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Computer Audiophile


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About DuckToller

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    French side of Europe

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  1. HiFiBerry vs IQaudIO vs...

    in this use-case I would really look into the ALLO Piano 2.1 DAC, seems to suit to it like Manchester to City ... just that you volume control would be via your phone/tablet ...
  2. HiFiBerry vs IQaudIO vs...

    McGillroy, I have used a RPi 3b with Volumio and both DF Red and iFi Micro BL for my Headphones with quite satisfying results: Since the start of this year I have upgraded the Pi with a Hifiberry DAC pro and installed that in my teenage son's chain (old equipment from the parents, HK and Infinity from the end of the last century ;-) and I found that the sound, streamed from the family NAS via Ethernet, was a big step forward to the Hifidelio transport (equals Olive Musica) and the MF V30 DAC. As he uses the Mediastreamer/DAC also for Video, I have installed another flavour for the PI, OSMC, a kodi fork. To cut it short, RPi3b/HB DAC PRO sound quite good related to the invest, even with a non audiophile mediacenter like Volumio, Rune or RaspyFi. I can recommend that for a (beginners) starting point, particularly as the HB DACs IMHO are well implemented with software and hardware. Keep in mind to deactivate the WIFI (you should not need it if the Pi is ethernetted to your router) and maybe look for a better power solution than the standard 3a 5v SMPS. As an alternative I would advise you to invest some time reading into the ALLO section here onsite or the DARKO findings about their product, he seems to like them a lot. Cheers Tom
  3. DAC For Bedside Headphone System

    Owning the DF Red (€199) and the iFi iDSD (€549) micro BL, I can't say one of both is bad driving my HD650's, just that the iFi is the much better choice (as it should be, given the difference in price) from the listening and from the settings/features perspective. I found it worth the price difference, and I guess, even I have not heard the iFi Nano BL, that it is valid for that device as well. I just have posted the differences of both iFi devices as a comment under my review from December 2017. A topic I found quite important to solve before choosing the DAC would be the digital source feeding the DAC, if it ain't sufficient for upsampling to DSD512, I may not pay the premium for the Micro BL. A solution like Rasperry/Volumio (DSD256 native) or a solution with ALLO components like the BOSS DAC (No DSD) or USB Bridge would come to mind as alternatives to your Macbook. From my point of view, the Micro BL is so good that It is now in the big sytem (where the can be fed with upsampled DSD512) and I have fallen back to the DF Red for the HD 650's, as it seems to be a question of conveniance. I am waiting for a DSD512 capable iDAC to get the Mictro BL back to the headphones ;-) Cheers, Tom
  4. @Condocondor I've no experience with the IPurifier nor the IDSD Nano BL, lets put it this way, I had thew impression that the BL was profiting from the USB REGEN, so I could imagine that in combination with the iPurifier2 the results may as well exiting. @Staxguy According to my knowledge, apart from the price difference, the absence of some features like XBass, 3dSound and DSD512, available inputs and outputs, FastCharger, PCM only to 384Hz, available MQA-Filter (only Nano), a sufficently lower dynamic range (109db) and finally a different DAC chip, the iFi product pages do not reveal any other differences to me . Hope that helps ;-) Cheers Tom
  5. Article: Apple HomePod Review - An Audiophile Perspective

    I very much prefer not to be liaised with the small man shouting at my grandfather's generation for giving them an imperial impression. However, strangely enough, most french people assign my accent rather to your brave island than to their eastern European neighbour. Cheers Tom
  6. Article: Apple HomePod Review - An Audiophile Perspective

    Chris, I just noticed the "audiophile" adjective is part of the advanced sales scheme for voice controlled products https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/feb/15/sonos-one-review-best-smart-speaker-audiophiles-amazon-alexa ... maybe it would be better (for some appleogist audiophiles) to compare the HomePod vs the Sonos One ... Cheers, Tom
  7. Article: Apple HomePod Review - An Audiophile Perspective

