TEAC NT 503
Waht is the best streamer for the money under $2500 (no DAC or storage required).
I've got my sights on a Simiaudio Moon 2, auralic aries G1 and a Lumin. Trying to stay below $2500 used or new. I've heard great things about all, but the dealer who sells dozesn of highend gear is pusing hard towards the Moon 2. I'm pairing the streamer with McIntosh MHA 100 headpone AMP. Anyone have suggestions on these three or a comparable 4th or 5th option to consider? Thanks.
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Easy less than $200 + hard drive. Competes with the big boys, but is DIY if you are up for it. There are instructions on Superbestaudiofriends site.
I run a Raspberry Pi4b with a Pi2AES as the digital board. I load Moode or PiCorePlayer as software and select Tidal or my music on a hard drive via a app on my iPad - MconnectHD or a Squeezebox app, which goes to my Schit Yggy2 Dac via an AES connection
Check out the Zen MK3 maybe. I'm leaning that way currently.
Go with the guys that invented streamers.
S Korea's Aurrender.
Now that they've finally released the Android app the other half of the world can enjoy...
sK is also way ahead of us in all other common user electronics, Covid deaths, etc. They jump we say how high?
My antique Cowon DMPs SQ blows away my Astell & Kern in
The TEAC NT-505 maybe a great sounding unit, but several purchasers have found it unreliable due to defective units being sold. See https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/teac-nt-505-impossible-connecting-to-wifi-router-o-such-lan-h...
Anyone reading the A'gon "Tech Talk" section is aware of this. Just me, I would think it prudent to wait until these issues settle down to purchase a unit. YMMV
@jetter You're quite the Debbie Downer aren't you? Do you have any personal experience with the TEAC yourself or are you just putting it down based on what you've read on the internet?
My advice is that if it sounds like something that would meet your needs and you want something with great sound quality, purchase a new one from an authorized dealer. Don't buy an open box, demo, or refurbished one.
A couple of people have said they bought them from TEAC's ebay store as open box items. That's troubling that they would re-sell defective items, if indeed it's TEAC's "official" store.
Be aware that some have had issues, and be aware that it will only work with a wired connection. Send it back if you're unlucky and get a bad one. Plenty of people have had zero problems with them. Those that have all seem to be related to connection issues. I've yet to see anyone report that they were disappointed with the sound quality of the device.
I am one of those that posted in that thread and my "problems" turned out to be due to issues with my home network. Mine has worked flawlessly since I ran an ethernet cable directly to it instead of trying to use a wireless client.
Everything I know about the unit is from the thread that I linked to. If nothing else someone thinking of buying an open box or refurbished unit has a heads up.
A couple of people have said they bought them from TEAC’s ebay store as open box items. That’s troubling that they would re-sell defective items, if indeed it’s TEAC’s "official" store.Ya think, that’s why I wrote this under the pen name of "Debbie Downer". Ir may not be TEAC's official store, but buyer of these open box/refurbished units should be aware.
I really appreciate all the comments. I've gone 180 degress against my original thoughts and decided to go with all in 1 DAC/Streamer. Did a bunch of reading on the TECH, lumin, aurander, roon, zen, chord and more... Finally went with a PS Audio Dac stream with bridge 2. Got a sweet deal on NIB. Just under 40% off retail from an ex-dealer close out last unit. Thank again friends.
i have the nt505 and its been sitting at the authorized repair facility for a month now waiting on a specific part from Japan. Covid19 along with Onkyo apparently closing its doors has added to the delay.
The dual ak4497 dac is stellar imho and can do dsd512. Streams like a champion.
As far as it being robust... I don’t know. I’m assuming the replacement part (usb board) is perhaps v2 now?
Btw - Onkyo which handled several brands dropped the ball and now Klipsch is handling everything Onkyo had under their umbrella.
FWIW - the nt505 owes its design to Esoteric and Lumin.
I have no idea how many of these are out there, but I’d buy it again because of the assumption that most things don’t break.
I haven't heard it paired with the clock, but what few reviews are out there state its a welcome and noticeable improvement.
I'm guessing you could purchase both for $2500 or less if you search hard enough.
How bout wayyyyy under 2500? At the risk of being unpopular (I got lots of practice in high school), dissatisfaction with dynamics and pace as compared with my ’pre-streamer’ days leading to less musical engagement, lead me to replace my SOTM SMS-200 neo using Sbooster 12v lpsu once again with the 2011 Mac mini I had used prior to buying it. The musical engagement and dynamics quickly returned to their pre-Covid (and pre-streamer levels:) So too did my interest in listening again. It should be noted I use Audirvana exclusively (with Tidal and Quobuz) as it had always sounded better to me than Roon (past iterations anyway-- that in itself is probably a can o’ worms) so that may be a factor. There are all kinds of things on-line about how high processing power (like in a dedicated computer CPU in a relatively quiet Mac mini) may make things ’easier’/lower the workload and thus lead to less noise transmission etc with certain protocols or how the improvement comes from the fact that I’m eliminating an additional renderer separate from the computer source), but i’m sure none of this is measurable and of course, there are just as many opinions to the contrary:) Fortunately I am clueless technically, so I go by ears not measurements. I love gear though, and I soooo wanted to enjoy my system more with the much lauded Sotm/Sbooster combo and maybe upgrade to a SOTM Ultra etc. when that one came out etc, but after a year streaming and trying hard to love more what I was hearing because Hans B. and the internet-at-large said I should, on a whim I put back my Mac mini and am now much happier. I would still love to try an Auralic or a Lumin or a Roon Nucleus ala Steve Huff, but for the time being, the convenience, musicality, minimal noise and versatility (HBOnow!) of the Mac mini win the day. No dropouts ever either. I have no clue why my Mac mini should be more involving musically (maybe I just lucked into a ’special’ Mac mini? HA!)-- but it does bear saying in a thread such as this that it has been, just in case someone fears leaning in that direction. Have courage lad! I’m with you.
I can't claim to have heard all the options suggested here, but there is one that I have a lot of experience with that has been previously mentioned. The Aurender N100 is slightly above your budget new, and like well within your budget used. About two years ago, I demoed it against a MacBook Pro with an iFi reclocker and Audioquest Carbn cable. it took less than a minute to determine that completely smoked the MacBook Pro/iFi setup. Not even close. I was pretty shocked. I also bought the N100. Was completely happy with it until a made a big mistake. About a year after the purchase, I heard it compared to an Aurender N10. My checkbook cried, but I upgraded. As long as you don't listen to one of the megabuck streamers, I would expect you to be very happy with the N100. I still don't understand what makes the Aurender units sound so good, but clearly there is more to the story than 'bits-are-bits'. And the Conductor app is quite good also.
Although the OP has already gone the PS audio route the Aurender n100 is a superb streamer and server with up to 4gb of internal storage available.
The only reason I moved on was Roon.
Aurender and Roon do Not Play well together, stemming from Aurender unfortunately who will not allow Roon to be the control software rather than Conductor.
Shame really as the SQ was fabulous and the Conductor app was pretty good although still much better on iOS than Android.
Prior to selling my n100 I had multiple email conversation with Aurender regarding this aspect.
They were pretty adamant at the time that they considered allowing Roon to take control could lead to a reduction in SQ and were not prepared to do it as their reputation would be the one on the line.
After that is when I decided to sell the n100 as nearly all the rest of the streaming players were Roon Ready.
fwiw - Im currently running a Cambridge CXN v2 streamer into a JL audio Cr-1 to a Mcintosh MA7900 integrated to B&W 805D4s - I am very happy with the Tidal Connect quality esp their “Master” recordings.
this post got me thinking