Point of diminishing returns for a Network Streamers?

You have super cheap Pi streamers (build yourself), $399 IfI Zen, $500 Bluesound Node (no DSD), $700+ Pro-Ject Stream box, then $1k -$2k for Lumins, and others.

I'm running an old iMac as my Roon Core and running a super long, active USB cable to my Dac. I probably do not have to pay much for any improvement since my setup is not ideal. 

I'm really fascinated by the Pro-Ject stream box...however...would it be a major improvement over the IFI Zen? I need DSD so the NODE is out of the question .

I could save and go with the new Lumin U2 mini, however....would it be a huge jump over the Pro-Ject?


Lots of useful discussion in this thread. I have an Auralic Aries Mini in a second headphone based system, it’s a great streamer for the money. Should be able to pick one up used for a few hundred bucks. I have more expensive Auralic gear in my main system which has been a definite improvement for me over previous gear including a Mac Mini/Luxman DAC

It appears the HiFi Rose is the cat's pajamas and even doubles as a DAC and preamp and has HDMI outs with ARC.

@rwwear Yes, however, with all the "bells and whistles" are you actually getting a better Dac and Streamer with the Lumin T2 for a similar price since the Lumin does not have movie screens, graphics, etc?

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I have Project Streambox S2 and can’t say enough great things about the performance for my ripped library, roon endpoint, radio and the Project player app  When roon was not working the Project always did.  Check it out and Audio Advisor will give a trial period, that’s what I did.