Can you describe different options to transcode Tidal FLAC streaming to WAV which to be casted on my NDX if at all possible? Could it be done by using the Tidal desktop app on a PC and using a special software or I need a special server or streamer, which to connect to the NDX which can do this magic and cast WAV transcoded Tidal streaming to the NDX? I also have an Asustor NAS which can be used if there is an option for it.
Search for Bubble UPnP on the forum. There’s plenty to guide you through doing this.
And you should find a worthwhile SQ improvement with the first gen streamers… not only because of transcode, but also because network media proxy function (helps with inter frame timing consistency)
Thank you very much! I found the information I needed in old topics in this forum. I’m looking forward to trying this approach. Indeed, using Bubble UpNp seems to have multiple benefits and would be a great approach. Interesting questions that comes is how NDX using Bubble UpNp Tidal streams transcoded to WAV would compare with natival Tidal streaming of NDX2? In other words older Naim streaming platform + bubble upnp proxy compared to the new Naim streaming platform. NDX2 has some improvements in the wi-fi module as far as I know, so probably further improvements might be expected.
The newer streamers had a more or less complete rework of the streaming architecture… I doubt you find a meaningful benefit with the new streamers, I don’t, but I do decouple my DAC from my Naim streamer.
The other approach is to use Roon with their Tidal integration, then a SonoreUPnP set to output WAV, and ‘no FLAC compression’ setting in Roon. This gives a WAV input on the Ethernet port of the Naim Network player in a UPnP format.
You also then have support for Tidal Masters, with the 1st unfold to 24/96 in Roon, which servers 99% of them, played on the Naim Network player as WAV files
I have yet to hear a ND555 playing Roon and compared it to my NDS with Roon played in this way. This will look at how the Roon Ready support has been implemented, and whether optimized over UPnP.
Yes, that would be another option but since I already have a NAS and Roon requires a monthly subscription I lean more to the Bubble UpNp option.
I managed to setup Bubble UpNp on my Asustor NAS and I now stream Tidal with the Bubble UpNp app from my android phone. I got confused however on the part of choosing the renderer for the streaming. I get 3 options:
Local Renderer (with this option the Tidal stream plays on the phone itself)
I tried both NDX and NDX (OpenHome) and in both cases the display on the NDX showed that this is a Bubble UpNp streamer. Is one of these options, however, more favorable to use? Is wav transcoding achieve with both of these options?
I believe transcoding via the bubble server is only via the NDX (open home) selection. The NDX one is available to the BubbleUpnp app whether or not bubble upnp server is running.
The Openhome version is the correct one and will stream from Bubble on the NAS. The other NDX one will stream from your Android phone.
Transcoding needs to be set on the Bubble server on your NAS. It may need ffmpeg installing if the option is greyed out.
@Guinnless That’s what I also thought. I have tried comparing the SQ of both renderers (NDX vs NDX (Open Home)) and strangely I found the sound very similar but in both cases better than streaming Tidal from Naim app. What is more, the NDX renderer seemed to have better highs on some songs.
I have set Audio format to Auto under Audio Decoding to PCM section on my BubbleUPnP server so I believe wav transcoding should be enabled. And the Tidal maximum quality is set to FLAC 16bits. When streaming Tidal from my BubbleUPnP android app the file format is FLAC but I guess this is normal. On the screen of my NDX I cannot see the file format, only BubbleUPnP as a source. Could it be I might not have setup everything correctly? Even if NDX(Open Renderer) sounds better than NDX it would require a lot of comparing and the difference is not so night and day.
Bubble can display the format and bitrate on the now playing screen. It should also be shown on the NDX screen. This was how it worked for me using my ND5XS.
It may help if you post some screenshots.
FWIW I found using a separate device to run Bubble much better than using the NAS.
I set mine as in the picture, everything that passes through Bubble Upnp server gets transcoded to WAV.
I’ve never looked at this setting before and for some reason it’s greyed out so I can’t select any options.
ffmpeg needs to be installed. On Windows, I believe it’s included in the bubble server install package. Been a while since I did the install, so not %100 sure. If you are running bubble on a nas, look for ffmpeg to install if it’s an option.
This is because ffmpeg isn’t installed or is the wrong version.
Ok, thanks, I have a QNAP and saw the part about replacing the default QNAP ffmpeg binaries but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I haven’t used the command shell before and didn’t want to mess it up.
Fair enough. SQ using the QNAP wasn’t anything like as good as a separate server, I found Windows laptop and a Ras Pi equally good and both transcoded as well.
I was able to get to the QNAP shell envirnoment and tried installing the ffmpeg from the ipkg but I think I missed the step to install the optware-ng and that’s where I got bogged down. Not sure which to install. I only use bubble app to stream Tidal via the Kazoo app and it sounds very good. Almost as good as my local files.
Today I made some new discoveries for my BubbleUpNp setup. First of all, I saw that when clicking the 3 dots next to the renderers, only the NDX renderer provided me with Settings. Clicking on the 3 dots on the NDX(Open Home) renderer gives only Info and Continue playback here options. So, I clicked the Settings on the NDX renderer and made a setup like the screenshot below. I made the audio format WAV and the FFmpeg audio decoding to be applied to all audio formats. In result when using the NDX renderer, now I see the Tidal stream to be played as WAV and when using the NDX (Open Home) renderer then it is FLAC. I also verified on the NDX screen that when playing streams from NDX renderer the file format is also WAV on the streamer itself, and with the Open Home it was FLAC. Currently I find the sound best with the plain NDX renderer, which shows WAV file format. The vocals are more clear and real and all of the tones sounding more complete with fuller and longer tones, while before they were more cut and sharp in some way.
I get the impression that in my case the renderers’ roles seem reverse and the NDX renderer is transcoding the signal to WAV, while the Open Home is playing plain FLAC. Is this possible? I got confused by these results.
Today I also applied the same settings to the NAS itself - decoding to all audio formats + WAV audio format and now the NDX (Open Home) renderer also displays that plays WAV and the plain NDX renderer seemed not responsive for playing Tidal streams. It appears I have now successfully made the NAS decoding WAV stream and sending it to the NDX. So, indeed the NDX (Open Home) renderer is the correct one. The sound is really great.