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Best Streamer without a music server (no Roon etc)


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On 1/29/2021 at 7:58 AM, Kal Rubinson said:

And my experience suggests the opposite, especially since it requires additional functions in the source device.  Can you tell us what your conclusion is based on?

Kal or others, my listening is exclusively via Qobuz with a Lampizator Big 7 or Tubadour III SE DAC. No music files. No CD’s anymore. Since you’re saying USB is superior to SPDIF, am I better off continuing to stream through my MacBook Pro directly (or though an ifi Micro USB 3.0 with their Gemini USB cable) into the USB B input of the DAC vs. a music streamer such as Lumin or BlueSound via SPDIF? If so, this would be most convenient to me and avoid the necessity of purchasing a separate streamer. I’ve always been told to go the streamer route and would love to hear your recommendations. Thank you. 

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12 minutes ago, RDSChicago said:

Kal or others, my listening is exclusively via Qobuz with a Lampizator Big 7 or Tubadour III SE DAC. No music files. No CD’s anymore. Since you’re saying USB is superior to SPDIF, am I better off continuing to stream through my MacBook Pro directly (or though an ifi Micro USB 3.0 with their Gemini USB cable) into the USB B input of the DAC vs. a music streamer such as Lumin or BlueSound via SPDIF? If so, this would be most convenient to me and avoid the necessity of purchasing a separate streamer. I’ve always been told to go the streamer route and would love to hear your recommendations. Thank you. 

Hi - I believe there is broad consensus that a dedicated streamer will always outperform a PC or Mac connected directly. It also makes control simpler in my view as I don’t want or have my home computer in the living room. 

 

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1 hour ago, RDSChicago said:

Since you’re saying USB is superior to SPDIF, am I better off continuing to stream through my MacBook Pro directly (or though an ifi Micro USB 3.0 with their Gemini USB cable) into the USB B input of the DAC vs. a music streamer such as Lumin or BlueSound via SPDIF?

I prefer USB to S/PDIF for reasons stated, all other things being equal.  In your scenario, they are not and I cannot predict what you might expect.  I\

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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1 hour ago, m5sime said:

Hi - I believe there is broad consensus that a dedicated streamer will always outperform a PC or Mac connected directly. It also makes control simpler in my view as I don’t want or have my home computer in the living room. 

 

Not true and dedicated streamers also do have to be watched for security issues. And some dedicated streamers are no longer updated when new versions come out. That is a huge issue. Streamers are basically dedicated PC's.

Current:  JRiver 26 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an AMD A10-5700 with 8 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Amplification - Audio Research SP-16 > Pioneer M-22 - Bow Technologies Wazoo Integrated (great amp - silly name)

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage - KEF LS50 - Revel M126Be - others......

Cables: Tara Labs RCS Reference speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

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42 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

Too general a statement, IMHO.

Probably 😂 I don’t recall seeing a reviewer of a streamer comparing with their laptop and saying the laptop was better.. hence the general opinion that dedicating streaming to an optimised device is more widely reported to be best. Perhaps a specific DAC is very agnostic of the source, but again from what I have read over the years, many are affected by streamer quality (hence ever more high end streamers exist, people modify power supplies, endless devices are available to ‘improve’ usb audio. 

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48 minutes ago, m5sime said:

Probably 😂 I don’t recall seeing a reviewer of a streamer comparing with their laptop and saying the laptop was better.. hence the general opinion that dedicating streaming to an optimised device is more widely reported to be best.

Sure.  I have to admit that I have not found a proprietary streamer box (including program control) that I would prefer to using a dedicated PC but that's because none of them are capable of multichannel.  

51 minutes ago, m5sime said:

Perhaps a specific DAC is very agnostic of the source, but again from what I have read over the years, many are affected by streamer quality (hence ever more high end streamers exist, people modify power supplies, endless devices are available to ‘improve’ usb audio. 

Mebbe but i do not think that all of those efforts are realistically valid proof of it.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/21/2020 at 1:33 AM, Daren F said:

It also supports Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect and Qobuz Connect


Qobuz told me that they do not have anything called Qobuz Connect. The only way to use the native Qobuz app to stream is via Chromecast. Are you able to stream to Node2i via Qobuz app?? Please advise. That is the solution I am looking for and I can only do that now with a Primare NP5. 

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13 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

The Qobuz Connect logo certainly makes it appear like there's something called Qobuz Connect. 


