Impressions of Tidal

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Comments

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,298
    edited February 15
    joecoulson wrote: »
    Drew you are very shrewd

    "shrewd
    Dictionary result for shrewd
    /SHro͞od/
    adjective
    adjective: shrewd; comparative adjective: shrewder; superlative adjective: shrewdest

    1.having or showing sharp powers of judgment; astute."


    Yes, I agree. Plus, my name is inside it!
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,717
    I personally feel the archaic version is better suited - piercingly cold
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,294
    Someday I will have to try out streaming, but not yet. Between ripped CDs, and high res downloads I have more music than I need for many nonstop music sessions. Plus, the songs are at least 44/16, and downloads even better.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • tophatjohnnytophatjohnny Posts: 2,704
    Had plenty of time with a free stab at Tidal and it was ok. With the massive library I have put together .. I now have what I like to call Tophattidal and it sounds a lot nicer to my ears. Setting up a list and hitting shuffle ..well that's tough....ahh not. Guess Tidal will have its place for some. Not here.
    "if it's not fun, it's not worth it & remember folks, "It's All About The Music"!!
    *****************************
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 1,459
    Just subscribed to Tidal when on vacation last month and loved their mobile app. Last night I remembered I had an account so I downloaded the desktop app and messed with it till midnight. Love the ease of navigation. Mainly used the "Similar Artists" feature to create an eclectic array of playlists in a very short time. This morning I was looking at all my CD's and thought WTF am I going to do with these things now???.

    There are 4 levels of quality with membership. Normal, High, HiFi and Master. I have it on High currently.

    What is everyone here using to connect their computer to their stereo? I'm currently using this:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Jack-3-5mm-to-Dual-RCA-Audiophile-Audio-Cable-PC-AUX-Amplifier-Headphone/173395128134?var=472104461700

    My computer has a very good quality sound card and it sounds really good this way but if anyone has any suggestions for a newbee let me know.

    Rob
    Home System:
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    1000 Va Dreadnought- w/ WireWorld Mini-Eclipse cables
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    WireWorld Silver Eclipse IC's
    Cambridge Audio Azur 851N - DAC/Streamer
    Parasound Halo C-2 Pre/pro
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    BLE-Design 16mm Power Cables
    Denon DVD 2900

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
    BluDenso - Bluetooth receiver/DAC
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,717
    USB
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,013
    edited February 17
    @audioluvr

    A PC is not the best source because of the noise. A used squeezebox touch is much better. If you’re going to use the pc, then as joe says run USB to an asynchronous usb dac. Tons of options. For a good entry level option try a iFi iDSD nano off eBay.
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Energy s10.2 sub; Cambridge Azur 851a; Cambridge Azur 752BD; Bryston BPD-1; NVidia ShieldTV
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM350; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP;
    ; Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, ACI Titan Subwoofer Squeezebox Touch
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,083
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Just subscribed to Tidal when on vacation last month and loved their mobile app. Last night I remembered I had an account so I downloaded the desktop app and messed with it till midnight. Love the ease of navigation. Mainly used the "Similar Artists" feature to create an eclectic array of playlists in a very short time. This morning I was looking at all my CD's and thought WTF am I going to do with these things now???.

    There are 4 levels of quality with membership. Normal, High, HiFi and Master. I have it on High currently.

    What is everyone here using to connect their computer to their stereo? I'm currently using this:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Jack-3-5mm-to-Dual-RCA-Audiophile-Audio-Cable-PC-AUX-Amplifier-Headphone/173395128134?var=472104461700

    My computer has a very good quality sound card and it sounds really good this way but if anyone has any suggestions for a newbee let me know.

    Rob

    I am using a bluesound node 2.
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,717
    Joey. You gotta get a CXN. Your ears will thank you for streaming Tidal.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 1,459
    edited February 17
    rooftop59 wrote: »
    A PC is not the best source because of the noise

    Noise?

    For a good entry level option try a iFi iDSD nano off eBay.

    Thanks! I'll look into it.
    Joey_V wrote: »
    I am using a bluesound node 2.

