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PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503 (Read 3624 times)
Lonely Raven
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PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
06/15/17 at 06:37:09
 

I'm not even really sure exactly what I want to write about here - so I hope you forgive me for (probably) rambling, as this is likely to be very stream of thought, and maybe it will wind up to be a blog-like post...or may get deleted for something better. We'll see I guess. LOL

OK, so in other threads we were talking about our primary and secondary setups, gear we hope to get, gear already on the way, and in general just wiggling with excitement about our gear like a Pug about to get a treat.  :)

Since I'm really close to putting together tiny spare bedroom dedicated listening room, I'm pushing to learn and share my digital audio adventures,  and I happened into a little bit of money; I decided to do one last audio purchase for a long while (I'm really damn broke LOL). Enter the TEAC NT-503 - a dual mono DAC built around the new VERITA AK4490 chips. The DAC is capable of playing PCM files up to 32-bit/384kHz, and DSD up to Quad Rate DSD (AKA DSD256 or 12.2Mhz). It also offers internal upconversion of up to 8x PCM and 4x DSD. The DAC also has network connectivity, Bluetooth, internet Radio, and via the TEAC AVR Remote phone App can stream from some popular music Apps. Overall the NT-503 looks to be a Swiss Army Knife of a DAC that most anyone can find some use in.



For now, I'm going to be focusing on tonight's experience with the Teac NT-503 vs the PS Audio DirectStream

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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #1 - 06/15/17 at 06:55:27
 

So for the past few years I was using Foobar2000 as my main audio software - setup on a little Tiny Form Factor PC with Windows Server 2012, and Audiophile Optimizer to cut down on the extraneous services, processes, and threads that are supposed to cause more noise and jitter in your audio streams. A local audiophile while stopping by to buy some speakers off me, was enamored by the sound this little "server" was able to send out to my DirectStream DAC and pretty much threw money at me to take the computer off my hands...and off it went!





Scrambling to get something setup for myself, I built a "new" TFF PC, but this one was Windows 10 64bit with a Trial version of the Roon software. It was so very easy to setup, has a good library management/search features, and offers some great information on artists, albums, and even cross links to other artists and albums in your library. And soon after I built my TFF PC, Roon Labs added software upconversion and filters and the like. Yeah, it's so easy, and sounds about as good as Foobar2000 (I'd have to do a side by side to really see - but Foobar is a bit of fiddling to get going and Roon is done in a snap), so I'm kinda sold on it.

Now, Fast Forward to tonight (6/14/17) and I just received my TEAC NT-503, and PS Audio just released a new "OS" for the DS DAC that is amazingly good.  So I'll end tonight's stream of thought post with my first blush feelings on the DS vs NT.


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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #2 - 06/15/17 at 07:49:23
 

First off, I really wanted to just compare the DS vs NT via the Network since my little Windows 10 Roon server is in my computer room/office, and has been playing beautifully via network to my DirectStream (via it's Bridge II network card) for weeks now. Unfortunately, the NT-503 is not a "Roon Ready" device; meaning the software sees the hardware as a network endpoint and knows how to control it and stream to it. No matter what I did I couldn't get Roon to see the TEAC over the network. Maybe in a future Teac firmware or Roon software update (they are constantly making improvements!)

Looks like I'll have to scrap that for now and just do a USB test. So, enter another Tiny Form Factor PC, and the new Roon ROCK - which is a linux based dedicated OS that basically turns my TFF into a streaming appliance that can output via network or USB. This was so quick and easy to install and setup, it literally took me longer to find my Curious USB cable to plug it into the DACs!  ;D



So the little computer is plugged into network, power, and a short USB cable to the DAC. That's it!  The Roon ROCK "server" is controlled by the Roon App on my phone. And Roon immediately recognized whatever DAC it was plugged into, and knew what files the DAC could handle. Eazy Peazy.



Setup for the initial listening test was:

TFF PC with Roon ROCK (native files, no filters or upconversion) -> Pangea .5m USB cable (Curious USB was too short to be switching between devices) -> DS DAC or NT DAC (no filters or upconversion) -> Balanced outs using some $350 Morrow Audio XLR, to Decware ZMA #000

All gear was given an hour+ to warm up, I briefly listened to both DACs, switching USB and XLR from one DAC to the other and back to make sure there were no sync issues, glitches, and that both DACs were setup neutral (files were reading in the format expected, no conversions etc).

Right off the bat, the DS appeared to be louder. This surprised me as I always thought the DS wasn't really putting out many volts. I triple verified that the volume was at 100% and fixed on both.

The second thing I noticed was how much the TEAC NT-503 reminded me of the DS DAC *before* the recent upgrade. I had to pause and double check the cables and make sure I was indeed plugged into the Teac...it just sounded *so much* like the DS (used to). Very good all around.

Then I sat down in the sweet spot and chilled out to ALT-J  An Awesome Wave 24/96 web download. Normally I just listen to the first three tracks and move on, but I found myself really engaged in the music and listened to almost the whole album - once I got through Dissolve Me I took a mental snapshot of what I heard and decided to switch DACs...at this point I completely forgot which I was listening too because I was so involved. Turns out it was the DirectStream.

Switched to the NT-503 and immediately had an eerie feeling that I was listening to the DirectStream as it's sounded for the past year. I noticed the bass wasn't as weak as the old DS sound, and maybe a bit big and round (bloated?), and the treble seemed to have a little more sibilance. I also found the reverb in the recording seemed longer and more pronounced (not a bad thing!). Sounded good, and very familiar - like the old DS, but a little more bass and treble. I heard very tiny details in the music that was slightly different - just a note here and there that jumped out a little more than it did with the old DS.  

Swapped back to the DS with the new Huron OS, and it just immediately jumped out as more engaging.  It felt faster and more dynamic - percussion *pops*, and everything sounds full, solid, and FAST. Found myself tapping my foot and really getting into the music...literally getting distracted by it!

Repeated this process with some Tori Amos, Wailin Jenny's, then went a little more rock oriented with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Same results across the board.






