Streaming DAC recommendation

Hello, I am researching about a streamer + DAC combo. My setup has 802 D3 McIntosh MC462 and C2600. I am looking to replace the C2600. I only listen to streaming or local files via Roon. No longer have a turn table, so I think the C2600 may not be the best pre-amp for this use case. I am considering Cambridge audio Edge NQ. I have not seen a lot of discussion around that product. I will be greatly thankful for recommendations, products similar to edge NQ. I want to keep the budget under 5K , used gear.
Thank you!


Aurender A200, Auralic Altair 2.1, Lumin P1, HiFi Rose 150b.  All within your price range.  I’ve owned none of them.  Had a HiFi Rose 250b that I liked though.  Lots of folks around here like the Aurender and Lumin components.  Not sure if Innuos has a DAC/ streamer combo but folks like Innuos as well.

You might be able to find a used Meitner MA3 for around $5-6k. One of the best streaming DACs I’ve owned.

I use the Gustard R26 which is brillant streaming Roon over an ethernet connection.  My local audio shop recommends the Eversolo DMP-A6 or A-8.

I have an Aurender and love it.   I'll normally recommend them but I have no idea how Roon interfaces with Aurender so I'll also recommend Innuos.   Great sounding streamers and software is good too.

My Dad is currently using an Eversolo A6 Master into his MA8950 Amp and honestly it sounds pretty good using the Mac's DAC card. Sounds pretty good using analog too, but seems best with USB to the Mac's DAC.   

Great system that deserves a good source .....

TMR gave me a great deal on an Aurender N200 new, they are an authorized dealer.  The A200 has a similar feature set and is a DAC/ Streamer 

They are authorized dealers for Innuos, and HiFi Rose too

OP look into a Bricasti M3 with the network card. Once heard you will be hooked, I was. 😉

@audiobuddy there are few different options here. You have streamers and music servers with a built in DAC such as Auralic Altair, Lumin D2, Aurender A200. This category units usually would have their own UI. Auralic’s Lightning DS, Lumin’s UI app and Aurender’s Conductor app (not Roon ready).
Then you have DACs with an onboard network renderer such as PS Audio DSD, Bricasti, and the above mentioned Gustard. These are going to be Roon ready or compatible with apps such as Mconnect. Digital to analog conversion will be the primary focus of these units, with the network renderer being good enough but not on par with a dedicated streamer in $3,000-$4,000+ range. 


If you want a one unit integrated solution and are not looking to have flexibility to upgrade the streamer alone, then the streamer/music server with a built in DAC is what you need. If you don’t need Roon, go with Aurender (although there are constant rumors about future Roon integration/certification). Other than that, Lumin or Auralic are good units. 

@audphile1 Thank you. Ok, I thinking two go with two box solution as you pointed out. May be Lumin D2 and some other product for streaming. I need Airplay as well.


Lumin D2 is a streamer first, DAC second kind of approach. It’s an integrated one box. 

Lumin, Auralic and Aurender all have AirPlay. These are the established brands. You also have new kids on the block such as Eversolo or HiFi Rose. I haven’t heard either.
There are differences in design between the streamers that affect sound quality. Do a bit of research. Don’t rush. 

Mola Mola Tambaqui is a one-box solution, as is the Grimm MU2, but I agree that you may ultimately appreciate a two-box solution for the future flexibility it allows.

@audiobuddy You didn’t list a Roon nucleus as the core. If you are using a computer as the core that’s less than ideal (info all over these forums ) as is airplay.

You can find a used Roon Nuc easy enough and then get a used all in one streamer/ DAC unit, maybe a Lumin T2, allowing you to stay with in your budget. This ( pecan pie+) is an inexpensive but very dang good pain crackers steamer/DAC that can be configured as a roon endpoint. I have one that replaced and bettered a Bluesound (also a good place to start) Node. 

You might also try calling PS Audio. They had and may have more refurbished Directstream DAC MK1 units  

Aurenders are great but are not Roon compatible.



