Looking for intermediate-step Streamer: better than BS Node and not @ Bartok level pricing


I have a BS Node.  Yggy DAC.  BAT electronics, Shunayata PCs, AQ SC, and Vienna Acoustic Beethoven Grand Reference Speakers in a wonderful room. I also have a Linn, Shelter 901 MKII and top of the line BAT phono preamp. It all sounds lovely.  I borrowed a Bartok.  AMAZING!!!  And then I returned it, as I cannot afford that level of playback.  I am interested in upgrading my STREAMER -- I think.  (Yes, I know I could upgrade my fuses, room treatment, and everything else I own....)

I am curious to learn if there is a MID-POINT step that others suggest before I spend $25K on the ultimate STREAMER/DAC setup when I retire in a zillion years.  It seems absurd that my system is dependent upon a $550. piece of equipment.  


I am looking for natural sound.  3-D.  I listen to jazz, classical, and rock from the 60s-90s.  No club music/ insane bass.  When the Bartok was in my system, I felt like I was listening to vinyl.  What might be a good landing place for the next DECADE or so??

Thanks in advance.



Check out my recent thread on 10/18 titled - Streamer Selection-Thoughts Requested (64 responses) I too have/had a BS node and also a Yggdrassil LIM DAC. Net is you have quite a few choices dependent on your budget. I narrowed it down to Innuos and Aurender. Ended up over budget and just purchased an Aurender N200 that will arrive next week. I will cover this in my post in the next few days but wanted to give you a quick shout tonight so you had some background reading on a similar topic thats recent. Good luck!

In the last couple weeks I helped a friend choose a new streamer / DAC. He had a Yggy and my Aurrender N100 for comparison.

We were auditioning a Linn Selekt with only the Streamer / and the mid level DAC (total $12K. ~$4K streamer and $6K DAC). I was able to compare the two streamer / DAC combos. The Linn was much better. The treble on the Yggy was mostly high frequency hash, the sax was a lean characterization, the bass line was a single boom. With the Linn the cymbals were brass sounding… no distortion, the sax rich and finely detailed at the edges, the bass line resolved into three notes. Big difference! Then we compared the Linn streamer and the Aurender streamer through the Yggy. Wow. Most of the difference was the Yggy. The Yggy was by far the weak point.

The Aurrender N100 is a very good streamer for the money although a generation old… it held up to the new Linn well. But the Yggdrasil was simply the weak link.


I would recommend upgrading the Yggdrasil first… get a better DAC, then upgrade your streamer… I recommend the best Aurrender you can afford.

I have had a very good experience with the Bricasti M5.  I'm running it as a Roon bridge.  Can also be run using Jriver or Audirvana functioning as your OS.

List price is something like $2400, but can be found used in the $1300 to $1800 range.  

Prior to Bricasti M5 I had been running Bluesound kit and a Roon Nucleus streaming to itself.  The Bricasti was a big step up.






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Lots of good info and nice system, but what’s your budget and are you looking for new or used?


Hi,I don't have a fixed budget.  Something in the 3-6K region sounds reasonable to me to be a MID-STEP.  But again, that is part of the question I am asking.  If there is nothing shy of a $10k investment to make the move up...well...that is what I would like to know.  My system sounds pretty good.  But I know there is a world that is vastly superior -- for $25k.  I am not able to make that investment now.  I'm looking for a SIGNIFICANT upgrade at a modest price.  I am certain that for a few $1K I could do better.  Not interested.  I want to land somewhere where I can stay for a decade while I continue learning about the ultimate systems.


So what is my budget?  I ask all of you: what should I allocate for such an upgrade?