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 Post subject: What do I need?
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:22 am
Posts: 27
Location: winnipeg, MB, CA
Hi all.
I've been a long time Vinyl enthusiast and have just recently gotten into the world of Spotify and the wonders of having access to any music I want in a second! Right now I am just using my phone or tablet to run Spotify Connect on my AVR. System is as follows:

Denon X4200 AVR with Spotify Connect
NAD PP1 Phono Preamp
Systemdek IIX Turntable with Ortofon 2m Bronze Cartridge
Denon DBT-3313 Blu-Ray Player
XBox One S
Spotify Extreme with Phone or Tablet - both running Android OS
Golden Ear Triton 7 mains powered by a Yamaha P2002 power amp. (Cardas Crosslink Cables)
SVS 20-39 PCi subwoofer
Sunfire SDS-10 subwoofer
Polk cs2 center channel
Polk rt800 rear surrounds
Polk monitor 30 rear height channels

My question is what do I need to get the best out of Spotify. (I do pay for the Spotify Extreme service.) I have done Vinyl vs. Spotify tests and Vinyl wins every time. Do I need a separate DAC for Spotify? If so, what would be a good fit for my gear? How would this work? I'm a total streaming newb so any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:47 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Montreal, QC, CA
is spotify connect trough bluetooth or wifi?


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:22 am
Posts: 27
Location: winnipeg, MB, CA
Wifi. The Bluetooth connection is terrible.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:17 pm
Posts: 736
Location: Riverview, NB, CA
A standalone DAC may sound better than the DAC in your AVR but it seems unlikely you will ever get it to sound better than your vinyl rig. Are you able to experiment with hardwiring your AVR to your router and see if that makes a difference? I run Spotify through a separate DAC with a hardwired connection and I think it sounds pretty good. It doesn't sound as good as Tidal or vinyl to me though.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:45 pm
Posts: 787
Location: Rockwood, ON, CA
This is the tip of the iceberg.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:02 am
Posts: 1011
Location: Kingston, ON, CA
This should do the trick: http://www.lampizator.eu/Fikus/DAC_GOLDEN_GATE.html

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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:19 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Regina, SK, CA
If you are digging the ease of streaming but not the sound, try Tidal. It's not compressed like many others sites are. And a good dac is probably the most beneficial upgrade in this modern digital world. If you have a $2000 pre-amp a $500 dac will most likely out perform the one built into your pre-amp.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 3:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:11 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Waterloo, ON, CA
+1 for TIDAL HiFi

I went with the Naim NDX streamer because it has an ethernet input plus the TIDAL app is built into the firmware. The data comes right from the modem, and streamer does all the "heavy lifting ". The sound quality is excellent.

I would recommend a DAC/Streamer with the TIDAL app built into it, and one with an ethernet input so you don't have to worry about cables that will degrade the sound quality.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:22 am
Posts: 27
Location: winnipeg, MB, CA
David P wrote:
A standalone DAC may sound better than the DAC in your AVR but it seems unlikely you will ever get it to sound better than your vinyl rig. Are you able to experiment with hardwiring your AVR to your router and see if that makes a difference? I run Spotify through a separate DAC with a hardwired connection and I think it sounds pretty good. It doesn't sound as good as Tidal or vinyl to me though.


Thanks for the input David. If I am understanding you correctly, you are referring to using an ethernet cable to connect the AVR to my router. The AVR in my system is hardwired via 3' ethernet cable to my router. What kind of external DAC are you using and how does the signal path work? Going the external DAC route, would I still have the convenience of using my phone (preferred) or tablet wirelessly or would cables have to be involved?

Thanks to all for your responses but I am still a bit confused :? James


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 6:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:22 am
Posts: 27
Location: winnipeg, MB, CA
milesian wrote:
This is the tip of the iceberg.


Can you elaborate on this comment Milesian?


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 8:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:17 pm
Posts: 736
Location: Riverview, NB, CA
Thanks for the input David. If I am understanding you correctly, you are referring to using an ethernet cable to connect the AVR to my router. The AVR in my system is hardwired via 3' ethernet cable to my router. What kind of external DAC are you using and how does the signal path work? Going the external DAC route, would I still have the convenience of using my phone (preferred) or tablet wirelessly or would cables have to be involved?

Thanks to all for your responses but I am still a bit confused :? James[/quote]

Well, I probably confused you because I may have misunderstood! I was thinking you streamed via wifi to your AVR from your router and thought a hardwire might make a difference. I have a different setup from you and in my 2 channel system I have a Simaudio 100d DAC between my computer music server and my integrated amp. The computer is hardwired to my router. I have Spotify connect on my computer and control it with an iPad. In my home theatre system I just use airplay to connect to my Yamaha AVR( it is hardwired like yours).
I think that Spotify is great and sounds good but it is limited by bit rate so is unlikely to sound better than vinyl or even Tidal on a system able to make the very best of those sources. I use Spotify every day and am untroubled by any shortcoming that I detect! It is wonderful to have access to so much music! Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 9:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:47 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Brampton, ON, CA
I also agree that Tidal is the way to go regarding sound quality. I will add as well that you should change the Ethernet cable to a quality cat 8 cable between your modem and router. What a difference it has made for my friend with his system! My friend uses his phone through Bluetooth to his 2 channel setup with a Bluetooth adapter and it sounds extremely close to his $2000 CD player.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I need?
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:48 am
Posts: 20
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
oddio1 wrote:
I also agree that Tidal is the way to go regarding sound quality. I will add as well that you should change the Ethernet cable to a quality cat 8 cable between your modem and router. What a difference it has made for my friend with his system! My friend uses his phone through Bluetooth to his 2 channel setup with a Bluetooth adapter and it sounds extremely close to his $2000 CD player.


Wow, Cat 8, I hadn't realized that standard was finalized! However, how this can improve sound between what is likely 2 100mbs devices? Likely the old cable was damaged or improperly terminated. Cables are rarely the bottleneck in a network.


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