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In Reply to: RE: Static DSD-)PCM Conversion posted by PaulF70 on July 06, 2017 at 18:36:42
Just curious but why do you need DSD to PCM conversion? The Aurender that you have in mind supports DSD file playback. Does your DAC not support DSD?
But it makes me wonder why someone would have DSD files and a DAC that does not support DSD.
I'm curious to know why the OP needs on-the-fly DSD to PCM conversion.
As we both know, there are many software players on the market that will do this on the PC and Mac, but a 'dedicated commercial music server' may not be as flexible.
Ending up with DSD music then liking an R2R DAC down the road is inconceivable?
I run this setup now:
HQPlayer on a Mac Mini-> router-> microRendu-> DAC
I don't like the complexity (there are six boxes counting power supplies, NOT counting the DAC) and the fact that no matter what you do to a Mini or any other computer, it's still not ideal as a music server.
The Schiit sounds better playing DSD recordings as PCM than does any DSD DAC near its price range I know of.
(There is very, very little DSD material that was not converted to PCM at some point in mastering, of course.)
I think your take runs contrary to the large body of experience with the mRendu extant now.
For me, yes, the performance leap is of the "huge" variety: This goes primarily for the Rendu itself, and then again with the LPS1 over the switching PS.
Not long ago I again tried removing the Rendu as an experiment - decidedly a no-go. This was with an Auralic Vega. The Mini on its own is cloudy, diffuse, with less separation, and more. *Only* in comparison, mind you.
As for going to an all-in-one'r, well, heck, I guess I could pick up a Bose Wave as well. My goal is to simplify the mess - and eliminate the reboots necessary with the Mac Mini, which is a general-purpose computer and not a music server - with *no* reduction in sound quality. I don't know of any DAC considered SOTA or close with a built-in amplifier - a top-grade amp, that is.
The Melco servers fit my requirements and I now have one of the new ones ordered. And only $2500!
Well, all I can say is that my experience doesn't mirror yours. While the microRendu is excellent it wasn't a huge sonic leap forward for me. However, my Mini is fairly robust and well implemented with 12v outboard LPS, SSDs, 2.6GHz quad-core i7, 16GB RAM, great player software, and some minor tweaks to minimize unneeded OS processes.
"...and eliminate the reboots necessary with the Mac Mini, which is a general-purpose computer and not a music server..."
The only time mine needs a reboot is if I'm doing a major software update, which is rarely. Last I checked my Mini has been powered ON performing music server duty 24/7 for over 6 months now w/o a reboot.
Oh well, I'm not trying to convince you that you don't need a dedicated music server or streamer. Just saying that a well implemented Mac/PC can sound as good as many dedicated commercial music servers or streamers, and they're more flexible in terms of software options.
I think it goes back to the whole DIY vs turnkey solution philosophy.
P.S. If you have plans to sell the Mac Mini, please let me know what year it is, configuration, condition, and price. ;-)
While the microRendu is excellent it wasn't a huge sonic leap forward for me.
really deserves a better power supply than an iFi to explore its capability. I see you've already replaced the Mac's SMPS.
My Mini has no LPS. Might be a big difference there.
It's late 2014, 16 Gb RAM. 2.6 Ghz. 256 Mb SSD. Yes, plan to sell, most likely. I do have to first ensure the Melco sounds at least as good. But it sounds like your Mini is as good and has LPS installed to boot.
I have to reboot because sometimes I experience drop-outs, and rebooting fixes it. "Something" is going on. Like I said, this is a general-purpose computer running a general-purpose OS, not something optimized for music playback only.
Another permutation is using the Melco *with* the Rendu. This is possible, as the Melco can act as a NAS. I will try this to see if it sounds better than the Melco nude.
Of course, that would largely eliminate the simplification goal, so if that happens, damn it.
I like my Schiit Multibit as well I run a MacBook Pro with PureMusic into DAC. Sounds great and not complicated. I can use the Apple remote app from cell phone. 3 boxes by your count.
And if you add a Sonore microRendu (especially with LPS-1 power supply) you will experience a *massive* increase in sound quality.
" And if you add a Sonore microRendu (especially with LPS-1 power supply) you will experience a *massive* increase in sound quality."
That hasn't been my experience with a properly set up Mac Mini.
I have a Mac Mini and I've run Pure Music, Audirvana Plus, or HQPlayer on it directly into a couple good USB DACs. I also have the microRendu with an excellent power supply.
The difference between the Mac Mini to DAC vs microRendu to DAC is not huge, and certainly not a *massive* increase in sound quality. However, the microRendu has proven to be an excellent solution for my second system providing network access to my existing music collection residing on the Mini.
If your main concern is a reduction in 'box count' you can run the Mac Mini with a good player directly into an Integrated Amp that has a built-in DAC. Only two boxes! It doesn't have to be complicated unless you make it so.
I like the PC approach it's more flexible and you don't have to be a computer geek to get good sound.
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