Spotify through balanced output

Thinking about this unit. It seems too good to be true, but it seriously has me thinking about it. Simple, balanced output but can’t find anyone sharing their experience with it. Anyone here?

Denon DN-350UI

What’s intriguing me about this unit is the simplicity of the design and how it could sound connected to the SGCD via XLR. If it streams at the highest Spotify quality, it may be the source I’m looking for. Could

I would use digital output to DAC.

edit: This kind of a device is not for sound quality, it’s main purpose is for 70V/100V systems in big malls and shopping centers.

@spezwend. Do you think the coax would be the better option over the xlr? That would make it two digital steps in the chain, versus two analog steps. Not sure which would be the “cleaner” one.

I think it has very cheap low quality DAC (maybe I’m mistaken) inside so digital output is preferred.

  1. Spotify (digital) -> inside dac -> XLR/RCA -> SGCD
  2. Spotify (digital) -> spdif/toslink (digital) -> SGCD (definitely better DAC)
1 Like

All that I could find without calling them was an AKM chip.
The price of the unit is definitely not stellar (no pun, yeah pun).

Denon sounds like garbage. It doesn’t matter what chip is inside. The sound signature of Denon/Marantz is thin, brittle, narrow, no doesn’t sound musical, it sounds mechanical.

Let me put it this way, you are better running a computer and a Dagonfly Red than that non-sense. In Two cases I have topped Denon/Marantz receivers using this method - suggesting the DAC implementation is poor.

I’ll cut to the chase, if you connect a product like that via coax to the SGCD you are passing along tons of noise and crap. You might as well not have the SGCD! The SGCD In preamp form, it’s goal is to do the least harm to the signal, if you feed it crap, you are wasting a wonderful piece of equipment .

Basically if you were cooking all of this is like buying a $100 perfectly seared ribeye and the You just dunked the whole thing in Hidden Valley Ranch.

Sorry for the rant. I still stand by Microrendu and Spotify connect if you want Spotify.

Lol. Denon sounds like dog food in your book. No worries. Wouldn’t expect much at the price range, just curiosity.

I just don’t want you to shortchange your SGCD, that’s all.

You have some great equipment that’s in a whole new league than that :smile:

1 Like

I am wondering if it sounds better Sonos Connect via SPDIF out to SGCD. $299 vs $350 though.

1 Like

Anything with a SMPS power supply is gonna add noise. Also, if there are internal switching regulators in the device, those add noise. Thirdly, you have to consider the clocking of the data coming out, if it’s poor it will introduce jitter.

For the Sonos I would probably use the coax into the IFi Spdif purifier and send optical to the SGCD. Now the price tag gets into MicroRendu $.

I use the iFi Spdif purifier to improve the signal integrity of my TV optical out connection. Of course I keep the iFi wall wart on another circuit to isolate the noise from my equipment.

At the bottom half of the page are rankings of streamer/sources.

SGCD didn’t make their list. Don’t matter, I love it. My almost two decades old Pioneer SACD/DVD-Audio player sounds amazing playing my DTS discs and DVD concerts, such as Eagles Hell Freezes Over.

As someone else had alluded too, Spotify is a great tool to preview material prior to be purchased on the physical format. Yes noise is always a concern. As of right now my oldie pioneer is the only noise maker, but only it’s mechanical noise, no hiss comes out from the speakers, so I’m ok until I get to maybe a Yamaha BD-A1060 player I’ve been eyeballing, better priced than the Oppo. Still weighing all value propositions including going the Sonore way.

He never tested the SGCD. It would most likely land in Division 2.

Honestly i don’t think it’s on his radar since he’s been going after much more expensive DACs lately, and streamers, and etc… too much stuff to test. Other reviewers usually compare the SGCD to the Mytek Brooklyn series. It’s in that ballpark.

The SGCD advantage over all others is the matching stellar amps. That resolves 99.9% of any mistery or complexity that could arise between standalone DACs and amplification. Not that SGCD hasn’t been already paired with Primalunas and other quite unique amps, so it is a standout as you correctly place it up on that division. Gotta find the cleanest/simplest source under 1k. Going over 1k on any dac begins to strecth the value proposition. Sonore is in the current lead.

In other somewhat related notes, I just updated the latest firmware on the Airport Express(7.6.9 now) and it improved Spotify resolution I’d say by about 40% to my surprise. It made it tolerable to listen as opposed the last time. I had not even bothered to touch they AE since 5 years ago! The improvement is vast. Same tracks are letting better detail through. I’m waiting on a toslink cable now, to see what happens when going digital. Still running rcas in the meantime.

If optical is lackluster, most likely it could be bad optical signal integrity. Make sure you push the optical cable all the way in the SGCD, its a tight fit. It has to click.

If you don’t mind a little DIY then I would recommend:

1 Like