Gear you're running that you're not happy with.

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I have been in a bit of a stereo funk for the past few weeks. Just a string of bad luck, bad bets and equipment failure. My LUMIN went down after a mod apparently broke it. Still trying to get passed my annoyance to write up that ordeal. It is also still an ongoing ordeal, so I may just wait till I am further in the repair fiasco before I write it all up. Being without a streaming option has highlighted just how important streaming has become to me.

I suppose my dissatisfaction is being so close to a stopping point and having it all go to shit. I am just not in a place where I want to bother investigating or “investing” in another solution or replacement at this point. Just got my Onkyo Scepter F1 speakers up and running after having both Tweeters rebuilt by a specialist. And while they are very good speakers, I just prefer the Older Onkyo Monitor 2000X. I have been playing with the DSPeaker X4 for room correction only. It is also a Pre Amp and a DAC. But I am not really all that crazy about it. It speaks to my general belief that I am just not a candidate for the Miracles of DSP correction. I hear the “improvements” of the room correction. Just not sure I like it per se? Will have to give it a little more time.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
In the realm of the world's problems, mine is minor. But I hate trying to fix network device problems at 6am like I was doing this morning. A man's stereo is meant to calm and relax or otherwise bring him joy....

The positive side of this thread is that I'm really happy with absolutely everything else I'm running.
I'd say this one has an easy remedy, ditch that POS Bluesound unit and consider it a good run that ended.

It is sounding more and more to me over time that these Bluesound units have thermal related issues that grow worse as they age, necessitating a power supply recap at minimum, which isn't worth it if the same problem is going to arise again and again due to inadequate cooling.

When these issues affect the power supply, thats a really bad thing for performance and reliability, the unit may appear to be powered up and working but in reality the OS will act wonky or perhaps even become corrupted, requiring a full reinstall, which won't solve much if the underlying issue isn't addressed.

Whether I'm right or wrong about the above is almost not even important, if the thing drives you nuts and has you fucking with it at 6am, ditch it, it might have been good at one time or good while it lasted but now thats run it's course. If these are not actual hardware issues, then the Bluesound folks have simply fallen down on the job with regard to BluOS, or their controller app, or both.

Even if you thought a Raspberry Pi was too cheap, can't be any good, or too DIY, gonna be a pain in the ass... etc, just trust that so many other members here have found the opposite to be the reality, it's astoundingly good for the money and if nothing else can serve as a stopgap measure while weighing other more expensive options.

Thats even more true when subscribing to a cloud service such as Qobuz, you don't even necessarily need to instantly figure out a full blown local server library solution, just hook up the RPi to a USB DAC and stream to it from a control point app such as mconnect HD. It will sound great, be easy on the wallet (especially if you already have the USB DAC), take up very little space, not use much electricity, and it will be reliable. That means always on and ready to roll, not driving you crazy with intrerrupts and disconnects or other wonky behavior requiring any troubleshooting.

You will set and forget, I fucking guarantee it, unless you have an unreliable home network caused by some POS combo modem/router issued by your ISP, complete with flaky firmware and zero provider support.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
This is exactly the reason I've waffled so long on the streaming thing. Streaming... it sounds like it should be so easy but in spite of being a sorta smart guy, I kinda suck at computering!

I've been avoiding the whole streaming thing simply because it looks like more work getting and keeping it running than it would be worth to me.

Pet peeve of my system is Volumio and my pi.
A constant trail of lock ups and re boots . Have down loaded updates and tried a new sd card but it just sucks. I have cleared the junk off my tablet Manny time to no avail, but everything else I use this tablet for seems fine.
I am somewhat inept with computers failed at getting Moode to work and subscribed to Voluimo so I could have Quobus.

It would appear that I have failed at the job of digital moderator based on these comments. Either I speak in a language completely foreign to most, or I somehow come off as not easily approachable, though I do take all manner of questions both in the forum itself, and via PM.

My only saving grace in all of this is that I do know we have a good many HFH members who have used the information in various HFH digital threads (and also gleaned from a few PM exchanges) to get up and running with trouble free streaming solutions that aren't glitchy, unreliable, complicated, or otherwise a general pain in their ass. In nearly all of those cases they are shocked at how easy, inexpensive, and great sounding the end result is, they just pick up their phone or tablet (read: remote control) and choose some music, then just play it at their whim, with no revisiting of any settings or setup, or other mind numbing stupid minutia.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
It would appear that I have failed at the job of digital moderator based on these comments. Either I speak in a language completely foreign to most, or I somehow come off as not easily approachable, though I do take all manner of questions both in the forum itself, and via PM.

