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What is the best streaming device to connect to my DAC?


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I currently use a third gen Apple TV connected to my network via ethernet, to stream to my DAC via optical connection. My understanding is that the ATV does not output hi res audio in native format and downgrades the source. First, is this correct?

 

If so, then what is the best way for me to stream my music to the DAC other than USB/optical from a computer such as MacMini (wife just doesn't want another device in the living room!)?

 

Right now I use my iMac to stream Spotify and then some hi res files from HDtracks, etc. running through Audirvana Plus.

 

Is there a better solution?

 

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Chromecast Audio.

 

I'm not sure how well it plays with Apple h/w.

 

I use MinimServer > CCA > DAC. Works like a charm. Supports up to 24/96. Limited to optical Toslink.

 

Streaming radio is a huge plus with the CCA. Everything from Tidal, Spotify, iHeartRadio is supported and works.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Yes, the AppleTV resamples all audio to 48 kHz on the output.

 

The Chromecast Audio is a great way to stream Spotify. It's capped at 96 kHz. I'm unsure what resolution your HDtracks files are and if 96 kHz is enough for you.

 

Have you looked into the Auralic Aries or Aries Mini? These support the highest resolutions available and Tidal lossless streaming.

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Hi Chris,

 

Thanks for the reply. I checked out the Auralic Aries, but at its price and footprint, I'd probably opt for a Mac Mini. I have a few 192kHz files that I'd love to listen to full potential. All said, I suppose the Mac Mini with USB output would be the best solution, agree?

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Wouldn't the Sonore SonicOrbiter SE or the soon-available microRendu be just what you are looking for? It sounds like you have ethernet in the living room now, and want usb to the dac.

Are you saying that your preference is to keep the music on the iMac in a different room but connected to a network by ethernet? Do you have a NAS?

Digital Source: Synology DS415+ NAS  and Small Green Computer SonicTransporter i5 Running Roon Core > Blue Jean Cable Cat6a >TP optical converter > Sonore OpticalRendu with Sonore LPS> Curious USB > Denafrips Pontus DAC

Analog Source: Dynavector XX2 mk2> Audiomods Series 5 silver arm > Sota Nova Series VI turntable w/Condor & Roadrunner motor controller/tachometer > Nagra BPS battery powered phono stage>

Both: BAT VK51SE preamp> Krell FPB300 power amp > Sound Lab A3 ESLs > > Custom room treatment > 50 yr. old ears(left-handed)

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Chromecast Audio.

 

I'm not sure how well it plays with Apple h/w.

 

I use MinimServer > CCA > DAC. Works like a charm. Supports up to 24/96. Limited to optical Toslink.

 

Streaming radio is a huge plus with the CCA. Everything from Tidal, Spotify, iHeartRadio is supported and works.

 

iphone Tidal app does not have chromecast support yet, does it?

 

I can vouch for Aries mini. Prefer it to my mac mini. In the U.S. it comes with a year subscription to Tidal, so the pricing is more attractive.

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Not, yet apparently, but the often mentioned BubbleUPnP Android app can get the Chromecast Audio device to stream directly from TIDAL, as well as Qobuz, Google Music & other online/cloud streaming services.

 

BTW, I don't think the Aries Mini can stream from Spotify, as required by the OP, at least not when using its own controller, the Lighning DS app.

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sbank, yes I currently have ethernet running to the living room and fiber connection. Yes, I just want a way to connect the ethernet to the dac the best way possible (cost reasonable). I have my iMac in the office and my preference would be to keep everything there and just send the audio to the dac in living room. I suppose I could just use a mac mini and then an external drive as currently I don't have a huge collection (I was kind of reborn recently to hifi!) Perhaps a NAS in the office could make sense. I'll take a look at the Sonore, thanks for suggestion.

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iphone Tidal app does not have chromecast support yet, does it?

 

Not the last time I checked.

 

Not, yet apparently, but the often mentioned BubbleUPnP Android app can get the Chromecast Audio device to stream directly from TIDAL, as well as Qobuz, Google Music & other online/cloud streaming services.

 

This is how I'm using it, and many services have a native app that supports "casting" like Spotify Premium.

 

I still wish I could add custom streams though. Right now its a workaround with Synology and Audio Station.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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sbank, yes I currently have ethernet running to the living room and fiber connection. Yes, I just want a way to connect the ethernet to the dac the best way possible (cost reasonable). I have my iMac in the office and my preference would be to keep everything there and just send the audio to the dac in living room. I suppose I could just use a mac mini and then an external drive as currently I don't have a huge collection (I was kind of reborn recently to hifi!) Perhaps a NAS in the office could make sense. I'll take a look at the Sonore, thanks for suggestion.

 

With your current setup you could use either the Sonore Sonic Orbiter SE ($299) or the pending microRendu ($640 w/o power supply) two ways and a third way if you add NAS

1) use MPD/DLNA mode and stream from your HDD attached to iMac

2) run HQ Player on iMac and use either Sonore in NAA mode

3) If you add NAS for music storage & minimserver, then you wouldn't need iMac on at all to play your own music, and you'd control with a tablet and choice of any OpenHome control point software(e.g. Lumin, Linn Kazoo, etc.)

