DAC suggestion for PM5005 Amp + Wharfedale Diamond 220 Spk

Wharfedale Evo 4.2

swamytk

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I am looking into possibilities of upgrading my music system. Current system chain:
[Cheap Bluetooth Receiver + Old Chromecast video -> HDMI to digital audio converter + RPi3 MPD ] -> FX-Audio DAC X6 -> PM5005 Amp -> Wharfedale Diamond 220 Spk.
FX Audio DAC X6 is not good enough, often cracks burstling sound. I would like to change these sources and DAC into a simple chain with better units as mentioned below in a phased manner. I am looking into DAC first and Network player (Tidal/Spotify/Bluetooth/HiRes USB Player) later.
option 1: DAC with Network Player built-in ---> PM5005 Amp -> Wharfedale Diamond 220 Spk
option 2: Network streamer --> DAC --> PM5005 Amp -> Wharfedale Diamond 220 Spk

Q1: Which one of above options is worth for my Amp + Spk setup?
Q2: What are the parameters to look for in a DAC purchase. Only thing I know is Optical/Coaxia/USB inputs + Bits/Frequency supported. I would like to have a simple display to show audio resolution (bits/freq).
Q3: Please suggest me a DAC considering my humble Amp + Spk setup well. DAC's feature should be really converted into SQ through this Amp+Spk. I want neither overspend nor go for cheap products.
Q4. I am not sure what is the price range it needs. So I don't know my budget.
Q5: I noticed Yamaha WXC-50 as good one for both DAC + Network Player combined unit. Any comments?

Update: I would like to add that I don't use headphones. I need a full fledged DAC and avoiding something desktop model and portable.
 
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premoddev

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Have you ever tried a DAC HAT on top of your RPi? If not you can try Allo Boss or similar, they will definitely improve the SQ.
 

swamytk

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Have you ever tried a DAC HAT on top of your RPi? If not you can try Allo Boss or similar, they will definitely improve the SQ.
I did not listen to DAC HAT. But I would like to simplify the chain and no. of power supplies too - now it is cramped and I need more space for kids due to study from home, I need to free up floor space. Planning to go for sleek AV rack to stack them neatly.
 

premoddev

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Ofcourse you can remove all others and keep only RPi, so the chain will be like
Rpi+Boss -> pm5005 -> wharf220.
 

swamytk

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Ofcourse you can remove all others and keep only RPi, so the chain will be like
Rpi+Boss -> pm5005 -> wharf220.
I want to stream Tidal/Spotify/Tune-in Last time when I tried it with volumio, volumio asked for premium subscription for tidal stream. I don't want to pay on top of tidal subscription fee.

Will Rpi+Boss do I need to pay for any additional subscription like what volumio asked for?

Again I will be missing Bluetooth, so I need a seperate BT receiver again. Apart from that as future proof I want a Optical Input too as future proof (may be for chromecast in case...)

Please suggest. I am OK to go beyond budget of 15K if my Amp+Spk can utilize that SQ.
 

raghupb

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I want to stream Tidal/Spotify/Tune-in Last time when I tried it with volumio, volumio asked for premium subscription for tidal stream. I don't want to pay on top of tidal subscription fee.

Will Rpi+Boss do I need to pay for any additional subscription like what volumio asked for?

Again I will be missing Bluetooth, so I need a seperate BT receiver again. Apart from that as future proof I want a Optical Input too as future proof (may be for chromecast in case...)

Please suggest. I am OK to go beyond budget of 15K if my Amp+Spk can utilize that SQ.
Get a DAC with Coax/Opt/USB and play out of laptop with whatever subscriptions you have.
CCA is discontinued; so hinging your requirement on this is dicey.
BT is convenience, but with a proper streamer you will not miss it.
BTW, while researching for SPDIF transports, I read that Allo dropped OPT because of very high jitter.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

premoddev

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If you are okay to move out of Volumio and use MoodAudio, all the subscription related issues can be cleared. Bluetooth is also available on RPi3, so that will also work freely with MoodeAudio. Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz etc. are also available.

