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newbie help with streamer selection and hoot

Joined
Jan 20, 2021
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#1
Hi guys, joined up today as I have been searching around the internet quite a bit just recently regarding getting into streaming etc and this site crops top a lot and the info and technical knowledge seems to be very good here. hopefully a few of you can kick me in the right direction although I must admit I am a bit of a dinosaur at times and haven't got much of a clue about what I am on about so please excuse me if I get things a bit wrong, don't be afraid about offending me, I have thick skin.....lol

right my system is as follows
AVR Denon AVR x3600H with Musical Fidelity hifi amp connected to its front low level outs which drive Dali Opticon 8 front speakers
Center speaker is Dali Opticon vocal and the rears / overheads are B&W 601s down low and B&W 301s up high making 7.1.4 ( BK Gemini 2 Sub)
Technics 1210 with Denon DL110 feeds straight into Musical Fidelity for vinyl which is 80% to 90% of my listening
Panasonic UB9004 feeds 4K blurry into the AVR as does Apple TV 4K
Video output is covered by Panasonic 4K OLED and Epson 9400 4K projector

So.....I have just got into streaming which is a new area for me and as a start I have joined up with Tidal and am quite happy with that and should imagine I will be keeping that as my streaming provider. I have the Tidal app on my iPad and find the GUI interface really nice, I have Tidal on the Apple TV and use that for playing around watching a few music videos etc. the Apple TV is ok for a bit of fun watching a few videos but not good enough for serious music listening. I have currently got the HEOS app on my iPad and use this to stream from TIDAL direct thought the inbuilt HEOS software in the Denon, quality results are OK but to be brutally honest no where near as close to the quality I get from my vinyl system.

so the plan is to improve on the audio quality of Tidal streaming, Apple TV Tidal can stay as it is for a bit of casual video watching:

Options I have come up with so far on my own with a bit (quite alot actually) of internet searching are as follows:

Options 1:
Blusound Node 2i with an external DAC, probably something like the Topping E30, plus points for this for me, BluOS user interface is sort of attractive in that a fair bit nicer to what I have now with the Denon heos app plus I would have the option of tidal connect straight away if I wanted to use tidal that way, down points are that the total outlay cost is approaching the Cambridge can which is option 2.

Option 2: Cambridge CXN probably a better unit that the blusound but I feel the GUI of the Cambridge app is not all that sexy looking, tidal connect is not available yet and nobody seems to know when its coming plus if it is buggy or whatever my fall back option would be the Cambridge app which is a bit bland to say the least, I could chromecast to the CXN from the TIDAL app but that still doesn't cover playback of stuff Ive got ripped to a NAS. by the way if one Chromecasts from Tidal app to the CXN where does the stream go? direct to the CXN or to the iPad first and then over WIFI to the CXN? that's a big question in my decision making I think????

Option 3: Have some kind of machine on all the time running Audiavana or Jriver or something (don't want the expense of the Roon route) but to be honest I don't really want to have a pc or something running all the time just for this or risk family non friendly issues when it crashes reboots or whatever making the system stop working for whatever reasons. that said I am open to suggestions here but would need a bit of convincing........haha

I think that's about it, any suggestions / help will be greatly appreciated, ultimate goal is to create a streaming system which compares to my vinyl one if that is at all possible

Many thanks
Sean
 

Westnelly

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Feb 26, 2021
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#2
Hi Sean,

not sure if you have moved on from this post, but thought I would give you my solution, as I have a very similar setup. The HEOS app is not great and with MQA support lacking, I initially went with Amazon HD which was OK, but when compared to tidal streams, not as good and couple with the really poor HEOS app, got frustrated with the set up.

I therefore went with the Bluesound Node 2i, but without the external DAC, as the Node2i has a pretty decent DAC itself and unfolds MQA streams - I connect this to my Denon 3600h via analogue (rather than digital) and play using pure direct.

I think this gives a really nice hi-if experience with the benefit of being able to use the bluesound app or tidal direct.

of course everyone has different music tastes and I am no audiophile, so I am sure others would disagree, but no need to get the external DAC with the node 2i.

best,
Neil
 
OP
S
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Jan 20, 2021
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Thread Starter #3
thanks for your reply, I ended up with the Cambridge can plugged into my musical fidelity amp so I bypass the Denon completely. I subscribe to Qobuz and did the year package as it worked out 60 quid a year cheaper than tidal and I also have normal hi res with Qobuz and no MQA messing about. I also ended up with Roon as the user interface......
 
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