Streamers in 2023 - Discussion, Impressions, etc

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by rhythmdevils, Feb 9, 2023.

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  1. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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  2. AlPastor

    AlPastor Facebook Friend

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    After reading some teardown reports of the WiiM Pro I think you get what pay for with it. It's a decent product at it's price point but definitely some better designed streamers out there today. Happy with my WiiM mini to add streaming to an old AVR in a bedroom.

    If you've got a $200 head, buy a $200 helmet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2023
  3. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Almost "Made"

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    I'm after a simple streaming that's good sounding to go into the Modi Multibit v2. Seems like Unison probably the best way to go with MMB2, so I actually just need a really good USB instead of the all the fancy outputs I have on my Pi2aes. And I want to use local files on a harddrive..

    I read thorugh this thread, great discussions, but didn't come away with a solid idea on what to get - any reccomendations?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2023
  4. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Allo USBridge might fit your need there for just a good USB streamer.
     
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  5. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Almost "Made"

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    Ah, yes that would be perfect. Some reason I thought Sparky wasn't sold anymore, but looks like they sell this combo.

    It would cure my nervosa if it had an onboard m.2 stick. But I'll have to settle for an attached hard drive for local music and hope it works :).
     
  6. ADias

    ADias New

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    WiiM Pro - quite good. Built-in support for Qobuz, Tidal, Amazon Music, Spotify, etc. Chromecast and Alexacast enabled. AirPlay too. Multiple outputs for external DAC. Support streams up to 192kHz/24 bit. Decent control app. Frequent software updates.
     
  7. JK47

    JK47 Friend

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    Cool
     
  8. HotRatSalad

    HotRatSalad Friend

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    Not to mention the on device snooping CCP microphone you have no control over.
     
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  9. ADias

    ADias New

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    The mic can easily be made useless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2023
  10. Tom R

    Tom R Acquaintance

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    I picked up a WiiM Pro+ from Amazon on sale.
    Overall the app and functionality are pretty decent.

    It streams files from Qobuz and Amazon Music HD in their advertised formats. It also acts as an endpoint for JRiver. I initially had dropouts when streaming high rez files. Our fixed wireless internet service can be flaky so at first I thought it was that, but the RPi’s into the Yggdrasil OG were fine on the same content. So I hooked it up to hardwired Ethernet. That solved the problem. WiFi where it lives is marginal.

    Unlike the Pro, it is not yet ROON Ready so Airplay and limited 44.1/16 streaming, no RAAT.

    I did some testing streaming the same titles from Qobuz into the WiiM through the WiiM iOS app and Qobuz/ROON. All the DSP was off and I checked levels with a test track and meter.

    I sent the WiiM Pro+ coax output to the Yggdrasil’s RCA input with a homemade 75 ohm cable 1.5 M long.

    An RPi with AES/EBU hat fed AES into the Yggdrasil OG with a 1.5m 110 ohm cable.

    Yggdrasil OG balanced outputs fed a McIntosh MHA 200 amp driving ZMF Atrium ‘phones.

    I listened to Saint Saens 3rd - the Reference Recordings version, which is pretty good.

    I was hard pressed to tell any differences. Not an ideal situation as I had to get up and manually change the source on the Yggdrasil OG.

    My initial thoughts are that the WiiM is as good as the RPi, but I’ll need to listen some more to form an opinion.

    I also tested the analog outputs, level matched, and that was a different story altogether. The soundstage immediately got narrower and less deep when I switched to the WiiM. Instrument timbres sounded off (attacks slightly emphasized) compared to the Yggdrasil OG. Decays weren’t as sustained and I got less of an impression of hall sound with the WiiM.
    I listened to Steely Dan’s Gaucho, also from Qobuz, 192/24. Here the differences were not as pronounced but I still favored the Yggdrasil OG’s presentation. If I didn’t have something to compare it to I’d be happy with the WiiM Pro+ analog output.

    Overall - great digital output, decent but not stellar DAC output. Worth a listen @ $175.
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Looks cool. I haven't been keeping up. Is this the Nintendo Wii Music player that they were working on?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Tom R

    Tom R Acquaintance

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    IDK. The parent company is Linkplay Technology, which appears to be an ODM.
     
  13. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2023
  14. Tom R

    Tom R Acquaintance

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    Thanks for the info. That was the WiiM Pro, not the Pro+ but I’m guessing they are similar apart from the DAC. A true gutless wonder with a hot mic no less. Lots of opportunity for DIY improvements! And a mic-ectomy for sure.

    It would be interesting to see how the digital coax output performs. Seems ok. The onboard DAC doesn’t do anything for me but I don’t have any experience with AKM-based DAC’s.
     
  15. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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  16. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    I don't get the hostility towards the Wiim Pro here. It's a perfectly decent streamer for like $120. I'm not sure what people expect for that price. Yes, other forums are overhyping the shit out of them which is kinda annoying but there really isn't anything in it's price range that has it's features.

    I'm pretty pleased with my Wiim Pro. I have no idea how it compares to a Pi2aes but the coax/optical out sounds pretty much exactly the same as the coax out of my Tascam CD200, which isn't the best CD spinner but it definitely sounds better than USB out of my laptop straight into the Mojo 2.

    The internal DAC is dogshit. Digital out isn't.

    If you don't want to deal with trying to fix USB audio from your PC or Pi streamers are too much of a pain in the ass, the Wiim is a good alternative on the cheap.

    The internal mic is dumb but not a dealbreaker. I'm sure it can be disabled with some tinkering. I kinda stopped worrying about Chinese listening devices years ago because my wife insists on having an Alexa in the living room to play music for the kids. Just put some bluetac over the mic and it won't be able to hear shit.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2023
  17. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Flamesuit on. I have a few decades of digital playback experience and have used many de-crapifiers for USB. My experience is that while many of these devices are quite good at helping subpar USB dac circuits, one can also get very good sound out of a PC or Mac without spending a ton on them if the dac has a well designed USB section.

    USB when done right in the dac can be very good sounding indeed. No fixes are necessary with many good dacs.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2023
  18. zottel

    zottel Friend

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    Current USB is always asynchronous, so you don't have to rely on the clock of the source for a good sound, it's the DAC's clock that matters. Which is a good thing if the DAC's clock is good, or a bad thing if it isn't (because then a good streamer doesn't make much of a difference).

    Via the cable connection, ground pane noise might be introduced by a noisy source. I'm not sure how much that really matters, but it's the only way I can imagine how the source of a USB connection might introduce any problems at all (short of dropouts if the source's clock is so extremely off or the cables are so extremely bad and the sorrounding RF noise is so extremely high that bits are actually flipping).
     
  19. evanft

    evanft Acquaintance

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    I'd be really interested in seeing someone record the digital output from one of these cheap boxes and compare it to the output from a pi2AES. Then both can be compared to the original file to see if there are any differences. It would also be fun to do with a CD transport vs. FLAC file.
     
  20. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    Has anyone here sampled Bryston's streamers? A friend of mine is eyeing a Bryston BDP-3, but I guess it'd be nice to know if they are worth the money.
     

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