Now, the DS has been around for what, 3 years? And it retailed at $6000 (of course I didn't pay that, so I think of it as a $4500 DAC). The Teac NT-503 is a brand new DAC with new DAC chip and an excellent design at $1000 new. If the DS didn't just recently get this amazing Huron update, I'd honestly be grumbling about how this new fangled $1000 is at first blush eerily similar to my $4500 DAC. Maybe even slightly better at some areas, and the DS is slightly better in others. Equal, but different.

Again, this is all first impressions via a new streaming OS, and without any of the fancy softer filtering and up conversions - or help from a USB buffer, or internal up conversions. This is just basic USB playback to USB playback "all things being equal".  I'd have to say the Teac is great bang for the buck, and it's probably going to be the core of my "second system".  

More on all that later. It's almost 2am and I need to be up in a few hours for work.  ;)
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #3 - 06/15/17 at 08:00:47
 
If not the Roon OS, how do you feel about Server 2016 with Audiophile Optimizer?  

Also what speakers are you using?  

I need to setup a little bedroom system and want to go with SS (it just gets too hot here in SoCal to run a tube amp in a bedroom) and I also need something with a remote so me and my girl can watch movies and listen to music while lying in bed and and the TEAC NT-503 checks a lot of boxes for me.  I also have a Rega Brio-R and DAC, but the DAC is getting a little long in the tooth at this point and can't even do more than 96/24 PCM via USB.

So my thoughts were the TEAC NT-503 plus a set of JBL LSR30X Powered Speakers both acquired through Massdrop.
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« Last Edit: 06/15/17 at 08:32:39 by beowulf »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #4 - 06/15/17 at 08:15:17
 
Speakers are Decware MG944 - the very last pair.  ;)

Server 2016 with AO sounds fine - I was doing Server 2012 with AO and Foobar2000, but it just took so damn long to get it all up and running. Roon was so much easier...but it also costs...what, $112 a year or $500 for a lifetime subscription? Yeah, ouch.

As a follow up to all this, and to try and get more people interested in digital audio, I'm going to have more threads here in the Digital section where I'll try out Foobar2000 again, and see what other (Windows!) options there are out there. Roon has made me kinda lazy LOL
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #5 - 06/15/17 at 08:34:14
 
Does the $112/$500 include both the Roon App and OS?
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #6 - 06/15/17 at 14:08:17
 
Cool, thanks LR for starting with basic USB to USB as indicated in the NT-503 screen.

You wrote from the other thread:
"I think I'm going to start with a simple DS vs NT (you did). I can do a larger how to use the NT thread after I get more time with it."

Take your time .....and let me/US, know "how to use the NT"..... . No hurry.

Bummer for me, .....my ZBIT does not come until August or September   Cry. I'm excited to have it for my NT and also try with my ARC Line Stage.

My ARC Line Stage is blowing my mind right now:
ZDSD>KS1030>ARC LS-2B MKII w/remote>KS1030>ZMA>KS6063 Speaker Kables>DM947 Monoliths.
......Redbook never sounded so good.

PS~I'm usually smarter about my purchases = I paid to much for my NT. However, I made up for it with deals I received on my ARC Line Stage, DM947 Monoliths and I even had a Velodyne Sub buried in my Pantry closet....extracted the Plate Amp for my Caintuck 15" OB.....so, I can't complain.  8-)  8-)
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« Last Edit: 06/15/17 at 14:46:32 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #7 - 06/15/17 at 15:21:57
 
Quote:
Does the $112/$500 include both the Roon App and OS?


Yes - the $112/$500 is your license, which includes one "core" (which is what they call the server that manages your library and does any processing) and I believe up to 5 clients, which are the devices you use to remote control your Core. Those devices can be Android, Apple, iPhone, or Windows based.

So in my setup, I have either the Windows 10 PC with Roon Core installed or the Roon ROCK OS, then I have my Galaxy S7 phone with the Roon App, and the app on my phone links to the core automatically and controls the core as if I'm there at the keyboard and screen. I also have the Roon program setup on my main gaming PC in my office, and on the laptop I have in the livingroom - they both automatically connect to the Core and control it directly.

As mentioned above, I also have a *second* TFF PC that I'm testing the new Roon ROCK OS on. The software is free, I just transfer my Core license from the Windows Machine to the Roon ROCK machine (both are cores, and the basic license only allows 1 "core" at a time).  So I shut off the Windows core, turn on the ROCK OS core, it takes about 5 seconds to transfer my license, then all the same devices I mention above now connect to the ROCK OS core instead, same control etc.

Sorry if that's confusing - I just wanted to be clear that I'm testing two different versions of the "core" - for anyone else, they would just have one PC (or MAC I suppose LOL) doing the "core" chores, and whatever secondary devices as their control points.

Since roon supports Tidal, DropBox, Internet Radio, and probably more streaming softwares as they continue to improve the Roon software....plus automatic support for my DirectStream - the only thing that's keeping me from purchasing the lifetime membership (besides the cost and me being a broke ass!!) is that they don't currently support this new TEAC DAC. Hell, the Roon software even recognized the AirPlay built into my Denon Home Theater receiver and offered to connect to it as an endpoint!  I'm difficult to impress, but the ease of use with this is fantastic. Maybe as a birthday present for myself this November....

In the mean time, I'm going to go back to my roots and try out all the free or budget Audiophile softwares out there and see how they work and sound with both the DS and NT.
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« Last Edit: 06/15/17 at 15:23:06 by Lonely Raven »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #8 - 06/15/17 at 15:35:03
 
"try out all the free or budget Audiophile softwares out there and see how they work and sound with both the DS and NT."

Yes!  Thanks in advance. Once again, to reiterate....no hurry.....look forward to unfolding all of this.....over the dog days of summer and into the fall.

....I hear you on the broke arse part LR. I wanted to keep my Tekton Impact Speaker's .....no could do. However, if I can't be grateful and enjoy my getting the DM Monoliths, ARC Line Stage, Caintuck Audio OB, NT-503 (and its upcoming explorations) and have enough to pay the balance on my ZBIT......well then shame on me! I'm out of the market for some time to come too. It's called; pay my bills.

