better sound-ehternet /usb, coax, optical from computer saved flac files

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by File1man, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. File1man

    File1man Rando

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    About to compare a microrendu/ schiit eitr combo to a cxn streamer dac in my chain . Now go from my computer's ZXR sound card w optical out to a cambridge cnx streamer /dac then coax out to a gungnir dac( has no usb connect, just coax & optical in). Gungnir dac out to ead ovation preamp to ati 1505 (180 watt all channels driven) amp to thiel 2,3 floorstander speakers. My cnx is a new addition but I was disappointed that my 12 year old music hall cd player's sound is superior to the ZXR sound card/cxn/ hi res flac sound, so il try the microrendu. Aggrivating that I could not find a definitive answer to the "what better connection/chain" in my research. An expensive lesson, since I'm not sure if the microrendu vs the cxn streamer/ dac in my chain is an either or but not both choice?

    Expect I will save up & do the $550 gungnir/gumby update. not sure if I should also install the usb $100 gen5 card. Need to learn more about usb related tradeoffs & better sound.

    I have no experience using a lan ethernet connection or usb connection for music. Previously, I went from the XLR sound card out to a integrated onkyo amp, but the xlr has a 6 channel out(front,rear,center) or toslink optical out, not really meant for connection to a schiit stack or onkyo integrated.Or, with limited exposure, so I then thought. Disappointing, since the sound card probably did a better job than the eitr in cleaning up jitter, timing & fuzzy sound. Thus, my dilemma. Comes done to a $600 to $1000 lession in the merits of what connection- coax 192, optical 96, ethernet/ usb, is a better sound. And if both the microrendu/ eitr and the cambridge cxn should be in my chain together?

    This all started 10 years ago when the sound from my computer's $250 xlr sound card + $500 5.1 logitech speakers compared favorably to my way more expensive main stereo system. We needed only flac type master files. I could see then that a tidal type file playback was potentially easier than loading one cd or one vinyl record at a time. But I didnt wish to forgo better sound in the process.

    Just wish those that already have gone down this path would share the knowledge & opinions. Im new to superbestaudiofriends so perhaps I can learn & share here. Please help

    Should have a few good youtube videos out of our experiences from all this.
     
  2. captkirk

    captkirk Khan's BFF

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  3. File1man

    File1man Rando

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    Part of the answer- cambridge audio finally responded to my support question. The cxn streamer/dac is only pass thru when using the coax or optical out- there is no dac processing at all & no upscaling at all with both of these outputs. We must use the xlr outs or rca outs to use the dacs and/or upscaling. Its not noted in their instructions, all 3 pages of their not very useful pamphlet.

    None of the many on line reviews didnt specifically discuss this "only pass thru, no processing with the coax or optical out ". Not mentioned on crutchfield, nor Hans B review, nor anywhere by cambridge.
    Sounds better, closer to the sound from my cd player/gungnir dac combo by rca out. Cambridge is supposedly doing a software update in april2 to april 4, 1018 to get tidal supported in their menu, directly.
     
  4. File1man

    File1man Rando

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    Thank goodness for Torq & the comments of many friends here. So, with my equipment chain & sound preferences, coax better than optical toslink. usb out from the computer to schiit eitr then coax out from eitr is a best value option & almost required if you must use a pc based system.
     

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