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  • Music Stream II

    Any of you guys familiar with these DACs?

    They sound promising and the reviews seem great. http://www.highresolutiontechnologies.com/hrt/products/

    Binh

  • #2
    kind of a pain to find pricing

    but they seem to be reasonable, both in specs, and pricing.

    the other issue is people like me--i need 5 outputs, so i would need 3 of those, so the cost adds up..
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided

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    • #3
      Thanks for your reply.

      It really isn't that hard to find around here in VA. I have a few places that has them locally.

      But anyway, why do you need 5 outputs? It's probably optimal to have 5 outputs but couldn't you just split the L and R? Or is there a catch? I'm running a JL 300/4 amp and 250/2 if that helps.

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      • #4
        eh, around chicago, i imagine someone sells them, but most of my shopping is done on the indiana side of the border(in rebelion to IL 10% sales tax, and shady politics), and the crash of the home market really hurt those dealers(i used to work for one..)

        i run a full active setup, and use the pc for audio processing/routing, so i NEED to have 5 outputs, otherwise my whole carpc is no better then a hu..
        My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
        "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


        next project? subaru brz
        carpc undecided

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
          the other issue is people like me--i need 5 outputs, so i would need 3 of those, so the cost adds up..
          Have you confirmed that multiple of these can be run? I suspect it won't work.

          I have a Music Streamer II. I ran it along with a Native Instruments Audio 2 DJ for a total of 6 channels. This works in principle, because the Music Streamer II uses the standard Windows USB audio driver and the Audio 2 DJ uses a product specific driver. I tried two Audio 2 DJ in the store and this didn't work.

          BUT: The Audio 2 DJ produced clicks under WDM. It's probably reliable under ASIO. But I can't run in pure ASIO because I use VAC (Virtual Audio Cable) and to use VAC I have to use ASIO4All and Asio4ALL runs everything in WDM underneath.

          The Audio 2 DJ even produced clicks when run standalone, without ASIO4All, VAC and console. This on two different computers, both running Windows 7 x64. Who knows, maybe my example is defective.

          This was extremely disappointing, because if it weren't for the clicks, the audio quality was fantastic.

          I'm now trying to do my 6 channel audio with an Asus Xonar DX, which is promising.

          The Music Streamer II's audio quality seems for practical purposes perfect, although comparing DACs is very hard. If one DAC ist just 1/10 dB louder than the other, then the louder DAC will generally win subjective listening tests. And there are lots and lots of listening tests around that are simply not reliable.

          EDIT: Hooked up the Audio 2 DJ to my notebook to confirm the clicks, intending to exchange the sound card. No more clicks. These clicks are not always easily heard in music but very obvious when a 1 kHz sine wave is played. I have no idea what made the clicks go away and whether they'll come back.

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          • #6
            I got around to re-inquire with hirestech.com. The answer is that multiple Music Streamer II can not work on the same source application because they are asynchronous devices.

            I tried it too with two Music Streamer II, the ASIO4All tray icon went red and there was no sound.

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            • #7
              Hey - We saw these guys at CES 2012. What's your overall impression of the product? Do you think It's something we should put on our store?

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              • #8
                I love this thing! I have the HRT Music Streamer II+ still. Been running smoothly since I bought it about a year ago.

                I started with a xfi usb card from sound blaster and that was horrible. I mean, It worked and outputted sound(which is probably great for most). But it was no better then splitting the motherboard audio ports. When I say horrible, the sound was very muddy. There was no separation of sounds. Oh and the xfi was plagued with audio noise/hiss, faint enough to make me go crazy but not evident enough to rule the xfi out(this hold true too when I tried the motherboard audio jacks).

                With my sound system setup, I have everything tuned and built for sound quality. So the little difference can be heard by a trained ear.

                With this HRT Music Streamer II+(MSII+) in the system. The sound/music is very vibrant, separated and clear! It runs on usb only and uses generic audio drivers. This digital audio converter only offer's two channels, left and right, but I have not found a time where I would use a "fader" for the back speakers. Besides, If one would need a fader, the amp controls on their sound system will work fine.

