Computer Audio Setup

Realy wanting to get a computer setup. Im using a PS audio pwd with bridge into tube amp and merlins vsm speakers. Ive been feeding sonos into the pwd but the sonos limitations are my current issue. I love sonos for my whole house audio but not for high end stereo. I purchased a nas to put all my cds on but feel id rather have a computer based audio system. So how should I proceed? I have an imac thats two floors above my stereo so direct connection is out. Can i stream with higher rez from sites like mog or rhapsody using a computer than my current sonos setup?

You can improve on the Sonos a lot with a resampling reclocker.

If you want the best SQ possible, then get an async USB converter with HDMI I2S to your PWD. You must locate a Mac Mini at the audio system and run iTunes and Pure Music on it. USB cable to the converter. You can control the Mini from upstairs Mac or an iPad and spool your music from upstairs disk. Rhapsody can be wireless from the Mini. The computer upstairs does not need to be involved in Rhapsody.

iTunes Remote controls everything. Its free.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
James, not quite sure how you are set up. It sounds like you have a bridge, but you are not actually using it. Obviously you can stream from the NAS into the bridge, using PS audio's eLyric as the controller app. This will get you I2S. For this you need to set up a upnp server somewhere on the network. If you do this you won't need a Macmini, USB converter or expensive cabling. Any el cheapo PC hosting AssettUpNp, PS audio eLyric server or something equivalent will do.

The alternative Steve is alluding to is to get his forthcoming offramp 5, which allows you go from a a high grade music server into a USB converter, I2S into the perfectwave Dac. This may be better than network streaming into the bridge, but (A) the offramp 5 is not even shipping yet, (B) this setup will set you back a few grand more than using the bridge and (C) there is not a user base than confirms this setup will beat the bridge.

My advise would be to start using the bridge first, and once the offramp 5 is shipping, initial user feedback is very good, and you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, consider going the offramp route.
Hey Steve thanks for the input. I woukd love to use your setup but cant wrap my head or wallet arounf $1200 for a cable format converter. With all I have read I have no doubt that your products are fabulous though.
"The alternative Steve is alluding to is to get his forthcoming offramp 5, which allows you go from a a high grade music server into a USB converter, I2S into the perfectwave Dac."

Actually, I was referring to a new resampler/reclocker for $599.00 just made for the Sonos etc..

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

......If you want the best SQ possible, then get an async USB converter with HDMI I2S to your PWD.......

Offramp 5 is the only such device soon to be on the market as far is I know.


Another thought. If you get the MKII upgrade on the PWD, you will get more bang for the buck in terms of improved SQ per $$$ than anything else you can do. You will also get an asynch USB input, so you can do "computer based audio", probably 90% of the quality of the I2S input. A MKII over USB is definitely going to sound better than a MKI using I2S.
So with the upgraded pwd I can go usb from my computer into the pwd for streaming? Control of the computer, say imac, with ipad or iphone?
You can already do that with the MKI as well. Problem is with the MKI the non I2S inputs are inferior to the I2S, and USB even more so than S/PDIF because it is synchronous.

The MKII implements the lens technology on all inputs and upgrads USB to asynchronous. So on the MKII the non I2S and I2S inputs are much closer. I personally moved from the bridge to AES/EBU a week ago (for different reasons) and the difference is very very small. You can read up on the PS audio site forum about impressions on USB versus I2S.

Getting the MKII upgrade and going USB into the PWD will be your best bang for the buck upgrade. You can insert an offramp 5 into the chain in the future if this turns out to be a material upgrade over USB direct and you're willing to spend the extra $$$.
And for music sever simply use something like JRiver on PC or Pure music on Mac. Plenty bi-directional controller apps running on iDevice available.
Edorr I really apprecitae your input. What I'm really wanting to do is use my pwd to stream from the internet or download HD tracks. So if I use a mac mini I could control the system with my ipad and go directly into the pwd using usb? Could it stream from MOG like this as well? Sorry for all the questions. I'm new to all this.
James, what is puzzling to me is why you would want to use USB when you have a bridge. What you should do is this. Create a directory on your NAS which stores all your music(say flacs). Install PS audio's eLyric or somthing like assetUpNp on a PC on your network. If you use assetUpNp you also need something like media monkey to do tagging and retrieve cover art. You can also use JRiver, which I believe also streams to the PWD bridge using DLNA.

You point your music server / UpNP server to the directory on your NAS. Next you load eLyric on your iPhone. You select the PWD as your media rendered and the UpNp server as your library, and you're in business. ELyric will allow you to stream radio stations from the internet. If you download a track for HD tracks, you simply copy it into your directory on the NAS.

This setup allow you to exactly what you want to do, will be the cheapest and sound the best. Forget USB!!! Not sure about MOG streaming though. YOu can ask on the PS audio site and I'm sure they can answer this question. You would have to do this using the eLyric iPhone application.

Even if the bridge + eLyric does not support MOG, you are still better off streaming flacs to the bridge over your network and connect an el cheapo PC to the PWD USB port separately for MOG streaming.
Edorr, thanks for the suggestions. The reason for usb at this point is my poor understanding of computers. I can't seem to get my NAS to be recognized by itunes for storage. UpNP setup is way over my head at this point. I agree the bridge is what I have intended to do but I can't seem to figure it out. I am in the process of upgrading to the mkII now and will likely have the geek squad come set the system in the future.
James, I feel your pain. Setting this up can be royal PITA. In my experience, the most user friendly server is JRiver. An additional advantage is JRiver also has a build in DLNA server, which allows you to use your PS audio bridge with minimal configuration headaches. What I would do if I were you is this:

Install JRiver 17 on your PC
Install myRiver on your iDevice
Install PS Audio's eLyric on your iDevice

Store your music collection on your NAS, preferably as FLACs.
Connect your PS audio bridge to the network over ethernet
Connect your PC to the PS audio DAC using USB - You probably need to download and install PS Audio USB drivers for windows. Check on the PS audio site.

Point JRiver to the music directory on the NAS as your main library, and load the library.
Setup your JRiver as a DLNA server (this is an easy configuration option)
Setup your JRiver for WASAPI output
Setup myRiver to control your JRiver 17 remotely on your iDevice
Select the PS audio DAC as rendered and JRiver as source in eLyric on your iDevice

You can now play music both over the USB input and the bridge.

I know it sounds a little overwhelming, but every step I descibe here is well documented and instructions can be googled. I have gone through many permutations of software hardware, and this is by far the most robust, foolproof setup I have come across.

myRiver is more stable than eLyric, so USB may be your preferred signal path. The bridge controlled with eLyric should sound a little better though. If you cannot get the bridge to work, just forget it and stick with USB.

Good luck!
Wow, I really appreciate your help! Will do tonight and report back. Surely even I can get that done.
James, the JRiver / USB route is pretty foolproof. The only snag I can see is getting your PWD appear on your network, which sometime takes bit of fiddling with IP settings. Let me know how you fare.
Edorr, got it up and running with the bridge! Wow, it sounds great. Can't wait for the mk II update. Thanks again.
Excellent. The MKII upgrade will take things to a whole different level still.