Benefits of streamer

SteveM895

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Dec 17, 2023
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Hi, bit of a newbie and just trying to get head around whether a dedicated streamer will offer much improvement to sound quality over DAC within amps currently under consideration (Arcam Radia A15 / Audiolab 7000A). For streaming I purely use Apple/ Spotify via iphone, not too concerned with other benefits at moment such as internet radio. I'm mainly trying to figure out whether to use my budget on cd player now and just bluetooth iphone to one of these amps for apple/ spotify, or if separate streamer is of such a benefit that I should go with that first and cd player later?

Still researching speakers and like idea of Kef LS50 ( good reviews, won't dominate the room, and most importantly, my wife can live with them so half my battle here is sorted!!) Aware they may not be bass heavy, but I can live with that as I'm building system over next 12-24 months and could add a sub a little down the line if required. So 2nd question is are the amps I am considering a good fit for the KEFs, or is there a more suifable partner (seen a good deal on Arcam A25 with KEFs, literally same price bundled as A15 and KEFs aeparately, though may be overkill for the KEFs..?)

Thanks in advance, its a bit of a minefield getting head round all of this!!😭
 

twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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Hi, bit of a newbie and just trying to get head around whether a dedicated streamer will offer much improvement to sound quality over DAC within amps currently under consideration (Arcam Radia A15 / Audiolab 7000A). For streaming I purely use Apple/ Spotify via iphone, not too concerned with other benefits at moment such as internet radio. I'm mainly trying to figure out whether to use my budget on cd player now and just bluetooth iphone to one of these amps for apple/ spotify, or if separate streamer is of such a benefit that I should go with that first and cd player later?

Still researching speakers and like idea of Kef LS50 ( good reviews, won't dominate the room, and most importantly, my wife can live with them so half my battle here is sorted!!) Aware they may not be bass heavy, but I can live with that as I'm building system over next 12-24 months and could add a sub a little down the line if required. So 2nd question is are the amps I am considering a good fit for the KEFs, or is there a more suifable partner (seen a good deal on Arcam A25 with KEFs, literally same price bundled as A15 and KEFs aeparately, though may be overkill for the KEFs..?)

Thanks in advance, its a bit of a minefield getting head round all of this!!😭
Have a serious look at some ae1’s ( tiny) and a bluesound node 2i or a wiim streamer.

Not sure of the wim but you and add a subwoofer to the blue sound. It will control the volume of the speaker.

I prefer to keep the streamer guts out of speakers the tech it moving so fast I prefer to have a unit I can swap out if I liked to.
 

Witterings

Well-known member
I own an Arcam SA30 which I bought 2nd hand and already had most of the software updates done so I haven't had any major issues that others did but they seemed to become slow / reluctant to address what were fairly major issues at the time and some minor ones are still outstanding.
Personally I'd be reluctant to buy one of ther latest releases until it'd been thoroughly tested to see if it was in line with their "standard of old" or their more recent lack of interest.

Nowdays I'd go streamer rather than CD player 1st off .... streaming has given me access to every single track / album I ever owned as a child or borrowed from a friend and also helped me discover a massive host of new music / bands / artists that I'd never heard of with 80 million tracks at my fingertips from the sofa if I choose.

Audiolab generally have a very good name ... as do Rega and Marantz so maybe a couple of others you may want to look at in your price range.

Whilst my Arcam does stream, I'm still a fan of seperates and use a WiiM streamer as well as you can always upgrade one part at a time and aren't tied to whatever streaming service your amp works with ... depends whether you see yourself upgrading / changing again in the future.

You mention Spotify / Apple as your sources, at the moment Spotify's quality is limited and Airplay isn't the best either, if you're going to a higher quality system you may want to look at Qobuz or Amazon Unlimited for higher quality delivery.
 
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SteveM895

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Dec 17, 2023
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I own an Arcam SA30 which I bought 2nd hand and already had most of the software updates done so I haven't had any major issues that others did but they seemed to become slow / reluctant to address what were fairly major issues at the time and some minor ones are still outstanding.
Personally I'd be reluctant to buy one of ther latest releases until it'd been thoroughly tested to see if it was in line with their "standard of old" or their more recent lack of interest.

Nowdays I'd go streamer rather than CD player 1st off .... streaming has given me access to every single track / album I ever owned as a child or borrowed from a friend and also helped me discover a massive host of new music / bands / artists that I'd never heard of with 80 million tracks at my fingertips from the sofa if I choose.