....so yes, please give us your opinion on the free (and budget) audiophile software, with a back to your roots.....revisit. I'm Window's based too...so look forward to it.
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« Last Edit: 06/15/17 at 18:39:38 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #9 - 06/15/17 at 21:51:44
 
Bring it over.  Bring it over.  Bring it over.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #10 - 06/15/17 at 22:51:19
 

About F'n time you notice some of my posts!!

Have you been getting my FB messages??

Also, the DirectStream is absofriggenlutely amazing now. It has the bass we've felt was just OK. I had no idea my MG944 could sound like this!
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #11 - 06/15/17 at 23:44:54
 
You guys and your crazy computers.
So you mean to tell me that you don't have to go and find your disc (CD or Vinyl) dig it out of it's sleeve and get your player ready? Blasphemy!
I bet that the aliens that really control everything are proud of you!
Damn Millennials and their slacker ways will be the death of all of us!
I'm just going to give up on all of this recorded music stuff and sit in the corner and hum to myself.
Get off of my lawn, punk.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #12 - 06/16/17 at 02:20:57
 
LR,

Interesting Teac/DSD comparisons. Thanks for your impressions!

With the Teac comparing this favorably with a few hours, I wonder how will it compare after the several hundred hours it would likely need to more fully burn in all its parts? I don't know about the PS Audio DSD, but the DACs I have had here, even the super simple Tranquility, took 2-300 to start sounding close to their potential. More recently, the Decware ZDSD, and the Gustard I have been modifying over the last few months.... both seemed to wake up with 300+, and then continue with more lucid openness, more refined fine detail, more natural articulation, and smoothness finally beginning to click in more.

The Gustard BTW is seeming quite beautiful to me, so much so I have stopped short without replacing diodes others have found to help. It just sounds so good I am concerned about changing it more at this point.

But it is really another thing from the Teac...no internal upsampling or networking setup...just a straight up DAC. I am running with Audivana re-sampling to DSD 11.2, and connected via a jitterbug>silver DIY USB cable>Regen>Curious link>Gustard x20pro.

The Teac sounds like a really nice DAC and I look forward to more impressions as you explore it! It is cool how good these things are getting!

Smiley
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« Last Edit: 06/16/17 at 04:20:49 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #13 - 06/16/17 at 15:38:00
 
Donnie you're the best man!
Yeah, I should sit in the corner and hum.....but I'm going to give this NT thing a whirl with RCA and then my ZBIT coming....... .

Palomino! I thought you figured out the world was flat....did not believe it....and fell of the edge.  Cool, you guys are going to fire up the NT...../CDApS.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #14 - 06/16/17 at 16:01:15
 

Pal txt'd me saying he wanted to hear the NT in his room. Maybe if he's not chasing dragons off the edge of the world this weekend he can make time for me and my new DAC. And the DS, since it's so mind-bogglingly good now.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #15 - 06/21/17 at 16:06:52
 
I thought I'd post a burning-in update.

I had Roon pushing bits to the NT DAC for days on end - just had it playing through my library at Random.  I also decided to address that the ZMA sounded like the input tubes were struggling with the dynamics and resolution (totally a speculation on my part).

So before powering on the ZMA, I put the Decware supplied 6N23P-EV in the phase inverter (the spot between the KT-66) and I found some Telefunken PCC88 that I must have purchased on recommendations here. I put the Telefunks in the Input section. Then powered up the ZMA and verified the balance of the stock KT-66 tubes. I let the ZMA warm up for an hour while working in another room, then sat down in the Ikea chair for a listen.

A song that came up on Random during the warm up period reminded me of the Hacker's soundtrack - so I queued up that soundtrack for a listen!   I love this movie, though it's a bit dated, and I've always loved the electronic soundtrack. It never struck me as well recorded, or having 3D depth or anything, it being lots of keyboards and samples and digital FX; sitting down in the sweetspot I was struck by how gritty and full of body the keyboards sounded and I grinned...yes, this Teac DAC sounds even better than when I last listened.  Now, this is another one of those albums I've played to death - back when MP3s were first coming out, it was in regular rotation at my work where us computer nerds listened to industrial and electronic music as well as a mix of metal and prog-Rock while we repaired peoples PCs. And I've listened to this soundtrack on CD, and digital rip countless times in the past few years since getting the ZMA and DirectStream DAC. And I'll be damned if I wasn't hearing bits and pieces that I never noticed before. I know I've said that before about the DirectStream, pulling details I never noticed...but this was more like certain instruments and vocals and samples were simply popping out more than usual, the clarity of the DAC helping individual keyboard blips as well as individual vocal and noise samples jump out rather than get buried in the morass of digital layering and production. Very Interesting!

I listened to the soundtrack to the very last song, only skipping one I never really liked, and cutting off the last track a few bars in as it kind of bores me; then I switch over to the DirectStream which has been on the same number of days as the NT, but without any data streaming through it since I only have one streamer PC right now.

Same soundtrack and WOW! Not as much body and grit to the keyboard and synth sounds as the NT, but the details and separation were like nothing I've ever heard on this album before! I was completely lost in the layers, finally hearing all the samples as distinct tracks/"instruments" rather than a heavily layered "texture" of sound; with one sound embossed over and into another. There were a couple sudden beats or keyboard hits that were actually startling with their dynamics! And even though I just listened to this album, and I tend to get bored easy, I listened all the way through again, though even making it to the end of the last song...I was just so lost in the music like I'd never heard it before.

Next up, keeping to the same Soundtracks that kept my interest in the late 90s: Queen of the Damned soundtrack. The movie was OK, but I loved the soundtrack - with original tracks (loosely) written for what was happening in the movie by Jonathan Davis, the singer/songwriter for Korn. The rest of the soundtrack has the likes of Disturbed and Static-X; it's sort of a snapshot of the metal Scene when that movie came out, and I love it! (though in the movie tracks I believe Jonathan Davis sings the new songs (which I love even more!), and on the official soundtrack he has guest singers from the aforementioned bands.

