Playing Hi-Res Files with SOtM SMS-200 Ultra Neo

Hi guys

I have a pretty nice digital rig (besides the SMS-200, I have three Lan filters, Fiber converters, Uptone ER, silver cables, master clock, Audio GD DI-20 DDC, Audio GD HE7 DAC, Audioquest Jitterbug, etc etc).

I use it for streaming Tidal with Audinirvana and Windows 10 on the computer used as a Core and I really love the way it sounds.

Nevertheless, as an audiophile, I’m always looking for better SQ and now I want to try to play Hi-Res files and I have some technical questions that maybe you can help me (I’m not an expert on digital networks).

As I understand, there are three ways of playing those files and I would love to hear another fellows experiences:


  1. Storing the files on the internal hard drive of the computer used as a Core to command the SMS-200 as End Point.

This is a fast test to make and easy to compare with Tidal, at least with Audinirvana.

The caveat is that the files have to go through the home network to the SMS-200 and I think some data must be lost.

I compared this option with Tidal, with the only Hi Res album I have now (Flac 96/24) and to be honest I haven’t found noticeably differences in SQ.

I will compare another Hi-Res formats (WAV and DSD) vs Tidal next week to see if my appreciations are correct.


  1. Storing the files on a NAS.

This is not my idea by the moment as I believe it’s somehow technically complicated and the most expensive option.

Nevertheless, I’m open to hear new ideas about it.


  1. Storing the files on a SSD external hard drive connected directly to the USB inputs at the back of the SMS-200.

This options needs some configuration, wich I will try next weeks, but I believe some users had trouble making it work properly and SQ was not optimal when the hard drive uses the power from SMS-200 USB input.

Has anyone succeded with this alternative and had a better SQ than streaming? How? Any suggestion on configuration, hard drive specs, etc?


Please I would appreciate posts from people with actual experience with the SMS-200.


Finally, a side question. Does the specs/quality of the Core computer affect the SQ on the SMS-200? Why? Any suggestion on configuration, specs, etc?


Thank you!!


A while back when I was setting this up I did a lot of close listening to determine, for example that hard wiring, even with ordinary cables, performed better than wi-fi.  This was before the SOtM that requires hard wiring.  But I don't do much of that anymore.  I do files as described.  I do Qobuz using BubbleUPnP through the SOtM. So from the router the Qobuz goes to the switch as does the NAS and from that point the path is the same.  To me they sound pretty much the same.

The NAS being accessible from two different computers gives me much flexibility.  Files are downloaded and ripped at an office computer and fed to the NAS and backed up elsewhere.   I use a one disk NAS that costs about $100 + the hard drive that can be SS if you wish.  The NAS need not be the expensive part.  There's a bit of a learning curve dealing with the NAS.

It might be more useful for comments if you laid out your signal path more clearly.  What do you use to power the SOtM?

I use a Teradak LPS to power the SMS 200. It's a very good option for the money.

My network is the following:

Router - Ethernet cable - LAN filter - Fiber converter - Fiber - Cisco switch - Ethernet cable - LAN filter - Uptone ER audiophile switch - Ethernet cable - LAN filter - SMS 200 Ultra Neo SE - Audioquest Jitterbug - USB cable - Audio GD DI-20 DDC - I2S cable - Audio GD HE-7 DAC

Router - Ethernet cable - Wifi Router - Wifi - Notebook with Windows 10 as Audinirvana core for the SMS-200.

If the NAS sound pretty similar to Qobuz, why do you have it?

I have the LAN so that all of my own music files are available throughout my network.  A good part of those files are derived from ripping CDs and SACDs.  All of the work on those files is done from a different computer than the one from which I run my basic stereo set-up.  Most of the year I am not hooked up to Qobuz and run my own music.

I see that you use an external USB to I2S converter as the HE-7 doesn't have that function internally.  Have you considered an ethernet to I2S converter taking USB out of the picture all together?  It's likely, though, that if you change your DAC it will have that function built in, and perhaps, as in my own DAC, in a more sophisticated way.

I have though about putting ethernet to fiber converter, fiber, fiber to ethernet converter somewhere in the system.  Before the switch?  After the switch?  With cheap converters do you think that will make a difference? 

Also, coming after the quality of the LPS powered SOtM, does the Jitterbug do very much?  What do you use as LAN filters?

I use a Ethernet to Fiber converter (I don't remember the brand and model)  and a Cisco switch to do the opposite. I feel it makes the sound more relaxed. 

The LAN filters are two Acoustic Revive and one Ever Star.

I find the Jitterbug to do little difference at best when you have a treated signal.