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MikePM

Getting started with streaming on budget

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I have read this site for some time and some topics are quite intimidating.  I am hoping to jump into the streaming fray but would like to dip my toe in slowly.  I have some competence with computers, but nothing like most participants here and hesitate to try setting up software on my own.  Further, I hope to be somewhat future proof--I bought a 4K ready a/v receiver only to have the HDMI standard changed by the time everything was hooked up.  

 

I'm looking to spend about $600 to get started streaming to my stereo, with an ultimate goal of having a roon server with multiple endpoints.  For now I plan to use the Marantz SR7008's DAC until my next purchase, but can also use a Dragonfly Black that I use with an old iphone.  My thoughts regarding options follow, but am really here asking, begging, for advice on how to get started with streaming  uncompressed audio to my stereo.  

 

(1) Sonic Transporter - requires big budget stretch (and with an Allo Digione player as endpoint it 50% over budget), further, would like to use Deezer's new hi-end service with mqa over Tidal's due to larger catalog, and flow - not sure when or if Roon will eventually incorporate more steaming services;

(2) Roon Rock NUC, - Does it need an endpoint or can you stream directly from NUC to DAC until adding one later?  Cost is close to transporter, but less sound quality and I would need to build and set it up myself; 

(3) Bluesound Node 2 appears rather "buggy" from online posts about it, and based on opinion at local hi-fi shop that couldn't get it to run when I went to listen.  However, just yesterday they announced they would be adding new "Deezer" premium and it can function as a roon endpoint if I ever get a fully functional Roon server going;

(4) Auralic Aries Mini - the lightning DS appears to be more stable than the node, but it has limited streaming service options (no Deezer premium) and will not work as roon endpoint if its moved to a bedroom in the future; and finally

(3) Sonos connect with SPDIF ipurifier - plus includes WAF level software, and multiple streaming service options.  Concerns include little in the way of upgrade path and lowest sound quality of the lot.

 

 


1) Selah Audio Fedele Speakers (Revel in ceiling surrounds) QNAP TS-251 NAS accessed w/ a Ruku Ultra through SPDIF ipurifier into a Marantz SR7008 A/V receiver.

2) Freya + preamp, Hypex NC400 Amp, Zaph L18 Speakers, Martin Logan Dynamo sub-woofer

Bluesound Node 2 and Pro-Ject Expression w/ AT440mlb.

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Do you have a NAS?   The Auralic mini is hard to beat for the money BUT, if you have a NAS and just want to get your feet wet, a chromecast audio for 35$, a optical cable to your receiver, BubbleUpnp on your cell and your off and running.


Den: Kef LS50 Wireless, Velodyne SPL1200, Lumin D1, Cayin SCD50T, Jolida D9, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Wireworld Eclipse Silver 7 IC

Livingroom: T+A PA1530 r Integrated Amplifier, L.K.S audio MH Da004, Tyler Acoustics Highland H2, High Fidelity Reveal IC, Wireworld Eclipse Silver 8 Speaker cable. 

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I have a QNAP TS 251 with 2gig memory.  Part of my goal is to eventually end up with a roon server and three endpoints.  To that end, I was thinking of starting with the node 2 which I can eventually shift to an endpoint in the bedroom.  The aries mini's lack of endpoint capability limits its use for ultimately building a system.  

 

Does the cell phone to chromecast interact well with Tidal or Deezer apps?  And, is it easy for the wife to operate?


1) Selah Audio Fedele Speakers (Revel in ceiling surrounds) QNAP TS-251 NAS accessed w/ a Ruku Ultra through SPDIF ipurifier into a Marantz SR7008 A/V receiver.

2) Freya + preamp, Hypex NC400 Amp, Zaph L18 Speakers, Martin Logan Dynamo sub-woofer

Bluesound Node 2 and Pro-Ject Expression w/ AT440mlb.

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I think #2 is going to give you the most flexibility. I have to disagree with "Cost is close to transporter, but less sound quality and I would need to build and set it up myself"

 

1st. You don't need to go with a NUC. I just tore down a BeeLink AP34 Intel 3450 based system (see the tear down here). It has a quad core CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC SSD, and M.2 2242 expansion for a 2nd drive.  Cost was $179 to my door. 

 

2nd: Sound quality is 100% in the external DAC because with these SOC's (Systems on a Chip) by Intel (and Intel is the primary creator behind USB) there isn't going to be a problem with it's implementation. 

 

3rd. You can use a linear regulated PSU with this unit. It only requires 12VDC at 1.5 amp. $30-40 gets you there. 

 

4th. Noise free. The entire computer is solid state and no fans.

