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At best, the swapping of gizmos around is causing the AC line to develop a new noise profile.
So, deal with your AC and environmental noise by isolating wall warts and digital devices from linear using coils. Shunyata or Furman.
Use shielded (but not overly expensive) power cables where you can.
The rest is op to the clock and isolation capabilities of your DAC. Avoid ifi digital signal purifiers, they tend to move rather than eliminate noise. Use linear supplies where you can.
for clarity sake… again…..
my curiosity here revolves around these upscale server - renderers and or the one box music streamer gizmos proliferating the digital market.
from Sonars Micro Rendu, various itterations of Aurenders, Wolfe Audio, Lumen, Blu node, etc., and as well of late, some dSP preamp and DAC combos ala Legacy and Anthem for example, just how relevant is a stand alone DAC in developing the digital signal anymore?
I believe in perhaps two cases recently I heard systems which used either wolfe or Lumen music streaming units as sources into standard preamps sans dACS, and I felt the result was very good and extremely good in those two instances
naturally then I began wondering just how significant stand alone dACs are becoming these days, especially if or when a person is not gonna be dropping large wads of cash into their outfits?
two rigs with DACs….
one case I recalled did have a preamp/DAC in the chain and I felt that one as well was exceptionally nice sounding. it ran a Bel Canto ‘black box’ (?) unit and fed a Carver 75wpc tube amp. with Blade Iis as the speakers this little setup was fascinating.
lastly the goose Bumps rig was the Merril Audio and MuAudio combo, which had a EMM labs 2x DAc feeding Merril’s christine pre, and 116s monos. top notch sounding! Really! I’m not at all keen on ‘stat speakers but there was a setup even I could be quite happy with for a good long while.
both the BC DAC/pre and the EMM Labs dAC cost about the same money retail.
so the question begging to be addressed is “Has the ‘stand alone’ DAC been supplanted or is it about to be kicked to the curb by the new enclave of music streamer and or renderers, Integrated amps, modular Preamps ala aVM, Bel Canto, etc.?
unless one is willing to throw a new Jet Ski and trailer into the system by adding a stand alone DAC I’m thinking one may not be necessary, either now or very soon.
I think that the question posed by the OP is a very good one.
Essentially, if I may rephrase it, OP is asking: Formerly DAC Quality was was an issue in the chain. Can we now assume that even the least DAC will have hit a minimum standard of quality that attention, and resources, are best applied to the other links?
One of my previous DACs was non asynchronous: PS Audio Digital Link III.
it was very good with it’s tos link and coax inputs, but terrible over usb-flattened the sound stage like a pancake. When devices began to appear that reclocked the usb output of the computer, it finally started to sound listenable. Today it would be hard to find a DAC that doesn’t correct this.
Do all DACs therefore sound alike, and can we ignore differences between them? The answer is decidedly no. I recently had two DACs in regular use that sounded wonderful indidually but could not have sounded more different from each other. I still think that the DAC will be the biggest determinator of the sound. That isn’t to say that the other links don’t matter.
... OP is asking: Formerly DAC Quality was was an issue in the chain. Can we now assume that even the least DAC will have hit a minimum standard of quality that attention, and resources, are best applied to the other links?
When devices began to appear that reclocked the usb output of the computer, it finally started to sound listenable. Today it would be hard to find a DAC that doesn’t correct this.
Do all DACs therefore sound alike, and can we ignore differences between them? The answer is decidedly no.
I recently had two DACs in regular use that sounded wonderful indidually but could not have sounded more different from each other. I still think that the DAC will be the biggest determinator of the sound. That isn’t to say that the other links don’t matter
of vast import is NOT adding back into the digital chain more ERRORS and maintaining signal integrity with the ones and zeroes.
I am fast coming to the opinion that UNLESS one throws demonstrably large wads of cash into a stand alone dAC, d(15K or more at retail) the current SOTA in DA conversion is at or very near its zenith.
this is of course barring some new 'warp drive' innovation in DA design and or technology, which is of course as yet unknown.