See the Sonore Forum for gory details on all of the above. There are separate threads fro each operating mode and Jesus from Sonore answers questions there regularly. I am about 2 steps ahead of you in my limited knowledge on this topic and trying to climb the learning curve!

Digital Source: Synology DS415+ NAS  and Small Green Computer SonicTransporter i5 Running Roon Core > Blue Jean Cable Cat6a >TP optical converter > Sonore OpticalRendu with Sonore LPS> Curious USB > Denafrips Pontus DAC

Analog Source: Dynavector XX2 mk2> Audiomods Series 5 silver arm > Sota Nova Series VI turntable w/Condor & Roadrunner motor controller/tachometer > Nagra BPS battery powered phono stage>

Both: BAT VK51SE preamp> Krell FPB300 power amp > Sound Lab A3 ESLs > > Custom room treatment > 50 yr. old ears(left-handed)

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  • 1 month later...

Lot of good choices, many of them here. Partly it depends upon the player you are using on your iMac. In general, my take would be a teeny Mac Mini would handle just about anything. But so would something like a JRiver ID. ( JRiver Id ) Or a Chromecast, or a half dozen other units.

 

My solution would vary depending upon the software you are using though. iTunes, JRiver, Roon?

 

To be honest, Roon is a tailor made solution for this, with JRiver coming in just a little behind. It gets a little more complex from there. :)

 

So, with Roon:

 

Option 1.

Load the Roon Core on your iMac

Load Roon Bridge on an Intel NUC, Mac Mini, Pi, or whatever tiny bit of hardware you like.

Connect Machine with Roon Bridge to your DAC

Load Roon remote on an iPhone or iPad.

Play Music.

 

Option 2.

 

Share disk space on iMac with physical media files

Load JRMC on Intel NUC or Mac Mini

Connect DAC to second machine

Mount shared files from iMac on NUC or Mac Mini

Point JRMC Auto-import to shared disk space

Load JRemote on iPhone or iPad

Play music.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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  • 10 months later...

Long term update. Well, I'm still using the Apple TV to connect to my DAC, but in reading through the great replies, I realized I left something out that MAY have an impact on the responses.

 

My DAC is internally build into my Pre-Amp/Amp (A Perreaux 150i). As the Perreaux doesn't have any software associated with it, any source from ethernet needs to pass first through some kind of device (as mentioned, currently Apple TV) where it may be manipulated with another device such as ipad, mac, Qobuz, etc. and then passed along to the internal DAC of the Perreaux.

 

Hopefully that clarifies my need! Thanks again for all the replies!

 

Dan

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Long term update. Well, I'm still using the Apple TV to connect to my DAC, but in reading through the great replies, I realized I left something out that MAY have an impact on the responses.

 

My DAC is internally build into my Pre-Amp/Amp (A Perreaux 150i). As the Perreaux doesn't have any software associated with it, any source from ethernet needs to pass first through some kind of device (as mentioned, currently Apple TV) where it may be manipulated with another device such as ipad, mac, Qobuz, etc. and then passed along to the internal DAC of the Perreaux.

 

Hopefully that clarifies my need! Thanks again for all the replies!

 

Dan

 

Get a Bluesound Node 2. $500 and has coax digital out. Your amp dac module supports up to 24/192 via that input.

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
headphone rig:  chord qutest > bryston bha-1 > audeze lcd-3
main rig:  chord dave > parasound jc5 > kef reference 1
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I agree. The Bluesound node2 has Roon and Tidal integration AND supports airplay, etc. I can enjoy gapless playback of Tidal thru Roon. Now, I have read in numerous places that the internal DAC (which does COMPLETE MQA unfold) is as good as any DAC under $1000 or so. You can use the manual outs and/or the digital outs to feed your DAC. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If cost is a driving factor for you, you can install Kodi on your iMac, which is free, and use an RaspberryPi with a Hifiberry Digi+ to provide you with streaming via digital coax out into your DAC. For the RPi, pick the free OS you like the most. (Currently I'm running Moode.) If you are concerned about noise from the power supply, you can add an iFi iPower 5v to power the RPi. Round it off with one of Hifiberry's enclosures.

 

This option would cost you well under 100 and provide you with very high quality audio, on the order with many of the other options listed in this thread.  The downside is it's definitely DIY (you will have to assemble the streamer), so if you are the kind of person who wants a plug and play solution, you are probably better off with the SonicOrbiter SE or the Bluenote Node 2 as your streamer. Kodi will work with either of them via DNLA.

 

Kodi has a Spotify addon. I'm not sure about Tidal. 

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Thunder24, thanks for the great suggestion. I'm not afraid to go DIY, but might be looking for something a bit more robust. In my research, I've read great things about the Aurender N100. Quite a bit more cost than your suggestion! Any thoughts on the Aurender?

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