                The MSII+ ran $350 when I bought it and it is worth every penny.

                There is also a MSII version without the + which is half the price, if memory serves right. And looking at the design of both, there would not be much sound difference to the untrained ear. As for me, the extra money for the + was neglect able for the long run. For as something you should carry? I would say, at least have the option. It might not fly off the shelfs like hot cakes because of their price but it's an option that would have made my search for a quality, cheap(in price) DAC faster and easier. And besides...Find me another DAC in this price range of the same quality and doesn't have to be powered externaly? (at least that was the case when I was in search for a DAC)

                If you have anymore questions. Feel free to ask and I'll answer as best as I can!

                Binh

                P.S. Oh and the guy who designs these things is amazing. His customer service is great. He answered all of my questions before I bought the product promptly, which surprised me being a small company.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fiberoptic View Post
                  Hey - We saw these guys at CES 2012. What's your overall impression of the product? Do you think It's something we should put on our store?
                  Knowing whether a high quality DAC is good or not so good is very hard. The differences between good DACs are so small that only level matched blind testing against a well engineered high end DAC, such as a Weiss, would reveal audible differences. Ideally there would be none. I have not seen a no-nonsense review of the Music Streamer II and I don't have the equipment for blind testing.

                  I'm also fed up by self proclaimed audio gurus who publish reviews full of poetic language of this kind of equipment that to me lack any credibility.

                  My own subjective tests showed no problems, the Streamer has slightly elevated levels which as far as I remember are 2.5 V RMS.

                  So the short answer is that the Music Streamer II is probably very good.

                  I use it at home every day into Mackie HR824 II Studio Monitors (which I find nice for home use) along with a home made 13 inch subwoofer. It's nice that it runs with the Windows built-in drivers.

                  Now, the typical user looking for this level of quality will want to drive their car audio active with 5 or even 7 channels along with time alignment. So the two channels are not enough and feeding the stereo signal into the analog inputs of a car audio processor is probably not audibly bad, but a bit of a psychological disadvantage.

                  And as I may have written before, I have spent years of frustration trying to find a good 7 channel DAC solution for the car and wound up with a device built for that purpose, a Helix P-DSP. It has still bugs in the software but audio wise it's flawless as far as I could ascertain.

                  Therefore the Music Streamer II may not make sense for many of your customers.

                  This got a bit longer than I intended .

                  PS:
                  Everybody should know NwAvGuy. He's heroically bringing sanity back to home audio. Just read through his blog.
                  From: http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2012/01/fiio-e10-dac.html
                  For those asking about the HRT MS II review I believe it was only in print (not online). It may have been one of the UK audio magazines. Stereophile has tested the II+ and it also measured well.
                  Last edited by JuniorGeezer; 01-30-2012, 05:48 PM.

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                  • #10
                    +1 to what the others said. the high end audio section of carpc's is a very small niche(i know of 4-6 current users that run something along the lines of a high end setup), so while it might be nice to see for sale, i don't think it would be a very profitable option for the store..
                    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                    next project? subaru brz
                    carpc undecided

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks to everyone for the feedback. If you see anything you want to test or think we should stock let us know. We're always looking for new blog topics, products or testers.

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                      • #12
                        I'm curious to know where in VA these can be found. I'm interested in purchasing one to see if it adds to my sound experience.
                        mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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                        • #13
                          just picked up one of these on amazon. I'm hopefully for a noticeable increase in sound quality in my car (still utilizing a passive 2.1 system for now), but what i'd really like to do is get away from depending on the realtek drivers my stock motherboard provides. At this point I barely have any control over my sub channel. In fact the only way i can control it at all is using the 5.1 RealTek setup, and as a drawback of that, ALL OF my voice audio (nav instructions, voice feedback from RR etc) is piped through the sub. This is because the sub and center channel speaker share the same port, and i dont have a center channel speaker.

                          So i'm hoping the music streamer II will just send all audio via 2 channel to my 5.1 channel HiFonics amp, and the amp will handle up the up-mixing to the proper source. I know the amp can up-mix properly, so that should take care of it.
                          mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
                          Follow Me on Twitter or Facebook
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