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About Me

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  1. Friends, I'm looking for a solution to a problem, and your advice is greatly appreciated, as I have little idea where to begin to find what I'm looking for. Background: about 10 years ago I dabbled in computer-based audio, using a laptop and a first-gen M2Tech that I had modded by some fellow in Ireland to feed my otherwise relatively high end stereo. The sound wasn't good, but I enjoyed it enough to live with it at the time, because my stereo was in our basement, and most of time I was down there I was listening to music while playing with my kids. I move every couple years, and I went to a Modwright Oppo front end when we moved in 2010 because the new music room wasn't . I've been using a Modwright Oppo 95 or 105 since. I have all my CDs ripped to hard drives. At times I've plugged in a USB external hard drive enclosure to the Oppo and played my files that way; recently, I gained the opportunity to run ethernet cable to the Oppo, so I moved the hard drive to my router's USB 3.0 port and allowed the router to act as a DLNA server so the Oppo could play the files via ethernet, which for some reason sounds superior to having the hard drive attached directly to the Oppo via USB. I'm now looking to get away from the Oppo. There are several reasons for this: I want to more conveniently navigate my music library; I'd like to have the option to upsample to DSD; I'd like to be able to tinker with the voicing/filters instead of being stuck with the voicing the player gives me; and although Modwright's products sound fantastic I'd like more resolution than what I have now. To that end, I've purchased an LKS MH-D004 from China, and intend to have it modified by a fellow who is known to do a good job modifying digital products. However, I haven't kept up with the developments in digital playback over the last seven years, and I have absolutely no idea what product(s) would be strong options to get the music from my hard drive to the LKS. As luck would have it, I'm replacing my wife's nearly decade-old computer this week, so I soon will have an extra Windows 7 desktop sitting around. I have no idea how to modify it to control it with a tablet or phone, though, and don't want to use a keyboard and mouse. I've looked at players such as the Auralic Aries and Aries Mini, the Allo DigiOne player, the Bluesound Node 2, and SOtM sMS-200, but I really am not certain which, if any, of these players will provide me audiophile-quality sound, the ability to upsample files, to include DSD up to 512 (maybe the LKS DAC can take the native file format and upsample; I'm not sure), and navigate my music library relatively easily. As an aside, although experience tells me "everything matters" in audio, I confess being baffled at the idea the sound output by a standalone DAC would be different based on the player feeding it (as long as all the ones and zeros are reaching the DAC). I selected the LKS in part because it gives me the ability to adjust the filters to my preference, and in light of that, is the difference in the sound I will hear between players likely minimized? Finally, am I in the right ballpark with the digital audio player products I've looked at? Should I look at some other type of device, and within the types of products I've researched, what other products would be strong options based on my requirements? Many thanks for your advice. It's pretty disconcerting to be so lost on a part of a hobby I've enjoyed most of my life! Best, HC
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