My only saving grace in all of this is that I do know we have a good many HFH members who have used the information in various HFH digital threads (and also gleaned from a few PM exchanges) to get up and running with trouble free streaming solutions that aren't glitchy, unreliable, complicated, or otherwise a general pain in their ass. In nearly all of those cases they are shocked at how easy, inexpensive, and great sounding the end result is, they just pick up their phone or tablet (read: remote control) and choose some music, then just play it at their whim, with no revisiting of any settings or setup, or other mind numbing stupid minutia.
From my own standpoint the streaming thing really would be a lot of work, spread over as many systems as I have running and given we own neither phone nor tablet to run such a system from. I'm still back in the Stone Age solution of media i can pick up and carry from place to place...
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
Interesting thread, especially as I am possibly the lone non-vinyl guy here

I consider Roon and my Small Green Computer Sonictransporter I5 two of my best audio purchases. Mostly glitch-free streaming and playing my own rips of both CDs and SACDs. I do occasionally reboot the system and additionally have to reboot the Rasberry Pi streaming in my garage.


Back to what I am not happy with? I can't say I am unhappy with my ACT SCM-40 speakers but I can say that at times I wonder if I would enjoy a speaker that was a bit less analytical and a bit more warm. They sound great with well-recorded music but listening to old rock they can really show that there was not much care in some of the masterings and digital transfers.

A pair of ProAc 2.5's just popped locally, this speaker has been on my 'want to hear' list for many years. Unfortunately, I cannot listen or purchase until May 10th, so I am in a bit of a quandary as to what to do.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I'd say this one has an easy remedy, ditch that POS Bluesound unit and consider it a good run that ended.

It is sounding more and more to me over time that these Bluesound units have thermal related issues that grow worse as they age, necessitating a power supply recap at minimum, which isn't worth it if the same problem is going to arise again and again due to inadequate cooling.

When these issues affect the power supply, thats a really bad thing for performance and reliability, the unit may appear to be powered up and working but in reality the OS will act wonky or perhaps even become corrupted, requiring a full reinstall, which won't solve much if the underlying issue isn't addressed.

Whether I'm right or wrong about the above is almost not even important, if the thing drives you nuts and has you fucking with it at 6am, ditch it, it might have been good at one time or good while it lasted but now thats run it's course. If these are not actual hardware issues, then the Bluesound folks have simply fallen down on the job with regard to BluOS, or their controller app, or both.

Even if you thought a Raspberry Pi was too cheap, can't be any good, or too DIY, gonna be a pain in the ass... etc, just trust that so many other members here have found the opposite to be the reality, it's astoundingly good for the money and if nothing else can serve as a stopgap measure while weighing other more expensive options.

Thats even more true when subscribing to a cloud service such as Qobuz, you don't even necessarily need to instantly figure out a full blown local server library solution, just hook up the RPi to a USB DAC and stream to it from a control point app such as mconnect HD. It will sound great, be easy on the wallet (especially if you already have the USB DAC), take up very little space, not use much electricity, and it will be reliable. That means always on and ready to roll, not driving you crazy with intrerrupts and disconnects or other wonky behavior requiring any troubleshooting.

You will set and forget, I fucking guarantee it, unless you have an unreliable home network caused by some POS combo modem/router issued by your ISP, complete with flaky firmware and zero provider support.
I'm not against the Raspberry Pi and have no assumptions about its sound quality- I really just kind of want something that looks like a component, and is just plug and play. Kind of how if I want to stream movies on my TV, there's plenty of devices I can do that with and they're all painless, and they all work. Which brings me to the network comment made by Audiothesis prior to your comment. It's certainly possible that there's a network issue, as this thing demands an Ethernet connection for some reason and like 99% of other people in the world my router doesn't reside in the room with the stereo, so I have to use a bridge/extender- which I'm sure isn't helping things. But this has been a problematic device in more than one home at this point, with multiple internet providers, where nothing else attached to the networks caused problems. Everything else I run on my network works. I stream movies, I'm on video calls all day long. Everything just turns on and connects to the internet without issue. But I should give a pass to BlueSound? I'm honestly just tired of giving passes to audiophile stuff, not just for network connectivity but for everything we give them a pass for because they didn't figure it out like everybody manages to do in industries where the customer isn't expected to bend over backwards to cut the products slack. It should just work. Its 2021, BlueSound should just work, BluOS should have a better interface, their support should admit that its not their customers at fault for their faulty products including the now-proven thermal failures of the Node2, and I should never have to reboot my iPad and unplug and plug-in the Vault to get it to momentarily forget that it can't figure out how to update itself so that I can stream a song at 6am.

(rant over :) Except for BlueSound not taking responsibility for its thermal failures, which is BS )

So with all that said, the Vault finally figured out how to update its firmware rendering it operable again, so I have time to figure this all out. I have a lot of research to do as I haven't readily explored this world in a long time, and I assume its changed since last I looked. The Lumin gear does look interesting, but its pricey. I've seen other devices that looked interesting, too, but haven't done any sort of deep-dives. I'm more of a vinyl fanatic, digital is the functional side of my setup that I don't like getting into the weeds on, so this isn't as much fun for me.
 

Redboy

Knobophobe
It would appear that I have failed at the job of digital moderator based on these comments.
Au contraire, my friend. I'd say you have more than succeeded -- excelled, even. Any and all failings on this front are mine to own, and mine alone! :)

BTW that power supply arrived yesterday and I am looking forward to getting things up and running soon(ish... expect the usual Nate pace! :rolleyes: ).
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Au contraire, my friend. I'd say you have more than succeeded -- excelled, even. Any and all failings on this front are mine to own, and mine alone! :)

That power supply arrived yesterday and I am looking forward to getting things up and running soon(ish... expect the usual Nate pace! :rolleyes: ).
Yeah I think we probably have the best digital moderator around. Which is funny given the 1950s bent of the rest of things here :grandpa:
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
I loved my Lumin. Until I decided to “upgrade” it. Knowing I voided the warranty is one thing. But if it is no longer repairable at all? Than I have to take issue with it. That said, from a plug and play, set and forget POV. Lumin is very good. To @JohnVF point. For its price, it had better be.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Android Galaxie tablet, 4B, Ethernet.
Exactly what I use, the only difference being I do not subscribe to the paid version of Volumio called "MyVolumio".

I remember mentioning that when you were fist getting setup, and while I can think of no reason why the paid version wouldn't also work, I do know for sure that the free version does and it actually saves quite a bit of money, you'd be paying just one time to gain the Qobuz compatibility with either the mconnect HD, or BubbleUPnP app. Your Qobuz subscription credentials are entered into that app, and boom away you go.

Ethernet should be rock solid and it definitely removes all of the random WiFi troubleshooting that is in many cases unique to any given home.

Last night after I read your post I grabbed a spare RPi 4B that had been running an older version of Moode (6.4.2 and yes that also works perfectly with nary a glitch ever), and I downloaded the latest version of Volumio, then flashed it to a brand new SanDisk microSD card.

After swapping that card into the RPi 4B, I powered it up, sniffed it's IP address using the Fing app, and enetered that IP into my web browser. The Volumio interface came right up, and I spent 5 minutes going through it's settings menu, then grabbed by Galaxy Tab A and launched the BubbleUPnP app.

Now granted, that ap is already all setup, it's got my Qobuz credentials, all I had to do was select that Volumio endpoint as the play-to location. Wham, music flowed in my bedroom. After a couple of tracks off the Pink Floyd Live at Knebworth 1990 album, I killed that app and launched the similar mconnect HD. It too already has my Qobuz subscription credentials, and after dialing up that as the source, and designating the volumio instance as the Play-to, bam, music flowed again, I played the latest Lake Street Dive release.

Ed please ditch that paid subscription to MyVolumio, not that I'm saying I know it doesn't work, simply that I can't support it. If you buy either the mconnectHD or BubbleUPnP app, I know that will work.

Please note, you can't have "dueling control points", whenever you wish to use a control point that should be the only one open at that juncture in order to avoid the potential for conflicts and competition for who owns the playlist. It is possible that could be the problem you've been facing if you had at some point tried to access the unit using more than one control point simultaneously.

Unfortunately though it seems logical that having the whole thing run on MyVolumio including their control point app would be "easiest", because you've been beating your head against the wall with that setup, it's time to change it. Buy one of those above apps just once and enter your Qobuz credentials, it will work. You can even start with the free trial version of the app if you like, but I wouldn't bother, drop the $4.69 for Bubble and get that going.