Audiolab generally have a very good name ... as do Rega and Marantz so maybe a couple of others you may want to look at in your price range.

Whilst my Arcam does stream, I'm still a fan of seperates and use a WiiM streamer as well as you can always upgrade one part at a time and aren't tied to whatever streaming service your amp works with ... depends whether you see yourself upgrading / changing again in the future.

You mention Spotify / Apple as your sources, at the moment Spotify's quality is limited and Airplay isn't the best either, if you're going to a higher quality system you may want to look at Qobuz or Amazon Unlimited for higher quality delivery.
Thanks for the response, some good advice re Arcam, my mind will be made up during early auditioning of amps early in the new year. My local dealer also has Marantz and some other options (Yamaha/ Rotel) so I have plenty to consider.

I agree re streaming, I listen to most of music this way, though I have a large collection of CDs I'd like to bring back into circulation. My kids are into music and be good for them to get involved in some of the 'old ways'😂

If there's a discernable difference in quality between apple & amazon etc. then easy enough to switch over. More trying to figure out if spending c. £600-£800 on a streamer is going to vastly improve quality from going direct through the DAc within the amp (e.g., Audiolab 7000a) or if amp in it's own right is suitable for my needs without need for streamer given streaming from a couple of music providers is all I'll be doing.

I'll be popping into local hifi specialist over the holidays so trying to improve my knowledge on this before I go.

Ta
 

SteveM895

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Dec 17, 2023
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Around £2.5k with ability to build further over next 12-24 months, so trying to figure out best way to get started and whether I need a streamer or not kind of helps me decide on initial way to go.
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

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Get the amp you want, the speakers you want and attach an £89 WiiM mini digitally into the amp's DAC. See how you go for six months and decide from there.

And / or look at the Omnia which seems to tick all your boxes and looks to be fantastic value.
 

Witterings

Well-known member
If there's a discernable difference in quality between apple & amazon etc. then easy enough to switch over. More trying to figure out if spending c. £600-£800 on a streamer is going to vastly improve quality from going direct through the DAc within the amp (e.g., Audiolab 7000a) or if amp in it's own right is suitable for my needs without need for streamer given streaming from a couple of music providers is all I'll be doing.

As @Juzzie Wuzzie says get a WiiM Mini ... or if you want the option get their WiiM Pro Plus which has a good built in DAC but also has optical out so you could see if you prefer the DAC on the amp or the streamer.
 

SteveM895

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Dec 17, 2023
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Get the amp you want, the speakers you want and attach an £89 WiiM mini digitally into the amp's DAC. See how you go for six months and decide from there.

And / or look at the Omnia which seems to tick all your boxes and looks to be fantastic value.
Yeah that's a good idea re the WiiM mini, most likely the way I'll go as can upgrade later down the line - thanks JW
 
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Fandango Andy

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Thanks for the response, some good advice re Arcam, my mind will be made up during early auditioning of amps early in the new year. My local dealer also has Marantz and some other options (Yamaha/ Rotel) so I have plenty to consider.

I agree re streaming, I listen to most of music this way, though I have a large collection of CDs I'd like to bring back into circulation. My kids are into music and be good for them to get involved in some of the 'old ways'😂

If there's a discernable difference in quality between apple & amazon etc. then easy enough to switch over. More trying to figure out if spending c. £600-£800 on a streamer is going to vastly improve quality from going direct through the DAc within the amp (e.g., Audiolab 7000a) or if amp in it's own right is suitable for my needs without need for streamer given streaming from a couple of music providers is all I'll be doing.

I'll be popping into local hifi specialist over the holidays so trying to improve my knowledge on this before I go.

Ta
I'm a little late adding to this conversation so you may be o your way to choosing. If not all the products you mention are good by review and reputation. I have personal experience of Marantz and Audilab and can't fault them. As for pairing there is no substitute for an audition preferably in your home. See if your dealer will let you borrow some equipment.

As for a streamer, it will make a difference over playing things on Bluetooth. You can stream at CD quality or better you will notice this more the better the rest of your equipment is. No need to spend a fortune. I have a WiiM mini which I see others have recommended. It's all the streamer you will need for the equipment you are talking about and only costs £89 (often on sale for little less). The DAC in it isn't great. Your chosen amp may have a better DAC if not there great afordable options here too. I went for an SMSL SU-1. Sounds great, only cost £80 and is about the size of a cigarette box.

Good luck with the system, post an update on how it goes.
 

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