Noob question about streaming . . .

Okay, I’m not exactly a Luddite, but my audio journey started in the 70’s with Marantz separates, JBL speakers and a Dual turntable. Thaw about thirty years ago I got into home theater, with Parasound separates and four Bose 901s (no haters please — they work well for watching movies). 

Anyway, my Parasound AV preamp died, and I replaced it with a Marantz AV7706 preamp. I’m starting to explore its capabilities, which are light years beyond the old Parasound unit. I’m also exploring using it for music listening in addition to home theater, but streaming is new to me.  (I’m also exploring new speakers, but that’s a discussion for another day). 

So, with that background, here are my questions. I’m using the HEOS in the Marantz to stream music through Spotify, which I’ve used in my car for several years. Would a separate streamer be a significant improvement over what I have now?  My understanding is the Marantz’ built in DAC is good enough that I don’t need a separate DAC, unless I’m going to spend big money on one, which I’m not inclined to do right now (speakers first). Second, would a streaming service like Roon or Qubuz or Tidal provide significantly better music quality?  Spotify provides access to all the music I want, but I do realize that it’s limited in terms of sound quality. Help educate this old dinosaur. Thanks!


A lot depends upon your current system, I can't tell if you are still using the 901's.

If so, there are many speakers that will out perform them these days, and their tech is pretty much in dinosaur land.(Though I did enjoy their sound, back in the day).

If you are using them, I wouldn't be too concerned with digital specifics.


And, I don't mean to be dismissive. I only want to save you from spending on equipment that won't be fully appreciated. HTH

I am still using the 901s (and a Monoprice Monolith M-10 v2 sub) and even though they sound better with a pair of Deer Creek Audio equalizers, I recognize that they are the weakest link in the chain at this point. As I read the spec sheet, HEOS is capable of playing Tidal files at 24 bit/192 khz, and can decode FLAC, ALAC and Wav lossless files. I believe I’m listening to FLAC files on Tidal. I’m streaming Tidal wirelessly to the preamp. 

You have a long journey to get good sound ,for 1 the junk $5 power supply to your router needs to be replaced by a linear power supply ,little green computer  sells them $300 , then you need a decent Ethernet switch ,LTY SW8

2 decent Ethernet cables the end point cable is more important 

Pangea dual wire $50 each is good enough for yours . These are bare minimum 

to get better sound. I would though save for the Denafrips Aries which is just under $1k which is night and day better then your current built in dac.

Whichever streaming service you go with, tidal or qobuz, I’d still look at adding Roon.