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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mycenius's Avatar
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    Hardware SqueezeLite Player Suggestions (USB, Native DSD)

    Hi All,

    Looking for help identifying some options for a new squeezelite player for my set-up. My current config is in signature (Vortexbox with SOtM USB connected to Oppo DAC, audiophile quality pre-amp & active speakers, etc, plus a SBT in a seperate room with small bookshelf actives, and multiple iPhones & iPads (with iPeng) incl. playback via this to Bluetooth headphones) - so a mix of one main audiophile set-up and some peripheral more conventional players.

    So I am looking at replacing my home built VBX server with a dedicated (QNAP) slim/silent multimedia type NAS which will run QLogitechMediaServer, hold the library files and will be in my hi-fi rack. However I will need a stand-alone player to connect to the existing DAC via asynchronous USB.

    So my question is what are some good suggestions for reasonably good to high quality hardware players?

    • Needs to have very good USB output, not a cheap consumer PC USB interface (I put the SOtM USB card originally in my server when I built it specifically to ensure clean digital bit-perfect transfer to the DAC).

    • Needs to support Native DSD (at least double/DSD128) as I have enough DSD material in my library to not want to die sample to LPCM (which I currently do for my SBT).

    At this stage I'm looking at the following - but assume there must also be some alternative more cost effective options (e.g. such as high-end Raspberry Pi systems or similar NUCs). Can anyone suggest other options with above criteria and/or share there experiences with these or similar:

    SOtM sMS-200 Neo / sMS-200ultra Neo
    Sonore microRendu / ultraRendu

    I've looked back through the most recent threads here recently and closest related one I could find was "New to Raspberry Pi - SBT, NAS, LMS question" which is similar area of enquiry but doesn't directly cover above subject (but will keep searching back through the older archives).

    Many TIA
    Last edited by Mycenius; 2019-11-18 at 02:43. Reason: Formatting of billeted lists

    Hi-Fi 1: QNAP HS-453DX NAS+QLMS/Allo USBridge Signature+Shanti LPS/Cirrus ESS Sabre 32-bit Reference DAC (Oppo 105D)/Yamaha Aventage CX-A5000/Focal SM9s.
    Hi-Fi 2: Sqbox Touch+Shanti LPS/Focal XS Books.
    Hi-Fi 3: PC+Squeezelite-X+Material Skin/Focal XS Books.
    Hi-Fi Misc: iPeng (iPad/iPhones)/Plantronics BB Pro 2 LE Headphones.
    Accessories: Tchernov Classic & Van den Hul ICs; Thor PS10 Power Station; Blue Jeans & Ruleconnect Cables (Power, HDMI, USB & Coaxial); Aurios & Vibrapods.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycenius View Post
    Hi All,

    Looking for help identifying some options for a new squeezelite player for my set-up. My current config is in signature (Vortexbox with SOtM USB connected to Oppo DAC, audiophile quality pre-amp & active speakers, etc, plus a SBT in a seperate room with small bookshelf actives, and multiple iPhones & iPads (with iPeng) incl. playback via this to Bluetooth headphones) - so a mix of one main audiophile set-up and some peripheral more conventional players.

    So I am looking at replacing my home built VBX server with a dedicated (QNAP) slim/silent multimedia type NAS which will run QLogitechMediaServer, hold the library files and will be in my hi-fi rack. However I will need a stand-alone player to connect to the existing DAC via asynchronous USB.

    So my question is what are some good suggestions for reasonably good to high quality hardware players?

    • Needs to have very good USB output, not a cheap consumer PC USB interface (I put the SOtM USB card originally in my server when I built it specifically to ensure clean digital bit-perfect transfer to the DAC).

    • Needs to support Native DSD (at least double/DSD128) as I have enough DSD material in my library to not want to die sample to LPCM (which I currently do for my SBT).

    At this stage I'm looking at the following - but assume there must also be some alternative more cost effective options (e.g. such as high-end Raspberry Pi systems or similar NUCs). Can anyone suggest other options with above criteria and/or share there experiences with these or similar:

    SOtM sMS-200 Neo / sMS-200ultra Neo
    Sonore microRendu / ultraRendu

    I've looked back through the most recent threads here recently and closest related one I could find was "New to Raspberry Pi - SBT, NAS, LMS question" which is similar area of enquiry but doesn't directly cover above subject (but will keep searching back through the older archives).

