I'm not a fan of any sort of 'file' as I like to have a physical disc or LP in my hand. I can't abide endless files, menus and hard-drives which can crash at any time. I am old fashioned and like to have a collection of music, not files in the clouds.
However, that is me and you should hear if music downloads are for you.
Dave mentioned cloud without "i" in front really let me have a good laugh. I do like to feel the physical cd or lp in my hand, look at cover art work, glance thru booklet etc. I like the feeling or spend time on dusting my cds, harbeth radial cone or cd player rather than convert my musics into a hard drive which may fail anytime or obsolete any half of yr by changing the power connector, data port or fancy to the transmittion rate or so on...
"Bath in Music"
Harbeth owner since 2004
You need to keep up with modern computers, the HD from the first PC I bought will work perfectly in my latest 64bit W7 box.
That's a gap of over 10 years...
Just sayin' is all...
Some "Schiit" arrived earlier this week but work was getting ridiculous so have had minimal time to even sit down.
When initially playing during the week at relatively low volumes comparing Sonos DAC vs the Schiit Bifrost DAC, I really could not hear any difference.
There was nothing in it.
This morning, I had some time to turn it up a bit (about 10pm).
Please remember this is not volume matched but I left the volume untouched when changing over.
I compared a few tracks, one male artist by the name of Shane Nicholson and of course you will know the pain and pleasure voice of Adele.
What came through was interesting... the Sonos DAC vocals and soundstage was very focused and very forward. By this, I mean it felt like I was on the stage.
It was not obvious until I swapped over to the Schiit that everything became more recessed and further away but also more relaxed.
The Sonos by itself is no slouch but the forwardness of the sound makes my heart beat very fast and very uncomfortable.
A bit too early really to provide an opinion but I am sure you all on here (very different kind of forum individuals really) will tell me that I won't hear anything if it was a foot switch and level matched.
DACs.... Tried an Audio Note and hated it. Now have a Belcanto on one of the systems and its nice. Doesn't rock the boat, but helps my cd player and my high resolution Spotify downloads. At home, I have a Red Wine Audio (silly name) Au'deze edition DAC/Headphone pre and its gorgeous. A great DAC makes a hell of a difference. In some cases, now the digital version actually beats vinyl (seldom, but it happens)
I have found that a ripped file played through a DAC in general is easier to get good sound that with a disc spinner.
I have several DAC's bought within the last year, and each brings a slightly different presentation to the others - and each has a different response to Jitter when fed by SPDIF or TOSLINK.
The Rega DAC is the most pleasant sounding with the widest variety of material. It is also the most resistant to jitter when using a crummy non 75 Ohm cable - it has a lot of detail - but the treble doesn't have the extension of the others - though it doesn't feel like it is missing anything.
The Schiit Bifrost sounds a bit thinner through the frequency band - and for some reason feels like it has a better sense of pace as well as a feeling of separation/space around the instruments - there is a slight "hardness" to the sound - and is VERY sensitive to SPDIF cable quality (true 75 Ohm only). Decent USB DAC.
The TEAC HD-01 tonally sounds like the Rega, though it has less detail. The headphone amp sounds fantastic, the main line level outs not as good.
The Berkeley Audio DAC-2 has the least compromise, but the most pleasant surprise is the smooth detailed treble with all the bass, and midrange you'd expect in such a product. Mids not as forward as the Rega, but it isn't recessed.
I have ripped CD's and played them on all of the DAC's and each has a difference - and in the subtleties lies the differences.