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Flac or WAV transport.

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BLASTO

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Hi,

I am looking for a transport which just plays FLAC/WAV of external HDD and gives out bit-perfect coaxial output and optionally a HDMI connection to TV for browsing.

Do such things exist? it is tiring to maintain a PC for this purpose.

Thanks,
 
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aashish351

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Oct 14, 2009
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Gurgaon
If you have a USB Dac, just put together a headless mini pc (raspberry pi, intel nuc etc.) and install any of the Linux music server OS (daphile, vortex box, volumio etc.). You can control them through iOS, android including browsing music. This solution is not the same as running a full pc. You just need to switch the mini pc on just like you would any transport. The loading times of these software are very less.

Option 2: find a used Logitech squeezebox. But the above option still gives you the ability to connect to TV, although you don't need it.
 

sups

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I am using a Squeezebox Touch for this. Extremely happy with the overall performance.
 

sidvee

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Hyderabad
Hi,

I am looking for a transport which just plays FLAC/WAV of external HDD and gives out bit-perfect coaxial output and optionally a HDMI connection to TV for browsing.

Do such things exist? it is tiring to maintain a PC for this purpose.

Thanks,
Any decent media player should do the trick. I have been using the AcRyan POHD2 for a couple of years, though only for movie playback and it is great (through hdmi). It has a coaxial output, and can play back wavs and flacs so should be good with external DAC as well. However I have never used it for this purpose. I think it was approx. $200.
Cheers,
Sid
 

BLASTO

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I use the Oppo BDP-103 on occasion to play FLAC. Most BD players would do this.

Shankar
Bluray players don't cut the cake.

I have recently compared Oppo BDP 93 vs Sony S7200 vs Pioneer BDP 170 and oppo came at the last. Sony was better by a big margin and BDP 170 between them.

But a PC with ESI Juli is better than all of them.
 

BLASTO

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If you have a USB Dac, just put together a headless mini pc (raspberry pi, intel nuc etc.) and install any of the Linux music server OS (daphile, vortex box, volumio etc.). You can control them through iOS, android including browsing music. This solution is not the same as running a full pc. You just need to switch the mini pc on just like you would any transport. The loading times of these software are very less.

Option 2: find a used Logitech squeezebox. But the above option still gives you the ability to connect to TV, although you don't need it.
My DAC is Coax only. Not tried Logitech squeezebox but I just checked that it is not in production and without replacement?

I will check the other options u mentioned.
 

BLASTO

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Any decent media player should do the trick. I have been using the AcRyan POHD2 for a couple of years, though only for movie playback and it is great (through hdmi). It has a coaxial output, and can play back wavs and flacs so should be good with external DAC as well. However I have never used it for this purpose. I think it was approx. $200.
Cheers,
Sid
Is it available on sale? Will sync up with you.
 

sidvee

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Is it available on sale? Will sync up with you.
No Blasto I plan to keep my unit. However I think the newer versions are available though not sure where in India. I bought mine in SG.
Cheers,
Sid
 
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musicbee

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Nothing beats a PC (with the right sound card/DAC) in terms of performance... but pretty much any solution you seek (with similar or better performance) will require "maintenance". No getting around that.

Of course if you want to go 100% PC less then options to consider are...
1. A smart router (extremely convenient, you can connect an external HDD that you can power on only when needed).
2. A network player (no advantage IMHO). Even the Audio Lab M-Net does not offer any advantage over a PC and when you factor in the cost of procuring it, I don't see the point unless its aesthetics. Again you can hide the PC in the bedroom or storeroom and use a router and smartphone apps for the same streaming functionality.
3. Go with a mini PC, either Zotac or Intel NUC (not sure if they have coaxial output, but HDMI yes).
4. Many Android OS box solutions, but most are geared towards video.
5. Ditto for media players like WDTV, but again no advantage over a traditional PC.

I'm not entirely in favor of Raspberry Pi, I found it slow/unresponsive... but I'm probably biased and spoiled for speed.
 

hydra

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This is not in line with what you wanted to know, and I'm not sure what your total budget is for the solution, but I'd also suggest a Mini-PC based solution used with a USB to Coax converter, if you plan to spend about 25-30K in total.

An Intel NUC would have been perfect, if not for the fact that it does not have a coaxial output. The Celeron version will run to under 15K with RAM and a low-capacity SSD. To use it, you will need a USB to coaxial converter (Hiface/iLink/vLink/etc.). It has enough USB Ports, a mini-HDMI port and a network port. It's just 4" x 4" in size, AND it has an IR receiver (you can use most universal remotes) to boot. But the NUC + converter will run to at least 25-30K.

