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Letters to the editor: Innuos, Chromecast, Sonos, JRiver & sex toys

  • Eric Z. writes…

    Hi John

    Thanks so much for your ever-insightful posts and videos.

    Recently I was able to compare an Innuos Zen mk3 and an Auralic Altair G1 for a few days and was reminded of the many, many times that you’ve emphasized that there are sometimes huge differences between source components. While I believe I tried every combination of the Innuos, Altair, Schiit Bifrost 2 and AudioQuest Cobalt I had on hand I was impressed by how by using the Innuos as a source brought out the best of each DAC (including the non-Tesla input of the Auralic) and also how the AudioQuest is just an insane bargain at $299 USD. It’s also fascinating to be able to hear and compare the slight tonal changes between Roon and say content stored locally.

    Thanks again!

    Tony D. writes…

    John, this might interest you: the Grace Digital Link.

    Spec sheet says audio out is 16/44.1. Maybe a reasonable way to Chromecast-enable an old audio system.

    Neil B. writes…

    Hi

    Seen a number of reviews of Hegel just lately including yours. Consequently looking at a H20 but got confused at the specs. Says 60w in standby. Are you able to comment on this. Seems a lot for just sitting there doing nothing. Call me lazy but rather not be turning it off and on each night, it’s a modern piece of kit right.

    Many thanks and thanks for the YouTube videos,

    Neil

    Me: You’ll have to ask Hegel about that as I’ve zero experience with the H20. The H95 has an auto power off.

    Pete M. writes…

    Hey John,

    Just wanted to say thanks for a super-useful video on the three flavours of LS50.

    I’ve been using a pair of the original 50th anniversary LS50s at home for ages. Whilst they’ve migrated from being my primary speakers to being my secondary ones, I do love the damn things (I’m not a big hoarder, so it’s rare that a mere object needles its way into my affections like they have). That said, the two new variants have gotten me interested.

    My best buddy (not a hifi fan) has recently moved house, and I asked whether he might like the LS50s as a house-warming present. Second-hand, yes, but also bloody lovely. And I’d feel very happy that I’d still get to see them every-so-often. He said yes.

    So that left me with – what to replace them with? I’m not currently working (well, I am, but it’s on starting my own thing, so it’s a way away from paying my mortgage), and so the Wireless IIs would have been difficult to justify. If they were significantly better, then I’d have found a way. What I didn’t want was to pump for the Metas, only to spend the next [n] years wishing I’d gone with the Wireless IIs.

    Your video has allayed my fears. I’ll be happy with the Metas. Thank you!

    Keep up the sterling work, chap; your videos and articles are a pleasure to watch/read.

    Best,

    Pete

    Steven G. writes…

    Hi John. Thanks for all the great videos. Just discovered and has been really helpful. I don’t know if I’m being daft and have missed something but I can’t find information anywhere as to whether I can connect my record deck to the KEF Wireless LS50 II. I have a regular technician 1210 deck with no blue tooth. Sorry if you have posted this info already but can’t for the life of me find anything using your search or going through numerous videos. Kind regards

    Steve

    Me: To do so: connect the twin RCA output of your phono stage to the primary loudspeaker’s 3.5mm analogue input.

    Robert Z. writes…

    Is there any difference between using Tidal Connect and using either the Tidal or Qobuz app
    into a Chromecast audio puck and then using the Toslink out into a DAC? It seems similar to me.
    Thank you.

    Me: Similar but not the same. Chromecast isn’t gapless. Tidal Connect is. Have you watched my Tidal Connect for Beginners video?

    Jason K. writes…

    Love your videos; big fan. Do you list all the music you listen to anywhere besides your Patreon?

    Thanks!

    Jason

    Me: Nope. It wouldn’t be a Patreon perk if I did. 😉

    Joep V. writes…

    Hi,

    Recently saw your change of what’s in between your speakers. No amp etc anymore.

    Did you change your speaker cable to longer length or are you wireless?

    Enjoying your channel, good luck!

    Cheers, Joep

    Me: I have a shorter and a longer set of the same loudspeaker cable. No, there is no sound degradation in moving to the longer set. 🙂

    Marc T. writes…

    Hi John
    Love the youtube channel – it’s helped me learn a lot since I started watching – I’m new to the world of better quality hi-fi…. although not new to music obsession…. 35 years of collecting vinyl but only just stepped up my game to a modest setup.

