Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
Due to a great deal of help from Audio Asylum members I have decided to go down the road of Qobuz Sublime (in a tight race with Tidal Masters). For those who don't know my ultimate aim for now is streaming at hi-res. I have Cambridge Audio CXA60 DAC amp, a pair of B&W 365 speakers. In order to get the hi-res from Qobuz I need to either get a laptop (Macbook) and play wired or through the net or possibly purchase a network streamer that has Qobuz integrated in the system (Oppo Sonica DAC?).
If I go for the DAC network streamer with Qobuz Sublime in mind what is my best option at £800 budget approx? Par has been most helpful and I hope I am not becoming a pain being relatively new to this but wanting to get things right from the start.
Edits: 05/12/17Follow Ups:
Hi hesselmount. Please see my response to Ivan 303 below. You can only get hi-rez streaming from Qobuz of hi-rez albums that you have bought from them. However over a year the membership is cheaper than the CD only option.
There are only a couple of network streamers with Qobuz inbuilt at the moment. However I understand that adding Qobuz is on the cards for a number of other streamers over the coming year. At present you can only choose between Arcam Solo and the Yamaha wxc-50 (NB: for inmates in the USA reading this, this may only apply to European models, Qobuz only being available here).
As you have probably worked out you will also need a way of handling and storing downloads from Qobuz if you want hi-rez streaming as it involves purchasing albums.
Just to clarify the Yamaha WXC-50 is just a streaming device. With this in mind streaming to my Cambridge Audio CXA60 will this produce hi-res audio? Or do I need a separate DAC? I hear the Oppo Sonata is compatible. Apparently according to Richer Sound if I just use a laptop through my CXA60 I WILL NOT get hi-res quality and will require a separate DAC! Is it that achieving hi-res through Qobuz is really this difficult?
OK. Well I wouldn't go to Richer Sound for expert advice ;-)
You don't use a laptop with the WXC-50. It connects directly to your router and you control it via your tablet or smartphone using the Musicast app. I have linked to the user manual so you can work out if it is functionally right for you before purchasing. It provides Qobuz support for pieces bought in the UK, French, German, Austrian markets.
It outputs a digital stream to a DAC. Your Cambridge amp has an inbuilt DAC. The DAC is specified for all of the common PCM formats including the hi-rez ones: 24/88.2, 24/96, 24/176.4 and 24/192 according to the specs that you posted last week.
The Yamaha provides connectivity via both optical and co-ax. If the current SP/dif protocol is used by streamer and amp then <24/192 is available. The older protocol limits SP/Dif to 24/96.
So on the face of it I cannot see why you would need to buy an external DAC unless you preferred it for other reasons than functionality. However see below.
Of course you won't get DSD hi-rez but then no streaming service provides this and Qobuz do not offer DSD downloads.
Note again that Qobuz does not provide hi-rez streaming as part of its usual service. It is lossless 16/44.1. If you buy and download a hi-rez album from them then you can stream it as well. However I have not seen how Qobuz appears in a Musicast view so I can only assume that all the features are there. You may like to ask Qobuz. If you go to their website and look at the bottom of the page you will see a link to customer services.
When using a laptop you cannot just plug this into your amp (or the amp's DAC)as it has no USB input. Perhaps this is what the Richer Sounds salesperson was referring to? Yes you can buy a USB DAC and do it but otherwise you can use a USB/co-ax converter (I did mention this last week). The laptop USB output plugs into the USB input on the converter which has a co-ax output which connects to your amp . That is if your amp has a co-ax input. Is it only toslink? If so then that does complicate matters further.
NB: USB/Co-ax converters vary a lot in performance and price.
Thanks once again for your very in depth reply Par. There is a USB port but this is labelled BT100. I'm not sure if this means it's only for a BT100?
The WXC-50 seems the way forward unless I can plug a laptop directly into the USB BT100 port.
Looking at the user manual it appears that a true USB input is available on your amps' sister the CXA 80. I think that the one on the 60 may use a USB connector but may not conform to the USB standard. This despite Cambridge's use of the USB logo on the chassis which should not be there if the input does not conform to the USB plug 'n play protocol.
I suspect that plugging in the USB output from a laptop won't work but there is no harm in trying a suck it and see experiment.
Do you know how to configure your laptop to send sound to the DAC via the USB port? Is your laptop a Mac or PC?
No the Yamaha isn't the only way forward as you can use a converter as I have pointed out. However the Yamaha has advantages like no laptop cooling fan noise.
