44 posts / 0 new
Last post
bonzo75's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/07/2013 - 17:18
Posts: 22
CD Player vs NAS + DAC

Hi has anyone compared a simple NAS like a Vortexbox, coupled with a Bel Canto ulink type USB Dac fed to a  Audiolab M-Dac, and the quality of that as compared to a high end CD player? 

Either will be fed to a fairly good hifi system, of Krell powering a Martin Logan summits. If I want to go the non CD player route, what quality of NAS should I be looking for?

davedotco's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 24/04/2013 - 10:02
Posts: 3020
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

bonzo75 wrote:

Hi has anyone compared a simple NAS like a Vortexbox, coupled with a Bel Canto ulink type USB Dac fed to a  Audiolab M-Dac, and the quality of that as compared to a high end CD player? 

Either will be fed to a fairly good hifi system, of Krell powering a Martin Logan summits. If I want to go the non CD player route, what quality of NAS should I be looking for?

Not quite sure what you are getting at in the first para but generally a streaming solution should be better than a CD player.

Clearly you can buy integrated streaming solutions from plenty of manufacturers but highly regarded models from manufacturers like Linn, Naim or Opera can be quite pricey.

DIY solutions such as the Vortexbox or NAS drives from manufacturers like Synology are really all you need, providing you are comfortable choosing and optimising your software, both for ripping and for playback.

Some suggest that using a specially optimised computer 'transport' is the way to go, low noise processors, linear power supplies, solid state drives (for your playlist) are a few of the ways this can be done.

For a truly high end solution there is plenty to look into, but be aware, there is as much bullsh*t here as there is in any area of modern hi-fi, you need to do your research and try some different solutions.

stevebrock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 13/11/2009 - 11:16
Posts: 3854
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

I found my Mac via optical into my Rega DAC out performed my Apollo R into my Rega DAC - smoother!!

 

bonzo75's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/07/2013 - 17:18
Posts: 22
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

Thanks. So streaming solutions are considered to have better quality than CD players, even good ones like Wadia/Krell etc?

 

Right now I was looking at the Liv Zen vortexbox. 

Why would I need to customise the software, you mean selecting to rip in flac lossless, or playing it in a particular format?

 

What are examples of computer 'transport', low noise processors, linear power supplies, solid state drives (for your playlist)

 

 

 

Al ears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 23/11/2008 - 19:20
Posts: 2806
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

Hi,

Perhaps you might like to re-phrase exactly what you are after regards your question, as that first sentence is a tad confusing, and then re-post it in the 'Computer based media' subsection of the forum.

You may get a more knowledgeable response here.

Are you talking NAS or Streamer because a NAS is, obviously, just that and the Vortexbox you list is a full-blown ripping / streaming device.

davedotco's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 24/04/2013 - 10:02
Posts: 3020
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

bonzo75 wrote:

Thanks. So streaming solutions are considered to have better quality than CD players, even good ones like Wadia/Krell etc?

 

Right now I was looking at the Liv Zen vortexbox. 

Why would I need to customise the software, you mean selecting to rip in flac lossless, or playing it in a particular format?

 

What are examples of computer 'transport', low noise processors, linear power supplies, solid state drives (for your playlist)

If you get it right it should be better than any 'real time' CD player.

Vortexbox software is pretty well sorted, you will only need to sort your player, not so difficult these days.

Computers can be optimised for music playback. Not an area in which I have grat expertise but you could start here.....

http://www.itemaudio.com/index.php/digital-audio-sources/audiocomputers/browse/37-audio-computers.html?sef=hc

stevebrock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 13/11/2009 - 11:16
Posts: 3854
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

what si your budget for your streaming solutuon?

 

bonzo75's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/07/2013 - 17:18
Posts: 22
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

I am flexible with budget, i don't want to compromise on sound quality, yet want to stay practical. Not give into snake oil prices

stevebrock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 13/11/2009 - 11:16
Posts: 3854
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

What does you system comprise of presently 

bonzo75's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/07/2013 - 17:18
Posts: 22
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

Martin Logan summit speakers and krell integrated amp. I still have to find a source to feed music through.

stevebrock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 13/11/2009 - 11:16
Posts: 3854
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

you will need either a PC, MAC or NAS (to store your music), a streamer (which has a DAC in it already) or a standalone DAC (which will need to be hardwired to your NAS or PC/MAC

You just need to decide if you want a stand alone DAC or a Streamer

It not a simple as you think to get your head round as you will something to control it all with

 

bonzo75's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/07/2013 - 17:18
Posts: 22
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

I will use a standlone DAC like Audiolab M-Dac, and also connect a USB DAC (Bel Canto ulink). The combination is known to give a very good output, I just don't know if this has been compared to good 2000+ CD players. 

 

Also does the quality of the NAS matter, or is it more the quality of the DAC, once the files are in lossless? If I get a good vortexbox, is that sufficient rather than going in for a branded music server from one of the big names which is expensive, but will store the same format files?

 

 

stevebrock's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 13/11/2009 - 11:16
Posts: 3854
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

in terms of SQ of the Music it doesnt matter what NAS you get - a HD is a HD at the end of the day!

andyjm's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 20/07/2012 - 11:49
Posts: 701
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

bonzo75 wrote:

I will use a standlone DAC like Audiolab M-Dac, and also connect a USB DAC (Bel Canto ulink). The combination is known to give a very good output, I just don't know if this has been compared to good 2000+ CD players. 

 

Also does the quality of the NAS matter, or is it more the quality of the DAC, once the files are in lossless? If I get a good vortexbox, is that sufficient rather than going in for a branded music server from one of the big names which is expensive, but will store the same format files?

 

 

I run vortexbox on a clapped out old dell computer of unknown vintage.  I run it headlessly (no monitor or keyboard).  I works 24x7, I have never had a problem with it, and I can highly recommend it.  No need to buy  NAS box (I do have a QNAP NAS, but that is for PC files backup), vortexbox will allow you to recycle an old PC.  

Edit - should have added that I use the much missed Squeezebox range of streamers - my 'listening' room has a Transporter - in my mind still one of the best streamers out there.

 

davedotco's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 24/04/2013 - 10:02
Posts: 3020
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

It is worth making clear to those who are not familiar with Vortexbox, that Vortexbox itself is a suite of software designed to rip, catalogue and play your CDs, it can run on virtually any computer and turn an out of date PC into an excellent music server.

Vortexbox 'Appliances' on the other hand are ready built hardware that runs Vortexbox software and is a near plug and play solution, excellent for the less expert user.

This 'Appliance' can usually stream music directly to a DAC but most people use a dedicated streamer that offers a better user interface (control app probably) and added functionality such as access to streaming services and internet radio.

cheeseboy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: 17/07/2012 - 10:50
Posts: 999
RE: CD Player vs NAS + DAC

you can actually control a vortexbox from an android device, so no need for the streamer Smile http://vortexb.blogspot.nl/2012/01/remote-control-your-vortexbox.html

Pages

Log in or register to post comments