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Alternatives to CA CXNv2 for 2in1 DAC/Streamer <$1K?

flz

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Hi, I'm looking for a 2in1 (1 box) Streamer/DAC for under US$1K with Airplay support, Tidal Connect support, and preferably (but not required) balanced XLR output for under US$1,000. Not interested in 2 box solutions or DIY projects such as Raspberry PI.

Now, I know CXN v2 ticks all the boxes but I would rather stay away from Cambridge Audio as a brand. Owned one of their products before and reliability was a nightmare. Any suggestions? Or just take a chance on CXN v2?
 
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A Pi. Hands down the best decision you could make. Once set up its out of sight and never touched again. Leaves you 95% of your budget to throw at a DAC, if required. Set mine up with Moode last year, put it in a cupboard, haven't seen it since. Just ordered a second for my headphone rig.
 

VintageFlanker

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...

Are you both speaking the same language?
Tell me it's not the best option. £25.

Could then buy an RME ADI 2 with PEQ and still have change in your pocket.

Could then buy a miniDSP Flex with Dirac and still have change in your pocket.

Could then buy a Topping D90SE, the best performing DAC ever measured on this site and still have change in your pocket.

Or, buy, a dumbass Cambridge Audio etc one box thing that'll be outdated in 12 months with shit apps and support?

How's that language?

EDIT: Also, could replace Pi suggestion with one of these instead, and still buy one of the above DACs. Apparently @amirm is in the throes of testing one.
 
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Blumlein 88

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Tell me it's not the best option. £25.

Could then buy an RME ADI 2 with PEQ and still have change in your pocket.

Could then buy a miniDSP Flex with Dirac and still have change in your pocket.

Could then buy a Topping D90SE, the best performing DAC ever measured on this site and still have change in your pocket.

Or, buy, a dumbass Cambridge Audio etc one box thing that'll be outdated in 12 months with shit apps and support?

How's that language?

EDIT: Also, could replace Pi suggestion with one of these instead, and still buy one of the above DACs. Apparently @amirm is in the throes of testing one.
When someone says they don't want DIY or say Pi you should listen to them. Maybe for you it is easy as Pi (pun intended), but it may not be for everyone. And they are willing to pay for a turn key system. It doesn't make them wrong. I've made the same mistake myself a few times before learning even if something is great and cheap versus something done for you already, some people are still better off spending the money. No need to disparage such people. They know themselves.
 
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No need to disparage such people. They know themselves.
Disparage?
A Pi. Hands down the best decision you could make. Once set up its out of sight and never touched again. Leaves you 95% of your budget to throw at a DAC, if required. Set mine up with Moode last year, put it in a cupboard, haven't seen it since. Just ordered a second for my headphone rig.
Nothing but friendly advice here.

This site can be truly bizarre at times.

I was in the same position as the OP about six months ago. Other friendly folk on here advised me. Saved me a fortune and subsequently improved my rig in the process.

They weren't disparaging either.
 

Blumlein 88

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Disparage?

Nothing but friendly advice here.

This site can be truly bizarre at times.

I was in the same position as the OP about six months ago. Other friendly folk on here advised me. Saved me a fortune and subsequently improved my rig in the process.

They weren't disparaging either.
"A Pi. Hands down the best decision you could make. Once set up its out of sight and never touched again. Leaves you 95% of your budget to throw at a DAC, if required. Set mine up with Moode last year, put it in a cupboard, haven't seen it since. Just ordered a second for my headphone rig."

The part in blue. Some people just don't want that experience of setting it up themselves. I know it isn't that hard, and maybe for some it is good advice, but in this case the OP specifically said he wasn't interested in Pi setups. Had he not specifically listed a Pi and not something he wanted to hear about then sure nothing wrong with your post. You did imply the dumb ass Cambridge is a choice of a dumb ass. Or it could be taken that way.
 

VintageFlanker

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Tell me it's not the best option.
Oh, I do.

It's the best for you or many. The OP is asking for some all-in-one (understand: lifestyle/plug n' play) product. I do know a ton of consumers who do not want two or more boxes, and certainly not a Pi.
How's that language?
It's pretty clear: you did not listen at all to the OP requirements and transferred your own needs, requirements and usage to his.
Or, buy, a dumbass Cambridge Audio etc one box
...

Edit: what @Blumlein 88 said.
 

dari

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I would rather stay away from Cambridge Audio as a brand. Owned one of their products before and reliability was a nightmare. Any suggestions? Or just take a chance on CXN v2?
Can you tell what product did u have and what was the problem with it? Was it new or s/h?
 
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. You did imply the dumb ass Cambridge is a choice of a dumb ass. Or it could be taken that way.
That was in response to @VintageFlanker's very disparaging "are you speaking the same language" post, not the OP.

Like I said, when I was in the same boat, and asking the same questions as the OP, several people pointed me in the direction of a Pi.

Nobody forced me to buy a Pi. They just simply offered advice. Like I just did. I could accept the advice, or ignore the advice. Thankfully nobody jumped to my rescue like valiant online super heroes and I was allowed to make my own decision.

Luckily for me that thread didn't descend into the same nonsense this one has, I decided to give the £30 option a spin (at the risk of losing a couple of quid if I had to resell it) and soon realised a Pi is as easy as everyone had said.

I then spent the money saved on a miniDSP to even further enhance my rig.

All thanks to friendly advice. And a lack of thread heroes.

Now, if either of you will grant me permission, I'll reiterate:

• An all-in-one with all the potentially soon outdated and unsupported software issues.

