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HRT Music Streamer (Read 2085 times)
Matchstikman
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HRT Music Streamer
02/19/10 at 03:44:52
 
Anyone here use one of these?  I've been wanting to get a new CD source but I keep reading that the thing to do these days is to get a USB type DAC because most music will be digital and I'll be able to use my PC as a source.  I've seen the HRT streamer in two models...a cheap one and an even cheaper one.  I'm sure I'll get what I pay for but is it any good?
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mike_gagne
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #1 - 02/19/10 at 04:35:46
 
"Good" is relative to what. Over nothing? Absolutely. There is a whole range of low cost Chinese components out there-Trends T10, Zhou Lu, KingRex, Dac-in-the-box that are not necessarily bad but hard to quantify without "asking the guy who owns one." I personally have a T10 amp in my woodworking shop as dust eats most anything pretty quickly. The amp is pretty good but not in the league of my Decware/HDT combo. Its really about what you need for your own "ear" and the satisfaction you get from hearing deeply and well. The Trends gets to me sometimes and I have to go in the house at lunchtime and listen to something else for a little bit knowing I have the evening to caress the inner need for rich full musicality. A good Dec dac would be really cool........
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Matchstikman
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #2 - 02/19/10 at 12:01:44
 
Seriously, all opinions aside, anybody here ACTUALLY hear one of these music streamers?  They've got some serious reviews all over the internet but I'd like to get the opinion of a Decware owner that has heard one.
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Matchstikman
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #3 - 02/22/10 at 01:19:05
 
I bought one.  I'll review it when I get it for anyone interested.
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Chris K
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #4 - 02/22/10 at 19:32:54
 
Please do! Thank you.
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agustinf
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #5 - 02/27/10 at 14:29:28
 
I have the basic version. There are a lot of great things to love here: starting with the guys that make them, and that it is a brilliant and simple plug and play thing that takes all the power it needs from its USB cord. I A/B compared it to a few cdps in my old system and couldn´t hear audible differences.

All that with my old system. then, enters a torii III, and better speakers. I could hear that the MS was negatively affecting the music coming out. I remember I was listening to bach violin partitas and they got a little bit muddy. After a few terrifying seconds where I thought my new amp could be at fault I checked listened to the same tunes from the CD and the sound was crystal clear again (and decowners probably how nice this can go). They only other negative thing I can think of it´s that it sometimes overwhelms the USB port of certain (old) computers.

Please understand that this is still a "buy everything from HRT" if you can afford it post. I just wanted to share my experience with it. They have newer versions of MS and MS+ that show better specs (asyncronous and higher bit/hz count), and are a bit more expensive (the older versions can be found very cheap in online stores) but I can´t say a word on those as I haven´t auditioned them (and I personally don´t believe that better specs equals better sound... I have a 14bit cdp -stone age technology -and I am terribly fond of it.


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Matchstikman
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #6 - 02/27/10 at 21:50:19
 
I got it a couple of days ago and it works well with Windows Media Player and Itunes.  It is the basic, entry level model and not the more high end models that are now available.  At first it had a really cold sound.  It sounds better as it burns in.

However, I have a used ZBOX that I purchased some time ago that I don't use and it seemed to be the perfect way to smooth out the sound and guess what, it did.

So, now I have a 10 foot USB cable from my PC plugged into the HRT and then plugged into the ZBOX and then into a Decware SE84CEX with the CCE mod and then into some early model MG944s and the sound is really good.

The possibilities are endless with something like this.  I may get a notebook laptop and hook it up with an external drive for lots of storage.  

Overall, I think the sound off a CD through a proper transport is superior to this gadget but this is not bad for what I paid for it.  It allows for some "jukebox" style listen where I don't have to get up and change the CD and I can have hundreds of things.

As I hear, transports are on their way out and listening this way may be the wave of the future.  I still think it needs some work but it is on its way.

Where is that Decware DAC anyway?
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Matchstikman
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #7 - 02/27/10 at 22:15:35
 
Forgot to post this about this little gadget.  It doesn't have much on the bottom side.  I mean, you can still get it but not as much as you would off a CD.  They say the model above this does much better on the high end and the model above that is even better.
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Alan H
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #8 - 02/28/10 at 01:29:20
 
Interesting technology - I agree this is the way to go ...

But I can't see this as better than the Squeezebox which, coupled with a decent external DAC is awesome. The Squeezeserver software is mature and slick and being networked you can keep your computer (and the noise of its fans) at the other end of the house.

