Streaming Rules the Marketplace

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,782
1,314
215
#21
Marc, I’m good we all have our preference for sound but my comment was simply that streaming clearly isn’t some race to the bottom. Its fortunes (and qualities) are clearly rising and it has music loving accessibility on its side. I could easily take an equally superior position and say that it’s just a failure for some to get streaming setup properly. Every medium has its potentials and constraints. Steaming is clearly on the rise and the advent of superior streamers is making this ever more evident.

I champion everyone to make their ultimate choices. But still we suck as a group if we then just belittle each other’s attempts to arise to the notion of high quality music and accessibility. Music is the best part of this hobby so what gets us more great music is all good.
 
Last edited:
Likes: tima

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
10,572
1,810
358
E. England
#22
Hey, I've never said streaming is a race to the bottom.

THAT particular downer started during the loudness wars.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,782
1,314
215
#23

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
10,572
1,810
358
E. England
#24
Ask The General when the malaise started. You could also make an argument it was Yoko Ono lol.
 
Last edited:
Likes: tima

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,152
778
238
Greater Boston
#25
The fabulous thing is these days we can also listen in very high quality via a streamer Al. We all choose our own way but high quality is very available across all formats these days.

It all just depends on the way you have chosen to optimise....and as long as you are engaging in great music it’s all good. To think that it might get better still. Absolutely amazing.
As I said in my later post, it would be expensive to match my CD transport in quality with a streamer. I am not saying it can't be done, but I chose a great preamp upgrade instead. In my case, this was undoubtedly the right priority within my budget.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,782
1,314
215
#26
I think that Yoko was way more a analog issue than a digital one. But more than anything I do know that music is more important than even hallowed sonics in the end so performance and accessibility are the rising fortunes of the game for me. I love being able to learn about all the other performances available and the wonders of a near infinite sea of jazz, classical and completely contemporary music rnb and whatever comes this way and then surfing all that via hard copy is just not at all viable.

I’ve given all my CDs to my dad... he loves ‘em.
 
Likes: Al M.

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
10,572
1,810
358
E. England
#27
I think that Yoko was way more a analog issue than a digital one. But more than anything I do know that music is more important than even hallowed sonics in the end so performance and accessibility are the rising fortunes of the game for me. I love being able to learn about all the other performances available and the wonders of a near infinite sea of jazz, classical and completely contemporary music rnb and whatever comes this way and then surfing all that via hard copy is just not at all viable.

I’ve given all my CDs to my dad... he loves em.
Are you trying to say something, sonny boy?! Lol
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,782
1,314
215
#28
As I said in my later post, it would be expensive to match my CD transport in quality with a streamer. I am not saying it can't be done, but I chose a great preamp upgrade instead. In my case, this was undoubtedly the right priority within my budget.
A great pre is gold. Indispensable.
 
Likes: Al M.

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,152
778
238
Greater Boston
#29
Btw, Graham, streaming does not necessarily fit best into my own style of listening, which returns to a given music over and over again. It is a much better fit for those like you who want to constantly explore something new every day or compare performances. I am a musical omnivore too, but I take my diet deliberately bit by bit. That's just my personal style, nothing wrong with another.
 
Last edited:

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,782
1,314
215
#30
Are you trying to say something, sonny boy?! Lol
Even my dad cached them to the hard drive in his car... just sayin. PS So proud of my dad... who’s in his eighties ffs lol :)
 
Last edited:

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,782
1,314
215
#31
Btw, streaming does not necessarily fit best into my own style of listening, which returns to a given music over and over again. It is a much better fit for those who want to constantly explore something new every day or compare performances, like for example you, Graham. I am a musical omnivore too, but I take my diet deliberately bit by bit. That's just my personal style, nothing wrong with another.
Agreed 100% Al, we are here to love music the way we feel best to love that music. We are lucky souls to have such choice. There is a phenomenal amount of extraordinary music available to us. It is such a gift... and it is completely personal because music is about how we relate to it. Love it.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Al M.

howiebrou

Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2012
1,004
656
210
#32
To me it was also a matter of not just effort, but also finances. To get a server that can compete with my CD transport would have been very expensive. I am glad that I put the money into a new preamp instead (Octave HP 700), which transformed the sound quality of my system.
Yes, also an important consideration, but now you really can get very good streamers for not very much. Imagine what we will see in 5 years!
 

dminches

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2011
1,211
307
180
#33
The streaming concept goes way beyond sound quality and convenience. It gives people the opportunity to sample music in a high quality audio format before they buy it (if they want to buy it). Streaming has exposed to me to tons of music that I might not have otherwise heard since I can't be buying everything that people recommend. If I hear something and I really like it I will likely then buy the LP.
 