NB: As much of our recent dialogue relates specifically to your setup and may not be of any interest to other inmates ( evidenced by little input from them), did you know that you can contact me directly rather than via this thread? Just click on my moniker in my postings and that will give you an option to email me.
The WXC-50 has a dac built-in capable of decoding dsd 2.8/5.6MHz & PCM 192kHz
It's USB input only accept storage devices, and it is not meant to accept USB data from PCs. But this thing can stream 2xdsd files from your storage devices, so it is not an issue.
It does have a switchable fan built in.
Default is ON.
Can only be switched off via MusicCast Controller App on smartphones/tablets.
Sound quality is quite good though.
Dynamic and clear. Soundstaging can be quite spacious.
Couple of Recommendations:
- Default setting is [Bookshelf Speaker] Mode.
Need to set it to [Floorstand Speaker] Mode to bypass the High-Pass Filter to sound its best.
- Make sure you check AC polarity.
All-in-all, this thing is dirt cheap. But perform very well against more expensive competitors.
Compared to the Auralic Altair (nearly 6 times the price of WXC-50), the WXC-50 sounds way way better, more dynamic and opened.
SONOS as well, and yes only in Europe can you download the QOBUZ player software into the SONOS system. :-(
However, SONOS does let you change your registration from US to a European country which allows the player download. :-)
That said, SONOS sound quality on the SONOS Connect is awful.
I now stream TIDAL and QOBUZ using a Raspberry Pi/HiFi Berry which is cheap and streams TIDAL and QOBUZ.
I have the usual 20 Euro a month subscription that I signed up for while in France but the only OS-X player I can get is French so I really do not understand well the way 'Sublime' would work if I also paid the extra money for it.
Compared to the normal CD quality option Sublime's main offer is the ability to buy downloads from Qobuz at a discount. A very good discount BTW as hi-rez offerings from other suppliers costing , say, 14 gbp are on sale to Sublime members for around 9 gbp.
Having bought the download Sublime then also allows that purchase to be streamed in hi-rez although the value of this escapes me as one then already has that recording in one's library.
It does not allow hi-rez streaming of repertoire that has not been purchased.
There is a further advantage as a year's subscription to Sublime is cheaper than a year's subscription to the CD standard option, the downside being that one has to pay for the whole year upfront rather than in monthly installments. Clearly the purpose for Qobuz is to improve cashflow. Therefore you need to be confident that Qobuz will be around in a year. Remember that 18 months ago they were bankrupt and on the edge of closing. They then found a new owner and there seems to have been quite a lot of money injected since if the new desktop player is an example. However I cannot find out who the current owner is and thus be in a position to take an informed guess as to Qobuz' likely future stability.
You did mention to me a few weeks ago that you thought that purchases from Qobuz may only be played via the Qobuz app. I don't think that this is the case so long as the purchase is downloaded to your hard drive. Yes Qobuz does have the option to download into the app as well. The file downloaded to the hard drive is also not a straightforward zip file and needs to be unlocked with a freeware widget. I can't remember what it is called offhand. Incidentally an album downloaded to you hard disc will also appear in the app in the "Purchases" section ( see the menu at the top of the app).
Wish me luck as in 2 hours ticket sales open for this year's Proms season. It will inevitably result in my spending much of the day online in the Royal Albert Hall's virtual waiting room while all of the good tickets are vacuumed up by the ticket scalper's bots. OT, sorry.
Too bad. :-(
Did make a Hi-Rez purchase on QOBUZ recently(pictured above). Spent as much time on-line trying to get the QOBUZ down-loader to work with my Macbook Air as you will likely spend getting PROMS tickets!
And good luck with that!
Was cheap (6 Eros) and worth the effort. I have the 'hm' France CD of the same piece and like the version better and I THINK but do not know, that many of the BnF releases on QOBUZ are in fact LP transfers as I swear I hear a bit of grove noise in the background on really soft passages.
Very reassuring for an old Vinylphile!
" grove noise " ? Presumably olive as it's from France?
Thanks, I did well on my Proms tickets this year and actually got allocated seats for the John Wilson Orchestra night. Very spectacular and which sells out virtually immediately. This year it is a semi-staged performance of "Oklahoma". Not the stage musical score but they recreate the full movie score using a huge convential orchestra which effectively has a swing dance band section dropped into it. The Orchestra features a hand picked line up including players from many of the top European orchestras. I remember the BBC continuity announcer amazed one year that she could recognise some front desk players from the Royal Concertgebouw in the violin section.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: