Digital Neophyte - Need advice on streaming Spotify

So I'm a hardcore vinyl guy ... built a listening room around my vinyl rig, and have enjoyed it immensely. But, I've been expanding my jazz collection and repertoire, and I've found that a good, affordable way to find out what I like before I shell out good $$ on quality vinyl is to preview it on Spotify. So, I'm using the USB connection on my Yamaha CD-S300 CDP to allow me to Spotify through my system. I currently have one of my iPads connected to the CDP. What I really like is that I can control that iPad (through Spotify) with my iPhone remotely from my listening chair. It's awesome! What isn't awesome, though, is the quality of the music playback. It's not horrible, but it's certainly many steps below my analog rig. I'm wondering what a logical, and affordable, upgrade path would be. I would be willing to add a DAC, to replace the CDP connection I'm currently using, but I'm not sure what to get that will allow me to use my iPad/iPhone combo like I am now. I know there's a couple iDACs out there (Wadia and Arcam come to mind) but I know precious little about them. Or is there a better way to accomplish what I want to do? I'm not looking to spend a fortune as this will never supplant my analog rig as my primary source. But I would appreciate an improvement in sound quality.

Thanks in in advance for your advice!

Tom

Comments

  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 8,189
    edited January 2016
    The issue is mostly because you're streaming MP3. Spotify is nice to find new bands, to have a massive catalog at your fingertips, not so nice for critical listening. Try Tidal instead which streams lossless or buy albums on HDTracks.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,184
    Are you using free Spotify? Or Premium?

    Spotify premium through my modded ps audio DAC sounded really good.
    __________________________________________________
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  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 8,189
    hochpt21 wrote: »
    Are you using free Spotify? Or Premium?

    Spotify premium through my modded ps audio DAC sounded really good.

    Does free Spotify stream less than 320 and you have to pay to get 320kbps? That's good to know if so.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • tlarwatlarwa Posts: 30
    I have Spotify Peemium. I think the internal DAC in the CDP is probably one of the limiting factors. That's why I'm thinking I should get a different DAC. But I'm not sure what to,get that will work,with my iDevice. I don't care so much about running the CDP through the DAC, since I don't listen to many discs. Although if I bought a better DAC that I could run the CDP through, I probably would.
  • tlarwatlarwa Posts: 30
    hochpt21 wrote: »
    Spotify premium through my modded ps audio DAC sounded really good.

    What do you have connected to your DAC that allows you to use Spotify? I guess that's what I really need to know. I want to continue using my iPhone and iPad, as described, if possible.
  • adb3daadb3da Posts: 486
    Take a look into Tidal hi Rez. You can get 1 month free. It works very similar to Spotify and has hi rez audio. The catch is that it's double the monthly price of Spotify. Also, the app is not quite as refined as as Spotify. It's worth doing a trial run with the free month.
  • tlarwatlarwa Posts: 30
    Take a look into Tidal hi Rez. You can get 1 month free. It works very similar to Spotify and has hi rez audio. The catch is that it's double the monthly price of Spotify. Also, the app is not quite as refined as as Spotify. It's worth doing a trial run with the free month.

    Does it have a feature similar to Spotify Connect, where I can control Spotify on my iPad from my iPhone? That's a really convenient feature since I can sit in my listening chair and skip around through different music without having to get up!
  • adb3daadb3da Posts: 486
    tlarwa wrote: »
    Take a look into Tidal hi Rez. You can get 1 month free. It works very similar to Spotify and has hi rez audio. The catch is that it's double the monthly price of Spotify. Also, the app is not quite as refined as as Spotify. It's worth doing a trial run with the free month.

    Does it have a feature similar to Spotify Connect, where I can control Spotify on my iPad from my iPhone? That's a really convenient feature since I can sit in my listening chair and skip around through different music without having to get up!

    I think that Tidal might be lacking that feature.

    Also, one thing to double check is your streaming quality setting on the iPad. There should be 3 options, and you want to select Extreme. It defaults to the lowest setting.

    As an alternate solution that requires a bit more cash, you might look into the Bluesound Node 2. I have not used one, but a coworker of mine that uses Tidal swears by it. It attaches to your preamp like any other standalone player and you can play a variety of sources through it (i.e. your own music collection on a PC or Mac or an online streaming service like Spotify or Tidal. It's also controlled by iPad or iPhone etc... I've heard the device has a quality DAC built in too so you might kill two birds with one stone. Again, I haven't used one but have heard nothing but good things. Here's a video I found on youtube.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=K0lbdeDS-FM
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,428
    tlarwa wrote: »
    Take a look into Tidal hi Rez. You can get 1 month free. It works very similar to Spotify and has hi rez audio. The catch is that it's double the monthly price of Spotify. Also, the app is not quite as refined as as Spotify. It's worth doing a trial run with the free month.

    Does it have a feature similar to Spotify Connect, where I can control Spotify on my iPad from my iPhone? That's a really convenient feature since I can sit in my listening chair and skip around through different music without having to get up!

    There is nothing short of a hundred different ways to skin that cat when it comes to streaming music. Most have all the usual music services apps built in for Apple or Android.

    You want to be able to stream your own music too in at least cd quality that you may have downloaded on your computer, not just Spotify/Tidal/Rhapsody or anyone else.

    I went for ease of use and got the Sonos on recommendations from other members and couldn't be happier. So easy a caveman can do it as they say....and I needed that for the wife too. Stream anything on your computer up to cd quality 16/44 plus all the music services you can think off and radio stations from around the globe including your local ones. Feed that into a good dac and your set. The apps for the Sonos are free in either Apple or Android and you enter your music services from there.

