• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

Recommendations Requested for Streamer, Integrated Amp or Amp/Preamp, $35K budget

PaulG1449

Member
Feb 16, 2020
2
0
20
Hello All. I'm a new member on this site and not learned when it comes to hifi equipment. I have ~ $35K budgeted for purchase of the best sounding equipment (specifically: a desktop music streamer, a desktop integrated amp or preamp/amp combo, and cables) my money can buy. They would be hooked up to my Aerial Model 7B floor speakers with Transparent Super cable. At my age (mid 60s), I like the convenience of digital, so the equipment would need multiple digital inputs, but desire to get the closest to analog sound as a I can.
I would greatly appreciate your recommendations. Many Thanks! PaulG
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
211
1,270
I would listen to streamers across a wide budget range and then report back to us about the difference the streamer alone makes because, I don't think you are going to be anything other but astounded by the almost total lack of difference. You really are not going to find a massive difference for massive prices. Buyer be very aware.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulG1449

PaulG1449

Member
Feb 16, 2020
2
0
20
Thank you all for your replies. Reading them, I am curious as to how reviews done by WHAT HI*FI folks distinguish between the sonic quality between say, a Naim NDX2 @ ~$7.5K vs Naim 555/555PR @ $20K+. Their reviews say the Naim 555/555PR "is the best sounding digital streaming source we’ve heard" but the NDX2 only produces "cohesive and entertaining sound". I don't even know how I'm supposed to interpret "cohesive and entertaining sound." What does that even mean?
I've tried auditioning lots of equipment. I ended up buying a Mark Levionson's "entry-level" 5805 and any music played through its DAC sounded muted & lifeless. I intend on returning the ML 5805 and getting something else.
Also, in sampling different equipment at the local high-end store, their devices are connected to the best cables money can buy, which might be a different situation in my home.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
211
1,270
Oh , cables mmm, moving on. You are a reviewer and you have to write something right? Cohesive and entertaining sound means NADA. If you have the flagship and a lesser model from the same company it is a brave man that would admit the difference is negligible, especially if you regularly review their products.
So , use your ears , bring your own cables and honestly ignore the bloody price. Tidal makes a lot of stuff sound fuller I think but it is generally louder and it's all remasters. Spotify has a better sound on Bluetooth on my Kefs, I don't know why. CD sounds better to my ears. Streamers , I dunno where is the magic what can they possibly do ? You have to listen. Honestly 7.5 -22k is just stupid money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulG1449

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
823
375
5,270
Thank you all for your replies. Reading them, I am curious as to how reviews done by WHAT HI*FI folks distinguish between the sonic quality between say, a Naim NDX2 @ ~$7.5K vs Naim 555/555PR @ $20K+. Their reviews say the Naim 555/555PR "is the best sounding digital streaming source we’ve heard" but the NDX2 only produces "cohesive and entertaining sound". I don't even know how I'm supposed to interpret "cohesive and entertaining sound." What does that even mean?
I've tried auditioning lots of equipment. I ended up buying a Mark Levionson's "entry-level" 5805 and any music played through its DAC sounded muted & lifeless. I intend on returning the ML 5805 and getting something else.
Also, in sampling different equipment at the local high-end store, their devices are connected to the best cables money can buy, which might be a different situation in my home.
Good. That's very good. As far as spending your budget may get you the best sound quality it most certainly wont get you most enjoyment.

Imagine being a newbie and spending $3k on a bottle of whisky/wine. Would you really tell the difference?

My advice is start small at a fraction of your budget. $5k should be plenty to start with. Then keep upgrading every so often. More enjoyment and most importantly you'll learn what you like and what you dont like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulG1449

Dom

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2011
676
181
19,070
I agree with insider9, but the temptation to go all out must be wild. I would say feel your way around this. Imagine telling your friends and us, how much you have spent. Blows me away.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulG1449

Esra

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2011
59
19
18,545
A Devialet Expert 220 Pro is a great and stylish/modern starting point and comes in with 5 years of warranty.
New Rotel Michi Series seems to be serious stuff and looks nice too imo. in a more conventional but modern way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulG1449

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
576
243
19,270
Thank you all for your replies. Reading them, I am curious as to how reviews done by WHAT HI*FI folks distinguish between the sonic quality between say, a Naim NDX2 @ ~$7.5K vs Naim 555/555PR @ $20K+. Their reviews say the Naim 555/555PR "is the best sounding digital streaming source we’ve heard" but the NDX2 only produces "cohesive and entertaining sound". I don't even know how I'm supposed to interpret "cohesive and entertaining sound." What does that even mean?
I've tried auditioning lots of equipment. I ended up buying a Mark Levionson's "entry-level" 5805 and any music played through its DAC sounded muted & lifeless. I intend on returning the ML 5805 and getting something else.
Also, in sampling different equipment at the local high-end store, their devices are connected to the best cables money can buy, which might be a different situation in my home.
You won't be getting muted and lifeless with Naim. As for the "cohesive" thing, I get what they mean. Some gear can sound detailed to the point that you only hear the details, but the grand scheme of things gets lost. It's a "matter of fact" way of presenting the music: here's the trombones, here's the drums etc, but doesn't make you feel like dancing, there's no emotional connection.

On the gear, many people swear by the improvement power sources bring to systems, at least in the Naim ecosystem. Some would rather use a lower source with the best PSU (the 555 ps) than the better source without an external PSU. Other gear you should consider is Chord, Lumin, MSB (some of their dacs are fabulous imo), Bryston, maybe even Linn stuff.

For gutsy sound, few do it better than Naim.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PaulG1449

daytona600

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2012
314
167
19,070
DCS or MSB entry ranges are circa $35k top of the range are well into 6 figures but they are Outstanding

Roon nucleus as a Streamer / server , Melco ripper/storage/ NAS & DCS bartok as DAC youwill be in Budget
or Lumin X1 or Auralic G2

 
  • Like
Reactions: rainsoothe

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS