DAC/ Streamer - to upgrade or not to upgrade?

Dear Audiogoner:

With encouragement from Audio-Union , I like to seek further advice from those who are knowledgeable on streaming / DAC in accessing digital music. Currently I am connecting Roku 4  (accessing Tidal MCQ ) sending through its only optical out , to an optical-digital converter, then using  coaxial cable ( Siltech classic Anniversary Series model HF pure silver-gold Coaxial cable ) to a  vintage DAC (Altis Reference) at 48KHz. While the optical to digital converter may diminish the SQ, to my surprise the SQ from my streaming using above connection is only slightly worse when I compare to playing same CD music (whether classical, jazz or popular) using my CD transport(CECTl0) with Siltech cable connecting to the DAC. I had previously raised a question at this Forum about replace the Altis DAC which was positively supported by  some Audiogoner. I then tested Black Note DAC30 Tube Model in place of Altis and I found Black note was only slightly better in SQ to my ear. (By the way, my other equipment are Doshi Alaap V.2.1preamp, Lectron JH50 amp, and Minent  M7 speakers). I hope fellow Audiogoner can provide  advice on the following

1.       In order to improve CD  SQ more noticeably in my system when playing CD with CEC, what DAC would you recommend as the next step to replace Altis?

2.       On streaming,  I wonder if anyone has experience with Roku4? What streaming device (as next step upgrade) would be noticeably better when connecting to Altis? Would I need to replace both Roku and Altis to get noticeable improvement in streaming SQ? If so, what would you recommend?

Thanks a lot.


Moses 189

I am unfamiliar with all of the equipment mentioned.  My prejudice would be that any Roku device can be improved by a dedicated streamer.
  Specifying a budget would be helpful.  Another question is whether you would be amenable to a combination streamer DAC.  And did you mean MQA when you referenced Tidal?
Thanks for the correction on Tidal MQA. My Altis Reference is a reasonably good  DAC (retailed $14000 in 1998). The new Black Note retailed about $5000 now and is slightly better than Altis when I was able to compare in my system. I don’t mind streamer-DAC combination as long as the DAC can provide noticeable improvement in SQ and can be connected to CD transport. If not, I prefer a separate DAC so it can be connected to streamer as well as CD transport 
Hard to finish the SQ of a Roku..
You can build a Raspberry Pi for roughly the same outlay that will clean it's clock.
sorry i have done alot of streamers and dacs over the last 2 years but i have never heard of what you are using...  so i have no clue what would be an upgrade

in general, a good starting point would be a bluesound node and a schiit gungnir multi bit, mhdt tube dac or a denafrips pontus
Post removed 
Thank you for your feedback. I guess no one has the experience of comparing Streaming using Roku, connecting vua optical to digital converter, and then to my Altis DAC. I have also compared accessing the same  Tidal MQA music via Oppo 105 ( connecting to same Altis DAC), the SQ from Roku is a little better. May be it is due to 48KHZ from Roku but 44 KHz from Oppo 105. If no one has experience comparing blue sound node streaming  or another streamer to Roku, is there anyone who can provide experience of blue sound or another streamer to Oppo105 ? Thanks.
I would like to offer some helpful advice, it is a bit difficult when discussing a Roku… not really known as a streamer for audio. I suspect no one has used such a budget oriented streamer. I have streamed using iPods, iPhones, iPads, PCs, and finally began getting great sound with a Aurender Aries G2 streamer (~$4,000), muchly improved with a Aurender N100 at about $4K, much much better with a Aurender N10 ($10K)… and vastly better with my current Aurender WE20se ($22K). Streamers matter very much. While the streamer I have now may seem expensive, the moment I heard it in my system I was immediately struck what a good deal it was.

So for a simple minded look at the signal chain, this makes sense streamer 15%, DAC 15%, preamp 20%, amp 20%, speakers 30%. 
Ditch the Roku.  You never said what your budget is?  Lumin makes a great DAC/ Streamer.  The Lumin app is super easy to use and is also tied to Tidal and Qobuz.  I have had the D-2, A-1 and finally upgraded to the X-1.  The X-1 is the top of the line and well worth the money.  You can generally get one used for between $8-9k.  If you can't afford that then try the S-1.
Thanks for all the recommendations and suggestions. My only comparison of Roku the way I described is with  Oppo 105, Microsoft surface pro i7 and my iPhone 11pro. The Roku seems to provide better SQ( when using  same Tidal source) . Will certainly try some of the other suggestions in the future.