Oh hang on a minute, this is interesting. One final comparison before I take the Superuniti back tomorrow morning.
Late in the evening I normally plug my cans (Grado SR325i) into the M-DAC, so as not to disturb Mrs 49 (who's concentrating on reading something important ...).
So I'm now comparing the Sonos -> M-DAC and Sonos -> Superuniti via their respective headphone sockets, into the Grados. And would you believe it? The M-DAC wins by a length. The SU is very fast, punchy and revealing, but the frequency range is quite narrow. The M-DAC gives a richer, deeper, more 3-D and basically more satisfying presentation, and it gives as much detail as the SU. Blow me down.
What classical music are you listening to?
So, could you plug the sonos straight into a high end power amp and do without the preamp, controling the volume via the app via tablet or phone?
Thanks for the info. I'm looking at a 2nd system based around the sonos with either active speakers or thru a power amp (if possible) and a pair of passives, I like the simplicity of this approach.
Main Floor - Sonos Connect - Genelec 8050A
Basement - Sony PS3 - Sony STR-DN1040 - LG 60PN6500 - Polk Audio RC-65i in-walls - CSI A6 centre
Yes, you can connect a ZP90 (sorry, I'm working with the old model names: I think this equates to the current Sonos:Connect) to a power amp, which allows you to use the Sonos app for iPhone etc, exactly as you describe. I tried this last week, connecting a ZP90 to my Cyrus X Power. It's a clean and simple solution, with all the brilliant functionality of the Sonos interface. However, I think (in fact, I know) you'll get a better result sonically if you connect the ZP90 by digital output to a DAC/amp combo. Obviously that a considerably more expensive proposition ...
Here's the Superuniti in situ. I'll be sad to see it go.
And since it's not very exciting looking at hifi, here's the view out of my study window
The ZP90 (or whatever its called now) has relatively poor jitter performance. If I recall correctly, north of 250pS RMS. In context, the Squeezebox Transporter (which has one of the best jitter numbers of any source) is 15pS RMS.
This doesn't matter one jot if your DAC uses some form of jitter mitigation, but it MAY matter if your DAC just slaves itself to the streamer clock.
The rule is "DAC with jitter mitigation - any old streamer will do, DAC without jitter mitigation - take care about your choice of streamer".
To be honest, the clock doesn't belong in the streamer at all, but we have Sony and Philips to thank for that.
But didn't some scientific tests show that a jitter of 400-600ps is needed to cross the audible threshold? In other words, you can't perceive jitter if it's less than 400ps?
If but life were that simple. Jitter is a random process and isn't really a single number but a distribution. The shape of that distribution apparently matters. There are a number of papers on the web that have established that purely random jitter is less offensive than jitter that is correlated in some way to the programme material. It is tough to find a recent real world study on the threshold of jitter detection.
Digital audio (and particularly the S/PDIF interface) is encoded in a way that leads it open to correlated jitter - which listeners detect more readily.
Looking at the maths (not mine, so I hope its right...) it is possible to turn jitter into equivalent 'bits' of resolution.
324pS of jitter on a 0dB 15KHz 16bit digital audio signal has the effect of reducing the resolution from 16bits to 15bits - I dont know if that is detectable, but it certainly it feels like it should be.
If you can come across a recent paper that uses real world correlated jitter rather than purely random jitter and establishes a threshold of detection, I would be very grateful if you could post a link.
Anyway, its all a moot point if the DAC has a topology that reduces input jitter, the quality of the audio output should be independent of the streamer. So as far as the O/P's comparison goes, if the DAC he uses has a design that mitigates jitter, then any old streamer should be fine.
I fixed your post for you.
No signature worth mentioning...
It was always my experience as a (now ex) dealer that demonstrating DACs was always something of a hit and miss process, somedays the difference would be clear, other days not. It has become clear to me in recent times that the performance of the transport (be it CD player, streamer, computer etc) was pivotal in this respect and your post seem to address the same issue.
To cut to the chase, given that a fair number of transports can be noisy and have substantial jitter the best DAC in these situations could well be the one that handles such issues the best.
Some DACS are fully asyncronous, reclocking the data on all input, some only reclock the USB input, useless for say, Sonos or AEX, so, the big question is, do you have any suggestions for a decent, inexpensive DAC that works well in such (non USB) situations?
Not intended to put you on the spot, but your post did imply some knowledge in these areas so I have addressed my comments to you.
However I am perfectly happy to accept help from anyone else.......
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.
Not the view out of the window though. Was it much less interesting?
Apple Lossless - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40 also ATV3 into AVI ADM 9T [my wife's system]
and Grado SR80i
I couldn't access that, flickr said it was private?
Many thanks for fixing this. Not sure what I did wrong ...
The view out of the window has no hi-fi in it and is therefore by definition much less interesting, but the magnolia is in bloom (one whole month late) and is quite pretty if you like that kind of thing.
You're linking to a picture, so you have to provide a link that has a picture in it, so the link needs to end in .jpg. Quote your original post and then my reply and disable rich-text at the bottom of the typing area, you'll see the difference between the two links.
flickr seems to make it much harder to get to the jpg link these days, don't know why, I clicked on "share" above the image, copied the code and pulled out the .jpg link and chucked the rest of it.
Just click on the photo in flickr then 'View all sizes' (top right of screen) and then select the size you want. Right click on the picture and 'view image' and copy the URL.
Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390
Sorry, jm. Bl**dy autocorrect.......
Dave, it's good to know that there are others who believe the Transport is an important part of the equation.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
© 2014 Haymarket Publishing