Should have mentioned, I have been doing a demo with the DV2...Its a great DAC...No coloring, it just presents the music...John
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The DAC in DV2 is outstanding. I got my DA2 paired with Aurender N10 and couldn’t be any happier.
If you plan to keep DV2 then ask your dealer to loan you NS1...this pairing will have one distinct advantage that no other streamer will offer. The NS1 is equipped with EMM’s proprietary EMM Optilink interface which will allow NS1 to be galvanically isolated from EMM D/A Converters. Along with EMM’s Optilink, EMM D/A Converters like the one in DV2 can receive media and track information on their display via RS232 connection.
I did not care to pursue this option cause I am very content with N10’s superlative sound and it’s excellent proprietary Conductor iOS app.
I have the NS1, (demo) sounds wonderful! Just pursuing all alternatives...The NS1 will not do MQA...The DV2 sounds so good I'm rethinking MQA! EMM LABs (who are great to work with) may have a future update for the NS1 to do a complete MQA unfold...The Optilink is not capable of doing the complete unfold....As indicated just exploring all options, the N10 is one of them...My Joseph Audio Pearl 20/20s never sounded this good! Thanks so much for your input...
The N10 and NS1 are different products. An alternative to the N10 might be something like the Innuos Zenith MK3 (with Innuos Phoenix) and an alternative to the NS1 would be the dcs Network Bridge. There are a lot of options out there in the market but those two seem be getting most of the press. I wouldn't know personally as I'm set with my transport (no streaming), but never say never.
I realize they are different products, just attempting to gauge the sonic differences between the units...Without a listen its just guess work...Have you heard both units? The NS1 performs well...I understand the tech. differences, just curious...Expensive hobby, one learns to research all the aspects before buying the cheese...
Lalitk, I'm running the DV2 directly to my Classe' CA M600 mono blocks,,,I do not have the REF PRE AMP, I did try using my Classe' Sigma SSP pre amp...Didn't like the veiled sound of that combo...I'm always attempting to improve SQ...Still curious how the N10 compares to the NS1...I can still play Hi Res files, and DSD...I assume you are using USB?
The VC in DV2 is much superior than Sigma SSP. I wouldn’t use any preamp between DV2 and M600’s.
As far as NS1 vs N10, I am not in a position to comment since I have no direct experience with NS1. And yes, I am using a USB cable. You can check out my system here, https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8046
Lalitk, that's an impressive presentation! Very cool! One either understands this obsession or not...I know another guy with a N10...He uses AES, he strongly states AES is a better sonic choice...I talked with the owner of Snake River Audio awhile back, he also concurred with AES...Emm Labs is aware of the MQA limitations with NS1 (obviously)...Perhaps an upgrade is in the works? I can still stream 192, its just not MQA...
Thanks for your kind feedback. Without a doubt N10’s SPDIF and AES/EBU audio outputs are superior over its USB output due to signal from these outputs being regulated by one of the finest on-board OCXO clock. I’ve used both of these outputs for a very long time with DAC’s prior to acquiring DA2.
With DA2’s meticulous and superb implementation of DSD and USB, I started listening to high resolution files than be content with files upto 24bit/192kHz resolution. For the sake of convenience and simplicity (one less $$$ digital cable) I stayed with USB as it supports wide variety of resolutions without the hassle of switching back and forth between PCM and USB.
If you’re concerned about missing out on high resolution due to non-MQA support, sign up for a trial with Qobuz. I have dropped Tidal last year after auditioning Qobuz. To my ears, their high resolution SQ is superior to Tidal (even with full unfold of MQA files).
IMHO, DA2 is one of the finest sounding DAC currently available on the market.
I tried Qobuz, it does not perform well in my network...I have to use Satellite internet due to my rural setting...1 mile into the woods surrounded by 350 acres...The price I pay for privacy! Tidal works fine, cannot get Qobuz to properly stream...Eventually the N10 will happen...I have heard nothing but good things about it...Thanks for sharing your input, its most appreciated...
Lalitk need some input. I'll have the opportunity to compare the n10 to the NS1. If I run aes/ebu only should I just buy the conductor app without the additional fee for mqa? Using aes/ebu will prevent mqa anyway? Any input you can provide with setting this up for a demo will be appreciated. I intend on leaving the optilink as the connection between the NS1 and the DV2. John
As I recall, since optilink won’t pass MQA signal, I would skip MQA all together. Aurender only offers first unfold of MQA files (upto 24bit/96kHz) for a one time fee of $50.
For this comparison, I would sign up Sign up for Qobuz trial and listen to wide variety of files available in high resolution upto 24bit/192kHz. Use AES/EBU connection from N10 to DV2 and optilink connection between the NS1 and the DV2.
Have fun and post your findings!
So the NS1 plays PCM, DSD and MQA yet youre saying it wont send an unfolded MQA file out through its best output? My understanding is that the NS1 can send any file format it plays though any of its 3 outputs... and the Meitner DACs support any file format on all of their inputs. Unusual considering that typically DSD is only supported on USB inputs but that statement comes directly from Emm Labs.
The NS1 will not do MQA with any of its outputs. It will do 24/192 as Lalitk mentioned. The DV2 will unfold MQA through usb with a compatible streamer/server. I can play DSD via thumb drive or hard drive through the network with aes/ebu or optilink. I want to compare SQ between the units. If it's marginal I'll just keep the NS1 and implement a hard drive for storage. And not worry about MQA. Also as Lalitk mentioned the Aurender n10 with the MQA add on to the app will only do the first unfold.
To further clarify my comment about “Aurender only offers first unfold of MQA files (upto 24bit/96kHz) for a one time fee of $50”, the rest of the unfold of MQA file will take place within DV2. The Aurender will pass MQA files through PCM (AES/EBU, SPDIF) and USB outputs.
The reason I want you to ignore MQA for your comparison is because NS1 won’t pass MQA. Listening to high resolution files through Qobuz and DSD off your thumb drive would yield best results and a honest test of both player’s capabilities.
Not sure why all the guesswork - the manual is online.
The NS1 will accept MQA content via ethernet and USB stick input but:
When playing MQA through the NS1 coupled with MQA-enabled DAC, the NS1 will output MQA Core decoded signal. The MQA-enabled DAC will display the original sample rate of the MQA stream. In case of the DV2 DAC, the Optilink input currently cannot fully render MQA streams beyond the Core decoding of 24bit, 96kHz.
The explanation in the manual should mean that the DV2 display will show the original lossy 24/192 resolution of the file (for informational purposes I guess?) but the NS1 will only do the first unfold of the core lossy 24/96 stream and pass that onto the DAC whether through the ST fiber link or otherwise.
So it really doesn’t matter what the DV2 display says, you’re getting max 24/96 MQA stream from the NS1.