24bit/192kHz files - from a NAS to a DAC to an amp without a PC?

david_tring

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Problem = I want to download and play the increasing number of 24bit/192kHz music files available.

Our PCs are in a different part of the house to my hi-fi - I don't have a PC in the room where my hi-fi's located and I don't want to install one (no space, no wish to either), but it's cabled for Ethernet from my router and I could probably run a USB cable there too.

So...most NAS I've seen so far have a USB output, but all the DACs and streamers seem to only handle 24bit/96kHz maximum on their USB inputs. DACs and streamers can take 24/192 via their digital inputs (co-ax or optical), but NAS don't have these format digital outputs.

NAS and DACs have RJ45 Ethernet connections - can you transfer 24/192 music files this way instead?.

Or is it simpler to buy a product such as the MHDT Labs USBridge USB to SPDIF converter (which I believe can handle hi-res files over USB) and run its SPDif output into my amp?
 

manicm

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I believe what you're looking for is actually a media player with built-in/optional storage with digital outs to connect to a DAC -> hifi.

There are many of these about - whether they support full 24/196 is another matter.

By definition a NAS is that and cannot directly be connected to a DAC or hifi, it's just networked storage.

To date the only dedicated music streamer that will support 24/196 is any Linn DS player. But another alternative I would look at is to save up over some time and look at the Olive players - they support it and have built-in storage. You need to judge if you'll be happy with the non-extendable storage though. They can be connected to a DAC to improve the sound.
 

The_Lhc

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david_tring said:
Problem = I want to download and play the increasing number of 24bit/192kHz music files available.

Our PCs are in a different part of the house to my hi-fi - I don't have a PC in the room where my hi-fi's located and I don't want to install one (no space, no wish to either), but it's cabled for Ethernet from my router and I could probably run a USB cable there too.

So...most NAS I've seen so far have a USB output, but all the DACs and streamers seem to only handle 24bit/96kHz maximum on their USB inputs. DACs and streamers can take 24/192 via their digital inputs (co-ax or optical), but NAS don't have these format digital outputs.

NAS and DACs have RJ45 Ethernet connections - can you transfer 24/192 music files this way instead?.

Or is it simpler to buy a product such as the MHDT Labs USBridge USB to SPDIF converter (which I believe can handle hi-res files over USB) and run its SPDif output into my amp?

NAS's aren't designed to play music, how would you control what was being played for example, I doubt any will connect to a DAC via USB in the way you suggest, similarly I can't think of any DACs that have Ethernet connections. What you require is either a separate media player/streamer to read the files off the NAS or, as manicm says, one with storage built in. You have many options, the 24-bit requirement will be the deal breaker though. Squeezebox Touch can do 24-bit but, I think, only up to 96kHz, otherwise you're looking at big money options.
 
A

Anonymous

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Without a PC? Maybe a Mac Mini?
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A

Anonymous

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I have the same problem / opportunity. You need something to play the music from; what are the best options? Having browsed the various topics I'm still a bit in between which route I can best take.

Preferably I'd like to use my PC with several harddisks stored somewhere in the basement. What I have determined so far is that you can best use a USB to SPDIF converter (something like HiFace EVO), and connect its output to a DAC.

In this scenario you would connect to the PC running software to play music and stream to the HiFace (correct?). The software on the PC could then be operated from an iphone making a connection using WiFi.

Am I missing something here?
 

iemslie

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Here's an idea, but cannot find all the info to check it's a goer.

Synology NAS (recent support for Airplay I belive) > Airport Express > DAC > Amp. Controlled with itunes app on IOS or Android phone.

The bit I'm unable to check is whether AE will output 24/192 via optical.

I had been thinking about doing this myself, but have a QNAP NAS and so would have needed to wait for AP support from them at least. Ended up with SB Touch.

Hope this helps, or produces some more ideas. Cheers
 

jacobmorrison

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One solution is to get the Nas, purchase an ipod touch and digital transport such as the Onkyo NSD1 or Pure I2O, and the Dac. Purchase the plugplayer app for around £3 which turns the ipod into an DLNA renderer. Plugplayer will stream 24/192 flac or any other music format without downsampling from the NAS via optical/coax to your Dac. As long as the NAS works with plugplayer then you have a streaming solution and a portable music player at the same time. It frees you up from itunes. Also if there's another ipod touch or iphone in the house it can be used as a remote for plugplayer while it's docked. Because the music is being stored on the NAS you can buy the cheapest smallest capacity ipod touch.
 

manicm

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jacobmorrison said:
One solution is to get the Nas, purchase an ipod touch and digital transport such as the Onkyo NSD1 or Pure I2O, and the Dac. Purchase the plugplayer app for around £3 which turns the ipod into an DLNA renderer. Plugplayer will stream 24/192 flac or any other music format without downsampling from the NAS via optical/coax to your Dac. As long as the NAS works with plugplayer then you have a streaming solution and a portable music player at the same time. It frees you up from itunes. Also if there's another ipod touch or iphone in the house it can be used as a remote for plugplayer while it's docked. Because the music is being stored on the NAS you can buy the cheapest smallest capacity ipod touch.

How will you get 24/196 files onto the iPod? Natively it is not even 24 bit compatible.
 

ID.

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AFAIK airort express is limited to CD quality, so you can't even run 24/96 material without it being downsampled. iPod is max 24/48, which doesn't seem to provide much of a gain over CD quality. I considered using an iMac controlled with an iPod touch or iPad, but the iMac only outputs 24/96 optical so you'd either need to install Amarra or maybe work around that using a bit of kit letting you run 24/192 material over USB (only have very vague ideas about this as I haven't really looked into it).
 

david_tring

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Many thanks for all the very helpfull comments so far - all are much appreciated.

Yes, there aren't that many 24bit/192kHz files out there yet, but then there weren't that many DTS-HD Master Audio BluRays initially either - that didn't stop What H-Fi! (and this reader at least) searching them out for the best possible sound source or pressurizing home theatre amp manufacturers to upgrade their new models to handle the format.

I hope that, in a similar vein, the manufacturers of streamers/DACs etc. will recognize that we want to hear the best possible non-disc based audio available, and for the foreseeable future at least that's 24/192.
 

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