    Many TIA
    I think you will find that the local player plugin will work on a QNAP with USB out to your existing DAC.

    If you must have a separate player than a Pi 3 B outputting over USB should also work with your DAC
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  3. #3
    Senior Member bakker_be's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycenius View Post
    Hi All,

    Looking for help identifying some options for a new squeezelite player for my set-up. My current config is in signature (Vortexbox with SOtM USB connected to Oppo DAC, audiophile quality pre-amp & active speakers, etc, plus a SBT in a seperate room with small bookshelf actives, and multiple iPhones & iPads (with iPeng) incl. playback via this to Bluetooth headphones) - so a mix of one main audiophile set-up and some peripheral more conventional players.

    So I am looking at replacing my home built VBX server with a dedicated (QNAP) slim/silent multimedia type NAS which will run QLogitechMediaServer, hold the library files and will be in my hi-fi rack. However I will need a stand-alone player to connect to the existing DAC via asynchronous USB.

    So my question is what are some good suggestions for reasonably good to high quality hardware players?

    • Needs to have very good USB output, not a cheap consumer PC USB interface (I put the SOtM USB card originally in my server when I built it specifically to ensure clean digital bit-perfect transfer to the DAC).

    • Needs to support Native DSD (at least double/DSD128) as I have enough DSD material in my library to not want to die sample to LPCM (which I currently do for my SBT).

    At this stage I'm looking at the following - but assume there must also be some alternative more cost effective options (e.g. such as high-end Raspberry Pi systems or similar NUCs). Can anyone suggest other options with above criteria and/or share there experiences with these or similar:

    SOtM sMS-200 Neo / sMS-200ultra Neo
    Sonore microRendu / ultraRendu

    I've looked back through the most recent threads here recently and closest related one I could find was "New to Raspberry Pi - SBT, NAS, LMS question" which is similar area of enquiry but doesn't directly cover above subject (but will keep searching back through the older archives).

    Many TIA
    Since you're outputting to an external DAC, does it support the desired DSD-level? If so, this (https://allo.com/sparky/usbridge.html) could be what you need. Don't let the "audiophile" buzzword mislead you, Allo's products are the fruit of solid enineering first.
    Main System: Touch; Marantz SR-5004 + TMA Premium 905 + TMA Premium 901 + Teufel Ultima 20 Mk 2 + BK Monolith+ FF + Lenovo T460 + Kodi + Pioneer PDP-LX5090H
    Workshop: iPad 32GB Wifi + Squeezepad (local playback activated)
    Wherever needed: Acer Iconia Tab A700 + Squeezeplayer
    Kitchen: iPhone 5s + iPeng (local playback activated) + NAD 312 + Teufel Ultima 20 Mk 2
    Headphone (cozy corner): Lenovo T550 + Squeezelite-X + Cyrus Soundkey + Topping A30 + Focal Elear
    Car: TBC ...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Julf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycenius View Post
    • Needs to have very good USB output, not a cheap consumer PC USB interface
    What do you think the difference would be? DO you believe they both wouldn't be bit perfect?

    Needs to support Native DSD (at least double/DSD128) as I have enough DSD material in my library to not want to die sample to LPCM (which I currently do for my SBT).
    What does "native" DSD mean? The problem with DSD is that it can't be processed/EQ'd/mixed without being converted to PCM and back, so pretty much all material in DSD format has already been converted to PCM and back at least once.
    "To try to judge the real from the false will always be hard. In this fast-growing art of 'high fidelity' the quackery will bear a solid gilt edge that will fool many people" - Paul W Klipsch, 1953

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mycenius's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick responses all,

    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    I think you will find that the local player plugin will work on a QNAP with USB out to your existing DAC.
    @d6jg yes this would be my preferred option as I currently do this out of my existing Vortexbox Server via a SOtM USB card, however (a) not 100% sure it will (but will query in QLogitechMediaServer thread) and (b) some concern about the reliability of basic integral motherboard PC (see my comments responding to Julf below around USB interfaces).

