Thinking about buying a Cambridge CXN (V2) streamer, opinions?

MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum

Help Support MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum:

amey01

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2005
Messages
5,257
Reaction score
140
Location
Queensland, Australia
My Buddy uses PC / DAC setup and loves it, I personally wouldn't use a PC

Why not?

There are plenty of reasons why you may not want to - but it's worth noting that a streamer is wholly just a PC with [much] lower grade hardware, and software which you are dependent on a small/boutique manufacturer for instead of the power of open source.

[no, I'm not talking about any of the DAC components - but all that can be kept separate, in a separate box].
 

BigGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
212
Reaction score
76
Location
Connecticut
How do you guys find dedicated streamers stack up compared to a PC going through a DAC? I don't see myself moving away from vinyl but I'm curious nonetheless.

I have been using a PC-based music server since before there were dedicated streamers and have never even considered the switch. The closest I get to streaming is listening to YouTube as background when I am multitasking.
I have a "dedicated" PC running Win7Pro and JRiver Music Center for music management.
JRiver has a built in streaming service called "Radio". Radio JRiver - JRiverWiki
The PC has been optimized for audio playback using settings provided in any number of how-to articles. JRMC is configured to fully load music from the server to memory so there are no issues with time lags, etc.
PC is connected to DAC via Adnaco-S3B: USB 3.0/2.0/1.x Over Fiber Optic Extension System | Adnaco Technology which provides galvanic isolation from any anomalies with the PC's power.
As anyone with music library experience, irrespective of PC or dedicated server,will tell is that what is of primary importance is BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP... Your choice how many and where. I have an audiophile friend who has multiple backups including one on a portable hard drive that is stored in a bank safe deposit box with all backups rotated in service periiodically. Maybe a bit extreme but when you have many terabytes of music files some of which may be irreplaceable but all of which would be a pain to recreate at best, caution is the operative word.
 

Necrosuit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
358
Reaction score
11
Location
CT
Cool! I've honestly done zero research into what goes into a "proper" streaming setup to get good results. It is interesting though and I like how convenient it is, but unfortunately Spotify sounds like shit and I can't see myself paying for another service.
Yes, I would never use Spotify for true streaming. I use Airplay and USB. No fees just music management.
 

Necrosuit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
358
Reaction score
11
Location
CT
Why not?

There are plenty of reasons why you may not want to - but it's worth noting that a streamer is wholly just a PC with [much] lower grade hardware, and software which you are dependent on a small/boutique manufacturer for instead of the power of open source.

[no, I'm not talking about any of the DAC components - but all that can be kept separate, in a separate box].
To be honest, I work on Computers and network's all day as a Network engineer, I have all the software, aps, re-rendering software and am a Professional drummer in gigging bands for over 25 years. I just don't want to use a laptop or PC or NAS any more. I like sitting down after a day and just hitting the power button then airplay and go. Simple as that. Less is more sometimes. Still sounds killer anyway.
 

Brandon Hartwick

Well-known member
MLO Supporter
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
179
Reaction score
108
To be honest, I work on Computers and network's all day as a Network engineer, I have all the software, aps, re-rendering software and am a Professional drummer in gigging bands for over 25 years. I just don't want to use a laptop or PC or NAS any more. I like sitting down after a day and just hitting the power button then airplay and go. Simple as that. Less is more sometimes. Still sounds killer anyway.
That's a totally valid reason
 

amey01

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2005
Messages
5,257
Reaction score
140
Location
Queensland, Australia
How do you guys find dedicated streamers stack up compared to a PC going through a DAC? I don't see myself moving away from vinyl but I'm curious nonetheless.

It's a bit like apples and oranges. Dedicated streamers usually have integrated DACs, so comparing that to a PC connected to an outboard DAC is going to sound different, no matter what way you cut it.

