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Lindemann Limetree Network Streamer Review & Comments

nicfaz

Active Member
I enjoyed that well-written review, thanks Ed!

I'm still not going to spend £900 on a little metal box, but at least now I feel like it would be interesting if I did :)
 

larkone

Well-known Member
So it does the same job but with less features (no digital out, no multiroom) than a £120 Teufel Connector all for the bargain price of £900 :confused:

Nice to see for that money that they really pushed the boat out on case design - bet it cost a whole $1
 
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steve sph

Active Member
Well written and informative review as usual, but for me this will be joining that 18 grand JVC projector on the 'I'm Sure It's Really Good But For That Price It Bloody Well Should Be' list.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
£900 box with a £10 cd player attached? hmmm.
It is £900 to generate press hype. If it was only £99, people would not even bother reviewing it.

Sorry for my cynicism-it is a disease i am fighting.
 

GrannySmith

Active Member
And maybe fawning remarks like "the Network audio streamer is a bit of a gift to us all" with regard to a tiny box selling for £900 only gives some of the established industry charlatans the idea that its okay to carry on rinsing their customers with hugely marked-up RRP's...no wonder the hi-fi market is slowly dying a death!
 

unground

Standard Member
Genuinely intrigued by the discussion as I've no idea if £900 is taking the pee or amazing value for this. As one (of many) measures, anyone have any idea of the BOM and integration/software dev effort? If, for example, those Japanese doodads are 50 quid a pop just by themselves then that's one thing. If they're 10p and they're the star attraction, that's another. How about the clever timing stuff? Expensive and really hard, or dirt cheap and trivial?
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
OK, let's put another way. If someone can build me the same device- same spec, format handling, software, licenses (and yes, I would like that not inconsequentially expensive Roon license retained please) and then build it in the EU using well paid people who know what they're doing- for significantly less, I'll buy one (more specifically I'd have a Bridge because I have some great decoding hardware already but the point stands).

Genuinely intrigued by the discussion as I've no idea if £900 is taking the pee or amazing value for this. As one (of many) measures, anyone have any idea of the BOM and integration/software dev effort? If, for example, those Japanese doodads are 50 quid a pop just by themselves then that's one thing. If they're 10p and they're the star attraction, that's another. How about the clever timing stuff? Expensive and really hard, or dirt cheap and trivial?
The penny starts to drop. The AKM hardware isn't that expensive- about £30-35 for the bits once import and tax have been paid but that's still about five times the cost of a basic ESS Sabre. The clock is also pricey and none of the board components are low rent either. Software development, I have no idea for this specific product but based on some experience in the field, isn't cheap and neither are those licenses.

Then to add a significant cost, it isn't made in the Far East. If that doesn't matter to you, that's fair enough but if I had a pound for every time I'd watched someone on this site complain about jobs being lost abroad and then, apparently without a trace of irony, complain how much UK built stuff costs, I could probably buy one of these.
 

Jason72

Active Member
Hi Ed,
Great review, although It appears to be getting a lukewarm response from Forum Members.

Here lies the problem (for me anyway), I have put together a selection of hardware with the emphasis on value for money. I have a Sony TA-A1ES amplifier that I obtained for £400 (albeit weighing in at an eyewatering retail price of £2,000), a Marantz CD6006UK for £300 and Dynaudio special 40's (they bankrupted me after somebody on this Forum reviewed them with a full 10 score, any ideas who that was Ed) ? 😉
Now, to finish the setup I need a streamer with a good quality DAC (seperates) or a good combination. I have looked at the following, Bluesound Node 2i with a seperate DAC, (maybe the Chord Qutest Dac), Cambridge Audio CXN Version2, Cambridge Audio Azur 851N and even a used Lumin T1. Out of these, the 851N seemed the tidiest and most sensible route. That was until this review surfaced.
I would like to subscribe to Quboz Hi-res and also attach a hard drive/Nas with hi-res audio files.
I'm so confused, could you please point me in the right direction. If I'm being totally honest, I'd like to get the best out of the special 40's. Maybe in time I could replace the (Dacless) Sony amplifier for something better but lots of people speak highly of it and it sounds pretty good to me.
Some items I would try and purchase secondhand (chord Dac, Lumin T1, Azur851N) to keep the price down.
Gregory
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
lol don't get too excited about "rip-off Britain".

Plenty of stuff on the continent that is 20-50% more then it is in the UK. There are budget amps in the UK that sell for under 500 quid, yet here they retail for 899+.

Such is life.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
Oops
 
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Jokerr

Well-known Member
OK, let's put another way. If someone can build me the same device- same spec, format handling, software, licenses (and yes, I would like that not inconsequentially expensive Roon license retained please) and then build it in the EU using well paid people who know what they're doing- for significantly less, I'll buy one (more specifically I'd have a Bridge because I have some great decoding hardware already but the point stands).

Purely on sound quality does this device better the NAD M10 as a front end Streaming comparison? Or is that a comparison too difficult to do since NAD M10 is obviously an AMPLIFIER aswell as DAC, Streamer.

