Tidal or Competitor Without a Computer (like Spotify)

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,035
168
63
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#21
Thank you, Alex.

I definitely do not want Roon. The information on Qobuz will be plenty for me.

Does the MSB Renderer module allow one to feed Qobuz directly to the MSB DAC without using a laptop or a music server?
Not through the Renderer. You'll need to output USB via the server of your choice.
I respect of your choice of not wanting Roon, but I don't understand it :) It does bring you back at least 2-3 years in terms of ease of use.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,047
602
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#22
Not through the Renderer. You'll need to output USB via the server of your choice.
I respect of your choice of not wanting Roon, but I don't understand it :) It does bring you back at least 2-3 years in terms of ease of use.
I’m sure you’re right, Alex, but right now Roon seems like another piece I don’t absolutely need.

What, then, does the Renderer module do?
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,047
602
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#23
Oy vey!

Innuos versus Aurender? :eek:

Which is the highest sound quality device which simply accepts the Qobuz digital source for streaming, allows itself to be controlled by an iPad, and does not have an on-board hard drive or anything else the MSB DAC does not need?
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,035
168
63
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#24
I’m sure you’re right, Alex, but right now Roon seems like another piece I don’t absolutely need.

What, then, does the Renderer module do?
It accepts data (music) over the network directly, using a number of different formats. Roon is one of them. UPNP/OpenHome is another one.
The Qobuz app won't output any of those formats over the network, on its own.
Since Tidal and Qobuz are integral parts of Roon, they come "free" with it. So Roon can send music to the Renderer, be it files or Tidal/Qobuz streams.
With Roon, if you pick a track or album as a favorite, it'll also show up in the Qobuz app, and vice-versa.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,035
168
63
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#25
Oy vey!

Innuos versus Aurender? :eek:

Which is the highest sound quality device which simply accepts the Qobuz digital source for streaming, allows itself to be controlled by an iPad, and does not have an on-board hard drive or anything else the MSB DAC does not need?
Both units will do what you want. But my choice right now are with the Innuos products.
They both have hard drives, though. Can't escape those.
Innuos comes with a built-in music player, that, frankly, I haven't used much. But it does say it's *gasp* Spotify compatible (Tidal and Roon as well).

http://www.innuos.com/en/catalog/go/music-servers-mk3
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,370
356
83
#26
Oy vey!

Innuos versus Aurender? :eek:

Which is the highest sound quality device which simply accepts the Qobuz digital source for streaming, allows itself to be controlled by an iPad, and does not have an on-board hard drive or anything else the MSB DAC does not need?
likely the Taiko Audio SGM Extreme is the best sounding.

while it has control memory modules they are discrete. it's capable of having storage but that's not required. you might keep your mind open to having files as well as streaming. once you dip your toes into the raging river of digital it might pull you in.

the Extreme is likely orders of magnitude more robust than those other choices, and priced appropriately.

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/taiko-audio-sgm-extreme-the-crème-de-la-crème.27433/
 
Likes: Ron Resnick

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,108
149
63
Eastern WA
#27
likely the Taiko Audio SGM Extreme is the best sounding.

while it has control memory modules they are discrete. it's capable of having storage but that's not required. you might keep your mind open to having files as well as streaming. once you dip your toes into the raging river of digital it might pull you in.

the Extreme is likely orders of magnitude more robust than those other choices, and priced appropriately.

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/taiko-audio-sgm-extreme-the-crème-de-la-crème.27433/
I would vote it's the opposite of what you say. It appears highly fragile, unable to be stable signal wise. It's distinctly for curtailing the sound in some way as far as I can tell. I'm not saying that's wrong, it might be exactly what someone is looking for in sound. But, as I sorta said already, I think introducing these extra variables creates a tail chasing scenario.

On the other hand the Innuos looks legit.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,047
602
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#28
It accepts data (music) over the network directly, using a number of different formats. Roon is one of them. UPNP/OpenHome is another one.
The Qobuz app won't output any of those formats over the network, on its own.
Since Tidal and Qobuz are integral parts of Roon, they come "free" with it. So Roon can send music to the Renderer, be it files or Tidal/Qobuz streams.
With Roon, if you pick a track or album as a favorite, it'll also show up in the Qobuz app, and vice-versa.
So the Renderer module lets you avoid a server, but you need Roon to carry the Qobuz signal to the MSB DAC? So if I play Qobuz through Roon then I do not need a server?
 
Oct 15, 2018
98
26
18
#29
The Zenith is hard to beat imo. It is very easy to use and the customer service is excellent if ever needed. I have never heard the Aurender but I am always reading about various software related issues. There is a small learning curve Ron but after a few hours you’ll be fine. You might even have a little fun with it.
 

