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CD Players, Digital Music & Servers Sooloos, Olive, Wadia, Sonos, to name a few

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  #71  
Old 04-06-2020, 09:04 AM
jayvis1 jayvis1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRflash06 View Post
Hi All,

Very helpful threads. FYI, I'm having a similar experience. After finally completing my new system with all McIntosh gear and the new Dynaudio C50 speakers, I purchased a McIntosh MS500 music server/streamer to replace my legacy Request Audio F3.

Unfortunately, the MS500 sound was very disappointing when compared to my old F3. I loaded my 400 GB FLAC library onto the MS500 local SSD using their Media Bridge software (which was cumbersome at best), and then I tried balanced XLR analogue, Coax and Toslink interconnects to my Mc C49 pre-amp (which has a decent built-in DAC). So, I will return the MS500, and start looking for a new audio server/player.

At this point, I've narrowed my search down to Aurender's N10 or W20SE (if I can stomach the $22K). Despite the fact that there are a few features that I don't like about Aurender, my primary focus is on the best SQ I can afford.

Due to the Conductor software caching requirement, the max playlist/queue is 2,000 tracks, so you can never play "random all" across a total library (like an iPod). I asked Ari in Aurender customer service about this for the W20SE, and he said it's non-negotiable and necessary for the best SQ. Not a big deal, except that I will continue to run my F3 concurrently, when I want to casually play random all, i.e. during a party, etc...

In addition, there is no RS232 control for Crestron. Again, not a big deal if the improved SQ warrants...

Regarding DACs, Ari suggested that the Coax output will be "pretty good", so I may continue to use my McIntosh C49 pre-amp DAC, which will accept up to DSD512 file formats. However, I understand that if I plan to listen to DSD, then I will have to use the USB output (instead of Coax). In addition, my C49 does not have digital AES/EBU inputs, so that may be another reason to consider a new stand-alone DAC...TBD.

Given that my Flac music library consists mostly of 30 - 70 year old recordings, and I have no experience with DSD, if I were to invest in a new DAC, do you guys have any thoughts on the merits of DSD upsampling from my FLAC/PCM files?, i.e. like the EMM Labs DAC philosophy?

Furthermore, I have no experience with streaming technology, so I just signed up for a 30 day trial of uncompressed Tidal content, which appears to have a lot of music and videos for the whole family to enjoy. FYI, McIntosh DACs do not support MQA, so I don't have to worry about that for now...

Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to listen to any of the above players due to the fact that I live very far away from any dealers willing to let me test their demos on my system, so I will rely on the info from my fellow audiophiles online.

Thanks again for all the great info...

Cheers,

Bill
Unfortunately, many of us are in the same position when it comes to being able to demo components. Keep in mind that there are some reputable online retailers that have up to 60 days satisfaction guarantees on the items they sell. I used these to evaluate and side-by-side test some streamers in my system before deciding on one. You'll be out the return shipping charges but it was well worth it in my experience.
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  #72  
Old 05-18-2020, 08:25 PM
rob725 rob725 is offline
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I went from from C53 to D1100. Even though D1100 uses an older chip, its sound quality is far better due to its better analog section. If you want to get the best DSD out of either C49 or D1100, you will want to run a streamer that can load the McIntosh windows drivers. Using Room bridge on the streamer/nuc and disabling things like updates, firewall and only using it for streaming, giving preference to background processes (run it headless, without monitor or keyboard), will give amazing sound quality over USB. I realize roon core costs several hundred dollars for a lifetime licence, but its pretty cheap compared to a $20K streamer.
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