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.



@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.


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

That wouldn’t surprise me at all.  Although, looking at the specs (on a phone), I think (“think” being the key word here, not “know”) this refers to the old Nagra DAC, not the DAC X.  The DAC X has a FPGA of unknown origin, spec’d and programmed to Nagra’s design.  That could be PBD, but it doesn’t look to be on the surface.

still the FPGA is not how you’d think they would design a world class DAC, which is both of our’s ultimate point.

what is surprising is the Nagra IS world class and sounds awesome and is consistently ranked in the top contenders of DACS in pretty well thought out shoot outs by very disparate reviewers and sophisticated users.  The top several are almost always (in no particular order) :   An MBS; one of the top dCS (Bartok or Vivaldi), the Mola Tambqui (which comes in at a fraction of the price of the others), the Nagra HD DAC X, and then the fifth spot more variable.

missing from the “top” lists I note are some of the most expensive, such as WaDax Reference or Atlantis.  So it’s not just a price list.

And the Nagra gets its sound from the expensive components:  32 (or something) independent power supplies, true dual mono set up, literal hand made custom transformers, etc thst take the fragile converted analog signal and pass it on.

All while using spectacularly implemented, very nice, but otherwise unremarkable digital conversion.

While the others use exceptional and novel digital conversion (eg especially the Tambaqui) to get similar results.

If Nagra could license the Tambaqui (or similar) tech, stick two of these superior digital front ends into its dual mono design and stunning analog side, it would have something that is the unquestionable market crusher.

But alas.

The FPGA based DAC was first created by Andreas Koch at Playback Designs. Everyone else is following his coattails. Nagra decided to just buy the boards from PBD instead of creating their own, such as PS Audio (Ted Smith). I read somewhere that Ted spent time with Andreas to learn how to do FPGA.

These 2 videos are informative on the history of digital.

E89: Andreas Koch and Digital Recording (

E93: More with Andreas Koch! (

I think doing digital correctly is complicated and I question the credentials of almost every company charging an arm and a leg for their DACs. At least with Andreas I can justify paying for his knowledge.

One reason I bought the Schitt Yggi+ LIM and the OG was because of the long digital history of the designer, Mike Moffat.

I will get one more DAC in the future and that will be either a PBD or Rockna, because of the designers.

BTW - the implementation of the Tambaqui was first done around 2006 by Bruno P. This was for the Makua preamp’s optional DAC module. The Tambaqui was the result of customers asking for an external DAC.

There was in interview on ASR web site were Bruno said this


good stuff @yyzsantabarbara ! Thanks.

What do you know of the new products by Master Fidelity, the Nadac D and Nadac C?  Reviews are over the top.