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Best streamer under 7000


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Would love some.advice from my fellow music appreciaters

I am confused wading my may through the streamer,dac jungle.Being in Hobart access to equipment is limited as is any opportunity to listening prior to purchase.I am looking  for a streamer dac combo or separates up to 7000 

I am incredibly sensitive to bright sounding gear so neutral to warm is.a prerequisite. I've looked at EVERYTHING. Can't decide ,Auralic vega g1, PS Audio direct stream ,Electrocompaniet ec2,Innuos streamer with Denafrips dac .HELP .I have JbL s4700 speakers and alternate between a plinius sa103 and a prima.luna valve.amp been using a teac nt 505 and find it to be good .I want great lol

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Your budget is more than I have had to play with, but I have found that a few questions recur. 1) Do you want one thing to do both jobs: dac and streamer? 2) What is your source?

 

Regarding the first question, this narrows the field. Do you want a smaller set of boxes or do you want to upgrade with ease? If the latter, the two box is probably better because you separate out the functions and therefore are not necessarily locked into particular tech.

 

Regarding the second question, you need to make sure whatever you buy streams what you want (personal network, roon, Tidal, spotify, etc). For most this is not an issue, but I use chromecast and only a few allow this.

 

Also, it also depends on whether you like DIY. If you do, the various raspberry pi options are worth investigating

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Thanks for the reply .I have no preference for all in one or separates. I only generally upgrade rarely ..Tidal and.qobuz are the sevices I prefer .I don't use.roon as I don't wish to use a.core.unit .DYI I would certainly be happy with .I am seeking the holy grail for my money .Aren't we all. So I suppose advice as to what people experience with equipment would be well and thankfully received 

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Suggest looking for a streamer/DAC combination to simplify things.  Furthermore, you do not have to worry about the USB link, what cable to get, what reclocker if any etc.  Look at something from Lumin (e.g. T2) or Auralic (e.g. Vega G1) and they will serve you well for some time. 

 

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I second the Lumin T2. Amazing unit. Bullet proof build. Super stable. Supports a vast array of streaming platforms/protocols. And Tidal Connect has just been added.

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If you are not opposed to separates, have you considered a Bluesound NODE with a whatever DAC you choose?  I find them to be superb and frankly not out of place as digital source in even the highest end systems.  
 

Don’t rule out.  With your budget there are some absolutely superb DACs that could pair for an outstanding streaming solution.

 

Given your preference for a warmer sound signature I would look at Chord range.  

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Hi

Im running separates and really rate the quality, i have a musical paradise tube Dac, hours of fun rolling tubes and caps

and as a streamer a Raspberry Pi with a whole host of Ian Canada Boards ( more details if needed) 

And way way under your budget

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25 minutes ago, was_a said:

I'd spend $5000 - on separates:

 

Stack Audio Link II with matching linear supply

Denafrips Pontus DAC

Hi Mate could you please tell me where you purchased the stack unit .thanks so much

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17 hours ago, was_a said:

I'd spend $5000 - on separates:

 

Stack Audio Link II with matching linear supply

Denafrips Pontus DAC

 

I believe the Stack Audio Link II is based on a Raspberry Pi and streaming support is equivalent to what you get with Ropieee. You might want to check with Stack Audio regarding future support for Tidal Connect, Qobuz, Tune-in Radio, etc. 

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Everything is supported, as the website will tell you😉

 

The Link II is an extremely good sounding streamer, housed in a weighty chunk of aluminium, the inner workings designed by digital guru John Westlake. Natural-sounding tonality, very low noise-floor, balanced signature across the frequency range. Further benefits come from a minimal-software approach where only the necessary streaming protocols can be enabled on the dashboard page; most are disabled by default.

 

According to Theo Stack, many Link users pipe Qobuz or Tidal through Roon, and are happy campers. The Link also supports HQPlayer's NAA protocol and that can be used as a Roon endpoint too.

 

Personally I prefer to stream local files and for everyday listening I use Asset UPnP / Twonky servers and BubbleUPnP / Hi-Fi Cast remote control points. For more serious listening I like Audirvana 3.5 controlled from the computer. 

 

Placing an EtherRegen before the Link took it to the next level in my system.

 

Link II

 

 

 

 

 

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This where I see the Bluesound NODE fitting in.  You get a fantastic interface and the hardware all together without needing to muck about with Rpi hardware (for those that don't want to).   You also have the advantage of not having your streaming solution embedded in the hardware as you do in a one box solution and can update/upgrade if needed.

 

With a very healthy budget like 7k, and the 1k price of the NODE, this opens the door to some really amazing DACs. 

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I'll be 3rd in line for the Lumin T2, if its warmth and body you require, look no further than the T2, I've been listening to mine for the past month, it's incredibly involving and natural, you'll notice this instantly.

 

Other suggestions as seperates    :  Streamer /Transports from Auralic/Innous/Matrix/Lumin

                                                                   Dacs  fom  Abbas Audio/Holo/Denafrips/Geiseler.

 

All these companies are at the top of their game, just mix and match, you're bound to find something.

When in Melbourne, give Geff at Hey Now, Kevin at Class A a hoy for an audition. The Brittish gent from Frank Prowse was extremely informative as well (apologies for the name loss).

 

Good luck.

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Lumin will give you a lovely warm sound and easy to use.  Linn is more expensive but again has a very nice dark presentation, but Linn doesn't do DSD.

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Some good advice and some not-so-good: in digital audio the transport, be it of the spinning or streaming variety, is just as important as the DAC in my experience. So spend equal amounts on both or near enough, or get an extremely good all-in-one. (I prefer separates personally).

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49 minutes ago, was_a said:

Some good advice and some not-so-good: in digital audio the transport, be it of the spinning or streaming variety, is just as important as the DAC in my experience. So spend equal amounts on both or near enough, or get an extremely good all-in-one. (I prefer separates personally).

 

Yeah I don't agree with this.  I've done a heap of blind testing on this over last 10 years and have found that digital transports are impossible to reliably identify under blind conditions on even highest end high resolution systems.   DAC and more specifically the analogue output stage of the DAC is far, far, far more important than the transport.  Thinking you will be able to tell the difference between a $1000 and $5000 streaming transport?  Think again, you won't!

 

Spend your money wisely OP, invest more in a better DAC!

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21 minutes ago, POV said:

Yeah I don't agree with this.  I've done a heap of blind testing on this over last 10 years and have found that digital transports are impossible to reliably identify under blind conditions on even highest end high resolution systems. 

Quoted for truth. This is by far the most important factor in streaming performance. You can get the bits to a DAC easy enough but how they render the audio is more important.

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