Well, darn, but you got to trust your ears…
GentooPlayer is out!
As soon as I put GentooPlayer in place something just sounded off. Mostly the pacing of music where the bass seemed heavy and out of time with the mids. I spent a few days with it trying to calibrate my old test equipment (my ears) but it was always a little “meh”. GentooPlayer is not free so before committing I threw NAA image back on a Pi 4.
Clarity, decay, more articulate bass, crisper vocals, and “short” filters are now strikingly fast which I wasn’t getting with the Gentoo image. Most “easy to hear” flaw was in snare drums. They were coming across as splats. Loud distracting splats. No way to tell if they were adjusted loose or tight as the actual snare sound was gone. It was all splats And… that’s what finally convinced me to use the $45 Pi 4 over the more expensive USBridge Sig.
Anyway, a day of work to get the USBridge Signature in place and its just a dud with DSD256 . I’m not sure how much of this is the NAA image vs Gentoo or maybe the USBridge, being Pi 3 based, just can’t overcome that architecture at higher data rates. I was already in the market for a new streamer… now it needs to support NAA.
Happy listening and thanks again to all who provided help along this journey.