Things that make you go, Hmmmm

CH-Precision “Ethernet Streaming HD Board” Review @ Enjoy the Music

MSRP: $6,000 (or $1K to $3K with trade ins of certain models)

Maybe not exactly Apples to Apples (when comparing to the upgrade from PSA Bridge I Ethernet Card to Bridge II card), but reading this review resulted in not one, but two arched eyebrows on my forehead – leaving me a bit wide-eyed. :slight_smile:

It’s a cold wet day here north of Toronto. So I’m streaming some female jazz vocals. With some time on my hands, I just read that review too. At these prices you should get world class experiences and I didn’t read that. Sometimes when I see these prices I just think they have no bearing on value or reality. Their target market should just accept it and pay up.


Thanks for this link, very interesting.

We should already have learned that most opinions of best sounding digital pathways are just a temporary status or matter of current product development of the manufacturer (remember how often recommendations of PSA changed regarding if streamed or disc‘ed music, over i2s or USB or whatever SW or interim device is sounding better…I think it will further change due to each new product release, as much sense as the arguments make in the moment of First introduction.

Then there are other logical recommendations, like Ted says an external streaming device (or probably a disc drive) should be better (at least from a DAC’s point of view) due to less noise introduced in a DAC, than an internal network card.

This review made clear that there can always be advantages overruling theoretical and practical disadvantages and we never really know which are stronger in an individual configuration.

I liked the hints to possible root causes of the manufacturer.

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I consider myself a value guy. Price is not my primary consideration (when it comes to such luxuries), but I certainly want value for the monetary outlay. Assuming I would be interested in this kit (and it was within my budget), I am just not sure the value is there. But, it’s all relative in the grand scheme of things, I suppose.

Did I understand correctly that the CH Precision converts DSD to PCM and upsamples PCM to than concert that to analog?

I am pretty sure CH Precision know what they are doing, but the less conversions the better.

If you spend in total multiple thousands on cables and even more on a plug in module, why on earth not invest in a decent music server.

Well my iMac + 129 € Atlas USB SC + Stellar Gain Cell DAC + 300 € Atlas Element XLR + Yami Active Monitors Must sound like a thunderstorm and mudslide in that reviewers ears, but when I use it, it simply plays music and it sounds pleasant.

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Scotte1 - do you know when this was written? Seems like it could’ve been 3 years ago. Not sure of the relevance of one person’s first streaming experience.

Also - could you expand on WHY your eyebrows traveled up your head? Thanks.

Mikey Fremer is a CHP fan (though analog stuff, of course).

Article was “Dateline December 2019” and the text leads me to believe the review took place sometime during the fourth quarter of 2019. CH Precision (CHP), by all accounts, makes quality kit. That said, I was struck by the price of the upgrade card. I am not one to whine about expensive things I either can’t afford or don’t find tempting or of value to me. Nevertheless, given my experience with (and the price/performance of) PSA’s move from their Ethernet Bridge I to Bridge II, I was struck by the price tag on the new CHP card. It gave me reason to pause; that’s all.

Yeah, their stuff is not cheap.

Hence the question why to utilize a „regular“ computer with mechanical hard drive as DSD file source for review of such a ultra high end system. Why not a ultra low noise dedicated server like a Pink Faun, AURALiC Aries G2, Innuos Statement. Although I am happy with my iMac as source for my system, I trust a dedicated server matters at that level.

I have also read a very recent review somewhere else, in which the reviewer made a general statement that it was still recognized that streaming couldn’t match local file transfer whether from a disk or memory device. Apparently there differences of opinion on that topic too.

I have no experience in comparing the SQ between these 3 digital sources. But I simply do prefer to own the media, rather than loosing it when I run out of license or loose connection.

Currently I use my Apple TV to stream playlists (ripped from my CD’s and purchased AAC and ALAC) from my iMac or iPhone for background music. Which is satisfactory for me. Furthermore I hate timely repeating license fees.

On the other hand, constant development efforts by CH Precision, AURALiC and others like PS Audio will result in increased SQ and ease of use of streaming technology. Eventually that technology will trickle down to the level I find worthwhile to invest in for local streaming of my purchased ripped or online purchased music files.

But the Turntable and CD player will stay.

I think so, alone (but probably not only) due to the file format differences used by online streaming vs. what you can do locally. For me online streaming would not work in many cases because of unavailability of certain versions/masterings.

When I speak of streaming I mean local, other will mean online service, so we rarely mean the same in discussions in cases where it makes a difference.

Streaming sounds as good or better than my DMP, at my house. Local, or, Tidal and Qobuz.