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Playing 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC files. What to use?

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Posted on May 1, 2020 at 09:17:44
Opus 33 1/3
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My system primarily is analog. I have Technics SL-1500C turntable, EAR 834P phono preamp, a Yaqin MS-34C EL34 SET integrated and Tekrton speakers. I'm looking for something to play back the 50 or so albums I have in 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC format. I can put them on USB2 or 3 Flash drives, SD Cards or USB SSDs. I know anout the Logitech Squeezeboxes but are there other alternatives? I simple intuitive user interface is a must. Thanks in advice for any ideas. My spending limit is $500.





Opus 33 1/3

 

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RE: Playing 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC files. What to use?, posted on May 1, 2020 at 15:57:19
PAR
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First off you are going to need a DAC (probably USB to connect with your computer) that can process files of the resolutions you have.

You have a computer or else you could not write your postings. So that part is sorted.

So all you now need is a player downloaded to your computer such as JRiver MC. And a USB cable. How you store the files; flash drive, HDD , SSB is up to you subject to the number of files that you have where storage capacity may become an issue.

I know that someone is probably going to come along and suggest that you build a server/player using a Raspberry Pi. A good idea but for beginners I would suggest keeping it as simple and as cheap as you can using what you already have. You can progress if you want later.
"We need less, but better" - Dieter Rams

 

I've got a 11.6" notebook PC and a Schiit Modi DAC. The free Groove player, posted on May 1, 2020 at 17:28:04
Opus 33 1/3
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seems to work OK. I was just looking for a simpler solution.





Opus 33 1/3

 

RE: I've got a 11.6" notebook PC and a Schiit Modi DAC. The free Groove player, posted on May 2, 2020 at 01:18:48
PAR
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You could substitute the computer with a network streamer like the Yamaha NP-S303 linked below. You control this by an app on your phone or tablet.

It has both ethernet and a USB input. The USB input certainly appears ( at least at first sight) to be configured for a thumb drive. This may be OK for you if you do not have large music library. However such inputs do not always support other types of USB storage device so check if need be. The ethernet input would support a NAS but that is complicating things and you are looking for simplicity.

Hopefully it is available in the USA. I say this as Japanese products that we have in Europe are not always available across the pond. Over here it is certainly well within the equivalent of you budget.


"We need less, but better" - Dieter Rams

 

RE: I've got a 11.6" notebook PC and a Schiit Modi DAC. The free Groove player, posted on May 2, 2020 at 05:36:12
zacster
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For the price that doesn't look bad. Under the covers it looks to be a RPi plus a Digione type output for SPDIF and a DAC. But it does the thing that doesn't make sense to me, both a digital output AND a built in DAC. You don't need both really. That's why we like the Raspberry Pi, you can configure it to do what you want without the extras! ;-)

 

RE: I've got a 11.6" notebook PC and a Schiit Modi DAC. The free Groove player, posted on May 2, 2020 at 05:44:42
PAR
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" But it does the thing that doesn't make sense to me, both a digital output AND a built in DAC."

Like just about all CD players. And that is the replacement market that this type of network streamer is aimed at.
"We need less, but better" - Dieter Rams

 

RE: Playing 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC files. What to use?, posted on May 2, 2020 at 15:32:55
Daverz
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Is your profile system up to date? It says:

"Notebook PC playing 24/96 FLAC files through Schiit Modi 2 DAC."

So I assume you want to get away from having the notebook tethered to the DAC.

My preferred solution would be a Raspberry Pi 4 with 4G RAM running piCoreplayer. Install LMS on piCoreplayer and attach your USB storage. Also connect the Modi 2 to the RPi 4 via USB. You can then control playback on the notebook or smartphone using the Material Skin plugin for LMS.

An RPi4 4GB starter kit with everything you need will be under $100 with shipping.

 

RE: Playing 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC files. What to use?, posted on May 9, 2020 at 10:04:22
Freo-1
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I use a Sony UDP X1100ES, which is 499.00. I can report that it works great. One can use either the onboard DAC as an output, or use the HDMI out to a Kanex Pro to get the Hi-Res steam to an outboard DAC.

One unique advantage the Sony has is DSEE-HX, which enhances the data stream with both frequency and word length. It's one the very few schemes like this I've come across that actually works. It doubles the sampling frequency, so CD is 88.2, and 96 becomes 176.4 Khz.
"What this country needs is a good 5 watt amplifier!" (Paul Klipsch)

 

Yes - That UDP X1100ES is totally amazing for $499!, posted on May 9, 2020 at 12:18:26
Chris from Lafayette
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I've read reports that you can get it for even less at some outlets.

