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WiiM Pro upgrade over a more expensive gear

DarkKoala

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Mar 30, 2022
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I have a more expensive Network player, which has all the features i want: Dac, Built in Storage, Streamer. It has some nice features like peq. At time i bought it couple of years ago it was the only nice device that had everything i want and wasn’t the bs node. It measured at 106db sinad. Which is significantly better than my naim amp, which measures in the 70s.

Seeing now that devices under 500€ measure much better is it worth the hassle of getting much cheaper devices and improve the sound in a significant way?

For example wiim pro plus, digital audiophonics amp, and a preamp. will run me maybe 2-3K, which is the cost of my streamer. Are there some benefits of doing that? Or just replace the player with the wiim pro and expect a night and day difference? I also will lose the built in storage, which i really enjoy.
 
I have a more expensive Network player, which has all the features i want: Dac, Built in Storage, Streamer. It has some nice features like peq. At time i bought it couple of years ago it was the only nice device that had everything i want and wasn’t the bs node. It measured at 106db sinad. Which is significantly better than my naim amp, which measures in the 70s.

Seeing now that devices under 500€ measure much better is it worth the hassle of getting much cheaper devices and improve the sound in a significant way?

For example wiim pro plus, digital audiophonics amp, and a preamp. will run me maybe 2-3K, which is the cost of my streamer. Are there some benefits of doing that? Or just replace the player with the wiim pro and expect a night and day difference? I also will lose the built in storage, which i really enjoy.
You are entering the "I can upgrade by downgrading" phase of the audio world.
 
I have a more expensive Network player, which has all the features i want: Dac, Built in Storage, Streamer. It has some nice features like peq. At time i bought it couple of years ago it was the only nice device that had everything i want and wasn’t the bs node. It measured at 106db sinad. Which is significantly better than my naim amp, which measures in the 70s.

Seeing now that devices under 500€ measure much better is it worth the hassle of getting much cheaper devices and improve the sound in a significant way?

For example wiim pro plus, digital audiophonics amp, and a preamp. will run me maybe 2-3K, which is the cost of my streamer. Are there some benefits of doing that? Or just replace the player with the wiim pro and expect a night and day difference? I also will lose the built in storage, which i really enjoy
If you could sell the Naim and your other player (what is is BTW?) and replace with the Wiim pro plus and an audiophonics amp and come out ahead, that may make sense, oddly. Any sonic improvement that may occur from that scenario would much more likely come from the Naim to Audiophonics class D switch rather than the switch of the streamers. Do you really need a preamp (more sources than you can connect to the Wiim)? If the Wiim can serve as your preamp, you'd have at an at least audibly the same or maybe better system for less money (although you would have to hassle with selling some kit), but you'd have to sort the built-in storage part separately as you have mentioned.
 
You are entering the "I can upgrade by downgrading" phase of the audio world.
So thats a thing? Yeah also have to sell some magic naim cables …. which will be a hassle. The internal storage is a big deal. Don’t have too much space. In some circles they say using digital volume control loses qualIty. So i use my streamer at full output and use the integrated amp to control the volume. Everything kinda works great now. But slowly stuff is getting older, so maybe upgrading by buying cheaper gear Ow rather than later maybe a good idea.
 
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So thats a thing? Yeah also have to sell some magic naim cables …. which will be a hassle. The internal storage is a big deal. Don’t have too much space. In some circles they say using digital volume control loses qualIty. So i use my streamer at full output and use the integrated amp to control the volume.
I sold all my very expensive (other British brand) bought all new gear and had enough left over to buy a used Harley.
 
I sold all my very expensive (other British brand) bought all new gear and had enough left over to buy a used Harley.
I kinda want to do the same. but really like the feel of the the gear. And getting new things is kinda of risky and a hassle, am I really going to like it? Maybe it sux? Then I’ll be disappointed.
 
so there is an aufiophinics amp with builtin streamer and no analog inputs for under 1000€. I could replace everything with just one box. Would you go that way? Just need a way to get the music to it. I just use locally stored music and no streaming service.
 
It's a challenging place to be, but an interesting one. You are essentially facing a 'leap of faith' albeit a leap based on sound science and backed by measurements. I don't underestimate how hard it can be to step away from well loved equipment to cheaper kit - we are conditioned to expect that better means more expensive - it doesn't!

You are unlikely to hear a significant improvement from changing the Streamer/pre-amp elements. Certainly won't be worse. It is possible that the DSP processing with newer equipment is better - I don't know enough about this though so I'd suggest you find out.
DSP in general is where the biggest improvements come from so have you considered looking more closely at this area: DSP in software, or in something like one of the miniDSP products with a WiiM streamer as a transport?