@wsrrsw yes, I am using a Mac mini as my room server, trying to eliminate the Mac. Roon nucleus is a good option as well.

Recommend Lumin. Have had both the D2 and T2 connected to a Nucleus +. 


Would you message me. I’m interested in getting a N200 and am curious about the deal TMR gave you.


@audiobuddy if you’re using a fanless Mac Mini purely as a Roon core and not running it as a streamer or a household computer, it’s more than adequate to serve as Roon core. 
Aurender, as it’s been said above, is not Roon ready. If you’re planning to use Roon, I highly recommend a used Lumin U2 or U1 streamers (not the mini versions of those though).  Auralic is a good streamer but sounds best with its UI without Roon. That puts you at around $3k. Add a DAC like the Cord Qutest if you don’t require XLRs. If you need XLR connectivity, PS Audio DSD DAC can be had around $2k now. That will keep you in your budget and will be a kick ass digital front end. 

I would keep your preamp in the mix with one of the streamer/dac combos recommended here as all are very good. i've read and heard with my own ears that a good preamp adds some magic than just a day as volume control. 

I would keep your preamp in the mix with one of the streamer/dac combos recommended here as all are very good. i've read and heard with my own ears that a good preamp adds some magic than just a dac as volume control.





There is a synergy between McIntosh components, and removing the C2600 may be detrimental. Also, as recommended by some members, the Bricasti and Meitner are fine components, and I doubt that the Cambridge will surpass their performance.

Lastly, I believe your C2600 has the DA1 DAC card? I have a C2700 with a DA2 module. An upgrade to the DA2 may be the cheapest way out, and then just add a killer streamer. If you want to outdo the DA2 module, you need about $5K on an outboard DAC. I have an outboard DAC that retails for 12X the cost of the DA2 module. It is better all around than the DA2, but I am gobsmacked as to how good trickle-down DAC technology has become and how much value the DA2 brings to the table. 

Thank you all for your time and writing about all these product. If I were to pick a dedicated DAC and streamer with great UI. What would you recommend. Is PS Audio Direct-stream DAC MK2 mentioned here a good dedicated DAC?

I read a lot of reviews about HiFi Rose 150B, especially about the software and the integration. Will it make sense to use 150B and a separate DAC or just use the 150B. As far as Lumin, I love the hardware quality, looks like the app to control streaming sources are not great is what I understood after reading about it.

I would recommend Small Green Computer over Roon Nucleus.  Way cheaper, but integrates beautifully with Roon. And then that givesultimate flexibility for dac/streamer options.  I have 4 systems with four different dac/streamer options, and they all work seamlessly. (You can check my systems under my profile; I’m about to replace the Raspberry Pi in one system with a Pro-Ject S2 Stream Ultra.) My best is the Gold Note DS10, which combines streamer and DAC.

If you can stretch your budget a little, consider the Cary DMS 700 from Cary Direct.  They rarely come up used but should come in just under $5K if you can find one.

Well, lots of good recommendations here so I’ll add a couple more because I’m prone to complicate things.  First, I’d recommend a separate DAC and streamer.  Second, if user interface is important to you an Innuos streamer may be your best option.  As far as a DAC, that really depends on what kind of sound you’re looking for so need more info to make a recommendation there.

My recent experience echos those here who recommend separating server, streamer, and DAC.  I actually moved my server to a separate room with my modem and router, and their own dedicated power line, leaving my streamer and DAC in the room with my main system.

I also believe the streamer and especially the DAC can make a significant difference in the quality of sound you hear.  Adding a Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical streamer to feed my DAC via USB was an improvement, and not just because of the optical connection because I was already using fiber connections.  However, I am still interested in trying out the Innuos Pulsar based on the many positive endorsements as well as the ability to compare their Sense app to Roon, which I use now.

Can't go wrong IMO with a Lumin. I have a T3 and I really like it. I wrote a comparison here of it and the HiFi Rose 150B (streamer/DAC) if these are candidates you find interesting.   

Thanks. I ended up ordering a T2 and Michi P5 as pre.

I will have compare T2 vs P5 and see how to wire them up