Is There Such a Thing as a Better Sounding Streamer?

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Moode and LMS is very simple, actually. To add a Moode-equipped Raspberry Pi to an LMS instance, you need to go to the audio configuration page on your Moode web page (moode.local/snd-config.php) and scroll down about 2/3 the way. You'll see a section entitled 'Squeezebox' below 'Spotify' in which you can enable (don't forget to click 'Set') an LMS library:

18248

You may need to muddle about with the Squeezelite config option, but it is very easy to set up - easier IMHO than Squeezelite distros on Raspbian.

-D
 
Sorry to be late with my contribution, but I think my experience is relevant to the earlier discussions.

I have compared the streamer section of a Linn Klimax DSM with an Intel NUC running Roon ROCK as an endpoint. The Linn did win out but not by a huge margin.

I had set up the NUC in a fanless case with an ATL linear power supply to play 5.1 FLAC and DSD files which the Linn DSM can't do.

To make the comparison, the HDMI output of the NUC was taken directly to the DSM. Otherwise everything was identical - same music library, switch, DACs, etc.

It was not a completely fair test because of the HDMI connection. Also, the Linn DSM does so much more than just stream and has the advantage of everything being in one box. Furthermore, I can't say how the Linn DACs compare to other models. However, my experiment has convinced me that it is possible to achieve great sound quality for lower cost, but I suspect you probably knew that already.
 

S0und Dragon

Moderator and Circus Hand.
Staff member
So....if I am going to explore this further. I would need to add the lumin products to the list. A good friend of mine is awaiting a Lumin D2 with Sbooster LPS addition. I am eager to hear this combination.
 
Since this was linked in a more recent thread I have a chance to ask a question.
Looking at the Sonore microRendu V1.5, you can now get it for $499 with a power supply. The only thing i am unclear about is how can wifi be integrated with it, or can it? The location this would be I don't have hardwired ethernet.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Since this was linked in a more recent thread I have a chance to ask a question.
Looking at the Sonore microRendu V1.5, you can now get it for $499 with a power supply. The only thing i am unclear about is how can wifi be integrated with it, or can it? The location this would be I don't have hardwired ethernet.
You can use a WiFi bridging device, variously referred to as a media bridge, repeater, or extender. This device takes the data over WiFi from your router, and converts it to Ethernet. The microRendu would connect to this repeater/extender/bridge via Ethernet.

My house is not wired for Ethernet, other than the bedroom where my router physically resides, all other streamer/endpoints in my system use such a bridge device.

It need not even be a super modern Gigabit Ethernet device, as the older 100mbps "Fast Ethernet" specification is more than enough bandwidth to stream 24/192, or DSD128 as examples.

You can even sometimes repurpose an old router to do this job, though that might vary by brand and vintage, but just as an example I use an Apple AirPort Extreme configured as an extender in my downstairs living room system. It supplies Ethernet ports not only to a Raspberry Pi Moode-based streamer in that room, but also my actual music server which is a separate Raspberry Pi running JRiver (Id Pi), and a Sony S7200 Blu-ray player that I use for SACD ripping. Plenty of bandwidth for all 3.

That Extreme unit is intended to be a router, however you don't have to use it in the traditional way that a router would be connected, just leave the WAN port that would normally connect to a cable modem empty, and use the LAN ports for Ethernet bridging. This is easy to do with the Apple Airport software, but other brands may not be quite as straightforward to configure.

In other rooms, I don't need any more than just one Ethernet port (for the streamer itself), in those cases I don't use a router but an extender, either the smaller Airport Express (not to be confused with the Extreme), or a Netgear EX6150. My EX6150 is an older version, for some reason Netgear did not change the model number when updating that unit, mine is not the newer "mesh" technology nor was it $99, I paid about $49 brand new at Best Buy as I recall some years ago.

I've even stockpiled a few of these that I found very cheap on eBay in the event one of my units ever fails, I have backups, as Apple did discontinue their entire router/repeater line in 2017 to focus on other lines of business. Too bad, Apple actually made/offered the very first consumer grade router way back in 2003, and the Airport line was nothing short of rock solid/excellent for the better part of 20 years. Now they are gone but can be found cheap on eBay, my latest steal was a Gen. 5 Extreme (Model A1408) for all of $19 + tax/shipping. All-in it ran me $32. It is in near mint condition, and works flawlessly, Apple's firmware is beyond mature and non-buggy.

If you only need just one Ethernet port for that room, then the little brother Express is just fine.

For any Apple haters who want to take a dump on this Airport Express/Extreme recommendation, think again please. Apple's WiFi networking gear was some of the best available for nearly 20 years. I still have an original Gen. 1 Express that works just like it ever did, and several others too, none have ever failed on me. Another ancient Gen. 1 Express is deployed in my sister's house, where she uses it for Apple Airplay purposes.

The only confusion that abounds with buying a used Express is that the Gen. 1 looks exactly like a Gen. 2, but they are not the same in two crucial ways. The first is that the Ethernet port on a Gen. 1 is only able to be used as a WAN port, which doesn't work for music streaming purposes, there you need a LAN port.

