DAC suggestion for Streaming TIDAL from iPAD

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mayukh80

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Hello FM's,

with the ever growing DAC options in India, I am utterly at a loss to decide a decent DAC to stream Tidal from either my iPad or Mac.

I have a 12x15 ft room.

My music preference are Blues/ Folk/ Instrumentals (especially Piano) and occasionally old school rock/vintage metal.

I can stretch my budget max up-to 65k.

My hardware detail is in the digital signature
 

chander

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@mayukh80 - quick question - do you need a dac for Wifi/BT streaming or are you looking at hooking up with a wire and playing? Your apple devices are lightning or USB C?

Chord, Audioquest (with camera adapters), iFi and schiit are some of the tried, tested and praised companies that make the DACs - see what works for you with your requirements.

I have used the Chord Mojo/Hugo, Schiit Modi 2/3 Multibit/ bifrost, iFi Zen/XDSD and Audioquest Black/Red/Cobalt and a few others, some of these I owned, some of these I used as long term exchanges with friends. They are all very good and competent dacs, each with their own pros and cons - except the AQ Black that is perhaps the worst of all.

I do not remember the sound signature of all, but I remember Chord and Schiit made the most apparent "good" difference to my ears - with Tidal, quboz, spotify, local FLACs. The BT/Wifi streaming adds a huge convenience but in the end I sold whatever I owned and stuck to AQ Cobalt. For the simple reason that it is a take it everywhere DAC. But that is me - I am a sucker for convenience, it is not on par with a Mojo or a Bifrost, but it is has it's own advantages. In the end there is a product for every need, you see what works for you. Almost all of these (except the black) will "perhaps" not disappoint, if not knock your socks off.
 
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mayukh80

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@mayukh80 - quick question - do you need a dac for Wifi/BT streaming or are you looking at hooking up with a wire and playing? Your apple devices are lightning or USB C?
I would prefer hooking up with a wire. BT is absolute no no. My apple hardwares have lightening ports.
thanks for this comprehensive inputs. Let me check each one of them.
how would bluesound node 2i fit in?
 
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chander

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how would bluesound node 2i fit in?
I do not remember ever using it, I doubt I have. But from what I have seen it has got incredible reviews, it is a streamer though. I didn't suggest streamers as that would be a different product line altogether, so much more convenient. I was considering it recently to add to my stereo setup in my office. It has a very capable Dac inbuilt too!

As the stereo setup in question is using an Audiolab 6000a as the amp driving the Quads, my choices were 6000n or the Node 2i, 6000n being cheaper then. However the prices for both are now same, so - node 2i is what I am going for!
 
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fLUX

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I would prefer hooking up with a wire. BT is absolute no no. My apple hardwares have lightening ports.
thanks for this comprehensive inputs. Let me check each one of them.
how would bluesound node 2i fit in?

I had the bluesound node 2i for a good time, its a very handy streamer with myriad of connectivity options. The inbuilt DAC is a good one to start with , although adding a dedicated DAC like Topping D90/Ares II & other similarly priced alternatives would give a fairly decent jump in the SQ.
Overall its a worthwhile investment for anything near 40k , beyond that I think you are losing out on the value for the amount you pay.

You can read below for an indepth impression I had put in place for the Node 2i and Paradigm PW Link
 

chander

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@fLUX - you know where to get a node 2i from? I can't find it anywhere, as 6000n and node 2i are the same price now, it is an easier decision.
 

fLUX

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kapvin

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Hello FM's,

with the ever growing DAC options in India, I am utterly at a loss to decide a decent DAC to stream Tidal from either my iPad or Mac.

I have a 12x15 ft room.

My music preference are Blues/ Folk/ Instrumentals (especially Piano) and occasionally old school rock/vintage metal.

I can stretch my budget max up-to 65k.

My hardware detail is in the digital signature
If you are looking at streaming to a desktop solution, then you need an apple camera kit. (lightning to USB-Female) if possible get the USB-Female + lightening one, so you can charge your ipad while playing. then the world is your oyster.

OTOH if you want to connect a seperate dac directly to your ipad for tidal, may I push you in a different direction: I would suggest an MQA DAC. (If its there, why not use it?) here is one such, whcih has fairly good technical reviews

https://www.theaudiostore.in/products/helm-bolt-dac-amp-mqa-thx-certified

or you could get a DAC with a lightning cable directly.

or the equivalent

HiDizs S8

don let the price fool you, these are really competent performers for their price.
 

csd508868306kant

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@fLUX - you know where to get a node 2i from? I can't find it anywhere, as 6000n and node 2i are the same price now, it is an easier decision.
Try here
 

mayukh80

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If you are looking at streaming to a desktop solution, then you need an apple camera kit. (lightning to USB-Female) if possible get the USB-Female + lightening one, so you can charge your ipad while playing. then the world is your oyster.

