Possible first foray into streaming

So far I’ve not ventured into streaming. I’ve been to a couple of demo’s and heard some pretty decent reproduction but having had numerous PC’s and Laptops fail on me not to mention countless files lost or corrupted I’ve been reticent to take the step into streaming.

However, I am considering taking a baby step into streaming via my bedroom system, a Nait5i, CD5i, Pro-Ject Bluetooth Box and Tannoy 603’s. I’m not looking at adding to the main rig anytime soon, if ever, as I play vinyl almost exclusively.

The two boxes I’m looking at are the Bluesound Node 2i and the Audiolab 6000N. Which of these would fellow forumites lean towards?
Both are well reviewd and I note that the Bluesound Node 2i has Bluetooth AptX capability so I could repurpose/move on the Pro-Ject box. I do prefer the Audiolab aesthetically though.

@Richard.Dane if you feel this post is more suited to the Streaming Room please feel free to shift it across. I couldn’t decide which was best so put it here as it’s more of a hardware question.

Regards,
Steve O.

Um. Where are you streaming from? Streaming services like Spotify or Tidal? Or local rips or downloads? On computer, or NAS? Where does Bluetooth fit in?

@AndyR
At the moment I’m using a portable Sony HD player and connect to the Pro-Ject box via Bluetooth AptX.
My initial intentions were to use the new box for internet radio and to stream local rips and downloads via a USB connection to a spare Seagate external hard drive I have lying around.
I’m so green in respect to streaming I don’t even know if that will work!

When I wanted to learn basic streaming notions and get an understanding of the different options available, I found https://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/ very useful. Perhaps you can have a look? Another source of information that I found very useful is the documentation of MinimServer https://minimserver.com/.

My suggestion would be that you ask yourself why do you want to get into streaming and what do you expect from it before considering specific devices and services. A crucial aspect is the kind of music that you listen to because many (software and hardware) systems are not well suited for classical music and opera.

I don’t think the Audiolab will do this directly; pretty sure the Bluesound will. I guess it’s technically not ‘streaming’ - more ‘local playback from a connected hard drive’ - but it will play music!

It will certainly get you up and running while you work out whether you want to be able to run multi-room and other fun (?) stuff…

I took a similar route a while ago - I ripped all my CDs to a network connected drive, then ran a Sonos Connect for a long while into a NAIT5. Finally replaced the Sonos with an ND5XS2 and Roon. I never actually used upnp (Twonky on the WD NAS in my case - not Minimserver) except playing to Foobar on a laptop while ‘experimenting’. CD5 sits unused these days…

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I’d sell the lot and buy an Atom. Plug in the hard drive, and you’re done. Plus, you get lossless FLAC iRadio.

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The streamer is for a second system and not the main rig, which is where I seriously listen to music predominantly on vinyl.

I’m thinking of adding the streamer, at least initially, to explore internet radio and as a convenient way of playing the small proportion of my CD collection that I’ve ripped for my portable device. Later I might look into Tidal or Qobuz but that is not yet on the horizon.

If I was lucky, going down the Atom route would cost me three times as much and I’d lose CD replay so it’s a non starter.

If you have a phone or tablet with a headphone output, you can use a 3.5mm headphone to RCA lead to the analogue input on the amp. Then you can use i radio apps on the phone. If you have a Mac, then rip the CDs to iTunes and then play through the phone to the amp using the iTunes app.

Easy. I was where you are 2 years ago.
Bought a Cambridge cxnv2 for £600 brand new. Great streamer. Roon ready and qubuz as well as Spotify. Great for pulling tunes from a NAS too.
Ethernet cable in, RCA out to an amp. I.e. Great inbuilt dac.
Remote, screen and good amp to use via a phone.

Sold mine 14 months later for £650 when I went Naim.

It’s a sensible option but I’m thinking of buying a box because my phone would likely prove to be like my portable player - out of battery when I want to use it!

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Another option, cheers.

You wont be able to directly plug in the USB into the Audiolab, but works for the Bluenode. Another option is a used ND5X with Bluetooth option - personally that’s what I’d get.

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You could get a cheap Mac mini. Couple hundred. You can rip cds to the HD and use the Mac for internet radio or qobuz etc. there’s a million was to control the Mac remotely

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RaspberryPi, SDcard (with a USB adaptor), case, and PSU
digital or analogue output board (known as a HAT)
Moode Audio or Volumio software

control it from your PC, tablet, phone…

around £100 -120 and a couple of hours work to build and set up.

pulls rips from a NAS or USB Drive, and more radio stations that can imagine…

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