Mid Range Streamer DAC recommendation help requested!


Good evening,

In looking for a new one box music streamer /DAC  I am striking out as far as the actual in store, "seeing, listening and buying" process is now a little bit harder to find.  

 Two of our local brick and mortar A/V stores have closed, Axpona is postponed until 2021, and the big city stores are now curbside delivery or online only.   

For now I am hoping to share this discussion with the Agon experts here to get your thoughts and feedback regarding a few possible good music streamer / DAC candidates.

I am looking for a  good quality Streamer/ DAC  that should provide years of good, enjoyable music service.

Some of the  Brands /models that I have read about as being good mid range devices are listed below:

Bryston BDA 3.14
Cary Audio  DMS-550
LUMIN  T2
Mytek  Brooklyn  Bridge / Manhattan

Please share your experiences (good or bad)  if you have had some extended / operating listening time with any of these components!   

Some of the criteria that I would hope to find would be :

1. Very good sound quality,    
2. Reliable, durable,  (something that does not break down during streaming or need  frequent tweaks or updates)
3. Future-proof, (as much as is reasonable) 
4. A product that is fairly easy to operate, and also fun to use.
5.  Right Jacks and plugs for the key connectors.  (Do not need a headphone jack or TT connector at this time).
6. Good quality  DAC chips, with equally high specs for playback PCM and DSD levels, etc.
7. Should function perfectly with ROON, Tidal, MQA, Qobuz, etc.

Not interested in the multiple box / PC route as I am not an IT person.  

PS 1: There may other Streamer DACs that should also be included  in this list ,and please suggest those in your reply email.

PS2: The output end of the music is through Legacy Amps and Legacy Focus SE speakers.

PS3: I will pursue some type of  digital storage in the future, maybe like a Roon Nucleus or equivalent. 
Hopefully that future NAS will mesh perfectly with the new streamer  DAC.

Thank you very much!

Dan


  








dan2019
SimAudio Moon 280d is niiice 

lumin t2 nice 

From what I've heard around here the best option is the Lumin or for much less $$$$ Pro-Ject Stream Box RS.
It has tube sweetness,  3.5" color display for art and remote. ~$1300.
@dan2019 Dan, what is your expected budget? You could have a look at the Cocktail Audio line up. I have the X45Pro and it would tick all your boxes, but maybe not your budget. But do look at the range. They are very good. 🇦🇺
I am enjoying Lumin T2 for the last 4 months. Very nice sound with a deep sound stage.

Also it has a nice software which works perfectly fine with the streaming services as well as my own music library running from QNAP network storage.
If you like "digital" sound, any DAC listed in your post will do the job because all of them qualify for specified requests. However, if by "very good sound" you mean very emotional, or very analog, probably none of here listed devices will make it. I've noticed that all recent DACs are trying to provide maximal neutrality and the smallest details in musical reproduction. In a sense, they all act like binoculars allowing you to see the smallest detail on perfectly clear winter horizon (it's freezing...). They all lack to transmit the emotion to my ears. I'm sure that many Audiogon audiophiles and happy owners of Bryston, Mytek, Blusound, PSAudio etc. will not agree with me, and will probably kill me for saying this. But I've found myself happier with a decade-old tube DACs like Musical Fidelity Tri Vista (modified), EAR Yoshino DACute, EAR Acute Classic CD & DAC, and more recently with Audio Note DAC 5, and Lampizator Big7. All of them are tube DACs, they have a distinct personality and their creators had the Analog Sound as a primary goal to achieve. The one I found most easy to live with is EAR Acute Classic. Connected to my Mac (USB or optical) it acts like streamer for Tidal and most of the time I'm using it as CD player. I may have more transparency and more neutrality with Mytek, but honestly, I do not care because that Tim de Paravicini's work is just a splendid music box. Anything I listen with it comes out in the beautiful summer-night landscape. But, if you are not into analog-sound pursuit, you will probably dislike it. It's been 4 decades that we listen digital sound mostly. So almost all of us have already lost the taste for analog. Unless you own a turntable as well.