OTOH if you want to connect a seperate dac directly to your ipad for tidal, may I push you in a different direction: I would suggest an MQA DAC. (If its there, why not use it?) here is one such, whcih has fairly good technical reviews

https://www.theaudiostore.in/products/helm-bolt-dac-amp-mqa-thx-certified

or you could get a DAC with a lightning cable directly.

or the equivalent

HiDizs S8

don let the price fool you, these are really competent performers for their price.
great ! will check out. I hope it can be connected to an integrated amp.
 

Yogesh

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If you are looking at streaming to a desktop solution, then you need an apple camera kit. (lightning to USB-Female) if possible get the USB-Female + lightening one, so you can charge your ipad while playing. then the world is your oyster.

OTOH if you want to connect a seperate dac directly to your ipad for tidal, may I push you in a different direction: I would suggest an MQA DAC. (If its there, why not use it?) here is one such, whcih has fairly good technical reviews

https://www.theaudiostore.in/products/helm-bolt-dac-amp-mqa-thx-certified

or you could get a DAC with a lightning cable directly.

or the equivalent

HiDizs S8

don let the price fool you, these are really competent performers for their price.
Both Sonata/HiDizs don't do MQA! They will work till HIFI quality though. If one is not bothered with MQA, both are fine.

But with your budget you can easily go for a streamer. It would be very convenient.

Hello FM's,

with the ever growing DAC options in India, I am utterly at a loss to decide a decent DAC to stream Tidal from either my iPad or Mac.

I have a 12x15 ft room.

My music preference are Blues/ Folk/ Instrumentals (especially Piano) and occasionally old school rock/vintage metal.

I can stretch my budget max up-to 65k.

My hardware detail is in the digital signature
I have used Zorloo Ztella and AudioQuest DF Black with Tidal, but I used them with Android. But, I believe both will work with camera adapter. I find both excellent for the price.
 
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kapvin

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great ! will check out. I hope it can be connected to an integrated amp.

My son is using a dragonfly black to output directly to the power amp and it works fine (its connected to an Rpi roon bridge). I have an S8 (cousin of tempotec) and its much more powerful than both the red and black dragonfly. I use it as a travel DAC (with lockdown, its not being used now)

The tempotec got reviewed on ASR today itself if you can believe coincidences. Good measurements so it's technically sound

 

DB1989

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Hello FM's,

with the ever growing DAC options in India, I am utterly at a loss to decide a decent DAC to stream Tidal from either my iPad or Mac.

I have a 12x15 ft room.

My music preference are Blues/ Folk/ Instrumentals (especially Piano) and occasionally old school rock/vintage metal.

I can stretch my budget max up-to 65k.

My hardware detail is in the digital signature
How did you manage to install tidal? Can't get it on the app store even if i use a VPN :(
 

kapvin

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Both Sonata/HiDizs don't do MQA! They will work till HIFI quality though. If one is not bothered with MQA, both are fine.


I have used Zorloo Ztella and AudioQuest DF Black with Tidal, but I used them with Android. But, I believe both will work with camera adapter. I find both excellent for the price.
Yes you are correct. I had used an "Or", but I think my post could have been clearer.

I have an AQ DF black and DF Red and the Sonata S8. the Sonata is the one I use.

Yes the DF black and Red work fine with the camera adaptor. the HiDIz S8 and tempotec have a lightening cable bundled so dont need a camera adaptor.
 

Yogesh

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Yes you are correct. I had used an "Or", but I think my post could have been clearer.

I have an AQ DF black and DF Red and the Sonata S8. the Sonata is the one I use.

Yes the DF black and Red work fine with the camera adaptor. the HiDIz S8 and tempotec have a lightening cable bundled so dont need a camera adaptor.
I too sometimes think of leaving my Purple light obsession and go for Sonata. :)

I liked Ztella though, But AQ DF Black is too loud & dry (In comparison to Ztella) with my current transducers.
 

mayukh80

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How did you manage to install tidal? Can't get it on the app store even if i use a VPN :(
hey ! its pretty easy. Get Hola VPN installed and download tidal. Once done, get subscription from Turkey which cost TRY 19.99 which comes to approx 250 INR a month.
 

fLUX

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How did you manage to install tidal? Can't get it on the app store even if i use a VPN :(
You can download the latest APK (if its an android phone) from the web and install, if its IOS then VPN is the only way out.
 

kapvin

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How did you manage to install tidal? Can't get it on the app store even if i use a VPN :(
AFAIK, the app store is country dependent not location dependent. so a VPN will not help. YOu have to create a new log in of a country that tidal publishes its app to (UK and US are easy Choices). then login to that app store and download. after which you can go back to your original India app store. tidal app will keep updating. (may ask you for the US/UK account login)

at least, this is what I did and it works on both IOS and Android). don't need VPN for that. I guess you do need it to create the tidal account.
 

chander

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To the OP @mayukh80 - just got myself a node 2i ordered from Revolver club. That sorts out the streamer itch!

Also I think @kapvin is correct, android is easy, you just need to download the APK, create the account using any VPN and Tidal works fantastic. However for Apple, it is country specific. I had to use my US account for Tidal on the iPad! Couldn't do it thru the Indian account.

Not sure if I can post outside videos - but here is a link as a way out -
 
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