Computer audio and my closed mind

All general audio posts go here.
Forum rules
1. No ad-hominem
2. No spamming or shilling
User avatar
karatestu
Posts: 1173
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:40 pm
Location: North Yorkshire
Great Britain

Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by karatestu » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:30 am

Computer audio - been around for years so should be perfected by now. Every man and his dog seem to be doing it and some claim it is the best way to play digital. There are people however who claim their cd replay is better.

I am a bit old fashioned and a bit of a computer numpty. I have no interest in getting going with computer audio at the moment. Is there something wrong with me ? I seem to have no problem with opening my mind and trying different things with vinyl, cd and amplifiers but i hit a brick wall with streaming etc.

Maybe i just dont trust computers and like simple things that i can have a go at modifying and fixing myself. A computer free life does have a certain charm to it and i use them as little as possible. Should i be worried ?
Naim, Linn & Harbeth fanboy

Chopsaw54
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:12 pm
Great Britain

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by Chopsaw54 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:57 am

I find all this digital stuff hard to get to grips with so I prefer to leave it and carry on with my CDs and records. At least when I buy CDs and records the artist gets their dues.

User avatar
CN211276
Posts: 1185
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:29 am
Location: Cardiff
Wales

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by CN211276 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:48 am

Four years ago I had something of a eurika moment. I bought a Dragonfly DAC, plugged it into the PC and connected it to the amp. I found that I preferred the sound to the CD player, even through Spotify. I have not looked back since, ripping all of my CDs and selling the CD players. The CDs were taking up a great amount of space. I stopped buying vinyl in the mid 80s and it does not take up a lot of space. I spin it from time to time as not everything is in the Tidal catalogue.

I prefer the sound of digital which benefits from a streamer in place of a PC. For well under 2K, DAC and streamer combined, I think I have a very good front end which is considerably enhanced by the NVA kit. There is also the bonus of convenience. I can instantly access more of less everything I want to hear, from Tidal or my NAS, from my phone on the couch. The phone is also the source through head phones or Bluetooth wherever I am. Through a memory card i have downloaded a large quantity of albums so there does not have to be a Wi-Fi connection.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

NVA BMU, Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Qutest, NVA P50SA, NVA A80sMk2, NVA Cube 3s, NVA LS6, NVA TIS mk2. Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP Mk2, Grado SR 325e, headphones, Chord Mojo.

Second system
Arcam Miniblink Bluetooth DAC, Marantz pm 5004, Wharfdale Diamond 121, NVA LS2.

Out and about
Oppo PM3, Audioquest Dragonfly Red.

User avatar
SteveTheShadow
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: S Yorks
Great Britain

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by SteveTheShadow » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:52 am

As usual with computer audio, there are those, who would have you believe that it is complex. It doesn't have to be.
I have an AppleTV and an Apple Music subscription. A complete doddle to set up and to use.
Great value at £9.99 a month, ad free.

"Ah but it only streams AAC at 250k so it is crap" say the detractors. :hbs:

I also agree with the sentiments expressed in the post before mine.
Computer audio is easy enough to try. You may be surprised. 8-)
DIY NVA amplification ( roughly equivalent to NVA A60) BTE Designs passive preamp, BTE Designs Lenco L75 turntable, Rega R200 arm, Goldring E3 cartridge, NVA Phono 1
Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, AppleTV4 with Apple Music subscription, ripped CDs streamed via WD MyCloud Home Duo NAS, with PLEX media server.
Speakers - Sealed cabs with Fane 12-250-TC 12" full range drivers. Also, Winslow Burhoe/Roy Allison/Richard Dunn influenced semi-omnidirectional.

kellerist
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:15 pm
Hungary

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by kellerist » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:39 am

+1
I recently changed my source from CD to NAS-streamer-DAC. I'm moving my CDs to the NAS simply using iTunes and apple lossless format. It's very easy to use, quick access to the music, I'm loving it. The sound quality in my case significantly increased. There is an additional effect for me: my kids are using the hi-fi now via the NAS and via streaming services. I'm happy, that the hi-fi is no more my toy only .

User avatar
Fretless
Posts: 3155
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:15 pm
Location: Somewhere in Holland
Netherlands

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by Fretless » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:40 am

For a long time my stereo equipment was all in storage and all I had was a laptop and headphones - so my interests in digital playback began to focus on that area. It's just another branch of the audio hobby which is always about getting the most pleasure out of your music, innit??

