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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:01 am 
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Location: Guelph, ON, CA
Hi everyone,

Recently wanted to try out some higher resolution (than Redbook CD) files on my PC. Was thinking of streaming them from the computer across the room into my 2 channel system using an Airport Express.

The AE has a nice Wolfson chip in it and I do not have a DAC in my system so I'd let that handle the conversion while using Airfoil and Foobar 2000 on my Windows 7 PC.

Before I go out and start buying downloads / signing up for a subscription service, should I even bother given my method of transport?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:06 pm
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
Unfortunately your Airport Express is limited to Red Book resolution ( 16/44.1 ). If you play higher-res files than that on your source, they will be downsampled by the time you hear them.

I have actually tried something similar to this. I played a 24/192 file using iTunes and Airfoil on my Mac Mini, and listened via Airfoil Speakers on my iPod Touch. Ewww. The music was Bach solo cello, an incredibly sensitive performance by Viola de Hoog. You could tell it was a cello and you could probably follow the score with it, but all the life and sensitivity, and a major part of the rhythm, was gone.

I hope you get better results if you try it !


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:22 am 
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Location: Guelph, ON, CA
Toby wrote:
Unfortunately your Airport Express is limited to Red Book resolution ( 16/44.1 ). If you play higher-res files than that on your source, they will be downsampled by the time you hear them.

I have actually tried something similar to this. I played a 24/192 file using iTunes and Airfoil on my Mac Mini, and listened via Airfoil Speakers on my iPod Touch. Ewww. The music was Bach solo cello, an incredibly sensitive performance by Viola de Hoog. You could tell it was a cello and you could probably follow the score with it, but all the life and sensitivity, and a major part of the rhythm, was gone.

I hope you get better results if you try it !


In general using Red Book resolution CD rips it sounds okay, but my Marantz CD player (and even the same content on an iPod classic played through the USB port on the Marantz) sounds better. Could be cabling, as the AE only has a cheap Amazon Basics 3.5mm to RCA and the Marantz has upgraded ICs and a power cord but I don't think would be too dramatic...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:34 am 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I've streamed to an AE, and even though it has impressed me for what it is, it is still a dual function $100 device. You can just use it as a receiver and
output through Toslink to an outboard dac; which has been better in my experience.
it doesn't solve the high rez compatibility though.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:49 am 
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Location: Sooke, BC, CA
ruecatinat wrote:
Hi everyone,

Recently wanted to try out some higher resolution (than Redbook CD) files on my PC. Was thinking of streaming them from the computer across the room into my 2 channel system using an Airport Express.

The AE has a nice Wolfson chip in it and I do not have a DAC in my system so I'd let that handle the conversion while using Airfoil and Foobar 2000 on my Windows 7 PC.

Before I go out and start buying downloads / signing up for a subscription service, should I even bother given my method of transport?


I am personally disappointed with Hires in general. What is more important is the performance, engineering and mastering of the recordings. I am quite happy to stick to CDs.

As far as streaming is concerned, I use two Linux PCs with shared drives. One in my home office and the other in my media room. Of course this means that two complete systems are required.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:28 am 
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
I feel compelled to add that although there is indeed hi-res which hardly justifies the claims for it, there is also other stuff.

Audio_Guy wrote:
I am personally disappointed with Hires in general. What is more important is the performance, engineering and mastering of the recordings. I am quite happy to stick to CDs.


The best of them can make the gear disappear from my attention field. Take for example Jared Sacks' recordings on Channel Classics, or Barry Diamant's for Soundkeeper.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:10 am 
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Location: Guelph, ON, CA
mpublicover wrote:
I've streamed to an AE, and even though it has impressed me for what it is, it is still a dual function $100 device. You can just use it as a receiver and
output through Toslink to an outboard dac; which has been better in my experience.
it doesn't solve the high rez compatibility though.


No onboard DAC here, my first gen has a decent one so I use the analog 3.5mm out.

Audio_Guy wrote:
ruecatinat wrote:
Hi everyone,

Recently wanted to try out some higher resolution (than Redbook CD) files on my PC. Was thinking of streaming them from the computer across the room into my 2 channel system using an Airport Express.

The AE has a nice Wolfson chip in it and I do not have a DAC in my system so I'd let that handle the conversion while using Airfoil and Foobar 2000 on my Windows 7 PC.

Before I go out and start buying downloads / signing up for a subscription service, should I even bother given my method of transport?


I am personally disappointed with Hires in general. What is more important is the performance, engineering and mastering of the recordings. I am quite happy to stick to CDs.

As far as streaming is concerned, I use two Linux PCs with shared drives. One in my home office and the other in my media room. Of course this means that two complete systems are required.


Trying to simplify my systems, I have 2 workstation grade PC towers, an old iMac, and a MacBook Pro...would like to cut out some hardware and it must be wireless transmission.

I have read that some HiRes is touch and go in terms of recording or mastering, I guess that is why, among other reasons, SACD/DVDA never fully made it...?


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