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Streamer recommendation (not WiiM Pro)

massimodec

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Same basic question: which streamer ?
But I have some needs, since I am much more classical music guy:
- extract from the streamer the original digital files to send them to my HiFi home audio system DAC: actually I would not like to convert with streamer DAC, or - worse - the PC's;
- may be able to buy and save digital files on a Hard Disk or PC to use them as FLAC or whatsoever audio HiRes files.
I see that all streamers are going via WiFi or Blutooth, because they are used on Smart TV, AppleTV and similar.
Is it there any way to consider a streamed source like a "file" then ?
Thank you for any suggestion !
 

Nutul

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Same basic question: which streamer ?
But I have some needs, since I am much more classical music guy:
- extract from the streamer the original digital files to send them to my HiFi home audio system DAC: actually I would not like to convert with streamer DAC, or - worse - the PC's;
- may be able to buy and save digital files on a Hard Disk or PC to use them as FLAC or whatsoever audio HiRes files.
I see that all streamers are going via WiFi or Blutooth, because they are used on Smart TV, AppleTV and similar.
Is it there any way to consider a streamed source like a "file" then ?
Thank you for any suggestion !
A "streamer" is (IMHO) too generic a word... Let me explain. If you take music from an online music provider like Tidal, or Qobuz, in thet case your device IS a streamer: receives a data stream that represents music; then your DAC will transform it in something hearable.
Many streamers can also play local files (MP3 / FLAC / AAC / etc...) but in this context they should be named "players".

Now to your wishes: yes, some music services provide you with the possibility of buying music and storing it locally in the form of audio files (again MP3 / FLAC / AAC / etc...)
Once those files are on your hard-drive you can play them locally without the need of being connected to the internet and the streaming service that provided you them.

Some services do this transparently: you get the files, and can do whatever you like with them.
Some others require you to have an active subscription and possibly be connected online to be able to play those (although downloaded locally) files. YMMV, I am not an expert on any streaming service; I am old school: all my music is physically on my SSDs.
 

gwing

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I didn’t get into details but I see people talk about something with clocking and power supply and jitter etc which can vary among different streamers.
If that is of concern, then an asynchronous source re-clocked at the DAC would eliminate all of those factors. Something like a Pi/PC with USB connections? I can't hear any difference myself though whether I use async USB or synchronous optical feed to my favourite little DAC/Amp.
 

Nutul

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If that is of concern, then an asynchronous source re-clocked at the DAC would eliminate all of those factors.
That is, as you state, exaclly why UAC2.0 exists.
And TBH it should be the preferred way to connect a streamer (or a player) to a DAC.
 

massimodec

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A "streamer" is (IMHO) too generic a word... Let me explain. If you take music from an online music provider like Tidal, or Qobuz, in thet case your device IS a streamer: receives a data stream that represents music; then your DAC will transform it in something hearable.
Many streamers can also play local files (MP3 / FLAC / AAC / etc...) but in this context they should be named "players".

Now to your wishes: yes, some music services provide you with the possibility of buying music and storing it locally in the form of audio files (again MP3 / FLAC / AAC / etc...)
Once those files are on your hard-drive you can play them locally without the need of being connected to the internet and the streaming service that provided you them.

Some services do this transparently: you get the files, and can do whatever you like with them.
Some others require you to have an active subscription and possibly be connected online to be able to play those (although downloaded locally) files. YMMV, I am not an expert on any streaming service; I am old school: all my music is physically on my SSDs.
Thank you ! I am exactly like you: old school !
But I am trying to see if there are some way to use & keep some of those new things: i.e. free concerts on digital internet radios ...
I hope not being the onlyone on Earth that would like to keep them recorded in their original digital source...
UAC2.0 I will take a look... but my memory was that it is for voice or guitar inputs... I really have to look
Ok: I still have my Revox B77 MKII tape recorder... but that could be a bit too hard to set up each time :p
 

