How to best Stream Tidal

2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Also, this doesn't answer the question if sound quality is actually being left on the table..
So would something like the Marantz SR7011 fit the bill?

The Marantz would more than fit the bill, but if your objective is to stream Tidal...you're giving away several hundred dollars to wear the Marantz brand...in lieu of the Denon. Front panel cosmetics are a little cleaner looking on the SR7011, but they will sound very much the same.

I don't have Tidal, but at some point plan to add Qobuz. From my experience streaming 16/44 files over wifi is iffy at best so your internet connection will be a factor in your SQ. I'm changing everything over to Ethernet on the streaming side
 
SwedishChef

SwedishChef

Audioholic Intern
So... I'm not sure I have enough information to help here, but I wanted to share my experience in case it might get someone who has tested more to pipe up, or to do some more testing before you or others make a purchase.

I picked up a Marantz SR6013 last fall. I'm pretty happy with it overall. The one thing I do NOT like about it is the digital streaming.

First a little context - I've done a lot of testing over the years with various bitrates, and I don't think I'm incredibly picky, but do have some preferences. I tend to find 320 kbps or even 256 kbps pretty acceptable in many cases. That's about where level-matched test start to become more difficult to distinguish from CD for me. I find 128 kbps pretty much unlistenable, and 192 kbps definitely seems lacking. What brought me to Tidal in the first place was a desire for higher bit rates over what I was getting through Pandora etc. a few years back. At that time I was mostly listening (a lot of hours) on a computer through an outboard DAC, headphone amp, and Sennheiser HD650s. I tried a bunch of free and low-cost paid services, for dozens of hours, and just wasn't satisfied. Tried Tidal, was satisfied, and have stuck with it.

So why am I posting? Because I felt like HEOS on the SR6013 was playing at a pretty low bit rate. Even with Tidal, when Tidal says it's not. I did level-matched comparisons (same tracks) with the amp using HEOS, getting output from a computer, and a CD player (both digital and analog). The HEOS just sounded AWFUL to me (iirc, I tried Pandora and Tidal and maybe 1-2 others) . I can't prove anything - there's no way for me to see/say with confidence what bit rate it was playing, but it was consistently bad and annoying enough that I stopped using it entirely and just stream from a computer to it when I want to. I have not retried it with more recent firmware updates. I have no more concrete evidence. But I wanted it to work, had no reason to suspect it would perform poorly, did some extensive (for me) testing, and really felt like their were problems. If you can, I suggest you get more input from others who have the exact receiver you're considering and are using the same service you want to use. Just my 2 cents.

Oh, and I tried both wireless and wired connections if I'm remembering right. Everything is wired now.
 

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