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HRT Music Streamer

 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10338
Registered: Feb-05
Man this is a fun little toy...anyone else have one? $99 worth of joy!

Looking to upgrade my CD player in the main system to the Saturn or equivalent someday, however this little booger has convinced me that I will be also using a computer and DAC in my main systen soon. It's a brave new world for me!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 283
Registered: Jan-09
Welcome Art to the PC streaming world. That is how I listen to music. I use a Super Pro DAC connected via digital coax. I've not heard of this DAC until I saw your post. I am interested in the plus. I was hoping the plus had a digital input but it is all USB. I'm looking into it more. According to one review they say the plus has internals equivilent to a $2000 CD player.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10340
Registered: Feb-05
"According to one review they say the plus has internals equivilent to a $2000 CD player."

I believe it. I would buy the plus for my main system. Maybe next year or the year after when I put a PC into the mains system as a source.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3404
Registered: May-05
I just noticed this Art.

I was looking into trying the HRT stuff out. I didn't go in that direction because I didn't want the computer to be constantly running and have it tied to the system.

I went with the Apple TV connected to my Theta DAC. Its a great combo and makes music more fun for me. Just like on a computer, everything's at my fingertips. The TV interface and other goodies make the Apple TV a great piece IMO. I've You Tubed a ton of live music. While You Tube doesn't have the best picture and sound quality, its still great. Where else am I going to find Black Sabbath Live in Paris 1970 or Pearl Jam playing a live acoustic set in Tower Records in Yonkers, NY before anyone really knew who they were? Forget about pic and sound quality, the performances are excellent.

The Apple TV has a good bit of jitter, which is appearently the reason why it doesn't sound as good into the Theta as the Apollo did (same optical connection and cable). The Bryston DAC basically eliminates jitter by re-clocking the signal, which makes this pretty much a non-issue.

Sorry to change the direction a little bit. Computer/digital/whatever you want to call it is the way its going to be. If people here gave it a chance, they'd probably really like it. With a great DAC, I can't see how it wouldn't sound just as good as a CDP. If done right, probably even better. Don't forget about the hi-rez downloads that are starting to catch on. Linn has been at it for at least a year now.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10371
Registered: Feb-05
Though I'll always (that's along time hmm) have a dedicated cd player, I think you're right Stu. I need someone to walk me through how to store my cd's completely lossless so I can start to prepare for the next stage...scary!
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3405
Registered: May-05
Its pretty easy. I was a bit scared as well.

The first thing to do is dowload some sort of ripping software - FLAC, iTunes, etc. Seeing as how I have an iPod and used iTunes before, it was a no brainer for me to use iTunes. If you have it or are willing to use it, there's an Apple Lossless ripping setting. I got an external hard drive and set that as my storage place.

iTunes works very well as far as I'm concerned. I can't hear any loss in SQ in CDs I've burned from it. It also has a great interface which I find very user friendly. The other ones seem a bit complicated and buggy to me.

What takes the longest time is ripping the CDs, especially if you have the error correction enabled and set a slower speed. That'll get you bit perfect recording, or as close to it as possible if the CD is in rough shape.

I still prefer my Apollo. But a newer DAC with the latest jitter rejection will probably get me to go the digital route permanently. I'll never get rid of the CDs, and I can always use a different transport if I want to play the actual CD. That is of course when I find the right DAC. The Bryston BDA-1 is a no-brainer, but its $2k which ain't exactly cheap in my book and I won't be able to afford one any time soon. Too many other things to buy before that unfortunately... House, furniture, etc. If Rega made an Apollo sounding DAC for Apollo money, I'd be all over it. In the mean time, the Theta with the Apple TV and the Apollo will stay. And fortunately, I have realistic complaints about either of 'em.

Let me know when you're ready to start storing stuff. I did a bit of reading and stumbled a little bit, but that was all with how to store them on an external drive. Don't store them on the computer, they'll slow it down and take up a bunch of memory unnecessarily.

And for my next trick.... Don't laugh...

Guitar Hero!

My 16 year old brother wa sgetting rid of his XBox 360, and offered me his Guitar Hero 3 game and controller. III and Guitar Hero Metallica sound excellent! I know, it sounds crazy, but its true. They take the master tapes and mix them for the game so you can 'play' any instrument. What's a huge benefit of it is that you can control the volume of the individual instruments and vocals. For instance, recordings with too much or too bass can be adjusted. Its not frequency specific, its instrument specific.

How does this relate to hifi? I'd love it a hifi component could do that. How great would it be to turn up a sax that seems a little too distant or faint sounding? How cool would it be to turn down a singer all the way and hear the band?

I know that the artists worked hard to get everyting the way they intended it (hopefully anyway), but I've always thought it would be cool to sort of mix your own music.

Maybe one day this will get incorporated into all music and not just video games.

Aside from that, I haven't enjoyed music as much as I am playing Guitar Hero and with the Apple TV in a very long time! That's what its all about to me.
 

Silver Member
Username: James_the_god

Lancaster, Lancashire England

Post Number: 798
Registered: Jan-05
Stu now you're talking my language!!

It would be cool to do that, but then you're messing with the producers work and hifi wouldn't be what it is now. It'd make it very hard for manufacturers to produce systems that are 'better'!

I had a similiar idea that you could have a wall of sound where one speaker would be dedicated for each instrument. Or two big speakers for stereo like we have now with independent instrumental drivers. In other words each speaker designed slightly differently to match an instruments timber. Or if that messes up cabinet response, then a seperate speaker AND cabinet for each instrument.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3409
Registered: May-05
The only problem is you'd need way too many speakers. For a 3 or 4 person band, that's one thing, but what about other bands? Dave Matthews? They've got a dozen or so guys. Classical? Jazz?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13037
Registered: Dec-04
Engineers mix all of that together for you!

I have mixed and integrated individual tracks, and it ain't easy to get right, if only for a stereo pair of monitors in near field.

How would you integrate all those drivers into something coherent?

