitter is virtually non-existent, yes. In addition, it isolates your DAC from USB noise. The quality improvement can be dramatic. I'd suggest going down that path and choosing a streamer based on the features you want instead. It's by far the more cost effective way of getting great sound. DACs that have good enough isolation of their own come at great expense. No amount of dicking around at the USB level is going to fix jitter at the DAC since the two clocks run independently (the USB data clock and the DAC clock).

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@SBM I am not sure of you environment, budget and use cases. I will explain my journey.

 

Set Up :

Over many years of collecting gear, I have finally created two systems. (1) Family room AV everyday setup (2)  Dining Room setup.

 

1a) Chomecast into AV setup - I use my mobile phone or sometimes my laptop and stream using WiFi to the Chromecast device to AV system

 

1b) Family Room / Blousound Node2i Setup

Originally :  Internet - Wifi - BlueSound Node2i  ( Source + DAC) - analogue - AV amp - speakers

Now : Internet - Wired Ethernet - Blousound Node2i (Source) - optical Toslink - DAC1 - analogue - amp - speakers

 

Casual users stream music (often YouTube ) using Bluetooth from their phones (iPhone or Andriod) or laptops to Nod2i. No system knowledge required.

Power user can use the BlueOs app (easy to use) and either use Tidal or music off my NAS. WiFi at my place is crap.

 

The BlueSound into the amp was a simple clean, good solution ( Good sound, easy to use) ..... until one day I foolishly added a DAC that I was supposed to be selling onto it and it sounded better. A lot of users of  DAC1 preferred the using a USB-to-Toslink bridge / re-clocker rather than USB input. The only digital output  on the Node2i was Toslink, so that is what I use Toslink into  DAC 1.

 

2) Dining Room / Computer Audio Setup

Originally  : Internet - Computer (Source) - USB - DAC 2- amp-speakers

Now : Computer (Source ) - Ethernet - [ Bridge ] - USB - DAC 2 - amp - speakers

 

The original Dining room set up was great. The challenge was the dining room was where the Internet entered my place so there was a NTU, wireless router, computer, DAC, amp, speakers which made the room look like a badly cabled corporate Data Center.

 

More recently the opportunity came up to move the Internet connection into the living room and move the NTU and wireless router there as well. I purchased a Ethernet -USB bridge and ran a Ethernet cable between the two rooms, this allowed me to migrate my computer out of the dinning room, and leave only a small footprint of gear.

 

Lesson Learnt :

I started off many years ago with a headless MacMini as a source into my AV amp. I then added DAC (connected via USB ) to the Mac mini. Many years later I am still happy with the MacMini as my source.

 

As my kids grew up, my wife and kids  found this too hard to use as there was too many moving parts, so I purchased a BlueOS Node2i. At this stage I realized that I had underestimated the value of 'easy of use'. The kids could stream from their phones and not know anything about the system and the amount of music being played and the enjoyment in our home went up. BlueOs is easy to use and has a good app.

 

When I split my 2.0 Hifi system off ( bought 2 channel amp, new speakers) I started chasing the best sound quality by swapping components, cables, power supplies,  tweaking, Raspberry Pi etc. I was always fiddling and my system became brittle. Plus the costs were silently mounting to a unhealthy level. I have seen vendors sell $6,000 audiophile Ethernet switches, $3,000 / meter Audiophile Ethernet cables, vibration platforms, $$$ cable lifters, which I don't have a problem with if you have the cash, but it I don't think it would be wise to have a cable worth more than the DAC it is plugging into.

 

I spend most of my money on my speakers and they are the foundation of my system. I have added and upgraded components over time.

 

I understand the Gieseler Klein DAC is very good (  excellent price / performance ratio) it will easily beat the Chrome-cast and the DAC in my Blousound Node2i, so you may want to look at streamers either does not have a DAC or that can be used with a external DAC.

 

If you have a computer or a Raspberry Pi you can use this as a source ( does the Chromcast have Optical out ?) and experiment for low / no cost ( volumio / Moode on raspberry pi, Roon, Foobar, Tidal, Spotify etc). I experimented and it helped me tune what was important and not important for me.  You can always add on a re-clocker etc later on.

 

I will let others comment products you should shortlist.

 

 

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I think jitter was an issue many years ago, but isn't of any real concern these days.  When I look to streamers/DAC's I don't even inquire about it anymore.  I did, about 10 years ago...

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On all our systems jitter is audible in A/B comparisons. It does not make anything unlistenable, though lower jitter is very pleasant to the ear.

 

I have spent years rebuilding Linux distributions because I can to minimise jitter. Played around with Ethernet tuning, power supplies, etc you name it.

 

I'm implementing a FIFO/reclocker in my DACs because doing it upstream and indirectly is, frankly, stupid. @Ittaku is correct.

