Mid-priced Streamer desired

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Tom Bombadil

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Re: Mid-priced Streamer desired
« Reply #20 on: 28 Feb 2021, 02:06 am »
I own a NAD M10 ($2750 streamer/DAC/integrated amp) that has made my audio life mind blowingly simple.  A bit out of your price range, but the NAD C658 (similar to the M10 without the power amp feature) is killer in terms of ease of use, features, and sound quality. 

I've looked at the C658.  My issue there is that I already own three preamps, which I like.  Now if they only offered it as a streamer/DAC without the preamp. 

Tom Bombadil

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Re: Mid-priced Streamer desired
« Reply #21 on: 28 Feb 2021, 02:12 am »
Look into the Denon Heos Link HS2.  Excellent connectivity and sounds fine.  The app could be better but it is stable.  I have been very happy using it for streaming Amazon HD and for the flac files on my portable hard drive.  Has a decent dac too.

I read up on this one too.   Very affordable at $350.  The Heos app apparently doesn't support either Tidal MQA or Qobuz 24-bit, playing both of them at 16-bits.  They do state that it can process 24-bit files from Amazon Ultra HD.   Certainly a very good value. 

RichardS

Re: Mid-priced Streamer desired
« Reply #22 on: 28 Feb 2021, 09:41 am »
artur9 -- I use an Elac Discovery (two actually, in different systems). Very happy with them, and have had great service with the company. They come with lifetime Roon Essentials, which is transferable, being attached to the unit itself. The unit has two RCA analog outs, and Coax and Toslink digital outs. I've mostly used the digital outputs into my DACs, and think the sound is topnotch, and maybe a touch better going through my Remedy reclocker, maybe. They stream both Tidal and Qobuz, and Roon integrates the streaming albums/songs with my attached storage (USB external drive). Very easy to use to find and explore songs/albums. I use an iPad to interface, but you could also use your laptop or phone. You can import songs/albums into the library (using metadata) with one click, and you can store playlists. A real winner at the price, missing only a USB output, if that matters to you, and no MQA. The DAC inside is decent, but I wouldn't call it superb. It's smooth and very listenable, its sins being of omission, but never harsh. I have 28,000 songs in my library, split between Tidal and my own drive. It used to be limited to 30,000, but I believe with last year's software update it will now accept 50,000+.

I also have a Sony HAPZ1-ES, which streams Spotify but not Tidal or Qobuz. It's more expensive than the Elac, but it's DAC is better IMO. It upscales everything to double DSD. Hopefully the rumored CD-resolution for Spotify will come true. It was no slouch stock but I had Modwright install their tube mod on this and it sounds spectacular through the analog outs. Stock, it has a USB output, so you can use a DAC if you want. I listen to this one mostly when doing serious listening, but find myself using the Discovery more often, using Tidal, because I really enjoy discovering new music. That will likely change if and when Spotify comes through with full 16/44 streaming. The software is good on this, but I like Roon bettter. It connects to my wifi system, so its songs show up on my TVs, and I can play through my stereo system attached to the TV.

rotarius

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Re: Mid-priced Streamer desired
« Reply #23 on: 28 Feb 2021, 03:39 pm »
I read up on this one too.   Very affordable at $350.  The Heos app apparently doesn't support either Tidal MQA or Qobuz 24-bit, playing both of them at 16-bits.  They do state that it can process 24-bit files from Amazon Ultra HD.   Certainly a very good value.

The cool thing about it is it is Alexa enabled, so I can use the Amazon app with it and not just the Heos app.  The 24/96 albums sound better than the versions I have on CD, the UHD content is quite extensive.

Tom Bombadil

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Re: Mid-priced Streamer desired
« Reply #24 on: 28 Feb 2021, 07:46 pm »
artur9 -- I use an Elac Discovery (two actually, in different systems). Very happy with them, and have had great service with the company. They come with lifetime Roon Essentials, which is transferable, being attached to the unit itself. The unit has two RCA analog outs, and Coax and Toslink digital outs. I've mostly used the digital outputs into my DACs, and think the sound is topnotch, and maybe a touch better going through my Remedy reclocker, maybe. They stream both Tidal and Qobuz, and Roon integrates the streaming albums/songs with my attached storage (USB external drive).

Have you been able to verify that the Discovery's digital outputs do pass 24 bit streams to your external DAC?  I have found that while some streamers will play 24-bit encoded songs that their digital outputs are limited to 16 bits.  Or they will be 16-bits from some services, like Tidal, but 24-bits from Amazon Ultra HD as there is no unfolding / extra processing required.   Tricky to find out. 

Tom Bombadil

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Re: Mid-priced Streamer desired
« Reply #25 on: 28 Mar 2021, 10:55 pm »
I previously wrote:


The PecanPi looks like a very well put together piece.  Quality outputs, solid (if dated) DAC, multiple software choices.  Downside is that it isn't upgradable.  Can't add a better DAC later on.  Can't access MQA.  I don't know how much better the BB1794A DAC would be than the BB1798 DAC that's already in my preamp.   I do like the XLR outputs and the simplicity of the design.

Or accept that the PecanPi sounds pretty darn good for $550 and just be happy with it running Qobuz. 


This is incorrect.  I had examined photos of the PecanPI's front and backsides.  But not the side of the unit.  There are four USB digital connectors on the side, which can be used to connect to USB devices like memory sticks, hard drives, and DACs.  So indeed one can route digital output to a 24-bit external DAC. 

I did not want to misrepresent this product.

fittebd

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Re: Mid-priced Streamer desired
« Reply #26 on: 2 Apr 2021, 11:31 pm »
Catching up on my internet reading and this is the 3rd post with talking about my new DAC.  Matrix Mini 3 Pro.  shows this is the way the world is moving.  I wanted Roon, MQA and good clock.  This came out and I grabbed it.  It went up in price right after by 150.  so its $1050 I  think now.  It is Chinese if you dont like that then its not for you.  Its a much better DAC than Node2.  Others I have not really seen or tried so hard to judge.  The all in one Integrated is the new wave as someone posted about the NAD.  Super high value in those units.  Think of the cables alone you save.