Help me out with streaming...

I'm currently streaming via USB from my mac mini into the usb input of a Hegel H190.  I'm using Audirvana with Tidal.  Is this optimal or am I missing something?


Streamers do a much better job than PCs or Macs. For years I used a MacBook plugged into the DAC on my system… I would unplug the MACBook so it was not being charged. In my office system I tried all sorts of software hard drives, power conditioning… shutting stuff down. It sounded OK.


It wasn’t until I got a streamer that things took a marked improvement. For me it was a Auralic Aries G2, but got really great when I switched over to Aurender. I now have the two best systems I have heard (click on my user ID). My digital end… streamer and DAC provide the same fidelity as my really great analog Turntable cartridge and Phonostage. My streamer sounds a bit better on many recordings because of the higher resolution files available on Qobuz… (highly recommended as the best high quality streaming service).


So after a couple of decades of trying to make my digital end sound as good as my analog end? Well, until recently it was not possible… and for a while only investing huge amounts of money in digital. But now it is. I would look at it this way… in general you want to put in around the same amount of money in each carefully chosen and synergistic component. So, at first pass say, streamer, DAC, Preamp, amp… all $2,500 if that is your investment level. Individual solutions will vary of course My streamer is about 15% more than my DAC or preamp… but my streamer is the same as my amp. Each component is critical… if you don’t get it right at the start… like a turntable…. Then it is not going to get better.


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+1 to using a dedicated streamer. The Mac Mini can still be used solely as the server.

You are experiencing a major bottleneck by using USB straight off the Mini’s motherboard. The H190 has streaming capability, so I recommend connecting the H190 to your network over ethernet. Then stream from the Mac Mini to H190 over UPnP. As long as the Mac Mini and H190 are on the same network it should work. This will accomplish a few things.

1) Separating server and streamer duties to separate devices

2) Connecting these devices over a network electrically isolates them

3) The streamer can be a low power and low noise device feeding into the DAC



You can get get sound from a computer with Audirvana Plus.  I prefer streamers but my recommendation is get a streamer on trial, put it in the same system, and compare

Budget?  Optical Rendu would be a big improvement if in budget.  Also, dump Tidal and get Qobuz if you can.  It’s just better if they meet your musical preferences, and no need to deal with their ridiculous MQA bullsh*t. 

I am still lost.  I'm using the network input of the H190.  Am I supposed to just use Apple Airplay with Qobuz or is there another, better way


Also, when using Apple Airplay with Qubuz, everytime a new song comes on, the volume on the H190 resets (I hear a click from the H190)

I'm getting frustrated here.  I just want to stream Hi-Res music from the internet to my amp.


I looked over the H190 literature… I found it hard to follow… it is not a streamer but accepts streamed inputs like from Airplay… which means it is only “streamed” stuff that it will play… so you use an iPad or something. This is not a streamer… but cleverly worded marketing. You are not going to get good sound quality this way.

I use Airplay in my kitchen for my Tivioli counter top system. Streaming Qobuz seldom works reliably… it isn’t Qobuz it is Airplay. You need a streamer… to plug in to the DAC on your H190.

A streamer will also have a control mechanism… typically an app on your iPhone or iPad… and Qobuz will connect with your streamer. I like Aurender… might check and see if they have any budget ones. Many people use Blue Node 2… they are very inexpensive, but still should be way better than what you have.

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