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post #1 of 12 Old 02-25-2018, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Yamaha Network Receiver Audio Question

Should I expect significantly better Pandora or Spodify audio quality from an R-N803 hardwired to my router, vs my current AVR connected to my IPhone via USB? Thanks.

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post #2 of 12 Old 02-25-2018, 05:17 PM
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If your current AVR is a modern mid-range and up unit, I would think the sound would be comparable all things else being equal. These are streaming services after all.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-27-2018, 07:39 AM
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I would suggest you check out Tidal. The R-N803 supports that service. Better audio quality than Pandora or Spotify.

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-27-2018, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xpavar View Post
I would suggest you check out Tidal. The R-N803 supports that service. Better audio quality than Pandora or Spotify.
I will check out Tidal. Lots of time to do so now that I'm retired. Currently listening to Pandora and Spodify. Haven't really figured out Spodify yet, so I prefer Pandora.

So the question remains. If I purchase an R-N803 and connect via Ethernet, will Tidal or others sound better than running them through my phone, into my receiver's DAC, via direct usb connection? If not, I will likely keep my current setup, or possibly buy a new 2 channel integrated and run internet radio through my IPad and CD player DAC.

Nice music setup btw. I love my Monitor Audio Silver 8 speakers. Also, the more I listen to my modestly priced Bronze 2 bookshelf speakers, the more impressed I am. Really good for the money. I will eventually try to sell my Silver 8 and replace them with the new Silver line. Great reviews so far. Also considering Parasound 2100 and 275 V2, if I don't go for the R-N803.

2 channel : Anthem Integrated 225, Bluesound Node 2i, Monitor Audio Silver 8, PSA S1500, Marantz SA8005,
HT: Yamaha RX-A1060, Klipsch RP-260, Polk RTIA1 rears, RP-450C, PSA S1812, Onkyo C-S5VL
Office: Yamaha A-S701, Bluesound Node 2, Monitor Audio Silver 2, SVS SB12-NSD, Marantz CD6006
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-27-2018, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by raceredmustang View Post
I will check out Tidal. Lots of time to do so now that I'm retired. Currently listening to Pandora and Spodify. Haven't really figured out Spodify yet, so I prefer Pandora.

So the question remains. If I purchase an R-N803 and connect via Ethernet, will Tidal or others sound better than running them through my phone, into my receiver's DAC, via direct usb connection? If not, I will likely keep my current setup, or possibly buy a new 2 channel integrated and run internet radio through my IPad and CD player DAC.

Nice music setup btw. I love my Monitor Audio Silver 8 speakers. Also, the more I listen to my modestly priced Bronze 2 bookshelf speakers, the more impressed I am. Really good for the money. I will eventually try to sell my Silver 8 and replace them with the new Silver line. Great reviews so far. Also considering Parasound 2100 and 275 V2, if I don't go for the R-N803.
Thanks for the comments. I decided to eliminate the streaming through a phone or tablet altogether by purchasing the Cambridge network streamer. Cambridge is supposed to release a firmware update to enable Tidal within the unit itself, no other device required. Needless to say, the sound quality should be good without the need for Bluetooth, etc. Spotify comes built-in with the CNXv2.

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post #6 of 12 Old 02-27-2018, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xpavar View Post
Thanks for the comments. I decided to eliminate the streaming through a phone or tablet altogether by purchasing the Cambridge network streamer. Cambridge is supposed to release a firmware update to enable Tidal within the unit itself, no other device required. Needless to say, the sound quality should be good without the need for Bluetooth, etc. Spotify comes built-in with the CNXv2.
Did you notice a significant improvement in sound quality with the CXNv2, vs. using a phone or tablet? I assume you have it connected via an Ethernet cable.

2 channel : Anthem Integrated 225, Bluesound Node 2i, Monitor Audio Silver 8, PSA S1500, Marantz SA8005,
HT: Yamaha RX-A1060, Klipsch RP-260, Polk RTIA1 rears, RP-450C, PSA S1812, Onkyo C-S5VL
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-27-2018, 08:38 PM
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I don't know yet. Cambridge has not released the firmware update to enable Tidal. I hope it's soon. Cambridge said 'early 2018' for the update. I am using an ethernet cable. Tidal does sound pretty good streaming from my tablet, it should be better after the update. The Cambridge does have a pretty good DAC(actually 2).

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post #8 of 12 Old 02-28-2018, 06:55 AM
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My overall suggestion to you would be to find a network streamer or receiver that features built-in support for these online music services. The Yamaha you already mentioned, or the Cambridge network streamer, or the Oppo Sonica DAC are the ones i'm aware of. I'm sure there are others.

