Best hardware for Volumio as streamer

I have some new insights.
I used for a very long time IFI Streamer (modified Volumio) which recently died and this pushed me towards pure Volumio.
I installed Volumio on a regular HP Prodesk SFF (i3-6100 16GB / 240 SSD) and thought it was beautiful, but …
I found hardware that is called Dell Wyse 5070 (Intel Pentium j5005 8GB / 16GB eMMC SSD + 128GB SSD) and it blew my mind!

I connect the streamer via USB cable to Audiolab’s MDAC+ (I recommend this DAC with Tidal) and I can’t get over how much of a difference in sound there is!

I know some people think that USB is a digital signal and it doesn’t make any difference what I connect to, but… any audio engineer will tell you that when choosing equipment, the most important thing is the drivers this equipment uses. That’s why there are better and worse devices for less and more money.

Do any of you have similar experiences, and if so, what hardware, chipset, drivers do you think play best.
I also tried RasperyPI 400 but the sound was too slow, dark and without space.

Just a beautiful music listening experience for All.
Best Regards,

I too have seen significant improvements with changes upstream of the DAC. For many years, a Mac mini fed my DAC directly via USB. Adding the Matrix X-SPDIF (DDC) to feed the DAC I2S via HDMI was a significant upgrade. Then followed a tricked out RasPi with a Denafrips Hermes (DDC) feeding the DAC I2S. For the past few months, I have used the Mano ULTRA mkIII from Magna, which betters the Denafrips DDC, and I think this is the end of the journey for me. At least for now :slight_smile: