AVS Forum banner

1941 - 1960 of 2443 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
Bluesound is likely the one of the best ways. My only minor complaint is I with they had balanced outputs. SJ
While balanced outputs are truly beneficial for long cable runs (they were developed for the live audio business), some folks like the more-secure connection in home audio too.

The object of my lust right now incorporates a multi-input DAC/pre-amp with streaming via BluOS and especially enticing is the Dirac Live for 2-channel. It just happens to have balanced outputs too. It is the soon-to-be-released NAD C658. You would get all the features of a Bluesound Node 2i (yes, it'll have AptX HD, Airplay 2 & bi-directional Bluetooth) and the balanced outputs you want. It's the first (that I know of) in the C series to get an ESS Sabre DAC chip set like the Masters M51, and can do native play of DSD files.

The unit will have a suggested retail price of $1499.00 US. I saw it demonstrated with a new amp that hasn't actually been announced yet, a C278. That amp would be the natural progression upgrade for the C275, but move from a Class A-B architecture to Class D and have at least the same 150 watts per channel. I'm not sure if it will have balanced inputs to mate up with the C658, but that would makes sense.

NAD also already offers balanced outputs in the M12 pre-amp and M32 integrated amp, and BluOS modules can be added to those. A lot more money for Master series, for sure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Matthew Pool

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
Thanks for the info! It looks like Blusound is the easiest and lowest cost way to get full MQA.
I find its interface and implementation of Tidal to be the most fluid and easy to use. There are cheaper ways to get full MQA, such as an Audioquest Dragonfly US DAC, but you wouldn't have the mobile app ease of BluOS.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Matthew Pool

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,890 Posts
Tidal on my Shield Android TV sucks. It lacks dynamics and the volume is too low. I have Spotify and Deezer Premium and they sound way better than my Tidal HiFi subscription. BTW, my SATV is connected to my Yamaha RX-A3050 with HDMI.
Odd that TIDAL, especially a HiFi account, on the Shield Android TV sounds worse than Spotify and Deezer. I suspect it's an issue with the SATV - it's no coincidence that your Yamaha RX-A3050 directly supports Spotify and Deezer (but unfortunately not TIDAL), via its built-in MusicCast streaming system, so very likely you are using that instead of the SATV for those services!

You can actually get the RX-A3050 to stream directly from TIDAL (so similar to Spotify and Deezer) and avoid having to use the SATV. Specialised UPnP/DLNA controllers, like the BubbleUPnP Android app, provide direct streaming from TIDAL HiFi, for standard UPnP/DLNA supporting streamers like the Yamaha RX-A3050.
That's odd. I'm only speaking from observation rather than any measurement but it sounds great on my Shield and I can't perceive any different than listening through the same receiver and speakers with my Chromecast Audio (Shield goes directly into a Pioneer receiver via HDMI and CA is connected via toslink). I alternate between both depending on whether the TV is already on or I just want audio and am wandering about the room.



There may be something else at play as I don't find the volume too low. I use the Shield to watch movies and I usually need to turn it down before playing music from the Tidal app as it's typically output louder than whatever movie I just watched. Sure, on average there would be a lot more variation of volume in a movie but the fact I run for the remote each time I start playing Tidal never led me to feel it was too quiet.



I haven't measured anything so can't provide conclusive evidence but was surprised I had such a different experience. I was glad to have a dedicated Android TV app but it has quite a way to go. It suffers from the same fate as many larger brand apps, in that I get the feeling the creators don't actually use many parts of it themselves a lot. How else could they explain why they've packed every saved album and track as a single line that's next to impossible to browse beyond the last 20 saved? On the desktop and web apps it's a grid and on a phone or tablet you can fast swipe.
+1 to @conorsong, my lossless (Exact Audio Copy) 16/44.1 CD rips and HDTracks purchases sound identical, to my ears, when played through the Plex app on my NVidia Shield vs. casting (to the same AVR/speaker pair) to my Chromecast audio. And, in general, 2-channel sources (music or Youtube videos that were shot in 2-channel) comes through A LOT louder on my Shield than 5+ channel sources. I often run my Onkyo at 57 for Cable TV or other compressed surround sound (DD 5.1), 62ish for lossless Blu Ray rips, and closer to 52 or 53 for 2-channel content like music... no claims on an internal SPL meter in my head, but those all feel/sound roughly equivalent, volume-wise, to my ears. TIFWIW.