Starting with the Gen. 2 Express, the Ethernet port can be used as either WAN or LAN. The 2nd difference is bandwidth, the Gen. 1 was 802.11g speed or a maximum of 54mbps, which was fine for Apple Airplay, but not enough for hi-rez audio. The Gen. 2 was updated to 802.11n which was 5 times the speed and twice the range of the Gen. 1 unit. For hi-rez audio, that's the minimum you would want to use.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I use a small repeater that plugs into the wall outlet, about the size of a small wall wart power supply, to get Ethernet to my server... it works well and like Mikeyfresh said it isn’t some fancy gigabit speed device.
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
I use a small repeater that plugs into the wall outlet, about the size of a small wall wart power supply, to get Ethernet to my server... it works well and like Mikeyfresh said it isn’t some fancy gigabit speed device.
It should be noted that some brands of server or streamer advise against this type of setup, and go as far as to say it won't work, or that it won't sound good. Neither is true.

They say that for one very specific reason, they don't wish to support it. In other words, they cannot spend the time/effort/money associated with being on the phone or online chat support all day long fussing with customer's WiFi troubles, and for that I do not blame them, there are far too many variables beyond their control that have exactly nothing to do with their product to make that at all reasonable.

Where I take exception to that approach is the dishonesty in not admitting that they simply can't and don't support it, instead placing fear/anxiety and doubt in the end user that it either won't work at all, or that it will somehow badly compromise the sound quality. Thats bullshit.

Their only alibi has long ago expired, that being in the early days of WiFi, 802.11b/g was often insufficient bandwidth for anything beyond 16/44.1, and even that may not work right if there was too much physical distance involved, or significant sources of 2.4 GHz interference. Those days appear to be long over unless one still uses ancient antiquated WiFi gear of yesteryear.

Some of that ancient gear does actually work, the Apple Airport Express model A1264 (Gen. 2 circa 2008) is 802.11n spec, and has been running continuously in my HiFi room (other than power outages) since 2008. Even after a power outage, it reboots all by itself when power is restored, shakes hands with the router, issues an IP to the streamer, and away I go, no further messing around at all. It just works, and has for 13 years now. It connects a Sonore microRendu v1.3.

If the day comes that AEx finally gives up the ghost, I have a spare that I picked up in one of @ICTWoody 's closet sales, fully reconfigured, and tested/functioning for the day it's ever needed.
 
You can use a WiFi bridging device, variously referred to as a media bridge, repeater, or extender. This device takes the data over WiFi from your router, and converts it to Ethernet. The microRendu would connect to this repeater/extender/bridge via Ethernet.

My house is not wired for Ethernet, other than the bedroom where my router physically resides, all other streamer/endpoints in my system use such a bridge device.

It need not even be a super modern Gigabit Ethernet device, as the older 100mbps "Fast Ethernet" specification is more than enough bandwidth to stream 24/192, or DSD128 as examples.

You can even sometimes repurpose an old router to do this job, though that might vary by brand and vintage, but just as an example I use an Apple AirPort Extreme configured as an extender in my downstairs living room system. It supplies Ethernet ports not only to a Raspberry Pi Moode-based streamer in that room, but also my actual music server which is a Raspberry Pi running JRiver (Id Pi), and a Sony S7200 Blu-ray player that I use for SACD ripping.

That Extreme unit is intended to be a router, however you don't have to use it in the traditional way that a router would be connected, just leave the WAN port that would normally connect to a cable modem empty, and use the LAN ports for Ethernet bridging. This is easy to do with the Apple Airport software, but other brands may not be quite as straightforward to configure.

In other rooms, I don't need any more than just one Ethernet port (for the streamer itself), in those cases I don't use a router but an extender, either the smaller Airport Express (not to be confused with the Extreme), or a Netgear EX6150. My EX6150 is an older version, for some reason Netgear did not change the model number when updating that unit, mine is not the newer "mesh" technology nor was it $99, I paid about $49 brand new at Best Buy as I recall some years ago.

I've even stockpiled a few of these that I found very cheap on eBay in the event one of my units ever fails, I have backups, as Apple did discontinue their entire router/repeater line in 2017 to focus on other lines of business. Too bad, Apple actually made/offered the very first consumer grade router, and the Airport line was nothing short of rock solid/excellent for the better part of 20 years. Now they are gone but can be found cheap on eBay, my latest steal was a Gen. 5 Extreme (Model A1408) for all of $19 + tax/shipping. All-in it ran me $32. It is in near mint condition, and works flawlessly, Apple's firmware is beyond mature and non-buggy.

If you only need just one Ethernet port for that room, then the little brother Express is just fine.

For any Apple haters who want to take a dump on this Airport Express/Extreme recommendation, think again please. Apple's WiFi networking gear was some of the best available for nearly 20 years. I still have an original Gen. 1 Express that works just like it ever did, and several others too, none have ever failed on me. Another ancient Gen. 1 Express is deployed in my sister's house, where she uses it for Apple Airplay purposes.