And if you connect the dedicated streamer to a DAC, then there should be absolutely no difference at all (in terms of sound. Qualification: if you're using async USB). But also, then there is little reason for spending multi-thousands on a streamer when you are using it to do the same job as a $50 raspberry pi. For all intents and purposes, the streamer is just a PC, usually with pretty low-grade, old-fashioned hardware and proprietary software, so it limits you to what the manufacturer wants to give you and when they give it to you (if at all).

For me, I use a Raspberry Pi running Picoreplayer - I see it as a bit of a "half-way house" between a full-featured PC, and a dedicated streamer.......PiCorePlayer is a dedicated streaming operating system (you can turn it on and off like an appliance), but it is free open source software that exploits cheap, freely available hardware that you can upgrade and change to suit your changing needs (and the ever-changing technology world). eg. If PicorePlayer is suddenly not the best system or something better comes along, I can switch to something else in a matter of about 5 minutes. If I want to upgrade the USB architecture I can switch to a new Raspberry Pi in about 3.5 seconds. If I want a different DAC, I just change the DAC - don't have to change the whole architecture. Try doing that with your $multi-thousand streamer!

The advantage of using a dedicated streamer is that it is more "plug 'n play" - you don't really have to configure much and it just starts working.
 
Last edited:

STV

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
516
Reaction score
9
Location
The Land of Enchantment
Well, my Atoll ST200 Signature arrived today! Beautiful unit! Love the look! The front faceplate is thick aluminum with a very elegant look. The weight of the unit is about 14.5 lbs, so it’s got some heft.

Arrived in pristine condition. The only bummer is that they forgot to include the power cord. I mean it was a demo unit, and these things happen. So now to wait unit they get the power cord shipped to me.

Once I get the power cord I’ll start getting to actually enjoy it. Here’s hoping it functions and sounds as good as it looks.
BCC95B9C-9F37-4483-9409-A32E273B618D.jpeg
 

Stefan_DR3

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
129
Reaction score
35
Location
Bytown, Upper Canada
Arrived in pristine condition. The only bummer is that they forgot to include the power cord. I mean it was a demo unit, and these things happen. So now to wait unit they get the power cord shipped to me.

Once I get the power cord I’ll start getting to actually enjoy it. Here’s hoping it functions and sounds as good as it looks.

That's a nice looking unit, much better than the old Atolls I remember from decades past!

It uses a standard 3-prong IEC power cord. You don't have a spare from an old amp or computer/monitor until the new cord arrives?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: STV

STV

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
516
Reaction score
9
Location
The Land of Enchantment
That's a nice looking unit, much better than the old Atolls I remember from decades past!

It uses a standard 3-prong IEC power cord. You don't have a spare from an old amp or computer/monitor until the new cord arrives?

Yes, Atoll’s newer product lines are very elegant looking. The ST200 that I just got is also very well built.

That’s a great idea on the power cord! Now to look and see if I have any IEC power cords from gear I have in storage. I will still most likely use the stock cord that the dealer is sending me, but for now a PC power cord will definitely work.

Thanks!
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,661
Reaction score
392
Location
Big Canoe, GA
That’s a great idea on the power cord! Now to look and see if I have any IEC power cords from gear I have in storage.
We will have to revoke your geek card if you do not have at least one spare EIC power cord. ;)

I have a box full, dozens of them, of different gauges, lengths, etc. A good number of them are new, as I often re-use the power cord already in place (often hard to run those). On the home server PC (video security, file sharing, Home Automation), I've replaced the power supply (or the PC) five or more times over 15 years, yet replaced the power cord only twice.
 

STV

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
516
Reaction score
9
Location
The Land of Enchantment
We will have to revoke your geek card if you do not have at least one spare EIC power cord. ;)

I have a box full, dozens of them, of different gauges, lengths, etc. A good number of them are new, as I often re-use the power cord already in place (often hard to run those). On the home server PC (video security, file sharing, Home Automation), I've replaced the power supply (or the PC) five or more times over 15 years, yet replaced the power cord only twice.

