I suspect there would be a vast majority consensus from owners of both high-end transport and server that the transport sounds better. Certainly in my sphere of direct discussion with such owners known to me it’s 100% in favor of the transport sounding better. In my case I have one of the best servers, and the best transport, and the transport is better.
@Brodric - I thought I explained, I don’t care what groups of people think. I sit in my music room and listen to the difference. Could care less what others believe, and that would include deities… owners of stereo manufacturing companies… these are thought experiments and what if… I will never own that equipment, I could care less… I concern myself with me… however, we aspire and thanks for adding the fuel for aspirations… reason I read magazines, go to dealers…
That’s right, I understood your point. But my starting point in deciding what to buy next is always the group. The group experience will whittle down all the options to a few which might best fit my application. From there I will focus my further scrutiny.
What to buy next… hum… not going to buy a $30K CD player in lue of my DMP is as far fetched as me getting a Porsche… ♂ besides, I like my bat $hit crazy DMP display… man you never know what that thing will display…♂
Only with Hifi or also with cars, watches, furniture etc.?
Is this behavior based rather on a need to buy nothing the group might not honor or on a limited will to invest in own comparisons?
The ‘objection’ to compressed lossless files seems to be that, if the decompression takes place in the same unit that contains the DAC, the extra cpu activity can generate noise that affects the digital to analogue conversion. It is not something which would worry someone of my coarse sensibilities, but it does seem to be a legitimate argument. If your server can transcode to WAV before the data is delivered to the DAC unit then the format in which the files are stored should not be relevant. I use the Minimserver/Minimstreamer combination, which can do this.
Which surprises me why they are going to persist with bat $hit crazy displays in the DMP replacement. They really need to get that sorted out in what comes next.
In my part of the world there are very few options that facilitate investing in own comparisons.
My server doesn’t do any transcoding at all. The data is stored on a hard disc as an exact mirror image of the data that is stored on the optical disc from which it was written.
So, this is the way I view it. I run a design team of 25 engineers… If my product went out in the field like I see in DMP, I would have fired a few engineers… no question. However, at the price of my DMP and the SQ it has, I’m willing to overlook minor issues in lue of not paying $30K for a DMP to have the SW be perfect… It is all about swim lanes. My stuff fails in the field people die… my DMP display blinks or the wrong cover art is displayed for 20 sec I giggle and move on…
And your budget is a little bigger.
I understand. One can’t order 3 different multi dozen k$ equipment for comparison and times of well equipped dealers are over in most parts of the world. What an insane hobby we have.
But even a heightening is possible: a friend of mine bought a rare racing kind of Porsche 911 to grow into a family of Porsche buyers who might have a chance to buy certain further limited Porsche’s (I think it was the boxster) otherwise not available for ordinary buyers, but just to those frequently buying rare ones. No one would want or need to drive such a car prior to buying, it’s just bought blind based on past experience with the manufacturer or based on group think.
That’s where High End audio didn’t arrive yet…the honor for the customer to buy a limited overexpensive product blind
@Baneste WARNING: Some conventional wisdom, personal preferences and IME comments to follow…
- Convert and/or rip all of your standard definition files to your favorite lossless format (do some reading up to determine what format seems best to you).
- FWIW, I settled on AIFF for most files b/c:
a. It is lossless;
b. It is compatible with all of the music/iTunes files my kids had accumulated over the years;
c. It does not have any metadata limitations; and
d. AIFF sounds fantastic via JRiver Media Center and the PS Audio DirectStream Sr. DAC
- Use dB Poweramp Music Converter to do your ripping (it has lots of capabilities and advantages – read up on the software; I think its a real gem)
- Compare some Apple Lossless files converted to AIFF to some re-rips in AIFF. If the latter sounds better and you care about the difference, take the time and re-rip your discs. It will be worth (and only cost you) your time (minus the cost of the Music Converter software).
- The software that archives, organizes and manages the files for presentation/streaming to your audio kit matters. The files on my iMac are available via Apple Music/iTunes, JRiver Media Center and Roon 1.6. The overall best performance is wrought by JRiver Media Center and its control application, JRemote. Roon is a pretty close second; and Apple/iTunes brings up the rear. IMO/YMMV/FWIW.
I hope this helps. Have fun.
I use FLAC. I discern no difference between the CD and my rips, after having optimized the Windows computer I use:
- run Windows Server 2016 (there is an ever so slight improvement if the OS used is Windows Core, but that can be a fight for all but the most knowledgeable)
- use Fidelizer Pro and Audiophile Optimizer, especially AO
- power the PC with a linear power supply
- avoid USB; feed Ethernet to a Bridge II in
a DirectStream DAC
I use JRiver and control it from an iPad running JRemote.
To me, in my system, the take-away has been that configuration and set up of the streaming Windows-based computer truly impacts sound quality and there is a reason a devoted international group of audiophiles use programs such as Audiophile Optimizer, Fidelizer, Process Lasso, and JPlay.
After I learned how to optimize Windows for music playback, there is no audible difference between the CD and the rip. In fact, having an older transport makes me think that the computer based sound is more quiet—but, that’s just me.
I think it’s worth reminding, any lossless format can be converted to any other lossless format, compressed or not. No need to re-rip to go from flac to wav, for example, just convert.
If I wanted to demo an Esoteric P1X disc spinner to contemplate whether it’s worth upgrading from my P1 I have a 3,418km drive (each way) to do that. I might just fly, but it would be cheaper to fly to Singapore or Hong Kong to do that.
Looks like a fun ride.
I’ve flown it by helicopter, took me 2 days. To drive would be 4.
@Brodric - you do understand we live our audiophile lives through you, right? It took me a 5hr drive to demo my gear and that was a serious inconvenience. Dedication to your passion is just breathtaking and we appreciate the map. I spent 6 weeks on VAC in Australia (up and down the east coast) and traveling to Perth… yeah… not wasting a week of the 6 weeks traveling there and back… mate… that would have been a fist fight with the misses… Nothing against those that live in Perth. Uluru was too much of a diversion to climb a rock, or not…
There was a time when I would do that trip in two days in a car but now it would take me about 7 or 8 days in my motor home. A little different mindset now.