for streaming most here will recommend the bluesound node 2, which is around $500, sounds vg and is very user-friendly--you can also find the node n100 for around $300. the cheaper solution would be the chromecast audio ($35) + a modest dac like the cambridge dacmagic, which you can also use with other gear.
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I’m in the process of building my system around my Apogee Acoustics Duetta Signature Series II electrostatic speakers.I'm 99.999 percent sure that Apogees are not electrostatic speakers. They are a planar system, but not all planars are electrostats.
Currently, I stream Spotify at their highest 320 kbps compressed mp3 format, but I know I’ll need to get to at least CD/SACD quality. Apogees are very unforgiving towards source material that is lacking. Looking for recommendations from fellow audiophiles in two areas...If budget is a factor, you can't do better than a Raspberry Pi and something like a Digi+ hat to get a digital out into your DAC.
Nice catch. You are right on them being planar, not electrostatic. I say that knowing I am incorrect when I stop to think about it. My dad has had these speakers since he bought them in the '80s. They are mint and have always been my favorite sounding. Love the wall of sound effect. Put out a lot of energy. I debate if he upgraded when he went to Martin-Logan electrostatics. Either way, I came out a winner in my mind :).
I appreciate the recommendations. I will check them out. The bluesound node 2 loomisjohnson recommends looks promising as well from what I've read about it so far.
A Raspberry Pi3 is the cheapest but in my opinion it isn't the best if you're looking to stream from your phone. There is a certain input lag from button to music playing, especially if using Airplay that drove me nuts.
I would seriously consider something from Auralic, Aries Mini would be a good budget friendly option.
Hard to say what's "best" these days with streaming, since things are evolving pretty fast. I've taken what I believe to be moderate approach, tech-wise, with the understanding that a few years from now I'll be making another change to digital. My Sony HAP-Z1ES streamer/DAC (integrated unit) works very conveniently with Spotify. Retail price is about $2K, but it's available new for less here and there. It allows use of the excellent Sony App with tablet/phone. I especially like that if I do a few clicks in just the *Spotify* app, the Sony can be turned on remotely without even using the Sony app. Very nice for streaming. But the Sony App is great too. The HQP-Z1ES does not currently (at least not YET) allow Tidal streaming, however. Nor does it (YET) allow MQA, for what that's worth. Firmware updates in future may change some of the latter statements.
With the Sony HAP-Z1ES, there's also a 1 TB (expandable) hard drive on board that allows storage of ripped CDs and other digital music.
+3 on the Bluesound Node2. If you are on a REALLY tight budget , the previous generation, the Node N100, is available on Amazon at $300 and for less 2nd hand. It will still sound really good on the Tidal MQA files. If your budget allows it, another (significant) step up would be a Lumin D1 streamer which may be available for around $1K second hand, if one can be found. The Lumin will upsample and upgrade the sound on non-MQA files as well.
All great info all. I do more research based on your recommendations and let you know if I more questions. Lots to absorb before I come up with a proper plan. I first need to get a BAT preamp lined-up. I’m just not sure if making the amp section of my NAD C 372 passive and running the BAT VK-600 through it is going to satisfy me enough to delay buying a preamp before a streaming mechanism. Any input in that regard is appreciated.
I use a Raumfeld streamer into a Musicial Fidelity DAC for streaming from Tidal. Works perfect. The streamer cost 199 EUR. It is connected by cable to the router to provide HiFi quality from Tidal.
Raumfeld is coming with a new streamer shortly (called Teufel streamer). The specs are not released. Price is 299 EUR.
I am contemplating upgrading my DAC to the new Chord Qutest. Price is around 1500 $.