Musical Streaming Services

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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u252agz
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Musical Streaming Services

Post by u252agz »

I have been using Tidal for the last 6 weeks really enjoying the improvement when compared to my back up NAS drive - covered in the 'Musical NAS Drives' thread.

Last week my kitchen system sounded much better than usual and it was my daughter using her spotify account to stream through the sneaky and Ninkas. Much to her annoyance, I immediately played the same album with Tidal ( CD quality) and it was clear to us both that spotify was better- much more musical.

Signing up to a three month free trial of Spotify, I have now done back to back comparisions of the same songs with Spotify and Tidal and the result is consistent - Spotify is more musical. It took my son all of three seconds of one track to confirm this!

The difference is even more marked in the bedroom ( Sneaky/boazu/ Komponent 110s) and the main room ( KDS2/Monos/242s).

Tidal at times seems to have better sounds and can seem initially very 'impressive' but Spotify is the one which makes more sense and is clearly better on my digital network.

It is also half the price at £10 a month and I much prefer the user interface on the spotify app. The only downside is that it needs IOS 11 to work and therefore my old iphones and ipods will become redundant as control units.

As I have said before - the digital world makes no sense to me at all.

I thought streaming CD quality would be better but in some ways I should not be so surprised- I have never found Hi res files to be better than a good rips from a well recorded album on a CD.

Now I am wondering about Quobuz and perhaps other streaming services.
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beck
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by beck »

u252agz wrote: 2020-02-21 09:54 As I have said before - the digital world makes no sense to me at all.
I do not think you are alone on this. :-)

Once again getting to the core of what is important in music replay comes out victorious.
In need of good music.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Spannko »

Qobuz has just reduced the price of its high res service to £15/month.

I’m really enjoying Qobuz, but I don’t know how it compares to the other streaming services. The DIY Netgear PS recordings use Qobuz as the source. My wife’s got Spotify, so I could do a comparison, if I can figure out how to play it through the DS.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by TMV »

Spannko wrote: 2020-02-21 11:11 My wife’s got Spotify, so I could do a comparison, if I can figure out how to play it through the DS.
You can just use Spotify connect.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by u252agz »

Re using Spotify on DS

It should be straightforward but it took me a bit of time to get used to it.

On the Spotify app - there is an option for either listening on the device with the app, or 'connecting with devices'

This should have all your DS machines listed and you simply choose the one you want - and hey presto it works with the app acting as remote ( the DS is written in green in small font)

It seems to be much better if you download the albums on the spotify app before playing them through the DS,; you can have multiple albums downloaded and then play them as you would on a NAS drive.

Enjoy and do report back.

The more I play around with the Digital Front end - the more I realise how critical this is to play back. I have put the KDS/2 to Katalyst upgrade on the back burner for now and will concentrtate on this aspect for now.

I have half a mind to get the Innuos Zen min III just to compare with Spotify and also to store the music I cant find on the streaming services.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Flatcoat »

I personally rate Spotify very highly and have been using it for several years now. I tried Tidal but found that a lot of the artists that I listen to on Spotify were missing.

With regards sound quality, most of the demos I had at my dealers were done using Spotify and there was nothing wrong with the quality of the music.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by u252agz »

Having listened to your main system when I traded my tundra stereo for the Monos all those yrs ago, all I can say is that : if Spotify is good enough for you, it will be good enough for most of us .
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by u252agz »

Update on Spotify :

Definitely more musical than Tidal - and as a bonus the user interface is better.

Only down side is that one needs IOS 11 to be able to use the spotify app on iphones/ipods.

Some of the albums sound so good with Spotify (with my KDS2) that I often think it is not worth trying the same album on my LP12. However each time I do the comparision - the vinyl adds quite a bit more, and ends up being not even close.

Still very,very enjoyable and definitely a keeper.

I will be deleting my 'free Tidal membership' and converting my free Spotify to a standard subscription one in two months.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Spannko »

u252agz wrote: 2020-03-05 18:32 Update on Spotify :

Definitely more musical than Tidal - and as a bonus the user interface is better.

Only down side is that one needs IOS 11 to be able to use the spotify app on iphones/ipods.

Some of the albums sound so good with Spotify (with my KDS2) that I often think it is not worth trying the same album on my LP12. However each time I do the comparision - the vinyl adds quite a bit more, and ends up being not even close.

Still very,very enjoyable and definitely a keeper.

I will be deleting my 'free Tidal membership' and converting my free Spotify to a standard subscription one in two months.
Interesting. I made one comparison of Qobuz through the new Linn app compared to Spotify through the Spotify app (ported to the DS), and the difference was quite large, in favour of Qobuz, so much so that I couldn’t be arsed to do any more comparisons!

Do you have any tracks which sound particularly good on Spotify which I can use to compare against Qobuz?
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by u252agz »

Maybe Qubuz is better- I will give it a go and report back.

On Spotify - I find most things enjoyable and 'good for digital' but try Joss stone''s 'Soul sessions' (the first one ) or Roxy music's Avalon, which I tried yesterday.

With spotify are you downloading the albums onto to your handheld device and then playing off line, with your device as a remote? - this is much better than live streaming. Initially my system took a few attempts to accept this method and did not sound nearly as good until it had.

My daughter had done live streaming for a while and only when she did the above did I sit up and take notice.

The one big caveat for interuser digital comparisions is of course that I am sure all of our digital networks from Router to Switches and cables are very variable and we may not be comparing apples with apples.

If Qubuz is indeed better than spotify- I shall be very happy and defer the upgrade to KDS3 even longer. - hopefully until Linn have the KDS4
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Math »

I'm sure Qobuz and Tidal sound the same as long as they got the same masters from the record labels, that is if it's nothing strange is happening in the streaming part on their side?