    Cool! Thanks Joey. I'll check out one of those too!

    Also I noticed the blue node is bluetooth compatible. That would be good for my laptop because it has bluetooth. No cables! Does that feature degrade quality over the iFi iDSD Nano and a cable?
    Home System:
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    1000 Va Dreadnought- w/ WireWorld Mini-Eclipse cables
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    WireWorld Silver Eclipse IC's
    Cambridge Audio Azur 851N - DAC/Streamer
    Parasound Halo C-2 Pre/pro
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    BLE-Design 16mm Power Cables
    Denon DVD 2900

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
    BluDenso - Bluetooth receiver/DAC
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,013
    audioluvr wrote: »
    rooftop59 wrote: »
    A PC is not the best source because of the noise

    Noise?

    For a good entry level option try a iFi iDSD nano off eBay.

    Thanks! I'll look into it.
    Joey_V wrote: »
    I am using a bluesound node 2.

    Cool! Thanks Joey. I'll check out one of those too!

    The noise floor is much higher on a pc. You won’t notice the difference until you try something better. Like I said, check out the squeezebox touch on eBay for a cheaper solution...
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Energy s10.2 sub; Cambridge Azur 851a; Cambridge Azur 752BD; Bryston BPD-1; NVidia ShieldTV
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM350; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP;
    ; Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, ACI Titan Subwoofer Squeezebox Touch
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,298
    edited February 18
    Joey_V wrote: »
    I am using a bluesound node 2.

    In my opinion you owe it to yourself and the rest of your system to upgrade to a better streamer. The measurements on the Bluesound are mediocre:

    pc0l5fgh754j.png

    "Bluesound specs the unit at 0.005% and measurements are actually better in both channels. Resulting SINAD though (signal over noise and distortion) is not great at just 88 dB. This is well short of the dynamic range of the CD so the statement that the unit supports high-resolution, 24-bit playback is moot. The SINAD lands in out lowest quarter as far as DACs/streamers tested"

    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-bluesound-node-2i-streamer.6631/
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,083
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Joey_V wrote: »
    I am using a bluesound node 2.

    In my opinion you owe it to yourself and the rest of your system to upgrade to a better streamer. The measurements on the Bluesound are mediocre:

    pc0l5fgh754j.png

    "Bluesound specs the unit at 0.005% and measurements are actually better in both channels. Resulting SINAD though (signal over noise and distortion) is not great at just 88 dB. This is well short of the dynamic range of the CD so the statement that the unit supports high-resolution, 24-bit playback is moot. The SINAD lands in out lowest quarter as far as DACs/streamers tested"

    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-bluesound-node-2i-streamer.6631/

    For the price I think it is adequate

    Not my reference playback for digital anyway

    What would you recommend for similar cost?
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,288
    A used Aries Mini. Unfortunately most realize the value and don’t sell them anymore.
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,085
    edited February 18
    (Reference the Bluesoud Node 2i review mentioned above)

    When the author of that test later tested the coax output, it measured far better; for those using the 2i as a transport only. He mentions that it's not capable of "true" 24 bit resolution....Newsflash: NO DAC on planet Earth resolves at the 24 bit level, at any cost. He later conceded that "it will measure as well as the DAC it is connected to." He also mentions that the 2i doesn't have the dynamic range of a CD...another newsflash: CD's don't have the dynamic range of the CD (redbook) standard in the real world.

    I haven't bought a streamer yet, so I have no skin in the game--but I thought this review had some holes in it and lacked supporting info on how some the measurements were done. I also was surprised at some of his commentary (see above) that seems to be pretty common knowledge in the audiophile world.

