for streaming why not computer/galvanic isolation/DAC clock?

Hello and thanks for your help. I have been trying to figure out how to best stream to my set up and looked at many alternatives, all the conflicting posts  etc etc. I just wonder why one cannot use a computer with a device for good  galvanic isolation, and rely on the clock within the DAC to eliminate issues of jitter. If one is worried about SQ only (not the features of the software) what is wrong with this simple set up?  I bought a mac mini with extra memory (had dropouts until I upped the memory) and use an Innuos device for galvanic isolation. The Innuos has no external power supply and is built to use the power from the input USB, so no power in at that point (suppose a different device with linear power supply might make an improvement). I run a 3 foot long USB to the Innuous to keep noise away from my stuff. All power cords and interconnects are shielded and show nothing when I use a sniffer, even the one for the computer (you can get one of those from a company focused on people worried about EMI and health). I have Roon on the mini, and use the mini as the Roon server. When I use WiFi rather than an ethernet connection there are no dropouts;  I assume that is better than bringing in noise from ethernte. Thanks for your help - a mac mini is not cheap, but costs far less than high end streamers. Do people pay for the file management etc, or is the SQ better with a dedicated streamer? (My setup: RME ADI2 or Qutest DAC, ARC LS25 II pre, McIntosh 462 power amp).


I run Roon on an older Windows 10 laptop. The sound is indistinguishable from that produced by a streamer of any make. I do use a power conditioner for the laptop, the DAC and the pre-amp. An Ethernet connection is preferable, but I use WiFi with no apparent loss of sound quality (although I do lose the internet signal occasionally).

@arhgef FOMO is a real threat. I am getting into DIY. The next goal is to find a good high efficiency speaker and build SET amplifiers - lot to learn. This post is more about trying to understand what is happening, and how these things are engineered. I think working with tube amps that sound good by virtue of their simplicity would be a good place to go.

You seem to be on a similar path as me, DIY is great. Fun ,satisfying, educational and economical. May I recommend considering a foray into a open baffle speaker using a Lii Audio full range driver such as the F6, if you dont want to risk much or the F15 if your wallet is a bit fatter. No Crossover, direct wire to amp. You can supplement bass to taste with subwoofers. Unique open airy sound with great imaging, but you do lose something on the top and bottom end.

In the amp area Decware sells the printed circuit board for their 2 watt Zen amp for $45 with instructions and parts list but you have to order the parts and transformers on your own. All in $6-700 roughly. I built it and it is a lot of fun with true SET sound. If you never built a kit before and would like all the parts delivered with a nice case look at Nelson Pass's Amp Camp kit. 8 watts per channel and a sound very like a tube amp, but solid state.  That is what I started with and glad I did. Hope this might be of help to you or someone else pursuing this sort of path.

I use a computer and leave it under a bed in my guest bedroom. It is a tiny computer without a mouse | keyboard | monitor. It is directly connected to my network via Ethernet. I run ROON Core on this $500 computer. I use PowerLine Adapters to get music to my Livingroom and Ethernet for the office. I use RDP to connect into the computer. Though I rarely do that. I automatically put the computer to sleep at 2:30AM and it wakes up with ROON at 7AM.

All of this sounds like a catastrophically bad setup from many posts on A’gon. I argue that because I use fibre optic cable (which is glass) just before my DAC’s, it does not matter what is before the fibre. Who cares about electrical noise when glass cannot carry that noise.

The cleanest way to do this would be with a DAC that can directly eat the bits from the server via fibre. A Lumin X1 (about $6k used) can do this with a direct fibre connection from a cheap network switch with fibre. I had this at one time and the stream was amazing.

A slightly less optimal stream, but what I use now is the Sonore OpticalRendu that takes Fibre and converts to USB, which then goes into the DAC. That final conversion to USB is why it is not as good as the X1 but the oR also sounds great.

I control all of this with my computers, cellphones, and tablets. Each of my DACs are connected with ROON READY endpoints to make this work seamlessly. The X1 is a ROON READY endpoint as are the OpticalRendu’s.

I use the following PowerLine for my Livingroom. I recently tried 4 NetGear adapters and they were not good. I should have stuck with TP-Link.




Just for playing around, I had a Mac Mini M1 running Audirvana. I used an Aurender UT100 usb to fiber convertor plugged directly into the back of the Mini and it fed a Qutest via a quality glass fiber cable. It actually sounded quite amazing. 

The Mini is extremely energy efficient, never drawing more that 8 watts even when doing silly high oversampling, most often stayed at 6 watts. Zero heat or noise. Wifi to business class Cisco access points is 100% reliable.

What I didn't like was the lack of easy control of it. At least at the time, Audirvana didn't have a good phone/tablet app to control this.

That said, I'm not giving up my Aurender N100H as my main streamer. But there certainly can be success using computers in an audio chain.