Audiophiles hi fi appreciation thread old and new

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  • Chromecast 3 outputs HDMI, that DAC doesn't have HDMI input.. what else is in the equation?

    I'm always looking for a replacement to the Chromecast Audio, not because mine has issues but because it will eventually suffer bitrot from no longer being supported.

    There's this: https://www.essenceelectrostatic.com/pro­duct/hdacc-ii-4k/ but it seems a bit excessive.

    And this: https://www.kanexpro.com/item/?id=HAECOA­X but who knows whether this is good or not.

    And this: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=5901­87330024 which looks great, but would prefer spdif. But apparently this is the only way to get a coax output from a SACD.

  • cheap HDMI audio extractor

    CC3 -> HDMI -> cheap HDMI audio extractor -> toslink -> SMSL DAC -> RCA -> rega io amplifier

    I'm assuming that because the signal is being passed along the chain digitally (via HDMI then toslink) that there is no conversion at all until it comes out of the DAC as analogue. it does sound less thin to me (with fuller mids, less forward vocals) with this setup but could just be confirmation bias. only fooled around with it for 30 mins since it arrived this am. will give it a further test later on. who knows with this stuff

    CC3 doesn't serve as high a bitrate as the CCA, as far as I'm aware. it's limited to 16/44 (whereas I think the CCA does 24/96?)

    I'll probably end up getting a bluesound node 2i at this rate

  • I keep thinking that but loads of high end stuff, especially just-add-speakers solutions is coming out with chromecast, it’s popularity seems to have soared since they discontinued the hardware. Maybe it’s better business for Google to license it ragher than manufacture and distribute it themselves.

  • I normally assume HDMI audio is wrapped up in HDCP and cannot be fully converted accurately. But perhaps the Chromecast isn't actually wrapping the signal it has in HDCP.

    Not that I've investigated this much.

    What I do know is that the SACD player I used to have with an HDMI output could only be paired with a A/V amplifier, and if I tried to jump to a coax or tape output it would prevent that... basically enforcing copy protection somewhere, presumably because the HDMI signal had HDCP.

    I kinda avoid HDMI for audio now as it feels a bit opaque, I'm not quite sure what it will let me do.

  • Have a play around with bit-rates before you splash for the Node, see if you can try different sources like a smart TV or phone / tablet via usb if you can do so without too much hassle or expense.

    The only reason I say that is I rigged up my dragonfly via usb to take advantage of full MQA unfolding for an album I’d previously enjoyed on IEMs at normal lo-res cellular streaming. It was underwhelming on MQA 24/196, whatever it is, through my living room system, then I swapped to a 16/44 album which was recorded more carefully and it sounded so much more alive and detailed. It seems hard to believe that you’re not missing anything with all the bitrate hype but I’ve driven myself mad with it and found that 16/44 is all you need.

    For me the drawback with Chromecast is that it loses synch with my phone, resulting in me swearing which is why I prefer other streamers but it’s nothing to do with SQ any more, in fact I’ve just bought my 3rd CCA to complete my multi-room setup which works brilliantly.

  • thanks, yeah, I've been trying to do that today with various levels of success. tried old MBP into the DAC over USB but that didn't give me any sound and the MBP was so decrepit it was fucking me off so ditched that. currently listening via tidal app on smart TV, connected via toslink to the DAC. doesn't seem any different to the CC3-HDMI extractor-DAC setup so far... which makes me think the CC3 sound quality is not compromised.

    a cursory google on the HDCP point velocio was talking above wasn't helpful - conflicting views on whether (i) even cheapo HDMI extractors can resolve/remove HDCP envelopes these days; against, (ii) people saying the CC3 only sends data out wrapped in HDCP when it gets a signal from its receiver that it's required.

    who knows. I think I'll just trust my ears - to the extent that's possible... always find myself second guessing with some of this stuff

  • I’ve bought 2 of the CCA refurb jobs that are on eBay for around £50 now, even at double their original price I still think they’re a bargain, I would probably recommend that if only to remove the need for the HDMI audio extractor.

    There’s loads written about audio quality of streaming sources and what I think doesn’t come across is the differences they’re trying to describe are tiny, and only apparent with direct a-b testing. I don’t believe there are no differences but compared to something like swapping speakers they are entirely negligible. I went as far as buying the Allo USBridge Sig with the posh linear power supply and even with very revealing components down stream it’s really not noticeably better than anything else.

    For me the fear of missing out comes from reviewers trying to verbalise a sensory experience. I have to do this in my job selling coffee and while you can explain a difference in great detail, you have to use a microscope to do so and you can sometimes forget to emphasise the tiny scale of that difference in use.

  • Pfff... Van Damn cables. Standard cable for studio and touring.

  • Recently started using Van Damme console cables to reduce the overall size of cabling in my studio. They are great, lots of decent colours too. Cost adds up though.

  • Heh. Whoops. Yeah Van Damme...

    I used to be able to order it via work so got a good discount (ie for free) when I was building patch bays/mic leads/multicore etc, etc for the company.

    The material they make the cable jacket out of almost made it a pleasure to recoil after it came back from hire.

    Still charged them for the time though.

  • They totally stopped in the first lockdown. I need to see if they're back in the game yet. I have a lot of new cables in mind :)

  • Would anyone be interested in some beaten up Monitor Audi Silver S2s?

    I've had them for years and they need some restoration work - there's damage on the woofers and the tweeters, plus a fair bit of cosmetic water damage.

    However, they still sound great!

    Happy to give them to a good home in exchange for a couple of nice beers.

    Pick up SE27


    3 Attachments

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  • No date or price, but there's going to be a lossless Spotify tier this year.

    https://www.whathifi.com/news/spotify-hi­-fi-tier-finally-launching-to-offer-cd-q­uality-streaming

  • thank finally ! hopefully comes in just in time for my 6 months of tidal hifi to run out...

  • The ubiquity of Spotify for sharing playlists and Spotify connect means I'll very likely make the jump back

  • Hmmm, interesting and tempting. I switched to Tidal to get the hifi streaming but also
    appreciate the fact they pay artists nearly triple what Spotify offer. I don't think it's quite as good as Spotify in terms of algorithms, and none of my stuff can use MQA, but I still think it would be good if more people jettisoned Spotify in an effort to encourage them to improve their offer to artists.

  • Are you in a rush to get rid? Would go to a good home but won't be able to make it down to you till 12th March.

  • Yeah no worries, I can stick them under the bed until then!

    Send me a PM 👍

  • The streaming services don't pay out on a per stream basis, the idea of paying more to the artists is nice but charts like that don't convey enough information & so create a false picture of the situation.

  • Thank you that's very kind. Will send you a message at the beginning of that week.

  • That may be so, but I've not read anything to suggest Tidal isn't better for artists than Spotify.

    I'm all ears though. I have no emotional attachment to either, and if Spotify is comparable in renumeration, for me it would be slightly better from a user experience point of view, once it goes to hifi streaming.

  • I take the view that all streaming is basically a bad deal for the people I like to listen to, but I buy the things I want to own on Bandcamp/Norman/wherever and round out my collection with streaming - of course, I regularly land up streaming things I own for convenience...

    I don't see any of them clamouring for their fans to move streaming platforms because that would make any meaningful difference to the situation.

  • Tidal could be better for the artists but I doubt there's much in it. The contracts are negotiated by the same teams at the rights holders and often the legal people at the streaming services float around between them, it's unlikely that they're going to have negotiated completely new metrics for payment.

    The whole pay per stream things gets mentioned a lot as it's easy for most people to understand and then it's perpetuated because some rights holders display the earnings on the artist royalty statement on a per stream basis, which the artists then share online so everyone thinks that the simple pay-per-stream is how it's calculated.

    I have no affiliation to Spotify, though do have some insight into the deals they struck when launching. They actually give away a higher % of their revenues than other services, they just have a lot of streams per month so it makes the value look lower.

    Obviously go for whichever streaming service you like the most but it would be very difficult for Spotify to do anything to change that chart without negatively impacting the service they offer (be that having to charge more, get rid of the ad-funded users if they still have them, sack off some people that work there etc...).

  • Darko interesting on Spotify hifi and more widely here - particularly that he thinks it won't cost any extra, I kind of doubt that but I can see how he gets there. Hadn't even thought about the fact there's no spotify in roon (that also doesn't matter too much to me) and that there may well be no MQA but I won't miss that either.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKyz1Y8K­_Ys

  • Hi all, I was wondering whether anyone had any recommendations for an / some entry level Bluetooth speaker(s) that are mains powered.

    I recently bought a Google Nest Audio, which is about right for the size of my room, but I’m not a fan. Are there any similar small mains powered speakers that I could connect to an iPad / phone by Bluetooth, for under £100? I’ve looked at some of the active speakers, but they seem slightly overkill for the size of the room...

    Thanks in advance!

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Audiophiles hi fi appreciation thread old and new

Posted by Avatar for coppiThat @coppiThat

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