DSJ Owner - Still beneficial to buy a separate server/streamer?


#1

Hi All,

As I think about the next upgrade in my system path, I was looking into getting a server/streamer but was unsure if that would be a worthwhile benefit. I have the DSJ that I use as a Roon endpoint (my PC, located in another room, is my Roon Core).

I stream approximately 60% of my content while the other 40% is from files local to my Roon Core. Would an Innuos Zenith MkII, Roon Nucleus, or Bluesound Vault 2 be an upgrade on sound quality in my setup?


#2

Also own a DSJ. From the internet and a friend who owned Node 2:

Dedicated, purpose built servers sound better than using a PC (better power supply, more shielding, less hardware noise, purity of signal, optimized to playback music, etc.). Some state additional reasons (separate input/output ethernet jacks, slower/better data transfer from CD, etc.) for better sound. All according to the manufacturers/press.

Home auditioned an i5 Small Green Computer/Roon/ethernet setup but it sounded no better than my general purpose MacBook Air/iTunes/Tidal/10ft USB cable. Note that it was just the server with 1TB SSD. The company then said it would sound better by adding $1400 (4 boxes, 2 signal conversions, etc.). Rather than jump at the chance to play the bait and switch game, I punted and returned the server. That was 2 months ago, I keep looking and have gotten lots of advice, but not tried another server being satisfied with what I’ve got. BTW I’m a ‘certified’ computer dummy.

Some say “bits are bits” but that seems very old school to me. Some point out that the source should have the smallest amount of effect on sound quality in the playback system which makes sense to me, but then there’s the garbage in/garbage out school of thought. Most of the manufacturer’s reports and reviews now seem like snake oil to me.

BluSound reportedly is a step down from other servers/streamers in terms of sound quality but user/family friendly, so probably not a step up from a PC. Note that NAD now has a more expensive C658, that they call a “Node 2 on steroids”.


#3

I reckon so too.


#4

I wouldn’t bother with a server, or Roon. Just use DSJ as a SpotifyConnect or Tidal device.


#5

I like using my DSJ with Roon so that I can access both my ripped content and Tidal.


#6

Do you have any ripped content that is not available on either Tidal or Spotify?


#7

Yep. Plenty (mostly jazz content from Japan).


#8

If you just want to get your “general purpose” computer out of the equation this might be an alternative and you can try it for 30 days.


#9

Can’t agree that recommendation, not impressed with i5 Small Green Computer, as mentioned above:


#10

The nice part about having music on a server is if you don’t have internet service you still have music.


#11

I recently bought an Auralic Aries G1 to use with my DSD. It sounded excellent - very neutral and clean. I had some issues related to limitations in their firmware and SW, which are not things most people would see as problems, but it did its job quite well.
However, it was also one more layer of hardware and SW to keep up and running, and in the end, when I went back to using Roon and Bubble to the Bridge in the DSD, SQ was not enough different that I felt bad when I returned the Aries.


#12

My Roon Core Server search started with an i5 Sonictransporter. I ended up ordering an Innuos Zen Mk3 4tb. Ticked my boxes and nothing superfluous to needs, it’s semi-modular so some bits can be upgraded, as is the case with Mk2 models.

It suits my system, which will soon be RAAT complaint, but may not suit others.

I also like how Roon wakes up the system automatically. Never have to touch the system or the remote.


#13

How are you liking the Innuos so far? I’ve met some of their folks at a couple shows and they always seem great. I haven’t had a chance to really evaluate their gear though.


#14

I have been intrigued with the Innuos from the limited reading that I have done. Do you stream from the Innuos into a Directstream?


#15

You use the Innuos into the DSJ via USB bypassing the Bridge.


#16

It’s not arrived yet. Next week. They’ve been in the audio server business for at least 10 years now and getting very good at it. I can use it into Devialet Expert either by usb or a direct ethernet connection. I will be doing the latter. They offer very good value for money, are modular so you can build it up externally and they can do some internal upgrades. They are also working on an external reclocking unit, a bit like Chord and Auralic have done and probably around the same price point. Reclockers tend to cost more than the server/streamers.


#17

Correct. I had a similar device for some years and used it as a server/streamer into a PWD Mk2 via usb. I never bought a Bridge.