Using streaming as a main source ---DSD, FLAC, MQA Streamers and DACS

As I read these forums, and watch copious amounts of Youtube, I'm struck by what a bad idea some of the streaming / digital formats are doing. I'm trying to build a system where I have a streamer, dad, and amplifier (with pre-amp) as separate components but what I keep finding is that the streaming/digital world is totally confused.


MQA seems to be both advancing with new MQair support and dying (few audiophiles seem to like it).

-- DSD -- 

Seems to be favored by High-end audiophiles but not streaming services. 

-- FLAC --

FLAC seems to be pushed by Qobuz which seems to be the preferred service for high quality audio (but not for music recommendations). 


Choosing a Streamer / DAC is a nightmare -- given the industry going back and forth on quality, formats, special licensing. Does one choose the formats they want to use and then find appropriate DAC etc or does one choose a DAC that sounds great and then accept its limitations.

I don't understand why streamers don't commit to upscaling to 24/192 or DSD256 for any format so the DAC peeps can focus on a single format. 

So how does one decide where to start? 






@kiwiscott Take it you are in New Zealand. If you are USA or 🇨🇦. Where are you? Asking to see if there’s a friendly sort here that you might visit or what dealerships to point you towards?



FLAC is a lossless compression container for WAV files and not an audio format on it's own.

Start with a starter streamer and not a computer. Do your research! DAC’s and streamers, like every other piece of equipment have a sound. You might have to experiment until you get it how you like.

The T&A 200dac is fantastic and only $6900 it beats or competes with anythjng out there at 2x the price ,plus it’s built forHQ player and Roon.