Hi - I’m looking to upgrade my “science project” (aka HifiBerry) to a real Network Streamer. I’ll use ethernet to connect to my home network and Roon core, and would like to use balanced outputs to my pre-amp. I’d also consider a display, you know they look pretty neat!
Something like the Cambridge CXN would be perfect, AND perfect budget-wise too, but alas, it’s not Roon-Ready.
Something with the feature set of the CXN v2, Roon compatibility and that price tag won’t be easy to come by. I can’t think of anything in that projected price range that gets you where you want to be. At roughly twice your budget (UK rrp, there are deals) I can thoroughly recommend the Teac NT-505. With the latest firmware it integrates into Roon perfectly. The display only gives basic information pertaining to source and file types but it all works well and is an elegant solution in my opinion.
Are you looking for a streamer or Streamer/DAC? Sounds like you need a streamer DAC combo. The Lumin D2 has great reviews and comes in at $2300. I have not owned one, but it’s certainly a well regarded unit. Is something new required? And when you need a display, is this for navigation, or for cover art? (e.g. Auralic Vega G1/G2).
Budget choice: TEAC NT-505 32BITs/768KHz + DSD512(USB) 32BITs/384KHz+DSD128(Ethernet) + ROON Ready + TIDAL MQA … （1.2K US DOLLAR) , almost everything you need. I use that with my aged McIntosh MA6400 + B&W 603
High-end choice: CH-Precision C1 + Ethernet Card Option (20K US DOLLAR) , Only 32BITs/384KHz+DSD256(Ethernet) + NOT ROON Ready + NO TIDAL MQA …if You want decode by C1 using TIDAL MQA and ROON, You have to choose a streamer, such like a AURALIC ARIES G2 with CH C1 USB interface option (384KHz PCM and DSD 128 DoP）. But CH C1 has the GREAT Sound crystal clear, if you have a pair of good speakers and AMP above 20K. My father have CH system for years, 4 years now actually, still the best combine not for the Digital RATE but SOUND.
If the CXN really is ‘perfect’ then you could hack Roon with the UPnP Bridge.
This device allows you to at least try using UPnP devices with Roon although with it isn’t guaranteed that it works with all streamers. If you are lucky the CXN might be on the tested list, or you may just need to be the one who can tell them it works. Still cheaper than most if not all alternatives that combine Roon Readiness with the features you want.
Try it and see if you like it better upsampled…trust your own ears in your own setup. It’s easy enough to turn on and off and costs you nothing. At higher rates your core hardware might struggle depending on its capabilities.
My core is a linux computer, pretty much purpose-built for my CD collection. Performs like a champ, and I get to “get my geek on”. Another other DSP tricks to try? I know that “headroom” is often recommended…
Also, I have a pretty good DAC with my preamp (Parasound) but I think a streamer/dac would be worth the investment… I don’t see myself going to a separate DAC anytime in the future.
Given budget limitations, an all-in-one box like the Lumin D2 would seem sensible.
If you go down the separate box route, then this could easily go past the price of a Lumin D2.
I use a Project Audio Stream Box S2 Ultra, but this worked with the boxes I had already invested in (Pre Box RS Digital and associated linear power supply). Not sure I would have done this if starting from scratch.
Only other budget alternative would be the Allo USB bridge. You would still need a good DAC though.
Maybe not the solution for audiophiles, but I have a CXN and it works fine for me. After advice from members of this forum (thank you all!). I stream from my hp laptop (where Roon and my music collection is) to my CXN via airplay. I also cast Roon to my Sony TV simultaneously using its built in chromecast to show the display.
I also use MusicBee in a similar way and mirror my laptop on my TV screen using an HDMI cable (Haven’t worked out if I can display Roon on the TV using the HDMI cable, as I only received the cable this morning).
I think it is also possible to hardwire from laptop to CXN using a USB cable. but alas the distance for me is 10m so not possible for me.
It may also be possible to connect using ethernet, but I haven’t tried that option.