Project Stream Box S2 Ultra

No category for this one…yet.

Just to say that all is working well between Roon and the Stream Box S2 Ultra. Roon sees this as a transport device and it appears under the ‘Roon Ready’ device category in Audio setup.

Excellent results to date.

One minor issue - the device is still showing as ‘uncertified’ in the audio setup, ‘Roon Ready’, section of setup within Roon. This seems to be entirely cosmetic, but seems odd given that the device has been out for some time now.

BTW - the Stream Box S2 Ultra now supports Qobuz. Brilliant :slight_smile:

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I thought this streamer was more of a convenience product than high quality sound, but looking at this it seems the sound quality is excellent:

And it also has a few other tricks up it sleeve :wink:
Can output the UI to a TV connected to the hdmi output.
Can clean the USB output from a Computer.
Can give clean power to a USB DAC.
There are basic Roon play controls and cover art in the web browser UI or iOS app.
Volumio can also be a standalone streamer.
It can rip CD’s if a USB CD drive is connected (If you think that is a good idea personally I prefer a computer)

Like many pro-ject products, a bit of a Swiss (Austrian) army knife!
Hooking up an ssd to the stream box works well enough, but it does sound a tad better over the ethernet hooked up to my Roon server. That’s inevitable.
Disabled the HDMI out as, to be honest, the raspberry pi side of things struggled. Never bought it for that anyway.
It’s a brilliant product - per cubic centimetre it’s expensive (the thing is so small!). However, sound per £ it’s ridiculously inexpensive!!! A gem.
Thoroughly recommend it.

I read this and lost interest. Sounds like just another device for audiophools

Being a “Raspberry Pi-based network bridge” it carries a very high ticket price.
Yes, washed/cleaned power/usb/signal/etc. I bet it comes with gold plated rims and cupholders. Does it come with snake-oil filled interconnects?

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Dont judge on assumptions, try it and then speak with assurance.


I wish I could afford to try them all, but …
I had my RPI and got another streamer with $1800 tag, it was a mistake. Quality wise it was the same and all the promised conveniences just didn’t deliver, sold it and still happy with my RPI.

so… maybe I do not wish. RPI with quite a few distributions for music playing is good enough for me.
just my 2 cents

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No, i never will try a product from a company that claims to solve noexisting problems.
As a scientific educated person I will never spend money on homoeopathy, not medical and also not audiophile.
Show me a honest device without voodoo and I will give it a try.

Here’s a good read on the benefits of “clean power”

Noise over USB is hardly a non-existing problem, especially on Raspberry which shares internal ports between USB and Ethernet. Its very easy to measure (and even easier to hear, especially if you pause music and listen close to speakers). And the article you linked used a power supply with switched voltage regulators, which is far from optimal.

Here is an example from my own setup: when I started with my tweaks, I could hear the self-noise from speakers from 50 cm away. Now I can hardly hear it from 5 cm away. And its exactly what you call “solutions to non-existing problems” that has made that difference (which obviously improves the music a great deal as well). Fiber media converters, ethernet transports, battery power and more has taken the sound on my system to a whole new level.

So if you want to live in denial and consider what you have to be optimal, well be my guest. If you want to improve the sound in your system, things like the stream box mentioned in this thread is an excellent start (or maybe the cheaper Allo USbridge or Sotm sms-200).

Even if I wanted to live in denial. The long long time ago when I lived in a different country, with LPs that I flipped faithfully many many times a day - I could hear “self-noise”, but that was/is a thing of the past for so many years that I forgot how many.
RPI has a shared Ethernet and USB port as many so eager to point out and that’s a reason I bought Allo DigiOne which provides a galvanically isolated SPDIF coaxial port. Thanks to ROON, I can group zones and have this coaxial and naked RPI usb port in one group, so switching between them on my 2Qute is virtually instantaneous and since I do not “want to live in denial” I really tried to hear a difference, but after many many many tests I cannot!
So, I just left it at that and concentrate on music I want to listen to. That’s why we are in in in the first place, aren’t we?

It is fine to play with different hardware/software/cables, belief in whatever, which is limited by our budgets and verifiable only by our own set of ears/brain.
When it comes to this particular box, if you can afford it and willing to figure out the benefit over plain RPI, nothing stops you.

I don’t know if it can be called denial, but in my system no self-noise can be heard from my speakers from 5 cm away. And I always uses only the power supplies shipped with my devices and nothing else.
In my experience every converter or so-called cleaning devices increases noise and not reduces it. Lesser complexity in a system reduces the danger of perturbation.

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It is very naive thinking that the S2 Ultra is exactly the same as a standard RPI.
It is NOT!
It is using the compute module CM3 which has advantages over a normal RPI and on the PCB there is is cleaning of the power supply.
Pro-Ject is not the only one basing their streamer on this streamer platform. Take a look at Stack Audio

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Allo USBridge is also similar, cheap Sparky board and an isolated USB board part that handles the generation of USBAudio. The Sparky is used to run OS and programs, handle ethernet and other stuff, while the isolated USB part is used to generate a clean and (almost) noise free output to the DAC. I would guess this is very similar to how the Stream Box S2 Ultra is designed, except is uses Raspberry instead of Sparky

But how it sound is whats important, and Raspberry does not sound very good, at least not compared to dedicated streamers/transports like the Stream Box S2 Ultra.

No the Sparky is not similar to the Board used in the Ultra or the other derivative used in Stack Audios Link.
You would have noticed it if you had bothered clickink on the link in my comment. Then you would have noticed that the board is about twice the size of a RPI or the Sparky because of the power supplies.

I was talking about the principle: use a cheap CPU board for OS, software and ethernet, and an isolated and audio optimized board (or part) for USB output.

I think this is indicative of another problem …poorly shielded cables, placement of DAC, streamer etc. If I pause music there is no audible noise from my speakers. Not surprising since we’re talking of a noise level in the region of -120dB.

Electronic noise can come from many sources, so yes poorly shielded cables can also influence. But you have to put your ear next to the tweeter to hear it. But as always its very system dependent, and in my case I listen from my home-office with computer, monitors and stuff around, so getting it as quiet as it is now has been a challenge.

John Westlake designed both, so that probably explains the common platform…

Nada! I can’t hear anything when music isn’t playing. But, you’ve missed the point completely. You can’t hear the kind of noise level found in, say a Raspberry Pi-based streamer unless you’re superhuman. 0dB is our hearing threshold, so do you really think we can hear something 1000 times quieter than a leaf falling?

If you can hear something it is almost certainly not the noise from a streamer or USB unless there is a fault or your “tweaks” are having a negative affect on the system.

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