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Amp / streamer advice


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Hello,

 

I have a pair of Vintage Klipsch KG2’s I’m wanting to pair with an integrated amp + streamer for TIDAL.  I like the sound I get from my Audioquest Dragonfly Black with my Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 sitting at my desk listening from my iMac.  I’d like to replicate this same sound with my Klipsch KG2’s.  My budget is $2000.  All advice / recommendations greatly appreciated.

 

 Thanks 

ROON w/ TIDAL > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > Apple Airport Extreme > Bluesound Node 2i > Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax > Peachtree Audio Nova 150 > Monster HTS 1600 > Blue Jeans Speaker Cables > Vintage Klipsch Kg2 Speakers

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  • 1 month later...

I like the Hegel line of integrated amp. I’ll be getting one soon. It has built in streamer and DAC. I don’t remember if it supports TIDAL directly. Its built in DAC is very high SQ for its money. 

 

It really depends on what speakers you are going to pair the amp with but Hegel is pretty much good with any speakers.

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4 hours ago, Lightwave said:

I like the Hegel line of integrated amp. I’ll be getting one soon. It has built in streamer and DAC. I don’t remember if it supports TIDAL directly. Its built in DAC is very high SQ for its money. 

 

It really depends on what speakers you are going to pair the amp with but Hegel is pretty much good with any speakers.

Last time I checked it doesn't play Tidal gapless. 

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On 12/17/2020 at 7:21 AM, btlancaster24 said:

Hello,

 

I have a pair of Vintage Klipsch KG2’s I’m wanting to pair with an integrated amp + streamer for TIDAL.  I like the sound I get from my Audioquest Dragonfly Black with my Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 sitting at my desk listening from my iMac.  I’d like to replicate this same sound with my Klipsch KG2’s.  My budget is $2000.  All advice / recommendations greatly appreciated.

 

 Thanks 

I don't recommend this approach, its a sure guarantee of obsolescence in the streaming section. Look instead for an integrated DAC/amp with bluetooth, that way

you can do wire connect to the iMac or use bluetooth with your cellphone. Something like a NAD 368 runs $999 USD which leaves you $1k to play with if

you want a new (separate) streamer.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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On 1/30/2021 at 2:29 PM, davide256 said:

I don't recommend this approach, its a sure guarantee of obsolescence in the streaming section. Look instead for an integrated DAC/amp with bluetooth, that way

you can do wire connect to the iMac or use bluetooth with your cellphone. Something like a NAD 368 runs $999 USD which leaves you $1k to play with if

you want a new (separate) streamer.

Since I made this thread I've actually been auditioning a Peachtree Audio Nova150 w/ a Bluesound Node 2i.  However, I'm quite disappointed with the lack of bass / bottom end from the Peachtree streaming TIDAL w/ my Klipsch KG2's.  I have the Node connected to the Peachtree w/ an Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax so it bypasses the DAC in the Node and uses the Sabre DAC in the Peachtree.  I know that my speakers can do much more than what I've been hearing with this set up.  The receiver that was purchased with these speakers is a Denon DRA-25 and this combo sounded great together 35yrs ago listening to CD's.  Although, the Denon has some issues with the right channel and some distortion.  So, now that the Peachtree has not performed as well as I thought it would.. (having the Sabre DAC) I'm wondering which direction to take.  The other receivers I've been considering are the Marantz PM-8006 paired with a Matrix Audio Element streamer which has a Sabre DAC or picking up a used Denon DRA-25 off eBay and also pairing it with a Matrix Audio Element streamer.  But, now that you've recommended the NAD C368 .. I'm curious to know how close it would get me to my original goal of replicating the sound I get from my desktop set up.  And also would like to know your thoughts on the Peachtree Nova150.  As well as my other ideas with the Marantz PM-8006 or a used Denon DRA-25.  Note: I do not listen to classical, jazz or any symphony.  Also, I prefer WiFi streaming vs. Bluetooth.  Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!

