Griff500

DAC / Pre Amp setup for SCM40A

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The way you stream these different streamers makes quite a difference, ie I found Qobuz Desktop was not so good on my Windows 10 pc but it’s fine on my Bluesound Node 2, but Amazon HD was the opposite, ok on pc but pretty awful on my Node. Tidal was ok on both, Qobuz And Tidal are very similar on my Node, also recommended albums tend to be ones I’m interested.

of course other software will produce different results. The NAD streamer gets some good reviews and is the same software as the Node. Arcam are launching a new streamer very soon, around £1200.

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Apparently the Vega G2 has HT bypass, along with analogue volume control and a decent preamp. If I want to stretch the budget a bit I could get one of these or the Linn Akurate with Katalyst for £4-4.5K. Both look like good one-box solutions. It's quite a big jump in price from an Altair G1 to a Vega G2 but the features might be worth it. I could also spend a bit less for a Hugo TT2 and use my Aries Mini with it.

The Brooklyn Bridge seems like good value.

Any of these options should provide good features and sound quality and it would probably come down to any perceived difference in sound quality when I hear them and what features are important.

Feel free to chime in with  suggestions, thoughts, etc.

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1 minute ago, StingRay said:

The way you stream these different streamers makes quite a difference, ie I found Qobuz Desktop was not so good on my Windows 10 pc but it’s fine on my Bluesound Node 2, but Amazon HD was the opposite, ok on pc but pretty awful on my Node. Tidal was ok on both, Qobuz And Tidal are very similar on my Node, also recommended albums tend to be ones I’m interested.

of course other software will produce different results. The NAD streamer gets some good reviews and is the same software as the Node. Arcam are launching a new streamer very soon, around £1200.

I won't be using a computer - the streamer needs to be in the unit. Having Airplay would be useful for guests when playing music roulette. 

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10 minutes ago, MartinC said:

The NAD C658 I suggested you demo above still does everything you want for rather less money...

Not a fan of the looks but it seems to offer a very good set of features for the money. Digital volume control, but 2-way bluetooth is nice. It's a unit that I'd want to hide in the cabinet but on paper it looks feature-rich. Reviews and feedback are somewhat varied...

Edited by Griff500

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On 16/10/2020 at 14:38, Griff500 said:

Having now ordered a pair of ATC SCM40A, thanks to a very misleadingly titled thread, I am now considering options to keep them well fed.

It seems that the two obvious ways to do this are either an all-in-one streaming DAC/pre-amp such as the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge (Linn has also been suggested and looks interesting if I go to the used market) or components, which could be a streamer into a decent DAC/pre-amp or, I guess, three individual components.

I think the less components the better - less connections seems like a good thing - but I am open to suggestions.

I'd like to keep it somewhere around £2K  but I can go higher if I feel that it is worthwhile to do so. I use Tidal to stream music.

I also have active speakers and over the last couple of years have been attempting to streamline my system and reduce my box count. My ideal was a combined streamer/DAC/Preamp or combined DAC/Preamp but despite trying many recommended combinations have almost universally found that preamps in streamers and DACs simply don't compare to a good stand alone preamp when driving active speakers, in my case via 5m leads. 

I have eventually found a combined DAC/preamp that works equally as well as separate units in my system but would have no idea if it would in any other system. Therefore my view is a separate preamp is probably the safest option. 

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Super Wammer
7 hours ago, Headcoat said:

9.2 mbps for 192/24 bit wow, that explains a lot; if I stream Qobuz at that rate whilst another streams TV I get bad buffering - we only get 12 mbps or so wirelessly. Thank you. I'm still not convinced, recording/mastering aside, even at that bit rate it sounds any better than Spotify. Certainly it's not a significant enough improvement for my ageing ears!