I feel from what I've experienced of late, only the 'statement or Reference' level dACs clearly surpass the offerings beneath them.
this observation leans heavily on the advances in 'clocking' and remarkable attention being given to the upscale dAC power sups.
this means, on balance, the threshold for diminishing returns has been substantially elevated via the DA conversion tech being employed almost universally in present DACs.
one already mentioned earmark of DA conversion advances is the proliferation of dACs across the board offer now merely a plethora of 'differences' rather than a multitude of 'betterment' with respect to audio quality.
not only are there chocolate and vanilla but chocolate toffee and vanilla toffee too.
given each compliant facet of the audio system does play a role, even to the point of redirecting or elevating SQ, the dAC itself can not be squarely set in the sights as the make it or break it link in the chain, and as such, investigating the items upstream of the DAC have become worthy of more in depth examinations.
for EX: one AQ product for $50 which is a USB plug in is getting loads of credible press as being able to deliver improved SQ.
EX; as previously pointed out herein, addressing likely or possible issues with power line gremlins is now more worthy than before of greater consideration.
even the protocol for streaming is of greater consequence than in previous years, ala ethernet or the rest of the usual suspects, USB, and or coaxial interfaces.
how long will it be before we have multiple options for digital converters that work off the grid entirely?
obtaining great audio thru the digital side of the coin is getting cheaper, though remaining uber concious of the seemingly lesser devices and software that contribute to the audio being 'clicked up' is key.
consider then these new 'interface converters' referred to as bridges' that reside on the LAN or are attached between the PC and what ever D/A converter.
each time I’ve added in some level of Digital converter upstream of a dAC the outcome has been an audible improvement.
these instances have always been limited by means, but the consideration then is exactly the increment of sQ upgrade resulting from those devices which seem to forecast a greater investment there can yield formidable gains.
my trepidation however is fortified by budgetary and philosophical restrictions, given the cost of some of the more highly praised ‘bridges’ out there which run around $4K to $5K give or take a bit!
in several cases as much as a quite competent stand alone DAC!!
and likely adding on yet another wire as well.
hence, the ONLY rationale for going forward with a similar mainstream DAC investment for installing a new bridgte would have to be the audio quality is decidedly improved, not merely made different.
without respect to cost, have the additions of a bridge in your system brought about ‘night and day’ SQ gains?
just how relevant is a stand alone DAC in developing the digital signal anymore?
I think the issue is one of control, and upgrades.
I mean, if you find an all in one you like, you should absolutely buy it. Fewer parts, smaller, fewer cables. Especially in small apartments, bedrooms.
However, my current set up is a Raspberry Pi -> Mytek Brooklyn -> Luxman 507ux Integrated. Retail is a modest $8k or so, but still not money I'd like to shuffle or attempt to sell used and buy something else.
Let's say I don't like the wireless user interface (UI) , no problem. Install something different on the Pi, or get a streamer with built in storage I like. Problem solved. My sound quality remains the same.
Lets say I want to upgrade my DAC to a Manhattan. No problemo. The Luxman stays put. The streamer which has my music and a UI I like stays exactly the same.
Having said this, I pay for all the cables, gadgets and the ability to control exactly what each component is. I don't sweat that I paid several thousand dollars for the Luxman and might find a DAC I like better, which then causes me to throw it all away together.
So, reading what I just wrote, the amount of money you spend matters. If you can find an all in one for $150 and maybe in two years doesn't support your music store or goes out of business and no longer supports current iPhone/Android, well, throw it out and buy latest.
I’m all for swaping in and out those lesser priced gizmos, even the media SW I’ve had to digest in order to use.
I’m in that sW investigation boat presently. just finished looking into amarra, and about to decide on roon or Audirvana. Audirvana Plus may wind up coming on board anyhow as a belt and suspenders approach.
ROON may or may not end up as a wise pick for me currently as I simply do not have enough varied zones or end points to see its greatest value..
the interface between PC and D/A intrigues me now.
until another or a newer D/A lands here and that might be a while, I gotta go with my BC DAC 3, and that means some how converting from USB to BNC or aES or from Ethernet to BNC/AES. the latter option would be the choice provided the cost is attainable.
otherwise and for a time, its likely gonna be my old Hiface or a refreshing of Windows on my Win 7 box and using its Lynx aES 16 X pci SC, which does a better job by far than the Hiface despite those who would kick about using a PCI sound card.
I’m only guessing but feel even with tech continuing to march ahead that improving on the Lynx is gonna still be in the 600 to 1K price range, if not a tad more.
the more attractive pieces are those which have upgrade paths already in place either with interior tech or simply via upgrading power sups.
as said, the sA DACs I’ve heard that are compelling were the eMM Labs 2x and the latest BC black box pre/DAC, and those are nothing more now than dreamworks, even pre owned.
lastly, the advent of the latest all in one ‘music streaming’ contraptions seems a favorable route perhaps, at least on the surface, than dealing with seeking out and adding in a upscale ‘bridge’ and a new SA DAC.
