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Streamer recommendation (not WiiM Pro)

red_kk

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I’m looking for a streamer recommendation for my system which can play Tidal Max/Hifi via connect.

This is my system

Apple TV -> SMSL SU9n DAC -> Parasound A31 Amp -> KEF R11 speakers

I’m currently using Apple TV Gen 2 as my streamer and use my phone to airplay Apple Music. I don’t like to use airplay and hence looking to replace the Apple TV with a good streamer which works with Tidal.


I tried WiiM Pro but I didn’t like the sound. Clearly the base, highs mids everything was out on my face and made my speakers too bright. I couldn’t listen for more than 15mins.
Clearly I don’t like the sound signature of this setup with WiiM Pro. I didn’t like B&W tower speakers for the same reason when I auditioned them.

Can anyone suggest a good streamer costing $500.
 

Nutul

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I tried WiiM Pro but I didn’t like the sound. Clearly the base, highs mids everything was out on my face and made my speakers too bright. I couldn’t listen for more than 15mins.
Clearly I don’t like the sound signature of this setup with WiiM Pro.
Even if you "play" it through your SMSL SU9...? You know, streamers do not have any sound signature...
 

Timcognito

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Maybe something like this will help with any streamer where you like the UI.
 

JustJones

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The Cambridge MXN10 supports tidal connect if that's what you're looking for. I think the WiiM pro plus supports Tidal connect as well. Any streamer using digital out to the SMSL should be the same.

 

antcollinet

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The Cambridge MXN10 supports tidal connect if that's what you're looking for. I think the WiiM pro plus supports Tidal connect as well. Any streamer using digital out to the SMSL should be the same.

As has been said above - streamers don't have a sound signature.


Further - with the Wiim you have the 10 band GEQ, or the 4 channel PEQ (soon to be 8 or 10 channel) to adapt the frequency response to match your preference. Or even do room equalisation.

In the unlikely event the poorer DAC performance was causing issues for you, you could also try the Pro + with the better DAC.
 

JustJones

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As has been said above - streamers don't have a sound signature.


Further - with the Wiim you have the 10 band GEQ, or the 4 channel PEQ (soon to be 8 or 10 channel) to adapt the frequency response to match your preference. Or even do room equalisation.

In the unlikely event the poorer DAC performance was causing issues for you, you could also try the Pro + with the better DAC.
I know streamers don't have sound signature it's why I said they should all be the same so I gave an option of the MXN10 in his price range that has tidal connect since He didn't want the WiiM Pro. I didn't see any reason to try and convince him otherwise it's a waste of time.
 

gwing

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If you were taking analog output from your streamer direct to there amp there might, possibly, be some coloration from the streamer but if you intend to take digital output to your DAC then that will not be the case. So if you don't like the streamed sound from the Wiim Pro into your DAC/Amp/Speaker chain then the coloration is going to be largely from the speakers, possibly a little from the DAC and Amp.

Steamers differ in their connectivity and features but (as long as you you don't use their internal DACs) not their sound characteristics, so changing the streamer isn't itself going to help. I know you don't like the Wiim Pro but *if* you are unsatisfied with the sound and want to change it then the Wiim family really is likely to be your best bet as they offersoptional built in equalisation which you can use to change those sound characteristics you don't like. You could get the cheaper Wiim mini or more expensive Pro Plus if you really don't want the Pro - used with an external DAC they are going to all perform similarly so you could just get the cheapest and smallest one, the mini, and save the cash. OTOH the Cambridge or Eversolo streamers are nice and you might like them - but (again if using the external DAC) they really won't actually sound different so choose between them on their looks/functions/ergonomics instead.
 
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red_kk

red_kk

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Even if you "play" it through your SMSL SU9...? You know, streamers do not have any sound signature...
That is why I mentioned sound Signature of my ‘setup’ not streamer. Something with WiiM Pro is not integrating well into my existing system.
 
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red_kk

red_kk

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If you were taking analog output from your streamer direct to there amp there might, possibly, be some coloration from the streamer but if you intend to take digital output to your DAC then that will not be the case. So if you don't like the streamed sound from the Wiim Pro into your DAC/Amp/Speaker chain then the coloration is going to be largely from the speakers, possibly a little from the DAC and Amp.

