I’ve been an audiophile since the late 70’s. Since the late 80’s I’ve had the same equipment with the exception of speaker changes.
Last year I decided to update the electronics and it’s been a total nightmare. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time troubleshooting software issues with my streamer (which had to be sent back to the factory for replacement), and now my PS Audio P15 is stuck initializing and won’t turn on (currently back to the factory for repair).
It’s bad enough dealing with hearing loss and tinnitus due to age. I just want to relax and enjoy the music like I did for 30+ years and not wonder if the system will even work. Yeah, I’m frustrated.
Sorry to hear. This is also true with automobiles, home appliances and just about everything else. For all of the features and convenience, we trade off simplicity. Anyone who’s still only listening to vinyl (on older equipment), reel-to-reel or cassette is probably in a safer space than our group.
I feel your pain, been going through some of same nightmare. My solution and my plan is to ditch the software and go back to more conventional electronics with physical media - vinyl and disk. I don’t want a network connection anywhere near my system. Gaincell DAC + S300 amp + Oppo BDP103D w/ i2s mod + Pro-Ject Debut Carbon table.
There’s no question the whole complexion of audio systems has changed drastically over the last 40 to 50 years. As a certified network idiot, I view that part of my system with supreme trepidation, and I consider it down to pure dumb luck the fact that it works at all. So I absolutely understand your pain and frustration. I’ve even shared it the first few times the streamer stopped streaming and I hadn’t yet worked out the relatively simple steps that get it back online and functioning almost 100% of the time.
But I can’t deny the pleasure I get from sitting at my listening chair and plucking music out of the ether, including not just the music I own, but also the incredibly diverse collection of music I’ve only licensed for playback, which makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. So for me, it’s been worth it. If and when it stops working, or when I break it while trying to upgrade it, or when I have to learn the ins and outs of the different control software a new streamer uses, I might change my mind.
I suggest you look for an Integrated amp that has most/all the features you desire. With an Integrated amp, you are far less responsible for marrying up a bunch of components from different manufacturers and all of the associated cabling. In fact, you probably won’t need a P15 and may be able to trade down to a more manageable P12.
I was thinking more along the lines of looking at the integration issue of adding s/w controlled devices to an existing system. Some of the newer Integrated include streaming, phono pre, DAC, amplification, etc… the vendor of the unit is dealing with all of the integration issues. One throat to choke so to speak.
You could also move to a Transparent, Shunyata, etc… power conditioner, no S/W that I am aware of in those types of units.
I love having separates, but I am also very enamored with the idea of an Integrated like a Linn Selekt DSM or a Ayre Acoustics EX-8.
IMHO, it is almost impossible to avoid software in “advanced” hifi gear, such as streamer or DAC. I am a software developer with scientific software to run on very large computer. Software glitches always there, some due to software bugs, some from computer hardware glitches that mimic as software problems.
In my hifi chain, all PSA gears, except the streamer is cheap one from Yamaha, which I use to access music in my file server. I don’t expect “good sound” from it, but as background music playing. For my serious listening, my source is CD / SACD. I have PST/DSDAC for that for two simple reasons. 1. Support Local company. 2. “New” technology for sound reproduction. PST and DSDAC (as well as, P12 in my hifi chain), effectively, are mini computers. So, far, any glitch, just like computer, main power cycle usually fix the problem for me.
You can make this as complex or as simple as you want. NIAM and others have very very good sounding all in one systems that can be as simple as add speakers and go. put your phono pre on as well. Or you can go crazy like many of us did…reclockers, regenerators, streamer, dac pre, amps, special switches with optical converters…and the list goes on. Get a nice integrated amp that is “ready” for anything. Good DAC, usb input, etc… Roon ready, or Computer app ready and you should be able to stream or spin anything. Start simple and work your way up if you have to.
When I look at the prices of similarly rated integrated amps I scratch my old bald head and think! Goodness, it has a fancy DAC and a serious phono stage! I know it has no streamer, but still there’s a lot of goodness.
Sorry about the issues Kim. I went from Niagara to a PSA Regen mainly cause everyone was touting the improvements. Two months later I sold it, am using Niagara and never looked back. Sounds just as good and no issues.
However the fact that “software” seems to be an issue is intriguing as many stream with no issues at all. A PC to an integrated (or PC to Dac to Amp) should not be an issue at all. At least it never has been with me and has a great (GUI) interface (I use my TV).
I have also used Aurender with great success. If you have a ton of local files digital or disc that should work great, but using a device to stream something like even Spotify should be simple enough and open up a lot of exploration if you like that kinda thing. Best of luck…