doctorjuggles

Several questions in one (incl DACs, amps, bedroom audio and streaming)

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Bit of a rambling one here Wammers so please bear with me.

Bit of background - I have an HP Microserver with 32TB of space servering up all my media via Plex over a wired network throughout the flat. While I haven't been keeping up to date on the latest tech in hifi, I'm fairly comfortable learning new stuff, so feel free to go into techy detail if you think it will help. For example I'm happy to run a separate server software for music only if that's going to make things easier - server can handle plenty more stress.

Bedroom Requirements
I'll be moving my stereo system out of my bedroom and into the spare room - looking for a simple, streamlined replacement solution for the bedroom and my thinking is to either get a fully wireless system or, at most, a wired system with a single box that streams everything to attached speakers. Due to space limitations, the speakers have to be (a) very forgiving of placement and (b) not very big.
As it won't be a critical listening system and merely there for enjoyment and convenience, what are my best options?
At the moment I'm considering Sonos or Bluesound but I'm not even sure how it would work. Do I need to have a base to connect wirelessly to the speakers or are they controlled on the phone? If they can be controlled by phone but it's preferable to have the base, why is that? And how does the sound of, say, two Sonos Ones compare to having, the Sonos Amp plus two small bookshelf speakers?
Remember that the point of this system is fun and unobtrusive and above all, easy to use - so while I want good sound, it doesn't need to compete with a proper hifi. In this case, good enough is good enough (but I also don't want it to sound like a pair of Monster Beats!)
Budget isn't set but lets start at £1k and see what answers I get


Computer/Hifi Room Requirements
The stuff moving from the bedroom - I have a Resolution Audio Opus 21 CD player which I love, so that's staying, and the Totem Sttafs are staying too. I'll probably be replacing the Roskan Caspian MkII with something that has better synergy. Now the main question is whether the onboard DAC on the Opus frmo the PC is worth using, or should I be looking at something more recent too, to open up higher res audio? The Opus 21 DAC is 4 Burr Brown PCM1704 @ 32 - 96 kHz / 16 - 24 bit. Would I be better off grabbing something that can do it all (MQA/DSD etc). I have to admit that while I'm comfortable with tech, this is an area I've fallen waaaay behind the eightball on, so happy to be schooled and convinced either way here. I usually tend to err on the side of future-proofing though, so if there's something I should be looking at, I'm all ears (and I usually like the Chord DAC sound if that helps)
Again, budget is moderately flexible, let's say £1k for the amp and £500 for the DAC as a starting point. (These will all be second hand so I think we'll have plenty to play with)


Other questions
For the Computer/Hifi setup I'm also open to a one-box solution with onboard DAC if that's going to work more elegantly. I was eyeing up the Peachtree Nova but thought better of it as it doesn't have the latest Hi Res capabilities, but if there's something else I should consider, feel free to point it out. At the moment I'm considering amps from Sim Audio, Plinius, Ayre and Sugden (whatever falls within the c.£1k range second hand) so would need to compete with that sort of level, but obviously if it has onboard DAC I'd spend more (c.£1.5k) as I'd be saving on the DAC side of things. Experience tells me this is likely to be less of an option than the separates though.

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1 hour ago, doctorjuggles said:

Bit of a rambling one here Wammers so please bear with me.

Bit of background - I have an HP Microserver with 32TB of space servering up all my media via Plex over a wired network throughout the flat. While I haven't been keeping up to date on the latest tech in hifi, I'm fairly comfortable learning new stuff, so feel free to go into techy detail if you think it will help. For example I'm happy to run a separate server software for music only if that's going to make things easier - server can handle plenty more stress.

Bedroom Requirements
I'll be moving my stereo system out of my bedroom and into the spare room - looking for a simple, streamlined replacement solution for the bedroom and my thinking is to either get a fully wireless system or, at most, a wired system with a single box that streams everything to attached speakers. Due to space limitations, the speakers have to be (a) very forgiving of placement and (b) not very big.
As it won't be a critical listening system and merely there for enjoyment and convenience, what are my best options?
At the moment I'm considering Sonos or Bluesound but I'm not even sure how it would work. Do I need to have a base to connect wirelessly to the speakers or are they controlled on the phone? If they can be controlled by phone but it's preferable to have the base, why is that? And how does the sound of, say, two Sonos Ones compare to having, the Sonos Amp plus two small bookshelf speakers?
Remember that the point of this system is fun and unobtrusive and above all, easy to use - so while I want good sound, it doesn't need to compete with a proper hifi. In this case, good enough is good enough (but I also don't want it to sound like a pair of Monster Beats!)
Budget isn't set but lets start at £1k and see what answers I get


Computer/Hifi Room Requirements
The stuff moving from the bedroom - I have a Resolution Audio Opus 21 CD player which I love, so that's staying, and the Totem Sttafs are staying too. I'll probably be replacing the Roskan Caspian MkII with something that has better synergy. Now the main question is whether the onboard DAC on the Opus frmo the PC is worth using, or should I be looking at something more recent too, to open up higher res audio? The Opus 21 DAC is 4 Burr Brown PCM1704 @ 32 - 96 kHz / 16 - 24 bit. Would I be better off grabbing something that can do it all (MQA/DSD etc). I have to admit that while I'm comfortable with tech, this is an area I've fallen waaaay behind the eightball on, so happy to be schooled and convinced either way here. I usually tend to err on the side of future-proofing though, so if there's something I should be looking at, I'm all ears (and I usually like the Chord DAC sound if that helps)
Again, budget is moderately flexible, let's say £1k for the amp and £500 for the DAC as a starting point. (These will all be second hand so I think we'll have plenty to play with)


Other questions
For the Computer/Hifi setup I'm also open to a one-box solution with onboard DAC if that's going to work more elegantly. I was eyeing up the Peachtree Nova but thought better of it as it doesn't have the latest Hi Res capabilities, but if there's something else I should consider, feel free to point it out. At the moment I'm considering amps from Sim Audio, Plinius, Ayre and Sugden (whatever falls within the c.£1k range second hand) so would need to compete with that sort of level, but obviously if it has onboard DAC I'd spend more (c.£1.5k) as I'd be saving on the DAC side of things. Experience tells me this is likely to be less of an option than the separates though.