Afraid I cannot get into the DAC range that you mention. The two DACs that referenced above were the Mytek Manhatten and the Bryston DAC3. I would love to know how an EMM Labs or dCS would sound in my system and my room, but sadly, these will remain aspirational. I therefore cannot comment on whether hitting this strata will upgrade your sound.
i can say that when I purchased these two DACs—coming from an Oppo 105 as my DAC- the changes in my system were profound.
I recently added a Bryston BDP3 as my streamer, moving on from Bluesound. It was a clear sonic upgrade, but not of the magnitude that the DAC upgrades were. When I added Audirvana to my MacAir, another improvement, clearly audible, but again, not of the magnitude that upgrading the DAC.
I therefore think that leaving all else the same, the DAC is the biggest factor in the digital chain, but we know that a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link...
I am not sure if I answered your question. I don’t think that there is a definitive answer to it
I'm clueless on why at times, my paragraphs are being duplicated... oil well. sorry.
you said you used both Mytek Manhatten and the Bryston DAC3 and I'm guessing the dAC 3 is the current DAC, yes?
if so, or no what was the main diff between them?
as for DCS digital conversion, from what I've heard of these I could not live with DCS gear UNLESS it was fronting an all tube rig, which had an obvious 'tube' sound. sET-ish like if not in fact. that said an MSB rig with viva 300b amp and AG Uno spkr with all shunyata wires, was one rig I could easily pass up despite its unobtainium price tags.
I've spent the day getting a fully licensed ver of Audirvana plus on the MAC 5K. whoa.
FYI... don't mess up the CC info! sheesh. repairing that error gets a bit involved.
now I just got to figure out how to make it play back itunes Music subscription files, and a couple other things.
to date I've heard many higher priced DACs in show rooms, at shows, and in friends homes. mitner. EMM Labs. Berkley. Bel Canto. DCS. MSB. Benchmark. Shiite. Bryston. hegel. Audio Note UK. Anthem.
the whole of the outfit, as is said here repeatedly, either makes for a goose bumpy event, or not. this is despite the DAC, or dAC stack! at least IMHO.
I wrote about a dAC shootout at a friends home on the regview pages of this site some years back. there is more info in that account.
I don't think I've heard the 'latest' versions of those aforementioned dACs except those I heard at the recent fL. Audio expo. Hegel 590 INT; Emm 2x; MSB, AVM, and DCS stacks, respectively, Bel Canto Black controller dAC, and a Luxman INT and CDP in several setups .
sadly, I missed the Lampersater Esoteric, and Manhattan setups. I kick myself for not finding these rooms!
the thing which prevents me from singularly associating sQ to these dACs was the fact in nearly every case, they were being fronted by a music streaming device/bridge, ala Wolfe, Lumen, Aurender, etc.
despite all that, the two DACs which constantly grab my attention have been EMM Labs and the bel Canto DACs in their various itterations and setups. one can't ignore being bowled over by certain brands regardless the setups the DACs were being used as source and or as controller.
AVM did come close to these with their modular MP 8.2 preamp which used its optional tube output stage, the AVM MP 8.2 monos, and a pr of Raiedo 2.2s.
but the doshi/Joeseph audio and Merril audio/Muadio rooms were the real standouts IMO. EMM labs was in the Merril room.
also noteworthy was the Carver room with Blade IIs and the Bel Canto preamp DAC controller hooked up with carver's Cardinal ((?) 75w tube amp.
apparently, there is simply something about the eMM and Bel Canto 'house' sound that gets to me.
as you alluded to, unless I stumble onto a bundle of duckets down the road, only preowned versions of these makers dACs will ever land here. though, they remain atop my short list. with an outside chance at having BC upgrade my BC DAC 3 somewhat.
maybe. well, probably. perhaps. lol
although, I an not terribly keen on shoving more $$$ into a DAC whose USB plug only allows for Red Book info, which is the case with my BC DAC 3.
on the house brand affectations, Lynx has a USB to Coax box available. but I don't thihnk it does do all the MQA and DSD nonsense and runs over $2k. but I have enjoyed their AES 16X sound card using Windoes boxes. their support dept is top shelf too.
as for these streaming and bridging interface devices, they appear the icing on the cake as it were.
