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Do all STREAMERS sound the same when used with the same external DAC?

GDK

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#21
which EQ software do you recommend?
I would suggest that you start with REW. First of all it’s free (although you will need to buy a UMIK-1 to use it). Secondly, because so many people already use it there are lots of guides and tonnes of support available here if you run into any issues. Subsequently, if you feel that REW doesn’t satisfy your requirements, then you can always move to some other (not free) options, but REW is a good place to cut your teeth on measurements, so to speak.
 

Beershaun

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#22
The sound should be exactly the same (unless the streamer is modifying data packets en route - which it shouldn’t).
Which unfortunately happens when Android and iOS devices resample the original files before sending them on.
 

Bombadil

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#23
That's not true. Certainly pre amplification. As was said in the last thread, the D to A conversion is way beyond audible errors if you have a well measuring DAC . You won't find improvements there, and likely not in amplification of you have good solid state amps with ample power for your speakers.

Upgrade your electronics if you want, but there is no magic to be had there, nothing will transform your listening.
So, when the streamer product "supports hi res streaming" like the higher end products do (e.g. Matrix) is that referring only to the analog output from the DAC within the streamer? Let's say the OP wants to make sure he is getting the most from his Tidal subscription, can he buy an Audioengine B-Fi for $180, plug the digital output into his external DAC and be assured he is getting a hi res stream? I've been confused about this because during my brief foray into Roon I noticed that the stream was limited to 24/45 or so when using a Sonos Port and their new S2 os as the streamer, digital out to a nice preamp (STR). When I replaced the Port with an Element i I noticed that the stream was often much higher than that (Qobuz). It seemed to me that the Sonos Port was limiting the quality of the digital stream. The last thing I want is to discuss hi res vs lower quality streams, I just would like to clarify the dilemma posed by this OP.
 

acbarn

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#24
So, when the streamer product "supports hi res streaming" like the higher end products do (e.g. Matrix) is that referring only to the analog output from the DAC within the streamer? Let's say the OP wants to make sure he is getting the most from his Tidal subscription, can he buy an Audioengine B-Fi for $180, plug the digital output into his external DAC and be assured he is getting a hi res stream? I've been confused about this because during my brief foray into Roon I noticed that the stream was limited to 24/45 or so when using a Sonos Port and their new S2 os as the streamer, digital out to a nice preamp (STR). When I replaced the Port with an Element i I noticed that the stream was often much higher than that (Qobuz). It seemed to me that the Sonos Port was limiting the quality of the digital stream. The last thing I want is to discuss hi res vs lower quality streams, I just would like to clarify the dilemma posed by this OP.
Sonos is limited to a maximum of 16/48: https://developer.sonos.com/build/c.../supported-audio-formats/flac-best-practices/
 

Jimbob54

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#25
So, when the streamer product "supports hi res streaming" like the higher end products do (e.g. Matrix) is that referring only to the analog output from the DAC within the streamer? Let's say the OP wants to make sure he is getting the most from his Tidal subscription, can he buy an Audioengine B-Fi for $180, plug the digital output into his external DAC and be assured he is getting a hi res stream? I've been confused about this because during my brief foray into Roon I noticed that the stream was limited to 24/45 or so when using a Sonos Port and their new S2 os as the streamer, digital out to a nice preamp (STR). When I replaced the Port with an Element i I noticed that the stream was often much higher than that (Qobuz). It seemed to me that the Sonos Port was limiting the quality of the digital stream. The last thing I want is to discuss hi res vs lower quality streams, I just would like to clarify the dilemma posed by this OP.
This is , to my mind, a murky area. Simple answer is "it depends". And I dont mean that glibly. It truly depends on the streamer and also what digital products you connect to it AND what services you stream to it. I would have thought a "hi res" capable streamer should be able to receive and convert the highest res stream any of the services it supports (leaving MQA aside)- but that doesnt mean it can stream that out of its digital outputs to another DAC.

Its a mess, Tidal with MQA for its "hi-res" makes it even more so. As you will have gathered, MQA is a totally different kettle of fish in terms of streaming and decoding.
 

Jimbob54

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#26
This is , to my mind, a murky area. Simple answer is "it depends". And I dont mean that glibly. It truly depends on the streamer and also what digital products you connect to it AND what services you stream to it. I would have thought a "hi res" capable streamer should be able to receive and convert the highest res stream any of the services it supports (leaving MQA aside)- but that doesnt mean it can stream that out of its digital outputs to another DAC.

Its a mess, Tidal with MQA for its "hi-res" makes it even more so. As you will have gathered, MQA is a totally different kettle of fish in terms of streaming and decoding.
Life is further complicated because a lot of the limitations are firmware not hardware dependent, so specs today in terms of compatibility might not apply tomorrow if there is firmware update in any given part of the chain.

My advice, just enjoy what you can play and if you are shopping for new , be sure to check the specs and reviews carefully but take nothing for granted.
 

Bombadil

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#27
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Bombadil

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#28
This is , to my mind, a murky area. Simple answer is "it depends". And I dont mean that glibly. It truly depends on the streamer and also what digital products you connect to it AND what services you stream to it. I would have thought a "hi res" capable streamer should be able to receive and convert the highest res stream any of the services it supports (leaving MQA aside)- but that doesnt mean it can stream that out of its digital outputs to another DAC.

