5: When Things Go Terribly Wrong…

…or at least, when things don’t go the way you expect them to.

Today’s episode is about patience.  I received a piece of gear that I couldn’t get to connect to the interwebs, and Paul and I fiddled for hours with the Oppo Sonica DAC until we got files loaded from our hard drive. Now, the latter was not OPPO’s fault at all.  Paul just has a complicated system at home.  At my house, it integrated easily, and I’ve loved the sound.  But we both agree there’s some breaking in to do.
When experimenting with new gear, in the quest for perfect sound…not everything is going to play together.  So, this episode is about a bit of patience.

Gear Guide, Topics & Highlights:

  • 03:03 – OPPO Sonica DAC
  • 03:17 – Anthem MRX 1120
  • 03:42 – Roon software
  • 04:21 – Audirvana
  • 04:46 – TIDAL
  • 07:15 – Matt Rockwell and proprietary box
  • 10:40 – Anthem MRX 1120
  • 14:50 – Computer to DAC Connection, USB COAX Optical, jitter and timing issue, wifi and bluetooth connection
  • 16:40 – Different types of home audio setups
  • 18:40 – What you can do with the OPPO Sonica DAC
  • 20:41 – Redbook (CD) quality vs. sound quality with DSD and PCM formats
  • 23:00 – Ear Overlap and considerations for finding your reviewers and sound
  • 29:10 – Why you need to break in your gear
  • 31:10 – How to break in your gear
  • 32:15 – Listener questions
  • 35:10 – How to quiet a tile floor room, how to treat your room for audio
  • 38:03 – The importance of speaker placement in room treatment.
  • 40:12 – How to find your setup for getting audio from a CD/DVD player and how to approach for synergy between your devices
  • 43:14 – How to get TIDAL to play from your ONKYO system with the best results
  • 46:11 – Check out our power tip for TIDAL and getting high-quality audio to stream to your offline device
  • 50:30 – Stay tuned for more sweet setup tips in a future episode!


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2 thoughts on “5: When Things Go Terribly Wrong…

  1. Hey Guys,
    Really enjoying your podcast! At last I have found people as nerdy as me 😉

    I heard you talking about home built network streamers. This is a topic I have dabbled with quite a bit. If you get into the open source software world there are some amazing software apps out there written by some very capable people working in communities.

    The core for Network streaming is something called MPD (Music Player Daemon) – which runs on all manner of Linux builds i.e. uber-stable. MPD plays virtually anything from flacs, mp3 through DSD-256. Check out its website: https://www.musicpd.org.

    Now to make this piece of very cool software useful it needs packaging into an binary image (known as a distro) with Linux and several other pieces of open source software to make it fully functional. Now, hardware is also open source too these days and there is a board called a Raspberry Pi (£30 GBP) which is basically a high end phone, with WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI output…

    Putting all this together into something useful has been done in several ways. I started with these 3 great examples of network streamers based on MPD and have shairport-sync, that does Apple Airplay all bundled in. They all have cool web front ends to control.
    – Volumio: https://volumio.org
    – Moode: http://moodeaudio.org
    – Archphile: http://archphile.org

    OK this is DIY, you need to buy the board, flash the SD card with the distro. But its not hard (theres tons of help) and the results are amazing. I use an iPad app called Lumin and more open source software called MinimServer to transport the files off my Mac (no Mac core involved, like the commercial apps).

    Please check it out on one if your shows – this is the poor man’s way to get Roon/Audiovana functionality. After 3 years playing with this gear, building my own Amps and with the amazing Bowers & Wilkins 685s2s – I’m a happy nerd with ears that love me.


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