Note I only used the console for one weekend!
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2874
Registered: Feb-07
What media player are you using on your computer Art? Are you using Windows? If so, you might want to look at http://www.asio4all.com. This allows you to bypass the Windows audio mixer and use connect directly to the audio device's drivers. It makes for a noticeable improvement in sound quality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Stream_Input/Output
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2678
Registered: Jun-07
A free, and great little music ripping program that allows you to rip in almost all main formats including Uncompressed FLAC or WAV file is CdEx.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/cdexos/files/cdexos/CDex%201.51%20release/cdex_1 51.exe/download

Should prompt you automatically to save or run the download Art, depending on which browser you are using. Super easy to use too. Just put the disk in, and hit burn. Go into the setup and select WAV format. You can even play with the jitter correction. There is more complicated software out there that costs money, but not worth it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2679
Registered: Jun-07
Art- Where the heck did you get it for 99 dollars?
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3418
Registered: May-05
The standard HRT Streamer is $99 -

http://www.musicdirect.com/product/85434

The + version is $300
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2875
Registered: Feb-07
That's a big difference. What does the + get you? Is it worth the extra 2 bills?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10452
Registered: Feb-05
Lots of good info guys thanks. If I have issues I'll ask questions...get ready for questions!

The $300 version is supposed toget you more refinement (whatever that means). I'd bet it is significantly better. I reall like my little fella. Works well for the bucks.

Hey Nick your download asked for bucks in the end...just ignore and use what I got?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2680
Registered: Jun-07
Hey Art. Yeah at the end of the free installation version it asks if you want to upgrade to the pro one for a little money. Just say no and never ask me again type thing and go with the free one. It does everything you need and more. The pro version has stuff like mixing before ripping and stuff. Who the heck wants to ruin the music before ripping it anyway?lol Audiophiles want it the way it was recorded.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2681
Registered: Jun-07
The free version should just have the ripping software Art and a CDEx basic music player. If you have any problems with it let me know and I will email you my installation file.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10454
Registered: Feb-05
Thanks Nick.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2878
Registered: Feb-07
I'm gonna give that a try Nick. I've been using Foobar 2000 to rip all my stuff to FLAC, but I'm always interested in trying out new software.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10455
Registered: Feb-05
David your link is above my head...I'm not that computer literate. I doubt I can run Nick's let alone that one. Any links to an easy way to install or use would be helpful...if I get it. Off to bed for tonight and tomorrow night starts the weekend.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 2373
Registered: Nov-05
Nick, I don't see anything about FLAC in the readme file. Can you enlighten please?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2879
Registered: Feb-07
Sorry Art. Send me a PM when you're ready and I can walk you through it step by step. I've used ASIO for both Winamp and and Foobar 2000 media player.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2690
Registered: Jun-07
Foobar is good too David. It appears that the new CDex 1.51 does not do the FLAC codec anymore. My 1.43 does both FLAC and WAV. The 1.51 only does WAV. Oh well, its all the same, just select Zero compression on the WAV codec in the options and the way you go to races with a bag of uncompressed audio files.lol. Enjoy.

P.S. WAV or FLAC both support non compressed ripping. Both come out with the same file size, and same quality. I can dig up the 1.43 installation file if you guys want. But the 1.51 looks the same minus the FLAC for some reason.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2691
Registered: Jun-07
ASIO is great Art, like David says. I use it with my FLstudio8 program. Its a music creating/mixing program.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2692
Registered: Jun-07
Sweet, one thing I see the CdEx 1.51 did add though is RAW PCM. sweet. Still, if you go to:

1.) Options
2.) Settings
3.) Encoder Tab
4.) Select WAV Output Encoder.
Compression to NONE:PCM
Samplerate to 44100hz

Then you are set.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 2375
Registered: Nov-05
Ta Nick.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3420
Registered: May-05
Honestly, wouldn't iTunes ripping with Apple Lossless be easier and just as good? Not to mention it takes up less space.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2886
Registered: Feb-07
I find iTunes kinda clunky. Even my wifes iPod drives me nuts trying to use it. But that's just me.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2700
Registered: Jun-07
Hey Stu- which takes up less space? The program or the file that is ripped?

I have used iTunes, and also agree with David. For guys like the three of us, its probably just fine. But when somebody like my mom tries using it, look out!! Its just too clunky. I like that word David.lol

But everyone has their own opinion about stuff. You got to remember, David is a Computer Programmer, and I a Computer Engineer. Both of us in the somewhat PC based industry probably shy away from Apple products.lol. Nothing against their media stuff, but their computers give me a freaking migraine.LOL!
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2887
Registered: Feb-07
The reason I don't like iPods (and ergo iTunes), is that I don't like a device that requires intermediary proprietary software to use it. If I have an iPod, I should be able to just drag and drop my files from my computer to the device via Windows Explorer. My Sansa media player allows me to do this and I love it. MacIntosh (the evil one with the "a", haha) isn't the only media player guilty of this - Microsoft's Zune player is the same way, and their software is even clunkier!
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2701
Registered: Jun-07
Dont get my started on how proprietary MAC computers are, and how they are the most expensive paper weight on the planet. lol. In the REAL world, they are crap. I mean, come work in the industry and tell me you dont want to take a hammer to all their machines. Yeah sure, graphic design they are great for....who gives a hoot. The typical mom and pap yeah fine, they are neat.LOL! But in my world, they are just a pain. Viruses? People seem to think they dont get viruses because they CANT. lol No they dont because nobody cares about them. If they had 95 percent of the market like the Windows does, then people would be hitting them with viruses like crazy. What? Unix based OS's cant get virus's? WRONG!! They can. I have seen every Linux/Unix based OS's get cracked and hacked and had viruses put on them. I use an open source Fedora Redhat 8,9,10. Suse, Mac OS, all of them we have here at work for support. All are junk.

LOL!! Hey I needed to rant. Sorry. This is way off topic.

I-Pod's? Fine, whatever. I will never own one though. I-Phone's are kinda neat.lol

On the up side, that Apple TV Stu has is fantastic. I was playing with one the other day in fact. Very nice. Best product they have IMO.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3421
Registered: May-05
I love the Apple TV. It makes navigating music very easy, not to mention the You Tube feature is a lot of fun. Searching You Tube on the Apple TV is a pain in the rear end, but I can live with it.

