Stepping into streaming, finally

As the title states finally I have gotten into streaming realm. Wanted ethernet streamer connectivity and started with Wiim feeding Denafrips Venus II 12th then into Pathos Inpol Remix and finally to Sonus Faber Venere. Well, I was not thrilled with the sound quality not to mention lack of cooperation from Wiim with pure ethernet path. Tried Bluesound Node, small steps. No dice with Node either. Came across EarMen Stacatto with exclusive ethernet connectivity and no DAC built in, exactly what I needed, very few reviews but took a chance. Well, all the boxes of my needs checked, with sound quality matching CDs, transported by Jay's Audio CDT2 MK3. I think that says a lot. Very satisfied, expectations exceeded.


Have the Wiim Pro in an original tube monoblock system.

Some recent and other important changes. Always ran the WiiM Pro with a 5v external LPS. Changed the out from coax to optical into a RME ADI-2 with a glass toslink cable I had available. Surprising result: 20% improvement in quality.

More recently, I’ve been streaming via layered Cisco network switches from a Verizon fiber optical router to the WiiM. Inexpensive and major improvement using fiber optical cable between the Cisco switches with two inexpensive transceivers, $18. (Awaiting some Finisar ones to try out arriving soon.)

The sound is the most transparent, best separation and most musical with the absolute best I’ve had in any of my home audio applications over two decades. Never imagined streaming (Qobuz) could be so amazing.

Happy listening!



@romanesq I was thinking to try optical connection between Staccato and Venus, but I thought, based on opinions I came across, that optical was inferior to high quality coax. Well, I will give it a try. What toslink cable do you use?

This is one of the aspects of this hobby that I like a lot, experimenting with, not necessarily uber expensive, changes. Sometimes it works sometimes not. I have recently tried XLR interconnects (Mogami) between Venus and Pathos, change for worse in comparison to DIY Duelund Helix Geometry coax (Williewonka recipe).

Hello knock1, was in the same camp as you and thought coax was superior because folks have repeated that over and over. Had been using that glass toslink from the RME ADI-2 to a plasma TV. The cable is pretty old. I don't even recall the year and manufacturer. There are lots of substitutes these days and for a lot less.

Had bought a very good Mogami coax last year just for use with the WiiM Pro. You can imagine my surprise that such a simple cable switch produced such a dramatic improvement. One reason may be I'm in an area with a lot of competing WIFI so the RFI interference is very high. That's my theory anyway. 



Well, I have devoted today to ABC comparison in a serious way, I think.

Here is what I found. CDs outperforming Staccato after all, mostly in soundstage region. My original assessment must have been due to being greatly surprised by how much better Staccato fared while comparing it to Wiim and Node. The strangest thing was that Tidal took the last place despite choosing the highest streaming rate. MQA sounded even worse, but this probably due to Staccato not being MQA capable.

So, after all I am satisfied with this little, but quite hefty, streamer and it probably will better itself since I had it only for three days.

Thanks for tips and participation in this discussion.