ROON w/ TIDAL > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > Apple Airport Extreme > Bluesound Node 2i > Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax > Peachtree Audio Nova 150 > Monster HTS 1600 > Blue Jeans Speaker Cables > Vintage Klipsch Kg2 Speakers

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8 minutes ago, btlancaster24 said:

Since I made this thread I've actually been auditioning a Peachtree Audio Nova150 w/ a Bluesound Node 2i.  However, I'm quite disappointed with the lack of bass / bottom end from the Peachtree streaming TIDAL w/ my Klipsch KG2's.  I have the Node connected to the Peachtree w/ an Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax so it bypasses the DAC in the Node and uses the Sabre DAC in the Peachtree.  I know that my speakers can do much more than what I've been hearing with this set up.  The receiver that was purchased with these speakers is a Denon DRA-25 and this combo sounded great together 35yrs ago listening to CD's.  Although, the Denon has some issues with the right channel and some distortion.  So, now that the Peachtree has not performed as well as I thought it would.. (having the Sabre DAC) I'm wondering which direction to take.  The other receivers I've been considering are the Marantz PM-8006 paired with a Matrix Audio Element streamer which has a Sabre DAC or picking up a used Denon DRA-25 off eBay and also pairing it with a Matrix Audio Element streamer.  But, now that you've recommended the NAD C368 .. I'm curious to know how close it would get me to my original goal of replicating the sound I get from my desktop set up.  And also would like to know your thoughts on the Peachtree Nova150.  As well as my other ideas with the Marantz PM-8006 or a used Denon DRA-25.  Note: I do not listen to classical, jazz or any symphony.  Also, I prefer WiFi streaming vs. Bluetooth.  Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!

Bass requires wattage and good damping factor to prevent driver “flapping”. These are easier to get with solid state amps. Tubes are great for mid range tone color but more challenged for performance at frequency extremes at the introductory product level for tubes. A good class AB solid state integrated from Denon, Rotel or NAD may fix the bass issue. But do try a Disc player first to see if the bass lack is unique to the blue sound source or stays the same with different sources fed to the Peachtree

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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23 minutes ago, davide256 said:

Bass requires wattage and good damping factor to prevent driver “flapping”. These are easier to get with solid state amps. Tubes are great for mid range tone color but more challenged for performance at frequency extremes at the introductory product level for tubes. A good class AB solid state integrated from Denon, Rotel or NAD may fix the bass issue. But do try a Disc player first to see if the bass lack is unique to the blue sound source or stays the same with different sources fed to the Peachtree

I'm not familiar with what you're explaining.  Which model of Denon or Rotel would you recommend?  I've heard that Denon is not what it used to be.  Not familiar with Rotel or NAD.  Which one do you think would deliver what I'm trying to achieve?  Thanks again.  

ROON w/ TIDAL > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > Apple Airport Extreme > Bluesound Node 2i > Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax > Peachtree Audio Nova 150 > Monster HTS 1600 > Blue Jeans Speaker Cables > Vintage Klipsch Kg2 Speakers

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2 hours ago, btlancaster24 said:

Since I made this thread I've actually been auditioning a Peachtree Audio Nova150 w/ a Bluesound Node 2i.  However, I'm quite disappointed with the lack of bass / bottom end from the Peachtree streaming TIDAL w/ my Klipsch KG2's.  I have the Node connected to the Peachtree w/ an Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax so it bypasses the DAC in the Node and uses the Sabre DAC in the Peachtree.  I know that my speakers can do much more than what I've been hearing with this set up.  The receiver that was purchased with these speakers is a Denon DRA-25 and this combo sounded great together 35yrs ago listening to CD's.  Although, the Denon has some issues with the right channel and some distortion.  So, now that the Peachtree has not performed as well as I thought it would.. (having the Sabre DAC) I'm wondering which direction to take.  The other receivers I've been considering are the Marantz PM-8006 paired with a Matrix Audio Element streamer which has a Sabre DAC or picking up a used Denon DRA-25 off eBay and also pairing it with a Matrix Audio Element streamer.  But, now that you've recommended the NAD C368 .. I'm curious to know how close it would get me to my original goal of replicating the sound I get from my desktop set up.  And also would like to know your thoughts on the Peachtree Nova150.  As well as my other ideas with the Marantz PM-8006 or a used Denon DRA-25.  Note: I do not listen to classical, jazz or any symphony.  Also, I prefer WiFi streaming vs. Bluetooth.  Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!