Just some thoughts..

Bedroom

Naim Muso, or Dynaudio Music.

Hifi Room

I like Burr Brown Dacs because of their more natural sound, but if you want to climb the so-called hi resolution ladder have you looked at M-Dac Plus thats for sale in the classifieds? Bargain price and fitted with an ESS Sabre.

Other

The Peachtree Nova is a fine amplifier, I had the older Nova 125 (for sale in the classifieds) which still trumps most things I have tried in this price range. Only when I got into Pathos money did I better it. You could look at the Pathos Classic Hybrid , a little more expensive at Audio Oasis's price of just below 2k with the new Hi-Dac 2 (MQA/ DSD blah blah) rrp 2800+. I actually 'detuned' my Pathos to the older HiDac1 with the Burr Brown Dac because it was more natural sounding. But if you like Chord stuff, you will get on with the HiDac2...and it looks pretty smart as well.

Edit - Actually scrap the Pathos if you need streaming, they have abandoned their EVO streaming project sadly..I use a Cambridge 851N streamer through the Pathos, using the streamers DAC, which is probably the best DAC I've ever had and I've had quite a few. Keeps it all pretty simple, but if you intend to use Roon, it wont be possible as CA arent updating the 851N to run Roon.

Edited by The Chronicals

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OR  a Yamaha WXC50 pre-amp  & WXA50 amplifier can buy theses 2 under you budget of a £1000 both small units and the Yamaha WXC50 will stream from your server from any room in the house and covers most formats plus has a onboard Dac on this unit too and thats job done under budget :)

Edited by Blacksabbath25

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Thanks for the replies so far everyone! 

I think I've made a mistake in clarity - for the main system, I don't need any streaming capabilities - it's just the bedroom setup that needs to stream and be neat and user-friendly. The main rig will have direct access to the server so that should be nice and easy. Sorry for the confusion!

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In all fairness, this thread is gonna end up 30457383 pages long as you've pretty much asked for 2-3 hifi systems and everyones going to throw in their faves from the old timers and Dacmagics to the rich kids with Luxmans. 

The bedroom is a no brainer with a Muso or equivalent - no mess, looks nice, and a quality non ear shattering sound for relaxtion.

The other....pick your fave from the forthcoming replies :)

I realise I have a vested interest in pushing the Nova as I have one for sale - but for the price of it, with an ESS Sabre DAC, you could add say a Chord Qutest on top and you'd be around £1500 (oess if you got a used Qutest), thats a big sound for £1500.

Edited by The Chronicals

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That is why i recommend the Yamaha stuff because its small and sounds good for its size and price and both units are quality made or your be looking at more expensive stuff 

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24 minutes ago, Blacksabbath25 said:

That is why i recommend the Yamaha stuff because its small and sounds good for its size and price and both units are quality made or your be looking at more expensive stuff 

I agree, Yamaha stuff is great, as is a lot of Marantz stuff, but I am glad I have managed to move up the price change as I am really happy with the sound I have now, and wasn't with the more budget stuff. The Peachtree was my first 'eye opener' to proper hifi...so essentially,  that amplifier bankrupt me :)

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As long as you can get a digital signal to a dac in the bedroom from your main server over your network and have the ability to control content remotely via tablet or phone with the addition of some active speakers hardwire or wireless and I think you would be good to go. I use a Marantz NA7004 and a apple tv in one of our bedrooms the wife and kids all have tablets or phones and its easy for all to use iTunes over airplay on their devices or catch up tv net flicks ect. Can be done pretty inexpensively if not for critical listening.  I've been using the Marantz NA7004 as my bedroom dac for around five years . But have been toying with the idea of upgrading to a Marantz na-11s1 and active speakers recently.

Edited by JamieMcC

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You can control from a tablet all of your network on the Yamaha WXC50 so that’s AirPlay , from apple account or your own server and all of the streaming sites that includes flac files too and personalised picture of each room so you no what room doing what

The amplifier side you have 50watts which is plenty for a bedroom 

Both of theses units are very good value for money and I have had my Yamaha WXC50 for 3 years now and no issues with it so far .

https://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/audio_visual/wireless_streaming_amplifiers/wxc-50/index.html

https://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/audio_visual/wireless_streaming_amplifiers/wxa-50/index.html

Edited by Blacksabbath25

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Super Wammer

Can I just throw in a small suggestion for the bedroom system . I have very recently looked at getting a very small but reasonable quality system that will fit in a case to take to Spain to give to my Niece . I looked at cheap wireless/bluetooth stereo pair speakers but had little experience and  no one else could advise on sub £100 pair to listen too .

Then as often happens on the Wam someone advised me to look at things a little different and suggested this .

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07HRFSY5H/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

First reaction was one of well at that price I will be luck if it works never mind get any quality . However given all I was chancing was £40 and that it is easy to send items back with Amazon I took a chance . Sound quality is excellent and would not be out of place with a unit three times the price. You have inputs for phono , 3mm , USB and Bluetooth . All you need to add is a nice pair of small bookshelf speakers (after an initial issue I have bought a set of Goodmans Maxim 2 which have yet to arrive) Playing through a pair of Castle Warwick speakers that were there it sounds superb why spend any more ?

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