By taking up less space, I meant the music files. Apple Lossless files are smaller than FLAC, and WAV. I think 40% smaller?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2706
Registered: Jun-07
really? hmmm You got to wonder what their codec is doing to make it smaller. Interesting... I mean if the file is ripped in true PCM then the file size should be the same size no matter which codec is used. But, I dont know enough about Apple programming and such to fully know. Interesting though Stu.

Stu you have the Apple tv running through the DAC?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13114
Registered: Dec-04
Does that have something to do with your storage, Stu?
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2099
Registered: May-06
Ok, I had not seen this thread but mentioned to JV that I was looking for a DAC for my laptop and could not find one at Frye's. JV immediately got me onto the HRT site. I talked to Mark today and ordered the Streamer+ from him. It is about time I hook up that external storage drive and start using it.

I already had a device to bring my single ended inputs into the PC for LP recording. Now I will have a decent way to get it back into the kit.

Hmmm, might have to cook up a DIY IC for this as the MIT Shotgun 2's are probably overkill for this hook-up. Certainly a price killjoy all things considered.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10516
Registered: Feb-05
At under a $100 it is a extraordinary music maker, at $300 more like another expensive audio tweak. It's all relative. You can buy a decent cd player for $300. Mike you should try the good cables...you may find it worth it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2715
Registered: Jun-07
Right on Mr Wodek. I am going to have to pick one of these up soon. Anybody know of any Canadian distributor of the HRT stuff?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2918
Registered: Feb-07
I'd like to try one out too.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Irvington, New York USA

Post Number: 3429
Registered: May-05
Nick -
I have it running through the Theta DAC. The Apple TV only has an optical digital out. The good news is it sounds very close to the Apollo when running its optical out to the Theta. The bad news is that it doesn't sound as good as the Apollo's Coax out nor its analog out. I think the problem is optical's inherit jitter problem.

The good news is the DACs I'm interested in are great at rejecting jitter by re-clocking the signal.

Nuck and Nick -
No idea why one file size is smaller than the other. Maybe FLAC and Apple Lossless are the same size? I know Apple Lossless is about 40% smaller than WAV. No idea how or why. I've heard the 3 through very revealing systems and my own and honestly can't hear the difference.

Just like the size of the fish tank has nothing to do with how big the fish will get (despite the popular myth), the file size difference has nothing to do with storage devices.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 641
Registered: Jul-07
I would speculate the difference in file sizes is due to the "other" compression. Even though no information is lost when creating wav, FLAC or Apple Lossless files, how they are stored can involve the space saving version of compression (as opposed to the mutating version of compression). Apple may save space by compressing the data in a similar way a zip utility would. No data loss, it just requires an unzip at playback time. The trick is to ensure the compression/decompression can take place with minimum CPU utilization, so the process has to be very efficient. Something Apple is very good at. Sorry Nick. I'm a fan.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2100
Registered: May-06
This is the HRT link to the North America, US & Canada distributor.

http://www.highresolutiontechnologies.com/distributors.html

http://eliteavdist.com/contact.cfm


Call the number for on the page for the 2nd link above and speak to Scot Markwell.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2101
Registered: May-06
I hear you on the good cables Art. I will have to experiment with my CD cables versus a couple of other options to see what works best for this configuration.

As to an expensive audio toy, they are all expensive audio toys, whether it is $100 or $10,000.

There are parts of my kit are there because where they fall into the line of products in relation to my system as a whole. I could have spent a lot more or a lot less on cables, cartridges, etc. but I spend at a quality point that I think best fits my situation or I wait until I can afford the item that will. I do not find value in buying something, having it for a while, then selling it at some percentage of what I paid for it, to then replace it with a higher priced item that I really wanted in the first place.

Say that the Streamer+ at $300 with my believing it was the right fit for my system, but at that price point I would have had to wait for quite some time to buy it, I still would not have bought the $99 because I could afford it now.

You are entitled to you opinion Art, though judgmental. As you think the Music Streamer is all you need then you did well with your purchase.

I do not want to spend $2,000 or more on a DAC for what would be 3rd or 4th option (based upon my listening habits today) in my source chain. The Music Streamer+ gets me where I want to be for now.

Should I experience a change in behavior where I find myself moving this to the 1st or 2nd choice in my source chain I would re-visit where the value is in this configuration and adjust accordingly.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10517
Registered: Feb-05
"As to an expensive audio toy, they are all expensive audio toys, whether it is $100 or $10,000."

That's why I said it is all relative Mike...don't just pick the parts you want to read. Read it all in context and there is no judgement, read only what you want to make your point and it is something altogether different.

That's why I choose expensive cables, they fit my system better.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10520
Registered: Feb-05
Had yet another friend over at another forum pickup the Music Streamer and he really likes it. Though I won't pick up the + anytime soon it would be interesting to hear from someone I know what they feel the difference is.

Someday when Stu, Nick and David teach me the fine art of PC audio I'll be moving that way. It may be my final frontier...!
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2102
Registered: May-06
I did read the whole thing Art. I suppose it is just two people looking at something and each seeing something different. I felt you were being judgmental in your comment and adding it's all relative did not change that, that's all.

If you had just said "At under a $100 it is a extraordinary music maker", I would have taken it that you were pleased with your decision. Adding "at $300 more like another expensive audio tweak." seemed to be judgmental since for me at $300 could be an extraordinary music maker.

If I felt that way I would not consider making a statement as to one being better in my kit than the other one in someone else's kit because it's all relative.

Do you see my point perhaps?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10523
Registered: Feb-05
I see your point and apologize if I offended you, that was certainly not my intent Mike.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 2920
Registered: Feb-07
PC audio certainly makes listening to music convenient, just cue up a bunch of files and sit back. The thing is, I spend all day in front of a computer for work, when I come home and want to unwind, the physical ritual of picking out a disc, loading it in the tray and sometimes even looking at the liner notes.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2718
Registered: Jun-07
Stu/Chris - Maybe the lossless apple format does do a small compression when the file is saved. It perhaps stores itself it the compressed state and cashe's itself back into its original size only when it is played. Maybe. Either way, if it sounds the same, then who cares.LOL. Cool stuff though. Maybe thats not how it is either. The Apple Lossless file format is just the name they gave the codec. I see that the codec can still be compressed. Good marketing on their part. As long as people are getting it completely uncompressed, regardless the file size it should sound the same as any other codec. Good on MAC in this regard.