 

RE: Playing 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC files. What to use?, posted on June 14, 2020 at 17:18:50
jrlaudio
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I also recommend the Sony UPD X1100ES and simply use the analog outputs to your preamp. I have used mine via Ethernet to a NAS (network addressable storage) drive. It's simple enough to just go to the drive in the Sony's input list, then select the file on the drive (in your case FLAC) and it just plays. I use non-compressed WAV files, but it's the same principle. I use my NAS drive for all my storage backup for my various computers to store files. But it works equally well as a media server.

Now I'm using a WD My Cloud Pro Series 32TB PR4100 4-Bay NAS Server, which is huge and expensive at about $1500. I use that because it has multiple uses (not just audio and movies) since I also do computer graphics and professional audio, so I need that level of storage across many different applications. However, you could get a NAS drive/server for much much less. Such as the WD My Cloud Home 3TB 1-Bay Personal Cloud NAS Server, which sell for about $150 USD. Of course, it all depends on how much storage you need for all your files. Nice thing about these is they exist as just another node on your home network, like a printer or laptop. Connect to your router and go.

As far as up-coverting CD's to higher sampling ... Not better. The source is still 16/44.1 and oversampling does not bring back what is lost when the CD was mastered down to 16/44.1 in the first place, that's a misconception. It's just 16/44 quality re-sampled after the fact. It's still the same quality. How can the upsampler know what was lost at mastering? It can't. Your better off listening to CD at their original sampling and eliminate the extra conversion processing.

 

RE: Playing 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC files. What to use?, posted on June 15, 2020 at 17:46:54
Freo-1
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I've listened with and without the DSEE-HX, and to me, there is a slight improvement with the up-scaling. According to the literature, the algorithm can increase the word length from 16 bit, depending on the source material.




"What this country needs is a good 5 watt amplifier!" (Paul Klipsch)

 

RE: Playing 24/96 and 24/192 FLAC files. What to use?, posted on June 15, 2020 at 20:15:28
jrlaudio
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Upscaling bit depth is an exercise in futility. "Adding" word length to 16 bit recording is not a real thing. The S/N remains at about 96dB even if you bring it up to 24bit. The reason is that in mastering for CD, a 24bit recording is scaled down to 16bit and dither (low-level noise) is added. Once you truncate the additional 8 bits the result is graininess (quantization distortion) at low levels, so dither is added. So once you do this the dynamic range doesn't change going back to 24 bit, you only manage bringing the dither noise up. 24 bit upscaling has no effect on normal high signals, since you are only lowering the so-called noise floor with higher bit rates. However the added dither at mastering limits the quietest passages to whatever the dither was that was added at mastering. You cannot recover what was on the 24 bit master at mastering since it was truncated when saved at 16 bit. It's gone ... forever.

Subjective listening is a fickle thing and doesn't always reflect the reality.

 

The filter is the difference, posted on June 16, 2020 at 06:41:07
Freo-1
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The DSEE-HX feature employs filtering to support that function. In fact, the differences in filters is largely what separates the sound from DAC to another. The main reason Chord DAC's are so expensive is one is paying for the advanced filtering.

Cycle through the filter selections using a RME ADI-2 DAC FS, and it will be obvious.
"What this country needs is a good 5 watt amplifier!" (Paul Klipsch)

 

Strech your budget by $90 and get an Elac Discovery DS101G, posted on June 21, 2020 at 23:22:56
padreken
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Hook up a USB drive with your files on it and you are good to go, including a basic version of Roon ( the best music playback software on the planet) called Roon Essentials, The internal DAC is very good, I get even better sound using coax out to my PS Audio Stellar DAC.

A couple of weeks ago I might have held off on recommending it as there were rumors about continued support, but lo and behold, last week both Elac and Roon provided updates. It plays 24/192 files just fine, it plays pretty much everything except DSD files.
https://www.amazon.com/Elac-DS-S101-G-Discovery-Music-Server/dp/B01GVYI8UC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1NUAY42ARGYUY&dchild=1&keywords=elac+discovery+ds-s101-g&qid=1592806092&sprefix=Elac+discovery%2Caps%2C255&sr=8-1





 

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