IF serious money can be shoved into that slot, outstanding! if not, the S/A DAC of choice and whatever interface that conveys the digital files/streams to the DAC becomes a matter of due course. spend what you can there and don't look back. well, not too often I suppose.
You are correct in in that I currently use a Bryston DAC3. At the time that I bought it I had a Mytek Manhatten I which I was extremely happy with. I added the Bryston because it has HDMI inputs, and I have a large SACD collection (as well as Blu Ray and DVD Audio) and my Oppo 105 can output the DSD layer of these discs directly over HDMI. The Manhatten also lacked a usb input, substituting FireWire instead.
The difference between the the two DACs was that the Mytek absolutely excelled in data retrieval and gave me a front of the Hall experience. The Bryston is detailed as well but not quite the XRay machine of the Mytek. The latter was also a bit to hot in the treble in my system, with my B&W 803D Speakers. Some Piano recordings were just to uncomfortable through the Mytek.
With some of my SACDs, I have had the I can reach out and touch the Musicians experience via the Oppo-Bryston combo. Both the DACs excelled at DSD via downloads using the Oppo as a transport, but I only have a few of those and given the expense and difficulty of
downloading them will only be accessing DSD via silver disc for now. Neither DAC did MQA, although Mytek offered to upgrade the Manhatten, which would have also eliminated the fw input for usb.
In the end, since I can only listen to one DAC at a time, and since I wanted the proceeds of the Manhatten to finance the purchase of another piece of gear, I sold the Mytek.
In your case, I would define your budget and get the best Bel Canto DAC that you can afford. I would then worry about the other links in the chain, as there may be ways to optimize them without having to break the bank
with my B&W 803D Speakers. With some of my SACDs, I have had the I can reach out and touch the Musicians experience via the Oppo-Bryston combo.
I remember those days with Red Book cDs via the Sony SCD XA 777 & BC DAC3, Thor line stage, and Dodd EL34 Monos, Silverline Sonata IIIs. as well though previous to it, with the same front end but an all BAT power train, VK5 pre, VK500 w/BAT Pack SS stereo amp.
In the end, since I can only listen to one DAC at a time, and since I wanted the proceeds of the Manhatten to finance the purchase of another piece of gear, I sold the Mytek.
it be’s that way a lot around here too. gotta get off of this, to get one of those!
In your case, I would define your budget and get the best Bel Canto DAC that you can afford.
outstanding input. many thanks. especially on the desparity between those two dACs.
I have a UDP 203. according to Oppo whatever digital info is handed off to it via Audirvana can or will pass thru its SPDIF outputs.
DSD likely must go thru HDMI as you said, if at all with a UDP 203.
the 203 recent firmware update provided MQA I think though I believe its from streaming services only and likely not passed thru any digital outputs. but maybe. I’ll have to look into that bit.
its sounds like the diffs in your two dACs was similar to what I experienced between a Lavry and the BC DAC3, with the Lavry being your Bryston, and the DAC3 the Manhattan.
I feel strongly that the ‘source’ supplying the analog feed eventually should be as transparent and akin to your ‘x ray’ characterization of the Manhattan
I declared the Lavry a BMW 5 series and the BC DAC3 a Dodge Viper. one soaked up the bumps, one revealed every descrepency on the roadway… and was far quicker!
I do also attend to system ’synergy’ and at times, some things simply do not mix well with the balance of the outfit.
in fact though, I like the proposition of having both ends of the rig as transparent as is possible without ever crossing the line into dry, strident, sterile, or analytical, and uber detailed. .
as such, and on the budget theme my philosophy has been figure out the budget, double that and then add a bit more for the next wahtever gizmo. often it demands selling one item and waiting to get the next. which plainly stinks a lil bit. lol
as my aspiration going forward will remain targeted to the best 16/44 rendering I can acquire, I’m gonna aim predominately for something from EMM Labs or bC at this point. I think.
DSD, MQA, and on a lesser scale HD files purchased online don’t interest me a lot. Just somewhat. I’ll buy some HD files here and there occasionally, but I’m gonna stick mostly to ripped track playback off a synology NAS.
things may change and I’m being far more open to change this go ‘round than ever before.
so, we’ll see.
I must have missed your earlier mention of Silverline Sonata III. I was using Silverline Panatella as my two channel floor standers before upgrading to the B&W, and those Panatellas are now in a Surround Sound System.. I would love to hear their more upmarket models.
I agree that optimizing red book playback should be the goal. Fortunately the Bryston excels at everything, not just DSD.