Anyways - again, NT had detail and body, and the DS has amazing detail, and separation, and it simply sounded like a fantastic remaster of an album I love and have listened to countless times. I listened to the whole album twice again(!) and had to call it a night when I realized I could hear birds chirping outside and the sun was soon to come up. Yep, another all nighter, drawn into the music.

I went to bed and woke up with my ears ringing a bit. I didn't think I had it that loud, and I didn't adjust the volume at all during the 4 hour listening session. And I thought to myself, I didn't feel ear fatigue, just a bit of ringing like it was too much for too long. I need to be more careful with that - its just one of those things where it sounds so good, and there are so many details, you want to turn it up to crawl deeper into the soundscape. I think the crushing metal guitars were just a bit much.  :)



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« Last Edit: 06/21/17 at 16:48:04 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #16 - 06/21/17 at 16:31:16
 
Addendum - the above post was from two nights ago - last night I played a rip of a CD a friend loaned me from Native American artist Bill Miller called The Red Road. I heard a bit of Bill's 1998 album GhostDance and I loved the sound, so a friend dropped off her 5 albums of his for me to get a listen to. Bill Miller is a two time Grammy winner in the Best Native American music class. As you can imagine his music is clearly Native American inspired, but has a strong midwest folk, almost Americana vein.



I picked Red Road because I noticed of the three albums I ripped so far, Roon said it had a dynamic range of 12, which is great, and not very common, most being 6-8. I had the DS plugged in and on since it was the last thing I listened to the other night, and everything had warmed up for about an hour while I was paying bills in the other room.

First thing I have to say, this is an amazing album. It's heartfelt, good songs that tell solid stories, and the recording is amazing. Acoustic guitars were bright, detailed, and "in the room", and you could clearly hear the hand made flutes for what they were. Dynamic range of 12 apparently means nearly giving me a heart attack on a couple startling, dynamic drum beats on Native instruments. Everything down to the rain stick, bells, even shuffling feet was clear and had it's own space in the room. What an amazing journey that was - listening till about 1am, as that's what these listening sessions are regularly turning into, is trips into the music.

This is the kind of late night listening that Steve talks about - this is the closest I've gotten to that magical sound I heard back in 1998 at Steve's old place. While I'm no where near that magical, "taking up space in the room", 3D holographic sound I heard back then...this is the most engaging and out of body listening I've had in the 20 years since. With both my ZMA and Zen amp in top form, The DirectStream is now this magical beast, and my living room is kind of a mess of foam diffusers - this is finally me walking down the path towards that sound, my white whale, the "audio-ruination" that Steve hit me with 20 years ago.   I am very pleased.
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« Last Edit: 06/21/17 at 16:32:05 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #17 - 06/21/17 at 17:57:18
 
Man, the Huron update made an already excellent DirectStream a step higher. I agree Eric. I'm listening right now to the stereo SACD of Bob Dylan's "The Time's They Are A-Changin'" as the just-released mono SACD is on the mail truck out to me today. I haven't listened to this since the first weeks it was released, and it's an amazing SACD. You can hear so much of the details of his singing and playing, the room and the percussion he adds to the guitar and with his body. It seems an artificial creation, I mean Bob Dylan is not transported into my listening room, but the experience is so well-produced and the sound is as "natural" as I've heard this type of material. Tube-rolling has been giving me interesting results as well, so I feel Huron is delivering a lot to work with as far as detail and texture.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #18 - 06/21/17 at 22:08:52
 

I'm glad you're liking it as well. I can't imagine it getting much better from here...but then, I said that about the last two DS updates. Though the last one I felt was a compromise - and I think Ted felt that way as well considering the things he focused on with this upgrade.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #19 - 06/21/17 at 22:33:59
 
Raven. If that is a Siemens-made, Telefunken-labelled tube (like those sold by Upscale) this is one of the most clear and extended PCC88s I have heard, if not the most...an intensely clear tube that without the "just right" company, can be too much. A telltale is the getter riser. If it is a copper wire looking riser going up to a "hallow" getter, it is most likely Siemens. If the riser is flat shiny metal, with a pressed depression in the middle (often a little bent at the bottom of the riser and where it meets the hallow for Telefunkens) it may be Telefunken made. Then it may have the Telefunken diamond on the bottom of the glass.

Since Telefunken-made PCC88s tend to be harder to find and pretty costly, and a lot of Telefunken labelled PCC88s are Siemens made, I was wondering.

If it is one of these super clear Siemens, this may be saying something more about Direct Stream DAC, its firmware changes, and how good the NT is as a DAC.

Here is my thought.



Not sure just what is in now in your amp Lon, but from the outside, there appears to be a trend of your bit by bit tending toward a little less warm/bassy tubes, and more open/revealing tubes. May have started with OB3s, compared to OA3, chilling the power tubes and balancing toward less signal density/bass, and more space and fine detail...OA2 over OC2, similarly reducing signal density while opening up the inputs....5V4G over 5U4G-ST....I also seem to recall your liking the NOS Russian 6L6 type, also pretty revealing of highs and micro detail/textures.........and lately, American Amperex 7308 to PCC189 and ECC189...again, both the latter generally having a little less density, bass, push and articulation than 6922/7308 types, while also tending to more fine textures, space, and sense of micro information.


Then, add to this my experience with my Gustard DAC, the DAC seeming to allow more intensely open and clear tubes without sounding too hard...

When I put in some Siemens PCC88 the other day to compare to some Siemens PCC189 I have been burning in, the PCC88s sounded extra good... open, extended and clear, but also quite textured and rich....not hard!

I have been doing a lot with amp and preamp modifications too, so was attributing a lot of my increasing tube flexibility to those changes, but now I am wondering if DACs are just getting good enough for tubes that used to tend to hard, to be revealing more fine information and space...chilling rigidity and hardness.

I know we are all playing with other stuff as we go, so just a thought.

What do you guys think?

Were you able to love your sound with those Telefunkens before Raven?

Were you able to love more open tubes, especially a number of them together before the DSD, and later the Memory Player Lon?