MW-Thank you for the links man, I will check them out.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2719
Registered: Jun-07
LOL David- I am totally with you on that one buddy.


Art- We are here for you man.lol
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13175
Registered: Dec-04
I saw an ad (since lost) with a guy selling copies of his wav file catalog.

This is insensitive, illegal(I feel), and immoral.

Good price too!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10527
Registered: Feb-05
Same for me David...I do the computer thing all day as well, social work ain't what it used to be, So I like the whole disc ritual. I just want to be able to do do music in every way possible. I won't do without a good disc player and hope that my next player will be an investment like the Isis that is forever. However, I see the potential for great sound through the server system, gotta try it all.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2103
Registered: May-06
Art, all clear, thanks.

As to your last post, that is what I was hoping my Saturn was / is / was, the last CD I would need. Maybe.

I did not think I could achieve a quality output from the laptop until JV tipped me off on the Music Streamer products.

Nick, you are most welcome.

David, I am not there yet man. I still find something sexy in terms of audio enjoyment to pull the LP out of the jacket, survey it for surface issues, and if need be wipe it down or Nitty Gritty it, then carefully place it on the spinning platter, move the tonearm over, and queue the needle in place. Ooh baby, sweet sounds abound. YMMV.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 645
Registered: Jul-07
Anyone looking to explore the PC/Mac music streaming world more fully should check out the Computer Audiophile site. An absolute wealth of great information.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13215
Registered: Dec-04
Great, thanks CH.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 289
Registered: Jan-09
Does anyone have the HRT+? What USB cable are you guys using? I may give this a try. I am intrigued to say the least.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10552
Registered: Feb-05
Mike has the + so I'll let him follow up with you Mordecai. These HRT products are truly special.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 290
Registered: Jan-09
What's up Michael? :-)
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13221
Registered: Dec-04
I think it was posted that the + is a lot of mixing and stuff in a suite, the core product remains the same.

Mikey?
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2109
Registered: May-06
The plus is the same core product as the regular Media Streamer. No other bells and whistles, just plug it in and it becomes your speakers for your computer, there is no software to load, no options or settings to change. Plug a set of interconnects into the other side and plug them into your reciever, integrated, pre-amp, whatever. You do have to supply your own USB - A to USB - B cable. The difference with the plus is higher quality parts for a higher end set up IMO. Art is using his in his office system I am using mine in my main rig. Interestly enough it is close in performance to my Saturn.There are some things about it that I like a lot but it still does not do everything for the music that the Saturn does.

I am still trying to get past the "different" is better trap and I will be tweaking it some as well. Keep in mind that my ICs for my CD player are higher end and that the CD player is plugged into the dedicated circuit were my laptop, DVD burner, and external storage device are all plugged into the normal house power.

I really need to listen to this thing for about 2 to 4 weeks to give it an honest assessment.

That all being said, the bang for the buck is freakin' awesome.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10555
Registered: Feb-05
The HRT products appear to be a home run IMO. When I next get $300 spare I will likely invest in the + for my main rig for my transition to a pc based source. Still want to hear more from Mike as he evaluates the + over the next few weeks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13227
Registered: Dec-04
Mike called me all gaga over the thing.
I think if Art and Mike continue with good results, I may have to get one as well.

Then a puter and storage.

Then buy bulk files.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 2412
Registered: Nov-05
Mike what sort of files are you streaming - these things aren't DAC's are they? So can a good DAC go in between the computer and the HRT and would that be even better? I'm bit backward on this stuff.

If I go this route, it won't be a transition, it will be an addition. CD's while available will be my main source. Though I believe if I do something like this, then we could all be guilty of compactdiscicide. So I still might play the wait and see game for the near future.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 649
Registered: Jul-07
MR, they are DAC's. Basically a USB to analogue conversion, powered through the USB cable. There are a number of similar products on the market and a wide range of price points. Fubar, Wavelength, Benchmark, Stello, and the list goes on and on. Some of them still rely on a DC power supply, while the HRT's are powered through the USB cable itself, which seems like a good approach to me.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 2413
Registered: Nov-05
Okay, after more reading I thought that was the case, but what these don't seem to do is upconvert which I think may be a more practical for different conditions as well as accepting different bit rates and so forth. As I said I'm no expert just tossing thoughts around. I check back here tomorrow.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2110
Registered: May-06
Some more thoughts on the subject, not any recommendations, just other things to consider with USB DACs.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Best-USB-cable-use-between-computer-an d-dac


Cheers!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 292
Registered: Jan-09
Wondering what the people who bought the HRT+ think? Also, what USB cable do you recommend should I decide to go this way?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10680
Registered: Feb-05
Might want to PM Mike. I think he's the only one with the +.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 2484
Registered: Nov-05
Something you HRT owners no doubt know

http://www.audioenz.co.nz/2009/musicstreamer.shtml
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10792
Registered: Feb-05
Well, the Music Streamer has already quit working. I have emailed HRT, but don't hold out much hope. If there is no resolution then I obviously can't recommend the product. We'll see.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3104
Registered: Feb-07
Well that sucks Art. You've only had it for a couple of months!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10793
Registered: Feb-05
I really like the product so I hope there can be some resolution. I don't think I even have the invoice anymore...perhaps a serial number or something will suffice.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13631
Registered: Dec-04
Should do, if you bought from them Art.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10797
Registered: Feb-05
Already received an email back from them asking me to ship it to them...again we'll see. Very impressive response time for an email, I must say.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3105
Registered: Feb-07
That is impressive. On a Sunday no less.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10799
Registered: Feb-05
Don't get too excited...Roy Hall answers emails on Sunday too...lol!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10801
Registered: Feb-05
One difference, Kevin Halverson seems like a nice guy.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2147
Registered: May-06
Art, I am surprised it could break. Did you try an alternate source just in case your output config became corrupted from the initial source you were running into it? Swap computers, a laptop?
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2148
Registered: May-06
I have resolved my thoughts on my Media Streamer+.

