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Help with upgrading my streaming system

adamwillan

Well-known member
Oct 10, 2012
9
0
18,520
Hi I am a bit out of the game when it comes to stereo systems compared to a few years ago...

I currently use a chromecast audio to play Spotify/Radio from my phone. It is connected via optical to the DAC on my Rotel RA 12 amplifier.

I am looking to upgrade my streaming option so that it is easier for my missus to use, better sound, and also use of foreign radio stations (which you cant do on Tune in).

I had been considering the bluesound node 2i as a cheap upgrade (now at £400). Would this give a vastly improved sound over the current setup?

The other options that I have are a 2nd hand Azur 851n for around £650, or make the investment in something better such as the soon to be released Arcam ST60 for £1,200.

If I was to invest in something better like the Arcam would my 7 year old mid range amplifier negate any extra sound quality. I will probably look to get Amazon HD or other to improve on spotify if investing in a better system.

Thanks in advance!
 

Hawkmoon

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2020
98
38
70
It will not be night and day but definitely better, if you invest in a Node 2i. The BluOS app is excellent and it fully supports streaming services like Tidal, Qobuz and Amazon HD - you can compare the built in DAC with that in your amp via coax out and see what you like the best. At its current price of £400 it is super value although the price reduction probably signals a new Node is coming in the next few months.
 

myrrhman

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2020
71
35
70
I would second Hawkmoon's comment that the quality / user friendliness of the app is crucial, plus it is useful if you have a choice of DACs and go with the one which you consider to give you best SQ.
An alternative for streaming would be to use a secondhand Mac Mini (I bought a late 2012 model recently which is the most customisable, although I think you'll need at least 2014 for the forthcoming Mac OS upgrade), and run Audirvana for streaming Tidal or Qobuz. You would need a separate DAC, assuming the Rotel doesn't have a USB input, but an inexpensive USB type DAC with a 3.5mm to RCA cable out would work fine. Audirvana also has a setting which allows the software to optimise the Mac for music playback, which I think includes things like increasing buffer sizes so you don't get drop-outs during playback.
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
324
126
19,070
I use a 2012 Mac mini for streaming music to a Yamaha R-N602 stereo receiver. Never had a dropout. The AirPlay protocol is very solid over WiFi.
 

stubbs

Active member
Oct 2, 2020
12
5
25
Hi I am a bit out of the game when it comes to stereo systems compared to a few years ago...

I currently use a chromecast audio to play Spotify/Radio from my phone. It is connected via optical to the DAC on my Rotel RA 12 amplifier.

I am looking to upgrade my streaming option so that it is easier for my missus to use, better sound, and also use of foreign radio stations (which you cant do on Tune in).

I had been considering the bluesound node 2i as a cheap upgrade (now at £400). Would this give a vastly improved sound over the current setup?

The other options that I have are a 2nd hand Azur 851n for around £650, or make the investment in something better such as the soon to be released Arcam ST60 for £1,200.

If I was to invest in something better like the Arcam would my 7 year old mid range amplifier negate any extra sound quality. I will probably look to get Amazon HD or other to improve on spotify if investing in a better system.

Thanks in advance!
I've been using a Yamaha Wxad 10 to stream. The yamaha music cast app can control your streaming from Tidal, Qeuboz, Spotify and Hi Res Internet radio. You can also stream via Bluetooth which I use for movie outputs. It works well for me and doesn't break the bank. I use Quboz and don't experience any drop offs etc.
 

JohnD

Well-known member
Oct 17, 2020
26
8
45
Hi I am a bit out of the game when it comes to stereo systems compared to a few years ago...

I currently use a chromecast audio to play Spotify/Radio from my phone. It is connected via optical to the DAC on my Rotel RA 12 amplifier.

I am looking to upgrade my streaming option so that it is easier for my missus to use, better sound, and also use of foreign radio stations (which you cant do on Tune in).

I had been considering the bluesound node 2i as a cheap upgrade (now at £400). Would this give a vastly improved sound over the current setup?

The other options that I have are a 2nd hand Azur 851n for around £650, or make the investment in something better such as the soon to be released Arcam ST60 for £1,200.

If I was to invest in something better like the Arcam would my 7 year old mid range amplifier negate any extra sound quality. I will probably look to get Amazon HD or other to improve on spotify if investing in a better system.

Thanks in advance!
Hi, I recently took possession of an Arcam St60 and have to caveat by saying that this is my 1st experience of Hi Fi streaming so I have no point of reference. However, I absolutely love it. Find it quite sweet and warm compared to my Naim CD5 player with oodles of detail that I never heard before. Would have no hesitation in recommending.

Currently just wireless on tidal. Sugden A21a and Avi Pro9plus.
 

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