Again, I am not in any way saying that the paid MyVolumio can't/doesn't/won't work, it should, but since I don't have it and it's been driving you nuts, let's just set it the hell aside for now and access the Qobuz club stream through the Android app.

Also, if your Android tablet is setup to go to sleep when the screen is dimmed, or if it has the kind of "pad folio" case that sleeps the tablet when closed, we may have to take a look at those settings, as that could be part of the problem, but don't worry about that upfront, just get the app up and running and that might magically solve all of your issues.
 
Au contraire, my friend. I'd say you have more than succeeded -- excelled, even. Any and all failings on this front are mine to own, and mine alone! :)

BTW that power supply arrived yesterday and I am looking forward to getting things up and running soon(ish... expect the usual Nate pace! :rolleyes: ).
I would agree and say that my failures I own 100%
Without help form others and especially @MikeyFresh I would not this far down the streaming path.
I can say that streaming Quobus has reduced stylus wear dramatically 😁
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
A pair of ProAc 2.5's just popped locally, this speaker has been on my 'want to hear' list for many years.
Those are great little floor standers, a nice blast from the past memory of listening at my local dealer. I probably should have bought those instead of the Tablette Reference Signature + two Response ER-One subwoofers I ended up getting.

The Response 2.5 would have been a whole lot easier to implement, smaller footprint, and far less expensive in the end as well.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I really just kind of want something that looks like a component, and is just plug and play.
I guess that would depend on what one thinks a component needs to look like. That Volumio Primo looks like a small component, so does my Allo Boss Player, and it's successor, the Boss2 which is getting rave reviews, but the case is silver and blue, not everyone's cup of tea.

Almost nothing is actually plug and play, not like a CD player was/is anyway, everything will have an initial settings/setup period, as well as the learning curve for how to access the music with an interface of some sort, typically an app.

The Boss Player I bought was offered as an plug n' play solution, fully assembled and even with your choice of Moode, Volumio, or DietPi already installed on a microSD card, however you'd still then need to go through the initial setup and get it going on... your network.

@AudioThesis is certainly correct, many people have network issues, typically because they use an ISP issued crappy modem/router combo that has shit firmware and zero support.

I do use a setup exactly as you are describing John, and none of it is new, absolutely old news several generations back 802.11n WiFi in the form of the Apple AirPort Extreme router, and the bridge extender Airport Express for each room I need an Ethernet jack in. It is on 24/7 except for power outages, and it just works, no drops or glitches at all, I can stream 3 different tracks to 3 different rooms simultaneously. The router dates to 2011, the bridge/extenders are even older, but they just work. But unfortunately not all WiFi/networking gear is that fuss free.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
But this has been a problematic device in more than one home at this point, with multiple internet providers, where nothing else attached to the networks caused problems. Everything else I run on my network works. I stream movies, I'm on video calls all day long. Everything just turns on and connects to the internet without issue. But I should give a pass to BlueSound?
It should work just like everything you are connecting and using on the network each day. I say it's probably gotten wonky due to heat stress.

So with all that said, the Vault finally figured out how to update its firmware rendering it operable again, so I have time to figure this all out.
Thats good news, but I think if a pattern has already developed then you will likely see it rear its ugly head again, for sure that will happen if this unit has in fact boiled over one too many times. You might need to point a little fan at it to keep it from melting down in summer time ambient temps, or run a shitload of AC.

I have a lot of research to do as I haven't readily explored this world in a long time, and I assume its changed since last I looked.
It sure has, but that doesn't mean an RPi wouldn't buy you time and be a perfectly good Qobuz streamer while you consider the larger and/or more permanent question of local server. You could get one that is an all-in one "player" with analog outputs, or just a stand alone RPi that connects to your DAC via USB, assuming you've got the room to deploy such a DAC right now.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
BTW that power supply arrived yesterday and I am looking forward to getting things up and running soon(ish... expect the usual Nate pace! :rolleyes: ).
Nice, I bought one too, couldn't resist that free shipping and didn't want to use a 9 volt SMPS with my older v1 microRendu anymore, so I picked up the 7 volt SGC supply and I had it hooked up last night.

Sounds great, just as my friend in CA said his did, a very good alternative to the roughly $400 for something like the Sbooster or, Channel Islands Audio units.

OK so at the usual Nate pace we'll calendar the trial run for early 2022... let's just call it February. Happy New Year!
 
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