It is as advertised and reviewed, quite the product for the money. I have used it with a 6ft Belkin USB and a 10 ft.gold plated Belkin USB. I did not sense a difference in either. My source is my laptop, using lossless audio files ripped to it as well as my outboard server. Differences were imperceptible to me.

I have rolled various Interconnects from it to my pre-amp. This is the only area I can gauge qualitative changes. I have elected to leave one of my two MIT Shotgun 2 ICs from the Media Streamer+ to the pre-amp. This provides the best quality for me. I can explain on another thread why I moved my best IC from my pre-amp to amp to this part of my kit.

The end result is very detailed easy to listen to music, but not as good as my Saturn CD player. There is a depth and realism with the CD player that the Media Streamer+ just misses. If I did not have the Saturn I would be fine with not knowing what I was missing.

The simplest analogy I can come up with to describe the differences would be sitting down to enjoy your favorite dessert and sensing something was not right only to find out that the chef had run out of butter and had to substitute margarine. You still got all the calories, but...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10807
Registered: Feb-05
Just a sec Mike let me grab my alternative computer and/or laptops....no Mike I don't have other computers lying about.

It's the Streamer. Touch the cable near the connection and it stops working. Tried more than one cable and the symptoms are the same. Kevin believes it's the socket much like I do.

Nice review Mike.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2767
Registered: Jun-07
Mike- does your laptop have an HD audio codec that allows for change of the bit rate and such to be changed to better match the HRT Music Streamer Plus? Would you say that the HRT Music Streamer Plus would top the Apollo giving proper configuration?

Wierd Art. Not a whole lot that could go wrong in a little DAC but I guess you found one.lol. They will get you a new one.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2150
Registered: May-06
Nick, I do not think so, but I am at work now and would not be able to check until this evening.

Having owned both, in my opinion the same qualities in terms of musical flow that are present in the Saturn are also present in the Apollo. I do think that someone who prefers a "cool" or analytical presentation, similar to what a fellow Maris described on another forum, could prefer the Media Streamer+ to a lot of CD players, possibly even the Rega products.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 10882
Registered: Feb-05
Sent the Music Streamer off to Kevin Halverson on Friday. We'll see what happens.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2166
Registered: May-06
Nick, Conexant HD Audio Input
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2780
Registered: Jun-07
Awesome Mike - If you go into your sound settings under Control Panel you should be able to change your sample rate and bit depth to better match the HRT.

Windows Vista and/or 7- Start, Control Panel, Sound. Click on the sound device, then go to Properties. First click on Enhancements and select the check box " Disable All Enhancements". Then go to the Advanced tab and select the default Sample Rate and Bit Depth to 24bit, 96000hz. Save it. It should go up to 192000hz if it is true HD, but the HRT Plus doesn't like it much.

It might not make a huge difference but its worth a shot.


Art- I look forward to hearing how fast they take care of you.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 300
Registered: Jan-09
Thanks for posting this Nick. I hadn't made these changes myself and it made an immediate improvement.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 301
Registered: Jan-09
Michael, any chance we could hook up so I could try your HRT+?
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2781
Registered: Jun-07
Awesome Mordecai. Glad it helped.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2169
Registered: May-06
Nick, my menu did not follow that path. AlI I could do was turn off "Hardware Acceleration". I left "Sample rate conversion quality" set to "Best".

Mordecai - absolutely. Send me a PM with contact info and we can work it out.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14088
Registered: May-04
.

The Nov. '09 Stereophile has a review of the HRT along with a "special advertising section" for computer audio.


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 701
Registered: Jul-07
And 6 moons.....

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/streamer/streamer+.html
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 302
Registered: Jan-09
I have switched from digital coax to USB. So far, I am impressed with USB. I happened to have a Belkin USB cable which is much better than the cable that came with the Super Pro DAC I have. I've read some articles about USB cables so I am wondering what USB cables ya'll are using?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3165
Registered: Feb-07
I wouldn't have thought USB cables would be all that much different. It's worth a try.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 303
Registered: Jan-09
Everything I have read about USB DAC's indicate a difference in sound between cables. I have three and tried two and heard a difference between the one that came with the DAC and the Belkin. The Belkin is one of the low priced cables that many people recommend. I also see that Kimber USB cables are mentioned. I'm not looking to spend a lot on cables of any kind as a general rule. That is why I am interested to hear from those of you that are using a USB DAC.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2175
Registered: May-06
From what I posted on this thread earlier;

Posted on Sunday, October 04, 2009 - 10:49 pm:

I have used it with a 6ft Belkin USB and a 10 ft.gold plated Belkin USB. I did not sense a difference in either.

Mordecai, I have read up on USB cables and found like anything else, two camps. Those (majority) who swear no differences to be had in USB cables and those who think esocteric (not the brand) USB cables make differences. I am not willing to expend even a couple hundred of dollars on an experiment(s) until I have some better direction and support for USB upgrades.

Type "USB" in the search tab on Audiogon and you should get a couple of options to consider.
 

Silver Member
Username: I_am_kirk

Post Number: 116
Registered: May-08
The debate about USB is fairly new for folks and unbelievably unclear. There is really no one answer (as usual with audio lol). I've seen no mention of the dac used in this thing, does anyone know what model it is?

Computer audio has about 40 different camps of belief lol. If you are just transitioning from cd you're going to hear a lot of theories lol. Software, hardware, types of computers, usb cables, power cables, etc. It goes on and on. For most people it's going to be about the convenience of an entire collection accessible at once with a remote, laptop, or really anything with wireless net (or even infrared on linux lol).
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3169
Registered: Feb-07
I guess like anything, quality becomes a factor when comparing. But really all the USB cable is transporting 0's and 1's at a fairly predictable and (usually) constant interval.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2178
Registered: May-06
David, that is what I was referring to earlier, there are two camps, one arguing the 0's and 1's and another citing examples of differences for different levels even within the same manufacturer. The no difference argument is supported by the bandwidth throughput capacity of the USB cable versus the bandwidth required for a Redbook CD. The CD requires the minutest of fraction of the available bandwidth of the USB.