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post #9 of 12 Old 02-28-2018, 12:48 PM
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@raceredmustang , I think you misunderstood how the streaming services work in R-N803 and I assume on pretty much any other receiver. Or I am the one not understanding what you are saying. So let's clear that up. I will give you an example with Spotify:

Once you have your phone and receiver in the same network, you open the Spotify app from your phone and in the app you can specify the device you want to listen on. You then specify your receiver that will be automatically discovered and the only thing left is to hit play. The music does not come to your phone and then get streamed to the receiver! It is not how it works. The receiver receives the music directly from Internet since it has native Spotify support and has been paired with your Spotify app which has your credentials. You can replace the phone in the above example with a tablet or a computer. It works the same way as long as both devices are in the same network (subnet).

Another example would be if your receiver does not support Spotify but it does have Bluetooth. In that case, yes, the phone will be receiving the music from Internet and then stream it to the receiver over Bluetooth. This is plan "B" for people who don't have native Spotify/Pandora/Tidal support. If you have R-N803 this makes absolutely no sense if you listen to music from Spotify/Pandora/Tidal etc. But it does make sense if you want to stream the sound of a youtube video from your phone/tablet. And finally for people with integrated amps with no Bluetooth there is plan "C" - an external Bluetooth dongle with RCA outputs.

Connecting your phone/tablet to the receiver with a cable makes zero sense to me.

Last edited by planed; 02-28-2018 at 12:51 PM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-28-2018, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planed View Post
@raceredmustang , I think you misunderstood how the streaming services work in R-N803 and I assume on pretty much any other receiver. Or I am the one not understanding what you are saying. So let's clear that up. I will give you an example with Spotify:

Once you have your phone and receiver in the same network, you open the Spotify app from your phone and in the app you can specify the device you want to listen on. You then specify your receiver that will be automatically discovered and the only thing left is to hit play. The music does not come to your phone and then get streamed to the receiver! It is not how it works. The receiver receives the music directly from Internet since it has native Spotify support and has been paired with your Spotify app which has your credentials. You can replace the phone in the above example with a tablet or a computer. It works the same way as long as both devices are in the same network (subnet).

Another example would be if your receiver does not support Spotify but it does have Bluetooth. In that case, yes, the phone will be receiving the music from Internet and then stream it to the receiver over Bluetooth. This is plan "B" for people who don't have native Spotify/Pandora/Tidal support. If you have R-N803 this makes absolutely no sense if you listen to music from Spotify/Pandora/Tidal etc. But it does make sense if you want to stream the sound of a youtube video from your phone/tablet. And finally for people with integrated amps with no Bluetooth there is plan "C" - an external Bluetooth dongle with RCA outputs.

Connecting your phone/tablet to the receiver with a cable makes zero sense to me.
Hi Planed. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I think we are both on the same track, kind of.

The avr I am using for my 2 channel does not have Bluetooth or support for internet. The only way to play Pandora or similar is to connect my phone or tablet to the receiver or my CD player via their USB ports. The sound is pretty good, although I recently did an A/B and discovered the audio quality was better connecting directly to my receiver than through my Marantz CD.

I realize that if I purchase the Yamaha R-N803, I will connect it directly to my network via ethernet, and the Pandora feed will be direct from the net (I think). Unless I am wrong, under my current system, the phone receives the feed from the net via wifi and then uploads to the receiver. Is there any loss of fidelity either in the wifi transmission, or more likely in using a phone or tablet to upload the Pandora feed? So my question is whether the audio quality is the same on current system vs. the direct connection ability of the 803/ethernet setup. The answer could be the determining factor of whether I buy a network receiver or possibly an integrated amplifier. Thanks again.

2 channel : Anthem Integrated 225, Bluesound Node 2i, Monitor Audio Silver 8, PSA S1500, Marantz SA8005,
HT: Yamaha RX-A1060, Klipsch RP-260, Polk RTIA1 rears, RP-450C, PSA S1812, Onkyo C-S5VL
Office: Yamaha A-S701, Bluesound Node 2, Monitor Audio Silver 2, SVS SB12-NSD, Marantz CD6006
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-28-2018, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by raceredmustang View Post
Hi Planed. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I think we are both on the same track, kind of.

The avr I am using for my 2 channel does not have Bluetooth or support for internet. The only way to play Pandora or similar is to connect my phone or tablet to the receiver or my CD player via their USB ports. The sound is pretty good, although I recently did an A/B and discovered the audio quality was better connecting directly to my receiver than through my Marantz CD.
I guess the avr's DAC is better than the DAC in your Marantz CD. Or not "better" but just you like it better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raceredmustang View Post
I realize that if I purchase the Yamaha R-N803, I will connect it directly to my network via ethernet, and the Pandora feed will be direct from the net (I think). Unless I am wrong, under my current system, the phone receives the feed from the net via wifi and then uploads to the receiver.
Correct. Ethernet or Wifi - it is your choice. I prefer Ethernet for static devices.