Nutul

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UAC2.0 I will take a look... but my memory was that it is for voice or guitar inputs... I really have to look
UAC 2.0 is USB-AUDIO-CLASS 2.0. It differs from UAC 1.0 in that it is ASYNCHRONOUS and clock-independent from the source:
UAC1.0 - SYNCHRONOUS: the streamer / player dictates the clock, and the DAC must do whatever it can to keep up with the speed of the data it is being fed with: buffer over/under-runs, jitter etc.
UAC2.0 - ASYNCHRONOUS: the DAC requires data from the source (streamer / player) whenever it needs it, and re-clocks it locally with its own time-base: buffer over/unde-runs are not part of the show, as is source/transport jitter.Now, for saving some live streams there are several options; and if you are on a Linux box you may have things done a little easier... setup a loop-back device and save its contents in real time. This af course requires you to be connected and "watching / hearing" the whole show (well, your PC will, while you drink your beers...).
On a Windows machine it may be more complicated.
Since this is a bit controversial and may infringe copyrights I cannot go any deeper on the subject, but just want to assure it CAN be done.

HTH

Cheers, Al.
 

massimodec

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UAC 2.0 is USB-AUDIO-CLASS 2.0. It differs from UAC 1.0 in that it is ASYNCHRONOUS and clock-independent from the source:
UAC1.0 - SYNCHRONOUS: the streamer / player dictates the clock, and the DAC must do whatever it can to keep up with the speed of the data it is being fed with: buffer over/under-runs, jitter etc.
UAC2.0 - ASYNCHRONOUS: the DAC requires data from the source (streamer / player) whenever it needs it, and re-clocks it locally with its own time-base: buffer over/unde-runs are not part of the show, as is source/transport jitter.Now, for saving some live streams there are several options; and if you are on a Linux box you may have things done a little easier... setup a loop-back device and save its contents in real time. This af course requires you to be connected and "watching / hearing" the whole show (well, your PC will, while you drink your beers...).
On a Windows machine it may be more complicated.
Since this is a bit controversial and may infringe copyrights I cannot go any deeper on the subject, but just want to assure it CAN be done.

HTH

Cheers, Al.
Thanks ! I respect copyrights: I like to pay for what I like ! of course: only strictly legal !
 

NiagaraPete

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Yes but with AirPlay I’m streaming from my phone to Apple TV in CD resolution 44.1 and 16but. It is not truly a remote in that sense. If I get a phone call the music stops.

Whereas WiiM with Tidal connect your phone is truly a remote and I get to play with higher resolution 24bit and 96khz etc. in this setup if I get a phone call the music doesn’t stop.
Select AirPlay Apple TV instead then it's 48/24. Won't sound any different. You can't stream from an Apple phone higher than 44/16 Tidal or other.
 
OP
red_kk

red_kk

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Select AirPlay Apple TV instead then it's 48/24. Won't sound any different. You can't stream from an Apple phone higher than 44/16 Tidal or other.
I guess you don't understand my problem. If I use Airplay my iPhone is continuously sending music to the Apple TV which is sending the same music to the DAC.

So i'm not free to use my phone while listening to music. I can't make phone calls etc.

With Tidal and Spotify the iPhone works like a remote and the Streamer (Wiim Pro) directly downloads the music from the internet and not from my phone. I hope you are able to understand the issue. If not forget about this post and move on.
 

Middle Earth

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The Mercury 3 streamer is worth a look
You can see reviews of the Mercury 2
I have no doubt the Mercury 3 will improve on the impressive performance
 
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red_kk

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Thanks everyone for the great suggestions.
I used to set my DAC to fixed mode and connect the DAC outputs to my Denon Receiver and use it as a preamp and connect its preamp out to the amplifier. I missed that one detail in my above post. So here is my connection chain. Basically i used Denon as an RCA switcher.

Wiim Pro -> SMSL SU9n DAC -> Denon x4700 (Preamp mode) -> Parasound A31 Amp -> KEF R11 speakers

I made these changes:

1. Disabled Volume control on my Wiim
2. Changed Pre-Amp mode to variable volume on my DAC and directly connected DAC outputs to my Amplifier.
3. using a few pre-set EQ modes on Wiim pro depending on the song and volume levels.