It’s possible to stream at lower rates with the appropriate setting. And I used to get the same issue with our Plusnet copper broadband which averaged about 9.6 so only just about coped as long as I was the only user.  We upgraded a few months ago to fibre to the property through a local firm and now get c. 60Mbps wireless and double that via Ethernet. 
I also prefer a well recorded CD quality to a less good higher res.  Actually, I seem to have listened recently to quite a few new releases at 44.1/24 which requires just 2.1Mbps, or 96/24 which seems more popular than 192. 

Edited by Nopiano

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Some options that I am considering, none of which would require a preamp.

Chord Hugo TT2, just under £4K - would my Aries Mini provide a good source for this setup? 

Used Linn Akurate DSM with Katalyst for around £4K or so - excellent reviews but I cannot really see where I could hear it first.

Ex-demo Auralic Vega G2 for £4,400 - gets excellent reviews and provides a good all-in-one solution.

Auralic Vega G1 for just over £3K new. No wireless.

For around £2K there is the Auralic Altair G1 or the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge. These seem to represent good value for money. Basically double the cost for the other options, but might it be worth doing...

I've got some time until I will have the new speakers and I am keeping an eye on the used market and will be trying to hear some of these options.

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2 minutes ago, Griff500 said:

Auralic Vega G1 for just over £3K new. No wireless.

Just to pick up on the 'no wireless' point you'd ideally want to be trying to use an Ethernet connection really anyway. However, with your various planned moves you may run the risk of wireless being your only option?

As at least one person has already said I really think it would be worth you demoing some cheaper options to make up your own mind what's really worth it to you.

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32 minutes ago, Griff500 said:

Some options that I am considering, none of which would require a preamp.

Chord Hugo TT2, just under £4K - would my Aries Mini provide a good source for this setup? 

Used Linn Akurate DSM with Katalyst for around £4K or so - excellent reviews but I cannot really see where I could hear it first.

Ex-demo Auralic Vega G2 for £4,400 - gets excellent reviews and provides a good all-in-one solution.

Auralic Vega G1 for just over £3K new. No wireless.

For around £2K there is the Auralic Altair G1 or the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge. These seem to represent good value for money. Basically double the cost for the other options, but might it be worth doing...

I've got some time until I will have the new speakers and I am keeping an eye on the used market and will be trying to hear some of these options.

I haven’t heard one but this looks interesting.

https://www.willowtreeaudio.co.uk/denafrips

Edited by Iceman 16

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4 minutes ago, Iceman 16 said:

I haven’t heard one but this looks interesting.

https://www.willowtreeaudio.co.uk/denafrips

Which one, that link shows various DACs etc.

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36 minutes ago, Griff500 said:

Some options that I am considering, none of which would require a preamp.

Chord Hugo TT2, just under £4K - would my Aries Mini provide a good source for this setup? 

Used Linn Akurate DSM with Katalyst for around £4K or so - excellent reviews but I cannot really see where I could hear it first.

Ex-demo Auralic Vega G2 for £4,400 - gets excellent reviews and provides a good all-in-one solution.

Auralic Vega G1 for just over £3K new. No wireless.

For around £2K there is the Auralic Altair G1 or the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge. These seem to represent good value for money. Basically double the cost for the other options, but might it be worth doing...

I've got some time until I will have the new speakers and I am keeping an eye on the used market and will be trying to hear some of these options.

Of course you can buy most of those for around half price used. There have been a few Auralics crop up for sale on here.

If moving abroad note internet and wifi could be quite a bit worse than here and also some streamers may not be available.

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4 minutes ago, StingRay said:

Which one, that link shows various DACs etc.

Terminator 😍

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2 minutes ago, StingRay said:

If moving abroad note internet and wifi could be quite a bit worse than here...

Or very easily better :). The UK is hardly a shining example...

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28 minutes ago, StingRay said:

Of course you can buy most of those for around half price used. There have been a few Auralics crop up for sale on here.

If moving abroad note internet and wifi could be quite a bit worse than here and also some streamers may not be available.

I'll be in the Czech Republic and there's no issue with internet or availability of streaming services.

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