Try the AQ Black into the Peachtree, if no improvement you need a new amp.

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11 hours ago, Rexp said:

Try the AQ Black into the Peachtree, if no improvement you need a new amp.

How do you recommend connecting the Dragonfly to the Peachtree?  

ROON w/ TIDAL > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > Apple Airport Extreme > Bluesound Node 2i > Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax > Peachtree Audio Nova 150 > Monster HTS 1600 > Blue Jeans Speaker Cables > Vintage Klipsch Kg2 Speakers

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19 hours ago, btlancaster24 said:

I'm not familiar with what you're explaining.  Which model of Denon or Rotel would you recommend?  I've heard that Denon is not what it used to be.  Not familiar with Rotel or NAD.  Which one do you think would deliver what I'm trying to achieve?  Thanks again.  

So thinking this through

 

1) you have an iMac  you just need Roon or a like server application that integrates Tidal for streaming. The iMac should work perfectly fine, although if you are storage limited with growing local library you may want offload your library to  a NAS. While Roon has an annual subscription cost it enhances the streaming experience and doesn't obsolesce. If you don't want to use your iMac that does lean towards a media server purchase, the Sonictransporter i5 with built in CD ripping is very sweet at $1090

 

https://roonlabs.com/

 

https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/collections/audio-server/products/sonictransporter-i5-cdr?variant=15405993558050

 

2) most of what goes wrong with digital audio happens in the device feeding the DAC. One of the more reliable off the shelf solutions is a microRendu renderer endpoint, you connect it to the network, connect the USB port to your DAC and just stream to it from your server. Runs $399 without power supply, you can buy their cheapest LPS for about $140 additional or you can cut corners and buy a simple SMPS power supply from Uptone Audio for $17. To do better you really have to spend a lot more or be a  dedicated hobbyist with a high tolerance for complex solutions.

 

https://www.sonore.us/microRendu.html

 

https://uptoneaudio.com/products/uptone-branded-7-5v-4-8a-36w-smps-with-internal-ground-shunt

 

3) Looks like the newer NAD"s are jumping on the BluOS and Class D bandwagon. So cancel that recommendation. Took a look at the Denon units,

wasn't impressed with their current offerings either.

 

I would suggest not settling for less than 60W class AB amplification because your speaker isn't that efficient (90db). Any built in DAC section needs

to includes asynch USB for computer audio. So some workable candidates

 

Rotel a12 ($999) 60w class AB amplifier with Bluetooth , asynch USB DAC support and remote control

 

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/rotel-a12-integrated-amplifier-review

 

Cambridge CXA81 ($1299) is a little newer design, 80w class AB amplifier with Bluetooth, asynch USB DAC support and remote control

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/cambridge-audio-cxa81-integrated-amplifier

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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14 hours ago, btlancaster24 said:

How do you recommend connecting the Dragonfly to the Peachtree?  