Still, there are shielded and unshielded cables as well as different conductors and materials for shielding and such.

I bit, but not too hard. I ordered a Mdht Red Devil today for about $50 (USD). It will probably be a couple of weeks before I get it. Then I will make my own determination as if it makes any difference. I was not going to spend $200 or more for this little experiment.

It has come to where I think if someone makes audiophile USB cables or sells them they will tell you how much difference they make, if someone has not financial interest, they will tell you it's all 0's and 1's and come spend your money on something that they do sell.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3173
Registered: Feb-07
"Still, there are shielded and unshielded cables as well as different conductors and materials for shielding and such."

Maybe this is where the quality difference may come into play...
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11013
Registered: Feb-05
Kevin Halverson finally emailed me back after 3 days to tell me that they had found the problem with my Music Streamer and fixed it however he now has it on his engineeering desk trying to figure out how it happened and was asking for more details...which I provided..sort of as there really weren't anymore details than I orginally provided.

Oddly he stated that they had just received my Music Streamer last week. He stated that I sent it to the wrong address. I recorded the address I sent it to and it was the one he emailed to me for just that purpose...hmm.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 13796
Registered: Dec-04
Portland...Maine???
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11014
Registered: Feb-05
At least both Kevin and Mike appear to be nice guys who are trying to provide good customer service and I do appreciate that.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3188
Registered: Feb-07
That makes all the difference Art.
 

Gold Member
Username: My_rantz

Gold CoastAustralia

Post Number: 2578
Registered: Nov-05
What they really want to know Art is: What the heck did to to with it you aren't telling us? LOL!

Good customer service can appease one's ire over these little problems - you never know Art, maybe you'll cause a recall.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11015
Registered: Feb-05
Yikes...please no recall!
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2192
Registered: May-06
We don't want no stinkin' recall.

Especially now since I plugged in a couple of "audiophile" shielded USBs by Mhdt. Their "Red Devil" is now between my outboard hard drive and my laptop and also between my laptop and my HRT Media Streamer+. It has made a positive difference on the SQ. At low to moderate levels it runs very, very close to my CDP in terms of reproduction. At high volume levels it does wear me down after about an hour, which does not happen with the Saturn.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 306
Registered: Jan-09
What is the difference in sound quality between a 16 bit DAC and a 24 bit DAC (and don't say 8 bits lol). I would like to buy the HRT+ which is 16 bit but I have a 24 bit DAC now. I connect to the DAC from my PC via digital coax and listen to lossless files. Music wise does having a 24 bit DAC mean better sound?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3324
Registered: Feb-07
If you're used to listening to CDs, then you probably wouldn't notice going from a 24 bit DAC to a 16 bit DAC, since most CDs are recorded at a 16 bit depth. If the digital device (DAC, CDP, etc) does upsampling, then this could make a difference I would think.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 307
Registered: Jan-09
No, everything I listen to are lossless audio files from my PC. I have the Super Pro USB DAC 707. The Super Pro uses the CS-8416 for the receiver chip and the highly resolving CS-4398 for the D/A chip. Dual LT1364Cs are used for analog output. The unit has optical and coaxial digital inputs. Analog output is via standard RCA plugs.

D/A Receiver chip CS-8416,
D/A converter chip, CS-4398 (24-192KHZ )
Dual LT1364C OP AMPS for analog output circuit
Optical digital input
Coaxial digital Input
USB input (USB 1.0 and 2.0 compatible)

CM-108 USB receiving chip
Standard RCA analog output plugs
Output voltage ± 3.5V / 400mW
Audio output: 24bit/48khz (44.1Khz)
Dynamic range: 120dB
Signal to noise ratio: 107 dB

It doesn't say anything about up sampling.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 308
Registered: Jan-09
No, everything I listen to are lossless audio files from my PC. I have the Super Pro USB DAC 707. The Super Pro uses the CS-8416 for the receiver chip and the highly resolving CS-4398 for the D/A chip. Dual LT1364Cs are used for analog output. The unit has optical and coaxial digital inputs. Analog output is via standard RCA plugs.

D/A Receiver chip CS-8416,
D/A converter chip, CS-4398 (24-192KHZ )
Dual LT1364C OP AMPS for analog output circuit
Optical digital input
Coaxial digital Input
USB input (USB 1.0 and 2.0 compatible)

CM-108 USB receiving chip
Standard RCA analog output plugs
Output voltage ± 3.5V / 400mW
Audio output: 24bit/48khz (44.1Khz)
Dynamic range: 120dB
Signal to noise ratio: 107 dB

It doesn't say anything about up sampling.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3326
Registered: Feb-07
Not sure if you're gonna notice much of a difference going from the 707 to the HRT, the base model anyway.

I have 2 of them, and for the money, they're quite good.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 309
Registered: Jan-09
That it was I'm thinking too. You have two of the USB 707 DAC or the HRT? I was only considering the HRT+.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3328
Registered: Feb-07
I have 2 of the 707s.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2831
Registered: Jun-07
Where do I buy one of these SuperPro units? I will test it side by side against the HRT units. The 99 dollar HRT unit is the best bang for the dollar out of the two HRT models IMO. Is the HRT + better than the basic model? Absolutely! But the basic model does things that are unheard of in the 100 dollar price range.

My prediction is that the HRT will sound better than the SuperPro, but this is just speculation as I have never heard the SuperPro. Who sells them?
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3329
Registered: Feb-07
http://www.obadimports.com/catalog/item/6697671/5226912.htm
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2833
Registered: Jun-07
Cool stuff. Thanks David. It is priced well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 310
Registered: Jan-09
You can get here too.
http://www.aloaudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_4&product s_id=197

Maybe I will do a comparsion too with the HRT. I may need to hear for myself the difference between 16bit and 24 bit.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 311
Registered: Jan-09
Nick, did you pick up a Super Pro? Interested to hear your comparison.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 312
Registered: Jan-09
Art, did you get your HRT replaced?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11379
Registered: Feb-05
Yes, the innards were replaced...not having much more success with this one. I'm working with Kevin Halverson to figure out what about the interface is not working.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3347
Registered: Feb-07
What's going on Art?
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 313
Registered: Jan-09
Anyone else having problems with their HRT? I am hesitant now to buy one after hearing Art's experience.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2837
Registered: Jun-07
What is happening Art?

