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I'm looking at replacing my Mac Mini running JRiver & Raspberry Pi2 running Volumio2 with a dedicated music streamer. I've been looking at the SOtM SMS-100 , Aries Mini and the MicroRendu. The SMS-100 looks like it fits the bill, but the others have my interest as they are newer and possibly support more features, etc. The competitors look nice, but they are quite a bit more money compared to what I can buy a SMS-100 for currently. 99.99% of my music <24/192kHz so DSD isn't a high priority for me. I currently subscribe to Spotify, but I may be interested in the future to try other services. From what I've read here and elsewhere some are in the Mac Mini/CAPS camp and the other half are in the dedicated music server/streamer camp. Do I gain anything over my current players, ie. raspberry pi2 or Mac Mini running JRiver by going with one of the newer streamers?
Would be interested in learning if others have had similar impressions or not. I've been playing in the computer audio game for a few years, owned 3 Dacs going back to a Valab as the first, and have been using a CAPS Lagoon, with my humble Rega BrioR and RS5 speakers. Out of curiosity I bought a Raspberry Pi2 and have it running USB out to Dac using Volumio software, Flac files are all on a NAS. The sound quality to my ears sounds incredibly good. I've run it both as the standalone PC, and also as UPnP renderer with files being fed from a laptop running JRiver. Sounds identical either way to me, both extremely good. Anyone else have similar findings with a Pi 2, or could my ears just be playing tricks on me?