Its a mess, Tidal with MQA for its "hi-res" makes it even more so. As you will have gathered, MQA is a totally different kettle of fish in terms of streaming and decoding.
Thanks. The ability to see the transfer rate was a nice feature in Roon.
 

Jimbob54

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#29
Thanks. The ability to see the transfer rate was a nice feature in Roon.
I agree, I use Roon. Though I am now at the point where I believe appreciation of "hi-res"- is more about the colour of the light/logo/numbers displayed than the sounds hitting my ears ;-)
 

Bombadil

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#30
I agree, I use Roon. Though I am now at the point where I believe appreciation of "hi-res"- is more about the colour of the light/logo/numbers displayed than the sounds hitting my ears ;-)
Amen. I tried very hard to hear a difference but now I only use Spotify. Nice interface, good selection of new music, and at last I figured out how to "stop playing this artist" so I don't have to listen to certain artists anymore. happy camper now.
 

Beershaun

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#31
This is , to my mind, a murky area. Simple answer is "it depends". And I dont mean that glibly. It truly depends on the streamer and also what digital products you connect to it AND what services you stream to it. I would have thought a "hi res" capable streamer should be able to receive and convert the highest res stream any of the services it supports (leaving MQA aside)- but that doesnt mean it can stream that out of its digital outputs to another DAC.

Its a mess, Tidal with MQA for its "hi-res" makes it even more so. As you will have gathered, MQA is a totally different kettle of fish in terms of streaming and decoding.
Agreed.
This is why using a raspberry pi is a popular solution. There are a few nice pieces of software written specifically for hifi audio streaming and playing. They prioritize things like bit perfect audio streaming so you can plug in an ethernet cable, and then send the signal out through either usb port or a HAT via optical or coax as you desire. Or attach a DAC and send out an analog signal. And they are affordable and in your control.
 
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#32
Hello. Let’s suppose you have the same app (e.g. TIDAL) being played on a cheap PC, a BluSound Node 2i, an Aurender N10 , a NAD M10 or any other streamer in between. If all those streamers are connect the same way (e.g. optical or usb) to the same external DAC, would the sound be exactly the same? I ask it because as of now I'm using a Node 2i as a streamer with an external DAC but was wondering if there are "better" streamers that could improve the sound quality I'm getting now? Thank you!
Which DAC do you use as I have Node 2i myself too and I think I can make some improvement by adding and external dac.
 

cochlea

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#34
Which DAC do you use as I have Node 2i myself too and I think I can make some improvement by adding and external dac.
I have a Node2i also. I thought I could improve the sound of my system by buying an external DAC. So, I purchased a Topping D50s. Guess what? No audible difference to my ears, but I suppose I gained a little satisfaction just by knowing the D50s measures better? Anyway, that’s been my experience.
 

richard12511

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#35
I have a Node2i also. I thought I could improve the sound of my system by buying an external DAC. So, I purchased a Topping D50s. Guess what? No audible difference to my ears, but I suppose I gained a little satisfaction just by knowing the D50s measures better? Anyway, that’s been my experience.
Yeah measurements don't really affect sound quality, unless your previous device was beyond terrible.
 
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#36
I have a Node2i also. I thought I could improve the sound of my system by buying an external DAC. So, I purchased a Topping D50s. Guess what? No audible difference to my ears, but I suppose I gained a little satisfaction just by knowing the D50s measures better? Anyway, that’s been my experience.
Maybe the SMLS U9??
 

AdamG247

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#38
I have the Bluesound Node 2i streamer and have a Schiit Modi 3+ DAC attached via digital coax. I would swear I can hear the difference between direct from the Node or Modi. I fully realize in a blind test that I would fall miserably. Amazing what the brain does to you even when your fully aware that your imagining the difference. o_O
 

Beershaun

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#39
My streaming sources end up outputting different volume levels. Specifically, my Denon X3100w has an HDMI ARC in from my TV and ethernet in from my home network. I can stream spotify from the TV via HDMI ARC or from Spotify connect on my phone to the AVR via ethernet. Spotify connect via ethernet sounds notably better to my whole family. (3x blind test) I expect this is because it's slightly louder?
 

Rottmannash

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#40
Actually I do enjoy hearing 50s and 60s records. Last night I heard a 1957 album by Sonny Rollins called "Way Out West" that's wonderful and the quality of the recording rival many modern recordings...

I'm curious about the software EQ. I've been treating my room acoustically and the firm I hired have done the first part (absorption) and next week they are going to install two bass traps and a diffuser. As of now the sound have drastically changed, almost no echo, it's like being isolated and it's kind of funny, when I'm going to my studio in my house talking with my wife or daughter and then enter the studio (that has been treated) we all suddenly feel the change and the sound becomes "dry" and "precise" for a lack of better words. I've noticed the MID RANGE SOUND have improved dramatically, absolutely intimate and hearing Melody Gardot's album "My One and Only Thrill" have become a whole new experience. I've never experienced her beautiful voice in such an intimate and "magical" way. BUT, I would like to add a little more "life" to the music, and by "life" I think I'm talking about a little more "highs". My speakers are very neutral ATC SCM7 (soon to arrive a pair of Revel M106) and I don't like the idea of using EQ, but now that you mentioned, which EQ software do you recommend?

Thank you very much,
Like you I love that Sonny Rollins CD-couldn't believe the sound quality coming from a recording that old.
 
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