You may recall we spoke about how good a system has to be before showing up the limitations of Sonos/Spotify as a source.
To you think you have gone past that limit with this system, ie are the differences repeatable and quantifiable? Be interesting to see what happens if you live with Sonos/Spotify for a few days using familier material then revert to the NAS.
Yes, we did indeed. And as you say, if I had to live without the USB connection for a time (though why that would happen, I can't think), it'd be interesting to see how it felt going back to it.
I suppose there are two separate issues here. One is the quality of Spotify's 320kbps Ogg Vorbis files, as against lossless FLAC/WAV/ALAC files. I've run some blind ABX tests on this, but n.b. using Sonos via SPDIF.
That's the other issue: the possibility that SPDIF is inferior to fully asynchronous streaming via ethernet or USB. What I'm suggesting at the moment is that the effects of clock jitter over SPDIF may be audible in my system. Or perhaps there's some other reason why SPDIF might sound inferior: Devialet say that SPDIF gives worse SQ than AES/EBU, presumably because of their different impedances. If it's the case that ethernet/USB is audibly better, then it may be that one could detect a difference between Ogg Vorbis and lossless more reliably via ethernet/USB than via SPDIF. But that's a theoretical possibility that I doubt I'll ever fully explore in practice.
With the USB set-up I think I've pushed the envelope as far as I reasonably can. Of course, there's also wireless AIR, but I've never regarded wireless as a likely set-up for me. It was interesting talking to the Devialet rep at Windsor on Friday. Without showing my hand, I reminded him that the official Devialet line is that wireless AIR gives the best SQ. He was keen to retreat from that position: ethernet and USB are just as good as wireless, he said, but Devialet wants to make itself distinctive by pushing its own wireless technology, which, when it works, is indeed a technological breakthrough. The problem, as Devialet have painfully realized, is that in order to get a signal to your Dev wirelessly, it has to go through a domestic wifi router, which in many cases won't be up to the job or won't have been set up optimally.