Network streamer recommendation without a dac/amp (pure streamer), under $4k


So my SOTM 200 ultra is screwing up. Tried reburning the firmware to the microsd so many times but it doesn't start.

Want to get a more reliable streamer thats not so sensitive in terms of microsd/firmware. Want to spend about $4000 or less.

So far thinking at the $2k price point (used)
Bryston BDP2
Bryston BDP Pi
Moon mind 2
Aries g1
Bricasti M5

If I stretched my budget to $4k then:
Lumin U1
Aries G2

Any thoughts?   
smodtactical
Seems some of the best streamers are the Auralic models. they have a very good App as well
https://us.auralic.com/

Lumin as you mentioned already 


For much less money you should also consider the Blue sound node 2i it may be all you need. Blue Sound has a very good app too actually other streamer companies use the blue OS that Blue Sound designed. 
@glennewick I heard the bluesound is a solid step down from the sotm 200 ultra. Would like to maintain the same level of performance if not more.

Definitely considering auralic and lumin.

@yyzsantabarbara Ill read more about the sonore signature. thx guys
Aries G1 or the Lumin U1 Mini are your best bets.  Good software, ease of use and good solid companies with history and stellar customer support.  
The Aries G1 and Lumin U1 Mini are on my very shortlist.  Anyone describe the sonic characteristics of both, compare and contrast? Preferences?
You should also put the Aurender N100 on your short list.  I have one, and in direct comparison to the Lumin U1 Mini (on a very good system at the dealer), we all agreed that the Aurender was clearly superior.  

It should be noted, however, we compared the Aurender via USB (my units only output) to the Lumin U1 mini via it’s SPDIF output (on a Nordost Heimdahl cable).  I mention this because the inputs on a DAC make a difference.  It’s possible the USB interface on that DAC was better (Marantz SA-10) than it’s coax interface - meaning the difference was at the DAC.  In any case, the Aurender had a more open soundstage.  The Lumin was slightly “flatter” in that regard.  

I also have an Auralic Aries G2 in another system and it’s certainly another  step up over the Aurender N100  Please note, I didn’t audition the G1.  

Regarding sonic characteristics, my experiences (I also have a Bluesound Node 2 going into an outboard DAC in another system and replaced a Node 2 w/ the Auralic G2 in the other system) suggests that frequency response and smoothness are pretty similar across most units.  However, the better units provide more detail and more “openness”. They’re easier to listen to.  Lesser units, as noted before, tend to flatten soundstage depth and width.

Hope this helps.
Best,  
Thanks guys.

I don't want aurender since it doesn't have roon support.

Aries G2 is interesting to me. I have no local dealer though.

What do you guys think of simaudio mind 2 or bryston bdp 2 or 3?
I believe Audio Advisor has a 30-day return policy.  I do think you'd be hard pressed to find anything better in your price range than the Aries G2.
@smodtactical I am definitely going to get something that allows me to go optical from Ethernet. One way is to buy an Ethernet switch that has an optical outlet (approx. $100). Then buy a cheapo optical (not toslink) wire to go directly into a DAC. Only DAC I am aware of is feature is the LUMIN X1 which has an optical input. I see that DAC sold here used for $8K. Now the benefit behind the optical connect is that it cannot carry audio noise. So you eliminate the noise in the streaming at the source.

Now if I cannot find a used X1 or cannot afford a new X1 the Sonore System Optique is the way I will go. I have not read the review I posted above but I have been following the Sonore developments on Computer Audiophile via the egg heads over there. With the Sonore solution I would need to buy an additional DAC.
No optical, but another lesser known option is the magna mano streamer. If you've got an i2s input on your dac, it's one of the few ways to get that output option (same i2s configuration as ps audio uses). 
Thanks for the thoughts guys. Going to keep thinking about it.

One thing I like about simaudio and bryston is their long warranties, 10 and 5 years respectively.