    The Bluesound mentioned above has it's own built in dac, works on the same principle but can handle higher rez files.
    HT SYSTEM-
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  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,184
    edited January 2016
    For my purposes, I was using a laptop with an hdmi to usb cable connected to my PS Audio DAC.

    I could use my iphone on the couch to control spotify running on my laptop.

    @tlarwa
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • hochpt21hochpt21 Posts: 5,184
    Nightfall wrote: »
    hochpt21 wrote: »
    Are you using free Spotify? Or Premium?

    Spotify premium through my modded ps audio DAC sounded really good.

    Does free Spotify stream less than 320 and you have to pay to get 320kbps? That's good to know if so.

    I believe 160 is the highest on free and 320 only on premium.
    __________________________________________________
    2 Channel
    Turntable - VPI Scout 1.1/Ortofon 2M Blue
    Amplification - Parks Audio Budgie, Dared SL2000a, McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe
    Speakers - GoldenEar Triton 2
    __________________________________________________
    7.1 Home Theater
    Denon AVR-X3300W; Rotel RMB-1066; Polk CS350ls, LS90's, FXi3's, RC60i; SVS PC Ultra; BenQ HT2050; Elite Screens 120"
    __________________________________________________
    Man Cave
    Turntable - Pro-Ject 2.9 Wood/Grado Gold
    Integrated Amplifier - Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum II
    CD: Cambridge Audio
    Speakers - SDA 2A; Epos Epic 2
    __________________________________________________
  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 6,586
    I use Bluesound Node2 also.... It has iOS and android free apps. Tidal actually embeds in to the bluesound app and playback of tidal is thru the bluesound app.... You can config other services, radio and your music server and NAS as well. Very convenient/elegant way to listen to music and radio. My CD's are in storage.
    My New Year's resolution is 3840 × 2160

    HT:Polk LSiM 706 LSiM 705's VR3 LSiM 703's LSiM 702's| Marantz AV7704 | Sunfire TGA-7401 | Oppo UDP 203 | Sony PS4 Pro| Directv Genie HD DVR | Samsung 75" Q8 QLED | SVS PB13 Ultra | MIT EXP 2's (Fronts & Center)

    ManCave: Parasound Halo A21 | Parsound Halo A52+ | Marantz AV7002 AV PrePro | Usher Dancer Mini-x DMD's | Usher BE-616 Center | SVS Ultra Surrounds | SVS SB4000 Sub | SVS SB2000 Sub | Oppo UDP 203 | MIT Shotgun S3's | PSAudio Stellar GCD | Music Hall MMF 5.3se TT w/ Soundsmith Carmen | Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ | Lumin U1 Mini | HP Elite Slice PC | ROON'd for life | Samsung 50" SUHD TV | Sony PS4

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  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 6,586
    The Auralic is also something to look at and does dsd/dxd.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ACARIESMI&variation=BLK

    My New Year's resolution is 3840 × 2160

    HT:Polk LSiM 706 LSiM 705's VR3 LSiM 703's LSiM 702's| Marantz AV7704 | Sunfire TGA-7401 | Oppo UDP 203 | Sony PS4 Pro| Directv Genie HD DVR | Samsung 75" Q8 QLED | SVS PB13 Ultra | MIT EXP 2's (Fronts & Center)

    ManCave: Parasound Halo A21 | Parsound Halo A52+ | Marantz AV7002 AV PrePro | Usher Dancer Mini-x DMD's | Usher BE-616 Center | SVS Ultra Surrounds | SVS SB4000 Sub | SVS SB2000 Sub | Oppo UDP 203 | MIT Shotgun S3's | PSAudio Stellar GCD | Music Hall MMF 5.3se TT w/ Soundsmith Carmen | Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ | Lumin U1 Mini | HP Elite Slice PC | ROON'd for life | Samsung 50" SUHD TV | Sony PS4

    Patio | Polk Atrium 8's | Yamaha R-N303BL |

    Office |Cocktail Audio X14 | KEF LS50 | Peactree Nova 125SE |

    Bedroom | Focal 905's | Chromecast Audio |

    Garage | Polk Monitor 5B's

    Closet Yamaha M80 | 2 Polk MP3K subs| Yaqin MC100B with Shuguang Treasures KT 88's & CV181Z's | Tesla E83CC's | Marantz 2252B | Marantz 2385 | Bluesound Node |Polk SDA SRS 2.3 |
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,841
    spam reported.
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  • I have had Tidal HiFi for a little over a year. There are 2 versions Tidal Premium (lossy quality) and Tidal HiFi (lossless CD quality – FLAC-based 16-Bit/44.1 kHz – and MQA).

    I have not used Spotify so I cannot compare the two interfaces.

    I have two systems that I stream Tidal through. My primary has the Auralic Mini which I love but they are no longer in production. Auralic has its own app for controlling that runs on iOS. Good product and sound. My office rig I have $35 Chomecast dongle connected via toslink to Yamaha integrated and it sounds surprisingly good. In this scenario I use the native Tidal application and find it very intuitive and is controlled with my iPhone..

    I have heard good things about the Bluesound streamers as well as Cambridge.

    I like the convenience and rarely play cds anymore.


    Living Room
    Yamaha Aventage RX-A 1060, Parasound P5, Parasound A23, Yamaha BD-S681, Cambridge Audio Azur 851N, Polk S60, Polk S30, Samsung 60" LED

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