HRT Streamer II+

MajorFubar

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Well I've gone and done it now.

Bought one of these things with no audition. Hope I like it!

The story behind this, and its rushed purchase, is that my employer is allowing me to spend upto £200 for a long-service award. I could have claimed it and spent it any time this financial year but hey no one told me so I have 13 days to put my claim in.

So I figured I'd treat myself to this well-reviewed DAC for my Mac Mini, and get it for less than £100, effectively.

Other highly-reviewed DACs are available of course but I was ultimately swayed by how small and discrete it is and the fact it doesn't need a separate power supply (not enough mains sockets as it is!)

My current main source is a CD52MkII KI. I wonder how the HRT will compare sonically :)
 

datay

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I have been home demoing it this week, excellent little unit. Crystal clear, lively sound. Also demoing Wyred4Sound microDAC (they actually use the mu symbol which I think is going to cost them in google results...), which I am going to go with - it is a bit more expensive but with a tad more detail and bass (they also add coaxial inputs so it isn't just usb, although that's its intended function in my system). The HRT II+ is superb for the money though. Got these units from the ever-helpful Mark @ Item Audio.

What software are you using? I had to install the demo of JRiver as I usually use foobar2000 and HRT does not like it at all. Works ok with iTunes though.
 

MajorFubar

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Well having bought from a respected trader who posted mine first class four days ago, I'm still waiting for it to arrive.

I don't doubt that they dispatched it, but I do wonder where missing post goes to.

I can't help but feel that because outlets like eBay provide such rapid no-questions-asked disposal, one or two less-than-honest individuals in the postal-chain shall we say exploit their position when handing small, business-franked, easily-confiscated packages which they think are likely to contain valuable saleable items.

Having notified the trader, hopefully I will be in receipt of a duplicate real soon.

Not sure what software I'll use with it. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it I guess :)
 

MajorFubar

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I received the duplicate on Friday.

Initial impressions are very positive indeed.

I'm using it with my mid-2010 Mac Mini running iTunes & Spotify Premium.

Even though the standard sound-card in the Mac Mini is one of the best I've heard in a computer, this thing is several leagues ahead. Crisp highs, a superb open mid-band and soundstage with good instrument placement and separation, both with iTunes ripped ALACs and even Spotiify. It can be a bit bass-light on tracks that have been mixed lean, but that's the only fly-in-the-ointment in terms of balance.

I'd expect to have to spend a great deal more to experience really noticeable improvements that are obvious in anything but a side-by-side comparison.

Setting it up on the Mac Mini was a piece of cake. I did try it on my old HP Windows XP laptop and while it worked, I don't know how you could easily make use of its HD potential with the standard Windows software. ASIO4ALL recognises it and will set it up to play 24/96 but WMP won't use ASIO4ALL as a sound-driver. I suppose if I was using it with Windows I'd have to look at Foobar, JRiver (etc).
 

CnoEvil

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Major, it's good to hear an update, and bears out the excellent reports that have been following this unassuming bit of kit.
 

MajorFubar

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Thanks cno, yes I'm mighty impressed and I would highly recommend to anyone that they give it a listen no matter if their DAC budget is ten times more. I've no idea if it's genuinly a giant-killer, possibly not if you're comparing it with a DAC several multiples costlier, but one might find that this little grey alloy box gets a very persuading 99% there for a fraction of the money.

Obviously if a potential buyer needs more than a USB-input then sadly they'll have to look elsewhere, also imo it has a slightly-lean sonic balance which may or may not be an issue, but other than those two caveats, it's difficult to fault it.
 

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