Lol!🤣 Yup, if I didn’t have at least one I would definitely need my geek card revoked! Thankfully I did have one (actually 2) that were not being used for anything.

Well I have to say, with the mega assortment of cords you’ve got, you’re in no danger of ever having your geek card revoked.👍
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,661
Reaction score
392
Location
Big Canoe, GA
Well I have to say, with the mega assortment of cords you’ve got, you’re in no danger of ever having your geek card revoked.👍
Oh, don't get me started; there are boxes for SCSI cables, Optical cables, RCA cables (a BIG one), Video cables of all types, RS232 and other serial control, etc. etc.

But my ultimate geek-cred proof is this screenshot of the device count from my home automation server:

HS_Devices.jpg


Note that many 'things' have multiple devices, such as a Motion Sensor that has battery level, motion, light level temperature sub-devices. But still there are over 100 ZWave devices in the home 🤓
 

STV

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
516
Reaction score
9
Location
The Land of Enchantment
Oh, don't get me started; there are boxes for SCSI cables, Optical cables, RCA cables (a BIG one), Video cables of all types, RS232 and other serial control, etc. etc.

But my ultimate geek-cred proof is this screenshot of the device count from my home automation server:

View attachment 22720

Note that many 'things' have multiple devices, such as a Motion Sensor that has battery level, motion, light level temperature sub-devices. But still there are over 100 ZWave devices in the home 🤓

Yep, I’d say you definitely get the geek crown! Holy smokes, 322 devices! You my friend are a rock star!
 

STV

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
516
Reaction score
9
Location
The Land of Enchantment
Well I’ve been using my new Atoll ST200 Signature music streamer for a bit now, and I have to say this thing is pretty awesome! The user interface is very well designed and easy to navigate. Everything works very well. The included remote is very nice, and allows control for everything.

The phone app works surprisingly well. The layout is well designed, and like the units main menu, is also very easy to use and navigate. The app isn’t perfect and still needs a bit of work as far as the occasional lock up and “streamer not found”. But most of the time it actually works quite well.

As far as how it sounds, I have to say the streamers internal DAC gives a rich, detailed, and wide sound. Bass definition is also excellent. The sound is non fatiguing, and paired with my current Focal Aria bookshelf speakers, I’d say it’s a great match. Will be interesting to see how it sounds with my ML Scenarios once I get them in there.

High resolution music from Tidal and Qobuz sounds excellent! And hi fidelity flac from Deezer sounds excellent as well. I’ve recently been listening to Deezer more than Spotify. Also listened to quite a bit of WMA and WAV from my PC, and it all sounds amazing!

So far this streamer is everything that I’ve wanted.

Seth
 
Last edited:

STV

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
516
Reaction score
9
Location
The Land of Enchantment
Congratulations Seth! Good to hear that the Atoll delivers and is usable.

Thanks Jonathan.

I am so looking forward to getting my ML Scenario panels. The ST200 is definitely delivering the goods. So it’s not just a pretty face, it actually sounds as good as it looks. And soon from what I’ve been told, the ST200 will be getting Amazon Music. So with that it will cover pretty much all of the major streaming services (Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Spotify, and Amazon Music). Only notable missing service will be Apple.

I’m sure with the Scenarios in place the sound will be on another level. It sounds really really good now, so I can only imagine what it can be like with the Scenarios.

The only missing element now gear wise is the 2 channel amp. In the coming weeks that will be my next purchase. After that it’s a pair of balanced XLR cables.

Seth
 

STV

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
516
Reaction score
9
Location
The Land of Enchantment
For the most part I’ve really enjoyed using the Atoll Signature app on my iPhone 11. Most times it works very well, and zipping around it is pretty fluid. And the layout is well done.

1652664638545.png

1652664724407.png

1652664763987.png
 

Temple

New member
Joined
Sep 9, 2022
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle
I am still trying to find someone who has been able to demo the Atoll and the Lumin D2. Trying to decide between the two and this is the only thread online that mentions both.
 
Top