Streaming SQ?

I don’t have any vinyl capacity. I don’t have any CD / SACD capacity. I do share one item in my system inventory that matches Al: the Grimm MU1.

I can’t say that it’s better than other streamers or that it’s better than discs or vinyl, but it is darn good and continues to amaze me.*

*The supporting hardware is… not trivial, but also not entirely out of reach for a bunch of mid-budget people. Honestly, the weak link in the system is my Emotiva processor. Yes, my home theater and 2-channel systems are one and the same. (That’s probably where people stop reading…)

I am using very good power cords courtesy of Duncan at Common Ground Cables and Shunyata, what I think is a very good Shunyata AES cable between the streamer and DAC, excellent interconnects and speaker cables courtesy of Iconoclast, excellent Shunyata ethernet cables, etc. It all adds up, both in price and capability. But in my house, to my ears, I do not find streaming wanting for improvement.


You are not alone. Chin up.



Be happy, especially with that Grimm MU-1. The LP path is a deep rabbit hole, with many, many branches.


Oh, I’m more than happy. I’m thinking next year I may throw in a Pass Labs XP-22 or XP-32. Those offer home theater pass through, but that’s off-topic in this thread.


On my lust…er… wish list…

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I have a simple and inexpensive streaming system and it sounds absolutely fine. I listen to records a lot, different music, don’t compare the two. Digital does seem to benefit from clean power.

I haven’t played a CD for over a decade and I’ve never played a SACD.

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Currently, the best source in my house is a decade old Mac Mini running nothing but Audirvana (Qobuz or NAS files) > USB out.

However, a close second is a Bluesound Node (Coax out - usually TIDAL Connect) which offers tremendous convenience.

A Cambridge CXN V2 or a Holo Red are candidates down the road.


This is so true!
I cannot recommend to anyone who doesn’t have a vinyl collection to start one. It would suck to have say, 10 LPs that you have to play over and over.
(Unless they were really, really good)

Building a library is expensive. Turntables are expensive to mind blowingly expensive. Phono Preamps cost a ton. Ultrasonic Record Cleaners are ridiculously priced. It’s all too much.

In fact, if you are happy with your ear buds and mp3 player, STAY THERE!

EDIT: Saturday I went to Kyomi Audio to see a presentation by a Rep from Zanden demonstrate the $30K 1200 Signature Phone Preamp. It seems nice. George told me I don’t need one. Since when did need enter into my audio thoughts?


I disagree entirely. If you’re going to go down an audio rabbit hole, vinyl is the way to go. Buying records and playing them if fun. It’s even more fun buying a record for $5, cleaning it and it sounds great!!! A Rega P8 is not hugely expensive. I’ve used three really good phono amps in recent years, the EAR Phonobox, Vertere Phono and now RCM Sensor2 Mk2, all fairly modestly priced and superb.

The one thing you can be sure about vinyl is it will never become out of date because it’s already 40 years out of date.

P.s. my dealer had the Zanden phono at home for a couple of years, he now has the RCM Big Phono.

I’m of two minds on this. First anyone who considers starting into vinyl needs to evaluate the commitment necessary to proceed down the path. Even a simple system with a basic Technics 1500 require some consideration. (A nice way of saying have your head examined, and get a second opinion on that!) That said, those who choose the LP path I support and either give them a bunch of my duplicates, assuming our tastes are aligned, or two and this is more fun - I buy them records in the record store. My only rule on the latter is that after a brief discussion I pick the titles. Did it again today at a local record shop, a young couple was in looking for some vinyl to christen their just purchased Audio Technica Turntable. The dyed hair and various metal attachments suggested these two LPs:


They had no idea, but by now they should…


The Zanden products make me wish I had a turntable and a large collection of records! Their phono preamps are phenomenal!


For over 10 years my main and only stereo (2.0) system center piece was a Yamaha AV receiver of which I utilized 4 of the 7 power output stages for bi-amping Canton Vento stand mount speakers.

Integration of the AV and gaming components in the stereo system is a must. Hence the choice for my current integrated NAD M33, with HDMI 2 stereo input module. The Purifi output stages are a clear upgrade to the Yamaha output stages. I suspect that AV receiver output stages are. It designed to go deep down to bass frequencies as AV systems are designed to include active subwoofers.

Al, I am sorry but have to disagree. For 1000 to 2000 Euro you can put together very nice vinyl based stereo sets.

Pro-Ject Audio, Austria


All made in Europe.

Like Steven said above, nothing more fun than buying records in a record stores.

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Oh I absolutely agree the turntable can be nice. Rega and a hot cartridge. That’s easy.
It’s the records. I buy a lot of records!

These days I buy the records on Bandcamp, which lets me download the album, normally 24.41. I usually order the CD as well as I have a fun CD transport. So records……

(I own a Rega RP10, wonderful could be an endgame piece!)


We had the saddest news for our town last December when the last vinyl store had to close down because his rental contract ran out and his landlord forced him into new facilities that cost more and would require an investment to make the store look nicer. Now I need to travel, I don’t know where yet as I was quite happy with the local record shop.

But I will not give up. Problem is finding the time, at the moment you have the disposable money for it.

As I grew up in a family running shops, I try to support small local shops.




I came this close to getting the Planar 8 when I was 'table shopping a few weeks ago. It’s mighty appealing.


While no Planar 10, the Planar 8 is no slouch. Having a Planar 8 in the mix here somewhere.


Outstanding choices.