Any good media streamers coming out, or just released lately?

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

Jazzman53

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
60
Reaction score
11
Location
Savannah, GA
I'm still using a logitech transporter and pretty happy with it. I am bypassing it's excellent DAC however, because I'm using it's Toslink digital output, feeing into a DSP crossover. And the Transporter serves as the preamp in my system; which is only possible because its digital outs are volume controlled. I have no analog preamp in the system at all-- so; I have only a single D/A conversion in the signal path, coming out of the crossover into to the amps.

On every other brand of streamer I have ever seen or read about; the digital outs are just pass-thru's with no volume control. Hence; if you have a DSP downstream; then there would be at least one D/A conversion out of the streamer, then an A/D conversion in the DSP and another A/D conversion out of the DSP to the amps.

If anyone is aware of another streamer with volume controlled digital outs; please let me know, in case my beloved Transporter ever craps out.
 

amey01

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
5,119
Reaction score
71
Location
Queensland, Australia
If anyone is aware of another streamer with volume controlled digital outs; please let me know, in case my beloved Transporter ever craps out.
PiCorePlayer will do it by default - with either USB or the right digital HAT. (but of course, that's pretty well what you've already got.)
 

Hear Here

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
126
Reaction score
17
Location
Portsmouth, UK
Love this thread! Must confess to much of this being a bit confusing to me. I am basically interested in a music server, I guess. If the device incorporates streaming, that's great. However, I want a device that has a great quality ripper (a must-have), that is very easy and intuitive to use, and does not require a computer to make it all work, or even e ion the same room, for that matter. I started with Innuos, after reading some very favorable reviews, and have looked at the Zenith MK III, Statement (Ouch!), and more recently Aurender, owing to the number of CDs we own (as Zigman mentioned above).

Guidance / thoughts for a poor, down-trodden, somewhat confused fellow ML user?
Len - Have you considered something like the NAD M50.2? It's a ripper, music store, server and streamer, plus (almost uniquely) it will simply PLAY your CDs - or your visitors' dreadful ones - those you really don't want rip them first.

It has a good touchscreen LED panel and the Bluesound app is available on all 4 platforms (again almost uniquely) and it's about as good a control app as any.

You can choose your own DAC and amp, but it does what it does pretty well with Stereophile high recommendation and other awards for what they are worth. Peter
 
Last edited:

Len44

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
755
Reaction score
16
Location
Mount Airy, Maryland
Thanks, Peter -- I'll take a look. In such a setup, would there be any recommendations for an excellent DAC? I'm ok with fairly large price range, say $300 -- $5,000.
 

Hear Here

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
126
Reaction score
17
Location
Portsmouth, UK
Thanks, Peter -- I'll take a look. In such a setup, would there be any recommendations for an excellent DAC? I'm ok with fairly large price range, say $300 -- $5,000.
Len. In fact I use the NAD M32 digital amplifier fed by the M50.2. The M32 is an integrated with built-in DAC. How good this DAC is compared with ones costing big bucks, I can't say, but as an all-in-one costing around £4000, it's a bargain in my view and sounds very good. I'm planning on reviewing the rest of my kit when my new Avantgarde Duo XD speakers arrive, but the NAD M33 (successor to the M32 with the new Purifi amp module) is certainly on my list for a likely amp / DAC. Peter
 

Spike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
766
Reaction score
24
Location
SF Bay Area
Ok so just so I'm understanding this correctly; I can go purchase a New Mac Mini ($850), a Chord Qutest ($1700) and some cables for around $3k and its going to sound the same as the Mark Levinson NO519 at $20K? Or the Lumin X1 at around $14k? Or the PS Audio Diectstream DAC at $6k when using Roon with Tidal and Qobuz?
Never heard those DACs in the stratosphere price range so I can't tell. But, knowing the Chord Qutest, the new Mac Mini + Chord Qutest will be a VERY nice combination. Just make sure to use USB between the Mac Mini and the Chord.
 

