Questions from a noob on digital streaming

Ok, I am a noob.... I apologize here in the beginning.

I have been a vinyl guy since forever....

I have been considering a change to digital for several months and finally started to make the transition. I just sold my turntable so there is no going back, and believe me the decision was brutal to make. But I am happy with my new path....but still a bit anxious.

I am currently using a Cambridge magic plus through a tube Pre and tube mono blocks. I am planning on getting the direct stream Jr. and this is where my questions start.

I have been using Audirvana to play Tidal with my current Cambridge Dac...

I see that DS Jr. has installed ability to play Tidal, and use Roon.....

Does this mean I can play Tidal without using Roon or other player with the DS Jr. and MConnect Controller?

What are the pros and cons of this if true, compared to using Audirvana or Roon or Jriver?

Can I use Audirvana to play tidal through the DS Jr. ?

What are the pros and cons of this vs Tidal direct through the DS Jr.  or roon  or Jriver  etc.?

What I think I understand is...Tidal is a streaming service (check), audirvana and roon are players used to play the stream and send to the Dac (check)????? But the DS Jr is a streamer ????? Why is one better than another? And which should I use?

A bit confused, and I have been trying to do my own research, Im just not quite getting what is what and why one may be better than another.

I am trying to sell a quicksilver pre-amp to complete my purchase of the DS Jr.....It's on audiongon YOU SHOULD BUY IT !!:-)

Also, since I am selling the tube pre and using the Jr as a pre.....will the power tube amps smooth out the digital sound????

OR  should I get the Gain Cell, which I could today, and keep the Tube pre???? Seems a waste to have a tube pre with no turntable and switching strictly to streaming.

I HATE confusion....

Thank you,



The one I like best that is UPnP for streaming is Linn Kazoo with BubbleUPnP server.  I suspect that it will support Qobuz.  Another thing to try is Lumin with BubbleUPnP server.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Follow willemj’s suggestion and invest $35 and get yourself a Chromecast Audio and spend another $30 ( or more if you want) and buy an optical cable - mini to regular size, and plug it to your DACmagic and you’re done. Sit back and stream Tidal at 44/96 right from tablet or phone without the need for any extra software. Unless you have mega $ vinyl rig, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sound quality coming out of you <$100 investment.
Keep us posted.

If you want to do cheap, just get a Raspberry Pi, a microSD memory card and a Digione HAT board. Install freeware Dietpi and you can make it Roon-bridge or DLNA/UPnP compatible with software options.  Then you can stream or play local files with ANY playback software on any computer. Lots of instructions on the web.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Thank you all, you have been very helpful.

Right or wrong I am going with the Direct Stream Jr. and will play around with different players.



@audioengr  Also, since Tidal only streams FLAC files, so I don’t find these to quite be up to "CD" quality.

Tidal also streams MQA.