External streamer

Interested to know why people feel they need to add an external streamer instead of the highly capable one in dCS DAC’s.
Having previously streamed from a pink faun 2.16x and an Innuos Statement, I have heard and owned some amazing streaming solutions
…. Until I borrowed a dCS network bridge, that immediately moved me onto the dCS line!!!
(Dac was MSB)
Honestly, the streaming capabilities onboard of dCS products is absolutely up there with the best. (In my opinion). You would have to pay a large sum of money to really notice any audible difference (and risk having to add Roon to the mix).
But still curious as to what ‘gains’ others believe they can achieve :man_shrugging:

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Clint- great feedback!
I’m wondering if it’s possible to improve the internal streaming SQ of Rossini- that’s the only reason why I’m thinking about Melco, Innuos Statement or Pulsar or Lumin transporter now.

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I’m considering the same gear as you.
As I only want (need) a good quality server with ethernet output (as per dCS’ recommendation), I’ve also got the Antipodes K41 on the list. It’s looking like a strong contender so far, based upon what I’ve read, not yet heard…

Thx Jonathan- I’m a big fan of Melco thought their user interface (do they really have one :wink: ?) is a mess. But once the server is up&running it’s a really fine source. GUI of Innuos system is lightyears ahead. It’s more a streamer than a server.

Yes Melco has a streaming interface - Music HD. Have a look at App store. I don’t think there is an Android version. It’s some time since I looked but it has a small cost. Of course using the Melco as a streamer means a USB connection which is generally held to be less good sounding

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I may be in the minority, but I do not feel the need to add anything to the well thought out streamer built into my dCS Bartok for the reasons @Klint noted above.


I agree that Melco’s UI is seemingly suboptimal compared to the some competitors.
As you say, the Innuos UI is apparently very user friendly, and I understand that Antipodes’ UI is equally impressive.

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I have recently swapped my dCS network bridge for an Aurender N20 (and added 2TB internal SSD) and the difference in SQ from ripped CDs is significant. As for streamed content I’d also say it’s an improvement but with my rural broadband setup a hard copy of any music is better than the equivalent streamed version. The Aurender Conductor app. works a lot better for me than Mosaic did, though I didn’t have any fundamental problems with the latter.

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Interested to know if you have auditioned any of the current dCS DAC’s and used their internal streamer with an unshielded ethernet cable to compare sq with the N20

No I haven’t heard any of the newer dCS products. I use a Belden Cat5e Ethernet cable, as recommended on this forum, and it seems to work very well. I’m also only using AES for N20 and dac connectivity. My nwb used this Ethernet cable but had to fetch my files from my iMac (which also has SSD) and I think this was an inferior solution; that’s in no way saying the nwb is flawed. I had it for a year and was very happy with the sound until …

I had my ripped storage the exact same way, and was also pleasantly surprised with the upgrade in sq when I changed to Melco

Clint, I believe it’s just a matter of personal subjective taste.

dCS’ built-in streamer can reproduce 100% accurate PCM samples from incoming Ethernet streams. Harder to show on a Lina, Bartok, or Rossini, but with a Vivaldi Upsampler (Clone-mode) or the Network Bridge, recording their AES/SPDIF PCM output to a file, you’ll see that it’s identical to the source file on the source Server. There’s absolutely no way to improve on that.

Which means all other methods can only be, at best, the same, or often slightly less accurate, it cannot be more accurate.


People are using the term streamer in different ways. Some mean it be a device that streams to a DAC or multiple devices, like a Roon Nucleus. Others to mean a DAC with built in streaming capabilities, like the Bartok. My Aurender is considered a transport that can stream from streaming services but can only play to one device. I’ve found this all confuses people new to “streaming” :grinning:

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I streamed through a Nucleus+ to Rossini (via Ethernet connection) for about 2 years and the sound was fairly decent.

I upgraded to a Taiko Audio Server last year and the sound was significantly better (in all aspects in my case). All the typical audiophile descriptors…better bass, separation between instruments, wider and deeper soundstage, etc. this was connected via USB—which is Taiko’s recommendation. If you go the server route, they will all sound a bit different from each other and the Power cords and USB cords (or whichever connector you use) will all play a role in tweaking the final sound in a highly resolving system.

My Rossini DAC w/clock sounded great before, but a lot better now. Is it essential to have a separate server to get great sound, definitely not….but I’m very happy with this addition in my system. I was able to demo this for 2 weeks before making the purchase. Hope this helps

Hi Ryan,
You streamed from a nucleus then went to the Taiko, I would expect a big uptake in sq as I found myself in the past when removing roon :+1:
My interest was more in regards to streaming directly from Mosaic to the dCS DAC’s internal streamer vs external streaming ‘transports’ (to clear up another point)

Got it. Yeah, it was a pretty massive SQ uptake. I just know that adding external streamers is a touchy subject in the online audio world. I actually use Roon through Taiko now and even with the SQ “hit” you take from Roon, I still prefer the Taiko sound in my system vs just streaming through DCSs internal streamer. At some point I plain to upgrade to the Vivaldi, but need my wallet to recover a bit first. But very happy with my current setup at the moment.

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Haha, touchy is putting it lightly!
Tbf not so much on this community :+1:
Opposite to you I demo’s the dCS with its onboard streamer against the high end streamer I had previously, and just couldn’t fault how good it was in comparison when listening to streaming services.

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Did you test Innuos Statement as well? Tx!

I had one, first generation, absolutely loved it.
Super slick interface too!
But when I was demoing the dCS with and without it, I was so impressed with how good the internal one was I opted to sell the statement. It probably did have the edge sonically over the dCS but I preferred the ‘sound’ of the dCS combo.

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Unfortunately I couldn’t. I’m located in Japan, so I only could test Taiko Audio and Roon Nucleus. Innous Statement isn’t imported in this country and neither is Pink Faun or Antipodes…otherwise I would have tried them all for extensive listening sessions.

Kind of like Clint mentioned in the next comment, he liked the “sound” of the DCS one the most. These are all great products (well Nucleus was kinda soso), but they all clearly gave my system a different “sound”. I found that the power supplies and power cords impacted my audio journey the most. So if I was considering the Innous Statement, I would definitely get the optional power supply upgrade as I can imagine this would be a significant boost in SQ.