Slappy here. Been a long time, have some audio source questions.


Hey Everybody. 

Long time no see, I think it has been close to 13 or 14 years since I was a very active contributing member. Cant get in my old account Slappy as i cant remember the password and the email tied to it has been long since deleted. Maybe some of you old school guys remember me. :)

Brief History.

Took quite a break from audio, but found myself back into it recently.I had a Denon 3805, Denon poa-2800 amp, and a pair of Jmlab Chorus speakers with a pair of Velodyne subwoofers. Lived with this system happily for a long time. 

Long story short, various parts of the system were failing and now I have all new(ish) equipment.

I have a Denon 4100w receiver, a Carver TFM-45 (omg this thing is immaculate), and a pair of Martin Logan Motion 40s with a pair of older Velodyne subs. Massive improvement all around! I love the ML's, and the Carver amp really brings these babies to life. However, sometimes music sill feels a bit flat, and I think that is because virtually all my listening these days is on Pandora. 

So lets to get to the question. 

So what are the cool kids doing these days for quality audio with the flexibility of Pandora? Sometimes listening to Pandora it still sounds a bit flat, and other times it sounds excellent. I am pretty familiar with IP and how packets work, UDP, TCP, layer 2, layer 3, etc. I get the impression that sometimes depending on the overall bandwidth available through the interwebs that I might be getting better packet delivery sometimes than others.  I fully believe it is possible to stream high quality, but I am not sure if anybody provides that. I am hesitant to start building up a large collection of optical medium as it is prone to scratching, costs extra money, and reduces the overall flexibility. I may end up getting a transport, but I was wondering if there have been any cool advances with digital media in the last 13 years.  

Any Advice?



biolapse
Room acoustics and an EQ for your sub. It sounds mostly like you got a little too flat.

Consider Tidal. Lossless music, with a deep catalog of classical, jazz, pop and modern.

Best,

Erik
if i had to do it all over again i'd forgo the transport/physical media and stream exclusively--i use spotify, but as per erik tidal sounds even better. pandora sounds awful in comparison to either.
I agee, Tidal MQA sounds spectacular
@biolapse

If you want help in getting into your account, please contact [email protected], Attention: Tammy, and I can help you. 
I would drop Pandora and get Spotify. The sound quality is much, much better.
Tidal is a good alternative, but if you like anything other than contemporary music, you probably won't find it on their playlists.
B
Thanks for the tips everyone.

 Deezer looks like i have to have a SONOS speaker? Tidal looks great, but I dont have a good interface method from my PC to my stereo. At least, not one that I have discovered. My PC sits in my office, so I am not sure how that control would work. Also, i listen to a pretty wide range of stuff, not sure how much they would cover of my tastes. 

I have no idea what quality i get from Pandora on Spotify/Pandora when using the apps off either FireTV, the Denon or the Samsung smart tv. I wish there was a way to check and monitor this 
If there is, i have not discovered it. I really wish spotify would launch the Spotify Hifi. 

Looks like i have quite a bit of research to do. it seems there have been some good efforts on high quality streaming audio, but no super simple solution to bringing everything together. 

I would be happy to pay for some kind of a dedicated streaming device, like a virtual transport. 
GREAT to have you back!!! Can't wait to have your humor around again.  You’re right, it sure has been a while...
Lots of Sonore Microrendu's for sale since their Ultrarendu came out. Very good and simple.
Trelja! I figured I would see some familiar names! Glad to see you on here. 
I took quite a hiatus, ended up finding another hobby equally as expensive, if not more. I spend a lot of my time building motion control rigs for botanical timelapse photography. Its been an interesting decade. ;)

Acman3, 
I HAVE been gone a while. I looked up the microrendu and cant for the life of me figure it out. It networks in i see, but uses usb audio input?
Whats the signal path on something like that? Part A to microrendu to part B? im not sure how it connects with the audio system. 
"....motion control rigs for botanical timelapse photography...."

*g*  Now, That would be an 'esoteric hobby'...

"Yeah, finally got those dam' 'Merican Beauties' to actually Do Something, other than rust or rot..."

...the plant shuffles over, places the beverage near Bios' hand....

....who glares at the glass....then to the oddly formed bud....

"....pollen....Again....."

The plant 'shrugs'....the way that it had begun to do....knowing that the Rootless actually liked the pollen...part of the Potplot...put Them into little dirtbowls....

.....start the Grafts.....

Welcome back, Biolapse.*S*  Spotify here...but I've noted that some selections 'hear' better than others....'GIGO'?  Equipment? (...solar flares...aliens....)
 
Biolapse,

I kept hearing everyone saying Tidal was great. Also heard a lot about Roon. I had another person I bought a dac from recommend the Microredu, Sooo.., When I bought the Ultraredu,( go big right) and the uptone power supply, I just decided on Roon and Tidal. Both cost more money.

After downloading Roon and Tidal to my laptop, the Roon program found the Roon ready Sonore device, and I was streaming.

As you can probably tell, I am not an expert, and my only goal was to get it working. There are many ways to skin this cat, but that is simplest way for me. Still haven figured out the NAS storage, but have been blown away by what I am getting through Tidal. This coming from an analog guy.

Fyi,From what I gather here, Tidal sounds best, but Spotify has more music.


https://www.audiostream.com/content/sonore-simple-design-microrendu
Your receiver has an optical input, so all you need to do is get a $35 Chromecast Audio plus a mini optical cable to connect the Chromecast to your receiver. See here for more information: http://archimago.blogspot.nl/2016/02/measurements-google-chromecast-audio_27.html
A Sonos Connect would be a more expensive alternative.
All this really is a no brainer, because utterly convenient, and the DAC (digital to analogue converter) in the receiver will be responsible for sound quality. You can always invest heavily in a better external DAC later if you really want to, but I doubt you will need to.
The most important decision will be to choose the right streaming service for your favourite repertoire, for the interface, and for sound quality. Spotify is not quite full Red Book CD (but close at 320 kbps). Tidal and Qobuz here in Europe are full Redbook CD quality.
Post removed 
Welcome! back- Slappy.
Another choice might be Murfie - offers CD-quality streaming.  I got an email offering a year for $49, plus some other extras.  If I was going to try streaming, and I am not, yet, I would try it.