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About stevebythebay

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  1. I wouldn't put the N10 in the same category as the dCS or Naim units. The N10 has internal drives for the music library and offers some network services like Tidal. It has no capacity for external clocks but does have internal power supplies. I think it more a music player that happens to play nice with a network of addition sources. And price wise and based on more features, the Aurender S20 is a more reasonable comparison, at least with respect to the Naim unit. I see the dCS as more narrowly defined. No internal drives. Just takes Ethernet network bitstream (including Tidal and Spotify) with Roon endpoint support, adds upcoming WiFi and MQA support and sends the "unaltered" bitstream on its way. And it is capable of upsampling or downsampling as needed. I say "unaltered" to really mean undiminished, since I'm getting far more sonic pleasure from the dCS than anything else I've tried in my system. I know little of the older Naim technology. So I can't compare how it might fare. Also, the dCS has no USB output, making it less versatile if a DAC expects that as input. I had the N10 in my system, replacing a MacMini. I found a nicer result with a microRendu. Both had been feeding into a Berkeley D-D converter into the AES/EBU input of a Berkeley DAC. Now, using the dCS to replace the microRendu/converter, I'm experiencing a much better sonic result. As always, "your mileage may vary" based on your system.
  2. Allow it to "burn" in for 100 hours - just get a source to let the bits flow in and out and you'll really get it to perform at its best.
  3. I know it would certainly be nice to test it out, without having a Network Bridge on hand. But no luck. I will say, it's fine as far as it goes. Quite basic as a player. If you're not using Roon, for instance, or another player, it's supposed to see you NAS and allow you to play tracks and build queues, etc. I don't know how you'd access music that's on, say, a USB attached or international to a Mac or PC. As for setup, there's little to it. Just need to match the capabilities of your DAC to what the dCS is putting out.
  4. Agree as an early adopter of the Eero. I've one wired into my Cisco smart switch (along with MacMini, dCS Network Switch, and QNAP NAS) collocated with audio system. The other Eero's include one wired into an upstairs arrangement of Cisco switch and cable modem, while another supports a microRendu and Audio Alchemy DDP-1. No glitches or sonic degradation found. May move the QNAP upstairs if it ever becomes a sonic issue (so far I never hear it at all, unless I'm adding music to it or Roon needs to rescan the music folder), which is very infrequent.
  5. I waited a long time moving from a USB attached drive for my MacMini to a 2-slot QNAP NAS that hides behind one of my speakers and is wired into my switch (8-port Cisco smart one). All colocated with the rest of the hardware in my listening room. That switchover, in and of itself, made a noticeable sonic improvement. I agree that power supplies, especially for these sensitive devices (microRendu) can make a significant difference as well. Even the Ethernet cable from the switch to the microRendu or other network endpoints (dCS) can make a difference. Everything in the chain has an impact to one degree or another. As for a decision on using an N10 or G2 or dCS represent significant variations in cost and resulting sonics. If you can, bring those options in-house for testing in your system.
  6. Broken internal USB connector. In the process of unplugging the USB cable to test out another one, the internal USB receptacle in the microRendu came "free". Please let me know the process to either get it repaired or replaced. I'm guessing the soldering, or whatever held it in place, gave way. Since this is my backup unit (for the upstairs video system) there's no rush. I can even wait to buy an ultraRendu instead (especially if this is a costly repair/replace).
  7. Hope reality is that from a sitting position it's substantially less obtrusive. My late 2014 MacMini is 12 db from what Apple calls the operator position, and that's using the noisier Fusion drive rather than silent SSD. However, using an SSD may potentially make things hotter and kick up the fan. Can't find that spec'ed out. In measuring my spl from where I sit, when the system is in pause mode, I get 25 db (daytime). Guess I'll wait for a fanless or other implementation coming down the pike.
  8. Re: noise - This review might be helpful: Seems that going with an i5 or awaiting a fanless case might better suit your requirements.
  9. This simple answer is yes. But the real answer is not quite that simple. These music playback systems are a complex, end-to-end chain, with the room as a player in the overall effect. For instance, I've 3 louvered window blinds behind my speakers, and can alter the sonic effect just moving them a bit, changing their diffusive effects. Same with a few choice tube traps right behind the sofa I sit on. The Aurender N10 does a number of things that I need multiple devices to do for me. It's got built-in hard drives, whereas I use a NAS today. It connects to my downstream D-D converter via USB (I found its AES/EBU output feeding the DAC not as good). It has it's own specially configured operating system for managing music and playback. It's a fine all-in-one, as far as it goes. When I first replaced it with a MacMini and microRendu, this new solution, at least for me, was a step up in the attributes I happen to covet in sonic realism. The microRendu still relies on a USB output, to feed the Berkeley D-D converter. Moving to the dCS Network Bridge has finally "buried the hatchet" in USB, now banished from my system, by removing the microRendu and "aging" Berkeley D-D converter as the dCS is wired via AES/EBU right into the DAC. My reaction to the result is as I've noted in an earlier post. I'm sure as I continue to discover new hardware that results in a better results I'll deploy them. The Roon R.O.C.K. purpose-built hardware/software solution may be the next change after testing out a collection of Ethernet cables connecting the dCS to the network switch. My hope is always to simplify, but moving from the N10 was a side excursion, that I hope will always, eventually lead back to simplifying my setup. And so it goes...(the dCS arrives this week) 👍
  10. Great review of your purchase/setup. One thing I was wondering about: does the NUC purchase include the necessary 19v 65w power supply (I'm assuming so, it's not mentioned, and I'm also guessing that purchasing the Akasa, which uses same spec power brick, would work as well)? However, it would appear from the Akasa page that the i7 version is not explicitly supported). e.g. Chassis&type_sub=Fanless NUC&model=A-NUC35-A1B# Would using an LPS make any real difference (especially if, as you have done, are simply asking it to be your Roon Server (Core) device)? And in accessing Roon via iOS or Android, are you relying on the NUC's WiFi or via the Ethernet connection to an attached WiFi Access Point?
  11. Having had an Aurender N10 in my system and then switching back to a combination of MacMini and microRendu I found that a better sonic alternative. Best to get a dealer to loan an N10 to you for trial, as you may or may not find it to your liking. I'd say the A10, based on what I understand, and Chris and other's reviews, is likely a solid and more universal solution to the emerging streaming world while retaining most of the benefits the N10 offers. Though I cannot speak for how the A10 fares against the N10 sonically, especially for locally attached media. For me, swapping my combo Digital to Digital converter and microRendu for the dCS Network Bridge is my next step up.
  12. Think the Roon folks might do well to get in the "goof proof" networking HW/SW business to go along with the Roon app and Nucleus. Easy, peasy end-to-end turnkey music. Sounds like radio!!!
  13. Thanks. Andrew already pointed that out and once I did so all is well. For the life of me I cannot figure out why things worked in the past but somehow went haywire yesterday. At least I was able, with Andrew and your help to zero in and fix it!!!
  14. Just off the phone with Apple. They tried to see anything was amiss with the system but didn't see anything. They suggested things that, frankly don't make sense, having to do with switch speed or glitches in how the Mac is behaving relative to the switch or network. Can't for the life of me figure out how WiFi does not pose any problems to Roon when getting the bits to and through the microRendu and on to the DAC, etc. Certainly would be helpful to know what Roon is "seeing" that trips it up.
  15. From speaking with the guys at Roon it doesn't have the juice. The TS-251+ is OK but not this basic one.