Help me choose my first Streamer

See if you can get your hands on a Innuos Zen. I’ve been using mine for a year without one single problem. Love it! And less than 3k.

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Question- I initiated this thread. I failed to mention that I have an ethernet connection for the streamer.

Its coming off a ethernet hub…that’s located behind my system. With that said…if I’m using the streamer just for playing flac files from an external HD…none of that really matters-correct ? And wireless capabilities would also have no value based on my needs ?

I’m trying to find the right streamer with an emphasis on sound quality…without completely overbuying for functions that I don’t use or need.

The crazy thing is…My Mac Mini into my Yiggy via JRiver—Pass Labs Int 60----Martin Logan Montis’s— sound incredible. Its hard to even imagine it could sound better…but I’m willing to try. I 've been chasing this addiction for 40 years.

I love the build quality of the Aurender’s,the Lumin’s and Auralic…I would love to stay with one of these three for my eventual streamer.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

Take a hard look at the Silent Angel Rhein Z1. Engineering, build quality, price. Seems to check those boxes in an unprecedented manner.

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The only part I do not like is that neither Bonn not the river Rhein are Chinese. I am sorry I grew up in the Rheinland and am not amused by Chinese hijacking these names. Pretty sure there are equally beautiful cities and rivers in China, This is not a statement about product quality rather a statement of sentiment.

I have the G1 feed wirelessly from my baetis prodigy server using Roon. I also have had an Ethernet connection between the devices. I prefer the simplicity of the wireless and found the sound to be as good if not better than the Ethernet connection.

Hey, sorry krelldog, I didn’t mean to “hijack” your thread here. It’s just that I am in a very similar situation with trying to decide on my first media server, and there are just so many choices out there that I want to try and narrow it down to 2-3 brands. (there have been a lot of great recommendations so far, so now I’m trying to do my research on the brands suggested!)

Not to confuse matters further for those considering Aurender, Auralic, Innuos, Lumin, etc., but I want to give a shout-out to Melco. I have a first-generation Melco N1Z that is still going strong and sounding great. So great, in fact, that I am thinking of selling my after-acquired Auralic ARIES G2. I now have three streamers in my system: (1) The Melco, which has my FLAC and DSD files on its internal HDD; (2) the streamer built into my Auralic VEGA G2 DAC; and (3) the ARIES G2. I am keeping the Melco because it houses my music files. I am keeping the VEGA G2, as it is now my main system’s DAC (having just sold my DS Sr.). Hence, the ARIES G2 is somewhat redundant in my current setup. But the point of this post is that I believe Melco belongs in the same company as the other streamer brands mentioned in this thread.

One potential knock on Melco is that its streamers do not do Roon. That has never been an issue for me, but it is likely a deal-breaker for serious Roonies.


Of course wireless has value based on your needs. Sounds as good as ethernet or better. With wireless, one can place their server, roon core, in another room.

No issues…hopefully we’ll both find the best streamer for our needs .

I’m looking at the various recommendations myself too as my Dad is possibly going to upgrade from his CD based system to a file based system.

what is your budget…?

Probably 2-3K. If I spend that much I have to be convinced its user friendly. I also want to utilize the USB out. I just bought an Audience FrontRow USB A-B cable that I love. I usually buy used…but I’ll probably buy new so I have dealer support.

I’m weighing the pro’s and cons of internal storage vs external storage. I want simplicity if its possible. I don’t have a tablet to control the unit. Do all tablets work or am I limited to an ipad ? Also I currently navigate my current mac Mini system via J River using a 22" monitor and a mouse. Which makes navigation and viewing extremely easy. An 11" tablet is going to be an adjustment.

All that aside… My system is almost complete. My analog side is where I want it—VPI Prime Signature–Ortofon Cadenza Bronze Cart----Pass Labs XP-17 Phono pre----Pass Labs Int 60—M/L Montis’s speakers

Digital side…I love my Schiit Yiggy…just need my streamer.

and everything is plugged into my PS Audio P-10.

cool, thanks for the description. nice analogue rig you have there. I just ordered a VPI Prime Scout.
but the signature version looks like a killer upgrade. nice work.