The only confusion that abounds with buying a used Express is that the Gen. 1 looks exactly like a Gen. 2, but they are not the same in two crucial ways. The first is that the Ethernet port on a Gen. 1 is only able to be used as a WAN port, which doesn't work for music streaming purposes, there you need a LAN port.

Starting with the Gen. 2 Express, the Ethernet port can be used as either WAN or LAN. The 2nd difference is bandwidth, the Gen. 1 was 802.11g speed or a maximum of 54mbps, which was fine for Apple Airplay, but not enough for hi-rez audio. The Gen. 2 was updated to 802.11n which was 5 times the speed and twice the range of the Gen. 1 unit. For hi-rez audio, that's minimum you would want to use.

Okay cool. I've seen Airports locally listed so I will check on that. Here is an Extreme posted right now.
Airport.JPG

And an extender also posted:
Extender.JPG

What I am trying to do is in my main audio room there is no wired internet. I want to connect a stand alone streamer (no DAC) to my stand alone Denafrips DAC and take advantage of the USB input on that of course. Balanced from the Denafrips to the preamp.

Right now I am also using my Bluesound Node 2 but it doesn't have USB out so for that system I'd like to up the game on teh streamer part of things. And streamer only. Of course I will miss the interface of bluesound. I wish NAD would make a bluesound streamer. I just dont need to pay for the DAC that is often included in a streamer.
 
Last edited:

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Okay cool. I've seen Airports locally listed so I will check on that. Here is an Extreme posted right now.
View attachment 27559

And an extender also posted:
View attachment 27560

What I am trying to do is in my main audio room there is no wired internet. I want to connect a stand alone streamer (no DAC) to my stand alone Denafrips DAC and take advantage of the USB input on that of course. Balanced from the Denafrips to the preamp.

Right now I am also using my Bluesound Node 2 but it doesn't have USB out so for that system I'd like to up the game on teh streamer part of things. And streamer only. Of course I will miss the interface of bluesound. I wish NAD would make a bluesound streamer. I just dont need to pay for the DAC that is often included in a streamer.

How far away is the router from your HiFi room? Does that room seem to support good WiFi reception with other devices? If it does then this will work just fine.

The AirPort Extreme needs to be configured via their free software called Airport Utility. There are versions for Windows, Mac, or even iOS (but not Android), you would want to confirm you can actually download and run that software on whatever computer or device you plan to use for the configuration.

In my opinion the Airport Utility is one of the main lures for using Apple WiFi devices, the software is superb and the actual device firmware is very mature, it will not be a pain in your ass. But if you have an ancient Windows computer, or something more esoteric like a Linux box, this software won't work.
 
Okay cool. I've seen Airports locally listed so I will check on that. Here is an Extreme posted right now.
View attachment 27559

And an extender also posted:
View attachment 27560

What I am trying to do is in my main audio room there is no wired internet. I want to connect a stand alone streamer (no DAC) to my stand alone Denafrips DAC and take advantage of the USB input on that of course. Balanced from the Denafrips to the preamp.

Right now I am also using my Bluesound Node 2 but it doesn't have USB out so for that system I'd like to up the game on teh streamer part of things. And streamer only. Of course I will miss the interface of bluesound. I wish NAD would make a bluesound streamer. I just dont need to pay for the DAC that is often included in a streamer.

Check this out: USBridge Signature Player - Ultra low noise RPI


I ordered the DigiOne Signature Player SPDIF out with Shanti power supplies. I'm using an Arcam rPlay. I bought the iFi power supply and could hear a difference. So, for me, the Shanti was a no brainer.

I got this to use it with wifi:


I'll create a new thread when it arrives 'cause I'm a quasi Luddite and will need help.
 
Last edited:

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Check this out: USBridge Signature Player - Ultra low noise RPI


I ordered the DigiOne Signature Player SPDIF out with Shanti power supplies. I'm using an Arcam rPlay. I bought the iFi power supply and could hear a difference. So, for me, the Shanti was a no brainer.

I got this to use it with wifi:


I'll create a new thread when it arrives 'cause I'm a quasi Luddite and will need help.
That will be a really nice setup, the dual rail Shanti is absolutely perfect for the DigiOne Sig, SPDIF super charged.

I just bought Allo's $59 Nirvana SMPS which measures very close to the Shanti in terms of noise, and output impedance, but it's not a dual rail supply like Shanti is, and it lacks the supercap output bank.

I think the Nirvana is a raging bargain at $59, trouncing the iFi iPower in every way, well beyond my expectations. For anyone looking to leave their 5V digital ON at the ready 24/7 but wanting to limit electricity usage, Nirvana is the ticket.

Other members here are awaiting a new version of the USBridge which will be based on the Compute Module 4. While RPi 4B has been out since summer 2019, still no sign of the CM 4, though it can't be too far off. Allo will have to redesign the USBridge mother board accordingly, as the current version only supports the CM 3+.
 
Top