Now this discussion is headed the correct direction
A media render (=media player) made by Theta.
And isn’t that actually what the Compli Blu 3D is, except it’s missing the Direct IP Control ? Or a way of displaying what is playing on an iDevice ?
As for video over network I think it plays almost everything. So the discussion should be about audio as Stevekale suggest.
But I can’t see that all Stevekale’s suggestions should add any sonic upgrade. I would be happy to be explained what or why these listed items do or add to the Compli ?
An AES-EBU may be nice. Apart from that, both the HMDI and S/PDIF output either LPCM or Bitstream. Do we need more ? And why ?
I understand Stevekale’s suggestion is more like a media server / HTPC, and such a device can easily be built almost according to the suggested spec.
I can’t see the reason for Theta to compete with the computer equipment already available. Or do I miss a point here ?
I myself has built a nice HTPC with A-tech
and added hiFace EVO
with separate PS
and the Evo Clock
. Foobar used as software, and MonkyMote HD used as iPad control. Works great.
It is also important to distinguish if you prefer to have the media server next to your audio system, which I would try to avoid, or remotely by RJ45 interface. Or wireless as the Compli also offer.
Remotely you would only need the network output and the correct SW. The SW either in your NAS/server or integrated your media render.
For Compli in order to get all the nice media player options, like playlist, composer, genre, etc. the SW has to be in the server. And it works. You have it all at the Compli. (Foobar used).
If Linn, Bryston or any other are able to have a nice media player SW built in their products and controlled by an iDevice, I do not know.
But if they have, will it sound better than having the media player SW installed on your server ?
Is it not the HW in first place used in the render that matters when it comes to sonic performance ?
Can the Compli Blu 3D sonic’s performance be done better apart from my request to be controlled over an iDevice.
Can something be done that will make the HMDI or SPDIF sound better, or is it the inputs that is not good enough ?
Is the Bryston a better player as an example. If I understand Steve Bruzonsky correctly, he believe the Bryston may sound a bit better.
So maybe there are better media renders out there ?
Thanks Steve B. for sharing your sonic experience with us.
But did you actually compare apple to apple ? Would you be kind to tell if you used HMDI or SPDIF on the Compli, and what setting did you use LPCM or bitstream ? Did you connect both direct via SPDIF to Gen 8 and also both via SPDIF to the CB3HD ?
Did you use the same type of SPDIF cable ?
I myself has no idea if this things matters, it just to be sure.
Actually I thought or expected almost any high end digital renderer should be equal sonically, and the difference would be in the chain behind.
What I do not know, and have not tested myself yet, and would like to understand better is how about the sonic differ between a DNLA / UPnP vs an USB input. Should there in theory be any ?
If I understand Steve Bruzonsky tests, he may be hearing a difference in the USB input from Bryton vs the Copli. Not sure if that also goes for network.
There are also discussion out there that claim they can hear difference between what manufacturer of disk is used, or if it’s an SSD.
Also people hear difference between FLAC and WAW. I think we should stick to FLAC, since that what normally can be purchased.
And where should the file conversion be done ? In the server by the media player SW, or by the media render itself ?
I can as an example have my Compli Blu 3D state what type of file it get from the Foobar.
All my files are FLAC, but I can have them converted into PCM or WAW by foobar, and then the output of the Compli says if it’s a PCM, FLAC, or a WAW file it’s playing. Does it really matter. Probably not.
In the future my guess is that we will be able to stream hi-res direct from internet, and that can be either via the shops like HDTracs, Spotify, Winamp, or via your own Cloud, so I personally would like media via RJ45 interface, as long as there is no sonic degradation compared to USB.
Then probably to have the media player SW in the renderer itself is the preferred option. If that ever will happen to the Compli Blu 3D via an SW upgrade, or a possible new player from Theta, is up to Theta to tell us. I do not know the limitation of what can be done by SW upgrade of the Compli.
Or if a combination of SW and HW upgrade is a preferred option from Theta.
My sonic experiences so far is that I can't hear any difference between my HTPC and the Compli.
I plaid the same file via MonkyMote and my m2tec equipment and Theta Compli Blu 3D into my CBIII HD simultaneously using the A-D button to change between Compli HDMI, Compli SPDIF, and my HTPC.
I have not yet tried USB, or the CD. I will do a test later using my Wadia 581 GNS as transport via AES-EBU, and the Theta transport via S/PDIF playing the same CD copied twice and also the same CD ripped via the HDMI output from Compli.
My prediction is that I will still not hear any difference.Edited by ANRE - 2/23/13 at 5:32pm