must be some 10 years or more since I posted here the last time. All new and shiny.
Well - I STILL use my Rega/CD2/NAC82/NAP180/SBL-Set-Up. Still fine.
However - most music I listen to these day is via Spotify thanks to the fantastic back catalogue. It’s never quite up to the quality of either vinyl or cd. This is most likely because I plug it in via the headphone socket from my ipod. Yeah - not too fancy.
What I am looking for is a very good sounding but not terrifically complex streamer or whatever box that plays my spotify-lists.
Any idea? No - I don’t want to go Uniti Atom or NDX2. I love my old boxes.
And yes - I still own a Nait 2. For those who remember me from the old forum.
Hi my second system is a recently serviced Nac42/Nap110 and until recently I used a Sonos Connect box to feed Tidal and other streaming services - 2 RCA TO Din analogue cable. I now use my iPhone or iPad plugged into an Audioquest Black DragonFly Dac and a Flashback 3.5mm to Din cable to the Nac42. For me it’s a good, relatively cheap solution to stream music to older Naim amplifiers
Let’s be clear, you won’t get ‘very good quality’ from Spotify as it’s a lossy stream. i.e. you are listening to MP3 quality. To get very good quality you would need a different service like QoBuz or Tidal.
I’m assuming you are looking to approach the quality of sound from your other excellent sources?
You may get slightly better quality from using a Sonos and a DAC or similar but unless you choose a lossless service the improvement will be marginal.
To do things properly you would be looking at purchasing a streamer at the level of the NDX (original or new NDX2) to complement the rest of your system AND change to a better quality service.
I originally used the Sonos Connect which includes a DAC to send an analogue output to my 42/110 but then I changed to using my iPhone/iPad sent through an Audioquest DragonFly Dac to the 42/110 and this sounds better to my ears than the Sonos Connect. The Audioquest Dac is very good value. I think a Sonos Connect to an external Dac may also be a good solution, especially if you upgrade its power supply but then the DragonFly is much cheaper.
Trickydickie makes a very good point about Spotify quality - I use Tidal CD quality which costs £20/month in the UK. A dedicated streamer will be much better still but at a big increase in cost
Our primary source is vinyl and CD. My wife streams Pandora and Spotify for most listening, and I have been happy with it. Not ready to kick the vinyl and CD’s though!
For wireless streaming, we use an Airport Express via a red Nordost Heimdall 2 i-Kable mini-DIN interconnect into the 552. (They have a cheaper blue one but the red is superior.) This is Nordost’s top of the line mini-plug cable for portable audio specially terminated with a DIN for Naim.
We use Spotify Connect into the Airport Express. Be sure you update the firmware in your Airport Express. (When the MuSo got Airplay last Fall, we went looking for other applications for it once we figured it out for the MuSo.) This solution works amazingly well and sounds great. I know it is not optimal but it gets the job done.
The only DAC is in the Airport Express. The 2m long analog Nordost cable, special ordered from my dealer, which costs a multiple of the Airport Express, and the free Airport Express firmware update, made all the difference. The little red Nordost lets more music through, and the firmware update eliminates the drop outs we had had before. We had used a cheaper 1m Chord (discontinued white mini-DIN sometimes available on eBay) analog cable but that caused me to place the Airport Express in the Fraim in the Brawn stack across from the 555. The longer Nordost cable upgrade is a very nice improvement and the length allows the Airport Express to sit beneath and on the outside edge of the Brawn stack and well away from the 552 and CD555.
Everybody is happier and my wife is delighted with this unless she is listening to a CD. It just works and requires no intervention, except the occasional need to restart the router. Incidentally, we just upgraded to the fiber ATT feed.
Well - I had Qobuz on the iPod - and literally found no big difference to spotify. Which surprised me of course. That’s why I figured the main problem is first of all the ipod and missing dac.
Thankfully I have more CDs than I can possibly listen to and still buy new and 2nd vinyl. So it’s not tooooo bad if occasionally I have less quality. But a couple of recordings which I like are not available on vinyl.
I mean - eventually it’s all far better than tape like in the ancient times.