    I don't pretend to be smarter than the reviewer, but I ask you to read the review link and let me know what you think.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: PSB Imagine T2
  • 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

    Office
    Yamaha A-S501, Auralic Aries Mini, LSiM 703s

    Douglas Connection ICs and Cables
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,013

    wow. you can get a Lumin M1 for less on the same site. Yes, must be a mistake surely...
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Energy s10.2 sub; Cambridge Azur 851a; Cambridge Azur 752BD; Bryston BPD-1; NVidia ShieldTV
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM350; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP;
    ; Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, ACI Titan Subwoofer Squeezebox Touch
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,083
    steveinaz wrote: »
    (Reference the Bluesoud Node 2i review mentioned above)

    When the author of that test later tested the coax output, it measured far better; for those using the 2i as a transport only. He mentions that it's not capable of "true" 24 bit resolution....Newsflash: NO DAC on planet Earth resolves at the 24 bit level, at any cost. He later conceded that "it will measure as well as the DAC it is connected to." He also mentions that the 2i doesn't have the dynamic range of a CD...another newsflash: CD's don't have the dynamic range of the CD (redbook) standard in the real world.

    I haven't bought a streamer yet, so I have no skin in the game--but I thought this review had some holes in it and lacked supporting info on how some the measurements were done. I also was surprised at some of his commentary (see above) that seems to be pretty common knowledge in the audiophile world.

    I don't pretend to be smarter than the reviewer, but I ask you to read the review link and let me know what you think.

    If that’s the case, then what’s the harm of connecting the Node 2 via coax into my DAC?
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs DAC2x and TSDX Transport -> Cary SLP-05 preamp -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2

    Old Gear:
    Speakers: BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source: Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification: Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased)
    Amplification: HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer: Infinity Entra2 sub -> SVS 25-31PC+ sub
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 19,085
    edited February 19
    Exactly.
    Source: Bluesound Node 2i - Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2 DX - Amplifier: Parasound Halo A21 - Speakers: PSB Imagine T2
  • Tramsparent_Tramsparent_ Posts: 14
    edited February 19
    I often hear about the noise floor of a PC (makes some sense) and it not being a good environment for a soundcard, etc; but honestly, I'm not hearing ANY noise.
    I'm using an ASUS STX-ii Soundcard (modified with Burson Op Amps) with an i3 processor and good power supply.
    I've tried digital output into a CHORD MOJO DAC and haven't heard ANY difference from the RCA outputs on the ASUS, into my Integrated.
    Maybe a more expensive DAC would provide a difference but I've always thought the MOJO was half-decent and the modified STX-ii outstanding.

    My 2 cents...
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,288
    You aren't going to hear NOISE as an audible artifact. It's going to show itself in the smearing of your soundstage and a loss in dimensionality. A streamer is nothing more than a digital transport. It's impact on the sound may not be as critical as the DAC but it still plays an important role. This is why, even when people used them as transports only, the Aries Mini still won.

    There is a reason you see high end streaming transports with no dacs. It isn't to take advantage of people but to actually elevate performance. Noise travels through a system and anything at the transport level will carry on through your system.
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 5,141
    The problems with using a computer for a transport usually stems from moving parts...things like fans, spinning discs...they create noise.

    This can be lowered substantially with solid state drives and fanless computer systems.

    But then you have to factor in power supplies. Consumer computer power supplies typically are not designed with quietness in mind. They have noisy pathways that always manages to find a way into the signal.

    Ideally, if you are set on using a computer as a streaming transport, you can get significant noise reduction by using a laptop with no fans and a SSD. Running on battery, you remove the power supply noise from the equation.

    *But*, I have a really nice laptop with no cooling fans (an "Ultrabook" if you will) and SSDs and it still doesn't come close to sounding as good as my Nativ Vita streaming transport. And the Vita is essentially an ARM Cortex based computer but without all the "things" that cause noise in a regular computer system.

    This is why things like the HiFi Berry are so popular as a streaming device for audiophiles.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • Mikey081057Mikey081057 Posts: 6,676
    I use an HP Slice with an SSD. Only problem I have with it is knowing if it is on or not.
    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 |
  • DSkip wrote: »
    You aren't going to hear NOISE as an audible artifact. It's going to show itself in the smearing of your soundstage and a loss in dimensionality. A streamer is nothing more than a digital transport. It's impact on the sound may not be as critical as the DAC but it still plays an important role. This is why, even when people used them as transports only, the Aries Mini still won.