Just don't ask me to set up a TT anymore ... :doh:

:music-listening: :music-listening: :music-listening:
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube3
Digits: RPi 2B / Allo DigiOne / Volumio / Tomanek ULPS / AQ Jitterbug
CD Transport: Cambridge CXC DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette
Cans: AudioQuest NightHawk Digital i/c: Oxypure OCC coax & optical

User avatar
Thermionic Idler
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:29 pm
Great Britain

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by Thermionic Idler » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:39 pm

The Google Chromecast Audio might be worth trying, it'll support FLAC up to 24/96kHz. I use mine with a secondhand DacMagic and the resulting sound is considerably better than any CD player I've had in my system. The Chromecast's own analogue output is no slouch either - and it's only £30, so a cheap way to try it out.

That all said, I have found integration with the Qobuz app to be a bit flakey at times - if the phone or tablet you're using as the control goes to sleep whilst listening, it seems to get a bit confused, either skipping tracks or repeating the one you were listening to, and gapless playback is still problematical (it's 2018 ffs). Hopefully a later software update will sort all these issues out. I suspect Steve's AppleTV is probably the route of least pain!

User avatar
SteveTheShadow
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: S Yorks
Great Britain

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by SteveTheShadow » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:44 pm

kellerist wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:39 am
There is an additional effect for me: my kids are using the hi-fi now via the NAS and via streaming services. I'm happy, that the hi-fi is no more my toy only .
Same here, my daughter streams from her iPhone to the system and my wife finds it dead easy to use for internet radio and her own music needs.
DIY NVA amplification ( roughly equivalent to NVA A60) BTE Designs passive preamp, BTE Designs Lenco L75 turntable, Rega R200 arm, Goldring E3 cartridge, NVA Phono 1
Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, AppleTV4 with Apple Music subscription, ripped CDs streamed via WD MyCloud Home Duo NAS, with PLEX media server.
Speakers - Sealed cabs with Fane 12-250-TC 12" full range drivers. Also, Winslow Burhoe/Roy Allison/Richard Dunn influenced semi-omnidirectional.

User avatar
CN211276
Posts: 1185
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:29 am
Location: Cardiff
Wales

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by CN211276 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:07 pm

My wife streams from my phone when her friends are here. The sound quality has as much to do with it as the convenience.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

NVA BMU, Sonore microRendu/McRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Qutest, NVA P50SA, NVA A80sMk2, NVA Cube 3s, NVA LS6, NVA TIS mk2. Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, NVA Phono 1, NVA SSP Mk2, Grado SR 325e, headphones, Chord Mojo.

Second system
Arcam Miniblink Bluetooth DAC, Marantz pm 5004, Wharfdale Diamond 121, NVA LS2.

Out and about
Oppo PM3, Audioquest Dragonfly Red.

User avatar
savvypaul
Posts: 1751
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:14 pm
Location: Durham
Great Britain

Re: Computer audio and my closed mind

Unread post by savvypaul » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:21 pm

There are the occasional frustrations with computer audio, but it is much more 'plug & play' than it used to be.

I listen to a lot more new music since I got my NAS / Streamer setup. Hi-Res downloads and Qobuz CD quality streams sound pretty good (the latter a little better than the Orelle CD player I used to own, the former a lot better), there are very decent quality internet radio streams available, plus all my usual favourites, and I can control it all from my laptop or android phone.

I wouldn't be without 'computer audio' now. Fairly low cost, nowadays, to give it a try...

...oh, yes, my partner and kids like it, too.
"Even men with steel hearts love to see a dog on the pitch, It generates a warmth around the ground that augurs well for mankind."

NVA BMU / WTL Versalex / Transfiguration Axia /NVA Phono2 w/ 2nd PSU / GSP Revelation C / Vortexbox Appliance NAS Server / Sonore microRendu USB streamer w/ LPSU / Chord 2Qute USB dac / NVA P90sa / NVA A80MK2 (bass) / NVA A70 MK2 (tweeters) / NVA Cube 1 / NVA TIS MK1 / NVA SSPMK2 / NVA LS6 / NVA AP10H (& 1x additional PS) / Audeze LCD-2

Post Reply