The SB3 with a NOS DAC has better sound (marginally) than my Quad 77 CD player which is itself pretty capable. However it falls short with the internal DAC.

So many different ways to swing a cat!
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Matchstikman
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #9 - 02/28/10 at 02:55:00
 
There is better technology than this out there but for me, a guy with no experience in this direction, this was a nice intro.  It was a cheap solution and it has resulted in some positive results.

By the way, the bottom has begun to blossom on this unit.  It may be CD specific.  Right now I am listening to Joe Bonamassa live and the bottom is certainly there.

As for fan noise, there is none.  I mean, the music in my room is so loud that I can barely hear me click on the keyboard keys as I type.
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Lon
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #10 - 02/28/10 at 03:25:32
 
I'm totally happy with my CD and SACD player (s) and Blu-Ray player (bedroom) for cds and I'm not moving in the PC music direction. No need for me to change with over 13.000 discs.  I'm happy this way. Wonder why you feel the need to move in this direcdtion Match (just curious).
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Matchstikman
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #11 - 02/28/10 at 03:47:49
 
Lon, here's the deal.  I've been back into audio for the past few months and for a couple of years my modded Pioneer transport and Bel Canto sat in a box.  I've put them back together and they sound fine but I thought that maybe I should get a dedicated redbook player or maybe get a nice transport and lo and behold, I am told that the transport is on its way out.  The number of transports for music has begun to shrink.  What is out there is mighty expensive.  I don't know. could my current setup last for the rest of my life?  If so, then done deal.  However, they say that my best bet is to sell what I have a get a nice DAC that is USB compatible.  That's the only reason I do this.

Lon, I'm with you.  Sometimes change just for the sake of change is not for me.  I like it the way it is.  However, let me tell you, I've got about 40 CDs dumped into my desktop and it is pretty sweet to swtich off with a quick click or put it on a juke box mode where I get a variety of stuff.

Besides, this little gadget was less that $100 and it is a nice toy for the most part.  
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Lon
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #12 - 02/28/10 at 13:00:21
 
Okay first off, this may sound crass MM, but in my long tender years I've come to the conclusion that "they" tell you what they want to to sell what they want to sell you.  With some exceptions.

I can understand "jukebox" playing and one click convenience, etc. but it's not the way that I listen.  I listen to whole cds at a time, I browse my collection and pull out discs, put them back, decide what to listen to next and next, etc. My wonderful girlfriend is the same way, she loves her cds, listens to one from start to finish, looks through the collections with me to find what to hear next. I've no interest in going the computer route.  I love being around all my discs and books and instruments and equipment, it's what defines me after all these decades.

So it's just not for me. As for transports, I have seven disc players of different types in my home, three in use, all of which could be a transport for a DAC if I ever go that route. But I love the sound of my Sony ES SACD player.  I also have learned to really like the sound of SACD and no computer is putting that out. I know that as long as I breathe I'll find a great machine to play my discs.  So I'm sticking with the ritual and methodology that works for me. If another works for you, have at it brother!  I just don't personally feel you should feel compelled to go in a different direcdtion, it's more like you may be steered there by what is "hot to sell."
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Matchstikman
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Re: HRT Music Streamer
Reply #13 - 02/28/10 at 14:19:35
 
Lon, I am with you all the way.  The way you listen to CDs is the way I listen to CDs.  "They" can't always be trusted.  In this case "they" are other listeners and not salesmen.  So, I appreciate what they had to say just a tad more, but only a tad.

I've downloaded from the internet about 20 songs only because they were from 1 hit wonders or because the rest of the CD was terrible and I just wanted that one song.  So, for the most part, I am a CD junkie and I listen to one CD from beginning to end.  Right now I have about 10 CDs that are still wrapped and need to be open.  My collection is not nearly as wide as yours, but it serves my needs.

I don't see this new direction I am exploring replacing what I have now.  It is more like another way to experience music.  I would still like a new redbook player in the future.  

As for amps, the two Decware amps and the Decware pre are it.  They sound great to me and I so no need to upgrade on those.  They are supposed to last for a lifetime, aren't they?  Besides, I have ears of tin to some extent and I need a really, really dramatic increase in performance for me to hear it otherwise it is lost.  I can easily hear and feel the difference between a tube guitar amp and one of those digital jobs kids like these days.

I've been wanting to get an SACD player for years now and it has bugged me that there are no external DACs that I know about for SACD.  I still want one.

I have had a good night sleep and this morning I am not as excited about it as I was last night.  One thing for sure, I don't have the money to spend that I had a few years ago.
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