dac and streamer or seperates

Want to spend about 5k

System right now is a Krell S-300  love it!

B&W 804's  love them too

Well treated medium sized room.

but I'm using the built in streamer and dac.  

I would like to take my streaming to the next level.

At 5k would you go separate DAC and Separate Streamer or all in one?


@mgrif104 You write:  "Digital data travels in analog wave form. EMF and other noise is carried along for the ride."

So what you're saying is that you don't believe that the transfer of digital data from a PC to a USB DAC is inaccurate and that it is accurate from a streamer device?  Is that right?

If I copy a music file from my Linux laptop PC to any other machine, I guarantee you that the cksum will show that the file was transferred accurately, bit for bit.  I am in Hawaii and know that I can reliably copy data files over 2500 miles, across the ocean, and the cksum will show that the copy went perfectly.   

I fail to see why that would be different for a data copy to a USB DAC (which is also a coputing device in its own right).  Once that data is at the DAC, what happens is a totally different animal. 

Why is it that a DAC is incapable of accurately receiving a data file from a PC?  Why is it that data traveling 2500 miles across the Pacific Ocean is more reliable than a 3 foot long USB cable?



not what I’m saying at all. Yes, digital data is represented as 1s and 0s. But, it is transmitted as a voltage across a wire just like any other signal with a rise and fall to that signal that is interpreted as a 1 and a 0 when it reaches a certain value. You probably know that you can transmit digital data across an A/C circuit. The data is in there. With a whole lot of other signal.

I completely agree that the digital data received from a PC vs a streamer (a type of PC optimized for audio quality) will be identical.  What I don’t agree with is that those two data streams must sound identical after being processed by a quality DAC. Direct experience tells us otherwise. 

If you’re an audio fan pursuing better audio quality- which I presume most of the people who post here are doing, I’m just suggesting you  challenge your belief and experiment.

Of course, it’s fair to point out not all systems will benefit. Certainly not all DACs will benefit. But, some do to great affect. I once held your view. But I tried something different and was pleasantly surprised. 



@russbutton most of the seasoned audiophiles here have experimented with different streamers, DACs and network components. FTPing files and knowing how to do checksum in Linux does nothing for your credibility when it comes to audio.
here is plenty of material to read to learn how streaming works on these forums and internet in general. YouTube has few good channels where this subject is discussed and explained at length. Spend some time educating yourself.

One other thing, the OP had posted a specific question. Derailing the discussion is bad form. Stay on topic. 

@mgrif104 You write:

"I completely agree that the digital data received from a PC vs a streamer (a type of PC optimized for audio quality) will be identical."


This is where it doesn't make sense to me.  If a DAC receives the exact same digital data from two different sources, then why would it then result in a different analog signal?


Sadly I'll probably never get the chance to make the comparison you're suggesting.  Hawaii Island a backwater.  There are no audio shops here, let alone audio repair techs.  It's very rural.  Think Northern Idaho 10 miles from the Canadian boarder.  We're as close to the 3rd World you can get and still be in one of the 50 states.