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WXC-50 + Denafrips Ares II, DSD playback

BitPerfect_

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Hi,
I have this Yamaha WXC-50 streamer and the Ares II is on the way.
Regarding the DSD playback, as I've read in the streamer's manual (page 12/48), the signals are not output through the coax. Also, there is no USB Out to reach the USB In port of the Ares II.

In these conditions, any advice to solve this properly and cost effective, preserving the DSD quality maintaining as much as possible the existing setup?
I know that I can simply connect a PC to DAC using a USB cable but I was wonder if there is a way to still use the external HDD and the phone as remote control via WiFi.
Thank you in advance!
 

mononoaware

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It is my understanding the WXC-50 is more of a Streamer/Pre-amp than a Local Player.

If Coax doesn’t output DSD and no USB output I think you are out of luck.
(Optical/Toslink does not even have the throughput to carry DSD).

You need a local playback device which can output DSD to Ares ii DAC.
 
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BitPerfect_

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Thank you, based on your answer, I think I've found something in this thread:

From my point of view, there are 2 scenarios:
1. Keep using wxc-50
  • in this case, you can use DLNA to stream via network; you'l need a DLNA server (PC, or RPi)
  • keep the option to stream via bluetooth directly to wxc-50
  • keep the analog in of wxc-50
  • can use also RPi + Hifiberry Digi for example to connect to optical input of wxc-50.
[...] you need a streamer (could be a PC or RPi4 if you want) and a storage or NAS for music.

Hi SPOautos,
[...]

You need only a DLNA control point and DLNA media server. My personal favorite
DLNA control point on Android is the BubbleUPnP app. There are many others.
Part of the beauty of DLNA (and perhaps part of the pain) is that there are many
options that can be mixed and matched to find your Goldilocks combo.

The Yamaha MusicCast app appears to be DLNA compliant and might be a comfortable
choice, particularly when driving your WXC-50. If you later have all kinds of different
DLNA players and renderers sprinkled throughout your home, as I do, you might want
to instead arrive at a more general purpose DLNA control point. Again, BubbleUPnP
is my current favorite but concede that there are quality alternatives.

You'll also need a DLNA media server. ReadyMedia/miniDLNA is a free implementation.
There are others, both free and commercial. Right now I'm using the miniDLNA server
built into my Asus RT-AC3200 wireless access point. I connected a 1 TB Samsung T3
USB SSD containing my media library and works perfectly well. Something like a Pi or
Odroid-HC1/2 would be an interesting low cost and low power alternative. There's a
good chance that you already have a suitable platform in your possession to function
as the DLNA media server (even if only for auditioning purposes). The Linux box I'm
typing this reply on has a copy of my media library and miniDLNA, at zero additional
cost and just a config file edit away.

It sounds interesting and as far as I understand, the implementation could be something like this:

External HDD with DSD stored files > DLNA Media Server (Pi or Odroid-HC1/2) USB out > DAC, USB In.
Mobile app for controlling via wifi maybe the existing Yamaha MusicCast(?).

At this point,
-Is there a recommended DLNA media server (based on Pi or similar) with USB In for external HDD, delivering DSD signal through USB out?
 

linuxfan

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BitPerfect, I can give you information about DLNA server applications which support DSD, and also information about DLNA renderer applications which support DSD ...
but as I understand it, you presently play your local music files from a USB hard drive? So unless there are other devices on your home network which rely on the DLNA model, and you wish your audio playback device to interact with these other devices, there's no need to restrict yourself to DLNA.

Yes, a Raspberry Pi is a good choice for a DSD-compatible audio playback device which will output USB-audio to a DSD-compaible DAC.
The choice of software applications for a rPi is mind boggling; my personal preference is a basic Music Player Daemon installation, alternatively you will find enthusiastic fans of the LMS/Squeezelite model, but if you are not familiar with the often complicated installation and configuration of a rPi, there are some great packaged installations for rPi in the form of Moode, Volumio, and Rune. All of these are controlled from a separate web browser-based interface. And all of these support DSD, and USB HDD.
 
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BitPerfect_

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BitPerfect, I can give you information about DLNA server applications which support DSD, and also information about DLNA renderer applications which support DSD ...
but as I understand it, you presently play your local music files from a USB hard drive? So unless there are other devices on your home network which rely on the DLNA model, and you wish your audio playback device to interact with these other devices, there's no need to restrict yourself to DLNA.

Thank you for your reply. Indeed, I play my local music files from a USB external hard drive, there are no other devices on the home network.
I'll read more about Raspberry Pi good to know; Do you recommend a specific rPi module there should be something like "audiophile grade" if there are any for this application?

PS: How about considering using a NAS (maybe it's a silly question) plugged into the DAC's USB In?
 
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linuxfan

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Do you recommend a specific rPi module
The tried-and-true rPi 3B+ or the newer rPi 4B are both fine. Just be aware the 4B runs a little hot, so choose a case with a fan, or a metal case with integrated heatsink.

