Qobuz vs idagio vs primaphonic


What is the best streaming service for classical music in terms of content, quality and reliability ? 
I have Aurender and node for streaming. Currently have tidal which works well but content seems lacking. 
ei001h
I wanted to try Idagio, but it never worked properly on my computer.
I did try Primephonic, but I can't remember why I didn't stay with it.
I ended up with Qobuz as it has a much better catalog than Tidal(which I used for almost a year, until Qobuz finally came to the US) for Classical music. Audio quality is excellent. Plus I don't have to endure stupid MQA tracks.
Bob
what's wrong with MQA tracks? I have an MQA dac
I have tried Tidal and Qobuz. I found sound quality the same. However, I prefer Qobuz for several reasons.
  • It remembers what genres I like, and doesn't come up with a hip-hop home page every time
  • Offers ability to purchase downloads at reasonable prices
  • Search for classical works better than Tidal did
  • Better metadata for classical (composer, etc.) than Tidal
  • Fewer tracks labeled simply "Allegro molto" or such, without the name of the work or composer
I don't know about the other two.
I can't remember why I ended up going with Primephonic instead of Idagio, but I'm extremely happy with my Primephonic subscription. A classical buff's paradise except for one important exception -- I don't think they have a single complete opera.  Then again, I'm pretty sure that none of the streaming services have complete operas.  ...Not that I blame them, of course. How much space would an opera take up on a streaming service's hard drives?  How many people would actually play one start to finish?

As for pitting Qobuz against Primephonic in the classical arena, while Qobuz delivers a bit better fidelity, Primephonic's sonics are still quite excellent.  There is also no question that Primephonic offers a whole lot more repertoire than the Q.  Primephonic has also found a way to seamlessly segue from one movement of a symphony or concerto to the next.  For example, with Primephonic the transition from the middle movement to the final movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 is accomplished the way Beethoven intended -- with no interruption.  Qobuz, sorry to say, takes an axe to the transition, inserting an annoying audio dropout.  "Honey!  Turn the record over!" 

For want of  better term, Primephonic has a fine concierge service, as well.  I'm pretty sure Qobuz offers up suggestions on what you might want to listen to, based on what you've chosen in the past.  But Primephonic does it with a more personal touch.  It's as if you're dealing with a fellow classical music enthusiast, not a disembodied bunch of bits and bytes. 
I’m pretty sure that none of the streaming services have complete operas.
I subscribe to Spotify, Tidal, and Qobuz. All three have a huge number of complete operas. The ultimate example: they all have many versions of the complete Wagner Ring cycle (Solti, Levine, Furtwangler, etc), each clocking in at 14-15 hours. It’s shocking if classical oriented Primephonic doesn’t offer complete operas. The music labels certainly make them available to the streaming services.
with Primephonic the transition from the middle movement to the final movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 is accomplished the way Beethoven intended -- with no interruption. Qobuz, sorry to say, takes an axe to the transition, inserting an annoying audio dropout.
This is known as gapless playback — the ability to play continuously from one track to the next seamlessly without interruption. The Qobuz app has bugs and performance issues that still need to be fixed. Gapless playback on Qobuz works well on my newer Mac computer but there are brief gaps between tracks when playing Qobuz on my old Windows laptop. I don’t have the issue with Spotify or Tidal.
In terms of fidelity, what is primaphonic and idagio offer ? Are they at least 16/44 CD quality? What about hi rez? I’m Aware of MQA in tidal. 
+1 gdrbobI can’t comment on comparisons as I’ve just used Qobuz and tried Tidal. Qobuz has glorious SQ.
A little hard to navigate classical but when you find what you like it is worth it.
Tidal not so much.

Just yesterday I equalled the SQ for streaming to CD playback.

I have so far tried Tidal and Primephonic for classical music. To see exactly what they are delivering I have run file segments through MusicScope, a program that tells you exactly what you have. Keep in mind that when your DAC registers a number like 44 or 48 etc. it is only registering the container for the data and not the data itself.

For Tidal: I have no idea what you get when you play its "master" files, for to hear them "correctly" you need a MQA DAC which I do not have. In any event it is an artificial proprietary manipulation in which I have no interest.

Tidal "HIFI" is supposed to provide true 44/16. But it does not. On my Chrome browser, it does not even come close. On their own app, it does come quite a bit closer, but falls short. There’s no telling precisely what its manipulation of the original red book data provides.

For Primephonic: The tracks are either in 44/16 or 48/24. I don’t believe there are any others. However it doesn’t indicate to you in any way which it is you will be listening to so I tested a few to find out. It does deliver a true red book or 48/24 as promised.  So with Primephonic you can believe your DAC read-out.


Qobuz has many complete operas.

I have never had a problem with gaps between tracks using Qobuz. If others are, perhaps it is setup or equipment.

  • In one system, I use the Qobuz app on a Windows computer via USB to a DAC.
  • In the other system, I use a DLNA control point (BubbleUPnP) to access my Qobuz subscription and send music URLs to the renderer (Auralic Aries G1) connected by Ethernet to my home network.
I also use Qobuz on my phone and never have noticed any gaps, an issue I've rather sensitive to.
Yeah! Thanks guys. I just did a quick cruise of Qobuz and Primephonic and it seems they do have a selection of complete operas. I didn't actually play one so I'm not completely confident they do deliver the unexpurgated goods.  But thanks for turning my head around.
@melm: I signed up for prime phonic and listening to 24/96, so it says. How does one verify if this is indeed the rate? 

Does anyone know if Aurender supports idagio or primephonic ? 

I have an Aurender a100 with a build in MAQ dac, and it does sound superior to my ears. I have yet to try DSD files. 

Is airplay lossless via bluetooth connection from my iPhone to aurender ? 

Is airplay lossless via bluetooth connection from my iPhone to aurender ?
Airplay streams over WiFi (not Bluetooth), at 16-bit/44.1kHz lossless. If the audio source has a different resolution, it will be resampled to 16/44.1 before transmission.
@ei001h,

To tell exactly what you have, you have to run some of the track through a diagnostic program.  I use MusicScope, unfortunately no longer available.  I do not know of a similar program.

Primephonic does not tell you what the sample frequency or bit depth of any of their files is.  In fact they give very little information to anyone.  Neither The Absolute Sound review or the PC mag review says what their maxmum sample frequency is.  I find that remarkably deficient for a serious audio review.  They only say that some of their tracks are at 24 bits.

When I tried Primephonic, I ran a lot of track segments through MusicScope.  I identified only 44.1 and 48kHz as sample frequencies given the maximum audio frequencies received.  Of course I did not run them all, but I would be astonished if there are any higher than 48kHz, given the number I ran.
melm -- thanks for the data on Primephonic, but in the end I'm just a subjective guy.  Though not always, I can count on Primephonic giving me lovely sound via my Mytek Brooklyn and Primaluna. Not quite Qobuz, but in the main it's the fidelity of the source material that rules the day.
@OP,
The Aurender app only supports Qobuz and Tidal- at least it did when I owned my Aurender last year.
B
One data point: Primephonic has the entire Bonynge/LSO Rigoletto with Milnes, Pavarotti, and Sutherland, also the entire Serafin/ la Scala set. I didn’t check track for track, but it also looks like they have the entireLevine-Met recording. (Maybe that’s three data points.). So it would seem they have some opera.  I would be curious to know what holes people found in their opera stock.
Not to belabor the point, but Primephonic also seems to have many Walkure; in fact, scanning the app open beside me, it seems they have plenty of Rings.