The Emperor Has No Clothes!!

Read a post the other day where someone characterized a server/streamer as “sweet and tube-like sounding”.  It read like a parody.  Am thinking of starting a company based on tube rectified power supply for network switch.  Crowd funding?


Based on @mdalton posts, I don’t see why anyone should give any credence to OP opinions on streamer/server…he is a hard core Vinyl enthusiast and he will never pursue or ever concede to a notion that a SOTA streamer/server can outperform a Vinyl setup. Just my .02 cents. 


First off, I haven’t heard a streamer that is “tube like” but I’ve only heard a small fraction of streamers out there.  There are CDPs that use tubes ; is it really nuts for a streamer to do the same.

Secondly, do non audiophiles laugh at us?  Of course they do; it isn’t a “dirty little secret “.  There are probably less than half a million audiophiles in this country.  Most people are content with lousy sound.

so i used the car example to try to take some of the audiophile mysticism out of the equation.  (Another common example is that most people have very different responses to a man with a deep voice saying something, vs. a woman -or man - with a high pitched voice saying the exact same thing.)

But back to my car example: I’m a very experienced driver. I’ve been driving high performance cars - mostly manual transmissions - for almost 40 years.  So I have a similar passion there to my audio passion.  So maybe it’s not quite as good an analogy for others as it is for me.  Regardless, in that case, I know that the science tells me what I’m feeling is not an accurate representation of what’s actually happening.  Don’t need to measure it because I don’t have any doubt.  I could measure it however, though in this case it would  be a pain to do so.  My approach to audio is very similar.  If I feel something that science - or measurements - tell me is not actually accurate, I don’t reject the science.  It helps me sort thru my experiences to weed out those that are not an accurate representation of what is actually occurring.  That way, I can spend my money where I can be sure it will make a real difference.

Of course, maybe my car example is telling me not to overthink it.  Maybe if I just enjoy the moment, and let myself be carried away by my passion for my hobby, I don’t need to spend much at all, just put my gear thru a $40 monthly wash, lol!


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Confirmation bias, your brain playing tricks on you…all these standard lines are used by those who either 1) can’t hear; 2) never heard and have no experience, and 3) can’t afford to own

And this is the standard line used in response to allegations of confirmation bias. #3 is especially obnoxious -- "your system is not resolving enough."

It really does no good to have this debate in a macro sense. Each individual tweak, type of gear, etc., has its own likelihood (or lack thereof) in influencing sound.

There are CDPs that use tubes ; is it really nuts for a streamer to do the same.

CD players that use tubes include the analog stage of the DAC. That may influence sound. A pure streamer takes the PCM stream (packetized) from the LAN port and outputs it via USB or SPDIF (or other). There’s no analog stage. Putting tubes in an entirely digital data processing device is beyond silly. If it affected sound at all, it would likely be detrimental since a tube is more sensitive than solid state to many electrical issues that theoretically could affect a streamer.

The introduction of the Aurender streamer into my system introduced a very natural and sweet tone that reminds of good tube gear

Let’s break this down: (1) if used as a server only (with another device - a streamer --  on the other end of the network attached to a DAC/with an internal DAC) then the server cannot possibly affect sound quality except as to DSP processing or similar - i.e. the bit perfect signal received by the streamer is the same no matter what machine is transmitting that signal across the network; (2) if used as a server/streamer, then yes, it can theoretically affect sound quality, but only in the sense that the theory goes that the processing at the server end can be electrically noisy and detrimentally affect sound - so a really well designed server *might* be able to avoid some of that, but most likely using a server/streamer combo device isn’t optimizing sound quality if it makes a difference at all. It’s possible you like sub-optimized sound, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

it’s stuff like this that make all of us the deserving objects of ridicule from our non- audiophile friends.

I think the point here is that audiophiles look silly putting rocks on their speakers, using directional colored fuses, and making claims about digital networks that make no sense to the experts that really know how they work. Then the anger and ganging up that occurs when someone makes a point using science and engineering just exacerbates this.

I am a big proponent of being open minded and considering anything, at least for a minute. But you still do have to engage the logical/science part of your brain at some point. Science hasn’t explained everything yet. So observation has its place in starting a thought process. But that also doesn’t mean that network gear has magical qualities that literally cannot exist given how networks work.

All of that said, I don’t know that I would have started a thread just to make fun of someone. I think a response in that thread that explained the science and engineering behind the server-streamer concept would have been sufficient.