Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

regarding Cyrus products and other hifi related threads
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caine
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Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby caine » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:13 pm

Its been on the cards a while to move on from my modded SBT. It's served me well and with iPeng it works, though no bells and whistles at all. Nice to able to stream live from various providers other than my NAS and radio. Coming onto the market is the Lumin D2 which looks great bar the internal SMPS, though more importantly the lack of digital outputs. I would give it a go otherwise.

Looked at BC offerings in the guise of the REFstream which is a discountinued product which renders the music from the likes of jriver, etc. Seems a bit of a bugger around if I am to be honest. Further I don't want a PC in my listening room if I can avoid. Other brands are the Aurender; but must admit to being freaked out by their pricing.

What is the Cyrus Stream X Signature like ? Not read much about it. Keep on reading about ROON ready with no clear idea to what that refers too.

Any one come across a future proofed streamer that covers all the basics connects to streaming services [spotify/qobuz/tidal] with excellent sound and decent digital outputs, etc.

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby Joe » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:39 pm

The Cyrus sounds excellent for the money but is limited in features and the app ain’t great. Aurender is indeed very expensive now but I love mine. Fluid sound, solid app and some clever tech inside. Auralic is worth a look. Feature packed with a great app but I find the Auralic sound a bit clinical.

ROON as I understand it is exceptional third party control software that only some devices support.
Michell Gyro Dec, Tecnoarm, Ortofon Rondo Blue, Project Phono Box RS + Power Box.
Aurender N100H, Chord Hugo TT.
Luxman L-590AX II, PMC Twenty 26.

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby gary66 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:56 pm

I’ve also been thinking about getting a streamer. The Moon Neo Mind gets good reviews and seems to do what the Aurender does but half the price. Haven’t heard one yet though to compare.

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby gary66 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:06 pm

And the sms-200 from SOtM also looks interesting for a smaller budget.
https://www.sotm-audio.com/sotmwp/english/portfolio-item/sms-200/#toggle-id-3

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby jobseeker » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:09 am

One of the most comprehensive, services-wise, is the Bluesound range. I have a Node 2, which will function as a (limited connectivity preamp or as a streamer that you can connect into an existing system.. It also does full MQA and is Roon-Ready. Control is via an app. Bluesound doesn't use UPnP, rather it's own software based around accessing network shares. I also have a Meridian 218 (though that is restricted to the Meridian Sooloos or Roon sytems) and a Lindemann Musicbook 20. In fact, there's a lot out there now across a huge price/quality range, from fully integrated units, preamp/DAC/Streamers, stand-alone streamers etc. Whether you are likely to need Roon and/or MQA is another factor. It can be a bewildering array of choices and prices, depending on where your budget ends and exactly what functions you want to perform.

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby RichardLowe » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:07 am

As Jobseeker says and you know yourself, there is a huge choice in the market. It all depends on what you want the device to do. Personally I like a device that is future-proofed to the largest extent, so that new streaming services, file formats, etc., can be added by user-installable firmware updates. IMHO, though the StreamX is a worthy bit of kit in performance, its limited to 24-bit/192 khz, doesn't support DSD, isn't Roon-ready, and as far as I can tell these limitations are part of the hardware limitation rather than something that can be enabled by firmware update in the future (I stand to be corrected here though). Also, any firmware updates are by return to a Cyrus dealer, and for me that was a real pain in the neck. Also the app it uses is very limited compared to others.

I would list your red lines - whether its Roon-readiness, MQA compatibility, asynchronous USB input, great app, DSD, maximum bit rate/depth, etc., and go hunting. I can't give any direct recommendations as my Primare Pre 60 uses a plug-in media board that handles streaming, but certainly Aurender, Auralic, Bluesound, and Melco come up frequently here and in the trade mags. See Maro's posts on this site in particular, he has done detailed side-by-side comparisons of a lot of these.
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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby zippy » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:28 pm

I'm sure I answered this thread yesterday but either I'm going mad, or something not quite right about the site !

Anyway, to summarise, I'm perfectly happy with my Cyrus StreamX Signature, so yes I'd recommend one with a few provisos:

1. Cyrus use Tidal as their network streaming subscription so if you'd prefer Qobuz, Spotify or whatever you're out of luck.
2. The control app, Cadence, is a bit basic and not to my taste. You can of course use an alternative app - I use Bubble UPnP myself.
3. The StreamX firmware is not user-updateable - it has to be returned to a dealer for any updates and they may charge you to do it.

