What is your preferred way of connecting your digital files to your hi-fi system?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Sixtoys, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

    Messages:
    1,648
    Location:
    NE. FL.
    2 digital CD ripped music sources with identical WAV. music on each.

    1: Gateway Win 10 lap-top with a SanDisk 960 Gig SSD USB fed to a Peachtree X1 USB to S/PDIF coax converter.

    2: OPPO UDP-203 using either a SSD to USB converter with as high capacity as 2 Tb Corsair SSD, or a 500 Gig flash drive, S/PDIF coax output connected.

    Both ripped music sources S/PDIF connected to a S/PDIF coax 4X1 selector switch which outputs to my Grace Audio M920 DAC and a 1X5 S/PDIF coax splitter so I have a S/PDIF feed to my Living room`s Integra A/V/P selectable S/PDIF input for background music while the Living room`s tube amplifier system settles in ,before selecting and playing a BR DVD/CD, etc. when I have guests over.

    After the DAC`s conversion to analog it`s sent to my Mac. C 37 preamp, which solely used for 6 room analog audio signal selection & then on to feeding my audio distribution matrix.

    All WAV. music files are backed up on 2 other SSD lap-tops + multiple internal connected, and disconnected SSD`s & non connected flash drives for music file backup safety.

    Very versatile & file redundant, IMHO. for my needs.
     
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  2. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,953
    Location:
    west Texas
    I prefer wirelessly, too. It gets rid of possibilities of introducing hum, distortion, and noise into my audio system.
     
  3. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

    Messages:
    1,648
    Location:
    NE. FL.
    I hear you.
    But, as much experience as you have had, from reading your threads in field audio installations over many years, and know as much as anybody on this site, that properly planed & engineered "hard wired" distribution audio networks will always be more reliable & preferred than any wireless/RF method Link, when practical.

    In my house`s hard wired A/V distribution setup I can, (and have) hooked up a scope to any signal fed endpoints in my system and cranked up the scope`s sensitivity and I observe no more noise/grass other than normally would be(~ - 115 DB residual audio circuit noise as would be detected on the bench with the isolated audio equipment(separates, Preamps/amp, integrated, receivers) in use.

    And any hum that might be present in my hard wired distribution system is not audible, and also down in the "grass" on the scope, as well.
    Lucky, I don`t think so !
    I reside in a suburban WiFi saturated/rich Environment, and with my dual band WiFI selected for the highest channel `s available, and two 4 channel 2.4 Gig. FHSS security cameras supplementing my hard wired 8 camera security system, all demanding their piece of the allocated spectrum, I didn`t feel comfortable about possible glitches/hiccups in my all day ripped music playback delivery because of allocated frequency competition !

    This may not be an current issue for you, where you live, but was/is a concern for me.

    I learned & applied a lot from Don & Carolyn Davis` Sound System Engineering book reading from 1974 on, and only applied
    modern Ethernet cabling infrastructure, and HQ balun devices, while referencing their book`s sound system`s installation guide lines to my house`s audio distribution system installation.

    Reading/studying the early seventies edition Audio Cyclopedia by Howard M. Tremaine cover to cover, well over a 100 times was beneficial in my audio career as well.

    And the Ham radio operator at ~500 feet behind me, has never been heard through any of my systems, nor any other RFI since I went this hard wired unshielded Ethernet cable structured A/V distribution method in 2010.
    I wouldn`t change a thing.

    To each their own, methods, as they see fit.

    Take care Twiiii.

    Kind regards, OKB
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  4. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,184
    Another vote here for the best wire is a wire, nothing -less.
     
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  5. Pioneered

    Pioneered Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    719
    Rip CD, have no other way.
    Remember, I live in the stone age and like it. cheesy.gif
     
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  6. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,649
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    Yes, wired Ethernet will always outperform WiFi. However, for most people, it's not remotely realistic, unless it's already available or new construction.

    In my experience, a well designed wireless mesh network, where every node reinforces the mesh, on a channel chosen for lowest interference, and separate from the WiFi channel, is rock solid. Mine has worked for years without a single dropout.
     
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  7. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

    Messages:
    1,184
    Most houses have extensive phone wiring (often using CAT5 networking cable) which can be readily converted to support multiple uses, including Gigabit Ethernet. I just finished doing this conversion in my house, and it has helped me greatly in extending my hardwired home network to remote areas and encompassing equipment I had not thought possible previously. I use my converted phone wiring for phone, network, alarm system, and RS232 serial comm.
     
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  8. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

    Messages:
    1,648
    Location:
    NE. FL.
    True, and your fortunate, but one can check the Wi-Fi channel activity in their area, and select low/weak or no activity Wi-Fi channel for one day, and find that your neighbor/s chooses to select your choice channel the next day/week/month.
    And if your lucky if their signal strength at your local is low and might not interfere.

    Years ago when I went Wi-Fi, a scan of receivable 2.4 Gig Wi-Fi channels at my location showed a lot less activity/density than currently present.
    And because I selected channel 11(the highest.) for my 2.4 Gig initially, I`ve been fortunate so far, but decided to upgrade my Wi-Fi to dual band so as to have 5.6 Gig available also, about 5 years ago.

