Steve, I know you are passionate about fighting "foo", but there's no need to SHOUT.
I'm mot shouting. I'm just highlighting the words 'bit perfect' for Cno because he has a habbit of either ignoring or misunderstanding those two particular words.
You can improve the SQ of a streamer by addressing noise (chiefly from the PSU) and jitter (which has several origins, some negligible, some not).
These effects are measurable.
As I said in the post above; the levels of distortion in the DAC section of a streamer can be reduced below the levels that are audible to the human ear. This includes distortion introduced by noise and jitter.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
You're right, of course, that noise and jitter can be reduced to inaudibility (or virtual inaudibility). The question is: how often are they?
Talking about a bit perfect digital message in this context is a red herring, however. It's confusing two quite separate things, i.e. the message, which is digital and can be bit perfect (or not), and the signal, which is physical (either electrical or optical). Jim Lesurf, Information and Measurement (Institute of Physics, 2001), chap. 3, is very good on this.
What classical music are you listening to?
I agree that you should always listen for yourself.
But it's also worth bearing in mind that anything that defies science usually isn't right (unless you have somehow stumbled upon a new and previously undescovered law of physics).
I suppose I'm talking about a "digital renderer", but who the ffk knows what that is......but saying that, ime how the thing is designed will effect how it sounds.
My suggestion is - To read a little less, listen a little more, and don't assume that what you believe as indisputable science is absolutely correct....then my friend, you will go far!
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
Interesting thread ....... only thing I know (or think I know) is that that Linn Majik DSM sounds better to my ears than my previous streamer/DAC (SB Touch + Audio GD) which at the time sounded better (to my ears) than my previous CDP (Arcam CD72). Also compared the Linn Majik to Naim NDX and preferred the Linn 'sound'.
Got to admit that the differences were not always 'night and day' and that the price difference between SB Touch and LInn is considerable, making the former fantastic value for money.
Like others who have posted similar comments, I love the convenience of the streamer (Linn 'box') which does what it says on the tin. I can't use it for a Google search or Facebook which to me is an added bonus. Others may/will disagree
Linn majik DSM, Roksan Caspian Power, Neat Motive 2SE
This is, in my experience, very much at the heart of the matter. I was noticing significant differences between transports into some dacs, but strangely not others. My initial thoughts, based on the gigo principle, was that the better dac was showing up the inadequacies of the transport, but further investication showed this not to be the case and that no such correlation could be found.
In fact it appeared that the dacs themselves were at the center of the issue, simply failing to 'sit well' in some systems, for example a well known, highly regarded budget dac sounded obviously harsh and grainy on many of our systems though apparently sounded fine in others, similarly a much more expensive dac by the same designer exhibited similar bibolar tendencies in the 'wrong' systems.
My feeling is that noise, particularly RF noise, is at the heart of the problem and it is the way that systems handle this that can be the issue, RF is nasty stuff and can get into anything, and the effect that it has varies enormously. Dacs for example, like those mentioned above, can be badly affected by incoming RF noise and can also be a huge source of noise themselves, it can get quite complicated.
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
Interesting. I guess the essential design brief of a DAC is the (re-clocking and) conversion of a digital message and the output of an analogue message. Reduction of incoming noise (whether RF or other kinds) isn't part of this essential design brief. No doubt some DACs deal with noise better than others, but it would be altogether better to eliminate noise at the source as far as possible.
My point about the distinction between a message (content) and a signal (vehicle), which I didn't make clear enough in my post last night, is that it's possible for a message to be transmittedly perfectly ("bit perfectly") whilst the electrical or optical signal that carries the message is quite dirty (in terms of jitter and/or noise).
Sorry I'm late to the party, and also sorry I haven't read through all of the last 6 pages (!) but can I just point out that this:
...is not true. I paid £7 for BitPerfect on my Mac, which does all the bit-depth and bit-rate switching for me, and I hear there are equivalents on PCs which do it for free.
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 > HRT II+ DAC • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • MS 10i speakers [on loan]
Also cluttering-up the place: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
Could you explain what benefits you get from BitPerfect please? I've had a read of their website after seeing your post but I'm not sure I understood what extra it would offer me over the experience I get at the moment.I currently use a MacBook Air connected to an async DAC (Leema Elements DAC) via USB. I primarily listen to Spotify. Would I experience any benefit from buying BitPerfect? I notice that it is designed to work with iTunes, is it exclusively iTunes or would it improve the sound quality of Spotify too and it so, how?
+1 for the great value BitPerfect app. It's the faffing around that seems to be the crux of this, though. While a PC can sound as good as a streamer (no argument there I think), there are more buttons to press to get there, and I'm speaking as both a streamer and Mac user. With a streamer you seem to be paying largely for the ease of use. Whether it's worth the extra cash is up to you. And whether a streamer can be classed as a computer or not seems to me rather irrelevant.
Study: Synology ds212j (+ DS Audio) & Sonos ZP90 (Spotify & Tune-In Radio)→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC→ Cyrus Pre-XP (with PSX-R) + 2 Cyrus X Power → Vienna Acoustics Hadyns (Study) & ATC SCM11s (Kitchen), Beresford TC 7220 speaker switch, HiFi Racks Podium
Living Room: Macbook Air (2012 - iTunes + Bit Perfect) → M2Tech HiFace 2→ Metrum Acoustics Octave DAC →Cyrus DAC XP with PSX-R + Cyrus Mono Xs→ Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grands
Indeed. I don't care. Streamers get rid of wires between computers and hifi, and that's worth any number of ££ for me. YMMV.
Cambridge Audio StreamMagic 6 | 751BD | 651A | Diamond 9.1 | Minx Xi | Sonos Play:3
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Bit Perfect bolts onto iTunes on Macs only and takes over the signal, making it Bit Perfect (hence the name). It won't do anything for Spotify. Great value at 7 quid, and sounds wonderful. I've never done a comparison with the more expensive apps such as Pure or Audirvana so I don't know if they're worth the extra cash. The only caveat I've found is that it makes clunky iTunes even clunkier, which means your RAM has to be up to it. I often find the 4GB on my MacBook Air isn't (note to self - buy computers with 8GB RAM minimum.....).
Bit Perfect bolts onto iTunes on Macs only and takes over the signal, making it Bit Perfect (hence the name). It won't do anything for Spotify. Great value at 7 quid, and sounds wonderful. I've never done a comparison with the more expensive apps such as Pure or Audirvana so I don't know if they're worth the extra cash. The only caveat I've found is that it makes clunky iTunes even clunkier, (note to self - buy computers with 8GB RAM minimum.....).
What 4GB of Ram to play a bit music is not enough?
I sometimes find that my computer is struggling (and it's not old - see sig.) with iTunes + Bit Perfect + M2Tech HiFace 2 software , and I'd always assumed, perhaps wrongly, that it was due to that. On the website they recommend 4GB minimum, and most MacMini users whose sigs I've seen use 8GB. I could be completely wrong - I'm certainly no computer expert.
Evidently a case of YMMV then as I use iTunes + BitPerfect on an i5 Mac Mini with only 2GB or RAM and it works well.
Glad to be proved wrong. I don't know what YMMV means but glad yours is working well! I wonder what's causing the problem with mine then......
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