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Streamer + DAC combo < 500 EUR

maver1ck

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Hi,
I'm looking for Streamer + DAC combo to add it to my setup. (it can be one device)
I currently have:
- old CEC AMP3 (from 1993, got it as a gift, it has both unbalanced and balanced inputs)
- old LUA 5/3 D DIVA (also gift)
- Epiphany USB EDAC (aka. NwAvGuy ODAC, I was using it with PC, stopped using after switching to Macbook)

I looking for support of:
- Airplay 2
- Internet Radio (TuneIn or similar)
- Spotify Connect
- Tidal Connect
- Ability to connect my TV (via HDMI ARC or SPDIF)
I had also old collection of FLAC files but in the era of streaming it mainly just takes up space on NAS.

I read through forum and I have some ideas and first tests done.

I tested to date:
- Bluesound Node X
- Bluesound Node
- Bluesound Node + my Epiphany DAC

First observations:
Node is not acceptable for me. Node + DAC sounds super similar to Node X. (I cannot distinguish them in blind test)

I'm thinking about testing:
- WiiM Pro Plus
- WiiM Pro + SMSL SU-1
- WiiM Pro + SMSL DO100 (for balanced output)

Could you help me and tell what I missed ?
 
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maver1ck

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Yep. Thinking about any other thing than the WiiM Pro Plus considering your budget and needs.;)
What's wrong with WiiM Pro Plus assuming I will use only its digital output (other than I can switch to WiiM Pro (without plus) in such a situation).
I can spend more on DAC.
 
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voodooless

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What's wrong with WiiM Pro Plus assuming I will use only its digital output ?
Why? It has an excellent DAC.

If you (and probably nobody else) can’t distinguish an ES9023 from another chip, you’ll be just fine.
 
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terryforsythe

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I'm thinking about testing:
- Wiim Pro Plus (alone or with SMSL SU-1)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but reading WiiM's technical specifications for the WiiM Pro and the WiiM Pro Plus, the primary difference between the two are the ADC on the analog input and the DAC on the analog audio output. The other specifications appear to be the same.

Thus, if you end up only using the WiiM for digital streaming, and using an external DAC, you might save some money and get the WiiM Pro - $149 vs $219.

On the other hand, if you think that you may want to use the analog input at some point (e.g., to connect a turntable/phono preamp), perhaps it is worth the extra $70 to spring for the WiiM Pro Plus.
 
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maver1ck

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Yep. But I wanted to test WiiM Pro Plus with and without SMSL without ordering 2 devices.
I edited first post to state it clearly.
 

ZolaIII

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MiniDSP Flex, mic and WiiM Mini. It's more than 500 € but if you can why not? Other than that get a sub if and when you can. On other end WiiM Pro Plus will be fine on it's own for far less money if you don't nead more than Toslink input (PCM 2.0). You can always combine Mini and standalone DAC also (with Toslink), good luck.
 

voodooless

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Yep. But I wanted to test WiiM Pro Plus with and without SMSL without ordering 2 devices.
I edited first post to state it clearly.
You won’t hear the difference. DACs don’t have a sound unless they are severely broken.
 
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maver1ck

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MiniDSP Flex, mic and WiiM Mini. It's more than 500 € but if you can why not? Other than that get a sub if and when you can. On other end WiiM Pro Plus will be fine on it's own for far less money if you don't nead more than Toslink input (PCM 2.0). You can always combine Mini and standalone DAC also (with Toslink), good luck.
I need only one input for TV. SPDIF is enough.
 
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maver1ck

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You won’t hear the difference. DACs don’t have a sound u less they are severely broken.
But they may be a difference in sound between balanced and unbalanced inputs of my AMP. But to tell this I need to understand service manual :)
 

SonicSleuth

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Ooo good I'm thinking the same at the moment, difference is I currently have the WiiM Pro which I use as a preamp into a 200W custom AB power amp -> KEF 103/3.

- WiiM Pro Plus would likely be absolutely great, but have two Fosi Audio ZA3 power amps on order so balanced would be good actually. Could keep the WiiM Pro and add a better DAC.

How're you getting on with finding a solution @maver1ck?
 
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maver1ck

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Why? It has an excellent DAC.

If you (and probably nobody else) can’t distinguish an ES9023 from another chip, you’ll be just fine.
@voodooless
You're right. WiiM Pro Plus sounds perfectly fine.
And it's much cheaper than Node. So it will stay with me.

Eventually I still want to test DAC with balanced output (I choose DO100 for that).
But probably there will be no subjective difference.
 

ZolaIII

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But they may be a difference in sound between balanced and unbalanced inputs of my AMP. But to tell this I need to understand service manual :)
Keap the unbalanced cable's relatively short and you will be fine.
 
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maver1ck

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MiniDSP Flex, mic and WiiM Mini. It's more than 500 € but if you can why not? Other than that get a sub if and when you can. On other end WiiM Pro Plus will be fine on it's own for far less money if you don't nead more than Toslink input (PCM 2.0). You can always combine Mini and standalone DAC also (with Toslink), good luck.
@ZolaIII
What about UMIK-1, REW and using PEQ from WiiM Pro Plus ?
 

ZolaIII

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@ZolaIII
What about UMIK-1, REW and using PEQ from WiiM Pro Plus ?
It's just 4 PEQ slots for now but will probably expand number of slots in the future. As it is you do PEQ's by hand to measurements in REW and enter them to WiiM of course. Enough for room mode and cuple of bass peaks.
 
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maver1ck

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It's just 4 PEQ slots for now but will probably expand number of slots in the future. As it is you do PEQ's by hand to measurements in REW and enter them to WiiM of course. Enough for room mode and cuple of bass peaks.
I think it's worth to try it. Thank you.
 

ZolaIII

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I think it's worth to try it. Thank you.
Even 4 PEQ's can do majority of the work done. It won't be buttery smooth but you will hear a big improvement compared to non by solving biggest offenders (peeks), enjoy.
 
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maver1ck

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Even 4 PEQ's can do majority of the work done. It won't be buttery smooth but you will hear a big improvement compared to non by solving biggest offenders (peeks), enjoy.
I will get UMIK-1 on Tuesday. WiiM Pro Plus is staying with me as a sound source.
I will add some comments after experiments with REW.
 
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