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Do I need a Dedicated Music Streamer?


Established Member
So, I have all my media ripped to NAS servers, the main one being a Synology DS214, and I use a Dune HD Base for movie streaming.

Stereo music is streamed straight to my Pioneer SC-LX75, and all works very well through Mission 775e mains

Do I need a dedicated music streamer, and what benefits would it give me over just streaming to my receiver?

I'm looking at a Pioneer N50A which would slot in nicely with my Pioneer BD and receiver, and would be controlled with my current Pioneer ipad app, but at £450 it would need to make a big improvement to the sound.

Thoughts appreciated Guys,



Distinguished Member
My take on it would be it depends.

I could imagine being pretty happy in isolation with the facility on my mates amp if I didn't already have decent streamers for music, however once you get used to proper multi room with several zones I'd find that pretty hard to give up.


Distinguished Member
It's a question that I consider every now and then. I'm not interested in multi room capability and only streaming to one zone.

My previous Anthem receiver did not have an inbuilt streaming function so I bought a Marantz NA6005 in preference to the Pioneer N50. The sound quality was superb but let down by software that brought me to tears. So I got rid of it and my current Denon receivers' streaming features work just fine. I can't imagine that spending £400+ on a Bluesound Node II, Marantz or Pioneer N50 is going to bring me any meaningful upgrade in sound quality. Even if the app had more features.

So I stick with the inbuilt player, Internet radio and Spotify Connect.


Distinguished Member
TBH if you did want to try a separate streamer then a raspberry pi2 with either an add-on DAC or digital output card to an existing DAC can make a wonderful streamer. Either running a distro to make it a squeezebox device or other music dedicated distros, even XBMC/Kodi can be decent for music if you use the right app on a mobile device (Yatze on Android for me)


Prominent Member
Volumio probably the best for RPi


Established Member
The biggest upgrade would be using a separate DAC into a dedicated integrated amp. Use your existing amp for streaming duties only together with an app like Bubble UPNP on android. Sound quality on AV amps and music is significantly bettered by hi-fi amps.

I have an N50 and it does have a good DAC but the streaming side does not really affect the SQ to my ears. I started with an Onkyo amp (with streaming capability) then bought the N50 (big jump in SQ), then a Nait XS amp (bigger jump in SQ) and a beresford speaker switch (since no pre-out from my onkyo). If you have pre-out on your AV amp you could use that direct into most integrateds if they have line level input facility.

As for DAC's the Chord Mojo would just about beat the N50 with a bit more detail and air (and definitely your AV amp's dac) but I suggest get one to trial in your own system. You could feed this back into your AV amp initially and save up for an integrated.

I demoed the Mojo but eventually settled on the 2Qute Dac as this gave a bigger jump from the Pioneer.
My Onkyo is only used for AV duties now...

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