    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    If you must have a separate player than a Pi 3 B outputting over USB should also work with your DAC
    Thanks, yes I was contemplating this as a more cost effect option but not up to speed with all the new Pi versions and customisations. Briefly looked at the Rasp Pi when they first came out years ago, and a mate had one operating at one stage, but have never progressed any further with one first hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by bakker_be View Post
    Since you're outputting to an external DAC, does it support the desired DSD-level? If so, this (https://allo.com/sparky/usbridge.html) could be what you need.
    Yes @bakker_be - as per my comment above I already stream to my Oppo 105D's DAC via USB from my existing Vortexbox LMS Server (although this is a bit older tech now).

    The Allo looks interesting - very cost effective.... unfortunately showing unavailable to me? Does it run SqueezeLite, couldn't see any reference to that on product page?

    Quote Originally Posted by bakker_be View Post
    Don't let the "audiophile" buzzword mislead you, Allo's products are the fruit of solid enineering first.
    Don't worry @bakker_be (& @Julf), I am an audiophile but a pragmatic and practical one - I don't buy into the waffly smoke and mirrors mumbo jumbo - I trust my ears & robust logical engineering/science (again see also my comment to Jurg below re: USB interface).

    Quote Originally Posted by Julf View Post
    What do you think the difference would be? DO you believe they both wouldn't be bit perfect?
    Hi @Julf, perhaps I should of been more specific - concerned more about (addition of) potential noise (and other effects of sharing power and data feeds through single port). Plus the potential impact that it's not a dedicated bus (e.g. like the comment on Allo website about Raspberry Pi sharing Ethernet and 2 USB on a single bus and USB bandwidth between two ports; and the original SOtM tX-USB cards for PCs designed to address noise from the MB, power and similar via filters/dedicated bus, and ability to disable power on the USB output to so it's data only for similar reasons - I use a SOtM tX in my home built silent Vortexbox).

    Open to being proven wrong that these measures offer zero benefit of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Julf View Post
    What does "native" DSD mean? The problem with DSD is that it can't be processed/EQ'd/mixed without being converted to PCM and back, so pretty much all material in DSD format has already been converted to PCM and back at least once.
    Yes, understand. My point was once it's on my LMS I want to minimise any processing (if possible) prior to getting to the DAC (via USB). I always run fixed volume and leave volume control for the analog domain (via my AVC/Pre-Amp) in my primary (audiophile) set-up. But converting to PCM at LMS stage is an option if needed (albeit less preferred).

    (although to be honest my Yamaha Aventage CX-A5000 uses digital control - so it converts analog from DAC back to digital then back to analog for the speakers, but it's so good at it I can't tell the difference vs. pure analog pre-amps.)

    I do do the conversion to PCM for my secondary system (Squeezebox Touch) as I've never seen the point in muckibg around trying to get the DSD support working on it when I'm just using some smallish active bookshelf speakers with it.

    Appreciate the input and challenges to my logic...
    Last edited by Mycenius; 2019-11-18 at 21:16. Reason: Thread link

    Hi-Fi 1: QNAP HS-453DX NAS+QLMS/Allo USBridge Signature+Shanti LPS/Cirrus ESS Sabre 32-bit Reference DAC (Oppo 105D)/Yamaha Aventage CX-A5000/Focal SM9s.
    Hi-Fi 2: Sqbox Touch+Shanti LPS/Focal XS Books.
    Hi-Fi 3: PC+Squeezelite-X+Material Skin/Focal XS Books.
    Hi-Fi Misc: iPeng (iPad/iPhones)/Plantronics BB Pro 2 LE Headphones.
    Accessories: Tchernov Classic & Van den Hul ICs; Thor PS10 Power Station; Blue Jeans & Ruleconnect Cables (Power, HDMI, USB & Coaxial); Aurios & Vibrapods.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycenius View Post
    Thanks for the quick responses all,



    @d6jg yes this would be my preferred option as I currently do this out of my existing Vortexbox Server via a SOtM USB card, however (a) not 100% sure it will (but will query in QLogitechMediaServer thread) and (b) some concern about the reliability of basic integral motherboard PC (see my comments responding to Julf below around USB interfaces).



