What is you TIDAL setup?
A lot of audiophiles are waxing lyrical about this new HD streaming technology, proclaiming that this may be the best thing that happened to audio since the dawn of CDs. Positive reviews abound everywhere online. I succumbed and ordered a subscription. I'm glad I did, because TIDAL is freaking awesome! For a meager 20 clams a month, you suddenly have a 25 million CD collection at your fingertips! That alone is mind boggling and unthinkable a decade or so ago. I have been a SPOTIFY subscriber for a long time and can confidently say that TIDAL's streaming service is significantly better sounding and worth the extra subscription fee. I still kept SPOTIFY because, simply put, it has more selections. If SPOTIFY will offer HD streaming in the future, I will be in sonic nirvana! Pardon me for burying the leade. How did you incorporate TIDAL into your system? Here's my setup:
My system is composed of:
Well Tempered Amadeus
OPPO 103D - Transport and Blu ray Player
MAC MINI - upgraded SSD w/ 16GB RAM. Loaded with Amarra software
Symphonic Line RG7 MK4
Gemme Audio Tanto Karbon V3
iPAD Gen 2 with Retina Display
Wireworld Silver Eclipse Cables
I did not want to go through the hassle of moving my tricked-out MAC MINi from the computer nook to the listening room so I figured out a way to use my iPAD as the source. You cannot plug your iPAD directly into the VEGA. You need an interface. This is where the OPPO comes in where it also serves as a CD and Blu Ray discs transport. You have to buy an iPAD HDMI adapter. Plug in the iPAD using the adapter to the back of the OPPO and you're in business. Did I mention that the OPPO can also play whatever music file you throw at it?! Be it AIFF, FLAC, DSD, etc.. For the price, it's one amazing technologically-packed piece of gadgetry. Let's move on. Ensure you have the TIDAL app downloaded to the iPAD. Connect OPPO to the VEGA via toslink or COAX and Vega to the preamp, receiver or amp and you're ready to play!
In my setup, I plugged the VEGA straight to the amp using ENDLER attenuators. I found the resultant sound much more transparent and dynamic than going through a preamp. For additional info, using the VEGA's built in volume control is not as sonically satisfying. I found the frequency extremes truncated and the overall sound dynamically constricted. This is especially true at lower listening levels.
So there! In the end, I believe I was able to save some money by buying the OPPO vice the Auralic Aries. Plus I now have a very capable transport that can also play my old CD and Blu Ray collections. I'm immensely enjoying TIDAL. I haven't touched my turntable or played any CDs for almost a month. Well..., gotta go! I still have 24,999,824 CDs to listen to.