I had two for a short period Mord, but in that short time I had no problems. Again, it was a short time.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2242
Registered: May-06
Mordecai, Art currently holds the 1st position in percentage of gear with issues. We all think he is ham-fisted, he thinks it has something to do with the moon being in the Seventh House and Jupiter and Mars being perpendicular.

My HRT+ is solid.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3349
Registered: Feb-07
Let's not forget about me blowing up my Sttafs. I fit in that 1% with Art....

Every product line produces a lemon or two.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2840
Registered: Jun-07
There is nothing to an HRT streamer. I mean that in a good way. But it is such a simple unit. I guess one of the two boards could fail. Everything does once in a while like David said.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 314
Registered: Jan-09
I figured I would of heard. Art is out of touch with the high tech audio lol.

Not to open a can of worms but has anyone tried the Beresford TC750 or 7520?

I've read good things about it but also heard this guy is some kind of snake oil salesmen or shamless promoter.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11424
Registered: Feb-05
The only thing I have with issues is the HRT, not sure what you are referring to Mike.

All is still the same with the Music Streamer. Last I heard Kevin was working on problem solving with his colleagues.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 319
Registered: Jan-09
Nick, did you buy a 707? I'm interested to hear the comparison with the HRT before I buy one.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2877
Registered: Jun-07
Not yet Mordecai. Sorry man. Had too many things on the go lately. Probably after the holidays. Cheers.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11785
Registered: Feb-05
Update: I'm guessing that the issue with the Music Streamer is related to it's interface with my system and I'm not sure why. It works most of the time now however it has never sounded as good as it did originally...perhaps I've become accustomed to it. I'm going to be trying a few things in the near future to improve it. Meanwhile I use it primarily for internet radio.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3492
Registered: Feb-07
That's not exactly a resounding endorsement Art. Sorry to hear you're still having issues with it. At least it was inexpensive experiment.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 329
Registered: Jan-09
Art, I am planning on buying the HRT+ in a couple of weeks. What cable are you using? I bought the MhDT cable Michael recommended. It should be here in a few days.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2265
Registered: May-06
I have also tried the Kimber USB and while it works very well, in terms of clarity and quietness, equal to the Mhdt Red Devil, in terms of pace and timing the Mhdt seemed a hair better to me. The Kimber cable works very well within "boundaries", about equal to that of my CD, where the Mhdt USB seemed to come up short on musicality. The Kimber USB did not have the soundstage extension that the Mhdt had and also does not have the extension at the high end that the Mhdt does. That is what I mean by the Kimber USB working very well within boundaries.

I still have yet to try the Entreq Crossword Discover USB or perhaps a Cardas USB. For now the HRT + Media Streamer and media server set-up defers to my CD.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2266
Registered: May-06
Mordecai, for the price I think you will be very happy with that combination. I look forward to your impressions.

I just wish the Mhdt came in a longer length for my set up.

Cheers!
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 330
Registered: Jan-09
How long did the Red Devil take to arrive?
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2267
Registered: May-06
Less than two weeks. I do not know how Mhdt does its shipping but some retailers from China only send to the courier once they have enough products to ship otherwise it is not cost effective depending on where they are in relation to the depot or post office. I had something else I ordered from another supplier take almost a month.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 331
Registered: Jan-09
Thanks. It has been about a week.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 14348
Registered: Dec-04
The waiting is the hardest part... Tom Petty
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 332
Registered: Jan-09
That is the truth. I am waiting on my Bing Cashback to buy the HRT+. I have another two weeks before I can claim it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3496
Registered: Feb-07
You had the SuperPro DAC didn't you Mord? I'd be interesting in your comparison between this and the HRT+.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11788
Registered: Feb-05
I've just tried a couple of cables I had out in the garage. I haven't given up...too damn stubborn for that.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 333
Registered: Jan-09
Hang in there Art.

I am too David. I would hope the HRT+ sounds better for $200 more.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2916
Registered: Jun-07
Art- What exactly is the HRT unit doing to cause issues? Just curious as I may help.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 334
Registered: Jan-09
I just received my MhDT Red Devil USB cable and all I can say is wow! Huge improvement over my standard USB and a good improvement over the digital coax cable. Outstanding lowend extension, transparency and dynamics. I can't wait to add the HRT+ to my kit. Thanks for recommending this $50 USB cable Michael. I highly recommend this cable. The cable shipped on January 5th and I got it today. That is super fast shipping from Taiwan.
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2270
Registered: May-06
That's great news on both fronts Mordecai!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11818
Registered: Feb-05
Hey Nick...thanks for asking. I didn't see your post until now. The sound gets weaker over time and then breaks up. Touching the cables or the Streamer can cause it to stop making sound. Very frustrating.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2920
Registered: Jun-07
Interesting Art. Have you only used it with one PC? It almost sounds like the unit is either 1.) Trying to draw more than the given spec of USB buss of 250mA or 2.) The USB buss on the PC is not providing enough power. A power lead inside the unit could also be grounding itself somewhere on the chassis which would cause the unit to puke once any sort of load is provided to it. Not sure the last part is possible giving the design. Very interesting. I will look into it further.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 335
Registered: Jan-09
Well, I have run into a weird problem with MhDT Red Devil USB cable. Itune randomly stops playing. I checked Windows Media player so I know it is not the DAC or IA. I swapped USB cables and the Belkin plays fine. THe same with the Digital Coax. I think I have isolated it to the cable. I have know idea what the cable could do to cause Itunes to stop playing. This may influence my purchase of the HRT+ or I am going find something to replace Itunes.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 336
Registered: Jan-09
Well the problem seized with the Red Devil USB cable.