    I’ve read the FAQ’s but wondered if you could spare 5 mins to just help me – I found your video on Plex really interesting.

    I really just wondered if you had heard of a similar piece of software called JRiver? If you have I wondered if you had tried it and how it compared to Plex. I want to do exactly what you describe – have access to my large digitised collection from my HD connected to my NUC whilst I am out and about with my phone.

    Hope u can spare 5 mins to let me know either way. Thanks for a great channel

    Stay safe,

    Marc

    Me: I’ve never used JRiver so I’ve no idea how it compares to Plex. Can you offline content to your phone with JRiver as you can with Plexamp?

    Pascal S. writes…

    Hi John,

    I follow you on youtube and like your movies! Keep on going!

    Question: are you planning a review of the Sonos AMP?

    Me: No plans to at this stage, Pascal. However, I am considering a pair of Sonos Five.

    Tihomir S. writes…

    Dear Mr. Darko,

    I admire your work and dedication very much! Your video and article regarding Xiaomi Mi Box S caught my attention. Why you are using HDMI splitter, but not the 3.5mm audio output? Because of the bitrate? Currently, I am using optical between my android TV and the amp (NAD D3020) in the living room, but want to build a new and better system for my office, so collecting info and ideas. I am considering KEF LS50 Meta, the amp is not decided yet.
    Thank you very much in advance!

    Kind regards,
    Tiho

    Me: But I’m not using an HDMI splitter with the Xiaomi! That’s the whole point: video comes via HDMI, digital audio via mini-TOSLINK (or USB). Maybe you need to watch the video again. 😉

    Jay B. writes…

    Hello J.D.
    This won’t be quite as funny to you as it is to me, but you may get a chuckle …

    I know you get many of the same ol’ emails … What’d u think about this amp … Would you buy these over those, blah, blah … Here’s a little something different.

    Tonight something happened while I was watching one of your videos (about the Buchardt A500s) … my 2-year old (we’ll call him Bo, cause that’s his name 🙂 crawled up in my lap and started watching the video with me…he was there for several mins.

    I was paying close attention to the details of the speakers (I’ll never pony up for) … when I realized Bo was making unusual motions??? … What was he doing?

    I tried to continue concentrating on your comparison and wrap up, when I realized he was mimicking the classic Darko hand gestures SPOT ON!!! I rewinded and he continued with the perfect mirror.

    So … a pair of clear frames, a lil’ hair gel, and a new YouTube account … pls welcome your Mini-Me competition 🙂

    Keep up the good work. Rock n’ Roll!

    Jay

    Simon T. writes…

    Dear Darko (if I may),

    I love your site and your video review convinced me to take the plunge on a used Cambridge Audio CXN v2, a big investment for me. I primarily use Spotify to stream, but when streaming via Spotify Connect, Spotify pauses every 10-15 mins. I’ve searched on google and this doesn’t seem to be a common issue with the v2. I can always connect via Chromecast, but that’s less convenient.

    I was hoping you could answer two questions for me:

    1) Is there a difference in sound quality between Spotify Connect and Chromecast?

    2) Have you heard of this issue and do you know of any solutions? I’m currently streaming via wifi; the streaming signal is listed as good, but I’m going to try hardwiring into ethernet tomorrow to see if that makes any difference.

    Many thanks for your consideration. Hoping I don’t have to return this — when it works, it’s every bit as good as you said, and as an ex-pat Brit I’m loving the convenient access to BBC radio.

    Best,
    Simon

    Me: Chromecast Spotify is 256kbps and not gapless. Spotify Connect is 320kbps and gapless. No idea what’s causing your issues. Sorry.

    Christian H. writes…

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    Me: Sorry, Christian, but I don’t partake in affiliate programs because they effectively index dollars earnt to positivity expressed. And that’s not how I work. 


    Zero ID writes…

    John,

    Reading some comments on your page I wonder in which direction the society is heading.
    Except few individual idiots seems that a big chunk is moving back into the thirties of the previous century and you know what was the result, so I suggest to ignore and not to publish those comments at all.

    Take care!

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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