Need a DAC/Streamer or a source

AL makes great gear, almost everything that comes out of their stable is amazing. Just their choice of OS. They use PlayFi - which is a nightmare to deal with. But again depends. Long time AL fan, can't live with their streamers.
AL 9000N is Lumin architecture with its own app. It had ESS sabre pro DAC chip and LPS
 
My streamer is an old MacBook Pro 2010 running Ubuntu GUI running Spotify GUI. Connected to my topping d10s DAC. It's controlled through my phone. Good enough for Spotify. Can also be made into a fully functional streamer with some guidance from mbhanghui sir.
 
I am an Audiolab 6000N streamer user for long time. It’s sound quality is amazing- much better than WiiM mini and inbuilt upnp streamer of Hegel H190.

Playfi app, even though lot of people have commented negatively- I didn’t find much as such. Yes, occasionally it may get dropped from the network, if the bandwidth is low. Need good quality internet speed. Also regarding gapless playback, if we transfer the playback to the system (AL N) itself it plays gapless.(But not truly gapless as WiiM mini, may be a second more delay is there).

But the sound quality is way better. When connected to Denafrips Ares, the background becomes dark and clean.

Thanks,
Sreejith
 
I am an Audiolab 6000N streamer user for long time. It’s sound quality is amazing- much better than WiiM mini and inbuilt upnp streamer of Hegel H190.

Playfi app, even though lot of people have commented negatively- I didn’t find much as such. Yes, occasionally it may get dropped from the network, if the bandwidth is low. Need good quality internet speed. Also regarding gapless playback, if we transfer the playback to the system (AL N) itself it plays gapless.(But not truly gapless as WiiM mini, may be a second more delay is there).

But the sound quality is way better. When connected to Denafrips Ares, the background becomes dark and clean.

Thanks,
Sreejith

I am an Audiolab 6000N streamer user for long time. It’s sound quality is amazing- much better than WiiM mini and inbuilt upnp streamer of Hegel H190.

Playfi app, even though lot of people have commented negatively- I didn’t find much as such. Yes, occasionally it may get dropped from the network, if the bandwidth is low. Need good quality internet speed. Also regarding gapless playback, if we transfer the playback to the system (AL N) itself it plays gapless.(But not truly gapless as WiiM mini, may be a second more delay is there).

But the sound quality is way better. When connected to Denafrips Ares, the background becomes dark and clean.

Thanks,
Sreejith

@journal - out of the above mentioned DAC's I have heard/owned hifi rose, mhdt, Chord, denafrips. To me out of these 4 brands, a chord qutest at approx 1 lac is the best. If I was in your place I would get a wiim pro (I own one - 20k at hifi mart) and run it into a qutest at 1 lac. This combo, again imo will beat units/combos upto 2-3 lacs. However due to wiim pro lacking usb out for audio you will not be able to experience dsd. For that you can consider upgrading to lumin u2 mini down the road. With this combo., (2.5 lac) you will easily approach 4-5 lacs sources again imo.
All of the above are based on my listening, and the formed opinions consequently (and as Jai mentioned above an R2R dac sounds very different to a chip based dac which sounds different to a fgpa dac). The qutest is a fgpa dac.
A very unpopular (due to geopolitical issues) but regardless solid sounding DAC should you consider the China hifi option is the SMSL (D400 pro at $600). To me this one beats the Chord qutest, but limited availability in India and has to be imported. It is based on an AKM chip.
Cheers,
Sid
Thank you so much for your detailed reply Sid. I went around researching and had narrowed one SMSL SU -X (900 usd), headphones imports it for you.
Some other options like Audiolab 6000N (at about (1000 usd) or audiolab 9000N ( about 3300 usd) popped up. Not sure if these are actually a good choice. any thoughts ?
 
Thank you so much for your detailed reply Sid. I went around researching and had narrowed one SMSL SU -X (900 usd), headphones imports it for you.
Some other options like Audiolab 6000N (at about (1000 usd) or audiolab 9000N ( about 3300 usd) popped up. Not sure if these are actually a good choice. any thoughts ?
Not sure about these @journal, haven't heard them so can't offer any opinion, unfortunately. However I am not a fan of ESS chip based DAC's, so right off the bat I would not even consider the SU-X personally, but that is just me. Not really sure about audiolab offerings either. Sorry, wish I could be more helpful.
Cheers,
Sid
 
Purchase the Audiolab 6000A Integrated Amplifier at a special offer price.
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