 

I'm currently running Prime95 to torture test this computer so I'm going to let that run for 24 hours (way overkill in terms of time as most call for just 3 hours). 

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Are you using Roon Rock on the Beelink or staying with Windows 10?  If windows, how hard is it to optimiaze to run roon server?


1) Selah Audio Fedele Speakers (Revel in ceiling surrounds) QNAP TS-251 NAS accessed w/ a Ruku Ultra through SPDIF ipurifier into a Marantz SR7008 A/V receiver.

2) Freya + preamp, Hypex NC400 Amp, Zaph L18 Speakers, Martin Logan Dynamo sub-woofer

Bluesound Node 2 and Pro-Ject Expression w/ AT440mlb.

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1 minute ago, MikePM said:

Are you using Roon Rock on the Beelink or staying with Windows 10?  If windows, how hard is it to optimiaze to run roon server?

 

Going to try it both ways...

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Are you planning to use one of the Raspberry Pi's as an endpoint?  


1) Selah Audio Fedele Speakers (Revel in ceiling surrounds) QNAP TS-251 NAS accessed w/ a Ruku Ultra through SPDIF ipurifier into a Marantz SR7008 A/V receiver.

2) Freya + preamp, Hypex NC400 Amp, Zaph L18 Speakers, Martin Logan Dynamo sub-woofer

Bluesound Node 2 and Pro-Ject Expression w/ AT440mlb.

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5 minutes ago, MikePM said:

Are you planning to use one of the Raspberry Pi's as an endpoint?  

 

No plans as of right now. From everything I've read the RPi's make a great endpoint. 

 

I have a few plans for the BeeLink and this is in for torture testing and then onto some builds. I minimally need Windows 10 support which is why I picked it up.

 

There is an 8GB RAM version of this for $199 with 64GB eMMC also. For just whipping around in Windows 10 it's quick. Boot times are like 10 seconds to log in screen with this. 

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5 hours ago, MikePM said:

I have read this site for some time and some topics are quite intimidating.  I am hoping to jump into the streaming fray but would like to dip my toe in slowly.  I have some competence with computers, but nothing like most participants here and hesitate to try setting up software on my own.  Further, I hope to be somewhat future proof--I bought a 4K ready a/v receiver only to have the HDMI standard changed by the time everything was hooked up.  

 

I'm looking to spend about $600 to get started streaming to my stereo, with an ultimate goal of having a roon server with multiple endpoints.  For now I plan to use the Marantz SR7008's DAC until my next purchase, but can also use a Dragonfly Black that I use with an old iphone.  My thoughts regarding options follow, but am really here asking, begging, for advice on how to get started with streaming  uncompressed audio to my stereo.  

 

(1) Sonic Transporter - requires big budget stretch (and with an Allo Digione player as endpoint it 50% over budget), further, would like to use Deezer's new hi-end service with mqa over Tidal's due to larger catalog, and flow - not sure when or if Roon will eventually incorporate more steaming services;

(2) Roon Rock NUC, - Does it need an endpoint or can you stream directly from NUC to DAC until adding one later?  Cost is close to transporter, but less sound quality and I would need to build and set it up myself; 

(3) Bluesound Node 2 appears rather "buggy" from online posts about it, and based on opinion at local hi-fi shop that couldn't get it to run when I went to listen.  However, just yesterday they announced they would be adding new "Deezer" premium and it can function as a roon endpoint if I ever get a fully functional Roon server going;

(4) Auralic Aries Mini - the lightning DS appears to be more stable than the node, but it has limited streaming service options (no Deezer premium) and will not work as roon endpoint if its moved to a bedroom in the future; and finally

(3) Sonos connect with SPDIF ipurifier - plus includes WAF level software, and multiple streaming service options.  Concerns include little in the way of upgrade path and lowest sound quality of the lot.

 

 

 

WTF are you on about? The Aries Mini does work as a Roon end point...

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The aries web site notes the following:  

 

"Both ARIES and ARIES LE are sharing exactly same software structure with same DSP engine and Roon Endpoint support. They will have DSD upsampling, room correction functions available coming in the future. The ARIES MINI, due to hardware limitation, will not coming with those audiophile features."

 

This seems to imply that the mini does not have the endpoint functionality.  Is the mini an endpoint?


1) Selah Audio Fedele Speakers (Revel in ceiling surrounds) QNAP TS-251 NAS accessed w/ a Ruku Ultra through SPDIF ipurifier into a Marantz SR7008 A/V receiver.

2) Freya + preamp, Hypex NC400 Amp, Zaph L18 Speakers, Martin Logan Dynamo sub-woofer

Bluesound Node 2 and Pro-Ject Expression w/ AT440mlb.

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