Author Topic: looking for streamer advice  (Read 2468 times)

Offline RichardS

  • Seeking Help
  • **
  • Posts: 73
looking for streamer advice
« on: June 24, 2016, 08:36:55 AM »
Need some advice on a streamer, for streaming Tidal.
The Auralic Altair looks particularly interesting. How good is the Aires mini (both from its digital and line outs). What else is out there?

I have a Modwright tube-modded Sony HAPZ1 streamer, that I really like, but it doesn't do Tidal streaming (only Spotify) and has no digital ins or outs, so I need a streamer with a DAC included, or I'll need an additional new DAC as well.

What would you recommend, and why? Open to any ideas, but probably want to keep it all under $2K, since itís a secondary source. I have wifi from my router, but no ethernet ó the audio room is in a small studio in a separate building 10í from main house where the router is.

Offline richidoo

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11136
Re: looking for streamer advice
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2016, 12:35:09 PM »
Your Sony has USB input, so you have many choices, like Sonore microRendu which we used as USB source for Aurelic Vega at the g2g. You could also use a Raspberry Pi ($50) or similar small host computer with any of several free linux OS built for for high end audio.

That Altair looks very cool with built in storage and ethernet. The SQ of Vega is supreme so Altair should sound at least as good.  Since Vega is 3500, I would assume Altair will cost even more?

The Aries Mini did sound very good. It can output USB to your DAC. It's own DAC is 8/10, similar SQ to Vega but space isn't as big due to opamp output stage. Great value for $600 or whatever it is now. With all Auralic products you need an Apple client to control them.

With Raspberry Pi you can control it from any client. But there will be some simple linux setup like setting IP address, music network storage location, etc.

Offline HAL

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • Audio Mad Scientist
    • Hollis Audio Labs
Re: looking for streamer advice
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2016, 04:06:17 AM »
You can also run something like Moode Audio or Roon OS on the RPi3 for streaming purposes.  Both just have to be written from image files to a MicroSD card for the OS to boot the RPi3. 

Trying one of the $49 iFI 5VDC regulated supplies with the RPi3 for listening trials.  Just built a DIY USB AK4490EQ DAC to try with it.  Should be interesting.

Offline RichardS

  • Seeking Help
  • **
  • Posts: 73
Re: looking for streamer advice
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 05:43:53 AM »
Thanks for the input.
However -- Though the Sony DOES have a USB input, it's my understanding from reading the HAPZ1 forums that this is not an audio input for playing computer files, but only capable of being used for either transferring files to the unit, or for adding more HD space for file transfer from a computer, using the proprietary HAP transfer program -- and both require the reformatting of the drive by the Sony before files are added.

So, no Tidal streaming capability. Which is why I'll need another device, and a separate or included DAC. If there's someone who has found a way around this and figured out a way to stream Tidal on the Sony, I'm all ears. Sony recently added Spotify streaming, so maybe (fingers crossed) they'll add Tidal at some point. Or not. Sony's pretty coy with their future plans.

I understand Sony's reasons for not adding digital inputs, but in theses days of streaming and the fabulous sound the Sony supplies (especially with the Modwright tube output stage) it is a pity...

Offline Nick B

  • Administrator
  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1614
Re: looking for streamer advice
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 06:10:12 AM »
The Auralic Aries Mini is a great buy. I did buy a linear power supply from Mojo Audio and the Mini goes into my Antelope Gold dac. Tidal works nicely thru the Mini. Only problem with the Mini is it can't handle Roon.
ICEpower 1200as2 stereo amp
Audio Hungary APR 204 preamp
KEF LS 50 speakers
Border Patrol SE dac
Auralic Aries Mini
Roon & Tidal
Don Sachs phono
Basis Ovation turntable
Graham 1.5 T tonearm
AT-ML150 cartridge
PI Audio Uber
All cables by Gary A

Offline mdconnelly

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1324
  • new ways to dream...
Re: looking for streamer advice
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2016, 03:03:05 PM »
All I can add is that Tidal integrated in Roon is really pretty amazing.  I have become so impressed with what Roon is doing and how well they're doing it.   I'm also streaming via a Sonore uRendu as a Roon endpoint to my Devialet with all of my music up on a Win 10 PC running RoonServer.

Hey, it all just works and sounds the best I've had in my system.