Best software for DIY Streamer

JSA

Active Member
Dec 20, 2020
103
89
33
Gentlemen,

I have been doing quite some research over last few weeks regarding building DIY audiophile music server/streamer.
The topic that comes back to me is actually which software to choose in order to secure best quality of streaming to DAC.

My initial conclusion is that at the end of the day in case of streamer with USB output it is a matter of:
-securing high quality USB output card (JCAT XE USB as an example) or potentially some USB reclocking device (like Ideon Audio3R USB Renaissance)
-securing a software that: properly controls USB asynchronous transmission and at the same time is pleasant with user interface/library management/integration with Tidal/Qobuz/Spotify

So the options are multiple when it comes to hardware:
- dedicated streamer from Taiko, LDMS, PinkFaun, and few others
- DIY server/streamer - as one or two boxes (server one box and streamer another box or combined together)
- dedicated streamer and DIY server (for instance Lumin U2 Mini or ifi ZenStream as dedicated streamer)

Has anyone of you tried/compared some of these and can share experience of what sounds best?

When thinking of software functionality there is Roon, Audirvana and few other options. To me Roon is by far the best: control from Tablet, integration with Tidal, super nice library management, roon server on headless linux server which is perfect. Difficult for me to imagine Windows based server - however many claim that Windows LTSC based music server sounds the best.

When thinking of software to control USB transmission then options are multiple. Myself thinking of trying at least few options:
Daphile as Roon endpoint,
HQPlayer on Roonbridge as endpoint,
JPlay as Roon endpoint,
HQPlayer on Roon Server without endpoint,
there are other options like Fidelizer, Audiolinux, Windows LTSC and XDMS alike solution etc.

At the moment I still play from Roon server (one box Intel NUC i5 with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS optimized for USB audio priority) directly to Lampizator Pacific via USB.

If you have some good hints or experiences - please share which way to go in order to improve it.
 

JSA

Active Member
Dec 20, 2020
103
89
33
Let me then ask differently:
- how many of you use Roon server together with HQPlayer?
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
2,654
1,036
415
NYC , USA
I use both one players and combos
you are using linux most all work great but some say sound is the issue
windows has many versions
and each have a sound in itself
one key to any windows is PSU
where linux seems not be as nearly effecting
place Roon on a nas
listen
place Roon on a window based server big changes
build a simple linux based server PSU of the nas or linux server has little effect most times
build a windows based nas or streamer big changes in psu

im not a fan of linux players but some streamer servers made do sound good
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
2,654
1,036
415
NYC , USA
Let’s break this down a bit
have you tried any type of spidif converters ? Even a pci can expreSS like your usb card ?
 

rando

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2019
1,464
1,085
230
When thinking of software functionality there is Roon, Audirvana and few other options. To me Roon is by far the best: control from Tablet, integration with Tidal, super nice library management, roon server on headless linux server which is perfect. Difficult for me to imagine Windows based server - however many claim that Windows LTSC based music server sounds the best.

I was considering the worth of posing your (full) question today. Proprietary software tied to a piece of equipment is a topic I'm less interested in right now though. STRONG opinions being passed around in at least two discussion of this hardware on WBF.

I feel Roon is your best at this moment "suite" option on Windows, A+ on Mac. If one desired they could be happy with either. My audiophilia acts up something fierce in this particular area of the playback chain.

windows has many versions
and each have a sound in itself
one key to any windows is PSU
where linux seems not be as nearly effecting

you always impress inside your unique posting format
back when I harangued SGM
gaming components are not the way
try ECC and dual processor
then add 30lb heatsinks
RF/EMI case rejection
I got a big :oops:

place Roon on a nas
listen
place Roon on a window based server big changes
build a simple linux based server PSU of the nas or linux server has little effect most times
build a windows based nas or streamer big changes in psu

listen
get out and listen
 

JSA

Active Member
Dec 20, 2020
103
89
33
Let’s break this down a bit
have you tried any type of spidif converters ? Even a pci can expreSS like your usb card ?
I have actually tried number of spdif converters but impact on sound is very limited or close to none.

My internal checklist is as follows:
1. To try high quality LPSU for my Roon server.
However in the past my experience was that LPSU (Sbooster, Tomanek, Keces) impact is very limited on servers or streamers. There was one exception to that: Kenneth Lau PSU made a huge change on any Lumin player. Unbelievably high impact.

2. To try something like Ideon 3R USB Reinassance Reclocker mk2

3. Split server and end point. Test various endpoints:
-Daphile as endpoint on 2nd NUC,
-Roon Bridge with HQ Player as end point on NUC,
-JPLAY/JFEMTO on Windows as endpoint on NUC;

4. Build a dedicated server with LPSU and JCAT USB XE card - however here it is not clear to me what software makes sense for this configuration - Linux is great for headless server however people claim its sound is not best
- Windows is terrible as operating system for headless/remote control
- Roon on Linux is neat, but people claim its sound quality is not the best,
- Audirvana on headless MacOS server? Would that be better than Linux? Can it take advantage of JCAT USB XE card?
- Other proprietary software seems far from ideal: HQPlayer, XDMS (unless going with Taiko), Audiolinux, Fidelizer, etc. - all of these seem in a bit infant stages

My own conclusion was that if someone provides a solid software that covers playing from memory and exclusively controlling usb asynchronous transfer - would be a perfect choice (especially if integration with Roon would be provided as well).
But off hand - doesn't seem such offering is in the market currently.

Hence my original question in this thread.

Any experience from your own testing will be more than highly appreciated. It might shorten my discovery path.
Will be super interesting to hear what have many of you tested already.

I don't think I want to go Taiko Extreme path (or similar) - I think rule of diminishing returns kicks in here more than anywhere else in high end audio.
Solid software should provide far more improvement than tweaking clocks for ssd drives etc. - but that is just my opinion.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: christoph

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing