I’m new to the forum and am looking forward to joining in with all your conversations!
In my first post, I was hoping that some of you might be able to help me out with some advice…
For about the last 12 months I’ve been using a Superuniti with PMC GB1i’s, a Michell Gyrodec, Rothwell Rialto phono stage and a Rega Apollo CD player. I use a
Powerline lite (I still can’t get my head around how it makes such a huge improvement) and the Superuniti is plugged straight into a router with some fancy network cable.
My listening room is fairly small which is why I opted for the GB1i’s and the superuniti but in general I’m really happy with my setup.
Records and Cd’s sound absolutely fantastic but Tidal (the hi-res subscription) sounds like it’s lacking in bass. Some music through Tidal sounds great such as newer pop music and I love the detail that I can hear but in for most music, the lack of the lower frequencies seem to leave things flat with less depth and a smaller soundstage.
I know some people feel that the GB1i’s are a bit lean when it comes to bass but I know for fact that when I play records, CD or play music through my Amazon fire TV that they’re more than capable of producing some really really good lows.
New speakers would be the obvious next move but I’m struggling for space and I’ll probably miss the detail and clarity I get from the GB1i’s. Another option would be to get a small subwoofer but I see myself having to adjust the bass on it depending on what source I used.
Anyone else experienced anything like this before and how did you get around it?
Hi, and welcome to the forum. There has generally been a consensus here that sound quality on Tidal is inferior to local streams from a ripped CD stored on a NAS. Using a separate CD player introduces another variable, of course, but in general, your findings are not unusual.
If you are up for a bit of tinkering, you may find that there are ways to improve Tidal sound quality. One is to try it through Roon, but that costs a bit of money, and you would need to add a bridge of some sort, as the Superuniti doesn’t support Roon.
Another option you can try, which is free, and requires no extra boxes, is to run BubbleUPnP server on a computer or NAS on your network, and run Tidal through that.
I’m interested in the topic too … currently I use Tidal directly on my NDX …
can I also use BubbleUPnP on a computer and manage Tidal streaming through it?
so in the NDX do I use the UPnP as a source and no more Tidal directly?
could I have improvements in sound output?
thank you so much…
I concur with Chris on this. I’ve used trials of Tidal on both a SuperUniti and a 272 and didn’t find the sound quality acceptable for anything other than background listening. I don’t recall it lacking bass, it simply wasn’t very enjoyable, and way behind my music streamed from the nas. These days I have Bubble installed on the Qnap. I control it using Linn Kazoo, which can access Tidal and Qobuz directly. The sound is pretty much the same as locally streamed music.
The GB1s are super speakers. I think the OP would get a much better sound if they could be arranged further apart, say 2m. As they are, the sound will always be a bit small.
BubbleUPNP works on a number of platforms including Windows so it’s easy to try. Use as HH has suggested Linn Kazoo to control it and see if it makes a difference.
Otherwise Roon addresses the problem too, but you need to get a bridge working (similar to how Bubble works).
I now use Roon and with my NDS the Tidal stream sounds the same as local streaming to me.
There are a few threads here, mostly on the old archived forum, explaining how to set this up. As the other guys said, you can run BubbleUPnP server on quite a few different platforms. I put it on a Synology NAS because I already had one, but have a look on their website and see.
You then out a control app on your phone or ipad. I used the Lumin app, or you can try Linn Kazoo. This allows you to browse and seletmusic from Tidal, Qobuz and any local UPnP server you have. It’s not as neat as being able to control everything from the Naim app, but I found it pretty reliable once set up, and it costs nothing.
Thanks for your help everyone!
It’s been a few years since I used bubbleupnp. It was a bit unstable in the past but I’ll give it a go to see how I get on.
For those who use Spotify on the Naim app, how does it sound in comparison to Tidal?
You might as well just play Spotify on your iPad for a quick check of an artist. On your system it will sound disappointing to say the least.
Spotify is the enemy of sound quality.
Bubble it is then!
I’ve just downloaded it on my phone so I’ll see how it goes.
I have a synology server too. What are the benefits of installing bubble on this?
You need BubbleUPNP server, not the phone client which is a control point
As trickiedickie says above, the BubbleUPnP Android app isn’t what you want here. Your Synology NAS would be ideal to run it.
Ha ha! Just installed and set it all up on the NAS. All seems to be working.
Looking forward to giving it a decent blast tomorrow!
Thanks for everyones help with this.
Good to hear you got it up and running. I used it with the Lumin app on an iPhone, which was fine once I’d got used to it. Interested to hear if you detect any improvement in sound quality with Tidal - or Qobuz, which you can now use as well.
Listening to it right now and the difference is amazing!
Everything’s livelier and fuller. Bass has improved bucket loads and there’s more detail in the music. It’s quite remarkable.
Everyone, thanks for all your help with this.
As a SU/QNAP/Asset/TIDAL user is it worth it for me to learn yet another software in hopes of gaining some SQ? I barely understand what I have now. I sure do miss the days when I didn’t need to be an IT professional to enjoy HiFi.
Personally, I’d say yes.
I was quite lucky already owning a NAS and setting up Bubbleupnp was quite straight forward.
For an easier route maybe Roon or Chromecast audio would do the trick…?
Perhaps, but neither are supported by the older Naim streamers, so not ideal with a Superuniti. I think if you can set up a NAS with a UPnP server, adding BubbleUPnP shouldn’t be too daunting.
This is a fair point… and one that Naim have been aware of. On the new streamers the Tidal service sounds more like locally sourced FLAC streams with less difference in decoding SQ differences.
However the big plus with the new Naim streamers is the adoption of Roon by Naim into their ecosystem to provide proxy and service integration functionality.
Roon is effectively a combined media proxy, service integrator, media signal processing engine, transcoder, media curator and navigation/library tool. It it purchased additionally as a subscription service and runs on its own server/PC/Mac/NAS, a bit like a UPnP media server. For Naim streamers it brings SQ parity to local media, Qobuz and Tidal… for the same master literally there is no SQ difference depending on where the media is physically sourced… it is hugely liberating and transforms streaming to what it should be… ie enjoying recorded music with out having to be mindful or worry about where it physically resides so as to enjoy it at its best.
With the legacy streamer architectures, this is not an option and transcoding proxies like BubbleUPnP Server are a good halfway house certainly with respect to SQ… but yes you do need to fiddle around with consumer software to get going