Network streamer with AES/EBU output + toslink input

Found another one.

Nad M50.2

AES/EBU output
Optical input
Streaming - Tidal / Qobuz.

The price is 4x higher than the Cambridge 851N, but way better looking, way better finish.

Somebody using the NAD M50.2 ?

AES and Toslink and SPDIF RCA are all variants of the original Sony-Phillips SPDIF protocol where the source controls the clock timing. Probably influenced by turntables. A profoundly unsound architecture.

USB and network feeds are asynchronous, which just means the streamer has no involvement with the clock. The DAC itself owns the clock. Also means the streamer cannot contribute jitter. I consider this a better approach.

That said, specific implementations have different strengths and weaknesses. And they depend on the characteristics of the DAC recipient. For example, Rob Watts of Chord prefers Toslink, because it is galvanically isolated and thus cannot feed in electrical noise — Toslink has high jitter but his DACs are immune from jitter.

So different viewpoints. But I have chosen USB.

Thanks for the commentary.

How about BNC, which is the way Chord’s Scaler connects to some of their DACs?

I was talking about the protocols, not the wire or plug.
BNC transmits SPDIF, same as AES/EBU and RCA (which is why you can use simple adapters).
I know Chord use it, in some cases (e.g. the M-Scaler and TT2 which I have) they use a pair of them to transmit 705k.
Two boxes by the same manufacturer designed to cooperate closely and know each other.
Works well in this case, the two boxes become like one.

But asynch USB is easier, that’s how I connect a computer, like the Nucleus to the M-Scaler and the MicroRendu to the Benchmark.

Wires and plugs do matter, for noise and reliability. But synchronous SPDIF all have one characteristic, asynch USB and network another.

Thanks, I understand; didn’t know what BNC used, but on retrospect I guess it’s obvious it would be the same as RCA.

A lot of different considerations.
@brian said recently that AES for digital was introduced just because professionals in studios had a lot of balanced cables lying around.

All of these are standardized, which is essential. Even Chord’s double-BNC, but I’m not aware of anybody else using it.

And then there is I2S, which is intended for use inside a device and is not standardized as an interconnect between boxes, which makes it difficult cross brands.

I don’t get excited about any of this.
I am most committed to async, because it eliminates the possibility of jitter: you can’t have deviations in timing when you are not trying to do exact timing. (Doesn’t prevent people from selling “jitter-reducing USB reclockers”, of course.)

Just bought a Mutec, which I intend to connect to my DAC via BNC.

Since I only stream thru Roon, I can use an RPi and let the Mutec do all the heavy lifting, including controlling the clock.

My DAC can upsample to 768K, but in that mode it can’t handle DSD. The Mutec will convert DSD to PCM.

For Roon to do that takes so much processing that when it is occurring I can only run 1 endpoint.

Is it overkill? Maybe, but I had $1000 burning a hole so why not?:wink:

A very important consideration…

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Just see your message. What device you use finally? I am using MiniDSP SHD, but it’s full digital version may be better. I was considering Grimm MU-1 but sadly it couldn’t support music streaming from mobile.