Agreed. A good no-nonsense, relatively low cost option. I have a couple of these. They just work. If you want to move up the chain a bit, there is also the Ultrarendu, which I use on my headphone rig, and the Opticalrendu which I use on my main system. Recommended.
My favourite streamer these days (which I use with @jussi_laako’s HQPlayer output, from multiple sources including Roon but these days mostly using Amazon Music HD and Apple Music Hi-Res):
RPi4 with UCTronics POE HAT - no fans, no noise. And the Pi 4 gets both data and power fed over single bog standard Cat 6 UTP cable. I’ll be adding this POE HAT to all my Pi’s.
NetGear GS108PP POE+ simple unmanaged switches.
You should be able to do the same with RoPieee for Roon but haven’t tested.
I understand everyone’s unique preferences about their music and audio systems, which is what I think is the beauty of our shared hobby. Everyone can participate and be an Audiophile, at any price point, and derive strong emotions from listening to music.
Relative to one of the OP’s stated goal “Only care about sound quality”, I would not dismiss the Grimm Audio MU1 without giving it due consideration (against other solutions obviously). I run mine into an Holo Audio May KTE also, hence why I decided to offer a perspective.
I feel this is one of the most intelligent and creative server / streamer design and architecture, with flawless implementation I have been privy to. You may have see that it was Stereophile’s Products of 2021 (joint digitals component of the year with the Okto DAC8). I respect that others may have different views and preferences.
Here is another in-depth review, which helps answer the questions about Roon core / end-point architecture, dual CPUs, and many more.
Suggestions like this are guaranteed to stop me reading. I don’t need a posh glass to recognise good beer.
The digital outputs are not all at the same quality level. Try a Node 2i in front of an old Transporter (connected to the same High End DAC). You will see how bad the digital output of the NODE is. Nothing to do with imagination.
9 posts were split to a new topic: The science of beer glasses
My comment isn’t about poor or outdated device design.
Yet another thread that has devolved into real, fact based science versus audiophile pseudoscience. Audiophile science is based almost completely on money, as in the more expensive a piece of equipment is the better it must be. Look how one choses to spend their own money is none of my business but when someone asks for advice and the only answer audiophiles can give is to spend lots of money then I get a bit offended.
Any Roon ready streamer that can run RAAT will deliver the exact same data stream (hence the term “streamer”) to the DAC and sound exactly the same.
So when it’s your money being spent by you then fine, spend it as you please. When it’s someone else’s money, please just tell them the truth, as stated in the paragraph above.
Hmmm, I think you’re giving it too much credit calling it “pseudoscience”. It reminds me more of what I’d call “crapology”:
That is, fishing around in giant piles of marketing BS trying to find a nugget of truth.
Some DACs, especially older ones, let analog high-frequency hash coming down the wire from the streamer leak into the D2A process. It’s not a matter of bits, it’s a matter of high-frequency electrical signals from digital circuitry. So we see the escalation in increasingly fancy streamers (and cables, and …) to make up for bad DAC electrical design. Get a better DAC, and any little computer will serve as a great streamer, like the low $100 Pi 4 and Up Gateway assemblies some of us use.
@Fernando_Pereira You hit the nail on the head! As I was reading your post I started thinking “well here comes yet another audiophile bringing up some outdated issues about digital audio, issues that have been addressed and solved long ago”, but as I continued reading I realized that you were thinking along the same lines as I was. Thanks for your support, since being someone who follows real science on an audiophile filled forum can get somewhat lonely at times.
Totally agree. Think about it. If a DAC requires an isolator, it means it’s not sufficiently isolated. If it requires a re-clocker or an external clock, it means it has a bad internal clock. And so on. You can call that either a poorly designed piece of junk or a “highly resolving system”, depending on whether you believe engineers or marketers.
I got there step by step. I really loved Holo NOS tonal density that is just right for the music I listen most to (modern small ensemble jazz and classical) as soon as I got my first Spring 1, but there were some deficiencies, including weird soundstage and a slight smearing in 44.1 or 48 material that bothered me. For the longest time, Schiit Yggdrasil A2 took the top position in my systems, while several NOS DACs came and went. Until I started upsampling in PCM for a Spring 2 KTE, then got a May KTE, and finally took the HQPlayer plunge. Right now, I’m listening to an outstandingly recorded Wadada Leo Smith TUM Records album via HQPlayer>May KTE>DNA Stellaris>ZMF Verité and I can’t thing of anything I’d change. The end of the headphone system search for me (well, there are details like filter/modulator choice in HQPlayer, tubes on the Stellaris, pads on the headphones, but the music sounds so good that those choices are very low priority).
Which Wadada Leo Smith?
Sounds like a sweet headphone set up. I always hope that I’ve finally reached the end of my headphone search but then someone ups the ante with a new headphone or amp and the hunt begins anew. There have been and continue to be a lot of great things going on in the headphone world. For example the new Focal Bathys, portable over ear with noise cancellation, Bluetooth, a decent mobile control app and, most importantly, a built in DAC with a USB-C input (and which sounds great!). iPhone, USB camera adapter, cable and Bathys is now all you need to stream high resolution on the go. Yes indeed, interesting things are happening.
“A Love Sonnet for Billie Holiday” with Vijay Iyer and Jack DeJohnette.
Thanks for the tip on the Focal Bathys, I should check them out for travel.
I have a house in Ebbs and love visiting the Riedel factory in Kufstein.
Raspberry Pi running Volumio and the Roon plug-in.
I have a Holo Audio May KTE. The May’s USB is incredible. You don’t need any fancy streamer. I use a raspberry pi4b running Roon Bridge with Ethernet and connect to the May’s usb interface.
When the iFi Zen Stream becomes Roon certified, I might grab it as an upgrade.
IMHO the Lumin is great but it’s overkill as a streamer to the May DAC. Since you already have a Nucleus, there is very little reason to use the Lumin.
For those interested to explore the challenges in Digital Audio with minimizing CPU noise and Ethernet / USB jitter between a music server and a DAC, I would recommend listening to the Darko Audio podcast linked below. Warning, it’s about 1.5-hour long and quite dense (I had to listen to some passages 2-3 times…); but quite informative.
The ZEN stream is already Roon ready / certified.
And along with an iFi iPower or even better iPower Elite it’s really performing amazingly.