The penny starts to drop. The AKM hardware isn't that expensive- about £30-35 for the bits once import and tax have been paid but that's still about five times the cost of a basic ESS Sabre. The clock is also pricey and none of the board components are low rent either. Software development, I have no idea for this specific product but based on some experience in the field, isn't cheap and neither are those licenses.

Then to add a significant cost, it isn't made in the Far East. If that doesn't matter to you, that's fair enough but if I had a pound for every time I'd watched someone on this site complain about jobs being lost abroad and then, apparently without a trace of irony, complain how much UK built stuff costs, I could probably buy one of these.
Purely on sound quality would you say it is superior to the Streamer/DAC section of the NAD M10?
 

vkvedam

Active Member
@Ed Selley I admire your justification towards UK and EU made products but you can't apply that logic in this era of technology. I could go on about it but to start with for a £900 product like this not providing digital out is what I would consider as a crime.

Let me ask you something, how many others gadgets and products you use everyday are made in the UK/EU?
 

redtigga

Active Member
Hi Ed - great article which I have been looking forward to ever since you teased about the product on the podcast. I currently have a a mojo/poly looped into a Denon AVR x220W and Monitor Audio Bronze 5.1. I am very happy with the sound particularly when using Roon. However I want something that can flip between Roon and Spotify (where the family has all their playlists) a bit easier - and to reclaim the mojo/poly as a poratable dac/amp combo.

Do you consider the Limtree to be a) better than the mojo/poly and b) would the Denon do it justice?
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
@Ed Selley I admire your justification towards UK and EU made products but you can't apply that logic in this era of technology. I could go on about it but to start with for a £900 product like this not providing digital out is what I would consider as a crime.
As noted, if you want digital outputs, Lindemann makes the Bridge which has them (and costs less). They’ve taken the (not erroneous in my view), position that people rarely use both.

Let me ask you something, how many others gadgets and products you use everyday are made in the UK/EU?
In no particular order my;
Watch*
Glasses
Coffee maker
Most of my kitchen hardware
Toaster
Car
75% of my Hi-Fi
Hoover
And one of my camera lenses were made in the UK/EU. All see use every day or few days. This ignores non technical stuff like clothes etc too.

*EEA but the concept stands.
 

simonblue

Distinguished Member
I am not into streaming,but if i was from your review,sound like a great streamer,i dont care what things look like,to me its always about the S/Q.

Ps another good review here


Its performance puts the Network right at the top of the tree for a sub-£1,000 streamer. The Lindemann has a tonal balance that delivers a performance that is lively and energetic ad exceptionally refined. A controlled top and that makes for a satisfying listen and doesn't rob it andy of its energy, the bass response om particular is a wonderful balance of depth, detail and speed. Tonality is also extremely good both with voices and instruments. sweet and engaging there are gains to the space around the presentation and the three dimensionality of the performance. There's an order and cohesion that shows the piece off in its best light, and highlights exceptional levels of realism. I have yet to encounter a better streaming performance at the price. If you simply want the best-sounding network audio player for less than £1,000, go for this.

"
- Hi-Fi Choice -
5 Stars


:)
 
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vkvedam

Active Member
In no particular order my;
Watch*
Glasses
Coffee maker
Most of my kitchen hardware

Toaster
Car
75% of my Hi-Fi
Hoover
And one of my camera lenses were made in the UK/EU. All see use every day or few days. This ignores non technical stuff like clothes etc too.

*EEA but the concept stands.
Made in the UK, seriously. I didn't know that we could buy such stuff which is still being made in the UK. Thanks for the insight, I shall read upon it when making future purchases.

Correction: Hoover is American by the way, isn't it? Unless you are referring to vacuum ;-)

On a different note, I am an audiophile with an engineer's mindset so unless an audio product hits all the basic metrics I consider the presentation to be coloured which about 90% of the audiophiles prefer and I am OK with that. I said the same thing to Phil and Steve. Audio needs the same amount of focus as TVs and needs measurements as well.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Made in the UK, seriously. I didn't know that we could buy such stuff which is still being made in the UK. Thanks for the insight, I shall read upon it when making future purchases.
Or the EU (watch, coffee maker, car, camera lens etc). It's not that I always actively seek out stuff built here... but the best stuff usually is.

Correction: Hoover is American by the way, isn't it? Unless you are referring to vacuum ;-)
I'm using it in the descriptive term but mine is entirely assembled in the UK.

On a different note, I am an audiophile with an engineer's mindset so unless an audio product hits all the basic metrics I consider the presentation to be coloured which about 90% of the audiophiles prefer and I am OK with that. I said the same thing to Phil and Steve. Audio needs the same amount of focus as TVs and needs measurements as well.
Unfortunately, a measuring suite for video, while not inexpensive, isn't too costly and is reasonably compact. One for audio is not. I'm neither willing nor able to give a room over to it. The other aspect of this is that there are measurements beyond the basic that seem to have a significant effect on listeners in blind (and, yes, double blind) environments. Filter arrangements, clocking and jitter figures are affecting people's responses to product quite a way past the point that some people would have me believe that 'sufficiency' has been achieved.

