Question Struggling to understand streaming

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by Tim_Field, Aug 7, 2018.

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  1. Tim_Field

    Tim_Field
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    Hi all,

    I have a Marantz 8802a on the way and I'm a total newbe when it comes to the latest stuff. I'd like to run DSD / high quality streaming from a supplier like Tidal into the preamp. I'm unclear what hardware will give the best sound quality. I don't want the streaming service downsampled or badly upsampled by a player.

    Which streaming service would you recommend (UK), and which streamer (within a sensible price range)? Are there any DSD streams yet? Please treat me as an absolute beginner in this area, I've not done this before!

    Thanks, Tim
     
  2. Tim_Field

    Tim_Field
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    Not sure why this has moved as it's a question about music but hopefully I'll get an answer ! Cheers
     
  3. mark363

    mark363
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    Both Tidal and Qobuz offer 16bit/44khz (CD quality) streaming at £19.99 a month. I'm not aware of any of the major providers offering DSD. Both of these offer hi-rez streaming, Tidal though it's Masters (MQA) and Qobuz though the purchase of it's Sublime+ account (£349 a year).

    If you had something like the Blusound Node 2 that woud give you access to both of these and you'd be able to decode and render the Tidal MQA. You can also access Spotify (who are moving towads 16bit/44khz streaming) and a host of internet radio platforms.
     
  4. Tim_Field

    Tim_Field
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    I have a load of CD's at home, so none of the providers are above that bit rate?

    Doesn't seem worth it if that's the case.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  5. mark363

    mark363
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    Well, Tidal Masters section has many at 24bit/192khz, though the more poppy stuff is generally 24/96, but you do have to have a MQA dac to get a full render to 24/192 (like the Blusound Node 2 which is a streamer and has a built in dac that is MQA compatible). You can use the Tidal desktop app or Roon to do a first unfold (24/96). I've been running a Tidal Masters streaming through Allo USBridge into a Mytek Liberty DAC and it sounds great to me.

    Qobus Sublime+ streams at 24bit/192khz, but that to me (£349) is a hefty payment to make annually.
     
  6. Khazul

    Khazul
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    I am using Tidal through Roon and a pro-ject pre-box S2 digital DAC.

    Tidal is getting an increasing amount of higher res albums, though a lot of pop/rock MQA is actually 24 bit @ 44.1K. TBH I often cant tell a difference between an MQA version and a lossless CD quality version, but it depends very much on the recording/production style and what DAC you have. With MQA you ideally need an MQA capable DAC (Though Roon player can do a partial decode).

    I have never used Qobuz. A bluesound node 2 is probably the easiest single box setup, but have never used one.

    Roon is an excellent system, but its sort of a DiY system in so far as it is a bunch of software components you can install on various devices; some NAS, micro-PC boxes, raspberry PIs and of course and excellent extensible UI for phones and PC/Mac) and use with whatever DAC you like. It works better with so called Roon-ready DACs which are DAC that Roon has specifically tested and developed for just because it can then use specific features of that DAC, volume control, MQA/DSD support etc.

    Currently it only supports Tidal, your NAS and Internet radio services, but features are being added all the time. It is also a multi-zone streaming system that can make use of chromecast audio devices and any apple airplay receivers as zone as well as its own bridge software into high quality DACs.

    The main thing that Roon add is the way it handles music metadata (info about artists, albums, tracks etc) and I find the ability to browse though that data excellent for discovering related music.
    There is also quite an active development community building extensions to integrate with home automation and controllable hifi and AV devices, for eg to get direct input and volume control of you HiFi/AV system etc from within the Roon controller apps.

    But it can be a bit of a fiddle to setup a multi-device system on the cheap if you are not at least a bit of a techie. You can however just run it as a normal standalone player on a PC or Mac (with control from phones).

    Roon Labs
    NODE 2
     
  7. Tim_Field

    Tim_Field
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    Thanks all wondering if Qobuz Sublime+ is worth getting instead of Tidal if it can stream directly to my Marantz. This would avoid MQA. What are your thoughts?
     
  8. Khazul

    Khazul
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    Tidal doesn't force MQA (AFAIK). Its just there if your software/hardware can support it.
    Only players that specifically state they support MQA and have the required hardware should use the MQA version of tracks.

    Even with MQA in Roon I still have a choice of which version of album to play/add to favourites etc.
     
  9. Cebolla

    Cebolla
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    Unfortunately, that's not the way it works at the moment.

    TIDAL's online server still presents the MQA file tracks to devices that state they don't support MQA when connecting via a TIDAL HiFi account. Worse still those non-MQA supporting devices can't distinguish between the normal CD sourced tracks and the MQA ones because the TIDAL server 'doctors' the MQA tracks to the CD resolution of 16/44.1kHz (from the undecoded/distribution MQA resolution of either 24/44.1kHz or 24/48kHz)!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  10. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    You have a Marantz AV8802A Pre-Amp/Processor ...it has Network Streaming built in, though I don't have a list of all the Services is supports, but like it supports the most common ones.

    Marantz UK | AV8802A

    Very like the specific Stream Streaming Services available are country dependent. But the UK should support most of them.

    However, if you want external Streaming, then we need to know how much you want to spend on a Streaming Device.

    BlueSound Node-2 and Vault-2 are extremely popular with the Node-2 being about £500, and the Vault-2 being about £1000. The Vault-2 has the addition of a CD Player to Rip CDs automatically, and it has 2Tb of internal storage, enough to store thousand of albums.

    BLUESOND - NODE 2 Network Streamer

    BLUESOUND - VAULT 2 Network Streamer/Ripper/CD/Storage

    Bluesound NODE2 (Black)

    Bluesound VAULT2 (Black)

    Cambridge Audio
    was making Streaming Units long before it was all the rage. They have a good basic Streaming device, Cambridge CXN, for about £800 -

    CXN (V2)

    Cambridge Audio CXN V2 (Silver)

    The price range is £30 up to US$18,000. But most people are in the £500 to £1500 range.

    If you want to take it to the limit -

    Cambridge Audio EDGE NQ

    Aurender - W20 Music Server | Shop Music Direct

    Cambridge's better, though perhaps overkill, Streamer is the Cambridge 851N (£1400) -

    Azur 851N

    Cambridge Audio AZUR 851N (Black)

    Examine the feature and general reviews, and pick the one that best suits your needs.

    The Software/Apps are the key to any Streaming system. This is what you will interact with on a daily basis, unfortunately it is the hardest thing to get information on.

    For what it is worth, here is an overview of the Cambridge Software for the much older Stream Magic 6 streaming device -

    Stream Magic App Android Guide


    Stream Magic Remote for iPhone, iPad and Android


    Though of course, they present the software in the best light.

    And some video on the Cambridge CXN Network Player -

    CXN Network Music Player


    Digital Pre-Amplifiers


    You should find countless reviews on all these products and more on YouTube.

    Steve/bluewizard
     

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