RAH

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
733
Reaction score
22
Location
Karachi, Pakistan
Shunyata Research Venom USB cable does not subtract from the sound and is reasonably priced at $99. I do not know whether still available in the market. Reason was discontinued and therefore on sale. I use this cable and am very satisfied with contribution towards improving sound quality.
 
Last edited:

RAH

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Messages
733
Reaction score
22
Location
Karachi, Pakistan
Recommendation of excellent dac for Len44:

Exasound e32 Mark 2 dac with Teddy Pardo power supply. $2499 and $299 respectively.

Add Apple Mac mini, running JRiver software for complete solution.
 

Len44

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
755
Reaction score
16
Location
Mount Airy, Maryland
Appreciate all the thoughts and advice. Researching these now.

Maybe one can get by with a good ripper and a great DAC? Confusing now, but pretty sure clarity will come soon enough.

Thanks again..and keep the recommendations coming. Will be enjoying the research (I think). I know I have much to learn.
 
Last edited:

zigman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
15
Location
Santa Monica
Appreciate all the thoughts and advice. Researching these now.

Maybe one can get buy with a good ripper and a great DAC? Confusing now, but pretty sure clarity will come soon enough.

Thanks again..and keep the recommendations coming. Will be enjoying the research (I think). I know I have much to learn.
I would think of it this way...do you need to have a library management system or just a streamer, next question is do you need a DAC built-in.

Sounds like you want all, so the next question is do you want to use Roon (which costs money and a separate sever) or want built-in everything with it’s own app.

If you want all in system to do everything, my recommendation is Aurrender it can do everything you want at once and is well regarded. Super simple to setup and use and had a great app everyone seems to like.
 

Spike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
766
Reaction score
24
Location
SF Bay Area
In my case several years ago, I was looking for a 1-box, good DAC using TI/Burr-Brown chipset, with streaming capability and arrived at the Naim ND5 XS. Recently, there are the Naim ND5 XS2, and Bryston BDA 3.14 streaming DAC which are very capable DACs. If you don't want the streaming feature, Naim DAC and Bryston BDA 3 are non-streaming versions. Also, the Lampizator Amber 3 is worth mentioning. Of course, there are others but I have not heard too many of the recent crop of modern DACs so I cannot comment. These are only the ones I am familiar with.
 

Len44

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
755
Reaction score
16
Location
Mount Airy, Maryland
My gosh, there are so many choices among DACs. I am kind of surprised there is not a magazine published called something like "DAC Enthusiast" or DACs-R-Us. Very confusing. As a simple provincial lad, I will probably go the "do everything" route, as a number of you have mentioned.

Again, I really do appreciate the comments and advice you all have shared.
 

JLasher22443

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
234
Reaction score
23
Location
Virginia
Hey Len44, I agree with you it is very confusing. These really helped explain it to me. Think I'm going to go with the MacMini and a really good DAC for my Streaming setup. I'll also use the iPad Pro I have to control it. Still researching the JRiver Software that was mentioned or using Bitperfect or Roon on the Mac. Currently I use Roon throughout my house with my iMac hosting as the Server in my Office.



 

Spike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
766
Reaction score
24
Location
SF Bay Area
Now that I came back to re-read the specs on the Bryston 3.14 streamer, I am REALLY impressed with its offering. It's basically a BDA-3 and a Rasberry Pi stuffed into 1 chassis!! Amongst its list of impressive features worth noting are:
  1. SACD decoding via HDMI 1.4 input.
  2. Support for USB drives (not just USB memory sticks).
  3. Fully class-A analogue output.
If I were to look at a streaming DAC today, this Bryston 3.14 deserves my serious consideration. In fact, the Bryston edges out the Naim DAC/streamer in my book today. And we have not mentioned the hugely added benefit of Bryston's 20 year warranty!!
 

