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Best Way To Stream Spotify or Tidal?

Discussion in 'PCs & Music Servers' started by ratatatwilly, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. ratatatwilly

    ratatatwilly Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    Hey guys,
    So I'm currently using a Google Chromecast Audio to stream to my system from my phone. The sound quality is lacking though and there is a huge difference in when I cast vs. come straight out the digital output of my MacBook Pro. I have a Modi Multibit DAC and you can tell a huge difference when coming straight from the Mac vs. CCA. This works well because I can control Spotify from my phone while its streaming from the Mac (Tidal needs to step it up) which is the function that I want to keep but using the laptop just isn't practical all the time. I thought about getting a iFi iPurifier to help to CCA but the reviews seem mixed and I feel like my money would be better spent on a stand alone source anyway. Basically I want to be able to have a dedicated high quality player that runs straight into my DAC that I can run Spotify and Tidal off of. Any thoughts on what would be a good solution? Can you use a Mac Mini like this or do you have to have a display for it?

    P.S.I'm not tied to Apple
     
  2. drew_t

    drew_t Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    516
    The CCA will output digital audio if you plug an optical digital cable into it (mini Toslink on the CCA end; whatever fits your DAC on the other) instead of the analog cable. Shouldn't be any different than connecting the MBP to the DAC, as long as your wifi is OK.
     
    E.Auer likes this.
  3. bjlefebvre

    bjlefebvre AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,241
    Location:
    Washington DC-ish
    I was actually mulling this. I'm using a Rogue Sphinx amp, and wondering if buying a Schiit Modi Uber 2 or Modi Multibit would be worth it sit between my CCA and the Rogue. Is the sound that much improved to be worth the $150 for the Uber or $250 for the Multibit? I mostly stream music via the CCA, though I might eventually play hi-res files saved on my laptop.
     
  4. drew_t

    drew_t Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    516
    ^ The only way to know is to try it, I guess. If you had two CCAs you could try to set up an A-B test.
     
  5. ratatatwilly

    ratatatwilly Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    So that's how I use my setup. I stream to my CCA that goes optical out to my Modi Multibit then to my preamp. The Multibit drastically improved my CCA experience but even more so when I stream out of my laptop. From what I read there is a big jump from the Uber 2 to the Multibit. It gets better with time too. I tested it analog vs optical on the CCA and optical is the way to go. I don't think you'd regret purchasing a Multibit. It's been the biggest SQ improvement I've made.
     
  6. ratatatwilly

    ratatatwilly Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    That's how I run it. I can tell a difference though between streaming from the MBP and the CCA. Running straight out of the MBP is a lot better
     
  7. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    Lobster Pot
    Something ain't right here.

    Eric
     
  8. ratatatwilly

    ratatatwilly Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    No good reason for the output to sound better from the MBP vs the CCA?
     
  9. drew_t

    drew_t Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    516
    It's the same stream of zeros and ones being received by your router, broadcast to your wifi network, and being received either by the MBP or by the CCA. Shouldn't make a difference, all other things being equal. If you're getting drop-offs with the CCA, then OK, maybe there's a wifi issue. But if you've convinced yourself that the MBP makes the bassoon sound more sonorous or something like that, then I think you're hearing things.
     
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  10. ratatatwilly

    ratatatwilly Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    Haha right on. I guess I was thinking that I was getting a higher quality output from the MBP. Thanks fellas, you probably saved me a couple hundred dollars.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  11. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

    Messages:
    3,363
    I use a Raspberry PI player streaming from LMS. Inexpensive solution with very good sound quality when driven by a decent power supply.
     
  12. ratatatwilly

    ratatatwilly Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    I am familiar with those but have never used one. Do you have to have a display for it? Can you use Tidal and Spotify with it? How do you control what it's playing?
     
  13. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

    Messages:
    3,363
    It is innately a headless device controlled by a smart phone or pad device. I use this one in the garage controlled by my iPhone using the iPeng app which serves as either controller or player. LMS supports both Spotify and Tidal (I have a Tidal HiFi account). I purchased a Digi+ interface and use an outboard DAC. Alternately, you can use an internal DAC as the "HAT" to the RPI processing board. Total cost? About $120 including case. It's performance is darn close to my far more expensive Sonore microRendu used in the main system. Pictured is use with a Jameco linear supply, but currently I use cellphone charge batteries as they are a touch cleaner at the top.

    [​IMG]
     
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