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  1. I don't think high res has much to do with it. Both my systems are limited to 16 bit 44k. The main however is highly resolving with incredible insight. I did chase the high res dragon for a time before discovering that really the overall quality and implementation of the DAC, and the quality of the mastering makes a FAR bigger difference than bitrate.... Actually above 44K the difference was inaudible and typically the DAC's I tried simply didn't sound as good which had a negative impact on the experience. Interestingly I find downsampling in Roon has a negative impact on sound in comparison with using the Mutec MC3+USB to do the job which sounds far better being fed the native file bitrate.
  2. Yeah, I knew that system 2 would take a noticeable step back in terms of overall resolution when I sold my Oatlon W2-1000F speakers but wanted to downsize to just two systems. The B&W's are dads old speakers that I grew up around so selling them was not really an option. Too many memories tied to them. It's ok, they're fine for TV & movies as part of the 5.1 system and a speaker switchbox allows use of a separate amp and DAC for streaming and CD's. The VTL Reference DAC is era appropriate and sounds far better in this system than my main where the Abbas DAC is clearly more resolving..... And so is the rest of the system.
  3. Aye, that was my conclusion on all fronts. System 2 is the B system and uses vintage B&W DM-16 speakers. Very enjoyable yet it will never reach the levels of my main. In my main though the differences are very large and noticeable. I won't be going back to Tidal and thats for sure.
  4. Interesting..... I hear enormous differences in my main system, though rather minimal of any in my second system. Qobuz is very noticeably better in my main system. Improved body, dynamics, impact + slam, imaging and sound stage. The improvement was admin to be a component upgrade. As noted before I struggle to hear any difference in my second system. That system will recieve a new preamp and power amp soon so I'll have to compare again then.
  5. Sound like me.... I also find I never have time for games any longer too so the next PC for the office will likely be a passively cooled mini PC. Will probably just update the existing PC to Zorin OS 16 or some such. Just need word processor, spreadsheet, web browser and access to a printer and my scanner. Zorin seems to do that and the interface is actually way nicer than Window 10. Go figure right? Anything not available on the software centre 8l you just copy paste instructions into terminal. Easy done. Took ages to get UnRAID going properly though Roon and Plex dockers were easy enough once I got my head around it. Kind of wish I'd just gone with a high end Synology NAS though. So much easier. Set and forget.
  6. Messing around on UnRAID I accidentally wiped my playlists and backups so I used the opportunity to cancel Tidal and sight up to Qobuz. Interestingly sound quality is noticeably better. Particularly the treble where before there was what sounded like electronic signalling noise. It's not present with Qobuz so I wonder if it was something to do with MQA?
  7. Gah, was messing round on UnRAID and accidentally wiped all my dockers (meaning Roon) and my backups. Ah well, I can finally make the switch to Qobuz as transferring my playlists is no longer an issue. Still
  8. Woot! My order from Tortuga will ship this week. Confirmed no shortages due to Covid, just a bit of a backlog to work through.
  9. Ah, mines done that too with what little she knew about (the Abbas gear actually) I've gotten better at hiding it and get black boxes that all look pretty similar so changes are not visible to her. Besides, I brought in a purchases of new stuff needs to be financed by sales of the old. That's how the LP's and playback gear helped upgrade my digital chain still further
  10. Goodness no.... That's just where I unintentionally ended up constantly chasing improvements. Kind of at the point I'm contemplating killing my forum membership. Need to pursue new interests though haven't figured out what else I've time for.
  11. Aye, my sound chain is in my signature. Counting all mods to my DDC, master clocks, cables etc I guess my overall cost for my digital chain sits around $15k...... Still a fair bit less than I had invested in vinyl playback. Got to say though when I sold all my analog playback gear and LP's I really only got pennies on the dollar. Such is life. I don't regret it though as it was an enjoyable journey. It's just my current digital chain matches it and more. I have been mindful to tune my system around musicality rather than straight out transparency though. I do want to enjoy my music without worrying about the best possible recordings after all I use Roon exclusively for music playback. There's some music on my server. A mix of Mp3, WMA, Ogg and FLAC. Probably 90% of my playlist is on Tidal though.
  12. Meh, a top digital chain will out-vinyl, a good LP playback chain.... I WAS a convert to LP's for many years until I discovered Abbas Audio DAC's.... No more. Really I believe that you're best not trying for the ultimate in fidelity with vinyl and just aim for the ultimate musicality. Hard to beat an old Ariston or Linn table in that respect paired with an old Empire 2000 E/III and EAR 834P based phono stage. Certainly not the last word in resolution but that's a setup plays the the strengths of the format. Musicality. Go too high end and resolving and you end up with something which simply doesn't compete with a really top digital chain due to the inherently lower noise floor of digital. I have however found that cleaning up noise in the digital chain reaps huge benefits in improved insight and musicality. You can go further in this respect with digital content too. Enjoy each as you will but be mindful that both technologies have their pro's and cons. The only thing I truly miss about physical media is flipping through covers and selecting an album. I do still have a CD player in the second system though Really, enjoy whatever format is most enjoyable to you. I think I ruined vinyl for myself, particularly when the sound I was chasing could be more cheaply attained with digital content. If I'd simply continued to enjoy the LP playback chains I had 6-7 years ago though instead of chasing the performance improvements I'd certainly be better off financially and wouldn't have enjoyed things any less. I'm more flawed than either playback medium. Such is life.
  13. But yeah, get the streamer of your choice and pair it with a great DAC. No need to be limited to DAC's designed specifically for streaming. The only real consideration of a DAC should not be features, though rather sound quality. For example I recently picked up an extremely rare 90's vintage VTL Reference D/A converter. One of the two best sounding DAC's of that era though my Abbas is undoubtedly better showing how yesterdays technology can sound far better in a modern implementation that the very best from back then. I still very much enjoy the VTL for streaming in my second system though. I like each system sounding different It was the Abbas made me give up on vinyl and sell it all.
  14. Why eBay of course. They had a lovely 4.1SE listed just yesterday. https://www.ebay.com/itm/DAC-4-1-SE-abbasaudio-5687-EZ35-PCM58K-black-gate-/363543391533?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0 The same is said of Abbas Audio gear. That said.... Totally different approach to sound. Abbas approach is closer to that of Audio note, or the Killerdac crowd. Pretty well anyone has tried the 2.1SE or higher has stopped trying different DAC'a. Got off the merry-go-round so to speak.
  15. A Soundaware A1X into something like an Abbas Audio DAC 2.3SE will destroy all and leave plenty of change out of 10k. Why limit yourself to streaming DAC'a when you can run a dedicated streamer into a much better DAC? It really opens your options up too.
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