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.



Interesting thread. I have a Bryston BDP-1 and nothing but trouble. Mains transformer burned out. On the advice of Bryston USA sent it to the Bryston agents in the UK who's performance was pathetic and received it back months later in some tatty packaging with a scratch on the rear panel and internal ribbons not reseated properly. I eventually bought, at 1/3 the price quoted, a better transformer with electrostatic screen and GOSS band. It skips, often does not read USB drives, sometimes sluggish response and on and on it goes!

This is not a fight with Bryston USA, I have a mate with a Bryston amp that has had zero problems and that's Bryston's area of expertise, they are not a digital company. I would happily own a Bryston amp but never again one of their digital products. Also as many will testify, their control app is universally criticised yet they consistently refuse to employ a specialist who knows what he is doing to create something user friendly and modern, instead they plod along with a poorly performing 20 year old frustration!

Used Bricasti M3/w streaming card. Always available 3500-4,000 depending if you need a remote. 
Run it from the XLR outputs to take advantage of its true balanced design. 
I run an EtherRegen with an LHY OCK 2 clock and took it up a few mote notches. 
Stock it is big and open. Great customer support. 


There are very few audiophile streamer+DAC combos in a single box, so your choices are extremely limited. Most have separate streamers apart from the DAC.

Perhaps a used Bartok? Seems to be in the $10-13k range.  Another option is a used Linn DSM streamer+DAC.  I purchased a used Linn DSM/2 with the Organik DAC upgrade which is a sonic bargain - review here

Hi All,

Thanks for the may suggestions.  For the next step (in an always ongoing process), I am looking to keep my Yggy DAC and -- for now -- only looking to upgrade the streamer.  Again, the budget is $3k-$6k.  I have heard the openness and realism of the Bartok v1.  LOVED it.  But it is out of my budget -- even used.  

Seems like Bricasti, Lumin, Simaudio, Cambridge, Aurender, PS Audio and Auralic are what is being suggested (did I forget any?).  The BS app is excellent.  And that has spoiled me.  The DCS app is terrible. I have used Aurender app.  Not bad.  Any thoughts on the apps for these streamers?  

Now I have to go out and find these and listen!!