Audio Dandy streamer v2
Powered by "Daphile"
by Maarten van Druten
If you are looking for a High Resolution audio streamer there a two
You can buy a very expensive audio-streamer or your can make one
and save a lot of money
Audio Dandy streamer was based on the ATX PC standard,
therefore this the Audio and Video streamer was very big.
This had some advantages: you could easily replace parts when they were
it was also powerful (i7 CPU) and it was very quiet because of the
copper 100% passive CPU cooler.
But not everybody want to have a big HTPC standing next to his
television, so I tried to find an alternative computer that is small,
powerful, and has a good quality.
Were many other High-End companies are releasing streamer products based
on "ARM" processors,
I avoid these "ARM" based products.
Why? because "ARM" based mini computers like the Raspberry Pi are not
designed for high resolution audio playback.
These ARM computers are designed for IT developers and children to learn
Python programming language on school, or for IoT and other computer
These ARM computers are underpowered and much to weak to playback high
resolution audio bitprefectly.
Therefore I searched for an Intel x64 compatible based solution.
After experimenting with many different computers, I found one that is
perfect for High Resolution Audio streaming
These computers are called: "Next Unit of Computing" or just: "NUC"
The Intel NUC is a professional small form
standard personal x64 compatible mini PC from Intel that is very
It's so fast that it could easily replace your big standard ATX form
computer without that you notice any performance loss.
At the company I work for,
I have worked with an Intel NUC (with an Intel I5 CPU) for a long time, and it
was a very reliable, quiet and fast workstation.
It's also Linux friendly, so installing Linux on these little power PC’s
is not a problem.
Everything (all internal components) are working straight after the
Now I have found the right hardware, I had to find the right software to
create the Audio Dandy audio streamer.
Which streaming software?
There are many different streaming software
solutions on the market today that can playback High Resolution audio.
I have good experiences with "JRiver" software that playback DSD and
also has a nice app for the Apple Ipad so you can control your streamer.
But there are many others like: "Audirvana", "AudioPhile Linux" and
recently there is new kid in town called: "Daphile"
"Audiophile Linux" and "Daphile" are the only two that can be used 100%
free, for the others you have to pay.
I have tried them all for a long time, and this is my conclusion:
"JRiver" is very good program, but it costs money, and for also
for all future updates you have to pay extra.
These extra costs after you just bought something, is something I don't
like so much about this program.
But "JRiver" sounds very good, and I can recommend it if the extra costs
are not a problem for you, but personally I prefer a open source
solution, were fixes and updates are free.
"Audirvana" didn't work for me, it sounded good but also a little
bit cloudy, soft to my ears,
like there was a filter between the music and the listener. so I didn't
experimented futher with this program.
"AudioPhile Linux" is the first open source solution from this
group, but it takes a very long time to download.
It took me 5 days to download the installation ISO file! just because
the owner decided to limit the download speed to only 4 kBs...
After downloading the installation ISO, I noticed that the
installation is a bit different that usual, I think that a lot of people
will find the installation way too difficult.
After installing the software I experienced a rather Spartan mixed bag
of audio programs that were not stable enough to experience high
resolution audio playback.
I think this software is for die hard Linux fan's only, that don't mind
to reconfigure their Linux computer with the command line interface...
and then i tried "Daphile"
What is "Daphile"?
"Daphile" is audio streamer software that supports DSD (DSF) and PCM
high resolution bit-perfect and gapeless playback.
The music is transported straight from your NAS to your DAC, just the
way it should be.
Because "Daphile" uses the asynchronous USB signal transmission, your
DAC is in control.
Your precise TXCO of your DAC (or Amanero interface) will keep track of
the time, not your operating system of your computer.
For more information:
First some facts:
99% of all music recordings in the world are recorded in PCM (or DXD
which is also PCM) not in DSD.
USB is not designed to transport DSD, therefore we have to use a
technique called "DoP" (DSD over PCM)
to overcome this issue, so that we still can listen to DSD (DSF) files.
luckily my Audio-Gd Master 7 DAC support "DoP"
Daphile works with the Combo384 Amanero!
One of the best things of "Daphile" is that
it works perfectly with the "Combo384 Amanero"
USB class 2 to I2S 32bit and DSD output Adapter.
On the image above you can see my settings.
I used the Audio-Gd Master 7 DAC for this review, which has an Amanero
Combo384 USB interface.
"Daphile" plays DSD128 "DSF" audio files
very well over "DoP"
Does "Daphile" sounds better than
I was very surprised by this software
because it's simple to install, easy to use and it sounds very good
Did it sound better then "JRiver" ?
To tell you the truth, No, it didn't...
"Daphile" sounded very good, but something was wrong.
On my PureAudioProject Voxativ High-End loudspeakers I noticed that the
music had a harsh sound character
making listening for a long time to this exhausting...
I also noticed that the level of details was not to the standards of
What to do?
One big of advantage of open source projects is that it's very easy to
contribute to make the software better.
Personally I wanted to know why "Daphile" was not sounding so good like
The software should only transport the music data from the NAS to the
I already disabled "HD-audio" in the settings menu of "Daphile" to force
the software to use the "Amanero" interface.
So what went wrong? I decided to analyse this problem and to find a
"The shortest audio path is the best"
But there is one thing you really should take
care about, and that is: "the shortest audio path is the best"
Why I write this?
Because still many High-End audio manufactures are using in my opinion
the wrong approach.
They still offer solutions (products) that are using unnecessary complex
solutions to transport music from the storage device to the dac.
