Recommendations on streamer for flac

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Joey_V

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Looking for recommendations to stream from network to dac. I am using flac files but would be willing to convert to Alac if needed or recommended.

I see that the sonos connect can play flac but not hi res flac. Any of you guys use sonos? I know mitt uses some other streaming system.

Let me know, I finally got my flac system up and running. :)
 

amey01

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Looking for recommendations to stream from network to dac. I am using flac files but would be willing to convert to Alac if needed or recommended.

I see that the sonos connect can play flac but not hi res flac. Any of you guys use sonos? I know mitt uses some other streaming system.

Let me know, I finally got my flac system up and running. :)
Anything that can get bit-perfect data to your DAC is all you need. Other than that, it's about getting the features you need/want.

It's a damn shame the Sonos can't do high-res, and the Squeezebox is discontinued. Both are by a long shot the best streaming systems out there.

The Marantz streamers are supposed to be good, but I think they use DLNA and I'm not convinced of it's overall suitability to the task.

If I was in the market for a streaming solution today, I don't know what I'd go for so I'll be as interested as you in the replies.
 

Pneumonic

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There are many viable options available.

Have you set a budget? Do you require a computer to be part of the setup? If so, PC or MAC or Linux? What inputs does your DAC accept?
 

Joey_V

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There are many viable options available.

Have you set a budget? Do you require a computer to be part of the setup? If so, PC or MAC or Linux? What inputs does your DAC accept?
MAC, no usb input in my dac as of right now, but I'm sure that will change over time.

I don't really want to spend any more than I need to, if all it has to be is bitperfect, then that's all I need. Would it be worth my time to get a squeezebox? Basically I used a squeezebox years ago and I found that it was great. I just don't know what's out there that is as good and easy to use (though I think now with the advent of all these iphones and ipads that the ease of use is probably even easier nowadays).

MITT gave me a suggestion and I forgot what it was.
 

TomDac

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MiTT probably recommended AURALiC ARIES, as he and I have talked about that before.. If you want a squeezebox, get the Touch, as it can do some of the hi res files, I believe.
 

Pneumonic

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MAC, no usb input in my dac as of right now, but I'm sure that will change over time.

I don't really want to spend any more than I need to, if all it has to be is bitperfect, then that's all I need. Would it be worth my time to get a squeezebox? Basically I used a squeezebox years ago and I found that it was great. I just don't know what's out there that is as good and easy to use (though I think now with the advent of all these iphones and ipads that the ease of use is probably even easier nowadays).

MITT gave me a suggestion and I forgot what it was.
Really can't beat the Squeezeboxen for stability, functionality and cost. You can run them stock or add whichever DAC to it you like. You'll have to buy used however. I would go for a Transporter or a Touch. Touch can be configured to do 24/192; Transporter is ltd to 24/96. Remote can be done via smartphone/tablet and really take usability up a bunch of notches.

Sonos is a viable alternative as is possibly Bluesound.

If you are interested in going the DLNA route there are some very intriguing media renderer ways to go. With these, you can essentially run a setup without inclusion of a traditional computer in the mix. These work great if you have a DAC that you really like but are needing a way to turn that DAC into a streaming setup in a plug n play way. The Auralic is one such option as are other offerings from SotM, Sonoare, Aurender, Oppo and many others (seems new entries are added almost weekly). With these you can configure a neat and simple setup incl a NAS (that serves and feeds your music files), the media renderer box, a router (distributes your music files) and a smartphone/tablet (allows remote playing of your music files).

Or you could simply use a traditional computer, install appropriate software on it and stream the old fashioned way. :cool:
 

Nutshell

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I use a Meridian Sooloos system and I'm very happy with it. The cheapest option here is an MC200, which has a 1TB disk and it can connect to Qnap NASses aswell. Meridian also offers integration of Tidal, which will give you access to a wealth of new music in cd quality.
The downside is that the analogue out of the MC200 isn't the best in the world, but it's not bad too. A so called extra end point will give you better analogue out (these are called MS200 and MS600). Or you can use the S/P-DIF.
You will also need an iPad to use the app that controls the music.
 

timm

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Hi Joey. I am also using the Touch. I use their free app on my tablet and phone. I have used it with hi rez and I really like it. I currently use the analog outs on it as I do not have a dac. It sounds surprisingly quite good. I do not believe it will stream dsd. Can anyone confirm as I do not use the digital out on mine. Thanks Tim
 

Pneumonic

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Hi Joey. I am also using the Touch. I use their free app on my tablet and phone. I have used it with hi rez and I really like it. I currently use the analog outs on it as I do not have a dac. It sounds surprisingly quite good. I do not believe it will stream dsd. Can anyone confirm as I do not use the digital out on mine. Thanks Tim
Tim, the Touch's LMS can be configured to stream DoP (DSD files in a FLAC wrapper) so that any DSD DAC, which supports DoP, can decode it. Essentially, the configuration fools LMS into believing the DSD file is really a 24/176 PCM file and so it sends the file to the DAC as it would a regular PCM file. The DSD DAC recognizes it as a DoP formatted file and decodes it as native DSD. Note, however, that not all DSD DAC's can decode DoP.

Here is a very good reference for DSD DAC's

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgVhKcl_3lHfdFVyenBBNjNpQ2lieG81WGpqQTNfVUE#gid=0

Also note that the Touch also has to have implemented the Enhanced Digital Output (EDO) app in order to be able to stream 24/176 files.
 
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MiTT

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Joey, Tom is correct, I'm recommending the AURALiC Aries. Go to the AURALiC website or the "Computer Audiophile" website and you'll understand why. Great price, handles virtually any file type available today, great iPad interface, standalone USB capable (no need to set up a NAS), and uses whatever DAC you might have, limited only by your DAC's capability.