Jan 4, 2019
52
11
10
Toronto, Canada
#34
Streaming has literally changed the way I listen to music.
In the main system (just updated ;)), I cannot now reliably distinguish a streamed piece from file playback or ... LP playback.
More importantly, with Roon I am easily listening to new and old music throughout the house whether it be through a Sonos Playbar and Sub where the TV is, through KEF LSX's in the "family room" or through Sonos Play3's outside by the hot tub! It's all good!
 
Likes: HughP3
Feb 4, 2019
68
34
18
50
#35
On my system, if I stream a well produced track on spotify, then a poor produced track on HQplayer, you will pick the Spotify as preferred to listen too.

If I stream the same well produced copy on Qobuz and play it against HQplayer and music stored internally, you will pick HQplayer. Mostly because the sound stage opens and clarity increases.

If I play you the same track on vinyl and HQplayer, you will pick vinyl as the sound stage once again open more.

In the last 2 scenario it takes concentrated listening and a few back and forh to fully understand what is changing. What this means is if your not doing comparisons and just listening, streaming is damb good, set up correct. Very enjoyable. If your in the mood to nitpick and complain, you need to put on HQplayer or vinyl. But you will still probably find reasons to be unhappy.

Fwiw, its hit and miss streaming high rez vs cd quality. Sometimes the cd quality has more dynamics and spunk. The high rez can be bloated and slow. Probably engineering issues. This is of course true with all media. I have an original Paul Simon Crazy After all These Years vinyl that is far more pleasant to play streaming the new high rez version than the original vinyl. The source is so important. To go balbbing its all about a disc, vinyl, stream etc and disregard the way the source was produced leaves fault in any persons conclusions.

My belief is a well produced version of any music played on a well tuned "whathaveyou" can sound very satisfying and enjoyable to immerse yourself in. Crap source material will always sound like crap.
 

HughP3

VIP/Donor
Apr 25, 2019
134
124
150
59
#36
Fwiw, Comparing my HDtrack hi-rez 24 bit files (ones that really were better than CD, some are not) to the same MQA tracks on TIDAL (SuperTramp, Heart, SteelyDan) I cannot tell the difference. Very pleased with Tidal quality. Maybe its my ears :)
 
Feb 4, 2019
68
34
18
50
#37
I didn't really note it above, but I stream all the time. There is untold amounts of music out there that I enjoy and sounds great. I definitely have particular sources across all media I gravitate to. Im gonna play my 45 rpm vinyl tea for the tillerman. Im gonna stream most of the paul simon. Diana krall live in paris is a toss up. I love Bruno 45k Magic streamed. That song rocks.
 

christoph

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2015
1,907
1,131
195
Principality of Liechtenstein
#38
Fwiw, Comparing my HDtrack hi-rez 24 bit files (ones that really were better than CD, some are not) to the same MQA tracks on TIDAL (SuperTramp, Heart, SteelyDan) I cannot tell the difference. Very pleased with Tidal quality. Maybe its my ears :)
You should try Qobuz.
Qobuz IMHO sounds quite a bit better than Tidal
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
8,474
2,027
450
#39
I have Quboz (highest level), Tidal and PCIe files to choose from.

Current sonic ranking of file and streaming choices. the differences between categories are not absolute, but this is my general view right now.

Tidal normal files < Tidal MQA (varies considerably) < Quboz redbook < PCIe redbook files > Quboz High Rez < PCIe High Rez files.

all those choices are fully satisfying to listen to.

most listened to category is easily Quboz High Rez- mostly classical (24-44 and above)......basically unlimited really super sounding music. And the interface allows for excellent flow from one title to another.

Another favorite is making a 90 minute playlist from all catagories. I never think that what I’m hearing is not excellent. Then sit back.

This is music on my terms without any limits anywhere. Just......music........without any critical thinking involved.

Wherever we were going with ease of use and music, we/i have arrived there.
 
Last edited:

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,616
682
275
United States
#40
I have Quboz (highest level), Tidal and PCIe files to choose from.

Current sonic ranking of file and streaming choices. the differences between categories are not absolute, but this is my general view right now.

Tidal normal files < Tidal MQA (varies considerably) < Quboz redbook < PCIe redbook files > Quboz High Rez < PCIe High Rez files.

all those choices are fully satisfying to listen to.

most listened to category is easily Quboz High Rez- mostly classical (24-44 and above)......basically unlimited really super sounding music. And the interface allows for excellent flow from one title to another.

Another favorite is making a 90 minute playlist from all catagories. I never think that what I’m hearing is not excellent. Then sit back.

This is music on my terms without any limits anywhere. Just......music........without any critical thinking involved.

Wherever we were going with ease of use and music, we/i have arrived there.
Mike
What is PCIe High Rez? Is that a streaming service available to the public?

BTW, I was surprised to find that Tidal MQA was preferred to Qobuz Hi Rez about 50% of the time. A more relaxed, natural presentation particularly for solo piano recordings. But not consistently. Nice to have options.
Marty
 
Last edited:
Likes: MRJAZZ

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing