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Replacing My Streamer

barton_stacey

Active member
Oct 8, 2020
2
1
25
I have a Pioneer N-50 that is getting a bit flaky in terms of its reliability, so looking to replace. Currently going into a Rotel RA-10 amp and Monitor Audio Silver 6 speakers. Amp upgrade likely to come later, but for now need the new streamer. Music mainly coming off a wired NAS drive in FLAC.

I have seen a used Cyrus Stream Xa for £500, which seems like a bargain, but not sure about buying an older unit with what sounds like a decidedly ropey control app. I'd get it if I thought it was going to give me really good sound quality for the price, acknowledging the possible limitations of the other kit.

Have also seen a CXN (V2) at a good price (about £600) and like the idea of having chromecast, but it's not a deal breaker. Not clear to me whether this unit is likely to match the cyrus for sound quality given the presumably newer technology?

Finally, I could just go a bit cheaper and plump for the Audiolab 6000N or the Bluesound Node 2i, but I wonder whether the CXN would be superior enough to justify the extra money?

Not in a position to audition anything at the moment and suspect the Cyrus will go sometime soon. Would love any thoughts.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
383
237
19,270
The Node is very popular because it works well, supports lots of services, and has a great app. As they’re now £100 off it’s an easy choice. But if you want a regular box, the Cambridge is also widely praised.
I would pass on the Cyrus. The only older streamer I’d consider is the Linn Sneaky DS, typically £450 to £500, used only.

If you get the bug, the Node is also upgradeable with external power supplies.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
395
206
19,270
I'm replacing my Audiolab 6000N with a Node 2i.

The 6000N sounds good and I've had very few issues with the DTS Play-Fi platform, but its lack of support for gapless playback has become an issue for me.

If I find myself happy with the Node 2i in my main system, I'm considering a PowerNode 2i as a neat option in my second system.
 
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knaithrover

Moderator
Nov 24, 2013
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18,670
What I've found is the 2 main things with streamers is the useability of the associated app plus the fact that adding the right dac can elevate performance to another level. Sonos and Bluesound have superb stable apps. Bluesound has a decent enough inbuilt dac but add say a Chord Mojo and you get sonic fireworks. I've also found that even the ancient and meh sounding Sonos Connect is still a contender if you add a good dac plus the Sonos app and performance even with dodgy WiFi is a cut above. The best sounding stand alone streamer ive owned is the Auralic Aries Mini but it's let down by the app and its glitchy drop outs which bug me to death.
 
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record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
61
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10,545
Depending on what level of streaming you want and what kind of functionality you're after, there the Arylic S10 and S50 streamers too. I have the former and it's excellent, but no DSD, gapless or MQA. The 4STREAM app is stable and the sound quality surprisingly impressive, especially given the ridiculously low price. Forget Bluetooth, sounds awful, other than that, bargain of the year.

£60 & £200 respectively.
 
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barton_stacey

Active member
Oct 8, 2020
2
1
25
All interesting stuff. I have plugged a chromecast audio into the pioneer N-50 as a cheap, temporary solution, thus avoiding the issues I've been having up to now. But I know this only supports 24/96 and would not be my permanent solution.

I've seen the odd Chord Mojo around, am intrigued by the opinions out there re the sound quality within a hi-fi setup and considered this as an option. But wonder whether using that as the DAC (with the right transport) would be a genuine improvement over the N-50 or a Node 2i on there own? Or even whether to wait a bit longer and still go for the all-in-one simplicity of the CXN V2.

The Arylic looks like an interesting option I've not come across before and I will certainly investigate further.
 
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