There’s lots of good advice above. I’ve heard a few different streamers, but my own experience is limited to the Bryston digital players. I find them to be very reliable, with excellent power supplies and quality components - and a killer warranty.

The USB section in the Bryston players is excellent. And you have the flexibility to add multiple external hard drives. The BDP-3 has super fast processing speed and can access the music stored on HD’s quite quickly. They are also Roon Ready.

The only downside, based on your needs, is they are not as user friendly as other brands. But, on the bright side, once you figure out how to use it, it never fails. The latest version is the BDP-3 and can be purchased on the used market for about $2K. A quality unit. And most of all - it sounds amazing.

Also, not sure if you’ve cruised around John Darko’s youtube channel, but he has quite a few videos about streaming, reviews units, and importantly, gives honest and pretty detailed comments about the user interfaces. I included a link below on the Auralic G1 - but it might be a bit over your price range. not sure.

another option could be ditching your Yiggy and getting a Direct Stream DAC with BridgeII. I know you love the Schitt…but this is a PSA forum…so ya had to see it coming :slight_smile:

As far as tablets go, yes…it does not necessarily need to be an I-pad. But you may need to download a file for a PC to work. There are larger tablet sizes available but a bit pricey.

I’ve also been interested in the Lumin streamers - but have yet to listen to one. they have good reviews and look beautiful.

good luck!

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Yes, indeed - lots of great advice and recommendations on this thread. I am starting to narrow down my options to the Auralic Aries G1 (or G2?), Lumin U1 Mini or Innuos Zen mk2. As I stated earlier in this thread, I currently have a Mac Mini connected via Ethernet that serves as my Roon Core. I stream about 90% of the time through Qobuz, but also have all of my CD’s ripped to flac on an external drive and listen to those maybe 10% of the time. I currently use Roon, but I am not locked into it and could probably adapt to another streaming software. With any of the three units that I have mentioned, is there any other hardware needed beside the streamer? (I know with Roon I would have to have a Roon Core somewhere in the chain) Thanks in advance!

Thanks TJ Sully,

Bryston is a fabulous audio company. I’ve never owned anything made by Bryston, but its great gear.

with that said…I’ve heard nightmares about their digital software. Another feature I would love in a streamer is the front screen display. Its a great visual in the middle of your rig.

Currently…I’m torn between the Aurender N 100 and the Auralic Aries G1. Ironically their both 2699.00 new. I would love to hear any opinions on any head to head comparisons.

If you want your first streamer to also be your last then get a Pink Faun 2.16. You can buy one decked out or add options later. They are a little pricey but unbelievable build and sound quality. Also very good people to work with. It makes my Nucleus plus with Matrix i2s converter sound like a handheld AM radio.

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thanks for sharing Baldy - I’ve never heard of the Pink Faun until now. just did a little digging…man, what a killer unit. and a little pricey is a bit of an understatement - jeepers! I bet it must be in an entirely other league compared to the Nucleus…AM radio is a good analogy :slight_smile: congrats bro!

strictly based on reviews, videos, and interviews with the manufacturer…my money would be on the Aurender.

It is “the last streamer you will ever buy”. Glad I was fortunate enough to be able to get one. No regrets at all.

At $2k I can highly recommend Teac NT505 as an owner.

Dual monoural AK4497 dacs, fully balanced, dual toroidal power supplies, excellent analog output section, full MQA, LUMIN app, roon ready, dual onboard clocks, capable of accepting external 10 MHz clock, dsd512,…

I use with Audio Research power and Spendor d7 and it is amazing. Especially for $2k new. Highly recommended!!

No WiFi tho. Ethernet only.

Teac is parent company of Esoteric, which many consider the very best in digital. Lots of Esoteric trickledown tech in the Teac NT505. Poor mans Esoteric, I call it …

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