Streamer v DAC - which is more important?

I know there have been other posts on this topic but I decided to add my recent experience. I have used a Cambridge Audio CXN but as I have indicated in previous posts, while happy with the SQ, I am totally frustrated with the apps. I recently bought an Auris BluMeHD for use with my second system but decided to ditch the CXN and hooked up the Auris to my Pure Audio Lotus 5 DAC which allowed me to use the Tidal app ( also very poor but better than the Cambridge apps).  Now either I'm going mad or my hearing is defective ( which my audiologist friend would likely dispute) but I could hear no difference between the $95 Auris and the $1000 CXN when played through the external DAC. This leads me to believe that the DAC is way more important than the streamer, unless perhaps you spend mega bucks on the streamer. Has anyone else experimented comparing a cheap streamer with a more expensive one when played via the same external DAC?

Showing 1 response by phcollie

I vary endpoints and sources. Having a high quality stand alone DAC is worth every penny paid. Because so many manufacturers are adding a DAC to whatever they make I expect to find one on the next toaster I buy. The side effect is a perceived diminishing importance of the DAC. The fashion on the marketing end is streaming transport DAC combinations and since money follows fashion, I expect a lot of marketing hype telling me why I need such and such. The power supply, processing architecture and analogue stage of a stand alone DAC has a massive impact on the sound. Night and Day differences between manufacturers using the same chip. Paul from PS Audio has a great video explaining this question,why specs are misleading and why the output stage is so important.