Best Lossless Site

Hi,

I would like to subscribe to a lossless music site.
Any opinions on the best value/selection/quality would be great.

cheers

Tony

Qobuz studio at £14.99 takes some beating imo.

7 Likes

Hi Gazza,

Do you / the community mainly stream hi-res or purchase to add to personal collection.

cheers

Tony

I mainly stream, since its now in the naim app for my nd555. But before i used to download Hires to my PC then transfer to my Core, no issues.

It depends on whether you are talking about internet streaming or downloading. For the former, Qobuz seems the favourite. For the latter there are lots of places. I use Qobuz, High Res Audio, Linn, Hyperion, Bandcamp and a few others now and again.

Hi HH,
I was first of all looking for a site that did both but also wanted to get a feel for the proclavity to buy (to keep) or stream and (not own) across the members.
I have tons of ripped CD’s to WAV on my Nas feeding my Superuniti but have never purchased a high-res track from a site- just trying to make the right decision …
cheers

Tony

With a Superuniti the only lossless subscription you can use is Tidal, unless you use workaround solutions to add Qobuz. I think Tidal lossless can sound OK, but still not quite as good as locally streamed WAV.
My findings with HiRes downloads were that some sound very good, others no better than a CD rip, and the very high prices charged for downloads were excessive, so I would usually buy CDs to rip, often used ones at extremely low prices.
Since then I changed to a current generation Naim streamer, which has native support for Qobuz, which is lossless and has a lot of material available in 24 bit. Now, I rarely bother to buy CDs or downloads, as the Qobuz stuff sounds great.

5 Likes

Indeed, that’s what I meant when I mentioned ‘workaround solutions’ and I did use BubbleUPnP server for a while when I had a 1st gen. streamer. It did sound good, but I found it a bit unreliable and the UI wasn’t the best. If I was committed to running a 1st gen. streamer I think I would look at a UPnP bridge to run Roon.

1 Like

I purchase lossless music direct from the artist ( eg Robert Fripp / Stereolab) or Bandcamp.

Reading a few threads on here, and opening one myself on the subject of subscription vs local streaming, I have detected a gradual shift towards subscription streaming, although some will always prefer ownership of media (either CD rips and/or downloads).

This shift has been hastened with the introduction of the new streamers and the incorporation of native Qobuz (with a significant 24 bit content), further aided by a relatively low cost of £14.99 per month.

When I had my NDS I used BubbleUPnP with Asset, and full fat Tidal sounded pretty good. Back then I guess my listening was 25% subscription (Tidal) and 75% local streaming (mainly from ripped CDs with a few hi res downloads). With Qobuz subscription streaming sounding even better, and with so many 24 bit versions available, I would guess my balance of listening now is 60% subscription streaming and 40% local streaming with my ND555. That can vary depending on if I am is discovery mode or what to listen to familiar stuff. Local streaming still just has the edge over subscription streaming IMV, but so much depends on the quality of the recording, mastering and bit depth.

Assuming you are sticking with your SuperUniti I would recommend you get BubbleUPnP installed (I used it with Asset on my QNAP when I had my NDS) and have a listen to Tidal, which used to available on a 30 day free trial.

With Roon’s integration of Qobuz I am finding I am purchasing download material less and less. Most of my purchasing now is going into vinyl! My balance is now probably 60% vinyl - 40% digital.

2 Likes

Similar here. I enjoy the convenience and SQ of streaming, but if I buy music, it tends to still be physical. Vinyl mainly and cd if cheap/ second hand. The idea of owning files is not that appealing.

I only stream my music as we don’t really have CD or hi res streaming yet apart from Tidal. I might reconsider once Qobuz is available (soon), the other thing worth remembering is by streaming ones own library all this endless conversation about switches, cables and etc is less of an concern. Roon is of no interest to me, but I might re investigate later.

Hi res files I generally buy from HD Tracks or Bandcamp.

For classical music I would add Presto Classical as a good download site (they also sell CDs, mostly cheaper than Amazon). They often have big discounts on different music publishers’ download prices. And they have good curated info on new releases, interviews with artists, podcasts etc.
Best

David

Not sure I understand your thinking here. If anything people will have a longer signal path to tinker with between NAS and streamer than they will from router to streamer.

Mines right next to my streamer, I often play it via digital input (S/PDIF). After reading all the posts re different internet cables etc etc etc over the past year and a half I’ve done a lot of testing and listening. To my ears my rips sound the same regardless of wether streamed through my network (hardwired) or straight in to my 272 via a digital input, I struggle to hear any differences. I’ve always thought that it was more of concern to those that use streaming services.

I’ve also listened to CDs through a CD5 XS/Flatcap v rips and there’s little in that as well. I generally find hi res sounds better but have been disappointed with a few. In those cases I’d say it’s more to do with the original recording. Of course this is what I’ve learnt and only my opinion. I’m sure others with different setups might think differently.

Anyway I think I’ve drifted off topic.

I’ve done trials of Amazon, Apple Music, Tidal x 2 and am just trying Qobuz. Previous trials have left me somewhat cold about streaming due to an seemingly (to me) dead sound.

However, I’m finding Qobuz a real pleasure. It doesn’t seem so sterile as the others.

I may even subscribe!

3 Likes

Thanks Nige.
Is it worth purchasing a Quobuz compatible streamer i.e Naim Nova or sticking with the config that you have suggested i.e bubble/asset/tidal or would that be overkill??

cheers

The disadvantage of a streaming subscription is that you will lose your library of Favourites if you stop your subscription. This could have been built up over several years. For that reason I think of my streaming service (Qobuz) as a bit of a shop window to browse before I buy.
I have Qobuz Sublime+ which gives you a decent discount on HiRes albums. To buy CD quality files from them is very expensive and you are much better ripping your own files from new or, better still, used CDs.
I tried using Spotify as my “shop window” but, for the extra £5, Qobuz is much more satisfying.
I think Qobuz and HiRes Audio are the best two sites. Bandcamp can be good for some things too, and pays decent money to the artists.

2 Likes

Tidal and QoBuz maintain your favourites if you discontinue your subscription and later reactivate them.