I am jealous of you being able to go with EMM.!
yes. but before the Sonata IIIs were a littany of BW speakers ending with the CDm9Ts with hopes for the 802Ns.
B&K, Krell amps came and went.
the store I traded with back then lost the bW line. they had Monitor Audio so I opted for the gold 60s.
found this site and sold them. went of on a pr of VR4JRs, then the previously mentioned B.A.T. gear.
later, another BAT amp in a VK60, the Silverlines. and then, the Thor and Dods.
again, life happens, and things change.
several biolent break in attempts, in '10 - '11, and some serious health issues thereafter, forced me to reassess my priorities and my security.
sold off the Dodds and Sonatas for alarms, exterior lighting, and uh, several high capacity hand held security measures.
consequently, my audio system evaporated for the needed new security measures and I was accordingly dismayed. .
things seem to be on an up tick of late so here's hoping it continues and culminates prosperously quite soon. or at least soon.
if so, there will definitely be some sort of up scale dAC fueling the source signal.
the major obstacle for me as usual is managing the sW required for the digital file and now the streaming content playback.
especially since migrating onto this new imac 5K retina and having to learn how to use it and its adaptive accessibility feature set.
signing up for Quboz recently I could not make it play anything! nada. zipola. I'm gonna try once more soon now that I'm figuring out audirvana plus.
that is as well after I get the balance of my left overs re arranged in the office and throw together it all into a mediocre office - desktop audio system.
so please don't feel envious at all. nothing fabulous is happening here tomorrow or even shortly
the deskktop rig will consist of the BC dAC3; oppo UDP 203; Thor Mk II line stage w/NOS Amperex tubes; Butler TDB 5150 multi ch amp; Silverline sR 16; velodyne DD15 sub; Elrod, Voodoo, and Shunyata power cords, HT Magic II ICs, and Sound Anchor rack & speaker stands, then some Running springs & PSA passive plc..
I've some other pieces still like an Odyssey stratos plus 2ch SS amp, onkyo receiver, and some older phase Tech towers and some PT 2 ways and even a pr of Canton bookshelfs.
nearly all of those pieces remain in purely static situations. unplugged and just taking up space.
so in the end it won't suck... but its far from where things were.
the imnpetus now is looking into the 'bridge' section and it seems the Oppo is going to have to do. ....
if the Micro Rendu had a coaxial interface to a DAC instead of only USB.
maybe I'll fall back onto the Windows 7 box and its Lynx AES 16 express SC whose AES output feeds the BC dAC3 very well, and just use FUBAR again.
so it ain't all bad.
Even though Mighty Casey struck out, there is still a reason for some joy to be had in Mudville.
I hope that your personal security situation has stabilized.
it seems to have, though the mail box has none and as such its an ongoing concern, and has been a serious issue twice now.
luckily a former close friend, since passed, had a friend well up in the Sheriffs department, a detective who bvisited me and some uh, 'neighbors' and things have quieted down a good bit. I think the nonsense is still going on but its not going on here, and that's my primary remaining issue.
I used the Oppo as a bridge for a while when my Bluesound was dead in the water. If only they had developed a better app before folding their tent....
whose app, Oppo or Blue Sound?
I thought if I were using the MAC and A + to feed the Oppo, the UDP 203 would essentially be a silent partner. acting only as a conduit or bridge to the dAC.
BTW, putting the A+ remote app onto my iphone and ipad sure made using A+ easier.
now I gotta figure out how to generate playlists inside A+ made of files itunes doesn't support, using ONLY the keyboard. or very sparringly the mouse as I can magnify the screen to see it better when absolutely necessary.
well, that and integrating a streaming service.
huge thanks for pointing me to Audirvana Plus. Good call!
also, I've decided if I do use a formal audio 'bridge' it will be one that accepts input from ethernet on the local network. with a NAS, it makes more sense.
given every decent music streaming/renderer has some lofty price tags, those will be, if at all, final additions of pure convenience.
The Bluesound app is decent. I had a problem with my entire Bluesound system where I couldn’t use it or get it fixed for several weeks...detailed here and in the digital forum. Anyway, I was using the Network function of the Oppo to control my NAS. The Oppo app is terrible. Audirvana worked much better using my PC, but that limited me to usb and I couldn’t use the pc and listen to music simultaneously.
I don’t think the Audirvana can be used with the Oppo...I thought it was for pc only...perhaps someone can correct me if I am wrong.
