What I seek with the upgrade:
1. Improved sound.
2. Enable active 4-ways. So I can take the mids/tweeter passive xo out. I'm hoping this will in turn improve sound.
3. Bonus points: streamline/tidy up my rack. System in the living room, so WAF important. Ethernet connection would allow to take the audiophile computer and LPS out of the rack.
Options I'm aware of and my considerations so far:
- Hilo: biggest limitation is to enable 8 channels I would need to use the headphone out as interconnects, which looks bad in the living room. They have an ethernet (Dante) card, but Lynx can't assure it would work with Acourate and I haven't found users doing this. Would be the cheapest route to streamlining the rack, at the cost of the awkward headphone out cable and same sound quality as now.
- Merging Hapi: a strong candidate. Would allow active 4 ways, has ethernet/Ravenna connection (streamline rack), and there are some good comments about sound quality as DAC, especially doing DSD. Not sure if Acourate and Hapi will work well through ethernet connection though (Hapi has no USB). Does anybody here have experience with this?
- Prism Titan: Would allow active 4 ways, has ethernet/Dante card option (streamline rack). Very little info about sound quality, let alone use with Acourate thru ethernet. I seems no DSD support.
- Audiophile multichannel DACs (Merging NADAC, exaSound e38) are being kind of disregarded because of timing issues from using a different ADC than DAC. Happy to be challenged on this assumption. Keeping Hilo for measurements and using one of these as DAC...bad idea, right?