Advantage of network players

Hi everyone,

having some time, I am finally looking into some problems playing DSD files with my current set-up.

Files and roon core are on a QNAP NAS, attached via USB into my DAC.

Browsing the internet for another DAC (mine is propably causing the problems) I stumbled upon network players that are put in between the NAS and the DAC, avoiding a direct connection from a NAS into the DAC. Here’s one of them:

Does anybody know the advantage of such a set-up over a direct connection from a NAS into a DAC?


Primary advantages are you don’t have to have a noisy NAS in the listening room with your DAC and you can have one centrally located NAS that can feed many remote zones (each of which would need something like the SOtM rendu).

That makes sense. I also thought about the cables. As far as I know, ethernet cables are somehow shielded, yet they transport data the same way, USB does.This could be another advantage.

My NAS is quiet and at the moment I only have one zone. :slight_smile:

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Yes, it is ethernet from the NAS to the ultraRendu but it’s still USB from the ultraRendu to your DAC. If an upgraded USB cable or a USB “cleaner” is going to make a difference, it will work just as well for your NAS connection as it will for the ultraRendu. In your situation, I’d save the money on the ultraRendu and see if a dealer will let you try some upgraded USB cables before you buy or give you a free return policy if they make no difference. Probably no more that 50:50 chance they will make an improvement depending on DAC and the rest of your system.

When you get a network player, typically you’re getting more than just a network bridge or adaptor. You’re getting some bundle of features that is a little different from device to device. The advantages depend on what bundle you’re buying (which can include an integrated DAC, with or without filters and upsampling, as well as pre-amp functions, etc.)

IMO the main advantages of the Network Audio Adaptor, per se, are that it can (1) bring network streaming capabilities to a pre-amp/integrated amp that you want to keep, and (2) allow you to move your computer/server to a different room (to isolate noise, or for convenience). Some people also claim they clean up a noisy USB signal and thereby improve SQ. If you think that might happen for your system, check the return policy before you buy, especially if that is the only reason you want one.

What exactly are the issues you are having? The thing that comes to mind with direct connection to a NAS is that it will not necessarily be optimised for DSD playback. What DAC are you using, and is it listed as compatible with Linux based OS’s.