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Does anyone have experience with music streaming services? I have used Pandora plus at the office which offers good variety, but less than CD quality. Not bad, but not great audio, but better than MP3.
I would love to hear recommendations regarding better sound quality as good or better than CD quality.
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I have tried a few technologies. The following is quirky, but very cheap and sound quality is amazing.
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Tidal is excellent in hifi mode
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Thanks Andrew, This looks like a dac, but what I was thinking about was music download service via the internet for streaming high res music.
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I'm currently trying out Qobuz, which like Tidal is lossless and focuses quite strongly on jazz and classical. I have it streaming via a Chromecast Audio into a Dacmagic and the sound is amazingly good - leaves Spotify in the dust.
I don't think Qobuz is available outside Europe though, unfortunately.
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This link to all things ALLO was a great read. You mention the amazing sound quality and I wanted to ask what your reference points are? (Frustratingly, none of the posters in the ALLO thread mention other reference points, so it's impossible to know at what level of sq they are playing at...) I'm currently using a (Californian) HRT iSTREAMER that syncs perfectly with my iPAD PRO 256GB to play lossless ALAC music files (Ripped straight from CDs...) for thoroughly decent sound. (I also have the APPLE Camera Kit Adaptor, that allows the data stream to break out of the APPLE Jail - in the event that I find a better USB DAC. In my experience, my current digital source rig kills any cd-player I have heard - no I have not heard them all... - so much so, that I recently sold my legendary SONY XA7ES. It simply could not keep up at all. But I would be keen to invest more, to get more - if its possible. What have you compared the ALLO solution to? Any specific suggestions? -SONDEK
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PS: As an aside, the HRT iStreamer is also able to provide the self same level of resolution feeding from most iPhones and (late model) iPods.
Also, in the event that you are playing on 1 synced Apple device, you can use another as remote control. I just use iTunes and it's a breeze - and charges my iDevice while it is playing too! Best of all, sync with the iDevice is never a problem - which can't be said of a lot of so-called IOS compatible devices - and visitors with their own iPods/iPhones/iPads simply love the fact that they can plug-in too! I highly recommend this little HRT iStreamer device, which retails for a few hundred dollars. http://www.hirestech.com/product/?pid=87
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Bob-I realized almost immediately after posting that I had my wires crossed. FYI my experience is with Tidal. I tried this for a few months and eventually dropped it as the cost did not give me anything more than my favorite radio and music library.
SONDEK-My reference was a laptop completely stripped of everything but Jriver, running through a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic plus. I tried using a Gustard U12, a Schiit decrapifier and Uptone Regen as a source re-generator to further improve the signal I built a device based on the Allo that included a powered hard drive to store music. As I have access to every Engineering toy you could think off the enclosure was laser cut out of 4.5mm smoke acrylic with a Rapid Prototyped white screen grill behind the Pi sign. The allo lights this up nicely at night and it looks pretty cool. Back to the sound quality: when this device was put in place there was a sharp increase in sound quality. A layer of scuzz was removed. This was the sort of improvement where you cannot go back. As the Gustard U12 had won the battle of the source re generation I decided to purchase a Gustard DAC X20. This brought another big jump in sound quality Attached Images
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More up to date picture of the Allo device.
I also made the rack and matching coffee table using Rimu, waterjet cut brackets and CNC machined 30mm ply painted and aged. Attached Images
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Simply stunning job there - and top shelf sound to boot! Nice work! It seems that there are endless DAC options now available, with top shelf sound available around $US1000. The challenge is pushing the button on a 'box' that one has no chance of auditioning. Choices, choices, choices. (Definitely 'First World' problems...)