Are there any good DACs for <3k that do streaming as well?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by eb24, May 15, 2017.

  1. eb24

    eb24 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London
    ... Basically something like the Ayre QB-9 but it also allows me to stream Tidal or maybe even Spotify - ideally native.

    Seems to me that the usual suspects when it comes to great value for money DACs (e.g. Shiit) dont do streamers. Am I wrong?

    Thanks fellas!
     
  2. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    get a good dac and a good separate streamer

    better performance and upgradibility in the future.
     
  3. robertzombie

    robertzombie Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    You really need to be looking in the £6k band for really good streaming.
     
  4. eb24

    eb24 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London
    Hmmm ok interesting.

    Odd that streaming is so tough / expensive to get right when you can get it on the cheap with e.g. an Apple TV?

    Maybe Macbook into USB DAC and then controlling the Macbook via app on iphone is the way to go then.
     
    Gary7704 likes this.
  5. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    lol
     
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  6. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I agree . . . perhaps you should consider a separate streamer, especially if you already own a DAC you like. For just Tidal and Spotify, you could get something less expensive. Whatever you get, be sure it does gapless playback . . . some don't, and eventually, that will be annoying.

    Or maybe there is a DAC none of us has thought of yet. I was about to suggest the Mytek Brooklyn, but I see it has no network input. Instead, it has a phono stage. An interesting choice by Mytek, but it might just be the right one to expand its market.
     
  7. Standingstones

    Standingstones Active Member

    Location:
    South Central PA
    The idea that you need to spend 6k anything for a streamer is laughable. Auralic has a streamer and streamer/DAC for under $2300. You can do better pricing to be sure. You just need to investigate.
     
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  8. warp2600

    warp2600 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    MARANTZ NA8005
    You may use it as a USB DAC or DLNA renderer on your local network or as a Spotify player (+internet radio). I think it can be set up to stream from other serveces, but you need to check that.
    I have got its smaller/cheaper sibling the NA6005, which does not have the USB B input, because I did not need that function. I only use it as a DLNA renderer and I love the sound. You may connect other digital sources like CD player via Toslink optical in.
     
  9. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    WTF?

    just WTF
     
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  10. seikosha

    seikosha New Member

    The Bluesound Node 2 is getting a lot of positive feedback.
     
    Solace likes this.
  11. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    The Simaudio Moon Ace is excellent - great streaming and DLNA/network access and a wonderful DAC. The Ace is also an integated very good amp, which may rule it out.

    The Marantz NA8005, mentioned earlier, is okay, but its internal DAC is merely good - not great - and Marantz still doesn't do TIDAL. You're frankly better off with a Sonos Connect or a Bluesond Node 2 than an NA8005.

    The Auralic Altair fits the bill perfectly. Brilliant streamer, brilliant DAC, TIDAL, etc., Internet radio, DLNA/UPnP, etc.

    Any of these will fit your budget. Hit the stores and, most important since the devices are primarily app-driven, check out the control apps. The Auralic Altair is excellent and really well sorted.

    Hit the Lumin web site as well. Their DAC-streamer is also excellent.
     
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  12. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Auralic Altair as already mentioned would probably be worth an audition.
     
  13. eb24

    eb24 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London
    Auralic Altair sounds interesting - thanks guys.

    Anyone compared the built-in DAC to the Chord Mojo by chance? I have the Mojo and am a fan.
     
  14. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    I just purchased the Marantz from Music Direct...they are blowing them out at $499...thats a great deal for this player....I've not tried Tidal or streaming yet but I've heard you can down load Tidal on another device and run it through the NA8005 through the usb port on the front of the player....infact they say you can down load any music site and run it through the usb port on the front. Its also got internet radio, DLNA/UPnP, etc. As far as the DAC its self...I find the DAC excellent.....nothing wrong with it...and I've heard some great DAC's including the Lampi (all of them), Cary and the Bricasti DAC''s. Is the NA 8005 better sounding than those DAC's? Nope but its no slouch for a $1200.00 DAC. I suspect as you go up the chain with the Marantz DAC's like the NA-llS1 @ $3500.00 it will be in a different league all together.....but the NA8005 aint bad. especially at the price point of $499. I was thinking about the PS Audio Nuwave DSD DAC discounted at $900. But happen to notice this one discounted at $499 and couldn't pass it up...especially when you consider both at one point where $1200.00.
     
