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IanE's picture
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Best value high quality streaming?

Morning all, 

I'm a computer engineer who likes good music but who has been out of the hifi scene for a long time. 

 

I have a client who is an audiophile - Tron valve amps, lots of high end kit. 

 

He is looking to digitise his extensive CD collection and stream it from a computer in one room to the listening room.

 

Can anyone point me at a useful guide or answer a few basic questions?

 

1. Best format for digitising - FLAC?

2. Should we be looking at storing files locally in the listening room? Will we suffer loss of quality or throughput issues if trying to stream over a Homeplug system?

3. Best streaming device to use in teh listening roo - laptop + DAC? Dedicated media player? 

This man is very serious about his music. Not looking to spend unlimited amounts but lookinig for a system that will satisfy his discerning ear.

Sorry to put noddy questions to you but any answers appreciated!

Cheers!

 

abacus's picture
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RE: Best value high quality streaming?

1. Convert the CDs into a lossless format (FLAC being the most common and pretty well supported these days) using the same bit rate as the music file was recorded in. (CD is 16bit 44KHZ) I use Fair Stars CD Ripper software, however there are plenty of others.

2. If you are happy to have the computer in the same room as your audio system, then a USB DAC will be all that you need to connect to your audio system. (Have a look at the WHF reviews for one within your price band)

3. If you wish to keep the computer in a separate room (With it left on) then you will need to set it up as a media streamer, which if a later PC (Windows 7?) can be set up using the media streamer wizard. (Essentially you’re allowing access to your computer music files from an external source) You will then need a media streamer to connect to your audio system which will allow you to access and choose the files on your computer that you wish to play via the network, (Streaming) again have a look at WHF reviews to see what suits your price band and will play FLAC files.

4. If you do not wish to leave the computer on, then you will need a NAS device to store your ripped files on.

Basically it is just a network share with access permissions of certain files being granted to other users.

5. Your home plug system will be fine providing there is not a massive amount of noise on your mains.

Hope this helps

Bill

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RE: Best value high quality streaming?

 

>Not looking to spend unlimited amounts but lookinig for a system that will satisfy his discerning ear.<

Naim NDX

Linn Akurate DS

Meridian Sooloos Control 15

would all be worth an audition and are mid-price. You need a NAS, having a PC humming away in the listening room is not the way to go

 

Overdose's picture
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RE: Best value high quality streaming?

I think to find the ideal solution, you need to consider the user interface first. This is going to be important, as it will affect how the music is browsed. It is as much about aesthetics as function and needs to be right.

From here you can decide upon hardware for playback, as some hardware is not compatible with all audio codecs.

The hardware will need to consist of the following components, either independent or combined and options exist for a wide range of solutions.

Storage

Media player

DAC

I would avoid the use of home plugs for data transfer, as they can induce RFI in the household and would either use ethernet connection from the storage or wireless transmission. Another consideration is visability, if the components are to be on show, then aesthetics need to be considered.

For lack of fuss and ease of use, I'd recommend a Sonos or Apple front end with a suitable DAC. Either system could be controlled by a tablet device, such as an iPad and this makes a nice size for media viewing and selection.

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