Streaming so the quality is on par with local storage

Hi all,

I read and here continuously how great streaming is and grant that I subscribe to Tidal with the NDS and a full 500 system, but… the sound is as though I am comparing 320kb/s with 1444 kb/s and I am perplexed why people still praise streaming so much!

I have my system thoroughly set up well, with the full loom of Chord Sarum and Super Lumina along with power cords and a dedicated mains line. The part of me that fails in the dating department.

Please elucidate for me! What am I not doing that I should do that makes streaming so good?

Jon

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Add a better streamer to your NDS and it will shine :star2:

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Consider a more up to date Naim streamer. Also I much prefer Qobuz

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As above, update streamer and switch to Qobuz🤷🏻‍♂️

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Thanks for this guys, but I thought the NDS was the streamer. Do you mean the router - which I connect ethernet to??

Jon

Yes, the NDS.
An NDX2 or ND555 or even probably an ND5XS2, would give you a much more up to date streaming platform. Add an external power supply to either of the first 2 and you’ll really be cooking😉

NDS is a streamer and a DAC. The DAC is magic. The streamer is outdated. You can add an external streamer and connect it digital to the NDS and benefit from Hi-res streaming from Tidal or Qobuz. This is a great uplift in sound quality and user experience.

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Whilst IIRC Naim used to refer to the NDS as a media player, in my reading the combination of renderer (aka transport) and a DAC, which is what the NDS is, is more commonly referred to as a streamer. I haven’t previously come across renderers / transports without a DAC referred to as streamers!

There are today many streamers not having a DAC onboard too. Some also call them Bridge and others call them Transport and I guess there are more versions of the same product. It contains a streaming board and a DAC which can be separated upping the performance of the NDS.

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Native Tidal streaming in the legacy streamers is sub par. You need to do a work around. I used UPNP with Bubblesoft installed on my network solution to great effect. Really close to local storage for SQ. Otherwise you’ll need to use a different streamer/device upstream from the NDS.

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Much as I like Qobuz I don’t think you need to switch from Tidal for some kind of stunningly better streaming experience. I have both and any differences are mastering and possibly imaginary apart from the specifics of the interface and the differing catalogues.

I look at your profile and I see a system to be jealous of but no reference to any kind of network isolation. Do you have a switch? A network filter of any kind? I’d experiment with those first at much less cost than buying a new streamer. If you have those sorted then I’d think about a DAC upgrade ahead of a streamer.

Apologies if you have already done so and they were merely omitted from your profile for reasons of space.

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My thoughts exactly, how are you connected to the internet? I am using a 5g router, checked my current speed at fast.com, which is 53Mb/sec, I sometimes get over 200Mb/sec when it isn’t peak times. I am using Roon, with a Qobuz and a Tidal subscriptions, going in to an unNaimed DAC, very happy with the SQ

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Thanks for the replies, guys.

I am connecting to a standard router with loads of Ethernet cables and mesh wires all bundled together in a hidden cupboard. Now my first thought of the low sound quality compared to local storage is I have £2000+ shielded interconnects and the EM interference is much much lower with local storage.

That’s why I was perplexed so many of you praise streaming as the opportunities for EM interference over west 20m entangled cables is enormous! Yet I must be wrong as I’m in the utter minority!!

But if a separate new streamer can be used and the NDS is it’s DAC, that option sounds good.

Jon

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Getting your streamer off the router will help. Using a good switch like a Catalyst or similar, or springing for a hifi switch will yield noticeable results.

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@JonP There a number of renders or streamers that don’t have Dac’s built in. Auralic Aries, Aurrender to name two excellent examples

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A different slant, but if the NDS with local storage is completely outperforming streaming you could end up spending a lot upgrading to a more modern platform potentially just to get the same or marginally better performance from streaming vs local.

Unless you have a pressing need to upgrade the NDS sounds as though it’s doing sterling work, so could you perhaps use streaming to narrow down music you might want to purchase on CD or online and play locally with likely better sound quality?

Probably the only way to really answer is with a home demo of a better streamer/transport with or without the NDS doing DAC duties.

Streaming services really are great value for money for trying out music you never would otherwise.

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try Audirivana, honestly its brilliant. sounds way nicer than the naim app and works with an nds

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Just a thought, make sure you have the streaming quality set to the highest on the NDS.

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Here is an example of what can be achieved using network isolation to protect the NDS from the noise on an Ethernet network.
If using a GS105E (or GS108E), setting low power mode and using an iFi iPower X to power it still doesn’t sort the problem out, then it may be that your ISP or your router is having problems with latency.

Latency on a local system is usually not an issue, but from the internet it depends on the vagaries of the ISPs servers; if Ethernet packages arrive at the streamer at irregular times or out of sequence, then the streamer has to do more work on the digital side to reassemble the data stream for the DAC. This extra digital processing causes noise and jitter, degrading the sound quality.
In other words it MAY be your ISP that’s the problem, not the streamer. Checking this isn’t particularly easy, and usually needs some technical networking knowledge (such as how to use WireShark and a switch to examine the packets going to the streamer).

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Does any reordering of out of order packets occur in the router and any subsequent switches? Or is it only the receiver (streamer in this case) that does this?