Lots of good discussion here for sure. I'm a musician, playing trumpet 50 years. Was a professional on the road in the 80's for 6 years. I have a BA in Music 1974. I direct and conduct an 18 pc Jazz big band. I've played in community orchestras and brass bands. My point, Live music is my reference point.
This is not boasting or chest pounding. I really enjoy my little system. I'm a student of streaming too. Have not invested in a dedicated streamer, yet. Maybe will, maybe not. I've listen to Tidal on and off for some years. This year I tried Qobuz and very quickly heard the difference, so + 1 for Q. I own the Project S2, even with the MQA capability, I felt Qobuz just sounded better.
I've own a few dac's, sold them only to move on and try others. I may move on from the S2 at some point. I feel it's doing a very good job. I sold hi end audio 91-97. Got to play with alot of equipment. This too has added to my brains storage of auditory experiences.
I'm a big believer in everything matters. Change 1 component, cables, power cords,etc I can discern the differences. Not going to go down that rabbit hole here LOL.
I' started with and am using Jriver. I see it's a Roon discussion too. I'd like to try Roon, I ve read being audio only, it's easier to work with and many like the 'sound ' of it vs Jriver. If the price was closer to Jriver I'd try it.
I use a Windows 10 Dell laptop. I ripped a few hundred CDs onto a SSD drive. I have a Schiit Wryd with 2 if their USB cables. The Wryd does a nice job. Btw, I've read the Schiit usb cable is made for them by Straight Wire, If you buy the equivalent from S.W it looks like double or triple the cost from what I can see. These USB cables from Schiit are real sleepers IMHO.
Sidebar" I bought the iFi power for the S2. Read good feedback on it. I dont want to spring for their RPS it's close to 300. I'll see how the ipower works out.
I'm listening to Amazon HD for a month. It's cheaper than Q or Tidal. I'll decide after 30 days if I'll keep the HD extra charge or not.
I agree Spotify is easy to work with, and agree it will never equal the other two. Amazon HD is the sleeper in the 3. I do agree with many here Spotify is perfectly fine for them and how they listen. I like Spotify in the car for that reason. I use a Schiit Fulla in my car, streaming from my Android phone highest quality and it really sounds darn good vs car radio etc. I stream Amazon HD in the car too.