Want a streaming device without DAC in $1K range


I am new to Stereo, but had Sonos Amp and SVS ultra for a short period of time, which I did not experience satisfying sound quality from and returned a few days ago. From this short first experience, I realized that a good streamer is needed, along with a good DAC and a good Amp. The SVS Ultra did okay, but I returned it anyways because I wanted something easier on my ears and looking at the Monitor Audio’s Gold 100 5G as my next speaker.

I think I might try a designated DAC, like Chord Qutest. Or maybe a Hegel Integrated Amp Rost.

This amp and DAC part is pretty much set and willing to explore from there.

But I can’t quite make a decision on the streamer.

It seems Volumio Primo is good, Also the MiniDSP SHD Studio, Pro-Ject S2 Ultra streamer.

Is there other good options in terms of sound quality?

I like the SHD for its Dirac capability, but does it make big differences?

I am also interested in Bel Canto Streamer, Matrix Element i, and MiniDSP SHD (the DAC version),

But, those have DACs built in and don’t want to spend extra $ if they don’t stream better sound quality over the ones that don’t have DACs.

My budget for streamer is less than 1.5 K


You can build your own out of a Raspberry Pi and Volumio or Daphilebor PiCore

Also Raspberry 4 runs Ubunto really well.
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Thanks for the input. Is the sound quality from Raspberry Pi good for audiophiles? and could you explain what Daphilebor PiCore is? It is not on google search.
Despite having an onboard DAC I’d add the Innuos Zen mini Mk. 3 to your list as it still falls within your price range.  The mini benefits from trickle-down technology from its highly-regarded bigger brothers (Zen and Zenith), and the ability to add the upgraded external power supply later affords the opportunity for a significant upgrade in sound down the road.  Read the Darko review for more info.  Hope this helps, and best of luck. 
Thanks soix, and erik for much appreciated info!
I just put together this page on installing Logitech Media Server on the latest Pi 4.

If you are in USa you could just about get a second hand Bryston bdp2. I have 2 of them and only upgraded my main system to a DCS upsampler recently as it needed a BIG price difference to beat the bryston

I recommend the Pro-Ject Ultra Stream S-2 for $850.   Excellent sound and adds web radio.   I bought one to use while my Auraliti music streamer was getting updated and never looked back.  Pair with the excellent $550 Jolida Black Ice FX dac.  Don’t let the low prices fool you.    Love the sound.
+1 for Innuos Zen mini. 
Works Very Well and is Roon Ready. Don’t pick one that isn’t. 
I would also recommend the Pro Ject Streambox S2 Ultra.  It is based on a Raspberry pi but has an audiophile power supply and upgraded audiophile components. It is designed by John Westlake of Audiolab MDac fame. And it is very small.  If you go for it there are a couple of settings to apply to improve the sound quality, most notably turning the WiFi feature off on the unit. 

I compared it to an Auralic Aries G1, at 4 times the price, and found the Pro-Ject equally as good.  
I bought this one https://darko.audio/2018/11/a-short-film-about-the-allo-digione-signature/ because I wanted the same as you. A streamer without a DAC.

I think it's really good. I am using it with https://ropieee.org and the Orchid DAC
I have two streamers, Innous Zenith MKII in my main system and Raspberry PI in my rec room.  I use Roon on both.  The Zenith is of course better ($4K versus $110); however, they meet my needs.  

Try a Raspberry PI and see if you like it.  You might be surprised at how good a “Pro DAC” hat sounds.
I also have the Bryston but BDP-1, nabbed it for about $700, and it's pretty good after suitable break-in (funny that it seemed to take a couple 100 hours??) and tweaks. Of course you need a good Dac. The BDP-1 definitely vanquishes jitter so it's very non-fatiguing sound for sure.
OP wrote:

"Is the sound quality from Raspberry Pi good for audiophiles?"

Like everyone else above wrote about the RaspberryPi (RPi) option, you can build your own streamer for well under $1000 and it will include a 'audiophile-quality' DAC. I have two, both based on the RPi 3B+: a HifiBerry DAC+ Pro and a Orchard Audio ApplePi DAC. Both are dual-boot: Volumio for hifi audio streaming and playback, and OSMC/Kodi for HD movie streaming to RPi hdmi-out. The Orchard Audio ApplePi DAC is quite good though obviously won't match dedicated up-market hifi DACs of $3K+.  

Read about a quarterly RPi DAC 'shoot-out' here, with DAC boards ranked: https://forum.volumio.org/volumio-soundcheck-invitation-for-hamburg-germany-t5918-230.html
Another option, especially if you are considering going the Roon route, is to pair a Roon Nucleus with a good USB capable DAC.  With a decent USB cable connecting the two, this makes for a marvelous pairing. 
I am currently using a Roon Nucleus tied to a Chord Qutest via Curious USB Cable ($350), and can highly recommend this combination.  And if you decide you need a place to store CD rips and/or downloads, the Roon Nucleus also has an internal bay which can be fitted with an HDD or SSD.  Roon Nucleus lists for $1400.  Roon subscriptions with or without Nucleus go for $119 a year or $699 lifetime. 
Wow. Thanks for all the support. I did not expect many audiophiles to recommend Raspberry Pi streamer to be quite honest. Must be working pretty well. Not familiar with electronics build, but I have done several pc builds way back. I will take a good look at those. Hopefully I don’t mess thing up if I end up going that route. Volumio seemed really nice btw. Very cute quick and basic. I like that. Roon nucleus is out of my budget, but I do understand it is great. Maybe I will upgrade to gears that fall into more high-end later later.