  •  
 

TIDAL desktop app > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > AQ Dragon Tail 2.0 > AQ Jitterbug > Dragonfly Black 1.07 > Peachtree

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On 2/6/2021 at 3:35 PM, davide256 said:

So thinking this through

 

1) you have an iMac  you just need Roon or a like server application that integrates Tidal for streaming. The iMac should work perfectly fine, although if you are storage limited with growing local library you may want offload your library to  a NAS. While Roon has an annual subscription cost it enhances the streaming experience and doesn't obsolesce. If you don't want to use your iMac that does lean towards a media server purchase, the Sonictransporter i5 with built in CD ripping is very sweet at $1090

 

https://roonlabs.com/

 

https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/collections/audio-server/products/sonictransporter-i5-cdr?variant=15405993558050

 

2) most of what goes wrong with digital audio happens in the device feeding the DAC. One of the more reliable off the shelf solutions is a microRendu renderer endpoint, you connect it to the network, connect the USB port to your DAC and just stream to it from your server. Runs $399 without power supply, you can buy their cheapest LPS for about $140 additional or you can cut corners and buy a simple SMPS power supply from Uptone Audio for $17. To do better you really have to spend a lot more or be a  dedicated hobbyist with a high tolerance for complex solutions.

 

https://www.sonore.us/microRendu.html

 

https://uptoneaudio.com/products/uptone-branded-7-5v-4-8a-36w-smps-with-internal-ground-shunt

 

3) Looks like the newer NAD"s are jumping on the BluOS and Class D bandwagon. So cancel that recommendation. Took a look at the Denon units,

wasn't impressed with their current offerings either.

 

I would suggest not settling for less than 60W class AB amplification because your speaker isn't that efficient (90db). Any built in DAC section needs

to includes asynch USB for computer audio. So some workable candidates

 

Rotel a12 ($999) 60w class AB amplifier with Bluetooth , asynch USB DAC support and remote control

 

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/rotel-a12-integrated-amplifier-review

 

Cambridge CXA81 ($1299) is a little newer design, 80w class AB amplifier with Bluetooth, asynch USB DAC support and remote control

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/cambridge-audio-cxa81-integrated-amplifier

So, how would the Cambridge CXA81 be different than the Peachtree?  Btw, I'm pretty sure that the Peachtree doesn't have tubes.  Also, I've already been using Roon over WiFi from my iMac.  Not really sure what more it does for me than using TIDAL Connect or BluOS.  And I rarely listen to any of my CD collection stored in iTunes/Apple Music.  I prefer to just stream from TIDAL.

ROON w/ TIDAL > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > Apple Airport Extreme > Bluesound Node 2i > Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax > Peachtree Audio Nova 150 > Monster HTS 1600 > Blue Jeans Speaker Cables > Vintage Klipsch Kg2 Speakers

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1 hour ago, btlancaster24 said:

So, how would the Cambridge CXA81 be different than the Peachtree?  Btw, I'm pretty sure that the Peachtree doesn't have tubes.  Also, I've already been using Roon over WiFi from my iMac.  Not really sure what more it does for me than using TIDAL Connect or BluOS.  And I rarely listen to any of my CD collection stored in iTunes/Apple Music.  I prefer to just stream from TIDAL.

So this is the Peachtree that I was used to,  quoting from their site

 

"In 2007 Peachtree Audio introduced a new integrated amplifier that immediately and forever changed the amplifier landscape. This amplifier - our original Decco - was groundbreaking for its time. It had a unique industrial design with an aluminum front panel, a simple button and knob user interface and a rounded wood case finished with beautiful veneers. Inside, it housed a class A/B power amplifier, a tube buffer visible through a window in the front panel and, most significantly, a USB input with built-in DAC to accept a direct connection from a Mac or PC! "Computer audio" was born, with Peachtree's Decco and Nova amplifiers on the leading edge, and with computer audio a defining part of Peachtree's identity."

 

Now it appears that they have dumped the tube buffer and like NAD gone the Class D amplifier route. Not my cup of tea. Doesn't explain why you didn't

like the bass with the Peachtree unit. Have you tried a different source yet to see if  problem stays with amp or changes with source?

