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Located:
San Jose, CA

David Snyder

Reviewer / Digital Audio Consultant

David Snyder Bio David has been fascinated by sound reproduction since the 1970s when he used the family tape recorder to record rain, ocean waves, and even vinyl from his childhood turntable. His interest in audio jumped into a higher orbit after a friend's father, who would later become an audio mentor, played a few albums for him on his Bart Locanthi designed Pioneer HPM-100 loudspeakers. David is passionate about sharing what he has learned and mentoring others who are new to the hobby. He has served on the executive board of the San Francisco Audio Society and is a remote member of the Atlanta Audio Club. David's system has two parts: a "front-end" and "back-end." The back-end is located two floors below the listening room. It consists of a Synology NAS which stores FLAC and DSD files and an Intel NUC PC that runs Roon Server. Roon manages the library, connects to TIDAL, and does added processing, like convolution for digital room correction, depending on the needs of each zone throughout the house. He loads new physical media to the NAS via an external optical drive that is attached to the NUC. Ripping software includes dBpoweramp and DVD Audio Extractor. The "front-end" is the USBridge from Allo.com. This device, based on the Sparky small board computer, runs DietPi and Roon Bridge. It acts as a network audio transport and is the Roon output for his main listening room. It has wired Ethernet in (Audioquest Forest patch cable) and USB out (XLO UltraPLUS UP4U USB cable). An iFi Audio DC iPurifier2 filters incoming power while the iFi micro iUSB3.0 regenerates the USB power and data signals before routing them via an iFi Gemini3.0 split power/data USB cable to an iFi micro iDAC2 on the top shelf. The analog outputs of the iDAC2 run to an Emotiva XSP-1 analog preamp via Straight Wire Virtuoso R2 interconnects. Balanced Virtuoso R2's carry the signal from the preamp (used for remote volume control) to a pair of Wyred 4 Sound mAMP monoblock power amplifiers. Finally, Straight Wire Expressivo Grande II speaker cables carry the amplified signal to a pair of Fritz Carrera 7 BE stand-mounted speakers. Matching REL T7i subwoofers supply sub bass pressure to the listening room when the music calls for it. Apart from convenience, one huge advantage of going all digital for David has been the ease with which he can apply digital room correction. Since everything is digital already, there's no need to run sources through an ADC...there's only one source: Allo USBridge + iFi DAC! Another advantage is that the system is super quiet. There are no fans, noisy power supplies, motors, vibrations, or spinning media of any kind in the listening room. The extra few dB of dynamic range helps the music to come alive. According to David, "I realize that I'm missing out on a lot of great masters by not having a turntable in this system. Perhaps I'll buy one someday and start a small vinyl collection. If I do, my preference will be to create pristine archival digital recordings of just what's in the grooves (no RIAA equalization). I'll then play the recordings with RIAA equalization applied in the digital domain. This approach probably sounds like a horrible idea to some folks, but in my view, it provides access to great masters that are only available on vinyl format while maintaining the convenience and flexibility of digital. Plus, the records won't wear out."

System
						Analog Front End

						Digital Front End
Media Library Synology DS1513+ Network Attached Storage dBpoweramp CD Ripper TIDAL Lossless Audio Streaming Service Intel NUC7i5BNK Roon Media Server Hardware Networking Unifi Switch 8 Ethernet Switch Audioquest Forest Ethernet Cable Digital Transport & DAC Orchard Audio PecanPi Streamer Roon output
						Amplification
Straight Wire Virtuoso R2 RCA Emotiva XSP-1 balanced analog preamplifier Straight Wire Virtuoso R2 XLR iFi Audio AC iPurifier AC Active Noise Cancellation Wyred 4 Sound mAMP power amplifiers with WBT / Kimber
						Cabling
See within individual categories Straight Wire Expressivo Grande II speaker cables
						Speakers
Fritz Carrera 7 BE REL T7i subwoofers (x2)
						Headphones

						Home Theater

						Accessories
Power conditioning iFi Audio PowerStation iFi Audio AC iPurifier AC Active Noise Cancellation
						Room Treatment
ATS Acoustics Bass Traps ATS Acoustics 2x4 Panels GIK Acoustics GridFusor
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