Only problem will be digital inputs, that is something cannot be done with the setup. If you are ready to sacrifice that, rest all can be achieved with RPi and a DAC HAT.
 

Yogesh

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No Where Near to where I want to be yet...
Do you mean "Khadas Tone Board Hi-Fi DAC USB-C Audio Interface"? I would like to go for a finished branded product.

Khadas board with case. Good for DAC. No streamer though.


For Streamer, RPi4+Digione HAT would be most economical I guess. @raghupb is the last one here to get one such. But no DAC here.

One FM is also selling..

 
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raghupb

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<snip>
For DAC + Streamer, RPi4+DAC HAT would be most economical I guess. @raghupb is the last one here to get one such.
I just got RPI (Volumio OS, streamer) + SPDIF transport (Digione HAT).
Allo markets this bundle as Digione player. No DAC here.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

MaSh

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I am looking into possibilities of upgrading my music system. Current system chain:

Q5: I noticed Yamaha WXC-50 as good one for both DAC + Network Player combined unit. Any comments?

Thats a good chain. What is your budget for a DAC?

WXC50 will be a good fit for your chain. Do mention your budget as DACs can come is a huge price range. Something as simple as a Fiio D03K will also do a decent job. I found it quite neutral, a tad on the warmer side, but an excellent value for money dac. Takes optical and coaxial inputs only.

MaSh
 

amit11

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One option is dragonfly red.

it is a usb stick size and can plug in directly at the back of rpi. (that way usb cable is avoided and also the good/better/best of diffetent usb cables can be avoided.)

secondly since it is usb dac, you can connect your phone aswell for outputting music.

The cable to amp will require change. instead of rca to rca, it wud be 3.5mm to rca.

Rpi -> dragonfly Red --> pm5005 -> wharf220.
 

swamytk

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Thats a good chain. What is your budget for a DAC?

WXC50 will be a good fit for your chain. Do mention your budget as DACs can come is a huge price range. Something as simple as a Fiio D03K will also do a decent job. I found it quite neutral, a tad on the warmer side, but an excellent value for money dac. Takes optical and coaxial inputs only.

MaSh
@MaSh with my limited knowledge wxc-50 satisfies my feature requirements, not sure about SQ. On budget side I can go upto 15K if my humble Amp+Spk can utilise that SQ out from DAC. So if any DAC within 15K which can beat wxc-50 which costs 25K including network player, I can consider it.
 

swamytk

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If you are okay to move out of Volumio and use MoodAudio, all the subscription related issues can be cleared. Bluetooth is also available on RPi3, so that will also work freely with MoodeAudio. Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz etc. are also available.

Only problem will be digital inputs, that is something cannot be done with the setup. If you are ready to sacrifice that, rest all can be achieved with RPi and a DAC HAT.
Bluetooth on RPi3 - I tried, not good. Again I would like to go for generic all digital inputs product for future expansion.
 

swamytk

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Get a DAC with Coax/Opt/USB and play out of laptop with whatever subscriptions you have.
Yes, exactly I need such a DAC, but I am not for laptop. I would like to add decent network player to DAC.
CCA is discontinued; so hinging your requirement on this is dicey.
BT is convenience, but with a proper streamer you will not miss it.
BTW, while researching for SPDIF transports, I read that Allo dropped OPT because of very high jitter.
CCA - just an optional standby streamer if any music service not supported by network player proposed
BT - used during offline moments and useful with small radio apps which don't support streaming. But I don't expext BT support from DAC.
I need good SPDIF transports to connect external network player. I am not keen on USB inputs.
 

ktks1

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I think Yamaha WX-50 fits your purpose as an all in one package.

Topping E30 that'll come up on Headphonezone shortly will be a juicier option for a DAC under 10k (measured very well on ASR).

But you will have to deal with more equipment/wires to add bluetooth and streaming capabilities.

You have to choose between convenience and saving a few bucks.
 
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