Streaming music - Building a sound stage Part 2

We now had Tidal streaming . I visited my friend Darren to see how happy he was with the work we had done on the system so far . I went into the listening room and within 15 minutes was asking him to turn down the volume . It was very edgy in the mid to high range yet the bass seemed to have good definition . Our journey to create the “Sound Stage” we wanted now began.

Firstly was time to hit the hi end Hi Fi forums. This caused some confusion . There are 2 camps basically . Those that believe that the Ethernet Cables that run from the Modem/router make no difference and those , like ourselves that believe they do . The theory of the first group is that it is Digital and USB cable makes no difference . Cat 5 , 6 or 7 Cables the same . No difference . Yet others were posting there was a difference . The music was smoother and more dimensional with better cable . We encountered our first problem . The Krell amps showed an incompatibility with the speakers . They , the amps , would have to go . We auditioned a number of monobloc amps and decided on Rotel .

The Rotel’s were Model RB1581 500watt amps .
The price $6500 for two of them . They are very musical in sound and quite smooth to listen to. We added them into the system . Vast improvement in sound . Much smoother but still not what we wanted . In the first part I described how we were using an Adcom Amp . We switched the Adcom amp to drive the 2 bass speaker towers and connected the Rotel’s to the wings ( Mid , high , super high grids ) Now we were getting somewhere . We purchased another EarScience Inter link .$1800 and added it to the Adcom to tighten the bass . Worked beautifully . The owner of the Adcom was the fellow Darren had purchased the speakers from .He supplied inter links with the amp he made himself . He is a genius with hi fi but this time they were too edgy for us . We now had the Rotels driving the mid to high range and the Adcom the bass . Starting to get there .

What we were doing was working from the speakers backwards to the pre amp , amps and then the sound source . We had the equipment in place , the streaming service , Tidal , was up and running . Next time I dropped in and went to the listening room I lasted 35 minutes and then said please turn down the volume . Back to the forums again about USB and Ethernet cables and their effect on the sound stage .

In the meantime PS audio , the company that we purchased DAC DSD from unit released a unit called the LANrover USB transporter . This was the game changer . It fitted between the computer and DAC DSD unit . Oh my God what a difference it made . We were finally back at the sound source .The computer . In part 3 we try various USB cables ranging in price from $10 to $1000 .We do the same with Cat 5,6and 7 RJ45 cable . We had no idea just how much difference they would make.


Wow, so much detailed information to take in. Do you think it would be possible to put up a schematic in your final part which shows all the components you finally settled on as the best?

Thanks for sharing your obvious wealth of knowledge.

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@meltam I will certainly do what you recommend . It is still a work in progress . We are at the sound stage we want , now it is just fine tuning with USB and Ethernet cables . I will name all the brands of USB cables and Ethernet cables in part 3 and how they compare . Thanks for showing interest in our project .