Streaming/DACs suggestions. Novice at this however like Hifi.

69COU

Active Member
Ok being dragged into the new world, And partly thick when it comes to latest in streaming etc., main hifi set up is Monitor Audio Gold speaker system , run by a Musical Fidelity M6si integrated amp for fronts and stereo listening. ( Turntable and also CDs via am Oppo93 blue ray player. ). AV is provided by a Denon 4400 receiver with Front Analogue Pre outs going to Aux on M6si (special HT input) bypassed it’s volume control.

All great so far for TV /Movies etc using combo of Sky/Blue Ray/Amazon TV 4K box for Netflix etc.

Now we turn to streaming music, I have experimented with Tidal and now looking at Amazon HD music having decided I could not get the best out of Tidal.

1) via Tidal app on Amazon TV box connected to Denon by HDMI lead.
2) Also by using the HEOS App Picking Tidal as source and connecting to Denon
3) Tidal app on IPad which connects to Denon via AirPlay.

All three methods seem to limit quality to 44.1 FLAC so no way to play masters that I can figure. As coming to end of 3 month trial of Tidal and unable to get my head around the idea of connecting a computer to Denon and a specialist DAC to decode ( MQA Masters) Computer is in office not the living room anyhow. I have Ethernet connections , do not see why would want try and then run a 50ft USB lead through rooms, that wife would let me!

I have this weekend tried the Amazon HD Music offering instead.

1) via Amazon music app on Amazon TV box connected to Denon by HDMI lead.
2) Also by using the HEOS App, picking Amazon as source and connecting to Denon
3) Amazon Music app on IPad and connects to Denon via AirPlay.

Again with 1 and 3 limited to 44.1 FLAC as far as I can tell however reasonable interface for searching music etc.

With 2- HEOS App occasionally will connect the Amazon Ultra High def sample rates , however seems to stumble as if wii cannot handle. However the interface for searching music is then rubbish.

In all cases the Denon which I would guess is the weak link for Digital to Analogue stereo conversion is in the signal path before my much more costly Musical Fidelity amp.

Then I thought about the use of the Amazon Echo Link circa £150 as thought that would mean would stream and convert direct to my stereo amp, however as I understand this possibly has a weaker DAC than in the Denon? Also it’s digital coaxial and optical are limited to 44.1😩

Other end of spectrum thought of the matching Musical Fidelity M6 DAC ( circa £1300) great has digital inputs so could improve my CD music, however how do you get Amazon HD music to it. Amazon TV is a HDMI output only so Denon would be involved.

Now I get really confused I could get a better Oppo player for CDs or Musical Fidelity CD player some of them as both also allow now let you input a coaxial digital signal to utilise DAC.

This still does not then solve how I get the streamed music to them in Ultra HD to take advantage of these new quality recordings etc.

Please be gentle on reply’s as I know I am probably missing something really obvious. How do I play best quality to Stereo Amp without losing a good interface. I have heard of Roon however assume would then still need some way to receive content that connects to Hi Fi amp.


Lastly the Musical Fidelity amp has just one digital input USB ‘B’ up to 24bit 96kHz asynchronous. Not sure if that helps.
Cheers
Totally confused in the streaming world P.
 
Last edited:

Khazul

Well-known Member
I have heard of Roon however assume would then still need some way to receive content that connects to Hi Fi amp.
There are a number of ways of setting up Roon depending on what you have. The simplest is to install it on an x86 based NAS or computer initially (while trialing it to see if you like it).

The ideal Roon setup is to have it running on a small cheap dedicated server (QNAP or Synology x86 based NAS if you happen to have one, or an little intel NUC computer running Roon's own ROCK OS or of their Nucleus which is basically a NUC + ROCK).

Once you have a server, then you can either connect a suitable USB DAC directly to it via USB, or you can get or make a network endpoint. An example of a device that can function as a network endpoint with a DAC is a bluesound node 2i.

A much cheaper option is to buy a little raspberry pi and install dietpi image on it and connect a USB DAC to that (or even on of the R-PI HAT based dacs). With a raspberry pi running dietpi or some other suitable arm linux, then it can also serve as a host for Roon extensions for eg tgo control your Denon AV or integrate logitech harmony if you have that etc.

My own Roon system comprises an intel NUC running ROCK, a USB DAC connected to that and my main hifi amp (I also have a hybrid AV+Hifi system). My music was already on a QNAP NAS so Roon access that. I also have a raspberry pi that serves as a host for Roon extensions (for logitech Harmony integration) and as another endpoint with a dragaonfly red DAC. Then also various other endpoints around the house in the form of chromecast devices airplay devices, various computers and mobile devices etc.

Roon current does not currently support Amazon music in any form (definitely not HD). There is interest from Roon's side I believe, but not yet from Amazon. So, for now, you would have to use Tidal (MQA) or Qobuz (HiRes) for highest quality playback.

There are many good suitable DACs around. I use a project-S2 digital which supports MQA and anything else that Roon can throw at it. I would suggest you check that whatever choice of DAC you would with is known to Roon to ensure that the DAC can be fully used.