Len44

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
755
Reaction score
16
Location
Mount Airy, Maryland
I continue to be very impressed with the knowledge of fellow members, and the willingness to share their expertise. I am both humbled and deeply appreciative. I watched the Darko videos above, and will need to watch them again. Also searching all of the items ad concepts mentioned here, and reading more about the companies and the various reviews. I know, perhaps a bit much, but I want to get this right, or as close as I can. Again, great respect and appreciation for everyone's help.

I will soon (hopefully( follow-up with the direction taken, as an update.

Thank you.
 

wink

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
514
Reaction score
14
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Wow! I started this thread, but unfortunately life got in the way and I haven’t been able to get back to it. Looks like it took on a life of its own. Lots of great info here!
I currently have a Synology NAS with over 4tb of music and movies, so I am not looking for a server. I am just looking for a great streamer @ a $2k or under price point. It would be a bonus for the streamer to have a quality DAC... I use DSaudio to control my music. My wife listens to Tidal quite a bit, so something with that licensing is a bonus.
Dan
 

zigman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
15
Location
Santa Monica
Wow! I started this thread, but unfortunately life got in the way and I haven’t been able to get back to it. Looks like it took on a life of its own. Lots of great info here!
I currently have a Synology NAS with over 4tb of music and movies, so I am not looking for a server. I am just looking for a great streamer @ a $2k or under price point. It would be a bonus for the streamer to have a quality DAC... I use DSaudio to control my music. My wife listens to Tidal quite a bit, so something with that licensing is a bonus.
Dan
At that price point I would definitely check out the Lumin U1 Mini. For streaming, I don't think it gets better in terms of stability and support.


This is coming from experience, I am very picky and have loved every Lumin DAC/streamer I have had. The only reason I am not recommending the D2 is because it sacrifices USB output for a DAC. Since the DAC is optional for you, I would get the U1 Mini.
 

Brad225

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2006
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
62
Location
Wesley Chapel, Fl
I would suggest looking at Small Green Computer. Add an iPad and you will have a bulletproof set up.
It runs Roon and HQ Player if your like to tinker with filters. Both are an extra unless you currently use them.


I store music on a Synology also. The Roon programing on the SGC is wonderful. With Roon on it, assuming you have enough computing power you can upsample to DSD 512. I use DSD x 4 as that is the max my DAC can process and it sounds wonderful.

I purchased the I9 Sonic Transporter. It is Linux based using the Intel 9 - 8 core processor. It is fan less so no added noise. Without storage I think it was about $2400. I stream Qobuz with Roon and it is trouble free. This from a person that has problems doing anything other than turning computers on or off.

Small Green Computer has many combinations of products with or without ripping ability. If you go without they have a ripper that can be added to what ever you purchase. They offer options for optical output also.
Take a look at their products. Andrew Gillis, the owner, is very helpful with information and after purchase help with setup and issues you might find.
On the Roon website there is a SGC section that might provide information for you also.
 

Spike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
766
Reaction score
24
Location
SF Bay Area
I currently have a Synology NAS with over 4tb of music and movies, so I am not looking for a server. I am just looking for a great streamer @ a $2k or under price point. It would be a bonus for the streamer to have a quality DAC...
I just looked at your system and saw that you have the Oppo UDP-205 which is capable of playing media files from your Synology. The Oppo has dual Sabre PRO DACs and can serve as a streamer DAC. In addition to the Oppo, your Onkyo processor also has streaming capability. Why look for another streamer when you already have a good one in your system? Am I missing something?
 

amey01

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
5,119
Reaction score
71
Location
Queensland, Australia
. I am just looking for a great streamer @ a $2k or under price point. It would be a bonus for the streamer to have a quality DAC...
But here is the crux of the decision. Why are you looking at expensive streamers when you can buy a cheap streamer and a great DAC? Or as Spike says above - use your UDP205 as a streamer.

That will give you far more flexibility in the future as you upgrade one without being dependent on the other.

Unless you're looking for streaming functionality that you don't currently have, there is little point upgrading that part of the system - it is just a pipe to get data to a DAC.
 
Top