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Originally Posted by raceredmustang View Post
Is there any loss of fidelity either in the wifi transmission, or more likely in using a phone or tablet to upload the Pandora feed?
Not sure I understand that but will give it a try. The music feed gets from the internet to your phone via internet protocols. Ethernet, wifi, LTE - it is irrelevant. It makes no difference. Whatever the Spotify server sends, this is what you will receive. (please, let's not discuss here how TCP/IP works. I am well aware.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by raceredmustang View Post
So my question is whether the audio quality is the same on current system vs. the direct connection ability of the 803/ethernet setup. The answer could be the determining factor of whether I buy a network receiver or possibly an integrated amplifier. Thanks again.
You are plugging your phone into your AVR using a USB cable. That means the sound will be converted by the AVR's DAC. If your AVR had native Spotify support you still would have been using the AVR's DAC. It will be exactly the same.

Just to recap:

1. Internet --(wifi)--> phone --(usb cable)--> AVR --> Speaker
2. Internet --(wifi)--> AVR (with native Spotify support) --> Speaker
Controlled by a phone or PC which receives Internet connection via wifi or ethernet
3. Internet --(ethernet)--> AVR (with native Spotify support) --> Speaker
Controlled by a phone or PC which receives Internet connection via wifi or ethernet

1, 2 and 3 are all the same. They all use the AVR's DAC and they all use unaltered feed from Spotify/Pandora servers.

The following example on the other hand is very different:
Internet --(wifi)--> phone --(bluetooth)--> AVR --> Speaker
The path would be something like this:
Data arrives to the phone as internet packets and gets decrypted (SSL/TLS)
Convert to analog (phone's DAC)
Encode with the Bluetooth audio codec
Sent via bluetooth
Arrives at the AVR's Bluetooth module
Decode with the Bluetooth audio codec
Convert to analog (AVR's DAC)
Amp
Speakers

Feel free to correct me if this is wrong or incomplete.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-28-2018, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by planed View Post
I guess the avr's DAC is better than the DAC in your Marantz CD. Or not "better" but just you like it better.


Correct. Ethernet or Wifi - it is your choice. I prefer Ethernet for static devices.


Not sure I understand that but will give it a try. The music feed gets from the internet to your phone via internet protocols. Ethernet, wifi, LTE - it is irrelevant. It makes no difference. Whatever the Spotify server sends, this is what you will receive. (please, let's not discuss here how TCP/IP works. I am well aware.)


You are plugging your phone into your AVR using a USB cable. That means the sound will be converted by the AVR's DAC. If your AVR had native Spotify support you still would have been using the AVR's DAC. It will be exactly the same.

Just to recap:

1. Internet --(wifi)--> phone --(usb cable)--> AVR --> Speaker
2. Internet --(wifi)--> AVR (with native Spotify support) --> Speaker
Controlled by a phone or PC which receives Internet connection via wifi or ethernet
3. Internet --(ethernet)--> AVR (with native Spotify support) --> Speaker
Controlled by a phone or PC which receives Internet connection via wifi or ethernet

1, 2 and 3 are all the same. They all use the AVR's DAC and they all use unaltered feed from Spotify/Pandora servers.

The following example on the other hand is very different:
Internet --(wifi)--> phone --(bluetooth)--> AVR --> Speaker
The path would be something like this:
Data arrives to the phone as internet packets and gets decrypted (SSL/TLS)
Convert to analog (phone's DAC)
Encode with the Bluetooth audio codec
Sent via bluetooth
Arrives at the AVR's Bluetooth module
Decode with the Bluetooth audio codec
Convert to analog (AVR's DAC)
Amp
Speakers

Feel free to correct me if this is wrong or incomplete.
No argument from me :-). I wasn't sure, that's why I was looking for a more informed opinion.

You are saying it's all the same. That leads me to favor an integrated over the 803, but only by the slimmest of margins. For my situation, I see different values to both. Thanks for your contribution.

2 channel : Anthem Integrated 225, Bluesound Node 2i, Monitor Audio Silver 8, PSA S1500, Marantz SA8005,
HT: Yamaha RX-A1060, Klipsch RP-260, Polk RTIA1 rears, RP-450C, PSA S1812, Onkyo C-S5VL
Office: Yamaha A-S701, Bluesound Node 2, Monitor Audio Silver 2, SVS SB12-NSD, Marantz CD6006
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