    Chris, that was fun to read .... RESPECT ! I am quite uncomfortable with voice assistant products since ... here in France even France Telecom does not accept me paying my bills for the landline over their voice system, due to my accent ;-) ... but far more because these products seem to me so much Orwellian. Selling them on the audiophile bill might dazzle the I-crowds, that were waiting on such a product and on the other hand "justify" the price tag. Thank you, Tom
  8. The Best for the Least

    My first intention had been to throw in the RasPi3 with Hifiberry DAC pro + (ca. 120 Euro) as Streamer/DAC-Combo , which I choose to substitute an Olive Symphony + Musical Fidelity V90 DAC (MSP 1500 Euros at the time) in my son's room. I found it to sound far superior, even I choose the Kodi fork OSMC as media center and not Volumio, Moode or RuneAudio. But it might not match the parameters provided, as it is close to a "least amount of money", it performes well on the Archimago test bench, but how could it be considered "best" performer? Herein lies the problem with the questions, as mansr allready indicated. Minimal input (money) with maximal output (best performance) is a dream come true of every investor, maximum gain with minimal investment. I would be very doubtful on any offer from my bank that propagates this idea! In addition, the formula "best" is really "tricky", would gear be compared only to gear on the same price level, giving it a price/quality ratio to compete on highre priced gear, or would it it compete against gear with higer price tags on the base of perfomance output? And how to measure "best" quality (would it be the numbers (like the ones of Archimago) or the subjective impression of perfomance in a personal audio environment ? I need to admit, the longer i think about it, the more confused .... Good night Tom
  9. Network Neutrality

    "You guys across The pond love" ... whoppers? Bon appetite ! ;-) Tom
  10. Network Neutrality

    I am still wondering what you would like to express with that phrase! Do you really believe, having a regulation in place, for an infrasture-based market on which several types of services compete, is a takeover? So, in fact, the EU has taken over all the US companies, that compete on infrastructure, telecoms and internet service markets in Europe, and the companies like Cisco and Juniper, who serve the data center infrastructure as well? I believe. Not!
  11. Network Neutrality

    Priaptor, thank you for getting the point. I agree to disagree! I feel there is a misunderstanding from your side, how the market mechanism works in layered markets the. But that's ok. I would not like to dicuss with you the US healthcare scenario, as i do have only an opion based on my experience in Germany and France about their health care systems, but I have never been active on that market nor did I do academic research on it. On the other hand, I have started asking myself, which is the premise of your thinking, when you assume that living in an particular country helps to understand why the broadband last mile and middle mile market monoplies are comparable to US Healthcare since 1965? If discussing opening telecom markets from former monopolies into nearly functional competition, academic knowledge on incumbent behaviour and personal experience in negotiating Leased Lines with Time Warner, or peering contracts worldwide, might be more substantial for the subject, than living in the US and having "suffered" from the american healthcare system. I am happy for your positive perspective with fast internet access, but I would be careful to generalize not yet realised connections to quickly. From my experience of the time to market cycle in that industry, neither your advanced price scheme has been a result of Net Neutrality, nor your announced access improvement in Montana have been a result of the decision made last week. The investment plans rule there, not a FCC decision, that will have surely several runs on court before being effective. Cheers Tom
  12. Network Neutrality