Before I purchase the HRT+ has anyone compared it against the Musical Fidelity V Dac or the Dac Magic? All three have been reviewed on Stereophile with positive results.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11830
Registered: Feb-05
Yeah Nick, only one PC...how many do you think I have...lol! Will this unit perform better with a USB 2.0 cable...I'm perplexed.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Post Number: 2934
Registered: Jun-07
I would definitely try a 2.0 cable Art. 1.0 USB can only detect a device as a low speed device or high speed device and nothing in between. Basically data could be lost when using a powered USB DAC. USB 2.0 is 40 times faster than 1.0 but also Detects everything as a high speed device and then can actually communicate with the device (DAC) using custom chirping bringing itself to different levels of speed giving it a much stronger communication with a device such as a Powered USB DAC. All usb cables used should be 2.0 IMO. Worth a shot. Might not be the problem, but worth a try.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 337
Registered: Jan-09
Well, I've decided to go with the VDAC instead of the HRT+. I like the flexibilty of multiple inputs the VDAC offers. I have researched it extensively and can't find anything negative from professional reviews to individuals. I am going to buy it from somewhere I can return it within 30 days just in case.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 338
Registered: Jan-09
For those of you interested in the HRT+ Audio Advisor and Amazon are selling it for $199.00 right now. Very tempting but I think I am sticking with the V-DAC. I was able to negotiate a lower price with Onecall.

http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=HRTMSPLUS
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 339
Registered: Jan-09
Well I ordered the HRT+ from Audio Advisors. I am going to buy a V-DAC and compare and send the loser back. I just could not make a firm decision either way. The price drop on the HRT+ made doing a comparison more sensible.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 11936
Registered: Feb-05
Let us know what you think, Mordecai.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Texas

Post Number: 340
Registered: Jan-09
I sure will Art. I just ordered the V-Dac. Should have them both here mid week or so. I bought the V-DAC from Onecall. I made an offer and they countered. I got it for $259 shipped as opposed to $299. I look forward to a mini shootout between the HRT+, V-DAC and the Super Pro 707.

This will probably be my last audio purchase for a little while. I've decided to stay with my existing IA and speakers. Unless I decide to take a bigger step in sound quality I think what I have meets my needs.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 3600
Registered: Feb-07
"This will probably be my last audio purchase for a little while."

I can't even count how many times I've said that.
 

New member
Username: Kingchristo

Post Number: 1
Registered: Sep-10
I just got the HRT Music Streamer II+ to replace my Super Pro DAC707. I am highly skeptical of a LOT of audiophile equipment, including expensive DACs. I know that there are some differences between cheap and expensive DACs (unlike wires, say, where there is nothing but a marketing scam to support paying for gold tips and similar crap). So, I favor inexpensive DACs, and channeling saved resources into speakers, where the differences are enormous. Still, I was bothered by the tinny sounds of the Super Pro at the high end and muddiness throughout the middle. (I still think it's a gem for $125.) So I got the HRT Music Streamer II+ based on reviews.

The differences are more subtle than believers would hope, but certainly audible, and they NEARLY always favor the HRT. On Fleetwood Mac's "Second Hand News," those many highs of voices, guitar, and cymbals sound clearer and more natural. The improvement here is what I was paying for, and I got it. On Sonny Rollins' "Way Out West," the HRT was warmer and again more natural - the drum kit in particular sounded more authentic - although the Super Pro had more punch when a horn came on suddenly. On AC/DC's "Let Me Put My Love Into You," (which IS well produced and acoustically demanding, you doubters!), it was a toss up. On Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me," the HRT again won by virtue of warmth, separation, and lack of tinny highs (Norah's breathy vocals, in particular). And again, on Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano, the HRT produced a markedly warmer, more authentic sound of strings with better separation of instruments.

That's my take.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4290
Registered: Feb-07
Thanks for the input KC. I have a SuperPro 707 and it's ok. It sounds like a 125 dollar DAC. Certainly much better than just using the PC's soundcard in a computer based system.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15025
Registered: Feb-05
Time to revive this old thread. I'm still having issues with mine and don't get to listen to anything (youtube or anything else) through my computer these days and I'd like to go back to enjoying an occasional hour of internet radio.

So the problem is breakup of the signal and what I've been reading is that it may have to do with not enough juice from the USB port. One suggestion is a powered USB hub and another is a cable with 2 connections to a USB port simultaneously (seems less than ideal). Anyone have any other suggestions? If the powered USB hub sounds like a good idea does anyone know of a good cheap one?
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1456
Registered: Jul-07
How many other USB ports on your computer are used Art ? Just the one connecting the HRT or other things (printers, keyboard, mouse) as well ?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15062
Registered: Feb-05
Just the one.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mordecai

Fort Worth, Texas

Post Number: 443
Registered: Jan-09
I hope you get this resolved soon Art. I enjoy my HRT. I picked up the 2+ yesterday.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15072
Registered: Feb-05
It'll all work out eventually.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3620
Registered: Jun-07
I used the HRT a few times and never had issues with USB power. You can try a USB hub which can be purchased for around 20 dollars but IMHO I do not think its going to help.

Have you tried changing the sample rate on the PC? I believe the HRT via USB does 44.1 and 48 in 16 and 24bit.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15093
Registered: Feb-05
The only reason I mentioned the powered Hub is that some others have stated that they had similar problems that it solved...who knows.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3621
Registered: Jun-07
You never know Art. Worth a shot? Ive been wrong before. lol.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1457
Registered: Jul-07
I would think 5V is a USB standard. Can't imagine why your computer would be putting out less than that....particularly if it is the only device the bus needs to support at one time. I'm with Nick, don't know why a USB hub would help, unless it somehow boosts the voltage above spec.....which I wouldn't think would be a good thing for audio.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15102
Registered: Feb-05
Well fellas there is nothing wrong with the Music Streamer so what could be the problem? As the computer gets busier the signal begins to break up. Just touching the USB cable or the Music Streamer causes it to stop working. I've tried different cables and the whole nine yards and am at a loss.
 

Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3627
Registered: Jun-07
Have you tried a different computer? When you say " computer gets busier" do you mean when you start doing other tasks on the machine? If you shut down all startup tasks on the machine and just let the music play does it ever start to break up?
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