Or

• A Pi
•Or even easier, one of the £89 24bit/192khz Spotify Connect/Tidal Connect/Airplay etc Wiim Streamers I linked above

+

• miniDSP with DIRAC room correction
• RME ADI 2 with PEQ
• Topping D90SE or many other good DACs

All merely suggestions.
 
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dari

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All merely suggestions.
As such this is ok, however the two (pi and CXN) are very different products and your suggestion it's like saying 'get a pushbike' if someone is asking for a car.
Anyway, CXNv2 is 4 years? on the market and I can't see their software being out of date. If anything, there were number of updates including Tidal Connect support for which you don't have to pay extra to use it like it's with Volumio.
 

dan_uk

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I used Pi solutions for couple of years and whilst it worked 95% of the time (i.e. appears as a device in Roon), once or twice a month it just wouldn't appear.. Would have to at least reboot it but sometimes re: setup IP/DHCP which is a right faff, so for me I decided to move away from Pi solutions.

I've recently bought a Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro and I must say it's a decent improvement for sound quality over the Pi solutions and always just works and appears in Roon, highly recommend and check out the review on here.
 
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As such this is ok, however the two (pi and CXN) are very different products and your suggestion it's like saying 'get a pushbike' if someone is asking for a car.
Anyway, CXNv2 is 4 years? on the market and I can't see their software being out of date. If anything, there were number of updates including Tidal Connect support for which you don't have to pay extra to use it like it's with Volumio.
Different product of course, but the £2,000 Kef LS50 Wireless was released in 2016 and left to its own devices in support terms by Kef in early 2020. That's the coin toss of AIO options.

I use Qobuz via Moode, no costs involved (Qz subscription aside).

I used Pi solutions for couple of years and whilst it worked 95% of the time (i.e. appears as a device in Roon), once or twice a month it just wouldn't appear.. Would have to at least reboot it but sometimes re: setup IP/DHCP which is a right faff, so for me I decided to move away from Pi solutions.
Moode hasn't crashed/dropped out once for me.
it's a decent improvement for sound quality over the Pi solutions
?

A Pi, or any other similar streaming device, simply delivers the file and has absolutely no bearing on the 'sound quality'.

Likewise any decently measuring DAC.

Hence the suggestion of adding PEQ or DSP within budget.
 

dan_uk

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Different product of course, but the £2,000 Kef LS50 Wireless was released in 2016 and left to its own devices in support terms by Kef in early 2020. That's the coin toss of AIO options.

I use Qobuz via Moode, no costs involved (Qz subscription aside).


Moode hasn't crashed/dropped out once for me.

?

A Pi, or any other similar streaming device, simply delivers the file and has absolutely no bearing on the 'sound quality'.

Likewise any decently measuring DAC.

Hence the suggestion of adding PEQ or DSP within budget.
I had Allo devices, I tried DietPi and Volumio builds and they were great, just not perfect. And sod's law was, they'd always not appear when it wasn't a great time to reboot/investigate the issue, so I decided to move away. If still have them, but they're gathering dust.

Yep you are right re: Pi only delivering the file, however, I was using the Allo HAT solutions so for me it was an all in one solution, albeit a flakey one. So my comment was on Allo solutions vs MA.

Pi's are great if you like to tinker but the fact is, they are sandel-ware and not as reliable as a purpose-built hifi solution.
 

dari

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Now you talk about Kef to upholold your argument and your specific use case (Qobuz via Moode).

I guess, people have their own needs and Pi was not the OP need.

Moode must never go out of date and will be around in 12 years time.
 

KMM

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A Pi. Hands down the best decision you could make. Once set up its out of sight and never touched again. Leaves you 95% of your budget to throw at a DAC, if required. Set mine up with Moode last year, put it in a cupboard, haven't seen it since. Just ordered a second for my headphone rig.
Audiophonics Sabre dual 9038 Q2M as kit with case Remote etc. run it with Ropieee XL on the built in RP4 for less than 500€
 
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Now you talk about Kef to upholold your argument and your specific use case (Qobuz via Moode).
U ok hun?
I guess, people have their own needs and Pi was not the OP need.

Moode must never go out of date and will be around in 12 years time.

Even the most respected manufacturers, such as Kef, eventually abandon their AIO support.

If my £30 Pi and free software support stops: at worst, I lost £30. Boohoo.

Or I try different free software.

What should have happened in this thread is other members make informed suggestions based on their experiences and the OP read them and pick one they like, or pick none.

Really simple, very common method of online communication.

Instead we have yet another petty, arrogant, tedious ASR bunfight.

I'm done with this nonsense.
 

biglebowski

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I have been there, and finally went for the CXNV2. It's been 8 months and I kind of like it ! It used to run quite hot when I was using its RCA output, but since I switched to the XLR out, it runs pretty cool. I really like the UI/UX, both the large screen on the device and the Stream Magic iOS app are very good. Stream Magic is the software which is also running in the latest Evo line, I am not really afraid of software support in the future.

I don't really like the idea that Cambridge DACs do upsamples everything to 384kbps (actually it is the DSP that upsamples, for the DAC to work only with 384 signals), but I doubt it is audible. Maybe this device will be measured one day :rolleyes:

The one thing that I don't really like is that there are only 30 volume steps in preamp mode. I have been in touch with the Cambridge team the request has been received to increase it, I am not sure it will be done anytime soon though, since such a change need to be assessed by all the streaming platforms integrated... which probably involve time and costs.

Edit : After considering the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 I chose the CXN because it integrates Spotify Connect + a companion app, which is not available with the Matrix Mini-i Pro 3. Also I prefer the form factor on the CXN. Matrix is probably a better DAC though.
 
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