, I was using the Network function of the Oppo to control my NAS. The Oppo app is terrible. Audirvana worked much better using my PC, but that limited me to usb and I couldn’t use the pc and listen to music simultaneously.
I don’t think the Audirvana can be used with the Oppo...I thought it was for pc only...perhaps someone can correct me if I am wrong
first off, my iMac is on a wy fy connection.
so is my UDP 203.
now do understand i’ve not fully completed this link, but…..
once Audirvana got fully licensed I turned on the UDP 203.
then I opened Audirvana plus.
using the file menu for A+ I looked at the output audio settings in PREFERENCES, and clicked onto that box and it dropped down showing the 203 as an output device.
I THINK IT SHOWED UP AS ‘OPPO’.
not being able to navigate the OPPO menus at that time or since actually due to other priorities, I’ve not tried it out.
OPPO support sent along an email as I asked specifically about this scenario and they said:
From the Home Menu of you OPPO, you will need to select Network. From Network, there should be a listing for Audirvana and you will need to select that. After Audirvana is selected, do you then get audio?
(as said, I’ve not tried though it seems as it should work)
OPPO WENT ON TO SAY….
You will not need to change any settings and you will be able to output the audio from any of the outputs on the player. If you are currently using a HDMI connection for audio, you can use that.
the only output from the oppo CURRENTLY in use is using HDMI to a sony LED 31 inch HD flat screen
i’ve been using it only to view/listen to Blu Ray movies so far and very sparringly.
soon I’ll get it into what I said the other day in this post about a rearrangement of my office gear.
in another email Oppo said ROOn labs was a slam dunk as the 203 is roon ready.
but go ahead and try it with the oppo on first and then fire up A+ and see if Oppo is a choice in the audio output. devices menu.
they are all DLNA, right? it should fly and there’s a wy fy connection for you. violin!
one last thing… just before being curious about all this when I fired up the 203 there was a firmware update which I let be installed.
Oppo 203 does allow its menu accessibility so it used to speak menus and so forth but it did not after the update so it likely needs to be turned on once more. I think that did occur before on one other update. can’t recall exactly.
try it out!
That’s interesting. However, I am thinking that will only work if you intend to use the DAC of the 203. I would prefer to use my Bryston DAC. It seems weird that
one could have Audirvana on the pc, have the Oppo use it to find music, then instead of play it through the Oppo pass it to another DAC, thereby adding what seems to be an unnecessary link.
I could try this, but frankly I am not that interested, as I am just starting to to enjoy the sound of my Bryston BDP3 as a transport, which is an order of magnitude better than the Oppo, the PCwith Audirvana, or Bluesound.
well, a bridge is a bridge is a bridge, at times.
some very likely are better than others… but if it is all one has, and they wish to get file playback from PC or NAS, use a mobile device as the remote/controller, and not use USB…. well there you are with a LAN connection over ethernet or wy Fy to the ‘bridge’ instead, if a late model Oppo is handy.
use DLNA protocol to fuel the Oppo du jour, via the analog outs or feed the ??? DAC via digital interfaces and or HDMI
grab the A+ remote for $10 off the app store and you can sit in the sweet spot and control playback, with or without a dAC.
to date… regardless which conduit I’ve used to get access and playback of files from a NAS or hard drive, ie., Hiface, RME sound card, Lynx Sound card, M Audio SC,or even a mediocre UsB sound card to feed the ??? DAC, each time, depending on the quality of the ??? interface device, the sound quality either was made different or in fact escalated respective to the gizmo between the files and the dAC.
in the end, as you said, you will run what you feel is the best route to the best sQ. regardless. and that is what this past time is indeed all about.
until another ‘approach’ and its funding arrives, it is what it is.
OK. it works. its easier than it looks too.
the only steps I took were to open A+ and inside Preferences>Audio System tab, select what ever Oppo is populated in the list of audio output device options.
there were 3 in my list.
I then opened the a+ remote on a mobile unit and accessed the A+ remote app.
chose a playlist and tapped on a file. violin!!
nothing had to be addressed in the 203 settings for instant playback. FLAC AAC, ALAC and more files were played without issue.
it could not be much easier. playback appeared thru the only output connected to the Oppo 203, HDMI.
all components are on Wy Fy.
Oppo sup says ALL outputs are hot.
the a+ app did not see the 203 as a MQA compatible gizmo though
it did see DSD as an option too though it could be configured to convert the signal to PCM if desired.
Groovy.. . no immediate need to drop $$$ into some interface converter.