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,035
168
63
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#30
So the Renderer module lets you avoid a server, but you need Roon to carry the Qobuz signal to the MSB DAC? So if I play Qobuz through Roon then I do not need a server?
You do need a server to run Roon. The only way to avoid a server altogether would be to send data directly off your phone/tablet to the Renderer module, and that isn't possible yet. Perhaps if one day MSB updates it to support either ChromeCast or AirPlay, but I don't believe that's in the cards, as those are lossy transport protocols, so it sorts of defeats the purpose of having an MSB DAC in the first place.
I concur with Number9, the Innuos Zenith is a great choice, at a good price/performance ratio.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,047
602
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#31
Gentlemen, I am getting confused. So the Innuos Zenith has a built-in DAC which outputs an analog signal? So I would not need the MSB DAC? :rolleyes:

Or is the Zenith just a streamer which outputs a digital signal?

Does the streamer affect the final sound quality just as much as the DAC? :oops:
 
Last edited:

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,035
168
63
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#32
Gentlemen, I am getting confused. So the Innuos Zenith has a built-in DAC which outputs an analog signal? So I would not need the MSB DAC? :rolleyes:

Or is the Zenith just a streamer which outputs a digital signal?

Does the streamer affect the final sound quality just as much as the DAC? :oops:
2nd option :)
Any music server is like to a disc transport, it'll feed the bits to the DAC. EIther via USB, or preferably, via network (Renderer module).
And no, (fortunately) the server does not affect the overall result as much as the DAC does. But in a revealing high-end system, server differences will be pronounced and noticeable.
I've found out that with servers, the gains are generally in better sense of relaxation, greater lack of grain/harshness, and better overall clarity/transparency. As you can imagine, the better servers will give you a relaxed presentation, with no grain/harshness, and plenty of transparency :)
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,047
602
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#34
Thank you, Alex, for this tutorial!
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 26, 2015
3,108
149
63
Eastern WA
#35
2nd option :)
Any music server is like to a disc transport, it'll feed the bits to the DAC. EIther via USB, or preferably, via network (Renderer module).
And no, (fortunately) the server does not affect the overall result as much as the DAC does. But in a revealing high-end system, server differences will be pronounced and noticeable.
I've found out that with servers, the gains are generally in better sense of relaxation, greater lack of grain/harshness, and better overall clarity/transparency. As you can imagine, the better servers will give you a relaxed presentation, with no grain/harshness, and plenty of transparency :)
Low noise from the server is good. However MSB and many other DAC's are fairly immune. Generally speaking the server has to induce jitter or other distortions to cause any difference in quality of sound. That's what most of the products do, because no one is hardly ever happy with straight forward digital. Most straight forward digital setups are too accurate, or they miss really important things that affect SQ that people just don't know about.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,047
602
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#36
SO which sounds more like analog? Zenith SE Mk II or the new ZEN Mk3?
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,047
602
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#37
Before we (ah, I) get carried away here I think I will have to return to KeithR’s system and do a careful and leisurely direct comparison of London Grammar’s “Strong” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Witness” (both digital recordings) on LP versus Tidal stream.

But I do think having a digital streaming capability for convenience for me and for flexibility for visitors makes sense.

Qobuz + Innuos + wi-fi + MSB + iPad = o_O
 
Last edited:
Likes: Folsom

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,047
602
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#38
Ah, I see the MSB Pro USB interface let’s me avoid having to locate an ethernet connection near the source components rack?
 

Taiko Audio

Active Member
Feb 10, 2017
338
92
28
The Netherlands
taikoaudio.com
#39
Ah, I see the MSB Pro USB interface let’s me avoid having to locate an ethernet connection near the source components rack?
Hi Ron,

Yes, if you would be asking me I would recommend going with the MSB Pro USB interface. You can run any length of really thin fibre cable from your DAC to any server device with zero cable emissions. Could even be your home office computer. I would recommend you start there and if you like what it is doing for you you can always consider upgrading to a purposely build audiophile server.
fc.jpg
 
Likes: Ron Resnick

asiufy

Member Sponsor
Jul 8, 2011
3,035
168
63
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#40
Ah, I see the MSB Pro USB interface let’s me avoid having to locate an ethernet connection near the source components rack?
That's true.
The only reason I don't emphatically recommend the Pro USB module is because I haven't heard it yet, and I'm not into the habit of recommending stuff I haven't heard :) But as I said before, it does look fantastic, and should be a viable alternative for network-based streaming.
 

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 convertors (DACS), 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