 

Does your Tidal app on the iMac support UPNP/DLNA streaming, if so you don't need Roon, just a UPNP/DLNA endpoint device. The microRendu also supports

an Airplay emulator but I've only used PC's for streaming so no experience using airplay.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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On 2/7/2021 at 9:04 PM, davide256 said:

So this is the Peachtree that I was used to,  quoting from their site

 

"In 2007 Peachtree Audio introduced a new integrated amplifier that immediately and forever changed the amplifier landscape. This amplifier - our original Decco - was groundbreaking for its time. It had a unique industrial design with an aluminum front panel, a simple button and knob user interface and a rounded wood case finished with beautiful veneers. Inside, it housed a class A/B power amplifier, a tube buffer visible through a window in the front panel and, most significantly, a USB input with built-in DAC to accept a direct connection from a Mac or PC! "Computer audio" was born, with Peachtree's Decco and Nova amplifiers on the leading edge, and with computer audio a defining part of Peachtree's identity."

 

Now it appears that they have dumped the tube buffer and like NAD gone the Class D amplifier route. Not my cup of tea. Doesn't explain why you didn't

like the bass with the Peachtree unit. Have you tried a different source yet to see if  problem stays with amp or changes with source?

 

Does your Tidal app on the iMac support UPNP/DLNA streaming, if so you don't need Roon, just a UPNP/DLNA endpoint device. The microRendu also supports

an Airplay emulator but I've only used PC's for streaming so no experience using airplay.

I think Tidal supports UPNP/DLNA streaming.  Also, I've checked into the Cambridge and Rotel both being A/B.  The sales guy at Music Direct steered me away from the Cambridge & Rotel then suggested ARCAM SA20 which is Class G.  What is your take on that one?  Thanks again.

ROON w/ TIDAL > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > Apple Airport Extreme > Bluesound Node 2i > Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax > Peachtree Audio Nova 150 > Monster HTS 1600 > Blue Jeans Speaker Cables > Vintage Klipsch Kg2 Speakers

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1 hour ago, btlancaster24 said:

I think Tidal supports UPNP/DLNA streaming.  Also, I've checked into the Cambridge and Rotel both being A/B.  The sales guy at Music Direct steered me away from the Cambridge & Rotel then suggested ARCAM SA20 which is Class G.  What is your take on that one?  Thanks again.

The amp is probably on par with the Cambridge. But per AVForum review the DAC section doesn’t include asynchronous USB, sounds like it’s just standard USB vs the audio protocol. If true, the DAC section is seriously hobbled for computer audio 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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4 hours ago, btlancaster24 said:

I think Tidal supports UPNP/DLNA streaming.  Also, I've checked into the Cambridge and Rotel both being A/B.  The sales guy at Music Direct steered me away from the Cambridge & Rotel then suggested ARCAM SA20 which is Class G.  What is your take on that one?  Thanks again.

Don't forget you need a separate streamer if not included in the amp as per the SA20 or are you planning to use your mac/dragonfly as your source? 

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19 hours ago, Rexp said:

Don't forget you need a separate streamer if not included in the amp as per the SA20 or are you planning to use your mac/dragonfly as your source? 

Just using the Node2i w/ AQ Digital coax.  After what davide256 said about the SA20 I think I'll pass on it.

ROON w/ TIDAL > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > Apple Airport Extreme > Bluesound Node 2i > Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax > Peachtree Audio Nova 150 > Monster HTS 1600 > Blue Jeans Speaker Cables > Vintage Klipsch Kg2 Speakers

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21 hours ago, Rexp said:

How does it compare to the mac/dragonfly? I tried the node and didn't like it. 

Did not connect it to my mac/dragonfly.  I did not notice a difference in sound between using digital coax or RCA with the Node.

ROON w/ TIDAL > iMac (21.5", Late 2013) 3.1 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 - 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 > macOS Catalina 10.15.7 > 250 Apple Flash Storage / SSD > Apple Airport Extreme > Bluesound Node 2i > Audioquest Cinnamon Digital Coax > Peachtree Audio Nova 150 > Monster HTS 1600 > Blue Jeans Speaker Cables > Vintage Klipsch Kg2 Speakers

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