file What amps are you using?

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rjohn79395 Posted 2 months 1 day ago
#27171
A new player is about to enter the lossless streaming segment: Amazon is announcing that it will begin offering a new tier to it's music streaming options to be called Amazon Music HD. It will offer lossless 16 bit and apparently 24 bit Hi Res also (called Ulta HD), both in FLAC format. It sounds like that includes the 24 bit streaming bundled in. I'm sure more details will follow shortly.

Cost to be $14.99/month, $12.99 for Amazon Prime members. Interesting! The lossless streaming game keeps getting better!

Rick
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, SONOS Connect
47" Panasonic 3D smart tv

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rjohn79395 Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago
Last edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by rjohn79395. info_outline
#27231
Just switched to Amazon Prime Music's brand new Ultra, which includes both 16 bit HD and 24 bit Ultra.

So impressed with their 24 bit ULTRA sound quality as played into headphones that I am going to convert my streaming to the Goldenear HT via a Bluesound Node 2i that I just ordered. Will set it up to play digital in to up mix to Dolby surround, plus analog interconnects to also let me stream analog into pure direct fronts only.

Anything I can find about Tidal's MQA format for hi res is that it's not universally adopted yet. So I'm launching hi res for my HT with Amazon's FLAC version. So far, Marantz hasn't chosen to upgrade it's firmware to include the MQA format. If they do, I may try Tidal also.

A BIG thank you to Moderator Dude for reminding us that hi res streaming is being added by the 16 bit streamers!!!!!!

More later after I've got everything set up and had some time to compare 2 channel pure direct analog via Bluesound's DAC vs digital in and Dolby Surround via the Marantz's AK 4458 DAC. Can't find any info about the Bluesound's DAC except that it's rated 32 bit/192k capable and reviews that love the sound. Maybe it's their own design???

Rick
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, SONOS Connect
47" Panasonic 3D smart tv
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rjohn79395 Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago
#27234
Wow.

Got digital feed to the Marantz set up via the Bluesound and Amazon Ultra hi res to the HT, as Dolby Surround. Gorgeous!!!!!! Such detail, richness. There's no limit I guess to what GEt speakers can do with great feeds.

Next up is setting up analog interconnects to try analog via the Blusound DAC to 2 channel pure direct.

Lovin' it!!! Wish I'd done it sooner. SACD sound quality at my streaming fingertips.....

Rick
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, SONOS Connect
47" Panasonic 3D smart tv
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rjohn79395 Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago
#27236
Comment from my wife a few minutes ago: “I love the music you’re playing!”

It REALLY sounds good in hi res!
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, SONOS Connect
47" Panasonic 3D smart tv
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fred1942 Posted 1 week 5 days ago
#27358
Hi Rick, I’m starting to look at music streamers. So far have been interested in Cambridge Audio and Bluesound. Do you have your Node 2 connected to your Marantz? What type of connection did you make and with what cables? I have Tidal but have not used it much. Tried it through my iPhone using airplay on my Marantz. I am interested in your experience now that you have had your Node 2 for awhile.

Best, Fred

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rjohn79395 Posted 1 week 5 days ago
Last edit: 1 week 4 days ago by rjohn79395. info_outline
#27359

fred1942 wrote: Hi Rick, I’m starting to look at music streamers. So far have been interested in Cambridge Audio and Bluesound. Do you have your Node 2 connected to your Marantz? What type of connection did you make and with what cables? I have Tidal but have not used it much. Tried it through my iPhone using airplay on my Marantz. I am interested in your experience now that you have had your Node 2 for awhile.

Best, Fred


Hey, Fred

I can't speak to the Cambridge player, but i love the Bluesound Node 2i. Only the the new 2i version is Apple Airplay 2 compatible.

I have both digital coax and analog RCA connects direct to the Marantz. Set up wasn't bad. I have tried pure direct both via analog using the Node's Burr Brown DAC, and digital via the Maratntz's AKM DAC. About equal SQ I'd say. But I am hooked on Dolby Surrround via up mixing to the nine channels and hence using the Marantz DAC. I have tried both digital feed and analog feed from the Node, and it's close with this method, but I kind of like the analog feed where the Node's DAC cleans up the feed some before the ADC to DAC conversion again in the Marantz. 24 bit hi res is stellar if the recording is well done, easily SACD quality. Again, can't thank Moderator Dude enough for nudging us to check out the growing hi res options.!

I went the Amazon Music route because they are using FLAC format, which virtually all DAC's can decode. Tidal's MQA format isn't yet decipherable via the Marantz firmware and DAC's, so up mixing to Dolby Surround I guess is out, but I would venture that sending MQA pure direct through the Marantz would work just fine if you want to play 2 channel only. Maybe the ADC conversion back to digital in the Node would make that format decipherable to the Marantz DAC, but when I tried Tidal hi res early on via up mixing to Dolby Surround via digital feeds where the Node did the ADC to digital conversion, I sometimes got some pretty strange happenings on the speakers, like muffled, over accentuated bass. Maybe a different issue, I don't know. So I don't know if converting MQA to digital and then using a DAC without MQA capability works or not.

Just love hi res music that's well done. The GEt's bring out every nuance, every dynamic, and the voicing is just so natural.

Whatever you choose for a player, go for it! Your system will reward you.

Happy listening!

Rick

Edit/correction: the squirrely issue I got once streaming and trying Tidal was with the prior Sonos set up, which could not stream 24 bit, had digital feed only via coax, and it's ADC in essence turned 24 bit analog feeds to 16 bit digital, so the issue may have been Sonos/ADC related. The Bluesound set up lets you choose whether you are streaming to a MQA capable external DAC or not. So, it could well be that it handles MQA perfectly. Apparently it unfolds MQA when streaming djgital to a non MQA capable DAC so that the DAC can play it, and I don't think my Sonos ADC could do that. I have played only Amazon FLAC with the Bluesound so no direct experience, but Bluesound offers Tidal music streaming so it must work.
5.4.4 HT speakers: T Ref fronts/LFE 1, SuperCenter Ref, T1 surrounds/LFE 2, HTR 7000 top fronts, Invisa 525 top rears
Zone 2 speakers; 2 Invisa 525's
AVR: Marantz SR 7010
Amps: AT525NC 5 channel, Parasound 275 v.2 stereo
Cable/TiVo, OPPO BDP 105D, SONOS Connect
47" Panasonic 3D smart tv

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