Asus's (prettier) version of the NUC, the VivoPC, has a built in Optical SPDIF output. But the Celeron VivoPC is just under 20K in itself (with 2GB RAM and a 500GB HDD). The digital interface is optical, not coaxial, and that may not work for you.

Way back, I used to use a WDTV (optical out) with a DAC (Caiman) to play FLACs, but it sounded far, far inferior to my Music PC (which used the analog output of a Xonar STX back then). The WDTV is indeed not exactly a stellar music playing device, but the same PC also beat a Squeezebox touch (built-in DAC) that a friend brought along later.
 

snkadh

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Better to go with PC based solution with foobar support. Since you are planning to install a dedicated sound card which have optical out, you can take advantage of ASIO driver support for bypassing the OS. Also you don't have to depend on the firmwire upgrade if any new codec or new format appears in the market.
 

ranjeetrain

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Mar 26, 2008
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New Delhi
Hi,

I am looking for a transport which just plays FLAC/WAV of external HDD and gives out bit-perfect coaxial output and optionally a HDMI connection to TV for browsing.

Do such things exist? it is tiring to maintain a PC for this purpose.

Thanks,
Reminds me of my first proper transport that I picked up overseas. I formatted an HDD with FAT32, dropped all my media, opened it and put it inside. It could play WAVs and FLACs pretty well. I never compared it directly but from memory, it sounded better than or almost as good as my first music PC with a Creative Audizy card.

I am sure there would be similar products on the market. If not at a slightly higher cost there are options like Marantz N7004.
 

BLASTO

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Posting after 2 years since my problem is solved now.

Got yamaha wxc-50 streamer and using it for Flac&Wav transport duties and it is performing impressive so far. Preamp function with a remote is a plus.

Sounds awesome when connected to external DAC and better than my music PC from memory. Analog section sounds very very good too with the classic ESS sound. Far better than chromecast analog (which itself was pretty good)


Cons: Came with a Rs2 power chord which affected even digital sound production. Replaced with a Airport express power chord lying around and proved to be excellent with no more upgrades required.

Thanks to NewLash for lending me his unit to make the purchase decision. Without audition I would have never believed a yamaha to sound this good. Surprise package for analog and stunning for digital transport use.
 

locopoco

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Aug 15, 2013
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Location
Mumbai
Hi Blasto,

Help me out.

I use a laptop (Saavn.com) to connect to a USB DAC to amp.

It is tiresome to go to the laptop and change the music everytime. Is there a way I can control the music from my android phone.

Similarly, for the music that I have on my hard drive, I face a similar problem of going to the lappy and changing the music.

This is just spoiling the fun of listening to music.

Do let me know.

Cheers,
 

BLASTO

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Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
3,554
Points
113
Location
Hyderabad
Hi Blasto,

Help me out.

I use a laptop (Saavn.com) to connect to a USB DAC to amp.

It is tiresome to go to the laptop and change the music everytime. Is there a way I can control the music from my android phone.

Similarly, for the music that I have on my hard drive, I face a similar problem of going to the lappy and changing the music.

This is just spoiling the fun of listening to music.

Do let me know.

Cheers,
If your DAC has optical inputs, you could connect a Chromecast-Audio optically to your DAC, everything remaining same. You can stream from your android phone directly to Chromecast audio from saavn app. Infact I am doing the same.

Streamers were almost non existent when this thread started so were unknown quantity. Most streamers today support usb playback. You just format your USB disk with FAT32, put all your songs in flac/wav format there and plug into the streamer and you are good to go. There is an android/apple IOS app bundled with every streamer which allows you to browse and play songs from USB directly. You can also use AirPlay if the streamer supports it (Yamaha/Marantz does). My second optical input in the DAC is connected to Yamaha.

If your DAC has ONLY USB input, I would say its time to upgrade to a DAC which supports at least 2 optical inputs.

If you cannot do that, Aurelic aires mini is your only solution. It has direct streaming, Airplay and USB playback along with DSD playback and outputs through optical and also USB. You just need to connect your DAC to USB output of the aires mini. I have not personally used this streamer but the internet is full of praise and everyone cannot be wrong. But it is still unknown quantity to me and any of the owners can pitch in. I have heard driver incompatibility with some DACs which you need to address though.

Hope it helps.
 
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