    Thanks, yes I was contemplating this as a more cost effect option but not up to speed with all the new Pi versions and customisations. Briefly looked at the Rasp Pi when they first came out years ago, and a mate had one operating at one stage, but have never progressed any further with one first hand.



    Yes @bakker_be - as per my comment above I already stream to my Oppo 105D's DAC via USB from my existing Vortexbox LMS Server (although this is a bit older tech now).

    The Allo looks interesting - very cost effective.... unfortunately showing unavailable to me? Does it run SqueezeLite, couldn't see any reference to that on product page?



    Don't worry @bakker_be (& @Julf), I am an audiophile but a pragmatic and practical one - I don't buy into the waffly smoke and mirrors mumbo jumbo - I trust my ears & robust logical engineering/science (again see also my comment to Jurg below re: USB interface).



    Hi @Julf, perhaps I should of been more specific - concerned more about (addition of) potential noise (and other effects of sharing power and data feeds through single port). Plus the potential impact that it's not a dedicated bus (e.g. like the comment on Allo website about Raspberry Pi sharing Ethernet and 2 USB on a single bus and USB bandwidth between two ports; and the original SOtM tX-USB cards for PCs designed to address noise from the MB, power and similar via filters/dedicated bus, and ability to disable power on the USB output to so it's data only for similar reasons - I use a SOtM tX in my home built silent Vortexbox).

    Open to being proven wrong that these measures offer zero benefit of course.



    Yes, understand. My point was once it's on my LMS I want to minimise any processing (if possible) prior to getting to the DAC (via USB). I always run fixed volume and leave volume control for the analog domain (via my AVC/Pre-Amp) in my primary (audiophile) set-up. But converting to PCM at LMS stage is an option if needed (albeit less preferred).

    (although to be honest my Yamaha Aventage CX-A5000 uses digital control - so it converts analog from DAC back to digital then back to analog for the speakers, but it's so good at it I can't tell the difference vs. pure analog pre-amps.)

    I do do the conversion to PCM for my secondary system (Squeezebox Touch) as I've never seen the point in muckibg around trying to get the DSD support working on it when I'm just using some smallish active bookshelf speakers with it.

    Appreciate the input and challenges to my logic...
    Are you not able to re-purpose the existing VB as a player only?
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room - Joggler & SB3 -> Onkyo TS606 -> Celestion F20s
    Office - Pi3+Sreen -> Sony TAFE320 -> Celestion F10s / Pi2+DAC & SB3 -> Onkyo CRN755 -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Dining Room -> SB Boom
    Kitchen -> UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) - Pi2+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) - SB Touch ->Sherwood AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s
    Everything controlled by iPeng

  7. #7
    Senior Member bakker_be's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycenius View Post
    Thanks for the quick responses all,



    Yes @bakker_be - as per my comment above I already stream to my Oppo 105D's DAC via USB from my existing Vortexbox LMS Server (although this is a bit older tech now).

    The Allo looks interesting - very cost effective.... unfortunately showing unavailable to me? Does it run SqueezeLite, couldn't see any reference to that on product page?
    I'd be very surprised if they don't ship to New Zealand. They offer 2 OS/music player-flavours: DietPi & Volumio. Both have the possibility to use SqueezeLite to connect to LMS.
    Main System: Touch; Marantz SR-5004 + TMA Premium 905 + TMA Premium 901 + Teufel Ultima 20 Mk 2 + BK Monolith+ FF + Lenovo T460 + Kodi + Pioneer PDP-LX5090H
    Workshop: iPad 32GB Wifi + Squeezepad (local playback activated)
    Wherever needed: Acer Iconia Tab A700 + Squeezeplayer
    Kitchen: iPhone 5s + iPeng (local playback activated) + NAD 312 + Teufel Ultima 20 Mk 2
    Headphone (cozy corner): Lenovo T550 + Squeezelite-X + Cyrus Soundkey + Topping A30 + Focal Elear
    Car: TBC ...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mycenius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakker_be View Post
    I'd be very surprised if they don't ship to New Zealand. They offer 2 OS/music player-flavours: DietPi & Volumio. Both have the possibility to use SqueezeLite to connect to LMS.
    I think it's actually they are literally 'out of stock' of them @bakker_be? Actually @Man in a van suggested the below from them - and that shows as orderable for me (i.e. the shopping cart add button is active). Also looks a good possible option for a player/transport as the fact they made sure they separated out the Ethernet and the Audio USB out onto their own buses to reduce noise is what I am looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Man in a van View Post
    I'm not completely clear yet what is the advantage of USBRIDGE, AUDIOPHILE USB AUDIO OUTPUT versus USBRIDGE SIG Ultra low noise RPI? I'm wondering if the first one (the link you sent) has been superseded and the latter (one linked to above) is it's replacement? Given they appear to do the same function and the latter is a cleaner more compact build...