Yes. They did have something in the works but that’s no longer in play. They told me they will be removing it from their website. Quite a bummer. I hope Qobuz brings their own connect technology like Tidal and Spotify. 
 

 

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14 hours ago, BrownMagic said:


Qobuz told me that they do not have anything called Qobuz Connect. The only way to use the native Qobuz app to stream is via Chromecast. Are you able to stream to Node2i via Qobuz app?? Please advise. That is the solution I am looking for and I can only do that now with a Primare NP5. 

 

No, sorry my mistake. It would be nice if it did though.

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4 minutes ago, RDSChicago said:

I’m having trouble getting tune-in on my X1 to work as well. Peter, can you advise? Thanks. 

The app seems to ask for a username but then does not provide a password box. I went and registered with TuneIn and hence was baffled that the App does not ask for the two fields.

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I forgot to add that the UI Mini can upsample audio feeds.. I only tried 44.1 KHz standard PCM from TIDAL (FLAC). It allows for 2x, 3x etc and also conversion to DSD.. When streaming into the Mytek DAC using USB (but again on amplified desktop hifi speakers) I could not hear any benefit. In fact in general, I thought the original sounded a teeny bit better. My DAC is pretty good by most standards, so expect this may have been less of an advantage to that DAC. I could not hear anything re DSD vs PCM either. Leaving that setting off.. Naturally the upper clock rates and DSD need the USB connection vs AES/SPDIF.

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11 hours ago, RDSChicago said:

I’m having trouble getting tune-in on my X1 to work as well. Peter, can you advise?

 

You have to have a (free) TuneIn account.  Please use a web browser or other means to add radio stations to TuneIn favorites.

 

In Lumin app, enter your TuneIn account name or e-mail.  Lumin can then retrieve your favorite TuneIn channels.

Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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11 hours ago, m5sime said:
  • Using a cheapo USB cable and a broadcast grade v short AES/EBU XLR cable into my DAC I generally preferred the AES (confirming my assumption that AES sounds better into my DAC (Mytel Brooklyn)
  •  
    • On boot it says network error when in fact it is still booting-up and has a network connection (perhaps waiting for a DHCP lease). Could be masked for 20 secs to make a nicer boot sequence as the network issue isnt valid yet 

 

1. If you're going to try AES or SPDIF, please use a cable no shorter than 1.5m

 

2. The network error is a DHCP timeout falsealarm.  In the next firmware we'll further increase it.  Apparently some network setups yield slower DHCP reply than our office environment.

Peter Lie

LUMIN Firmware Lead

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12 hours ago, wklie said:

 

You have to have a (free) TuneIn account.  Please use a web browser or other means to add radio stations to TuneIn favorites.

 

In Lumin app, enter your TuneIn account name or e-mail.  Lumin can then retrieve your favorite TuneIn channels.

Confirmed working.. it is a bit confusing re the 'login' as there are no password fields.. Unless I had a radio station set to 'favourite' in the web app online, then LUMIN didn't do anything. Once I had a channel added, then it appeared with just the login username (email). TuneIn obviously allows favourites to be pulled without any authentication (which seems odd)..

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12 hours ago, wklie said:

 

1. If you're going to try AES or SPDIF, please use a cable no shorter than 1.5m

 

2. The network error is a DHCP timeout falsealarm.  In the next firmware we'll further increase it.  Apparently some network setups yield slower DHCP reply than our office environment.

 

Re 2. - Thank you! DHCP in a home setup can take a small amount of time..

Re 1. - mine is v short (12cm of cable).. Deliberately to remove cable effects.. What are the reasons for the 1.5M? I have read this somewhere else re SPDIF before. 

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17 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

This has been recommended to me by some of the best engineers in HiFi as well. 

Any details why? I read something around wavelengths of SPDIF signals. I assume if someone were designing a product for an internal linkage of SPDIF (and why would they), they would have low tx power for a v short distance. I wonder if some products prefer some attenuation? (not that 1.5M of decent spec 110 ohm AES cable has much loss).. 

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Did some quick searches and as often the case in HiFi, uncovered the Mariana Trench in discussions.. Put simply - the concept seems to be all about impedance mismatch and cable reflections and 1.5M being a supposed ideal in balance of reflection attenuation vs pickup of additional noise.. Interesting that so few promote a 1.5m cable as a sellable unit.. Some explanation here. https://www.lessloss.com/lessloss-digital-cable-p-195.html

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