For example did you know that Linux had a very bad and complex sound
No? read on:
The sound architecture of Linux consists out of many different parts,
like "ALSA"and "Pulseaudio"
"Pulseaudio" is designed by a Linux developer called "Lennart
This Linux developer is well know of his complex, chaotic and
controversial way of programming, because of this, he's also not so
popular in the open source community...
(he is also responsible for "system-d" big-brother spyware in almost all
Linux distributions, but that's another story...)
He once has called Linux audio: "it's a mess" and he even tried to make
it better, but in my opinion he made it much worse...
So beware if your current streaming solution make use of these modules,
like: "ALSA", "Pulseaudio" and also the newer audio standard: "HD-Audio"
All of these are very bad for real Audiophile audio playback.
So how to overcome all this? was it because of this that "Daphile"
sounded not good?
I'm affraid it was...it was indeed Pulseaudio, ALSA, etc that made sound
"Daphile" not good.
I figured out a very simple and effective solution to make sure that
your music not has to travel all the way through "Poetterings" chaotic
and complex signal path...
"Daphile" overcomes all of this problems by using a technique called:
"Daphile" has native support (without third
party drivers) for USB Audio Class 2.0 - UAC2
so the kernel can communicate directly with your UAC2 compatible DAC
The solution to make "Daphile sound much
The solution is: disable your internal audio device in the bios of your
In my situation were I used a Intel "NUC" I had to disable "HD-audio" in
Make sure that the mark by "Audio" is "unchecked"
And this works very well, you will immediately notice the difference
They music will be sound more detailed, more clear, and also will have
So consider this a must do, disable your internal audio device in the
bios of your "Daphile" streamer!
This way you force the software to only use
your USB DAC. and you will bypass the crappy Linux ALSA, Pulseaudio
After I was satisfied with the configuration of the NUC, I have
"Audio Dandy audiostreamer V2 powered by Daphile" on different
For testing I used my PureAudioProjectsTrio 15 Voxativ open baffle
On the Audio-Gd Master 10 amplifier and Master 7 DAC the sound was
with lots of details. the quality was impressive, I could hear no
differences with the JRiver Mediacenter solution.
I was very impressed! this little NUC played music so easily and so
well, that now I listen much more to music then before.
after listening for many weeks, I found the sound of "Daphile" even more
relaxed, more appealing then JRiver.
Then I listened to the Yarland FV34A (which I will review later on my
Now the sound-scape different, the music became more real, it has more
depth, and sounded
"thicker" compared with the Audio-Gd Master 10 amplifier.
But the micro details were much less, but this not because of the
quality streamer, but because of the
Yarland tube amplifier.
Both amplifiers were a good match for the "Daphile" streamer, and both
amps had their unique sound
The "Audio Dandy streamer v2" (Daphile + NUC based)
is so small that you can place it easily beside your High End equipment.
What about controlling Daphile?
You can also control your "Daphile"
headless audio streamer on multiple ways:
by using your web browser.
Or by many other "Squeezebox" compatible Ipad or Iphone/Android
smartphone apps like:
The "iPeng" IOS App for the Ipad looks very
nice, and works very easily.
Make sure that your musicplayer software
uses the right output streaming device, in this case
the "Combo384 Amanero"
I found "Daphile" a very easy to use software program that transform
your old pc in a nice headless music server.
It's free, and it sounds also very good, after disabling "audio" in my
NUC bios, "Daphile" sounded just as good, often even better then JRiver
And that's a compliment because JRiver is a very good program.
I use "Daphile" now almost all day, and i'm very happy with it, it works
reliable and the sound is detailed, full of detail and depth.
"Daphile" has a lot more nice features that I didn't mentioned in this
review, for more info please visit their website.
But remember "Daphile" is a open source hobby project made by one person
only, what he has accomplished is realy remarkable, so please don't
e-mail him with all your questions.
He's just doesn't has the time to answer them all... so instead read the
FAQ first, and if you still cannot find the answer, use a forum like
On the forum go to the section "source & line"
- "pc based" to post your questions, you will see that you get an answer
soon, because "Daphile" has become very populair already.
Give it try, you will be not be disapointed, "Daphile" has become my
standard High Resolution streaming solution.
Maarten van Druten (Audio Dandy)
So here it is, the recipe to make your own:
"Audio Dandy audiostreamer V2 powered by Daphile"
Intel NUC 5CPYH
Intel Celeron 3205U
Crucial ValueRAM 8 GB DDR3L
120GB Kingston A400 SSD (for OS only)
Intel HD Graphics
Onboard WLAN en BT
Total price only 261 euro's ! (approx. 300
Don't forget to disable "audio" in the
Download the "Daphine" software here:
Connect your music collection on USB
external harddisk to the streamer, and you are ready!
You just have saved yourself a lot of money compaired to the other
commercial streaming sollutions out there
- This streamer has a very good quality(*) with good realism and natural
- Bit-perfect and gapeless streaming
- Can stream High Resolution PCM and DSD (DSF) music files (on "DoP"
- Easy to use, very user friendly streaming sollution
- Many control apps avaialable for Ipad and Iphone/Android phones
- NUC is very well build, and very small.
- The streamer is also very quiet and uses little energy.
- Daphile software is free!
- Nothing really important, but..
There is no SACD.ISO suport like JRiver has (only DSD-DSF
- No professional support, because this is open source community
- You need an UAC2 compatible DAC (Don't ask Daphile about this, but
your DAC manufacturer)
(*) When "audio" is disabled in the bios of your NUC.
Note for Dutch readers only:
Mocht u het niet aan durven om zelf deze streamer te bouwen en te
installeren, dan kunnen wij u helpen
stuur een mail naar:
email@example.com voor de
Special thanks to Mikko from
Daphile for making
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