Suggestions for a streamer only (I have a great DAC)

I have a dCS Paganini DAC and Paganini Clock. I’m looking for a streamer only to pair with the Paganini to stream via Tidal.  That’s it, I don’t need a streamer/DAC/etc.  I don’t want to extra for pay for redundancy.  Any good suggestions on a streamer only  that you have paired to a high end DAC with good results would be appreciated. 


PLEASE no “try some at home on your system” responses …. that’s the reason I came here, for some recommendations. Price range $1500-$5000.






Thank you for your excellent article.  I have been considering all 3 of the streamers you mentioned and your comparisons and comments are very helpful.

I have had some recent experience with some of the streamers mentioned. In my office system which I listen to more than the main one now I have a metrum acoustics adagio NOS DAC / preamp and stream into it from either a metrum ambre - which sounds very good - or direct from an innuos mini mk3 which sounds quite considerably better. You have to enable squeezebox lite in roon to do this. The only issue is that when its streaming from tidal (as oppose to from its hard drive) you get occasional drop outs which to be fair roon warns you about with squeezebox. 

In my main system I have a Lumin A1 which i have had for years bypassing its own DAC streaming into a border patrol DAC. This sounds v fine too but again when I have swapped in the innuos it sounds richer, cleaner, more engaging.

It was actually Gary Dews at Border Patrol who recommended streaming direct from the Innuos to the BP DAC as apparently he does that when he demos the DAC at shows. Something to do with its linear power supply. So if I had to keep one of the three streamers Id keep the innuos.

My question would be - I love the Aurender displays but they arent roon compatible. Anyone know a streamer with such a high quality display which does roon? Auralic I guess...




I have a Stack Audio Link II on order and should arrive next week. I bought it as an upgrade to my Bluesound Node 2i. I'm a little apprehensive about the change in software- not quite sure how something like Bubble upnp will compare to the nice Bluesound functionality. We shall see and I shall report.

dCS Network Bridge! I had NWB + Paganini DAC, a great combination. Replaced them with a Bartok. Quite similar in sound, actually. Maybe the NWB + Paganini had a little more air and refinement on the top end and Bartok a little more density and anchored sound. In the end it was more about the single box package and nicer looks rather than SQ upgrade. NWB comes up every month or two on the used market at < $4k. You can also potentially get rid of the Paganini clock as the NWB can also serve as word clock for the Paganini DAC, just have to see if the dedicated clock provides enough improvement, if any, to justify it.

Tried Lumin X1, both as streamer/DAC and just streamer into the Paganini, but found the NWB to be more natural sounding and dynamic.

I wanted to buy an Innuos Zenith, but given it only works with USB DAC's, I had to look elsewhere.  If they ever add SPDIF or AES/EBU compatibility, I will seriously reconsider.