Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by eljr, Jan 11, 2017.
Chromecast Audio($35.00) + HiFi Cast (a $1.99 phone app) + your computer.
Great that you are listening to music... period. TV on or off. Listen on! ! !
Why is Chromecast superior to Amazon Fire, yet is half the price?
Are you sure it supports 4k?
I still would have the DLNA problem.....
Interested to know what you are finally looking for:
I noted you did not ask anything more of pustelniakr who has a similar unit than I do. I have an M8S box, cost under $50 and comes fully loaded with apps. Pandora, Netflix, 4K movie player, Miracast and heaps of others. I just tried to download Tidal android and was able to get all the way to signing up to install the app. As I am not in need of it at the moment I backed off, but I am sure it would load without a problem. I use it mostly with the Kodi app, which give me access to everything under the sun, movies, soaps, and sport from around the global, mostly paid for.
I came here really to find out how everyone is setup up there old school amps in line with the new wave of high res music downloads. i.e., what components everyone is using. What are they using to manage music, store new and old music, what DAC, what feed to the amps etc. It seems a whole new field from our CDs, turntables etc. It is by chance that I have the M8S for watching TV already.
What I need to do is see if Tidal is a good direction to go for quality streaming high res music, and as I am based in Thailand for work, my 50Mbps fibre download should not be an issue, what is and issue is my working out whether this is the best solution to get high res or SACD quality music into my Sansui amp. Since my amp is old school, but does have a Optical TOSLINK > input, so I can get feed direct from the Samsung TV. This however is not a quality solution for music. The M8S does of Opitical TOSLINK > Out, but yet to try it. If I signup to the trial Tidal account I will let you know how it goes.
I see other options on the high end like the Meridian Media Core 600/200 and Media Source 600/200.
I'm currently using an Auralic Aires Mini which came with a one year subscription to Tidal. So far, I just have it hooked up to a Bryston BDA1 DAC via USB and then into a Bryston BP6 and Bryston 4BSST2. Even without MQA it sounds pretty good. I've tried the Tidal MQA software decoding on my MacBook Air, and that also sounds good. At some point, I'll likely buy an MQA DAC.
Another piece of gear that sounds interesting is the Bluesound Node 2. It supposedly has a built in DAC and will decode MQA.
On another note, I see that Tidal will work in Thailand. For me that's good, as I may move back to Phuket this summer. I won't be able to take much. Maybe the Auralic or a Bluesound Node 2. I was also thinking about some Powered KEF LS50s. I see they sell those in Thailand. That's all you'd need. A streamer of some sort, the ability to decode MQA, and some powered speakers.
Okay, I have a trial account with Tidal. It says Hifi quality, their top service. Off the back I am quiet pleased with the sound quality. I have the M8S+ Android box connected to the internet downloading from the router to M8S+ box via ethernet cable. I have 50Mbps download fibreoptic connection that comes all the way to my router Behind the TV. No copper. It regularly tests at 50Mbps on www.speedof.me ,next a HDMI connection to my Samsung TV acts as the user interface. I have the following connections, M8S+ Android > Sansui amp via Digital Opitcal TOSLINK cable. The Sansui DAC should be managing all the conversions. I had music via M8S+ via HDMI > Samsung TV > Digital Optical TOSLINK > Sansui amp but I was not sure where digital conversion was being performed. So I went direct M8S+ > Amp just to be sure.
I have done a cross check on one of my old songs that always has disappointed me, ELO's "10538 Overture". The recording I have from 1972 is very flat off the CD. So I found 10538 Overture(Take 1 Recording) an even older version on The Harvest Years in Tidal. Well equally bad as a very old recording. Volume of Tidal approx 20db below my CD. Played with Tidal settings but not much difference. Now, heres the winner, the 10538 Overture (2001 Remastered Version) which I would not have bothered to go and buy is available and well a pleasure to listen too. In addition there is another 2004 Quad SQ Mix to version enjoy. So music quality is good, but availability is the key here. I got to listen to version remixed that I just would not have bothered to go and buy.
Following the above test I used another song on my album comparing to the Tidal stream. Played the first 25 seconds of Ma-Ma-Ma-Belle 20 times on both. The CD is the winner hands down. In a final summary, all music compared direct with CD recording can not compete. Quality, depth, separation and sound stage is way out ahead from my own CD's played in my Sansui AU-x777DG. Of course this will have to be monitored over time and MQA versions on streaming compared to CD versions when I can find some.
-Johnny 007, seems like the streaming is fine, but obviously depends on your connection. Thank you for defining your playing chain. Great to see what others are using.
You may want to take a look at the Nvidia Shield. It has Casting built in and has apps for Airplay audio (Airplin LIte is one example). It is 4k, works with Amazon HDR UltraHD, and will even run a Plex client. I don't know if it is compatible with the stuff you listed, but some apps can be "sideloaded" (you can find more information about that on the web).
Nvidia Shield Runs a version of Android TV.
Netflix and Roku are currently running on my 7" Amazon Fire.
Is the TV always in the mix when you listen to Tidal? That might be making a difference.
The Oppo can also play directly from network shares, which is how I often use it. If not, it's JRiver from a computer to play via DLNA, since I have all sorts of filters and playlists set up there. I have the 105 but I am thinking the 103 does the same. I did not want to even consider the Sonica DAC but, now that it is available for preorder, if it has improved streaming features, I very well may be interested in it. I may even take one for the team and order an early model.
It depends on the situation, also. Primarily, I don't even want a TV on in the listening room, unless we are playing the game system. I find video distracting from the music. Yet in the rare event I want to see a live concert, it goes without saying that it is far better with visuals.
There are three Chromecasts. The standard Chromecast is 1080p, HDMI, does video. Chromecast Ultra supports 4k video, also uses HDMI. Chromecast Audio is an audio-only device, with a 3.5mm stereo output jack with both analog and S/PDIF digital capabilities (using a special cable)--that is the one which @audiomagnate refers to in his post, so it is not even video-capable. If you want 4K, you will need the Chromecast Ultra. (And of course, a device with an HDMI input.)
For my purposes I am using the older Chromecast (gen 1) into the rear HDMI input on my Oppo 105. If I were to get the Sonica DAC which, I'm guessing, does not have an HDMI input due to it being an audio-only device, I would likely get a Chromecast Audio and use the digital output to feed into the Sonica since it is a DAC.
Chromecast Audio doesn't have a digital output. If you want to use your own DAC, you have to use the HDMI output on an original or 2015 Chromecast. The Oppo 105 or the Essence HDMI DAC are both good choices.
Uh... I think that you can use an optical cable and plug it into the same port that the analog 3.5mm headphone jack goes in. So the CCA can transmit a digital signal. And because of that I think you can use your own DAC.
Let's double check this cuz it makes a difference. Just want to be providing good info.
The CCA does have an optical digital jack. Integral to the 3.5mm analog jack.
Scroll down to the bottom--you can see the special optical cable it uses. (It's not some rare cable though--they are readily available elsewhere.)
I'll be damned. I stand corrected. I never scrolled that far down before. Does it pass 24/96? I like using the original and 2015 with an HDMI DAC because of the 24/192 capability, but Chromecast Audio analog out sound extremely good to my ears.
Also? We're saying the same thing. My "digital library" is merely a shared folder.
I thought the same thing at first--there can't be an optical out because it only has one jack! That's the first time I've ever seen that type of optical digital output before. But it must be used on other devices, since it is not a new or unique format.
Yeah, I live under a rock.
Says 24/96 in this article.
And I think the analog quality is excellent, too.
Airport Express users have been smiling for years with this feature.
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