    There is a reason you see high end streaming transports with no dacs. It isn't to take advantage of people but to actually elevate performance. Noise travels through a system and anything at the transport level will carry on through your system.

    Thanks for the additional information.

    I'm certainly not suggesting a Soundcard (mods or not) is a better way to go than a good DAC system. But as far as smearing and a loss of dimenionality, I don't feel I am losing to either of those, at all, and I'm super-happy with what I have (the main thing).
    I DO however hear an understandable difference between FLAC and streaming with the latter reminding me of listening to FM- compressed and boring; convenient though.
    Tidal is the best one I've heard (so far).

    As for mechanical system noise, I have none. Celeron (fanless) on one of my Servers with SSDs.

    The i3 system is super quiet as well with no fan noise.

    I'm not sure how much I'd have to spend on a good DAC to hear any difference between it and my current Soundcard with a high-quality source.

    Cheers
  • Tramsparent_Tramsparent_ Posts: 14
    edited February 19
    DSkip wrote: »
    You aren't going to hear NOISE as an audible artifact. It's going to show itself in the smearing of your soundstage and a loss in dimensionality. A streamer is nothing more than a digital transport. It's impact on the sound may not be as critical as the DAC but it still plays an important role. This is why, even when people used them as transports only, the Aries Mini still won.

    There is a reason you see high end streaming transports with no dacs. It isn't to take advantage of people but to actually elevate performance. Noise travels through a system and anything at the transport level will carry on through your system.

    Thanks for the additional information, I appreciate your time.

    I'm not suggesting a Soundcard (modified or not) is a better way to go than a good DAC. However, I do not feel I'm losing to a compromised soundstage or a loss of dimensionality (at all). But I've been surprised in this hobby before!

    The SQ keeps increasing with better source materials and I'm more than satisfied with my current sound: (what really matters).

    Perhaps I haven't maxed-out my system yet; and the question now might be how much would I have to spend on a good DAC to begin to hear any differences over what I have now.

    Tidal is the best I've heard so far with others sounding rather boring (reminds me of FM); but the streamers are convenient which seems to be winning in the marketplace.

    PS- NO mechanical noises from my system that uses a fan-less processor and SSDs.
    Post edited by Tramsparent_ on
  • DSkip wrote: »
    You aren't going to hear NOISE as an audible artifact. It's going to show itself in the smearing of your soundstage and a loss in dimensionality. A streamer is nothing more than a digital transport. It's impact on the sound may not be as critical as the DAC but it still plays an important role. This is why, even when people used them as transports only, the Aries Mini still won.

    There is a reason you see high end streaming transports with no dacs. It isn't to take advantage of people but to actually elevate performance. Noise travels through a system and anything at the transport level will carry on through your system.


    Thanks for the additional information, I appreciate your time.

    I'm not suggesting a Soundcard (modified or not) is a better way to go than a good DAC. However, I do not feel I'm losing to a collapsed soundstage or a loss in dimensionality (at all). But, I've been surprised in this hobby before!

    The SQ keeps improving with well recorded source materials and I'm more than satisfied with my current sound; (what really matters).

    Perhaps I haven't maxed-out my system yet; and the question now might be how much would I have to spend on a good DAC to begin to hear any differences over what I have now. (?)

    Tidal is the best I've heard so far with others sounding rather boring (reminds me of FM); but the Streamers are convenient and that seems to be winning in the marketplace.

    PS- NO mechanical noises from my system that uses a fan-less processor and SSDs.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 1,543
    edited February 19
    Ive tried Spotify and Tidal and thought they both sounded better than the actual CD....at times.
    ....Other times, not sure, and also at times, maybe a very slight softening of the sound, but never did a truly in depth comparison.


