Hi-Res streaming - Baffled newbee

Hello everyone

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the forum, I had to create a new log-on! Fortunately, my old username was still available.

So, I’ve just added a Uniti 1 as a front end to replace my Rotel CD player and Sonos. It’s all up and running happily enough - I ripped all my music to a NAS box years ago - and sounding good.

My bafflement relates to streaming hi-res from the internet. I have Tidal on free trial and am very happy to get CD quality, it sounds great. But, as with all things hi-fi, (especially on this rabbit hole of a forum) it could be better.

I understand from searching other posts that Naim doesn’t support MQA and therefore Tidal tops out at 44.1/16. Also the Uniti 1 won’t have Qobuz integration and therefore that route is out too.

So my question is how to get hi-res streaming without having a PC permanently on?

Hi, there are numerous workaround solutions to get Qobuz onto an older gen. Naim streamer. Some free, some expensive, and some requiring additional hardware. You can also get the first ‘unfold’ of MQA on Tidal on some devices, but to my ears, Qobuz is the way forward here.
There are lots of threads discussing these options here, particularly on Roon, BubbleUPnP server, Sonore UPnP Bridge etc. Have a search and see what you think!

Thanks Chris

I read a few of the theads and did some googling, then had to stop because my head was spinning. I’ve been generation gapped!

I was investigating getting a Roon Core running on my Buffalo NAS, but I don’t think it’s got the required processing power or RAM.

I’ll read some more once I’ve processed the initial information overload.

I would certainly recommend trying Roon. They will give you a free trial period, as will Qobuz and Tidal.
A basic NAS might struggle to run Roon, but your average laptop or desktop computer will do it. I use a 2014 MacBook Pro. If you do this, I would recommend buying a Sonore UPnP Bridge as a trouble free way to make your Uniti into a Roon endpoint.

I am sticking with CD quality Tidal for the time being, hoping that in future higher res will become available. Or until I get a new streamer (currently using an NDS).

Don’t hold your breath with Tidal… I think they will be limited to CD resolution for lossless for the foreseeable, it might be something to do with MQA licensing deal.
If you want hidef or contemporary definition formats (typically 24 bit) in lossless you will need to look to Qobuz (and certain others).

See if you can install Bubble UPnP on your nas. I don’t know if it works on Buffalo but can certainly do it on my Qnap. Then install Linn Kazoo on your phone to control it. You can then use Qobuz happily.

Roon does the first unfold for MQA with Tidal, so you can get 24/96.

Qobuz streams lossless, so you can get up to 24/192. Most hirez content seems to be 24/96 though.

I don’t think it’s entirely clear from all the recommendations for Roon, but a Roon controller won’t help you with any legacy streamer, unless you add some kind of a Roon bridge to enable it on your Uniti. I did that with an older ND5-XS by using a Logitech Squeezebox Touch (long out of production), but there are other solutions. Just make sure you understand that necessary step and have it figured out before you sign up for a Roon trial.

I echo the recommendation for Qobuz if you want hires audio. With TIDAL you’ll only get the first unfold via Roon and it’s nothing special.

Thanks all, I love the forum.
Will try the Bubble UPnP route with Qobuz and report back.

Indeed Roon and other proxy or bridging products can do first level decode of the MQA format… but remember it is simply transcoding the lossy data into a lossless stream. The loss of data and artefacts (of course not everyone notices these) has already been introduced in the encode/decode if MQA and then ‘preserved’ as it were in the lossless PCM stream
It’s the same, albeit as not as extreme, as transcoding MP3 into PCM… you don’t magically reconstruct the original PCM prior to MP3 encoding/decoding.

@MaxiMe you’ll need a renderer to connect to either the Uniti (if you want to use the DAC) or straight to preamp.

A raspberry pi with the hifiberry DAC works for me at the moment.

I find the Bubble app not particularly intuitive which is why I’m looking at built in solutions like Bluesound streamer. Interested to see how you like it.

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For a hassle free approach and because I use a first gen streamer the 272 I opted for the Bluesound Node 2i initially to stream Amazon HD but now subscribe to Qobuz.

The BluOS app is rock solid, Qobuz streams Hi-Res via coax into the 272 dac the Uniti 1 also supports this option.

Thanks gang. I’ve installed Bubble UPnP Server on my GPD Pocket 2 (tiny laptop) and the App on my phone.
Now streaming hi-res from Qobuz and it’s fantastic!

@hungryhalibut I tried the Linn app, but it doesn’t seem to work on my phone and the Bubble app is working well enough for now.

Next mission is to get the Bubble UPnP Server running directly on my NAS if possible. The GPD Pocket 2’s fan is a bit intrusive on quieter tracks.

That’s good. When you have bubble on the nas the streamed music is effectively treated the same as locally stored stuff. Whether that would sound better than what you are doing now I don’t know.

If the laptop is noisy, you can put it in another room if necessary. It only needs to be connected to your network. Still, probably better if you can run it on your NAS. It works fine on my Synology.
Are you trying to use the Linn app, or the Linn Kazoo app?

Kazoo. Bubble app is fine for now.
Laptop is just to get going with Qobuz hi-res. Will find a better solution in due course.

I agree that the Lumin app isn’t great, and if you can get Kazoo working, you may prefer that. There’s always a risk that these unsupported workarounds will fall down at some point, but they do offer a cheap or free way to get improved sound quality out of the older streamers.

Sorry for asking a daft and much repeated question, but will Qobuz work on Qute2?

Ok thanks.