New streamer

I recently opened a discussion on upgrading my DAC. I started at the beginning of that discussion, that I was a vinyl guy, but with my purchase of the Chord Qutest, I realized that digital music can be outstanding and want to now upgrade my Node.

That will provide 2 benefits: Maximizing my current systems digital, and allow me to move the Node & Schiit Modi Multibit 2 to the family room, a small HT setup with a Yamaha AVR driving a Goldenear soundbar. Streaming there is currently MusicCast using the AVR DAC.  The improvement there should be very nice. 

My 2 channel equipment is as follows: 

Rogue RP-1 w/ NOS Brimar’s, LSA Warp 1, KEF R11’s, Rhythmic F12SE, Pro-ject 1Xpression w/Hana ML, Rega Aria, Bluesound Node w/Qubuz, Marantz CD6007, Chord Qutest. Good to very good power, speaker, interconnect cables.  
My weakest link (I believe) is now my Node. 
I don’t want or need amplification or volume control, ripping storage, nor an internal DAC. Sound signature should be neutral. 
My budget is $2,500, but willing to spend less. My current favorites are:

Lumin U2 mini. Very well reviewed, beautiful, perfect form factor, good app & controllable via my Harmony One remote. It is currently my #1 choice.

Auralic Aris. If new, the G1.1, if used G2.0 or 2.1. Very well reviewed, good app, OK form factor, but not controllable via harmony.  
Naim ND5 XS2. Considered the best high end streamer by What Hi Fi  Would need to buy used to stay close to budget.

EverSolo DMP-A6. Included based upon reviews, but may not be a serious contender. 
HiFi Rose RS250A. The streamer EverSolo seemed to copy  

Aurender. Don’t think they have anything within my budget, but included for discussion.

 LPS upgrade for Node. Included because I know it will come up. Plan to reuse my node downstairs, so out. Would prefer LPS upgrade for one of the above.  

Please let me know your thoughts and/or recommendations. Thanks!




“The local Aurender dealer has no N150’s in stock”

That shouldn’t deter you from ordering one. My dealer didn’t have N30SA in stock, I got mine delivered in 5 days from their warehouse in CA. As far as app, Aurender’s Conductor is one of the best app out there. 

I have both the Node n130 with LPS and the U2 mini.  After the intuitive simplicity BluOS, the Lumin app was very frustrating.  You may hate it at first.  I know I did. With familiarity I find it great.  Powerful and solid.  No regrets.


I heard the Auralic Altair G1.1 and 2.1. They sounded great. The 1.1 used closer to your budget.

The Luman app may not be the best proprietary app on the market or the most intuitive. However, I find it fairly simple to use with Qobuz, especially after a few weeks of use. The user experience may boil down to a person’s technical skills and ease of navigating new software. Remember, Roon isn’t free and you can use Roon with most streamers. Personally, I think it’s a waste of money and an app that won’t significantly improve my listening experience.

Ultimately from all the above in my mind it all boils down to a simple question: Roon or not. Roon requires more hardware muscle and processing power than other control systems. So depending on the answer either chose a high powered model from Lumin, Auralic, Aurender et al or go more minimalist e.g. InnuOS, ifi, bluesound etc. Either way at your price point what really makes a difference is foremost the power supply.