I am beginning to think that a dedicated streamer is the next step, but it's effectively going to be a full cost upgrade, as I wont be changing the PC for something bigger and better, so the big Q is if that cost is justified for whatever gap there is.
How does a DS compare to a Cyrus CD6SE hich I used to own, and was inferior to the PC.
I have several hi res files (24/96) and they are mostly very good, but this might be because they have been remastered. Some are no different to the cd version, possibly because they are simply oversampled CD audio files.
I can detect the improvements between Spotify 160 -> cd audio (all files in FLAC) which is fine for critical listening, but 80% of the time I'm not in that zone, and to be honest the wider choice of music easily overcomes the slight sonic differences for most of the time.
Due to the very subjective nature of describing the hierarchy of sound, all I can do is give my (very personal) opinion.
- The way things are heading, I don't think spending substantial money on a CDP is wise.
- A Streamer is a better sorted solution, than a source connected to a separate DAC.
- IMO The Linn DS is the best, most musical solution (my individual opinion), though I'm not a fan of their amps.
- A Sneaky matches £2k CDPs on Redbook and exceeds them on 24 bit.
- A Majik DS is like a highend CDP (it certainly exceeds my Linn Karik/Numerik), and I preferred it to a very expensive Mark Levinson CDP. At the time Linn claimed it was better than any CDP, but I wouldn't go that far.
- I have heard a rip sounding better than the original CD, when comparing the DS to the equivalent Linn CDP.
Now I'm happy to admit that not everyone will think as I do, but that doesn't matter....all I'm trying to do, is get you to put it on your radar and try it at some stage with your kit, when your wallet has had time to recover.
You system deserves a great source, and I think you might be surprised at the difference it can make.