When I first got on the “music server” merry go round, my main priority after SQ and GUI, was no COMPUTER ALLOWED!
I really enjoyed the Bryston BDP-1, files on NAS, connected to the DS via AES/EBU, controlled via MPad on a IPad mini.
But the BDP-1 support life was running out and the latest BDPs were having issues with DSD files with the DS over AES/EBU I believe? ( I do not know if the problem was ever remedied or not ) If you only listen to PCM files, a BDP might be worth looking into, the MPad GUI was the easiest and most intuitive interface I have used, the only downside is that some album art would never load for me.
At that time I decided that the Sonore Signature Series Rendu was the to go for me, I2S or SPSIF outputs only. I was turned off by all of the USB issues that I had run into ( that was then, USB has come a long way in a short time ) I run the SSR I2S output to my DS and am very happy with the sound quality. The SSR had a very short production run and is probably 3 or 4 render generation back in the Sonore product line now.
I run Minimserver on my NAS and Minimwatch on a PC for control of Minimserver only. The only 2 applications that I run on my NAS are Minimserver and Java, that’s all that is needed. The GUI is BubbleUPnP on an Android tablet ( not the FREE version, the licensed version ) not as intuitive as MPad, I had a learning curve to work through, but I adjusted mentally. All album art loads automatically for me without issue. BubbleUPnP also will interface with Tidal and Qobuz on the Android tablet. BubbleUPnP is Android only ( as far as I know ).
The industry professionals that I have spoken with ( and shall remain nameless for their own protection ) have informed me that Minimserver is the way to go for best SQ.
That being said, I have spent some time at an audio salon listening to files served up from a Mac Tablet running ITunes and Bit Perfect through a DCS stack that sounds quite nice.