Which DAC


Hi all-

I'm assisting my friend in setting up Sonos so she can stream Deezer (and perhaps Tidal when it becomes available on Sonos.)

Her current set up is is PMC Twenty.21 speakers with Exposure 2010s2 amp and cd player.

She will get the Wyred4Sound modified Sonos unit.

I am assuming it would be beneficial to run this Sonos into a DAC unit? The question is which one to steer her toward. I was thinking of three:

--the Arcam irDAC
--the Meridian Director
--Wyred4Sound's udac

Any thoughts about which direction to go here?

Also, I'm a newbie at this, but I am assuming the cabling would work like this:

Ethernet to Sonos; digital cable from Sonos to DAC; RCA cables from DAC to amplifier. Is that right?

And I'm thinking of Atlas cables since that is what PMC recommends with its equipment.

Any guidance appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving!
Margot
mcanaday
Ifi Micro is really nice for the price. If you can splash out the Chord Hugo is the bees knees.
If her goal is to stream isn't the quality of the music already compromised. I am not sure any "upgrades" will have any value for her. Make sure your audiophile tastes don't waste her money.

What kind of amplifier and speakers are in play?
So there is no need for subsequent stages to be maximally transparent if the source is compromised?

Why wouldn't distortion be additive? So that if one improved any stage that would provide a clearer sound.

My tastes are not audiophile at all, my first suggestion being a DAC that costs only 2/3 the price of the Meridian Director and Arcam ifDac which the OP is considering for her friend. It's not cheap in absolute terms, but it certainly is in audio land.

Please be so kind as to actually make a suggestion as to which DAC will be the maximally effective for the minimum cost given the compromised source that is in play. It's time for you to help her out.
I am not audiophile by any means. I just enjoy good music. Since "she will get the Wyred4Sound modified Sonos unit".
It already have W4S/UDAC Built-in and she doesn't need another cable and DAC.
I am also not audiophile by any means. I just enjoy good music. Since "she will get the Wyred4Sound modified Sonos unit".
It already have W4S/UDAC Built-in and she doesn't need another cable and DAC.
She will benefit from a good DAC via the Sonos coaxial output. Any of the DACs you mention are fine--I think the Arcam is a good DAC under $500. I used to own the Wyred4Sound modified Sonos and it was great but it will only output 24/96. Deezer is CD quality so that's fine.
"Why wouldn't distortion be additive? So that if one improved any stage that would provide a clearer sound."

Not always. You can also upgrade a component with something more clear and revealing, and amplify the flaws in other components.

Mcanaday,

I would call The Cable Company and have them send you some dac's and cables for demo. Doing that will eliminate all the guessing as to what will sound best.
I have been using Sonos with the Rega Dac and have been very happy. I did try the Peachtree and Arcam and once I demonstrated the Rega it became apparent I needed to up my budget. Although now I am considering looking higher, Hegel, Bryston and others are on my radar for future A-B in home testing.
Thanks, all, for your guidance. As far as starting with distorted sound, Tidal is supposed to be lossless streaming? It sounds like people are getting pretty good results with it? I am hoping that's true! with thanks, Margot
My recollection of reading about the Sonos is that it outputs significant jitter through coax. I would double check if this is so. Maybe search here and look for posts by Audioengr, who is Steve Nugent from Empirical Audio. I think he said this a couple of times.

If so, then a good approach would be to get something that reclocks the coax input. Not many units do this. This functionality is basically the same as a USB-to-S/PDIF converter, such as Audiophilleo, but with coax in. Empirical Audio makes one. I think it's called Synchro-Mesh (which is why Steve frequently comments on these threads).

I have experience with USb converters into DAC and the impact is significant. I would expect the same of this. Consider the reclocker+DAC, and I would spend more on the reclocker. In this price range I would expect a reduction in jitter to have significantly more impact than sound flavors.