Good DACs have known benefits, But what About Streamers


Hello Folks,

The benefits of quality DACs are well know to our ears and our rationale thinking. Many of us have solid evidence of this. I am currently in between DACs and  reverted back to using a SONOS Connect for my DAC on my system and the decline in fidelity from my Auralic is dramatic. As one person but it, it isn’t a fair fight.

But with the upgrades that I am doing to my system, the McIntosh PreAmp will have a wonderful DAC in it. But I still need a streamer. What I am wondering is if there is a substantial difference between streamer technology and will I be able to notice the difference between different DAC/Streamers when the DAC is by-passed. Will I, or would you, be able to notice the difference between a Auralic, Pro-Ject, BlueSound, Sonore or any other piece of equipment?

Thanks in advance for your constructive thoughts.

Currently Streaming... early GP & The Rumour! What a great band they were.
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I appreciate your response. As I said I am well short of an expert in this area.  I have also invested a considerable amount of money in my system.  As you suggested, I will listen to Hans.  If anyone else has guidance here it would be appreciated.  I think this is an area that is not well understood by the general audiophile 
Jworth - i don't follow your question, although i do support the recommendation to immerse yourself in Hans''s stuff....
Where are all thes DACs?
A streamer has no DAC. A DAC takes a USB feed. Something (might be the DAC, might be a device) converts the ethernet to USB.  End.
G
(who just designed a built a external power supply for his legacy, but very good DAC, and spent two hours hearing nuance heretofore missed)

Did i mention i HATE the editor here that crunches all the formatting i create, to make it easy to read, into giant, muddled paragrphs?  That dont seem to end?

Just like most audio muddles complex music into some amorphous tone.
If you use a really good reclocker right before the DAC to reduce jitter (any DAC in my experience will benefit from this), the streamer will not (relevantly) affect sound quality unless it does some processing (e.g. sample rate conversion). With this configuation, I ended up keeping only the bit-perfect optical out of a Chromecast Audio to stream content from Spotify (320k) and Qobuz (CD and hi-res) with stellar results in my very resolving audio rig. Without the reclocker or from its analog output, however, I wouldn't loose my time using the Chromecast for any critical listening. Generally speaking, I would keep away from using DACs included in streamers.
The DACs I have used have all been inbuilt to the streamers I have used LINN sneaky / magik / and Klimax but the massive sound difference has been probably on the DAC side. 
I also have an ARCAM CDS50 which is a cheap SACD / streamer but can act as standalone DAC so will experiment to see if I can hear difference .... I have had the Klimax and Arcam playing the same playlist into separate inputs on my pre and done a/b comparisons between them and not surprisingly the £5k one was better than the £700 one ...... but not by a huge amount.  

Separate streamers into the same quality DAC would probably see less of a difference