Steamers differ in their connectivity and features but (as long as you you don't use their internal DACs) not their sound characteristics, so changing the streamer isn't itself going to help. I know you don't like the Wiim Pro but *if* you are unsatisfied with the sound and want to change it then the Wiim family really is likely to be your best bet as they offersoptional built in equalisation which you can use to change those sound characteristics you don't like. You could get the cheaper Wiim mini or more expensive Pro Plus if you really don't want the Pro - used with an external DAC they are going to all perform similarly so you could just get the cheapest and smallest one, the mini, and save the cash. OTOH the Cambridge or Eversolo streamers are nice and you might like them - but (again if using the external DAC) they really won't actually sound different so choose between them on their looks/functions/ergonomics instead.
I didn’t get into details but I see people talk about something with clocking and power supply and jitter etc which can vary among different streamers.
 

GXAlan

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WiiM Pro Plus has the better DAC if you like the UI of the WiiM but not the sound. They also have PEQ support to fine tune the setup. This would let you bypass your SMSL DAC.

WiiM Pro to your DAC should be all digital. There is a setting to do bit perfect transmission instead of doing digital volume control. That shouldn’t be an audible issue, but could be an issue for why you are unhappy with the sound.
 
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red_kk

red_kk

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WiiM Pro Plus has the better DAC if you like the UI of the WiiM but not the sound. They also have PEQ support to fine tune the setup. This would let you bypass your SMSL DAC.

WiiM Pro to your DAC should be all digital. There is a setting to do bit perfect transmission instead of doing digital volume control. That shouldn’t be an audible issue, but could be an issue for why you are unhappy with the sound.
Thanks I’ll look into it. I actually don’t like the UI of WiiM. I directly play from my Tidal app and select WiiM pro from the devices list and play via Tidal Connect.
 
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kemmler3D

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Something with WiiM Pro is not integrating well into my existing system.
If you're doing digital out from the WiiM pro and you don't have any EQ settings on the WiiM pro active, the culprit can't be the WiiM pro, if your problem is excessive brightness. That's just not something that can happen with a digital in/out. Noise? Maybe. Tonality change? Nope.

So if you are hearing something unwanted in your system, keep looking for the cause, something else must be giving you trouble.

However, you might just try tweaking the EQ on the WiiM pro, it's a fast way to correct tonality problems.
 
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red_kk

red_kk

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If you're doing digital out from the WiiM pro and you don't have any EQ settings on the WiiM pro active, the culprit can't be the WiiM pro, if your problem is excessive brightness. That's just not something that can happen with a digital in/out. Noise? Maybe. Tonality change? Nope.

So if you are hearing something unwanted in your system, keep looking for the cause, something else must be giving you trouble.

However, you might just try tweaking the EQ on the WiiM pro, it's a fast way to correct tonality problems.

Could be brightness or something else hard to describe but I can’t hear for more than 15 mins for sure. Whereas my previous setup with Apple TV and optical cable I can hear for longer time without any fatigue. With WiiM Pro I can actually hear a lot of details may be a little too much of it?
 

SIY

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I see people talk about something with clocking and power supply and jitter etc which can vary among different streamers.
FUD. People say all sorts of nonsense with supreme confidence.

The digital performance is excellent, analog performance is "good enough."
 

radix

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If you are using the digital out of the Wiim, you could even use the Wiim mini. I don't think the DAC chip comes into play.

There are many settings in the Wiim app for the device. You might want to make sure the EQ is off and your SPDIF/COAX resolution is something reasonable like 48 khz/16 bit, or whatever is compatible with the DAC. There's other settigs for stereo/mono, balance, and fade-in/fade-out effects.

If all those are like that, I don't see how the Wiim would affect the sound.

The SU-9 does have a "sound color" setting. I wonder if that varies by input? Maybe when you select the Wiim input, it switches to some unexpected color or DAC filter?
 

NiagaraPete

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my phone to airplay Apple Music
You're not actually streaming through AirPlay. Hooked up and used that way the audio is via cable from the AppleTV to the DAC. Your phone is a remote as such. It won't sound any different than Tidal.
 
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red_kk

red_kk

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You're not actually streaming through AirPlay. Hooked up and used that way the audio is via cable from the AppleTV to the DAC. Your phone is a remote as such. It won't sound any different than Tidal.
Yes but with AirPlay I’m streaming from my phone to Apple TV in CD resolution 44.1 and 16but. It is not truly a remote in that sense. If I get a phone call the music stops.

Whereas WiiM with Tidal connect your phone is truly a remote and I get to play with higher resolution 24bit and 96khz etc. in this setup if I get a phone call the music doesn’t stop.
 

GXAlan

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I wonder if there are different streams depending on the streamer used


 
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