    EDIT: One advantage is you can buy the USBRIDGE SIG Ultra low noise RPI, the case, and a linear power supply for roughly the same as just the base Sonore or SOtM equivalent unit. So while expensive compared to a standard RPi much better value than those if it's essentially achieving the same result?
    Last edited by Mycenius; 2019-11-19 at 21:41.

    Hi-Fi 1: QNAP HS-453DX NAS+QLMS/Allo USBridge Signature+Shanti LPS/Cirrus ESS Sabre 32-bit Reference DAC (Oppo 105D)/Yamaha Aventage CX-A5000/Focal SM9s.
    Hi-Fi 2: Sqbox Touch+Shanti LPS/Focal XS Books.
    Hi-Fi 3: PC+Squeezelite-X+Material Skin/Focal XS Books.
    Hi-Fi Misc: iPeng (iPad/iPhones)/Plantronics BB Pro 2 LE Headphones.
    Accessories: Tchernov Classic & Van den Hul ICs; Thor PS10 Power Station; Blue Jeans & Ruleconnect Cables (Power, HDMI, USB & Coaxial); Aurios & Vibrapods.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mycenius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d6jg View Post
    Are you not able to re-purpose the existing VB as a player only?
    I could @d6jg but the issues are (1) space constraints in my rack (i.e. can't fit two fan-less units that need good airflow over their top surface (I've now ordered the QNAP HS-453DX-4G Silent NAS as it's replacement), and (2) while I kept my LMS on VBX customisation to a minimum I did put the much newer LMS on over the top of the current VBX one, and added in the DSD plug-ins (both Native playback and oversampling to PCM for external players) I have always had some ongoing niggles with the system (player becomes undiscoverable for no reason, LMS mis-reads date info in FLAC files (e.g. 1977 appears as 1465 in library), etc - I have nuked and rebuilt in 3 times a while ago and always the same issues - so either hardware (which I find unlikely) or it's something with the VBX/LMS combination with my configuration.

    I am going to get the NAS first and see if it can achieve SqueezeLite playback out one of it's USB ports as an interim solution (once I have QLogitechMediaServer for Qnap up and running) - but ultimately I think I am better with a stand alone player like the ones in above post(s). And yes the HS-453DX-4G is overkill for LMS server, but it means I can then also look at doing video streaming off it to the same hi-fi/home theatre system as the LMS going forward (and maybe some other stuff).

    Hi-Fi 1: QNAP HS-453DX NAS+QLMS/Allo USBridge Signature+Shanti LPS/Cirrus ESS Sabre 32-bit Reference DAC (Oppo 105D)/Yamaha Aventage CX-A5000/Focal SM9s.
    Hi-Fi 2: Sqbox Touch+Shanti LPS/Focal XS Books.
    Hi-Fi 3: PC+Squeezelite-X+Material Skin/Focal XS Books.
    Hi-Fi Misc: iPeng (iPad/iPhones)/Plantronics BB Pro 2 LE Headphones.
    Accessories: Tchernov Classic & Van den Hul ICs; Thor PS10 Power Station; Blue Jeans & Ruleconnect Cables (Power, HDMI, USB & Coaxial); Aurios & Vibrapods.

  10. #10
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    This is quite good

    https://www.khadas.com/tone

    there are couple of issues with this board version and there is supposed to be a new board on its way, but now release date.

    It works with pCP and there is a thread on this forum (look for user name ducktoller)

    It's also not too expensive (cheaper to buy from mfg).

    https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/revie...?ct=1574236099

    ronnie

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