deepsleep

Streamer/DAC - Where did I go wrong ?

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I have upgraded to the following front-end setup (~£11,000) following guidance from dealers and forums:

Auralic Aries G1 Music Streamer > Audioquest Coffee USB > Chord MScaler > SBooster Ultra BOTW Linear PSU > Wave Stream Dual BNC > Chord Hugo TT2 DAC

My friend brought his Naim ND5 XS2 all-in-one box (£2400) to try at my house and I was amazed by it's performance (no premium cables, no LPSU, no multiple boxes). I tried my usual Tidal test tracks and my setup did not seem to have a significant price/performance improvement !

I was gutted !

Where did I go wrong ?

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Super Dealer

I am afraid there is a huge amount of BS around, Audio Science review measure components and cut through to the facts.

The Chord is however a decently measuring dac.

Keith

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, deepsleep said:

I have upgraded to the following front-end setup (~£11,000) following guidance from dealers and forums:

Auralic Aries G1 Music Streamer > Audioquest Coffee USB > Chord MScaler > SBooster Ultra BOTW Linear PSU > Wave Stream Dual BNC > Chord Hugo TT2 DAC

My friend brought his Naim ND5 XS2 all-in-one box (£2400) to try at my house and I was amazed by it's performance (no premium cables, no LPSU, no multiple boxes). I tried my usual Tidal test tracks and my setup did not seem to have a significant price/performance improvement !

I was gutted !

Where did I go wrong ?

That’s not good, I’ve looked on your profile and if you load your kit on there, it’s easier to understand. So what’s your amps speakers etc..

BTW, your ears do the listening.. all the measurements in the world won’t create the right synergy with a system 

Edited by radiant red
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How much experience putting system together have you got? Have you meddled with components for long? It is a big amount of money for what seems a little return. It may be that you have a preference to a certain kind of sound. It doesn't necessarily mean yours is worse. Experiment and listen to as much as you can then spend money.

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Posted (edited)

Auralic Aries G1 Music Streamer > Audioquest Coffee USB > Chord MScaler > SBooster Ultra BOTW Linear PSU > Wave Stream Dual BNC 

Sell all of this pronto and just get a basic streamer and keep the Hugo. You just proved that steamers all appear to sound the same, so you are effectively just comparing your dac to your mate's one.

Edited by Psilonaught
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Super Wammer

I’d be interested in how you came to choose this luxury streaming solution.  Naim is renowned for its engaging sound, which can be exciting and enjoyable, or forward and tiring depending on your preferences and the rest of the system. 

As radiant red says, it would be handy to know the rest of your kit.  Welcome to the Wam!

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Thank you for your responses.

I didn't expect to end up with all this kit.

I originally bought just the DAC to use with my Macbook and then it all started from there with the dealer suggesting extra bits afterwards (try this, try that, reduce RF noise etc).

I agree it is most likely a combination of diminishing returns and foolishness on my part "Saw-you-coming".

If I knew back then that I needed a streamer/DAC then I would have auditioned such units rather than plain DACs.

I think my amp and speakers are reasonanble: McIntosh MA252 and Harbeth P3ESRs ???

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Super Wammer
3 minutes ago, deepsleep said:

Thank you for your responses.

I didn't expect to end up with all this kit.

I originally bought just the DAC to use with my Macbook and then it all started from there with the dealer suggesting extra bits afterwards (try this, try that, reduce RF noise etc).

I agree it is most likely a combination of diminishing returns and foolishness on my part "Saw-you-coming".

If I knew back then that I needed a streamer/DAC then I would have auditioned such units rather than plain DACs.

I think my amp and speakers are reasonanble: McIntosh MA252 and Harbeth P3ESRs ???

Where are you based? 
sounds like a dealer has really gone to town on you.

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Super Wammer
1 hour ago, Psilonaught said:

Auralic Aries G1 Music Streamer > Audioquest Coffee USB > Chord MScaler > SBooster Ultra BOTW Linear PSU > Wave Stream Dual BNC 

Sell all of this pronto and just get a basic streamer and keep the Hugo. You just proved that steamers all appear to sound the same, so you are effectively just comparing your dac to your mate's one.

All streamers don’t sound the same. I don’t think selling the kit ‘pronto’ is a good idea. The selection of kit looks good to me, and I personally think more careful investigation and listening is needed before doing anything drastic.

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In my experience you don't need a streamer a good dac fed by your computer or a naa such as the sotm ones give far superior sound

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Super Wammer
7 minutes ago, deepsleep said:

West London

I bet I could guess the dealer 💭 I won’t comment on here.

i don’t think any of your kit is bad, it’s not. It’s compatibly with each item. Is your kit bright sounding? Lethargic after periods of time?

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1 hour ago, deepsleep said:

I have upgraded to the following front-end setup (~£11,000) following guidance from dealers and forums:

Auralic Aries G1 Music Streamer > Audioquest Coffee USB > Chord MScaler > SBooster Ultra BOTW Linear PSU > Wave Stream Dual BNC > Chord Hugo TT2 DAC

My friend brought his Naim ND5 XS2 all-in-one box (£2400) to try at my house and I was amazed by it's performance (no premium cables, no LPSU, no multiple boxes). I tried my usual Tidal test tracks and my setup did not seem to have a significant price/performance improvement !

I was gutted !

Where did I go wrong ?

Did you listen to your friend’s Naim for a longer period and with diff. types of music?

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Super Wammer
52 minutes ago, deepsleep said:

I think my amp and speakers are reasonanble: McIntosh MA252 and Harbeth P3ESRs ???

They should sound lovely, and able to cope with an analytical front end. It looks a bit disproportionate on paper:- £11,000 source, £4,500 amp, £2,500 speakers.  But in a smaller room it could be amazing.  

Was the Naim better at anything, or just not obviously inferior, would you say?  Did you know that Wave cables are made by a Wammer, who might have some tips on setting up?

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