• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Music Streamer Transport (“MST”) vs Audiophile Fanless Silent computer

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,056
Likes
4,631
Location
Portland, OR, USA
This site will advise that you need not spend more than £100 on any item other than speakers.
Not really. And not at all in this thread.
Other sites may advise that if your cables/interconnects cost less than £1000 you might as well just listen to internet radio.
Very true!
The reality unsurprisingly is somewhere in the middle.
Not in the middle of if we are talking about interconnects, but certainly in the middle of 100 and 10,000.;)
The Luxman is a fantastic amp.
Thant's not in the middle! More like the 95th or 99th percentile!!!
 

kemmler3D

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 25, 2022
Messages
2,786
Likes
5,191
Location
San Francisco
Spending twice as much on a streamer as on your speakers is crazy.
Qutoed for emphasis... this is a key point here. If you have $5K to spend, spend $200 on the streamer and DAC, $800 on amp, and $4000 on the speakers. If you have $10K to spend, spend $400 on the streamer and DAC, $1000 on amp, and $8600 on speakers. :) If you feel uncomfortable spending that little on the DAC, okay, but as long as you have the connections you need, it's going to be more or less the same.
 

antcollinet

Master Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
7,171
Likes
11,861
Location
UK/Cheshire
This site will advise that you need not spend more than £100
Perhaps you need to have been around a little longer to realise what a straw man that is.

Actually - no you don't. You just need to read the thread you are replying to - where I suggested a $1000 DAC.

You'll also find the most commonly recommended Amps are Purifiy and Hypex based - typically ranging between $1000 and $2000

What this site will actually advise is to

Know what the performance of the gear is that you are looking at compared to alternatives AND with that and the other features it offers ask yourself "Is it worth it to you"

It will also point out that (from an audio performance point of view) electronics is solved, and you don't need to spend more than a few hundred £ to get an audibly perfect system (excluding transducers)
 

Greenman

Active Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2023
Messages
113
Likes
73
Location
Uk
Not really. And not at all in this thread.
Yes Really, just read your first response back…”Any 110W amp sounds the same“ given these can be had for around £100 then. QED.

Perhaps you need to have been around a little longer to realise what a straw man that is.
I’ve been around plenty long enough (despite not posting until relatively recently) to see the trend here. Here is someone with a budget well north of £10k and you are suggesting it’s pointless spending more than £100 on a DAC or Streamer, and to get a cheap amp. maybe reread your own responses. I dread to think what peoples systems here really are if they genuinely think a £100 Dac sounds as good as the ones the OP is suggesting.
 

Talisman

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
811
Likes
2,255
Location
Milano Italy
Yes Really, just read your first response back…”Any 110W amp sounds the same“ given these can be had for around £100 then. QED.


I’ve been around plenty long enough (despite not posting until relatively recently) to see the trend here. Here is someone with a budget well north of £10k and you are suggesting it’s pointless spending more than £100 on a DAC or Streamer, and to get a cheap amp. maybe reread your own responses. I dread to think what peoples systems here really are if they genuinely think a £100 Dac sounds as good as the ones the OP is suggesting.
Oh believe me, more can be done. you can use a DAC for less than 100 euros smsl su1, a 90 amplifier (fosi audio v3) and speakers like the wharfedale Lintons for €1000 or the Kef R7 meta for €5000 and have an incredibly high-performance system.
Audio electronics are a low-cost, solved problem, if you think otherwise you simply don't know enough about it.
 

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
6,848
Likes
22,233
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
I dread to think what peoples systems here really are if they genuinely think a £100 Dac sounds as good as the ones the OP is suggesting.

Uh huh.
 

JeremyFife

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 8, 2022
Messages
630
Likes
730
Location
Scotland
No-one says you have to buy the cheapest gear possible.

Spending more can increase features / options / service and support and just plain aesthetics and your personal 'feel good factor'
For amplifiers there are additional considerations on power handling, handling of 'difficult' loads and some more esoteric discussions on behaviour at high power over a wide frequency range. I've never understood how much of this is a real world issue or a demonstration of engineering excellence.

There are some objective measures of performance that you wouldn't want to drop below.

Speakers are different, the diminishing returns kick in at a very much higher level: that's a really exciting space to spend money in.

Stuff that measures very well, has great useful features and is highly respected for support and reliability (values in £GBP, estimated);
DAC: the RMS ADI FS Pro (1500 to 2000) includes EQ and works as a preamp
Amplifier: Benchmark AHB2 (3000) just a brilliant, stable, robust machine. If you worry about the power then by two and bridge them!

Streaming is an oddity, for me. The WiiM Pro Plus is absurdly cheap in this context but it does everything you need. Perhaps a Matrix Audio or an EverSolo streamer would justify spending more (600 - 1000)?

Also consider a lifetime subscription to Roon (800?) which seems to be a brilliant way to manage streaming subscriptions and the entire streaming experience. There may be additional hardware involved here, if you wanted local storage of digital files.
 