 

These things are best implemented as close to the DAC IC as possible however for those that can't open up their DACs and renovated, putting it outside on a usable format (e.g. SPDIF as suggested) makes a lot of sense.

 

Your DAC may have similar tech built in and may not need it - try before you buy.

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Here’s a John Darko article that might be of interest, I found it helpful when trying to educate myself about streaming, it contains video links to two different designers of audio gear discussing what can degrade/interfere with digital signals between hardware. 
 

https://darko.audio/2018/11/why-isnt-digital-audio-just-ones-and-zeroes/

 

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1 hour ago, Moikel said:

Here’s a John Darko article that might be of interest, I found it helpful when trying to educate myself about streaming, it contains video links to two different designers of audio gear discussing what can degrade/interfere with digital signals between hardware. 
 

https://darko.audio/2018/11/why-isnt-digital-audio-just-ones-and-zeroes/

 

That's why I prefer CDP for critical listening.  

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Posted (edited)
On 27/05/2020 at 9:11 PM, Nope said:

Hello 

 

...Planning a streamer + Gieseler Klein (DAC)

 

Any streamer recommendations?

I was lucky enough to find and buy a used Auralic Aries (Femto clock/separate LPSU model) streamer about 9 mths ago. Most of my knowledge preparation was gained through reading various SNA posts. Prior to the Aries I had been using an old MacBook Pro or a Toshiba Win10 laptop (better than the MBP probably because it uses WASAPI) into the USB input on a Schiit Modi 3 DAC. 

 

SNA glowing opinions of Gieseler DACs had me contact Clay and I received a Klein III on sale-or-return. The Klein III was immediately a keeper, and the lesser but still acceptable Modi got relegated to my desktop computer/headphone amp setup.

 

Back to the Aries! It makes streaming a pleasure, both through its Lightning DS library/streamer app, but also the range of filtering,  OS/NOS and even equalization options.

A recent Aries beta software addition now even permits direct ripping to 16 kHz/44.1 FLAC files with a simple USB CD/DVD powered drive (or using a USB hub) into the streamer's own USB input. I tried that out today using a cheap LG drive and Jaycar hub (see photo). The quality is perfectly acceptable and other users and Auralic have reported 1:1 matches with rips using EAC/dBpoweramp/XLD and similar.

 

I now prefer my Aries and Klein III combination to my high quality Naim CD player although it should be said that my CDP doesn't have a digital out so the Klein III's qualities aren't accessible. I stream Tidal FLAC files, or home-ripped FLACs.

 

I also added an iFi iUSB Nano between Aries and DAC. I use a Chord Silverline(?) USB cable from streamer to iUSB and a Curious Cable from iUSB to the DAC. These all gave incrementally more improvements but the streamer and Klein are perfectly good without these embellishments!

 

This is an overly-long post but I could simply say that I haven't regretted my Aries purchase, although I would also probably now look now at  the NAD C658 with its room correction capability.

 

 

20200602-LG-ripping.jpeg

Edited by lenticularis
Typo

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Posted (edited)

I've got a Cambridge Audio CXN V2 going into a Holo Spring Dac via SPDIF and I've a iFi SPDIF Purifier between the two and it definitely makes an audible difference.

 

And I have to add, replacing the stock power supply for the purifier with a Giesler one made another audible improvement.

Edited by Cardiiiii

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5 hours ago, Cardiiiii said:

I've got a Cambridge Audio CXN V2 going into a Holo Spring Dac via SPDIF and I've a iFi SPDIF Purifier between the two and it definitely makes an audible difference.

 

And I have to add, replacing the stock power supply for the purifier with a Giesler one made another audible improvement.

I have never heard of Holo spring dac I noticed you are using cxn v2 I am looking for a good quality steamer at $1650 plus the Holo spring dac at approximately 3 k that is the best part of 5K just wondering what is the benefit of using so many separate items to achieve the ultimate goal rather than one unit have you heard of Matrix streamers reviews look promising sometimes the more I look the more confused I get 😂

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On 04/06/2020 at 12:23 AM, Electrovoice Interface. said:

the benefit of using so many separate items to achieve the ultimate goal rather than one unit

I bought a Integrated amp because I was just starting off and even though a pre + power amp combo may have been better, I was not confident that I had the skills to purchase a combination that would outdo a good integrated without several rounds of amp swapping.

 

On the digital side, I put my toe in the water with a small investment and I got a nice increase. Over the years I have a few upgrades, added devices, gadgets and tweaks. On the down side I have a chain of devices  and which the total cost is not small. On the upside I have been able to minimize risk by spreading my spend over several years and small purchases and take my time and evolved my chain, as the technology and market has changed.

 

If there was a 'Ultimate streamer' that would be future proof I would prefer a one box solution. Hence I keep an eye on what is happening on the forums.

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