Any Tidal subscribers on this thread also Plex users (and especially Plex users who are Shield owners)? I don't know if the deal/team up so that Plex now works well with Tidal is actually new or not, but it IS "news to me"... I got an e-mail about it, I think last week, and I was immediately interested. The #1 reason I have avoided Tidal was because it didn't natively support Google Cast within the app (I wanted to be able to cast to my Whole Home audio groupings of CCAs). I have a streaming subscription to Google Play Music but lossless streaming has always had some appeal, and if it's working well now on CCAs and Android TV boxes due to Plex integration, it instantly becomes a consideration for me again...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,945 (Edited)
Any Tidal subscribers on this thread also Plex users (and especially Plex users who are Shield owners)? I don't know if the deal/team up so that Plex now works well with Tidal is actually new or not, but it IS "news to me"
Tidal on Plex is definitely a new thing. I think I last checked on it in the spring and it wasn't there yet. Time to tinker!

UPDATE: I tinkered with it for about fifteen minutes so far. My take: it's there, but only just. I used the web client, the Android phone (AP) client, and the Android TV (ATV) client. Right now the interface is clunky and incomplete. The web client was the most usable, but finding my album list was tricky, and the sort options are hopelessly limited. The ATV client was extremely clunky, forcing me to go all the way to the top of the Plex app any time I wanted to navigate to another section (artists vs. albums, etc.) I still haven't figured out how to access my subscription info using the AP client.

My overall impression is that this service is targeted primarily at people who have never used Tidal before. The exploration options are prominent and easy to access. I'm hoping they've got substantial UI improvements already in the pipeline.

CAVEAT: I am not a Plex user, but I have been a Tidal subscriber since about a week after they launched. My go-to configuration is Bubble uPnP on the phone for playback to my receiver via DLNA, and the Tidal PC client for sorting and searching. It's not elegant, but it's a lot less clunky than the current Plex implementation.

However, Plex has one massive upside: gapless playback! I have been searching for a workable gapless solution from the beginning. Plex handled it just fine.

Bottom line: I'm not switching to Plex at the moment, but I am going to be keeping an eye on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
My go-to configuration is Bubble uPnP on the phone for playback to my receiver via DLNA, and the Tidal PC client for sorting and searching. It's not elegant, but it's a lot less clunky than the current Plex implementation.

However, Plex has one massive upside: gapless playback! I have been searching for a workable gapless solution from the beginning. Plex handled it just fine.
Interesting that Plex, which is renowned for its lack of gapless playback support, now appears to working gaplessly with TIDAL! Is that with your receiver too? If so, how did you set it all up?



Incidentally, exactly what's your issue with the BubbleUPnP Android app not getting your receiver to play gaplessly via UPnP/DLNA?
Presumably you've tried enabling gapless in BubbleUPnP's individual renderer settings for your receiver - was it greyed out (so you couldn't even enable it) or did it just not work after enabling?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,947
Interesting that Plex, which is renowned for its lack of gapless playback support, now appears to working gaplessly with TIDAL! Is that with your receiver too? If so, how did you set it all up?

I initially tried it with Android TV with my new-ish Sony TV (the one Henninger reviewed earlier this year). That connects directly to my receiver, so that's how I got the sound out. I queued up a live recording and jumped it to the end of the track. It transitioned to the next seamlessly. I didn't try pushing audio to my receiver via the web app. I'm not sure that is possible. And as noted I couldn't figure out how to get to my content via the phone app at all.


Incidentally, exactly what's your issue with the BubbleUPnP Android app not getting your receiver to play gaplessly via UPnP/DLNA?
Presumably you've tried enabling gapless in BubbleUPnP's individual renderer settings for your receiver - was it greyed out (so you couldn't even enable it) or did it just not work after enabling?

It's just never worked, even though the receiver claims it should and the app says it does. It's my understanding that vendors don't always get the spec right, and I suppose my Pioneer SC-89 is one of those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
I initially tried it with Android TV with my new-ish Sony TV (the one Henninger reviewed earlier this year). That connects directly to my receiver, so that's how I got the sound out. I queued up a live recording and jumped it to the end of the track. It transitioned to the next seamlessly. I didn't try pushing audio to my receiver via the web app. I'm not sure that is possible. And as noted I couldn't figure out how to get to my content via the phone app at all.
Ah ok, understood - by the sounds of it you are running Plex's own (client/player) app on your Sony smart TV (which uses Android TV) and it's the Plex app that's actually playing gaplessly, with the resulting audio output then sent to your AVR via HDMI. So definitely the Android TV version of the Plex app plays gaplessly - hopeful Plex will do the same for all their client/player apps.


It's just never worked, even though the receiver claims it should and the app says it does. It's my understanding that vendors don't always get the spec right, and I suppose my Pioneer SC-89 is one of those.
Ah, your AVR being a Pioneer device explains why it's not gapless when UPnP/DLNA streaming, contrary to what you'd been led to believe.