DAC sound color was already set to 'standard' so i didn't mess that that.

These two changes clearly improved the sound quality. I'm especially able to enjoy low volume listening i.e. around 55-60db. I can hear so much more detail now at lower volumes.

I'm going to buy an RCA switcher now and manually switch between my Receiver and DAC as I use these speakers for both movies and music.
 
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red_kk

red_kk

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After doing a few more experiments I figured the main issue was fixing the DAC output volume and using Denon AVR as my preamp.

Once Denon is out of the picture it changed the game completely. It’s night and day. I tested it with my wife too several times A,B testing.

I learnt a lesson to keep things simple and not add too many active components in the signal chain especially if you don’t 100% know what they are doing.
 
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NiagaraPete

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I guess you don't understand my problem. If I use Airplay my iPhone is continuously sending music to the Apple TV which is sending the same music to the DAC.

So i'm not free to use my phone while listening to music. I can't make phone calls etc.

With Tidal and Spotify the iPhone works like a remote and the Streamer (Wiim Pro) directly downloads the music from the internet and not from my phone. I hope you are able to understand the issue. If not forget about this post and move on.
I do
I guess you don't understand my problem. If I use Airplay my iPhone is continuously sending music to the Apple TV which is sending the same music to the DAC.

So i'm not free to use my phone while listening to music. I can't make phone calls etc.

With Tidal and Spotify the iPhone works like a remote and the Streamer (Wiim Pro) directly downloads the music from the internet and not from my phone. I hope you are able to understand the issue. If not forget about this post and move on.
I do understand it. If you have Apple Music setup on Apple TV simply select it from your iphone. Then your iphone is in fact a remote. In my case I can stream to Dietpi 44/16 or Apple 4K 48/24 in the latter case the phone is acting as a remote for Apple Music on Apple TV. The disadvantage is the TV is on.

IMG_20240420_110805.PNG
 
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red_kk

red_kk

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I do

I do understand it. If you have Apple Music setup on Apple TV simply select it from your iphone. Then your iphone is in fact a remote. In my case I can stream to Dietpi 44/16 or Apple 4K 48/24 in the latter case the phone is acting as a remote for Apple Music on Apple TV. The disadvantage is the TV is on.

View attachment 364875
Oh i see it’s clear now. Let me try it out. Thanks for the suggestion
 

NiagaraPete

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Oh i see it’s clear now. Let me try it out. Thanks for the suggestion
If you select "Now Playing" on Apple TV Apple Music you'll see your selection from your phone. And if your DAC displays bit rate it should read 48.
 

Tre2023

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After doing a few more experiments I figured the main issue was fixing the DAC output volume and using Denon AVR as my preamp.

Once Denon is out of the picture it changed the game completely. It’s night and day. I tested it with my wife too several times A,B testing.

I learnt a lesson to keep things simple and not add too many active components in the signal chain especially if you don’t 100% know what they are doing.
Just the two KEF speakers in this setup run at Large?
 

NiagaraPete

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Oh i see it’s clear now. Let me try it out. Thanks for the suggestion
Another advantage is you can use the EQ function in your iphone.
 

Tre2023

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I do

I do understand it. If you have Apple Music setup on Apple TV simply select it from your iphone. Then your iphone is in fact a remote. In my case I can stream to Dietpi 44/16 or Apple 4K 48/24 in the latter case the phone is acting as a remote for Apple Music on Apple TV. The disadvantage is the TV is on.

View attachment 364875
While that is the case with an Apple TV 4K and an iPhone using the Apple Music app, it is not the case using Tidal as Tidal Connect is not supported from an iPhone to an Apple TV.

I’m assuming this is an older Apple TV with an optical port as the new models do not have an optical port and the SU-9n does not have an HDMI input port of any kind. The older Apple TVs support Airplay but not Airplay 2 and other limitations will be present here as well.

Here, Tidal Connect only works when using the iPhone with the Wiim Pro. The Apple Music Airplay handoff does not apply when using another music service app. I don’t know that it works at all with an old Apple TV. I guess I could dust one of my old ones off and hook it up and try it.
 
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