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« Last Edit: 06/22/17 at 17:15:28 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #20 - 06/21/17 at 22:51:42
 
There certainly is something to that Will, the DACs have been improving so much that so much more of all the good stuff is coming through and some tube rolling I've done to side step deficiencies aren't in place any longer.

The trend of tube rolling has also been catalyzed in my system by moving from a PPP to a P5 and then went into overdrive again with the introduction of the P10 to the system. With the P10 there is a pronounced increase in  difference perceptible between regulation tubes and rectifiers and I realized that I can get interesting results changing these about and partnering them to input tubes. This is new for me with the P10 as well.

I've also over the last few years moved up to all Stradivarius single-ended cabling and that has allowed me a new window on high frequency playback, much clearer and more free of grain or hash, allowing me a wider choice of tubes.

Even before the Memory Player I was using the PerfectWave Transport and it's HDIM/I2S connection which has a slight edge over other inputs, and they share a similar balance so I'm not sure that's quite an important factor.

The last four years I've also been in a different state, which has meant two different "rooms," and this last one of nearly two years is the best room I've had since the 'seventies as an everyday listening place. This room itself has been an important factor in my rolling. Even moving to different resistors for the HR-1s has been a factor. . . .

As you say there is a lot going on in our systems and a lot of changes over the last five years or so. And we've learned "hearing" as well as these rolling skills. 'Tis a good time to be a music lover!
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #21 - 06/22/17 at 00:01:51
 
Hey Lon. Interesting, the changes with the P10. Able to hear these types of tube changes in pronounced ways here before the P5, I guess you can understand why I found the P5 a downgrade in overall revelation. Sorted out finally, your comments cause me to wonder how the "adjusted" P5 and Brickwall power setup would compare to a P10. It sounds good now anyway!

I would love to hear the Stradivarius ICs. Probably different, but I experienced something you could describe similarly making a couple pair of ICs using KLE silver and absolute ends, one pair with with Neotech silver/gold signal wire, and Mundorf silver/gold on the other, both with Neotech EC-UPOCC, Flat Braided Copper ground wires. Different geometry for each to get what I liked, but in general this combination is very revealing and musical without edge.

And I can't clearly recall my Gustard DAC sound pre modifications...It was very good, but now it is more than that...very complete and revealing balance with loads of fine detail and space, and without sounding "bright" or edgy. The amazing empty space and fine detail is noticeable, but just sounds like the music.

It is a good time to be a music lover!
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« Last Edit: 06/22/17 at 00:12:53 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #22 - 06/22/17 at 00:26:11
 
Yes, and one other factor: I'm not a person who can use room treatments beyond the ordinary curtains and rugs. . . just won't be allowed by my living partner, who struggles to think a stereo system even needs to be seen or that speakers need be anywhere but against a wall. So I do a lot of tube-rolling etc. in a way for room correction, whereas others with room treatment would make different choices.

It's a good time to be a music lover. . . and it's great we can learn a lot from each other, I've certainly learned a lot about tube complements from your experiences.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #23 - 06/22/17 at 15:18:26
 
Quote:
Raven. If that is a Siemens-made, Telefunken-labelled tube (like those sold by Upscale) this is one of the most clear and extended PCC88s I have heard, if not the most...an intensely clear tube that without the "just right" company, can be too much. A telltale is the getter riser. If it is a copper wire looking riser going up a "hallow" getter, it is most likely Siemens. If the riser is flat shiny metal, with a pressed depression in the middle (often a little bent at the bottom of the riser and where it meets the hallow for Telefunkens) it may be Telefunken made. Then it may have the Telefunken diamond on the bottom of the glass.

Since Telefunken-made PCC88s tend to be harder to find and pretty costly, and a lot of Telefunken labelled PCC88s are Siemens made, I was wondering.

If it is one of these super clear Siemens, this may be saying something more about Direct Stream DAC, its firmware changes, and how good the NT is as a DAC.


Tube rolling hasn't been very positive for me with the ZMA. I can't afford really nice tubes, so I try to get by with NOS in the $40 a tube range (sometimes more if I have the funds)...then usually wind up just going back to stock because they seem to suit the amp the best for general purpose.

That said, the one tube that has wow'd me was a real 60s vintage Telefunken pair. I'm guessing these would be the kind that sell for $200 a pop new. They have detail and air, they are simply magical and the only tube I've put in the ZMA that made me stop and say *I NEED MORE OF THESE*!  The only problem is, I got them for like $80 (for the pair), knowing full well they were very end of life, and it's really obvious now that they are spent. The volume and balance are off so much that I just can't use them anymore. I'd be afraid of them failing and cause damage to the amp at this point.

I was hoping the PCC88 I got were the same as these magical 6DJ8 pair, but they sound more like your description - clear and good all around, but not like my real Telefunken. They simply sound like a really good pair of Steve's stock tubes - maybe a hair better all around, but not magical.

Maybe if I take some really good photos of my magical pair, and this current pair, you can tell me what they are and help point me in the right direction to procuring some more magic??

Quote:
If it is one of these super clear Siemens, this may be saying something more about Direct Stream DAC, its firmware changes, and how good the NT is as a DAC.


With this current pair of PCC88, I didn't feel like the amp was having trouble keeping up with the detail of the DAC. In fact, I simply forgot about the Amp altogether - which is usually how the ZMA works when it's working well. It just does it's job so well, you set it and forget it so you can focus on the rest of your system....or just enjoy the music.  :)

Will, if you can help me figure out which tubes are the ones I like so I can find another set, I may just post all my other tubes up for sale and focus on what I like. Otherwise, I'll just go back to OK tubes that work well and focus in other areas. I keep hoping I'm going to stumble into something in the sub-$80 range that makes me happy that I can stock up on and stop all this tube rolling. I just want to find one great set for the ZMA, and buy backups and be done with it.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #24 - 06/23/17 at 19:10:01
 
Hey Raven,

From your description, those sound like they could well be Siemens, a very "good" tube for sure, doing tube things very well....quiet, open, extended, articulate, integrated fine detail….

I hear what you are saying comparing them to 6N23P...also a nice, relatively accurate, and well balanced tube type that may or may not fully excite, but does what is does quite well.

