Would streaming through the Wiim Mini streamer through an external DAC be better than streaming through a laptop through an external DAC?. I’m thinking there would be less noise through the streamer? And go! LOL
DAC is a huge variable here. For entry level pieces it likely matters not at all. The quality of the Toslink output on the WiiM likely isn’t great, given it’s a $99 piece (I have one, working on a review…someday). However, I think it’s also intended to mostly be used with entry-level gear. As you scale up in DAC quality, the USB implementation is going to improve and ultimately win out.
The laptop should be fine. Most entry level DACs today already have very good USB filtering that any noise coming from the PC won’t cause any issues.
With non-USB sources, the source will be resonsible for clocking the signal and some sources might have better performance than others in that regard.
Fortunately, most streamers already have really low jitter beyond the treshhold of hearing.
So neither PC noise over USB nor jitter of a streamer like the Wiim would become a problem
Agree with @juliangst
Clock unlikely to be an issue not just from low streamer jitter but even if jitter was more substantial as with USB (as explained in reference to noise) - DACs have adequate filters here to deal with jitter issues which have been known for decades. Further with the likelihood of short cable runs and bitrate limitations discussed below - it will not be a practical issue.
Agree with @WaveTheory
Through the laptop and USB provides less overall limitations and allows you to future proof your DAC as you scale up.
Toslink has data transfer limits of 24/192.
So if your intention was to use airplay or Spotify connect with the wiim no problem but if you were intending to use tidal you then get into certain limitations.
Most MQA dacs can not do any decode from toslink or coaxial. The ones that do only provide a render so the full unfold is not usually possible.
PCM is therefore limited to 24/192 not 32bit.
DSD native is not supported on toslink IIRC (correct me if I am wrong here…) .
DSD will be limited to 64 not 512bit.
Any type of multichannel useage will be further throttled.
Well you could ask if going about 16/44.1 does even make any difference at all.
Most people already can’t tell the difference between 320kbit/s MP3 and 16/44.1 Flac.
I personally use USB for PC audio and toslink from a raspberry pi with a digital board if I don’t want to turn on my pc
Thank you so much for your input. I’m actually good with red book 44.1. A traditionalist if you will LOL. I’m running the mini streamer through Denifrips Ares II into a Cambridge audio axr 100 then into my beloved rp600ms… LOL, which I’m getting bored of the whole system as any audiophile would
You are correct I am absolutely fine with red book 44.1. I’m running the mini streamer through an Ares II. Cambridge audio axr 100, RP 600m. Getting bored of system probably going to upgrade tax return Season definitely keeping the Ares II… looking at emotiva monoblocks
If you can’t tell the difference between 320 and Flac clearly you don’t have golden ears hahaha (sarcasm) and that would make any DAC above a Topping D10 balanced in the main pointless… but don’t tell that to our audiophile friends… I like picking those up cheap.
In reality people mostly buy higher end DACs for additional decode, balanced or preamp functionality. As we have discussed before most entry level DACs have adequate technical performance. But if you pay for a hires service you probably also want a DAC to utilize it or to further sate gear addictions and audio next best thing FOMO.
I also use an RPI4 as my streamer setup. It really is the best current option if you are moderately tech inclined.
I’m fine with red book 44.1 I have a Denifrips ARES II going into a Cambridge axr 100 and then to rp600m. I’m getting bored with my system anyways as any audiophile would lol definitely keeping ares 2 . Looking at emotiva monoblocks thinking of building CS audio speakers. Waiting on tax return Season:grin:
I have ares 2. Running into Cambridge axr 100 to rp600 thank you for your input I’m not noticing very much difference from laptop to streamer. Streamer is a lot easier
While Monoblocks always have an allure - the cash is probably better spent on speakers. I always find that the most contrasting and bang for your buck difference. Also the most sensual and satisfying to sit in front of and admire/enjoy.
I’m pretty tech savvy I like to Tinker and tweak LOL
Completely agree with that.
I plan to buy a higher end DAC too (Topping DM7).
But not for sound quality but for features. For 600€ I get 8 channels which can all be controlled by the remote or the topping dac itself. With EQ Apo or Camilla DSP it’ll be really easy to make a 2.1 or 2.2 system or even playback surround sound music
I do something similar in my home office with an atmos style setup with 2 x Motu Ultralight MK5 and using Jack as my super low latency routing option. It’s complicated as put Camilla DSP into the streamer but alternate with Dirac and Sonarworks when it hits the dedicated PC.
Saw that Topping reviewed - looks good - was considering it as a replacement for the Motu. Great choice - sure you will love it. And with an Octo Dac8 (Pro) such an impossibility to get these are the kings for balanced multichannel options.
Still lusting over the Trinnov as want that extraction capability but unwilling to pay the ridiculous price.
I also looked at the MOTU but it’s too expensive for me. Even the topping is almost too expensive and the minidsp stuff is even more expensive here.
I’m currently using my smsl dac with a raspberry pi running MoOde and CamillaDSP that is implemented into moode.
Works really great and I can imagine the topping DM7 working similarly great.
I’m also in my 14 day Dirac Live trial at the moment. Works good but for 2.0 and 2.1 I can achieve similar performance with REW and EQ Apo/Camilla.
If you have another (preferably the same) USB DAC - you could try using the multiple usb out from the RPI and using jack as your routing. Multichannel output using stereo DACs.
Combined with Camilla DSP it’s a pretty excellent system. If your worried about clock - you can see some of the Ian Canada boards for RPi as they make use of an external master clock control. I have a FIFOpi 3 which when I used an RPI 3 (with the usb issues) had a helpful galvanization layer but I now just use for clock.
Yeah REW and Camilla DSP are great, super creative if a touch lengthy and over configurable. DIRAC multichannel I just find very useful in my workflow for ease and speed but 100% you can get 98% of the way with just the free tools above - it just takes longer and requires more fiddling (personal time pleasure but work time pain).
Might try different usb dacs but I would really prefer using one Multichannel dac and having a remote to control all channels so I don’t blow my speakers if something in the software goes wrong (or I make a mistake).
If I upgrade to Multichannel down the road (I already own cheap satellite speakers which would works as front heights) I would definitely look into getting Dirac Multichannel.
Setting up 6 speakers and a sub with REW is problem a hassle.
2.1 with REW can probably be 90% as good as Dirac but Multichannel probably not
BTW: sorry for hijacking that thread
Agreed - multichannel DAC is best option - just sometimes can only do what the budget allows… needs-must and all that jazz.
Try configuring a 9.2.6 then reconfiguring with the speaker remodel using sonarworks. LONG - to be fair I use the SoundID more for headphones due to this ball ache.
Good luck with the multichannel adventure - once configured and experienced hard to go back to just stereo for certain types of music and especially movies. If you can do room treatment even better to really dial it in.
Though I recommend having a switch/command to change to stereo off the front speakers (+sub) for testing purposes and also older recordings - an unsung necessity I have found.
Apologies @TECH-73 for hijacking the thread. Will stop now!!!