Music Streaming - it's hard to find the right time

thank you BF… think I will go for a NDX2 for my streaming…

Bartok was interesting because it is a one box solution with headphone amp that I use very much

Interested to know why the Linn Klimax with the new Katalyst DAC Architecture isn’t on the list. It is stunning.


not stunning, it’s has a lot of qualities but the prat is not its strength. Bluesfan had already listened to it ( older forum).

Hi Steve, the main reason for not including it is that the dealer is not a Linn stockist.

There is still time to listen to other options, so as I indicated in the first post, the journey continues …

Best regards, BF

This sounds like a good plan! But the notion of a good server is a rather elusive one: are you going to go with a 40$ Raspberry Pi, a NUC + AL combo, or with a 10k proprietary server that is likely to be completely obsolete in a couple of months?


Hopes he can avoid the need to put on a hard hat by saying … I have not heard one of the latest Linn Klimax streamers yet, so am unable comment on their performance.

sorry for this error of memory from myself. I was wrong, you have apparently not listened to the linn klimax ds.

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However i have often read on the old forum that the linn streamers have not the same prat and involvement as the naim streamers.
But the linn have other qualities and strengths vs the naim sources.
I have also listened to the klimax ds2 , before buying the nds…

I get that you prefer the versatility and value of a non-proprietary solution, but proprietary servers need not be anything like that expensive, and ‘a couple of months’ is a gross exaggeration.

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A very good question. When I look at how many discrete “improver” boxes there are between a server hard drive and the dac these days, I can’t help but conclude that streaming technology is still immature.

Well regarded examples include the SOTM ISO-CAT6 ethernet cable isolator, the ISO-Regen USB isolator, the Singxer SU-1 USB to AES/SPIDF/i2s isolator and reclocker, the electro-magic attachment that hangs off Audioquest’s Diamond USB cables, even the need to separate the Roon Core from a separate end point such as UltraRendu. Then there are the extra external power supply upgrades that these may all benefit from.

The mind boggles. In a mature streaming system, all of the functionality that these provide should be incorporated into either the server or the streamer, yet we are not there yet today.

So I have opted to go for a well engineered, sensible middle ground for now. There is £1700 of Audiostore Prestige 3 server with 2TB SSD sitting in the living room, being loaded up with CDs. It is connected to the internet via £70 of Cisco 2960 8 port gigabit switch. It feeds our Naim DAC-V1 (set to fixed output) via a cheap, temporary, Belkin USB cable. Amazingly, it worked straight away. The sound quality is nowhere near that of the CDS3/555PSDR but that is to be expected. But it’s a solid start. Now the focus is on choice of streamer or dac. Once that is settled, the choice of ethernet vs USB connection (and tweaks) will sort itself out.

The Prestige 3 has more processing power than a NUC i7, is fanless and is flexible enough to allow running of Roon, LMS or several other brands of server software.

It’s an interesting journey…

Best regards, BF

I do not mind proprietary solutions as long as these come with import/export interfaces to open formats, are reasonably secure, do not violate copyleft licenses and receive regular updates. The experience shows that prorietary solutions often fail to meet one or more of these criteria , see for instance

I am not familiar with the Audiostore products but the threads on AudioLinux and, more recently, Euphony distributions in the “Audiophile Style” (former “Computer Audiophile”) forums suggest that the software might have a significant impact on the sound quality of a server. Hence my reservations about Linux servers that are not certified for at least a standard Linux distributions. The Audiostore devices seem to run VortexBox. Thus, it should be possible to test AL (and other Linux dstributions) from a USB stick.

Since you already have a streaming infrastructure in place, it should not be difficult to evaluate a streamer (or a separated transport + DAC) against the CDS3/555PSDR and the DAC-V1. For instance, you could try an NDX 2 or perhaps an ND5 XS 2 + Naim DAC or Chord Hugo combination. For a fair comparison, you will have to power the NDX 2 (nDAC) with the 555 that now powers the CDS3, I guess.

Mr Nbpf, you should read the beginning of this thread. Bluesfan had compared a lot of streaming dac and bare dacs with the melco.

I have read the thread, but I have understood that the OP is not fully satisfied with the best streaming solutions currently available and looking for a temporary solution until streaming becomes more mature. I might have misunderstood the point, of course.

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i feel it’s more me , your point is more clear to me now.

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I have come to be interested in high quality reproduction of musical contents only a few years ago as I came across the Digital Concert Hall web page.

I eventually discovered the catalogues of Hyperion and PrestoClassical and thought that I would replace my 20 years old CD player with a modern, high quality SSD player, get rid of my old CDs and call it a day.

In my blessed ignorance, I was expecting that every serious manufacturer would have in their range of barely understandable products at least an high quality, single box HDD or SSD player.

It goes without saying that I assumed that the different control apps running on iOS or Android would all support the same protocols and just differ in the design of their user interfaces for the respective players.

Alas, I learned that many users who were obviously not newcomers were struggling with NASes, UPnP servers, network switches and, not rarely, with long and rather expensive chains of decrapifiers, regenerators, reclockers, convertors … and with their ancillary power supplies!

How did it come that so many, not more so young fellows had decided to re-wire their meanwhile wireless households and had accepted ways of accessing and parsing their music collections that, to me, seemed just miserable in comparison with a well sorted shelf of selected CD of LP albums?

Why so many audiophile, computer illiterate fellows were suddently so concerned with TCP/IP protocols, error correction, bit perfectness notions, checksums tests and all that?

A short tour to the major dealers of the capital brought me the first answers: the world was about to be converted to streaming. After a short, agonizing pain there would be full redemption in the form of source agnostic, very high quality, seamless access to perfectly tagged music.

I failed to listen to the good news, bought instead a second hand Naim DAC and set up a small, fanless fitPC3 to deliver the musical data to the nDAC via a simple USB to S/PDIF interface.

Two years later this combo was replaced by a 100$ Allo DigiOne with a direct S/PDIF connection to the nDAC. The DigiOne (now in a slightly more expensive incarnation called Signature) runs the best UPnP server available for classical music today (MinimServer) and a very simple UPnP renderer: upmpdcli. The latter provides gapless replay of, among others, Tidal and Qobuz streams. The DigiOne can act as a UPnP server + renderer, an airplay endpoint or a Roon endpoint.

More or less at the same time when I replaced the fitPC3 with a 100$ DigiOne, many early adopters of commercial streaming solutions were struggling with internet streaming services that would run perfectly fine on their old iphones but stutter on their +10k high-res streamers. Over the last three years the situation has somehow improved. We have meanwhile commercial streaming solutions with certification for Roon, AirPlay and Chromecast and some even support the Minim and the Asset UPnP servers.

My take is that commercial streaming solutions are starting to make some sense but, as you point out, are still immature. And, for single room playback, I would still want a single box SSD player. Of course, one with build-in support for MinimServer, Asset, Roon, Airplay, Chromecast, Idagio, Qobuz, Tidal, etc.


It is very interesting to read your journey. I’ve read excellent reviews of the Allo Signature. Do you use a battery power supply and swap the batteries every couple of days? Or a clean power supply?


I power the clean side of the Signature with an UpTone Audio LPS-1.2 and the RPi side with an UpToneAudio JS-2. The JS-2 also powers the LPS-1.2. You can find more details on and on the Allo forum on Audiophile Style. Best, nbpf

Many thanks, nbpf and for your links.
Regards, Derek