Need Help with a New Setup

I just set up a new home theater system that I’d like to also optimize for music. Problem is I am not knowledgeable in this area at all, and there are so many options out there it is confusing. So am hoping I can find some help here.

My current setup is a Marantz AV7706 pre amp that feeds all the amps for my speakers. Currently I can stream from Spotify and Tidal using HEOS on the Marantz, but I have noticed some light skipping in the audio, almost always just when streaming with Tidal. This leads to thing that I am not getting the best quality audio to my speakers either. The Marantz is hard wired to my internet connection with typical download speeds of 50-70Mbs.

From the research I have tried to do on this, it seems like a dedicated streamer and DAC could greatly improve my experience, but am not sure if this is necessary given my setup, and there is so much info and so many options out there it is quite confusing to know what the best route is.

I’ve looked at Roon and their nucleus as a possible solution and would go that route if it would provide a good experience and fix my issues. I’m really just trying to maximize my setup. All of my music listening would be from a streaming service like Tidal/Spotify/Qubuz, and I have very little local music files. All would be controlled via iphone or ipad.

Specific gear and setup recommendations would be great!

For my living room surround system I run HDMI from a Nuc/Rock server (DYI Nucleus) to my Denon AVR for one zone. That handles hi-res multi-channel playback and utilizes the room correction built into the Denon. HDMI is the easiest and least expensive way to start in my opinion.

Also have a MC streaming Dac that is fed via Ethernet and connects to the Denon 7.1 Analog inputs. It is a much better Dac but is expensive. I got that after 2 years of using Roon with HDMI.

My concerns here would be that you already have skipping audio while streaming which indicates some network performance issue at hand.
No extra dac or streamer is likely going to help any until you get to the root cause of the skipping which is probably network related.
What resolution are you streaming when it skips?
Standard Redbook at 16/44 or higher?

On Tidal, my streaming quality is set to Master. Not sure what this translates to or how to find that via the app though.

I assumed it may have something to do with having to use Airplay when streaming Tidal to my Marantz, but when on Spotify, it is through Connect, although still using HEOS.

see what happens if you throttle back to normal instead of Hifi for tidal.

you havent given any details of your CORE system and its connectivity. Wifi could be an issue here if its a laptop.

Ok. I will try setting the quality to normal and see if that changes anything. I was just listening last night on Master quality again and did not notice any skipping. So it seems to come and go.

And to clarify, I will always be using an iphone or ipad to stream, mostly the iphone, late generation connected via WiFi.

I have not had any issues streaming 4k movies on my network so I assumed that even high bit rate audio wouldn’t be a problem, but perhaps I’m wrong there.

Unfortunately Roon is a lot more demanding on network strength and stability than most newcomers think and even when 4k movies stream well and say Tidal outside of Roon stream well it does not hold true that there are no network issues at least as far as Roon is concerned.
Might not be what you want to hear but it is what it is.

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How is your core connected to your router?

Are you referring to a Roon core? I don’t have one yet.

You do need to run a core to get roon going - suggest you start a trial on whatever pc/Mac you have available