    2nd try, ;-( Priaptor; The citation you might wantetd to copy is " And cable broadband has not been opened up to (utility) competition in 2015, that is why cutting off the NN principles counts so much for them ". This is not just a presumption. That is knowledge, which arrives from a view of monopoly markets and market failures arriving from them. IMHO, there are a lot of reasons why public authorities should control, shape and speeding up competition in markets, which are dependend on infrasctructure and where incumbents are used to set the barriers to entry as high as possible. Leaving the mainland 15 or more years behind the big city development on failed competition due to false comprehention of the markets, in my view is shame for your country. I have noted, that ATT has received over 600 m USD (2015) for the rural infrastructure, received per add-on to long distance call billing, but used it to further ATT's own business plans. This is (former) incumbants behaviour, I have already mentioned the Swisscom case above. It is not "appropriate" to compare healthcare and telecoms: Healthcare - gouverment regulation - failure (maybe correct) is comparable to Broadband market - gouverment regulation - failure (maybe wrong, Europe experience shows different outcomes) Your comparison, even not totally wrong as there is undoubtly impact from regulation, is not suitable but it is more like: Ball (soccer size) - made from marble - not usable for a soccer match (correct) is comparable to Ball (soccer size) - filled with air - not usable for a soccer match (wrong) And I do not at all question your experience kicking the marble ball i.e. healthcare!! ;-) I've clearly understood your bond to the healthcare industry, but it does not necessarily imply a deeper understanding on the telecom markets und their dysfunctionality on last and middle mile competition, or how "The NET" works. You might put your experience behind, and look without ideology burden on the reality of (non)-existing competition in that market. You should as well take into account that "The NET" is an end-to-end service, which is assumed to work infrastructure agnostic (i.e. neutral), which implies, that the idea of altering this service in the incumbant's interest is a direct attack on the design philosophy of "The NET" and doomed to have a undesirable effects for the users. Cheers, Tom
  13. Network Neutrality

    Priaptor; The citation you might wantetd to copy is " And cable broadband has not been opened up to (utility) competition in 2015, that is why cutting off the NN principles counts so much for them ". This is not just a presumption. That is knowledge which arrives from a view of monopoly markets and market failures arriving from them.
  14. Network Neutrality

    I think the United Kingdom had been the first market to open (at that time) telephone access to competion with unbundling and "diversifying" the old BT in the 90ties. The other key markets in Europe have done that about a decade later, after having studied the effects in the UK. You might see some former incumbents still complaining their obligation to secure a (minimum) service for remote households, and moving on in the wrong directions. Just read on Sunday, that e.g. the Swisscom (Incumbent in Switzerland) does have pocket double the cost of a fiber network from clients in a remote valley over the last 5 years timespan, but still provide only copper services there. Due to the existing competition control from the EU, the means of competition and the access to the customers are provided in the telephony market, which includes the internet access an all areas (afaik). The newest research on European level could be found in this document from May 2017: http://ftp.zew.de/pub/zew-docs/dp/dp17028.pdf (Speeding Up the Internet: Regulation and Investment in European Fibre Optic Infrastructure)
  15. Network Neutrality

    I was reading and trying to follow the the discussion, as it looks like the main focus for the contributors here is the last mile access operator. The US has an average of two operators per houshold, which I read as 33 % are monopolized, 33 % have a duopoly and the rest about 3 or more providers to choose from. And cable broadband has not been opened up to (utility) competition in 2015, that is why cutting off the NN principles counts so much for them. I rather had a view on NN on an inter-network exchange, which might concern the BB provider or not, and excludes the content, that is already close to the access crowd via content delivery networks like AKAMAI. Being in Europe, this might be kind of my "next hop", while you as customers obviously need to look on your next bill. With the current model re-monopolized, even with the perspective of 5G broadband, I can't see fruitful competition in the coming. Afaik, the advantage will lie in connecting groups of residential customers with ethernet connection provisioned by singel/multiple on air broadband connections on a point to multipoint network (example: on skyscraper with antenna, all housholds and company could get alternative access) That again will exclude many users, who do not live in populated areas or big cities. Last mile unbundling or carrier free LMA via local utilities would put the focus of competition on the middle mile and the distribution networks, but it would definitely stimulate the competition with more market player able to make offers to the customer. If the oligopolies of content distribution in the last mile would have to open up, the customer could choose e.g. from virtual internet service providers (imho, this would be the most extreme form of choice for the customer). This won't happen cutting off the priciples of Network Neutrality, as, due to the mechanisms of monopoly, advantages will be always played against its weakest stakeholders. And by the way, I think medicare is a very important and difficult subject, but can't be used when discussing the fields of communication networks. Where the competition happens nowadays between the physical/data link/network layer (Layer 1-3), and the Data level (Layer 5-7), which includes particularly the content provision of layer7. I can't see that mirrored in the medicare discussion. Cheers, Tom