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,056
Likes
4,631
Location
Portland, OR, USA
Yes Really, just read your first response back…”Any 110W amp sounds the same“ given these can be had for around £100 then. QED.
OK, can you recommend me a 110 wpc (into 8 Ohms) integrated amp amp for 100 bucks? I just can't find a valid contender that does 110 wats into 8 Ohms, can support even bare-minimum input switching, and has a headphone amp. Actually, feel free to omit the headphone amp since the Luxman doesn't have one (it uses a resistor, yeah for 10 grand you would think Luxman would add a proper headphone circuit to that unit:facepalm:). So would love for you to actually support your odd position instead of flame me. Show me those 110 watt integrated amps for 100 bucks!!!

We do have a problem with fanbois of flea amps trolling at ASR, recommending them to people with inefficient speakers, overstating the power, overstating their own hearing. You are inverting their sentiment, really not helpful. I actually like integrated amplifiers, and really nicely engineered equipment, and good value:
We also have problems with fanbois of ulta-luxury items with that offer mediocre or even poor performance. Luxman is one of those, a newbie pretender with zero lineage to the old great company, lots of recycled vintage styling in a pretty chassis. It's the definition of waste.
 

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,056
Likes
4,631
Location
Portland, OR, USA
I wasted a few more minutes on your snarky misdirection. 100 buck integrated with 110 wpc into 8 ohms doesn't exist. A QED mic-drop first requires existence of what you are talking about!;)
You're new, even though you say you've been around plenty long enough. Perhaps you should actually read up a bit and get your facts straight before you do the snarky!:cool:
 

Frank2

Active Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2022
Messages
139
Likes
239
I just came back from a visit to a high end audio shop where I listened to a system costing about 20 times as much as mine.
It did not sound any better. Even a bit worse in my opinion; I heard less detail and less of the ambiance of the recording.
Imagine my disappointment if I would have won the lottery and bought it...

This forum is trying to protect people from such disappointments. I'm glad I discovered it.
 

kemmler3D

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 25, 2022
Messages
2,786
Likes
5,191
Location
San Francisco
He is looking a bit like a drive by at the moment.
Once people decide to buy something, usually they want compliments on / validation for their choices. It's ironically unpleasant for people to be told "no, don't waste your money!" Especially because he probably spent some good time coming up with that build, being told "no, waste of money" was the correct and helpful advice, but (if he even read it) might have been upsetting.

One's ego very often gets wrapped up in decisions made, not necessarily for any good reason.

Oh well, we write for the 9/10 that are just reading and not commenting, not necessarily the actual interlocutors.
 

MAB

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
2,056
Likes
4,631
Location
Portland, OR, USA
Once people decide to buy something, usually they want compliments on / validation for their choices. It's ironically unpleasant for people to be told "no, don't waste your money!" Especially because he probably spent some good time coming up with that build, being told "no, waste of money" was the correct and helpful advice, but (if he even read it) might have been upsetting.

One's ego very often gets wrapped up in decisions made, not necessarily for any good reason.

Oh well, we write for the 9/10 that are just reading and not commenting, not necessarily the actual interlocutors.
So true, confirmation bias seems to increase with the cost and absurdity of the item.
I note there are a lot of big price quotes in this thread. So likely require lots of confirmation and validation.
 

elberoth

Member
Joined
May 6, 2018
Messages
90
Likes
179
Location
Warsaw, Poland
Samsung 990 drives are an absolute waste of money plus they come with extra heat problem.

OS drive: Samsung 970 Evo Plus has all the speed you would plus much less heat generated compared to 990
Storage drive: Samsung 870 SATA drive is all you need (lower cost and ZERO heat).

In my experience, the more powerful CPU, the more noise it generates = worse sound. The latest Intel N100 is perfect (super low heat, good performance)

Also, the Jcat USB card needs an external PSU to sound best. Better still - get the PinkFaun USB Ultra card ($1200-1500 used) for even better performance.
 

antcollinet

Master Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
Messages
7,171
Likes
11,861
Location
UK/Cheshire
In my experience, the more powerful CPU, the more noise it generates = worse sound. The latest Intel N100 is perfect (super low heat, good performance)
Only if that noise makes it into the audio. If you can't hear noise from the speaker during quiet parts of the music, you don't have a problem. If you can, then it can relatively easily be eliminated by isolating the PC from the rest of the audio via a USB Isolator, or by using an optical TOSLINK connector. Or by using balanced interconnect from DAC to Amp.

Also, the Jcat USB card needs an external PSU to sound best. Better still - get the PinkFaun USB Ultra card ($1200-1500 used) for even better performance.
There is no mechanism by which such a device can audibly improve USB audio above a standard USB output, assuming you are connecting to a competent DAC. Unless it filters out noise which gets through to the analogue output of the DAC via a ground loop. That noise can more effectively be eliminated as described above without paying $1000's

Unless of course, you can provide objective evidence (measurements of the output of a (competent) DAC used with the Jcat) which show I am wrong. I think you'll struggle with this. Jcat certainly doesn't provide any.
 
Top Bottom