Part of what got me going on DAC quality perhaps making tube balance easier was my memory of struggles with room and other balancing acts not quite allowing the soundstage and "magic" from the music you were craving. But now it sounds closer to Steve's old room you use as a reference, with excellent 3-D soundstage.... hearing the birds wake up…

Though the PCC88s were not fully seductive themselves, it sounds like the whole was quite ”magical," with beautifully engaging musical experiences. The question becomes, how much does this "less obviously engaging” tube (than the Telefunken ECC88s) contribute to the "magic" you now have.

In general, 7DJ8/PCC88s do tend to a little less signal density than 6922/E88CCs types, increasing openness, fine detail, textured articulation, spaciousness...with good extension. I think these are things that indicate quality tubes, and that typically contribute to a better soundstage experience...and can be "great" as long as they have all the other “right stuff” in a given setting. By the way, these sound like things Huron has done...like Ted put a really good tube in the DSD!

I think fine detail is critical to “feather edges” and reveal nuance in music, but as much, without open/quiet space, the very fine info and micro speed can’t show up…and if the tube can't produce the really nice micro info and speed, it is often not doing other things as well either. Great 6922 types can do this, but they usually cost a lot. And depending on everything else, the signal density can be comparatively strong enough to fill the space between players with instrument sound and more dense ambient information, things that can mask finer detail and spaciousness, in combination, potentially "smearing" the soundstage some. Generally, 6DJ8 and 7DJ8 are enough less dense and spacious, and detailed enough, to promote soundstage spaciousness and sense of saturation. And if a good tube, the clearer and more articulate they are, the more the soundstage qualities tend to come out.

Then, as we have all found, does it fit in the elusive system/room balance, giving excellent revealing qualities and musical qualities? Always the trick, and a least a little different for everyone, and for every system/room. This is why you will find that I don’t tend to flat-out recommend tubes. With so many system/room variables, a great tube here could be not-so-good there.

The ECC88 Telefunkens seemed to give you this though, as do the recent PCC88s in other ways, a good start. The question with the Telefunken: in balanced with everything else, could they make you forget the system and room like recently…would they let you get fully absorbed by the musical experience?

I think German tubes tend to be really good at tube things...clarity, dynamics, accuracy, extension, fine detail, power…sometimes too “good” for me, but no doubt, “really good” quality tubes. Then there are "flavors," and that Telefunken quality you describe from your ECC88s is enough to the liking of enough people, they are valuable. At least from the Telefunken 6922/E88CCs I have, I like these extraordinary qualities, amazed by the outrageous fine detail and textures, space, extension, and all with musicality, but I tend to like others as well or better. I know what you mean though about that "magical" quality you can get. Amazing everything...top to bottom, and with great space and textures. On the other hand, the real cryo'd Telefunken PCC88s I have are really, really good, but so "well done" that in some ways they can feel a little "too good"...with near perfect technical qualities, they can feel like they are missing a little character to me...

So where can you get those extraordinary qualities inexpensively? I got into PCC88s for this reason. They tend to be really good for the price, though with any tube type, some are better than others, and most often, I think you have to be lucky for a "good one" to fit just right without adjusting other things.

Finally the crap shoot you have been in comes up…Try this one, or that…and if it works, try to make it better with adjustments, and weigh the compromises if they still exist.

This is part of why I like the Torii. With five tube types, especially the rectifiers and voltage regulators are really good for "tuning in" an “almost-there” input or output tube.

Quote:
Maybe if I take some really good photos of my magical pair, and this current pair, you can tell me what they are and help point me in the right direction to procuring some more magic??


I can definitely try. I have just been rolling various ECC88 and PCC88s and like a lot of them with my current setup, but some more than others for sure. An A-frame Phillips PCC88, I am thinking a later and less expensive one, sounds ridiculously good just now. It is less outwardly defined and articulate than the last few pair of Mullard ECC88s, but still quite articulate with more space and textures making it just sound like really good music.

Post some pics if you like, or email some...

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« Last Edit: 06/23/17 at 19:23:34 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #25 - 06/23/17 at 19:26:52
 
Quote:
The ECC88 Telefunkens seemed to give you this though, as do the recent PCC88s in other ways, a good start. The question with the Telefunken: in balanced with everything else, could they make you forget the system and room like recently…would they let you get fully absorbed by the musical experience?


Because the pair I have are so very tired, I'm not sure they do everything as well as the 7DJ8 I have in currently. But the tired Telefunkens have this air that just gives amazing spacial queues that is really important to me. Beyond that, I prefer everything to be neutral/detailed (if that makes sense). With my setup, I don't really tune for tonalities, and I'm putting in the best of everything with that neutral/detail in mind. From the P10, to the ZMA, to the Zen Styx, and DirectStream - everything is very Neutral/Detailed, with maybe a slight lean towards top end edginess, but that's a side effect not a choice. When something's right, I keep the detail, without the edginess. I'd rather not tube roll to tone down the edge, at the cost of detail and neutrality.

I hope that makes sense - you and I both seem to be dancing around these descriptive words, but I think we get each other.

I'll take some photos of tubes tonight - I have to go through boxes and find the old Telefunks - I couldn't bring myself to toss them out, but they are tired enough for me to be wary of putting them in anything.  Just helping me ID them would help a bunch - though the more I look, the more I fear I won't be able to afford replacing them.

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #26 - 06/23/17 at 19:28:49
 

Also, since my system is in a good place now - and I'm pulling all these pairs of input tubes out - I think I'm going to set aside a day and just go through each pair, taking notes, and starting a log of what I think. Maybe I already have a gem in my collection, and I just need to rediscover what I already have (and hopefully stock up on something!)
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #27 - 06/23/17 at 22:19:48
 
Sounds like a good idea to go through and re-check tubes. And if you note what you prefer and don't with specific tubes, that would help me understand how your system/room uses tubes, and what might be safer bets for doing what you want in the balance of the whole.

I also prefer neutral balance, complete/complex detail, and the quiet, space and fine detail I associate with "air."  I often enjoy a bit of "warmth" but only with neutral balance, and with spacious and complex detail across the spectrum. Dark and thick is not warmth to me.