  15. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Active Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
  16. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I have both. In my opinion, the DAC in the Altair is superior to the Mojo. As good as the Mojo is, it's designed principally to drive headphones. The Altair DAC competes head to head with the Graham Slee Majestic, North Star Incanto, Chord Hugo, Cambridge 851D, Naim DAC V1, Schiit Yggdrasil, PS Audio Nuwave and PS Audio Stellar, Mytek Brooklyn and quite a few others I've either auditioned or owned. Auralic's implementation of the DAC in the Altair is exemplary, IMO, and I think it deserves the most serious consideration on anyone's shopping list.

    The Mojo, by comparison, exposes some harshness to my ears and a bit less sophistication. The Mojo remains my go-to portable DAC, so I can't say anything bad about it at all. I think it's the best portable headphone DAC/amp on the market. It's not living room or listening room-ready though, AFAIC.
     
  17. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
    Ok...Out the box I've used the Marantz only as a DSD DAC....(haven't played around with the streaming as of yet) its a great overall performer. As always, I decided to add enhancements.

    (1)I decided to add a Wireworld Starlight USB 3.0 audio cable from the computer to a iFI Micro iUSB 3.o power supply that does reclocking...rebalancing, clears usb jitter and regeneration of the signal among other things. micro – iUSB3.0

    (2)Coming from the iFI USB 3.0 PSU, I added a double headed USB cable going into the Marantz DSD DAC USB input. Neutral Cable - Cavi Digitali .

    (3) I also ditched the power cord that came with the Marantz and added a Wireworld Electra 7 power cord. (OCC Copper). Power Conditioning Cords

    The Marantz is sitting on a 2 inch maple block which is sitting on 4 vibration pads on the shelf of the audio rack. I believe I am getting the best sound out of the Marantz by clearing internal smearing of the signal while enhancing its soundt at the same time. There is more air, weight and much better separation in the mid range with the Marantz. All I can say is WOW! This thing has jumped a few levels in performance! From what I am hearing the sound has opened up and is better than before. What I'm hearing is great at $1200.00 and a steal at $499.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  18. Slippers-on

    Slippers-on Well-Known Member

    Location:
    St.Louis Mo.
  19. murphythecat

    murphythecat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I second the Auralic altairs recommendation for all in one solution

    they know how to build a good streamer in the auralic aries and their DACs are also decent so tis a good choice for all in one
     
  20. eb24

    eb24 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    A somewhat wider question, and something I have actually always wondered about, is there a difference in sound quality between playing a digital file via USB into the DAC as compared to streaming it --- particularly for streaming media (e.g. Tidal)?
     
  21. The Simaudio DACs can usually have a MIND module included which handles all the streaming side of the equation. You can buy it as a stand alone piece as well. Good luck with the search!
     
  22. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    There can be, it depends on the implementation and what's hooked up to it. We are talking crazy audiophile level comparisons at this point though.
     
  23. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Oh YOU...!
     
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  24. robertzombie

    robertzombie Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    You'd think not, assuming you were comparing the same mastering (i.e. a brand new CD vs the Tidal stream). But many experts here state otherwise.
     
  25. eb24

    eb24 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London
    I was comparing the exact same source, e.g. Tidal played from Macbook via USB to DAC compared to Tidal e.g. on the Auralic App streamed into the DAC.
    I assume one doesnt lose much/anything by having the "file" go through a laptop and a USB cable..
     

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