What Pioneer don't advertise is that their so called gapless playback supporting devices only play gaplessly under UPnP/DLNA when they are used as DMP's (Digital Media Player), not when they are used as DMR's (Digital Media Renderer). What seems a sutble difference actually means that they'll never be able to play gaplessly when controlled by a standard UPnP/DLNA controller app. They'll only play gaplessly when used with their own app (which isn't actually a UPnP/DLNA controller) or the IR remote control/buttons on the box.

The BubbleUPnP Android app should actually have picked this up and greyed out the gapless support option (as I mentioned in my last post) for your SC-89's renderer settings, ie:




Can you confirm this?



BTW, the Logitech Media Server (normally used to provide music for Squeezebox type device) supports TIDAL and can get non-gapless UPnP/DLNA streamers to play gaplessly when used with its own (Squeezebox) controller apps. Requires you also install the UPnP/DLNA bridge 3rd party LMS plugin & enable its transcoder's Flow option.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,949 (Edited)
What Pioneer don't advertise is that their so called gapless playback supporting devices only play gaplessly under UPnP/DLNA when they are used as DMP's (Digital Media Player), not when they are used as DMR's (Digital Media Renderer). What seems a sutble difference actually means that they'll never be able to play gaplessly when controlled by a standard UPnP/DLNA controller app. They'll only play gaplessly when used with their own app (which isn't actually a UPnP/DLNA controller) or the IR remote control/buttons on the box.
Well at least now I have an explanation. Thanks! (Sincerely)


Can you confirm [that the gapless option is disabled]?

Your screencap is different from what I see on my phone. The dev seriously re-arranged the UI this summer. Do you have the latest? At any rate, I went through the menus and the option is available and checked.

BTW, the Logitech Media Server (normally used to provide music for Squeezebox type device) supports TIDAL and can get non-gapless UPnP/DLNA streamers to play gaplessly when used with its own (Squeezebox) controller apps. Requires you also install the UPnP/DLNA bridge 3rd party LMS plugin & enable its transcoder's Flow option.
Now THAT is interesting. I thought Squeezebox was dead-ware and haven't looked at it in years. My itty-bitty Synology ds213 has LMS as an available package, but it looks like logitech has withdrawn its native client. There's an open source one available though. Time to thinker some more!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
After reading through all these recent posts about gapless playback and all the hoops to jump through to get it, I'm evermore grateful that I spent a little extra to have Bluesound equipment around the house!

Truly plug-n-play, with a super nice user interface was SO worth the small investment. (Much of it well below list prices because of eBay and a good dealer.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: pappaduke

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,951
After reading through all these recent posts about gapless playback and all the hoops to jump through to get it, I'm evermore grateful that I spent a little extra to have Bluesound equipment around the house!

I've seriously looked at Bluesound off and on over the years. What stops me is that they only support SPDIF connections. I have this (almost certainly doomed) hope that eventually multichannel streaming will catch on. If it does, it renders any SPDIF-only gizmo obsolete.



As always, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,499 Posts
anyone have thoughts on tidal video's or recommendations...I have had tidal for a while now and never even thought to look at video...also can tidal play the video on your tv thru avr? need to look into this more...any help is appreciated
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,953
My Android TV has a native Tidal client. I'd wager it'd be great for video delivery. Not my bag but knock yourself out & good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
I've seriously looked at Bluesound off and on over the years. What stops me is that they only support SPDIF connections. I have this (almost certainly doomed) hope that eventually multichannel streaming will catch on. If it does, it renders any SPDIF-only gizmo obsolete.



As always, IMO.
I'm not sure what you mean by "only support SPDIF connections." I have a Bluesound Powernode 2 and a Vault 2. For inputs, they have Wif-Fi, RJ45 Ethernet, USB-A, Bluetooth, and a combo Toslink-3.5mm. For outputs the Vault 2 player has RCA analog, Co-axial digital (SPDIF), Toslink, headphone 3.5mm, and a fixed >80hz subwoofer output. The new 2i series adds voice control, Airplay 2, and more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,955
I'm not sure what you mean by "only support SPDIF connections."

SPDIF out. Which, as you point out, is an oversimplification. But my main point still stands: the reason why I haven't added a Bluesound device to my rig is that there's no provision for multichannel out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
SPDIF out. Which, as you point out, is an oversimplification. But my main point still stands: the reason why I haven't added a Bluesound device to my rig is that there's no provision for multichannel out.
This thread is entitled "Official Tidal music streaming thread." As far as I know, Tidal and all the other music streaming services are all streaming exclusively TWO CHANNEL music.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dscottj

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
After reading through all these recent posts about gapless playback and all the hoops to jump through to get it, I'm evermore grateful that I spent a little extra to have Bluesound equipment around the house!
Lack of gapless support can be a problem even with expensive devices - spending extra doesn't guarentee it not being an issue. A planned implementation as a result of proper decent design in the device's development stage is what's actually required, as Bluesound appear to have done.