    And I`ve even changed out my Wi-Fi`s external mounted antenna`s to higher gain ones to help maintain high signal strength & data throughput for the other end of my house`s attached garage`s lap-top that`s using a dual band 7 ft. high elevated USB Wi-Fi dongle with attached antenna because at TV tray level the lap-tap`s built in antenna was no very good at that distance with a concrete block wall and other microwave blocking/absorbing materials in it`s path .

    My first 2004 cheapo 4 channel Wi-Fi band security camera system reception was problematic and unreliable because of my neighbor`s & my Wi-Fi, and microwave oven, though they were over 50 & 30 ft. away relative to the system`s camera`s & receiver.

    And the last statement I have to say about wired systems, is their "extremely" difficult to compromise/disrupt/trash through outside attack, where Wi-Fi system`s are not, with all the free Wi-Fi pass word cracking software available, via the web.

    Peace, and kind regards, OKB
     
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  9. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

    Messages:
    1,648
    Location:
    NE. FL.
    To some extent, myself as well..
     
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  10. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,649
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    That’s why I use a mesh network. Every node of the network is a WiFi repeater. The signal is as strong at the far end of the house as it is nearest the bridge, with 7 nodes (most of them speakers) throughout the house. Neighbors WiFi aren’t nearly strong enough to be an issue, and wouldn’t be even in an apartment building. Hard to argue with success...
     
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  11. skbubba

    skbubba New Member

    Messages:
    19
    File server in office -> ethernet ->
    Desktop PC in office with JRiver media server -> ethernet->
    Living room PC with JRiver -> optical TOSLINK ->
    Denon AVR

    Ethernet is cat5 1gb, run from a router and a switch in the office to a hub in a wiring closet in the garage and back out to a wireless router/hub in the living room and other various endpoints. Way over-engineered. The Mrs. will never figure it out when I'm gone.

    The living room PC is a tiny little Lenovo Q190 that I got on sale for $180. Sadly they don't make these any more.

    I was hooking it up to the AVR via HDMI but there was some sort of handshaking problem that caused the PC to no longer see all the available formats when switching AVR inputs or using zone 2 or something. Never got it sorted out. Changing to optical input solved it.

    (The AVR is a Denon AVR-X3300W. Anybody know what might be causing the HDMI weirdness?)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018

     

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  12. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

    Messages:
    1,648
    Location:
    NE. FL.
    Well chicks, it sounds like you have enough microwave energy in close proximity to cause your urine to look like you been drinking chemical glow stick juice !!! :yikes:

    I just might have to start referring to you as Mr. Chernobyl ! :eek:

    I assume your through siring offspring..
     
  13. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,658
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    I'm having similar problems with a Denon AVR-3310ci. I've tried several different DisplayPort to HDMI cables and nothing works reliably. I was thinking that would be great for playing multi-channel files but even testing with CD FLAC rips is really flaky. Don't know if it's the cable, laptop, receiver, other? But in any case it is problematic.

    I just dug out another old laptop I may put it on the AVR permanently if I can get it to work.
     
  14. skbubba

    skbubba New Member

    Messages:
    19
    The best guess was that the AVR was changing the HDMI input to the max supported zone 2 format (2 channel 16/44 pcm) for both the main zone and zone 2 when using zone 2. Your problem sounds different. A PC with HDMI out would probably fix it?
     
  15. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,035
    Agree. Even when WiFi signal strength is good, it will never be as noise free. Which is why I use ethernet for the main system.

    Lucked out that the office where the music server is located has built in bookcases where the router is located so I was able to run CAT6 up through the ceiling where it cannot be seen, across an attic space into the listening room to the microRendu.

    For the garage, however, I use WiFi. I use three access points distributed about the manse for good coverage most anywhere. My music selection app requires WiFi for both systems.
     
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  16. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    17,649
    Location:
    The Big Valley, CA
    Nice! Not so lucky here, but happy.
     

     

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  17. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,035
    The mesh concept does sound quite flexible.
     
  18. FauxHall

    FauxHall Super Member

    Messages:
    1,558
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Downloads from house router go to my generic laptop where they are first stored. I rip CDs and put them on the laptop too.

    From the laptop hardwire transfer to a Sony HAP-Z1ES with a 1 TB drive. All digital is via hardwired Ethernet.

    Playback is from the Sony player to a Sony TA-A1ES amp via balanced audio cables.

    Simple and easy.
     
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  19. Eastham

    Eastham More Class-A than ever!

    Messages:
    2,142
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    I like to use a toslink cable to connect my PC to my DAC Which then goes into the AUX in of my amp. Eliminates any chance of a groundloop and interferance from my PC.
     
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  20. crazy eights

    crazy eights Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    new york
    lenovo laptop running foobar, usb to >>>schiit eater, spdif coax >> schiit modi 2 multibit >> schiit loki >> schitt valhalla 2 >> cd input of luxman R115 or headphones out of the valhalla
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
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