Mola Mola Tambaqui Roon vs Separate Streamers

I'm currently using my Mola Mola Tambaqui with Roon streaming Tidal.

Has anyone added a separate streamer such as the Auralic Aries G2/2.1 or the Lumin U1?  If so, was differences did you hear with the streamer addition?  Is it worthwhile?  

I'd love to hear feedback from other Tambaqui owners.



@blisshifi I changed the stock cables to AQ hurricanes and added a power conditioner. Also, changed from RCA to a really nice XLR intercomnects. That has definitely helped with the harshness. I am getting more fuller and bolder sound with all the separation etc. So far I really like this N20/Tambaqui combo. 

I will play around with the voltage setting. DAC is feeding to Luxman 509z. Not sure wif the amp matters for different voltage outputs. 

@saurabhgarg That’s great to hear! And the N20 is a wonderful streamer to pair with the Tambaqui as well - it’s very tonally rich for a streamer.

Let us know what you find with the voltage settings. In most cases a higher voltage of 4V or 5V won’t clip, overload or distort, but you should be able to switch through them easily and choose the one that pairs best with your amp. 



Lumin has a slightly more detailed/analytical sound, so you should be looking potentially at more harmonically rich DACs. I am an authorized T+A dealer, so take this with a grain of salt, but if you’re looking at the DCS Vivaldi Apex, one unit to consider is the T+A PSD 3100 HV.

Thank you for the post.  I looked pretty hard at the T+A SD 3100 HV, but never tried it, due to not knowing where to find one to listen to.  (Or, more accurately, not being able to figure out how to get to a place to go listen to one.)  So I may need to hunt you down.  I'm not in a hurry, as the Esoteric DAC is not offensive, at all.  Is that also a good choice among the TA line?

When you say "more harmonically rich DAC", what do you think (and I know I'm asking about a competitor) about the Nagra HD DAC X?  I am just flat in love with my Nagra HD pre, and the scant reviews of the Nagra DACX are good, but there is little technical information about the DAC itself.  It looks like an exceptionally fantastic power supply and "analog side", but the actual DAC looks to be a pretty off-the-shelf (albeit very nicely done) FPGA, just based on how little anyone talks about it.

@davetheoilguy The SD 3100 HV is T+A’s reference level standalone DAC with streamer, which will save you $3K or so if you don’t need the preamp in the SDV 3100 HV. That said, the preamp in the SDV is a performance equivalent of T+A’s $23K reference preamp, but the SDV has less ins and outs. You may be able to get farther if you were open to trading / selling your preamp and cables and jumping to the SDV instead, but in either way, both the SD and SDV are amongst the best DACs I’ve ever heard. The built in streamers are also very good and approach the quality of my Aurender N30SA (not quite, but close), so you may not even need the Lumin. 

I have very limited experience with Nagra, unfortunately. I have a client with the Nagra CD player with a built in DAC (not a higher level one), and it sounds decent. Unfortunately Nagra is a brand that doesn’t appear much at shows, and I haven’t yet had a client trade in a Nagra such that I could demo one. There is also a dealer not too far from me that sells Nagra, so it’s not a brand I can take on. Maybe it’s a good thing that they don’t get traded often, though I also don’t know many people who own their digital equipment. I know the reel to reel and amps are more common. 



Nagra DACs get PlayBack Designs digital boards. They also do not get the best PBD boards. Those are saved for the cheaper PBD DACs (relative to Nagra). I read this in an interview with the PBD designer Andreas Koch.