How about considering using a NAS ... plugged into the DAC's USB In?
Well that's certainly possible, at least with Synology NAS devices, but the audio rendering apps (not server apps) included with NAS boxes tend to be rather basic, and might not support DSD.
A better use for NAS is to store your music collection - the advantage over a conventional USB HDD is that multiple devices on your network can access it without plugging and unplugging cables when you add new music. You can also configure a NAS as a true music server - for people who wish to use LMS/Squeezelite or DLNA -
but the rPi is still a better device to use as a music renderer - especially for DSD output via USB - since this function is virtually non-existent from a commercial product.

I suggest you get yourself a rPi, install Moode, connect to your existing USB HDD, and play around with this system for a while.
If you generally like this system, at a later stage swap out the USB HDD and use a NAS instead.
 

muslhead

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I have 1000s of dsf files (both 2 and multichannel) that i play seemlessly in this manner. PC with Jriver (using dlna protocol), connected to a rpi (i have the 4b but any will do) pulling from multiple synology nas' on my network. The usb output of the rpi (dlna renderer) is sent to a dac. From the dac you can go to headphones, active speakers or an amp to drive passive speakers. Of course, you need a dac that can play sacd (the yamaha does not have one otherwise it too could be used with jriver.
I have not tried but i am pretty sure you can pull your sacd files from a local usb drive (connected your pc) instead of requiring NAS. Jriver uses dlna and can handle virtually any audio (and video) file type including multichannel sacd's. It also has a free trial period (30 days i think) to let you try. If you decide to buy, its only ~50 .... total.
I found Jriver a good way to start without a large cash outlay. The UI is a bit antiquated and the documentation (and support) are horrid. If you go down that path and need help setting up, let me know
 
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BitPerfect_

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I suggest you get yourself a rPi, install Moode, connect to your existing USB HDD, and play around with this system for a while.
If you generally like this system, at a later stage swap out the USB HDD and use a NAS instead.

Great, thanks, I'll have in mind this solution.

@muslhead
Sounds great, thanks, but I'm not interested in using the PC or a Laptop as source. Connecting the external HDD to rPi and from here DSD signal directly to DAC using the USB will be enough.
 

linuxfan

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Yes, like BitPerfect, I don't want my music playback system to involve a desktop computer, or even a laptop. I wish to use a tablet or smartphone as controller device, but for my player/server/renderer device, I want this to be an appliance - the only user-input required being an on/off switch.

JRiver is a good application, but it suits certain situations better than others. It's mainly intended to run on a computer with monitor/keyboard/mouse. Sure, JRiver can be installed on a Raspberry Pi, but even then it retains desktop-style interactivity, either directly via keyboard/mouse, or via a VNC viewer from another computer -
https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=128121.0
 
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BitPerfect_

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With your will, a few more questions on the subject (I can't find a clear answer):
-Regarding the DSD playback, generally speaking, the limitations that may occur - if there are any - are usually hardware (rPi / DAC side) or software dependent?

I am asking taking in consideration the DAC ability to receive DSD signal, up to DSD1024 native. Not so sure about the rPi 4B, there are no details about audio capabilities or it's just a question of buffer as the rPi will pick and deliver the DSD "as is" from the external HDD(?).

-Also about rPi 4B, 2GB RAM version will be enough or should I go higher (4GB) for this application?
-The rPi allow us to install more than one software on the SD card and to choose at the booting sequence the desired one?
Thanks,
 
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linuxfan

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Regarding DSD1024, I presume you are talking about files you already have stored as DSD1024 (wow, do you really have such files?) not DSD64 files you wish to transcode to DSD1024 on-the-fly - this latter situation would require some serious processing power.
the rPi will pick and deliver the DSD "as is" from the external HDD?
Yes, if the audio file on your USB-HDD is DSD1024 then there's not much "number-crunching" required from the rPi, so it's mainly a question of whether the rPi, software, and associated peripherals, can support the data rate of that audio file.
One possible hurdle - I'm not sure if Moode's DSD playback engine will support DSD1024 - it might be worth asking on the Moode forum.
For the record, Google reveals a successful example of streaming DSD512 files from a rPi 3B -
https://community.roonlabs.com/t/ropieee-on-the-new-raspberry-pi-4/72658/239

about rPi 4B, 2GB RAM version will be enough or should I go higher
Moode running on rPi 4 can have memory usage as low as 150MB ! And Moode's standard buffer size is 4MB !
http://moodeaudio.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=1537&pid=14213#pid14213

The rPi allow us to install more than one software on the SD card and to choose at the booting sequence the desired one?
If you mean different distributions, such as Moode / Volumio / piCorePlayer etc, I believe that multi-booting these from the same microSD card is feasible, but complicated. It's much easier just to keep separate microSD cards for each distribution you wish to try, then swap them into the rPi card slot as required.
 
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BitPerfect_

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Regarding DSD1024, I presume you are talking about files you already have stored as DSD1024 (wow, do you really have such files?)

Nope, just wanted to have in mind if there are special requirements in building the rPi (RAM, SD card size, a special HAT maybe), but it's clear now.
I'll go with rPi 4B 2GB RAM or maybe 4GB RAM version if there is no big difference at cost.
This is not important but one thing is for sure, I found a good looking case from Flirc with built-in heat sink :)
I appreciate it!
 
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