Lumin and Aries are both around 2 years only. But I feel like they probably make the better streamers. I like the full colour display on the auralic but of course its not that important since im using roon my pc. From what I read a U1 out does the G2.. and a local dealer said they would take a trade of my Aria 948 speakers + $2700 usd for them. Or a straight trade no cash for the U1 mini. I do want to sell my speakers and this might be a good way to do it.
I have the Bryston BDP-2 with upgraded board that I bought used on Agon about 18 months ago for $1400. It's been very reliable and sounds great. I'm using it as a Roon endpoint connected with a wired Ethernet. AES/EBU connection to my Schiit Yggdrasil DAC. 
Jaytor thats what I want to do! :D

May I ask what is the serial number on your unit? I am considering a bdp2 now but I don't know if it has the upgraded board.
The previous owner updated the sound card after purchase. The original board used a white circuit board. You can ask the seller to open the top and tell you the color of the sound card. This sits on top of the motherboard and connects to S/PDIF, etc digital output connectors. 
Have you compared it to other streamers like SOTM 200 ultra or moon mind2 etc?
I have the Aries g1 and it’s great , but I’m actually gonna sell it , and a lot of my other gear 
@smodtactical - The only things I've compared it to are USB directly from my desktop (and a laptop), and Musical Fidelity VLink USB-S/PDIF converter. The BDP-2 is a definite improvement over any of these options (at least into the Schiit Yggradsil). More solid bass and better imaging in particular. The VLink was also a bit unreliable - it seemed to lose sink when the data format changed (sample rate or bit depth). 

The SOTM was one of the devices I was also considering, but I wanted something with AES/EBU since Schiit says this is the best way to interface with their higher-end DACs.

Melco N1A... Buffalo actually knows how to do a network streamer correctly
@dznutz  Does the Melco do roon? Its not on the roon list.

I think for me its either:

BDP2/3 vs. MiND 2 vs U1 mini

Any thought among those options ?
Out of those go with the Lumin... rock stable GUI and solid support
Agree of those three the Lumin.
Do you think the fact that it doesn't have a big toroidal supply puts it a step behind bdp3?

Although I can get one that accepts sboosters PSU which will raise it up.
Personally I do not see the value-add (including sonically) of spending more than 600 usd/euros on a network streamer when all you want is a transport using the digital out connections (USB, SPDIF, Toslink) to connect it to a dac/preamp.
I have 3 network streamers which I use as transport to my amp/dac:1) Auralic Aries Mini with a 1TB SSD installed internally (with all my music files) which functions also as a Music Server/NAS at home. I use the USB out connection to the DAC. Works great and great app. (price around 500 euro if you can still find one).2) Cambridge Audio CXN. Also great but only has Spotify & Tidal streaming services (no Qobuz). I use the SPDIF output.
3) Raspberry PI 3B+ plus HifiBerry Digi+ for the SPDIF output. I use Volumio software. Works also great ... although you have to pay yearly fee if you want to connect to Tidal/Qobuz native. I use SPDIF output. RPI & Volumio app works also great.
All 3 work great ... only downside of the Cambridge CXN is no Qobuz.

Bryston BDP-Pi is basically the same as my RPI+HifiBerry Digi+ ... so why spend more?
And the Auralic Aries G1 & G2 are basically the same as my Aries Mini for a lot more money.Too bad Auralic stopped selling it after they established their brand name and realized that there are a lot of people out there who are willing to pay a lot more money for basically the same functionality/performance.

I would certainly also look at the Bluesound Node 2i ... great value for money (@ 549 euro).

The Yamaha MusicCast NP-S303 is an example of a network streamer that simply does what it is supposed to do. And for the price of 379 euro. If you look-up on the internet what this unit looks like on the inside of the box, then you'll realize how simple a network streamer transport unit really is. And you can assume the unit is of a good quality as I seriously doubt that a company like Yamaha would do anything with would create any reputational damage to their brand / company.

However if you really want to spend a lot of money on a network streamer, then I would go for the Aries G1 or G2 (if you want to install an SSD internally) or the Lumin U1 Mini.
By the way, the Auralic, Lumin, Esoteric and Linn control apps all use the same OpenHome Linux software platform as the basis for their own control apps. ;-))



@ajlm I think its because different streamers (like different dacs or amps) have different levels of quality and lead to different sonic performance. Of course this may be false and I haven't verified this myself since I have only heard 1 streamer (SOTM 200 ultra). But from what I've read the consensus seems to be something like a BDP3 or Lumin U1 mini will be much much better than a blue sound node 2i.