When I had Spotify years ago, my mind always drifted away and I lost interest in the music, and I know others that have explained the same phenomena while listening to Spotify. All prefer Tidal by a big margin.
Maybe you found a solution to the problem? Have you tried doing the same with Tidal and somehow stream the offline content directly from the phone to your KDS, if that's possible?
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by u252agz »

I will do as you suggest and report back with Qobuz and Tidal.

Forgot to mention that with Spotify do remember to go into settings and in ‘music quality ‘ tab select highest quality.

I think the source data makes so much difference to the musicality of streamers that it is worth spending a lot of time with this.

For example I have been reliably told that the Zen mini III Nas drive, which I was considering, sounds much better with a dedicated innuous power supply - digital sources are really worth getting as good as possible for ones system, no matter how good the streamer may be.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by u252agz »

Spotify vs Qobuz

Have finally had time to do this.

Qobuz is better on my system - and that’s saying something as Spotify was very good and many leagues ahead of Tidal in terms of musicality ( but not sound)

The sound is much better (Tidal standard I would guess) and timing and musicality are also improved but perhaps by a smaller margin.

I could easily live with Spotify - musical with good sound , great interface, family friendly and cheaper.

But Qobuz is better and probably worth it for the KDS.

Initially I thought Tidal was good but compared to the other two it is lacking on the crucial musicality/ timing aspect.

I’ll probably keep both - Family package for Spotify and Qobuz for myself.

As I have said before anyone with a Linn DS should certainly explore these streaming services and compare to their NAS drives.

I have said this before, but I do think the Digital source may be as important as the streamer , if not more so- I wish I had appreciated this earlier.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Matteo »

Thanks

Very informative

I’m still waiting that Qobuz reduces its price in Italy

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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by u252agz »

Qobuz studio premiere is expensive - in the UK it is £15 a month.

However - the alternative for me is an innuos 2TB Zen mini NAS drive with a separate power supply at approximately £1500. Assuming a 5 year shelf life for computer equipment that is £300 a year or £25 a month.

With all the potential for IT issues after the first year guarantee runs out - streaming services begin to look like good value in terms of cost and maintenance issues.

Spotify premium Family package is really good value - we would have five people using this for £15 a month.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Matteo »

u252agz wrote: 2020-04-20 20:26 Qobuz studio premiere is expensive - in the UK it is £15 a month.
In Italy it is currently 25 €/month ... a bloodbath

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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Tendaberry »

Matteo wrote: 2020-04-20 20:44
u252agz wrote: 2020-04-20 20:26 Qobuz studio premiere is expensive - in the UK it is £15 a month.
In Italy it is currently 25 €/month ... a bloodbath

M.
If you pay a year in advance, it's € 16,58/month in Germany, that's ok I think.
Correction: was too quick and too optimistic, same price in Germany as in Italy, 249,99 annually
Last edited by Tendaberry on 2020-04-21 15:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Matteo »

20.88 € per month here
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by tokenbrit »

u252agz wrote: 2020-04-20 20:26 Spotify premium Family package is really good value - we would have five people using this for £15 a month.
Agreed. That's what we went with here for a variety of reasons... $15/month here for the pair of us and has the integration & library, with more than acceptable musicality, to make it great vfm.

Good to know about Qobuz Studio Premier, tho' - "Only $14.99 per month" here so may have to give the 1 month free trial a go, but they don't seem to have a family plan so it would be 'and Spotify', rather than instead of... The biggest issue appears to be Qobuz on Linux since Qobuz revoked the access keys that allowed Linux based apps such as upmpdcli to work - that would mean no Qobuz streaming on Hakai, unless anyone knows different.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Linntek »

Matteo wrote: 2020-04-20 20:44
u252agz wrote: 2020-04-20 20:26 Qobuz studio premiere is expensive - in the UK it is £15 a month.
In Italy it is currently 25 €/month ... a bloodbath

M.
I'm gonna tease you a bit. A quick calculation you have gear for 16000 €

You can have Qobuz for 55 years for that kind of money :-)
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Matteo »

Linntek wrote: 2020-04-21 16:16 I'm gonna tease you a bit. A quick calculation you have gear for 16000 €
Wrong teasing

I spent a lot more than 16,000€

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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by Discodave »

Interesting observations here. I have had and experimented with Tidal, Quboz and Spotify. As far as musicality is concerned it was Tidal that took the honours without a doubt. They all have their merits. Each to their own. Whatever you're happy with is what counts.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by pidge22 »

I have qobuz studio at £14.99 per month & the quality is superb so much so that I have not downloaded anything to my NAS for a while....
My only gripe is that most of the new releases are from artists I have not heard from before & most of it tat that I assume as they are unkown Qobuz pay less royalties to....
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by stype »

With Tidal you need the "Tidal HIFI" subscription to have CD or MQA quality.
With the "Tidal" subscription you have mp3 quality like Spotify.

I tested Spotify, Tidal HIFI and Quboz. On my system Tidal HIFI and Quboz were much better than Spotify.

I decided on Tidal HIFI and it's so good I haven't used my digitized CDs from NAS any more.
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Re: Musical Streaming Services

Post by VicD »

Interesting as I have been evaluating streaming services since I purchased my Lyngdorf which is Roon compatible. In my listening seems to me that local files stored on my NAS sound as good as Tidal or Qobuz. It also depends on the music but even some hi-Rez 96k or MQA material didn’t really have an edge over my 44k local counterpart. Qobuz has a better Jazz, especially Fusion, catalog than Tidal. Truth be told, I use Apple Music family plan and my local stored music at this point. If I need a specific recording I will buy it on HDTracks or the like...
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