iPad as streamer…

Good points… I never use the USB with the Rega DAC, just optical x2 (AirPort & Apple TV) & coax ( CD transport).

Now considering a Uniti Atom … I do miss the Muso I gave up as an AV solution. Utter overkill for the tiny space it inhabited… ought to pair well with Castle Compact Columns which continue to impress with the 5italic.

I have some Castle Kendall (version 1) from the seventies; if the same company; then ‘yay’! (nice)…

The Naim sound is worthwhile… -was why I had to read reviews on the amp listed as i couldn’t figure out why you’d move from the Supernait to a ‘receiver’ (seldom have I chosen a receiver over an integrated, or even an integrated vs seperate pre/power…)

With Naim in the line, whilst this is offtopic, sort of, it holds the greater theme of ‘everything sounds the same UNTIL IT DOESN’T’; I find about one in four tracks sound so superior, if even only for a single instrument, or small segment, that I would not give up this ‘advantage’ for something that sounds close

If all things were equal and I could fast switch between two pieces of kit with similar sized soundfields etc… such that the differences when switching was arguably ‘so little as to be none’ (depending on ear training), there would still be these brief moments in about a quarter of my music played that clearly renders better via the Naim design.

For me, a lowly Nait user myself, vs what I typically have run- the ‘downgrade’ to the Nait is something that just keeps bringing a smile to my dial. (once it had a month and a half of use on its’ clock)

Those ‘small changes’ to familiar tracks might be worth absolutely everything when choosing a ‘final build’ HiFi rig.
Same as with DACs- they can just about all sound identical (to some people), and certainly the lower couple of tiers of kit are generally very homogenised and ‘samey’ (with differences being ‘house tuning’ and power supplies etc) but once they are asked to do ‘the difficult’ (hard to recreate genres) they pull away from other designs quite quickly.
In just about every case of audio (DACs) it has been a ‘buying from an ACTUAL Hifi company’ (doing the dance for decades) are solid affairs, and the ‘new to market’ (spec sheet champions) are fatiguing horrible affairs that are quickly WORTH upgrading from.

As someone who tries to avoid ‘upgrade-itis’; I find the value proposition of buying budget-fi very tricky.
In just about every instance (DACs as a potential exception) buying older for less is a vastly better bang/buck ratio towards top tier (/‘better tiered’) performance.

All the modern ‘well rated’ stuff is ‘well rated’ vs what else the market is spewing out (AT THE SAME PRICEPOINT), and the number of ***** (five star) rated parts that are horrible, to me, is ridiculous- only enforcing in my mind some notion of in the last two decades we have added two tiers of LESSER kit, and the price for nice is now ‘very expensive’.
Less than a percent of buyers ever figure out this stuff (most have never heard a great vintage amp with a nice front end/ or experienced why a great PRE-AMP matters etc), and sites like this are hard to SEE the forest for the trees. (anyone can say ‘sounds great’ and their opinion is equal to everyone else).

Given the few DAC owners who own DEDICATED CD TRANSPORTS (no analogue section) wouldn’t be one in a hundred, then the skewing of fact from fiction gets very hard to ascertain.

As someone who has experienced digital cables altering the perceived audio, and has owned ‘nice transports’ etc (and frequently heard the differences between CD pressings); this notion of people writing home about ‘five star’ rated mass market junk-fi (no doubt the best THEY have heard), and writing off the differences between nice kit and budget-fi cost cut alternatives; like gamblers who only count their wins, seem to see the times when they are equal and ‘miss’ the times when they are not.

I learned twenty odd years ago to split my music collection between hifi setups (and had to run with two hifi setups to render specific parts of the collection ‘well’), and many have learned to do the same with, for example, headphones (owning a couple of cheaper sets will probably equal a better playback of more music genres than trying to buy ‘one good set for all’)…

There is a LOT to HiFi.
We can get from it as much (or as little) as we want.
A lot of upvotes when championing ‘how great the low cost stuff is’ generally as everyone self congratulates each other over ‘how much they saved’.

In the last ten years, the cost to buy ‘decent mid-fi’ has gone up SOOO much that I can see why most people cannot hear any differences between kit, or seldom have a full rig of nice kit that actually reveals the differences that other parts might bring to the table.

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