Loving detail without edge, seems walking the edge of edginess is hard to avoid. Close to it at any given time, if needed, I still adjust for speed, detail complexity and spaciousness without hardness. Some recordings I like to listen to with horns or violins that tend toward irritating note saturation have become part of my references for system balancing. And for the most part, I have been able to solve hard edges without sacrifice to fine detail and air. Actually, I am pretty sure fine detail can help solve it...When more rigid detail contributes to edge, and its density can be divided into finer detail, it adds nuance and textures, and does not get hard edged so easily. Also, I think we tend to hear those hard edge things as highs, which is true usually....but a lot of the time it seems to be how the mids, upper mids and highs mix. That makes it tricky to get a clear handle on, especially when two tubes together can tend to hardness in similar ways, hyping up each other.

But I agree...for me, dulling down a tube set in general to solve edginess is not really a choice. It is surprising how many variations on revealing and neutral theme can work though with the right balance. You may or may not be able to get that specific telefunken sound, but I suspect you can get sound that you love from tubes that don't break the bank.
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« Last Edit: 06/23/17 at 22:20:49 by will »  

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #28 - 06/23/17 at 22:25:29
 
I learned to love detail a lot more when I moved from the Styx cabling to the Mapleshade. I was always hunting down an edge that eluded me til I did so. I loved using that cable, but there was something in the lower high frequencies that was not "neutral" but tipped up and I've enjoyed my system more with the Mapleshade.

I look for neutral in my cabling which helps me hear what each tube is up to. I may be choosing somewhat by tonal frequencies as I don't have or want a treated room, but in general my speaker and headphone listening are getting closer and closer together, I have a good room, and good speaker, and have learned how to set my speakers up for it. Like Will I love the flexibility that voltage regulation tubes for both input and power tubes allow. Took me a while to get a handle on how all that works, but once I have, wow, some great tailoring. This lets me use a wider range of tubes.

Huron is akin to a great tube upgrade in a lot of ways. Each day I'm getting more out of the system as I work with the new sound signature.
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« Last Edit: 06/23/17 at 22:39:42 by Lon »  

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #29 - 06/24/17 at 01:19:40
 
Quote:
Loving detail without edge, seems walking the edge of edginess is hard to avoid. Close to it at any given time, if needed, I still adjust for speed, detail complexity and spaciousness without hardness. Some recordings I like to listen to with horns or violins that tend toward irritating note saturation have become part of my references for system balancing. And for the most part, I have been able to solve hard edges without sacrifice to fine detail and air. Actually, I am pretty sure fine detail can help solve it...When more rigid detail contributes to edge, and its density can be divided into finer detail, it adds nuance and textures, and does not get hard edged so easily. Also, I think we tend to hear those hard edge things as highs, which is true usually....but a lot of the time it seems to be how the mids, upper mids and highs mix. That makes it tricky to get a clear handle on, especially when two tubes together can tend to hardness in similar ways, hyping up each other.


Wow, yeah, it sounds like you and I "get it" with detail and neutrality in similiar ways. I'm riding that fine line, and more (accurate) detail doesn't necessarily mean edge. And I get how horns and violins can go from detail to a piercing hash when something's not right.

Quote:
I learned to love detail a lot more when I moved from the Styx cabling to the Mapleshade. I was always hunting down an edge that eluded me til I did so. I loved using that cable, but there was something in the lower high frequencies that was not "neutral" but tipped up and I've enjoyed my system more with the Mapleshade.


I get this as well - many attribute it to the silver - and I might agree because every time I've noticed it was when I went from copper speaker cables to something with silver in them (not ends - they don't change the overall sound as much as silver plating or silver strands or foil).

I'm listening to my couple of OPUS3 DSD albums on the DS to Zen amp. I'm about to go digging for tubes and seeing if I can spend a couple hours swapping tubes on the ZMA before my date gets here. Or at very least, finding all the 6922 type tubes I have and starting an inventory/log sheet. This tube rolling will also give me more time to wrap my head around these two DACs.

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #30 - 06/24/17 at 01:26:40
 
I think it's the silver coating. I've had silver wire and I don't always find it bright or edgy. It's that wind or that coating is my guess. It definitely does a lot right, but I couldn't get past that one aspect that was NOT right.

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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #31 - 06/29/17 at 12:29:39
 
Lots to consider in this thread.  Thanks guys.

I switched back to the '74 Reflector 6n23ps last night from the Mullards in the Rachael.  The openness and detail were there in spades.

Raven you heard these tubes fresh out of the box and thought they were too bright.  I didn't get that last night, but the bass was a little lacking.  I bumped it up two notches on the Crown and it was better, and I could hear excellent details.

I am interested to hear the Teac and the Gustard.  Those are price points I could live with.  My current DAC is showing its age and they stopped supporting USB in on the newer Mac OS.  I have to play via my SPDIF converter or roll back to a previous OS.

Once life settles down a little, I would love to hear your DAC(s) in my room Raven.  I haven't been futzing much, but I have really been enjoying a wide range of music on TIDAL.

Also, I wanted to mention to Will, I processed all my music using that volume adjustment algorithm in Audirvana.  I never have to adjust the volume anymore and I don't hear any degradation in the playback.  A game changer for me without a remote.  I downloaded and tried 3.0 but haven't bought it yet.  Not sure I will.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #32 - 06/30/17 at 05:20:59
 
Pal,
Not to get too far off topic, buuuut I have sets of both the '74 and '75 (Holy Grail) Reflektors (6N23P).  I purchased them when I had my Torii Jr.  They were detailed, accurate, fast, but in some cases, tended to be bright, in that particular amplifier with my Monoliths.  When I sold my Torii Jr. and purchased my ZMA, I decided to roll those tubes in early on.  I really enjoyed them in my TJ and even though I loved the sound of the off-the-shelf voicing Steve had done on this amp, these tubes were way to valuable to sit and collect dust so I had to try them out.  I absolutely adore them in my ZMA and while the clarity, detail, focus and soundstaging were superb, they also presented much more balance in the ZMA.  That bright/edgy characteristic that I would experience on occasion in my TJ seemed to disappear.  They are completely musical with just enough warmth to keep a steady neutrality.  The attack and decay is also stellar in this amp.  They are staying put in my ZMA.  And, I had a very similar experience with the '74s to the point I am comfortably speaking on both of their behalves.
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ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths
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Palomino
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #33 - 06/30/17 at 11:53:07
 