Lack of gapless playback support these days is actually quite rare, with most manufacturers having learnt from their poor first generation standard UPnP/DLNA supporting streamer efforts (Pioneer being a notable exception).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Your screencap is different from what I see on my phone. The dev seriously re-arranged the UI this summer. Do you have the latest? At any rate, I went through the menus and the option is available and checked
Ok, that explains it. Yes, the image was taken from the latest version of the BubbleUPnP Android app. In older versions of the app, the gapless support setting was global (not renderer specific like it is now) and it was never greyed out/disabled. So the implication was that if set, the app's gapless support function only kicked in when the app was used to control gapless supporting renderers that had been recognised as such by the app itself.


You still should be able to check this even in the old version of the app by bringing up your Pioneer's renderer info dialog (from the 3 dot menu beside the renderer). If the app recognises the device as gapless playback supporting, there should be a "Gapless playback potentially supported" entry; otherwise there's no entry at all, eg:

Denon DNP-F109 renderer info - supports gapless playback



Pioneer N-50 renderer info - doesn't support gapless playback






Now THAT is interesting. I thought Squeezebox was dead-ware and haven't looked at it in years. My itty-bitty Synology ds213 has LMS as an available package, but it looks like logitech has withdrawn its native client. There's an open source one available though. Time to thinker some more!
The Squeezebox software development community is most certainly alive and well. The original Squeezebox devices may well be dead-hardware, but the associated software is very much alive. Hopefully you'll be able to get the latest version of LMS, v7.9.2, on you Synology - though it might be less cumbersome to start with a normal (Windows/Mac/Linux) computer's latest version to begin with, so you can quickly see what you are getting into:
http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/?ver=7.9
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,959
The Squeezebox software development community is most certainly alive and well. The original Squeezebox devices may well be dead-hardware, but the associated software is very much alive. Hopefully you'll be able to get the latest version of LMS, v7.9.2, on you Synology - though it might be less cumbersome to start with a normal (Windows/Mac/Linux) computer's latest version to begin with, so you can quickly see what you are getting into:
http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/?ver=7.9

Good to know. Looks like Synology isn't keeping up, because the version they gave me was 7.7.6, old enough I wouldn't expect it to work real well with DLNA stuff. On the client side I find Tidal in the apps (on the Squeezer player, v1.5.1) but nothing seems to happen. The Synology is the only server-like computer I have around here nowadays. I do have a raspberry pi stuffed in a drawer somewhere, maybe I'll try to resurrect that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Looks like Synology isn't keeping up, because the version they gave me was 7.7.6, old enough I wouldn't expect it to work real well with DLNA stuff. On the client side I find Tidal in the apps (on the Squeezer player, v1.5.1) but nothing seems to happen. The Synology is the only server-like computer I have around here nowadays.
My suggestion to use a computer to install LMS was just temporary to quickly test that its gapless TIDAL streaming does actually work with your Pioneer & you are ok with the UI, before tackling a possibly more complicated install on your NAS. So just a plain laptop would have done - or are you saying haven't even got one of those anymore?

Having said that, it looks like one of the Squeezebox community forum techies has produced a Synology package for the latest LMS v7.9.2, that includes support for your DS213 NAS model and the installation doesn't seem complicated:

https://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?108960-Synology-7-9-2-packages



I do have a raspberry pi stuffed in a drawer somewhere, maybe I'll try to resurrect that.
I'm currently running LMS v7.9.2 on an RPi 2 under DietPi, but it should also be installable under Raspbian as the latest version of both distros are Debian Stretch based. DietPi comes with its own software installation utility which can be used to install LMS. However, that was for v7.9.1 when I last looked and so I opted for the manual command line install to get the latest version - it's very straight forward, anyway:
Code:
#Make sure existing libraries are up to date before starting
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

# install some libraries required by the LMS installation
sudo apt-get install -y libsox-fmt-all libflac-dev libfaad2 libmad0

# Change to the /tmp directory & download latest LMS package
cd /tmp
wget -O logitechmediaserver_arm.deb $(wget -q -O - "http://www.mysqueezebox.com/update/?version=7.9.2&revision=1&geturl=1&os=debarm")

# Install the package - LMS should automatically start following the installation (installs as a SystemD Service)
sudo dpkg -i logitechmediaserver_arm.deb

# Finally, check the logitechnediaserver service status - should be active (running)
 systemctl status logitechmediaserver
BTW, did you check if your BubbleUPnP Android app indicates that the Pioneer receiver doesn't support gapless in its renderer info dialog - so similar to the Pioneer N-50 pic in my last post?
 
1941 - 1960 of 2443 Posts
Top