Purely on sound quality would you say it is superior to the Streamer/DAC section of the NAD M10?
Yes I would. The catch is that you can't do what the NAD does for less than the remaining cost of the M10. That's what makes the M10 special; It's hard to choose individual bits that can do as much as it does as well as it does for the same price.

Hi Ed - great article which I have been looking forward to ever since you teased about the product on the podcast. I currently have a a mojo/poly looped into a Denon AVR x220W and Monitor Audio Bronze 5.1. I am very happy with the sound particularly when using Roon. However I want something that can flip between Roon and Spotify (where the family has all their playlists) a bit easier - and to reclaim the mojo/poly as a poratable dac/amp combo.

Do you consider the Limtree to be a) better than the mojo/poly and b) would the Denon do it justice?
Might it be worth looking at the Bridge, keeping the Mojo as the decoder for now (and possibly updating it later) and using the Poly when you go out and about? The supporting electronics will be fine with it- sure you can get more out of it later but it's not going to screw everything up just by adding it.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
Thank you Ed, for your insight and analysis.
 

vkvedam

Active Member
@Ed Selley You reviewed quite a few streamers in the past 6-12 months. Most of them are around £500 ballpark with all of them getting 8/9 out of 10. In fact you gave the Node 2i 'Best in Class' badge. After skimming through all of it is it fair to say that the main thing that sets them apart is in the software/app implementation plus the ongoing support going forward, considering we all use a good DAC?
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
@Ed Selley You reviewed quite a few streamers in the past 6-12 months. Most of them are around £500 ballpark with all of them getting 8/9 out of 10. In fact you gave the Node 2i 'Best in Class' badge. After skimming through all of it is it fair to say that the main thing that sets them apart is in the software/app implementation plus the ongoing support going forward, considering we all use a good DAC?
The Node 2i is a peerless piece of kit- it's still the best thing anywhere near the price and the native Bluesound app is a bit better than the native Limetree app. The Limetree adds DSD decoding and upsampling and it does sound better in both this state and when running native. Whether this is worth another £395 to you is an area of subjectivity, I have to leave to people to decide for themselves.
 

steve sph

Active Member
So the best stuff is 'usually built here?'
Really?
Purely my two pennerth but I think that's a pretty bold boast.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
So the best stuff is 'usually built here?'
Really?
Purely my two pennerth but I think that's a pretty bold boast.
Depends what you want and your preferences but, quite a bit of it yes. Take kitchenware, specifically knives. I've done the Japanese asymmetric stuff in the past and, frankly, unless you're willing to devote an unreasonable amount of time to maintaining them, they're fragile and labour intensive. This time around, I've gone for German ones (Wuesthof) and I simply cannot believe how much easier they are to keep sharp and they're much (much) less brittle. With other stuff in the kitchen too- LeCreuset cast iron pans, Dualit toasters, Bialetti stove top coffee maker etc- they're so robust as to be practically immortal and they work incredibly well.

We do ourselves and Europe down but there are only a small number of categories where a product that isn't among the very best isn't made somewhere in it. With the specific relevance to this review though, it is more that simply building the Lindemann in Munich means it is going to cost more than it would from the Far East. Again, people will have to decide if it's worth it to them but it's an unavoidable facet of the total cost.
 

Sandyb01

Active Member
Depends what you want and your preferences but, quite a bit of it yes. Take kitchenware, specifically knives. I've done the Japanese asymmetric stuff in the past and, frankly, unless you're willing to devote an unreasonable amount of time to maintaining them, they're fragile and labour intensive. This time around, I've gone for German ones (Wuesthof) and I simply cannot believe how much easier they are to keep sharp and they're much (much) less brittle. With other stuff in the kitchen too- LeCreuset cast iron pans, Dualit toasters, Bialetti stove top coffee maker etc- they're so robust as to be practically immortal and they work incredibly well.

We do ourselves and Europe down but there are only a small number of categories where a product that isn't among the very best isn't made somewhere in it. With the specific relevance to this review though, it is more that simply building the Lindemann in Munich means it is going to cost more than it would from the Far East. Again, people will have to decide if it's worth it to them but it's an unavoidable facet of the total cost.
Generally agree - there are plenty of European brands that are either very high quality, very stylish and luxurious or all three. The American brands generally down do luxury nearly as well, which partly reflects the US consumer who is on average more concerned with price and basic functionality. This extends to his end fashion, cars, watches and more.

People fall too easily into parroting the "nothing is made here, everything is made (cheaply) in Asia" line. Yes, a lot of staples are made there, but away from that Europe still manufactures a lot of great stuff (a residual Brexit concern for someone who loves higher end German, Italian and Scandinavian brands - selfish I know!).
 

norliss

Well-known Member
Thanks for this review @Ed Selley - this looks a quality product. I looked up the Bridge but I find the fact that it resamples everything to one of two sets of sample rates a bit of a deal-breaker for me. I've forked out a reasonable chunk of change on a Chord Qutest DAC and would rather it received the sample rate as is and did its thing.
 

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