The WiiM can stream from external storage, NAS or PC/laptop, which might be enough. Something like an Eversolo DAC/Streamer offers storage but not DSP, there may be other options

As mentioned above, the most likely improvement - apart from DSP - will come from upgrading your Amp. Even then, the improvement might be minimal. Watch out for changing from a potentially coloured amp to a more neutral one as the difference can take time to adjust to.

Perhaps something to consider is build quality, longevity and serviceability (is that a word?). Personally, I'd be very happy with WiiM, miniDSP and well-made power amplifiers. Again, some of that is down to personal preference so do your reading and be happy with your choice.

Summarising - my opinion - a downgrade will give you same or better sound quality, perhaps not much better. If you can improve your DSP tools then you can probably get a better sound. You will be faced with quite understandable, but baseless, concerns that the new gear is somehow lower quality and that's the really tricky bit.
 
so there is an aufiophinics amp with builtin streamer and no analog inputs for under 1000€. I could replace everything with just one box. Would you go that way? Just need a way to get the music to it. I just use locally stored music and no streaming service.
I wouldn't go that way myself. I regard amplifiers as essentially stable technology that are likely to last many years but streamers as rapidly developing and likely to be upgraded much more frequently - its gets expensive if you have a one-box system and are unnecessarily replacing good amplifiers in them.
 
It's a challenging place to be, but an interesting one. You are essentially facing a 'leap of faith' albeit a leap based on sound science and backed by measurements. I don't underestimate how hard it can be to step away from well loved equipment to cheaper kit - we are conditioned to expect that better means more expensive - it doesn't!

You are unlikely to hear a significant improvement from changing the Streamer/pre-amp elements. Certainly won't be worse. It is possible that the DSP processing with newer equipment is better - I don't know enough about this though so I'd suggest you find out.
DSP in general is where the biggest improvements come from so have you considered looking more closely at this area: DSP in software, or in something like one of the miniDSP products with a WiiM streamer as a transport?

The WiiM can stream from external storage, NAS or PC/laptop, which might be enough. Something like an Eversolo DAC/Streamer offers storage but not DSP, there may be other options

As mentioned above, the most likely improvement - apart from DSP - will come from upgrading your Amp. Even then, the improvement might be minimal. Watch out for changing from a potentially coloured amp to a more neutral one as the difference can take time to adjust to.

Perhaps something to consider is build quality, longevity and serviceability (is that a word?). Personally, I'd be very happy with WiiM, miniDSP and well-made power amplifiers. Again, some of that is down to personal preference so do your reading and be happy with your choice.

Summarising - my opinion - a downgrade will give you same or better sound quality, perhaps not much better. If you can improve your DSP tools then you can probably get a better sound. You will be faced with quite understandable, but baseless, concerns that the new gear is somehow lower quality and that's the really tricky bit.
After playing with PEQ for couple of days I solved my biggest issue… toooo much … WAAAYYY TO MUCH bass. efore that i was just listening at -12db output from the source, so I don’t die. In general I’m quite happy, the only thing I miss is the ability to play with the volume from the app. Because I have a separate amp.

Was thinking maybe go naim all the way, so i can control everything from one app, even though sound quality will be slightly worse and will lose ability to play locally stored music (have to find a workable small nas solution) but then the naim player is too big and wont fit in my nightstand), so i got what i got. It fits in my nightstand which i use as a rack.

Then seeing all this excellent measuring cheap devices, I started doubting my sanity for dropping over 10K, where maybe 1/5 would have gave me the same. My “power distributor” costs more than that wiimp… if i get one of those i have to be careful not to forget some of my requirements, because the last years I discovered what I want/need and don’t want to miss. I also have my system for about 3-4 years unchanged.

First I had project maia amp and was playing over bluetooth and usb from pc
Then Blueound node 2i and vincent amp (no more tubes that sucked)… people started saying that the node is good for the kitchen, but not for real listening…
So I looked further...
got a naim xs2 amp…. so much better than the vincent ….
got a better network player… local music no more being forced to use streaming services. got an xs3 amp, because the xs2 was stinky ( i have gotten it used and didn’t trust it much) got teddy cap … while realized it makes a difference, the bass was really too much, and didn’t like the feel of it. Also don’t like the lights on naim amp and teddycap. But the amp feels and looks good, i got rid of the teddycap. Still don’t like the constant glow of the naim amp. The player manufacturer implemented a feature i requested (screen always off). So less distractions. Don’t want to tell who they are, because I’m not bashing them, quite cool, but slightly on the expensive part.