    I guess overall, easily good enough to not leave any bad impressions.
    Lsi15, Lsi9, LsiC,Rta11t,M5jr+,M4, SDA SRS 2.3TL, Rti6....Still listing stuff, a work in progress.
    B+W-Sold
    Electro Voice EV-SIX
    Infinity-Sold
    Advent-Now gone
    Yamaha A-S801
    Yamaha RX-V377
    Yamaha RX-A860
    Yamaha RX-A3060
    Harman Kardon Hk-350i
    Harman Kardon Hk-........
    Harman Kardon PM-665
    Harman Kardon HK-775
    Pioneer.......Stereo Receiver

  • Tramsparent_Tramsparent_ Posts: 14
    edited February 19
    Thanks for the additional information, I appreciate your time.

    I'm not suggesting a Soundcard (modified or not) is a better way to go than a good DAC. However, I do not feel I'm losing to a collapsed soundstage nor a loss in dimensionality, But, I've been surprised in this hobby before.

    I'm more than satisfied with my current sound; (what really matters).

    Perhaps I haven't maxed-out my system yet; and the question now might be how much would I have to spend on a good DAC to begin to hear any differences over what I have now. (?)

    Tidal is the best I've heard so far with others sounding rather boring (reminds me of FM); but the streamers are convenient which seems to be winning in the marketplace.

    PS- NO mechanical noises from my system that uses a fan-less processor and SSDs.
  • K_MK_M Posts: 1,543
    I often hear about the noise floor of a PC (makes some sense) and it not being a good environment for a soundcard, etc; but honestly, I'm not hearing ANY noise.
    I'm using an ASUS STX-ii Soundcard (modified with Burson Op Amps) with an i3 processor and good power supply.
    I've tried digital output into a CHORD MOJO DAC and haven't heard ANY difference from the RCA outputs on the ASUS, into my Integrated.
    Maybe a more expensive DAC would provide a difference but I've always thought the MOJO was half-decent and the modified STX-ii outstanding.

    My 2 cents...

    There are so many variables to doing this, no simple one answer will apply.

    We have a few computers, and even between those, one older one sounds better, but no idea why.
    If anything it has more noise, and a lesser DAC, but still is more listenable.
    Lsi15, Lsi9, LsiC,Rta11t,M5jr+,M4, SDA SRS 2.3TL, Rti6....Still listing stuff, a work in progress.
    B+W-Sold
    Electro Voice EV-SIX
    Infinity-Sold
    Advent-Now gone
    Yamaha A-S801
    Yamaha RX-V377
    Yamaha RX-A860
    Yamaha RX-A3060
    Harman Kardon Hk-350i
    Harman Kardon Hk-........
    Harman Kardon PM-665
    Harman Kardon HK-775
    Pioneer.......Stereo Receiver

  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,013
    Thanks for the additional information, I appreciate your time.

    I'm not suggesting a Soundcard (modified or not) is a better way to go than a good DAC. However, I do not feel I'm losing to a collapsed soundstage nor a loss in dimensionality, But, I've been surprised in this hobby before.

    I'm more than satisfied with my current sound; (what really matters).

    Perhaps I haven't maxed-out my system yet; and the question now might be how much would I have to spend on a good DAC to begin to hear any differences over what I have now. (?)

    Tidal is the best I've heard so far with others sounding rather boring (reminds me of FM); but the streamers are convenient which seems to be winning in the marketplace.

    PS- NO mechanical noises from my system that uses a fan-less processor and SSDs.

    @Dskip said that this isn't a debate about DACs, its about the streaming source. I went from an albeit cheap intel celeron computer outputting through USB to an asynchronous DAC to a bryston BDP-1 streamer (no DAC) though the same external DAC and the difference clear and immediate: a MUCH blacker background (which is the result of a lower noise floor), better separation of instruments, and just better detail. You can enjoy either one, but a good dedicated streamer does make a difference, even into the same DAC.

    Grab a squeezebox touch on ebay and give it a try. Won't cost you much as you can resell it for about what you paid if you don't hear a difference...
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Energy s10.2 sub; Cambridge Azur 851a; Cambridge Azur 752BD; Bryston BPD-1; NVidia ShieldTV
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM350; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP;
    ; Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, ACI Titan Subwoofer Squeezebox Touch
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