Jtwrace, who used to post often here is something of an expert on the product and a Beta tester. Drop him a line over on CA and I'm certain he can explain many of the products virtues. It will likely be my next audio purchase... Or new speakers... Hard to say which.

I also have a Sonos setup, which is very easy to setup and use, but I don't use it in my main system anymore due to the restrictions with regard to Hi Rez files.
 
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Joey_V

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Joey, Tom is correct, I'm recommending the AURALiC Aries. Go to the AURALiC website or the "Computer Audiophile" website and you'll understand why. Great price, handles virtually any file type available today, great iPad interface, standalone USB capable (no need to set up a NAS), and uses whatever DAC you might have, limited only by your DAC's capability.

Jtwrace, who used to post often here is something of an expert on the product and a Beta tester. Drop him a line over on CA and I'm certain he can explain many of the products virtues. It will likely be my next audio purchase... Or new speakers... Hard to say which.

I also have a Sonos setup, which is very easy to setup and use, but I don't use it in my main system anymore due to the restrictions with regard to Hi Rez files.
So, I have checked out Auralic Aries, but can't find anywhere to buy them. Sounds like the stores that carry them are nowhere near Dallas.
 

MiTT

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So, I have checked out Auralic Aries, but can't find anywhere to buy them. Sounds like the stores that carry them are nowhere near Dallas.
You can buy on-line from Tweek Geek. They are local for me, but that's where I got all of my AURALiC gear and can vouch for their trustworthyness.
 

Joey_V

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Joey, Tom is correct, I'm recommending the AURALiC Aries. Go to the AURALiC website or the "Computer Audiophile" website and you'll understand why. Great price, handles virtually any file type available today, great iPad interface, standalone USB capable (no need to set up a NAS), and uses whatever DAC you might have, limited only by your DAC's capability.

Jtwrace, who used to post often here is something of an expert on the product and a Beta tester. Drop him a line over on CA and I'm certain he can explain many of the products virtues. It will likely be my next audio purchase... Or new speakers... Hard to say which.

I also have a Sonos setup, which is very easy to setup and use, but I don't use it in my main system anymore due to the restrictions with regard to Hi Rez files.
Hey Tim,

Question for you, what's that "clock upgrade for $599"? Is that useful?

I do like the usb standalone option, would be nice to just plug and play, although I can see how that might be an issue if I had to burn new software into the usb drive. Would be nice if someone brought over their usb stick just to listen to a few pieces of music though.

My current 306 sacd player does not have USB inputs, but has AES, toslink, spdif so I'm set there. The ability to go usb with DSD is a great future proof option.

Btw, how is the app for the ipad?
 

MiTT

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Hey Tim,

Question for you, what's that "clock upgrade for $599"? Is that useful?

I do like the usb standalone option, would be nice to just plug and play, although I can see how that might be an issue if I had to burn new software into the usb drive. Would be nice if someone brought over their usb stick just to listen to a few pieces of music though.

My current 306 sacd player does not have USB inputs, but has AES, toslink, spdif so I'm set there. The ability to go usb with DSD is a great future proof option.

Btw, how is the app for the ipad?
Not really just a "clock" option - the higher end version includes dual Femto clocks (input and output) to insure no possibility of jitter. It also includes a higher grade external power supply, not just a wall wart type supply.

iPad app is slick, right up there with any UI of good quality - includes ability to create and edit playlists, search by artist, composer, genre, album, song etc. Tidal is also supported.

Updating software to the USB drive is no big deal, you always want to have a back up anyway, as you get new music update to a drive attached to your pc, then swap it into the system and take another drive and update it. Swap drives anytime you add new music and you always have triple redundancy.
 

amey01

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Not really just a "clock" option - the higher end version includes dual Femto clocks (input and output) to insure no possibility of jitter. It also includes a higher grade external power supply, not just a wall wart type supply.

iPad app is slick, right up there with any UI of good quality - includes ability to create and edit playlists, search by artist, composer, genre, album, song etc. Tidal is also supported.

Updating software to the USB drive is no big deal, you always want to have a back up anyway, as you get new music update to a drive attached to your pc, then swap it into the system and take another drive and update it. Swap drives anytime you add new music and you always have triple redundancy.
How does Tidal integration work on it? With the Squeezebox it's easy - the SB server connects to your tidal account and directs the stream to your devices (s). How does this happen with a DLNA device like the Aries?
 

MiTT

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How does Tidal integration work on it? With the Squeezebox it's easy - the SB server connects to your tidal account and directs the stream to your devices (s). How does this happen with a DLNA device like the Aries?
Adam, I can't answer the technical "how", I only know that it works as the local dealer was able to pull it up for a demo. I should be clear that I don't have an Aries yet myself, just have done a significant amount of resaearch on it. Trying to decide if my next purchase will be the Aries or a set of KEF Ref 1's.

Tidal works exactly as you describe for the SB on my Sonos, it logs me into my existing account, accesses my playlists and offline content etc. I didn't log into my account on the Aries, just used the dealers account.
 

sleepysurf

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In order to stream Tidal using a Squeezebox, I believe you need to use the 3rd party Ickstream software (currently in beta)... http://blog.ickstream.com/

I presume there will eventually be a charge for Ickstream, in addition to the Tidal subscription fee.

Personally, I'm happy with Pandora and other internet radio streams (all free) via my Squeezebox Touch, at least for background listening. For serious listening, I only play ripped CD's or higher res downloads.
 

TDIMike

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I had a Sonos Connect for a few years and I really did enjoy it. In fact I'm looking to sell that with a Peachtree Dac-It currently. I just bought a Bluesound Node and should have it by the end of the week.
 
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