My perfect system will be one big black box with no screens. No analog inputs (maybe one for the cd player I used 5 times). Just wanted to have one, never had a cd player before. One good feeling volume knob in the middle with no indication or lights. No potentiometer control. Something i can reliably set over the app and from the physical control, without stupid noisy motor. Something thats modular. a compartment for power amp, pre amp, dac and streamer. things that i can change or upgrade. slots for two sata or nvme ssd so i can run raid1 on board. Convenient app. all of that in form factor like the eversolo a6 in width. height can be slightly more.

Things that come close:
nad m10 with storage and more power
or
naim nova pe with storage

The eversolo a8 in a6 form factor with integrated amp. No screens and lights. that would be cool. 400 Watt per channel in 4 Ohms, 200 in 8Ohms… I’m happy. 2 nvme slots with btrfs or zfs support with deduplication … even more happy. And if it’s 5K …. Omg even more happy. But could potentially spend a bit more on that.
 
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Genuine suggestion, based on your Naim xs2 being a 70W amp. Try a WiiM Amp. It does everything you want, including supporting USB storage so you can just plug your music in.
It's cheap enough (£320 GBP) to just try it out and relegate it to a second system if you choose to upgrade later - if you really need more power.

No issue with integrated amps if you prefer, although I'd also not want to rely on an integrated streamer. It's the storage requirement that I don't know enough about

What are your speakers btw?
 
Genuine suggestion, based on your Naim xs2 being a 70W amp. Try a WiiM Amp. It does everything you want, including supporting USB storage so you can just plug your music in.
It's cheap enough (£320 GBP) to just try it out and relegate it to a second system if you choose to upgrade later - if you really need more power.

No issue with integrated amps if you prefer, although I'd also not want to rely on an integrated streamer. It's the storage requirement that I don't know enough about

What are your speakers btw?
Kef ls50 meta and Kef r400b subwoofer (had the non meta before … but they were too glossy, so when the meta came upgraded, luckily sound is much better). My space is quite small.
Now I have the xs3, the xs2 was stinky (i really could smell this burny old burned smell, nobody believed me, but it was so annoying i had to get rid of it). But i think power is mostly the same.
 
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Wait for either wiim ultra or wiim amp pro. Both have usb external storage connection. And both support 10 bands peq with their own room correction funcrion along with sub out. They are constantly working on firmware upgrade to make their prodicts even better. Wish I had more rooms so that I can buy more Wiims...
 
Wait for either wiim ultra or wiim amp pro. Both have usb external storage connection. And both support 10 bands peq with their own room correction funcrion along with sub out. They are constantly working on firmware upgrade to make their prodicts even better. Wish I had more rooms so that I can buy more Wiims...
The Wim Amp already has USB storage. The other features will come via firmware upgrades 'real soon now'.
 
I don't want to post more, as I'll just be fantasy shopping on your behalf!

Genuinely think the WiiM Amp is worth considering, even as an experiment. You could well find that it's good.

What the WiiM has is basic bass management - the ability to low-pass AND hi-pass your signal so that the Sub is catered for but more importantly your main speakers are relieved of the load of reproducing low frequencies. That's a huge load of the Amp too and you should hear a volume (SPL) increase because of that.
Bass management is something to look for.

The Cambridge Audio Evo 150 comes close to your requirements, apart from DSP. Looks smart.

One of the NAD integrated amps with the ability to accept a DIRAC module would be good too. Perhaps no storage option.

Personally (fantasy shopping) I'd stay with separates;
WiiM streamer (just the Pro) reading music off your pc/laptop or a NAS,
miniDSP Flex (good DAC, very good DSP, proper bass management)
A well regarded Hypex power amp - Buckeye or Boxem are good places to start. Easy 200W.

No screens, the WiiM app is good and the miniDSP has a remote for volume etc

Perhaps no perfect solution, but they're all good
 
I’ll go to the munich high end now, let them tell me how a Vinyl Disk is sooo much better and environment friendly. And see some gear. Maybe I win a topping dac or something
 
I just was there. Listened to some gear. The Lyngdorf stuff looks promising for bass management.
Also listened to some mezeeee headphones. In our language mezee is something you eat before drinking alkohol … so this headphones wer quite impressive. But not sure if the surprise that chicks were explaining me explaining about them, the expensive and impressive looking equipment and setting had something to do with that.
Now will take my ild shure srh 880 and try them out and home and try to remember the feeling.
 
I just was there. Listened to some gear. The Lyngdorf stuff looks promising for bass management.
Also listened to some mezeeee headphones. In our language mezee is something you eat before drinking alkohol … so this headphones wer quite impressive. But not sure if the surprise that chicks were explaining me explaining about them, the expensive and impressive looking equipment and setting had something to do with that.
Now will take my ild shure srh 880 and try them out and home and try to remember the feeling.
does Lyngdorf have anything new in the works at the show, or is it still the current TDAI1140 etc.?
 
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