I got Roon a couple of years ago and never looked back and cant imagine switching back to a conventional streamer again.
 

Cebolla

Well-known Member
Now we turn to streaming music, I have experimented with Tidal and now looking at Amazonl HD music having decided I could not get the best out of Tidal.
I'd advise trying out Qobuz's Studio package, as its hi-res track streams are obtained far more easily and reliably than Amazon HD. Any Qobuz supporting UPnP/DLNA controller app would get the Denon 4400 to stream Qobuz's lossless hi-res tracks (up to 24bit/192kHz), eg, the BubbleUPnP Android app (unlicensed version is free) or the mconnect Player app (free Lite version for testing: available on iOS & Android).
 
Last edited:

69COU

Active Member
There are a number of ways of setting up Roon depending on what you have. The simplest is to install it on an x86 based NAS or computer initially (while trialing it to see if you like it).

The ideal Roon setup is to have it running on a small cheap dedicated server (QNAP or Synology x86 based NAS if you happen to have one, or an little intel NUC computer running Roon's own ROCK OS or of their Nucleus which is basically a NUC + ROCK).

Once you have a server, then you can either connect a suitable USB DAC directly to it via USB, or you can get or make a network endpoint. An example of a device that can function as a network endpoint with a DAC is a bluesound node 2i.

A much cheaper option is to buy a little raspberry pi and install dietpi image on it and connect a USB DAC to that (or even on of the R-PI HAT based dacs). With a raspberry pi running dietpi or some other suitable arm linux, then it can also serve as a host for Roon extensions for eg tgo control your Denon AV or integrate logitech harmony if you have that etc.

My own Roon system comprises an intel NUC running ROCK, a USB DAC connected to that and my main hifi amp (I also have a hybrid AV+Hifi system). My music was already on a QNAP NAS so Roon access that. I also have a raspberry pi that serves as a host for Roon extensions (for logitech Harmony integration) and as another endpoint with a dragaonfly red DAC. Then also various other endpoints around the house in the form of chromecast devices airplay devices, various computers and mobile devices etc.

Roon current does not currently support Amazon music in any form (definitely not HD). There is interest from Roon's side I believe, but not yet from Amazon. So, for now, you would have to use Tidal (MQA) or Qobuz (HiRes) for highest quality playback.

There are many good suitable DACs around. I use a project-S2 digital which supports MQA and anything else that Roon can throw at it. I would suggest you check that whatever choice of DAC you would with is known to Roon to ensure that the DAC can be fully used.

I got Roon a couple of years ago and never looked back and cant imagine switching back to a conventional streamer again.
Thanks
 

69COU

Active Member
I'd advise trying out Qobuz's Studio package, as its hi-res track streams are obtained far more easily and reliably than Amazon HD. Any Qobuz supporting UPnP/DLNA controller app would get the Denon 4400 to stream Qobuz's lossless hi-res tracks (up to 24bit/192kHz), eg, the BubbleUPnP Android app (unlicensed version is free) or the mconnect Player app (free Lite version for testing: available on iOS & Android).
Thanks
 

69COU

Active Member
Just an alternative follow up couple of questions. I am still being a bit of a novice . I have still been playing around with Amazon HD music, having (had an initial look at Tidal) I am using a FireTV 4K box which is connected via HDMI to my Denon 4400 receiver, then into my Musical Fidelity M6SI amplifier. My hunch is that perhaps the Denon may not have the best DAC so was thinking about how to best convert and feed to MF M6SI. Most Dacs including Project S2 seem to have a limitation on both Optical or Coaxil Digital inputs at 24 bit.

Using the Denon as mentioned only way of getting better than 16 bit 44kHZ was using the unreliable HEOS app. HEOS App occasionally will connect the Amazon Ultra High def sample rates , however seems to stumble as if wii cannot handle. However the interface for searching music is then rubbish. I am sort of doing a bit of research hoping that HEOS may do an update before I go other routes.

Just noticed The MF had a direct USB input 1 USB ‘B’ up to 24bit 96kHz asynchronous so initial thoughts were perhaps run Amazon Music on a Mac Mini connected to this?

Then I looked at the situation of using a Mini Mac direct to an Oppo 105 ( was thinking of trading up my older Oppo 93 ) The optical and coax are limited to 96kHz sampling rates, while the USB accepts 192kHz. DAC technology has obviously moved on over the years however cannot work out if an older quality DAC is going to be more musical than a current budget DAC.

Only thinking MacMini as have a chance to get a second hand one for just over £200 now and could have additional uses over a Raspberry PI . ( Not that I would have a clue how to set up PI anyhow)

It does seem that everything (All Dacs) seems to be reliant on having a computer connected by USB to get better than 24bit/96khz. Have I missed something here. Not sure how else you get source music to your HI Fi.

Thought about a iFi Audio ZEN DAC which seems to get good reviews and only £130. However still cannot see why this would be the answer on it own.

What ever happened plug and play? Perhaps Amazon will come up with a quality version of their echo link system to support Amazon Ultra HD music.
 

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