My opinion is that different streamers don't sound particularly different. I have an old NP3 which sounds almost as good as the Streamx, and was a fraction of the cost.
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AG1500 regenerator/StreamXSig->DAC XPSig(with PSX-R2)->Bryston 4BSST2->KEF Reference 3~2

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby Ianmac » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:08 pm

I find myself in a similar situation to Caine.
Im using a home built Caps 3 variant with USB output and a W10 software optimisation package. It sounds good but its vulnerable to the Whim of Microsoft with their W10 updates. I use Wi Fi for remote control via JRiver on an old i pad so its connected into my network
I still use my SB touch in my secondsystem but bought an I Basso portable to experiment with. Good SQ but user interface inadeqate for a fixed position application.
I did try an Auralic last year but did not like the "digital" sound it produced and moved the unit on.
Cyrus is not on my list as returning it to a dealer for software update is not in my book.
Over the past 2yrs Ive spent an inordinate ammount of time rebuilding/designing Techie 1200 and now have a good SQ black disc system. Health issues hit me 12 months ago but I'm hopefull I'm coming out of of that tunnel in the next few months and will divert my energies to sorting out my Streaming operation.
Ill hunt through the various threads by Maro but any guidance would be appreciated.

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby Joe » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:37 pm

zippy wrote:My opinion is that different streamers don't sound particularly different.

Correct. Probably the smallest difference in the Hi-fi system chain in my experience, other than cables of course!

Buy the one that has the features you require and see how it fares with your DAC of choice is my advice.
Michell Gyro Dec, Tecnoarm, Ortofon Rondo Blue, Project Phono Box RS + Power Box.
Aurender N100H, Chord Hugo TT.
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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby caine » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:09 pm

Thanks for all the comments, certainly food for thought. I've heard enough streamers to know the differences in sound presentation. I consider the source of the sound very important.

The higher end the better, streamer only or certainly one with lots of digital outs supporting 24/192 and 32bit. Shed loads of connectivity with a decent interface, but SQ is the key consideration; the rest is icing. I'd be willing to go up to a couple of grand cost wise (or more but not this time around) for the right bit of kit. Though will keep an eye out for 2nd hand gear.

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby maro73 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:26 pm

Hello Caine
It's been ages mate ..
So here are my views , and in the review part there is a thread ..
So it will depend on which route you take , and your needs , even if I guess that you're still fond of good gears :
1. DIY route : buy the ABC EDL card which is used in the BC Ref and Black , add a 3.3 volts PSU and you're off for 600 quids (works well with UPNP , Roon end point)
2. Aurender N100 H/C : superb , almost vinyl presentation
3. Auralic Aries : great buy for money , detailed and clinical , the G2 is 3 times the price , and sounds terrific
4. Aurender n10 : addictive but costly
5. microrendu : not that bad
6. Lumin U1 : very very good transport
7. Melco N1H v2 : superb price for the money , works well with Bubble UPNp

then there are all computers modded . .. but

Some folks are going for hifberry , but I have no experience

cheers

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby maro73 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:27 pm


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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby caine » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:55 am

It certainly has. Thanks for your list and had a good read through your thread - lots to take in. Seen the entire ROON thing HiFi+ has a big write up on it. Interesting you ended up with the Lumin U1, at £4595 its not cheap at all. I noticed that it has all the connections as well as supports all of the various codec/streaming services, quite the machine. I had discarded LUMIN due to the lack of connectivity of the D2 and others closer in price. From reading your thread and what I was reading from mags and others I was veering towards the Aurender N100C (due to the BC 3.5vb2 not taken USB); as the N10 with AES output at near £9K being prohibitive. However your Lumin U1 has perked my interest.

In the meantime I am interested in the renderer solution as a cheap fix. I know I mentioned this was a route I did not want to take, but a decent option to get far higher SQ than the SBT and I get all my computer hardware free through work.

Note: "ABC EDL card" does not get the results I was expecting on the search engines ? Is it known as anything else

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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby maro73 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:57 pm


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Re: Steamers / Renderers what is worth checking out ?

Postby jobseeker » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:09 pm

I’m hoping to hear in the next few months that the Lindemann Musicbook series will get a Roon Ready update. They are certainly launching a more affordable Roon Ready Network endpoint under their Lime Tree brand. They are an under-appreciated brand in the UK.