I am looking for a high-end network streamer possibly with a built-in DAC to add to my audio system primarily to play Tidal Master (MQA) (Qobuz not available in Canada), as I finally want to get away from using CDs. I am not intending on ripping my old CDs or running a NAS necessarily.
My system is from 2005 and includes:
emmlabs CDSD (CD/SACD) transport
emmlabs DCC2 DAC/preamp
Lamm M1.2 monoblock amps
Kharma Midi-Grand céramique 3-way speakers
Ultimately I am looking for a network streamer that will be able to play Tidal Masters (not necessarily MQA) with a natural and musical sound quality that will complement the type of components I have.
First, I was wondering about just a network streamer and optically connecting to DCC2 as my DAC/preamp but worry that some of the current DACs within network streamer players may produce a better result for streaming than using my DCC2 given the progress in DACs in the last 15y. But, I was wondering using the emmlabs NS-1 and connecting optically to the DCC2, but don't know how that well that would work. Alternatively, using the simaudio MiND2 streamer and optically connect to my DCC2, as a signifcantly cheaper alternative to the NS-1.
Alternatively, going with a network streamer/DAC player I want to keep my budget at below $10K. I live in a smaller city and don't have many stereo stores to audition equipment and with pandemic it is tough to travel to audition. Therefore, I am going to have to go without audition most likely. Based on reading I am thinking about things like:
simaudio moon 390;
auralic Altair G1
Auralic Vega G1 (or possibly G2.1)
Mytek Brooklyn Bridge
Thanks for your help.