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!


Don’t feel the need to swap digital cables and power supplies.  That’s advanced stuff of questionable effect.  I’d say consider a speaker swap.

Spend the money on a good dac. 

Eventually.  The thing is, with a Marantz AV preamp, if the OP is using any form of room correction, surround processing, or anything other than direct mode, the Marantz is going to run the external signal through an ADC for whatever the pre- is doing.  That would defeat the point of an expensive external DAC.  Point being, the OP would have to change the paradigm of his system to benefit from that unless he uses direct mode. 

There are many cheap streamers that do a fine job. 

I agree with this. A streamer with an SPDIF out would plug into the Marantz and possibly improve the sound and improve over HEOS software if desired. 


To circle back on this, I’ve been listening to a lot of music on Tidal, in part just to listen, and in part to pick out four or five songs to use to audition speakers. While I’ve been really impressed with the overall quality of listening via Tidal (even on the Bose 901s), its probably time to get some better speakers for listening to music.

My budget is probably on the low side at this time -- $2500 to $5000, tops. I’m considering: Martin Logan Motion 60XTi or XT F100, Bowers & Wilkins 704 S3, Wharfedale EVO4.4, Totem Bison Twin Tower, Paradigm Founder 80F or Sonus faber Lumina III (maybe the V? but price is a stretch). Any thoughts on these, or others I should consider? I’ll be streaming through the Marantz AV7706 and a Parasound A51, bi-amping as long as the speakers support it. My listening area is 15x20, high ceiling, but no particular issues that would need special attention.

I’ve not heard any of these, and want to audition as many as I can before making a choice.

What improvements are you looking for, and what sound characteristics are most important to you?  Sharing this info will get you much better recommendations here, and glad you’re upgrading your speakers — you’re in for a real treat!

I’m looking for something that’s clear and crisp across the sound spectrum. I appreciate being able to pick out the individual drum beats, cymbal crashes and guitar strings being played. I have a sub I’m happy with, and I’m not looking to piss off the neighbors with something really heavy and bass forward.  Hopefully that helps.