Help settle a streaming argument!

This is a SQ argument and is as follows-  I argue if you connect your streamer to an outboard DAC the streamer does not matter it’s just serving the music to the outboard DAC to do the work.  Therefore, buy a basic streamer.  The other is that you need to buy a top quality streamer and DAC to get great SQ. 

I liken it to cd players or the more pretentious cd transport argument- if the intent is to connect to outboard DAC the cd player doesn’t matter the outboard DAC DOES!

features and functionality aside!  Thoughts…..


@cetla416 - didn't quite answer the question.  the better streamer I would expect to have better SQ in your scenario.  the question is basic vs. high end streamer connected to same DAC would they sound the same?  my argument is yes they would. 

I ask for a friend cause he wants to get into streaming and I say buy a basic streamer cause he has a killer DAC. so I have not tested.

For illustrative purposes. Assuming you really enjoy salmon. Would you rather consume fresh, off the boat, wild-caught king salmon from pristine waters? Or, a salmon at the end of it's life-span, after making a successful spawning run? 


For further illustrative purposes. Assume your Shining City DAC can be located in those pristine waters with schools of free swimming king salmon (no fishing boats in sight).

OR said Shining City DAC can be located at the end of the spawning run waiting for spent, successful salmon.


Hint: before you think its only about the salmon...stop yourself. 


He/she did answer the question. A better streamer into the same DAC yielded noticeably better results for them.

Many of us here have experienced similar results. I upgraded my streamer going into the same DAC and noticed a more significant improvement in sound quality than I did when I upgraded my DAC going into my previous streamer.

I’ve since concluded that the streamer is at least as important as the DAC - and perhaps more so. 

Try it yourself. But, try something that is supposed to be noticeably better than your Node so that you’re not trying to split hairs.  We look forward to hearing from you regarding your findings - whatever they may be.

polkalover, Yes, I did answer your question with examples. What “killer DAC”? I don’t know if my MHDT modified Orchid DAC is killer but it’s what I have settled on. Had the 2i in front of it, replaced it with the Zen. No contest, not even close.