I don't think many people here have tried them out.  Rob heard a '74 in his Zen and immediately bought.  They are getting expensive now if you can find them.  $75+ Per tube.
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will
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #34 - 07/01/17 at 02:46:49
 
Palomino,

Thanks for the tip on the Audirvana volume leveling. I used it a while, then stopped. I missed a little of the intensity of some of the intentional volume contrasts with some albums. But now on, I agree, it sounds great and makes life easier, especially with playlists of different recordings.

Comparing 6N23P to 60s Mullards with parasol getters...seems a pretty different tube! I use some Mullards similar to yours in the CSP3 output, and they are very good at fine detail and space (rich and textured), but also bassy. Whereas, the 6N23Ps I have heard tend to be a bit lighter on bass than many 6922 types, and though nicely detailed, less very fine detail textures...so I get the contrast. Just different.

I am out on my own here, so don't have much for comparisons, but the modded Gustard is really good for me...very revealing, with excellent fine detail, but also very natural with excellent timing. When changes diminish noise and time slurs enough to make the music seem slower, I know it is getting "right!" I love that.
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« Last Edit: 07/01/17 at 02:49:24 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Decware-Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1-all modified; DIY Speaker Cables; feet-Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY
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Palomino
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #35 - 07/01/17 at 03:15:55
 
Yes quite a contrast in those two tubes.  Sometimes and with some
Music the mullards help the edge on digital music, especially with the full range drivers.  But tonight for example I am listening to a playlist that I call "sense of room" and the Russian tubes add the air this music needs.

My new DAC hopes were dashed today when I got a text from my boat mechanic.   The power trim has gone out in the boat and I need to pony up for a new trim motor.  Got to have the boat to pull the kids so my audio needs take a back seat.  Oh well.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #36 - 07/02/17 at 19:52:08
 
Pal,

Any chance you might be able to send me a track list for your various play lists? I have Tidal now (free from Sprint for 6 months), so I'm betting you could share it there.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #37 - 07/03/17 at 12:37:47
 
Ha!  I don't have any playlists in Tidal.  I mostly album listen.  Sorry.
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Re: PS Audio DirectStream vs Teac NT-503
Reply #38 - 10/03/17 at 17:24:25
 
So, a small update - I absolutely hate the Teac AVR software. While better than some of the studio gear interfaces, it's clunky, cludged together, and has big holes.

For example:

I put a USB drive in the front, and select USBf  in the app. Nothing happens. I figured that maybe I had a failed USB flash drive, so I pull it out, put in another one, nothing happens. I figured maybe I shouldn't use a cheap chinese flash drive, and put in a good Corsair one...nothing happened....so I decided to try Network - I know I have my Synology NAS setup for DLNA audio (basically a universal sharing format). It sees the network, connects, then nothing happens. So I download the manual and as I'm flipping through it trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong, suddenly the network pops up. Flip to USBf, and wait 2 minutes, and sure enough, the files on the drive are accessible.

Yep, it's that F'n slow.

So I figured I'd explore my digital audio collection on my NAS, and play something that's on my mind - some Tori Amos.  I navigate to the folder and attempt to search - and I can't use my Android keyboard to type in Tori. In fact, there is NO WAY to enter text into the search box!

So I figure I'll just go to the long list of albums (over 8000 I think), and I'll scroll down to the album I have in mind....and it only shows like 10 tracks at a time, and you have to hit arrow down. It takes a second or two and displays another 10 tracks, then another second or two, and it displays another 10 tracks.

Yeah, I went from

!!! - Great album from whomever
to
10 CC before I said F-this I'm not scrolling 10 albums at a time till I get to Tori Amos, I'm just going to play my demo tunes on my flash drive.

That too was clunky, but I was able to play through the songs...oh yeah, and no Fast Forwarding to the great Sax solo on the great DSD of Cyndee Peter's rendition of House of the Rising Sun. I can only Play/Pause  Next Track - Previous Track.

Clunky As F. (deep breath)

So my solution was to build another Roon PC and hook it up to the Teac via USB and use the excellent Roon software as my interface.  

I started building that tiny form factor PC last night, and had a moment of insight; instead of having two Roon PCs, one being the Roon ROCK (basically the dedicated brain/server), I wonder if I could simply move the server to the Tiny Listening Room, connect directly to USB and would the "server" recognise the DAC directly, and would I still be able to flip between USB on the TEAC and Network on the PS Audio DirectStream/Bridge combo?

So I sat on the toilet giggling to myself while doing my business, switching between playing music on the Teac in one room, and playing music on the DirectStream in another room, all from my phone! Yeah, I know TMI, but tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing. LOL


By the way, I was hoping that Roon would support the Teac natively via network, but that doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon. Hell, even my 4-5 year old Denon HT receiver is recognized by Roon on the network! But yeah, not holding my breath on the Teac. However, the USB works wonderfully, and I was up till 2:30am last night listening and enjoying great music. I even thought it sounded better coming from Roon, than from over the network - but that could just have been the frustration of the Teac interface influencing my enjoyment. Long story short, I went ahead and purchased the Lifetime license with Roon since I enjoy it so much, and it's stupid simple for me to setup and use.

As I find time this winter, I plan on finding other software that will work with the Teac - it's a fantastic piece of hardware and simply sounds amazing and is really, really easy to setup and use....assuming you don't have to rely on the Teac App for anything but the most basic playback. So I'll do some research and see what free software is easy enough for anyone wanting to get into digital audio or upgrade their current setup...especially with Steve doing his magic to these already great boxes!
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« Last Edit: 10/03/17 at 17:27:04 by Lonely Raven »  
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