I've lived with Computer Based Audio for a long time, before I dove into Streaming Audio. This is not without reason because until recently, I found the quality of affordable streamers such as Squeezebox and Sonos to be performing below my preferred standard. Compared to these devices, a separate computer with a good (USB-) interface and a good DAC, will perform much better. But Linn changed the game with the introduction of their DS products. And then came PS Audio with their PWD. It was this device that made me realise the potential of streaming audio.
Full sounding powercord with deep, solid bass. I found some Lapps to work well.
Lively interlinks such as Cardas Hexlink Golden 5C. Quadlink 5C also sounds allright. Just don't use the supplied Linn Silver interlinks as they are fine for detail but don't have the best soundstage width and depth nor the best dynamic expressiveness. Also, my usual preferred Transparent Ultra XL didn't work well - apparently the Linn's output transformers didn't like the added circuitry inside the cables.
Any computer running Kinsky Desktop or PS Audio's eLyric server program or any NAS.
Connection via wired shielded ethernet cable
1a. The best at a realistic price:
Retail price approx 5200 euro including network bridge
Warm and smooth powercable and interlinks for the PWD. Echole Obsession = more accurate and refined, Furutech Alpha 3 = smoother and more engaging, Harmonic Technology Pro ACII also works well but is very mellow. Transparent Ultra or Cardas Golden Reference works well as an interlink.
HiFi Tuning Gen2 gold or Gen3 silver fuses instead of stock PWD fuses (gold = smoother, silver = more open).
Macbook Pro as server running PS Audio's eLyric server program or Synology NAS.
Connection via wired ethernet cat5 or cat6 (your choice of cable brand, but be aware that there are audible differences).
1b. The best at a realistic price:
Retail price approx 6000 euro
The natural, transparent, refined and super-convenient solution
Full and smooth sounding powercable (Furutech Alpha 3) and powerful sounding interlinks (Cardas Hexlink Golden 5C or Clear)
Connect the MD600 and MS600 to the same switch with short cables, avoid daisy-chaining switches
Place both components on the same rack, preferably MD600 on top of MS600
Spider rack works splendidly but given their neutral, well balanced nature, they'll probably work on a wide range of racks.
2. Best if cost is a slight restraint:
Retail price 1950 euro
Rhythmic, engaging and fluid
Naim UnitiQute, either by itself or into a highend dac, this little streamer performs splendidly. It doesn't have the ultra resolution or refinement of the Klimax DS, but it always sounds highly engaging. What's more: even though it isn't technically a match for the PWD, it can be more forgiving of bad recordings and has smoother, more open and airy treble.
Warm and full sounding powercord
Meridian 818 and 808.3, both with Sooloos card are simply world-class, possessing many of the Linn Klimax DS/1's qualities and even bettering it on various aspects.