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Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti
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I am moving to a smaller house so have sold my Roksan Kandy Amp and Arcam CD62 to get a smaller all in one unit. My speakers are Wharfedale Opus M2 which I got half price so want to see them out before considering changing them, I like the sound but didn't find it that much of a jump from my previous B&W 602s. I want to play music from my PC and have a squeezebox which I have used up until now but now PC will be in same room so wifi not a requirement, I'd also like to control the music from the PC rather than through Squeezebox type interface

I  want to maximise the sound quality I get from PCIpod and also have CDDAB in one neat package. I'm into dance music, jazz, blues, world music and folk (old and new; Mary Margaret O'hara, Beth Orton etc). So sweet vocals and tight instruments and bass.

I currently looking at three options:

1) Arcam Solo mini + rdac +  rdock

2) Arcam Solo Neo + rdock

3) Save up and get a Naim Uniti

Any feedback or advice would be appreciated.

 

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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

Option 1) = Too many bits/boxes/cables and getting very close to the price of a Solo Neo.

Option 2) = Much neater, more power, nice looking unit (you will need the wireless for connection to your PC).

Option 3) = Good idea if you can manage it without too much sacrifice.

Absolutely no idea about your Wharfedales, or how they would sound with any of your listed options.

Any of your options would sound fine with Rega RS3s (compact floorstanders) and I know the Solo Neo would go very well with Spendor S3/5Rs in a small room. (Especially if you like a bit of refinement, clarity of midrange, and can live without big gobbets of whumping bass or wall shaking volume!)

If you can live without CDs then get a demo of the Naim UnitiQute (£1350)

 

 

 

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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti


I had just written: "Save for the NaimUniti - it does everything you need it to do in some style", until I thought back to your need to control the music from your PC. How were you thinking you would do that?

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Anonymous
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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

Not sure, do any of these options allow me to do that? Thought I could do that with the rDac then put phonos into mini

How does Uniti find playlists? My music is all in itunes at the mo.

Does the jump in sound quality definitely justify the price jump?

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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti


I can't comment on the relative quality of the Neo as I haven't heard it, though Andrew has and plumped for the Uniti, IIRC. The Solo Mini is great for what it is, but to my mind what it is is a very good quality micro, as opposed to a real alternative to separates.

However, are you saying that you propose to connect your PC directly to the rDAC via USB and then into the Mini? Yes, that will work. However, the other systems will not allow you to do that, since their USB connections don't act like DAC USB connections, they're used to attach a hard drive or stick, and they won't recognise your laptop.

You could plug in your Squeezebox and use Squeezecenter as your music client, which allows you to stream to the squeezebox whatever you choose in its browser interface.

You could get an airport express or apple tv, which allow you to stream iTunes content to them via their optical digital out.

However, I think the best option is to install a DLNA client on your PC (there are lots, we can discuss alternatives if this sounds the right direction to you), and navigate the contents of your music library via the Neo or the Uniti, which is their USP really.

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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

I think the main difference between rDac and the Neo, Uniti is that you can use rDac like a USB Dac even in the wireless mode. This means that you plug in the USB stick and it transmits wireless any sound that is generated by the computer. So, any application like your browser can stream its sound to the system. In this mode you will be controlling the sound fully from your PC/laptop. It works different with Neo and Uniti where only files that are shared can be accessed I suppose.

Also, if you buy rDac, I suppose you need not buy rDock. Because you should be mostly getting a ipod dongle that can be connected to your ipod and transmit it wireless to your system. This is atleast possible with rCube.

Sound quality is an altogether different thing.

Anonymous
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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

Thanks for your help. 

I am so much in favour of being able to control the music from my PC that the rDac appeals strongly, it seems like a better solution when it comes to playing DVDs or video on the PC too as I would get the benefit of a good DAC on all digital media from the PC which I don't think I would be able to do with the unitiNeo?

I am sure the naim does sound better but maybe the thing to go for is the mini for now and I can always upgrade the ampcd part at a later date and keep hold of the rDac with the PC part of my set up sorted which I am not sure getting the NaimNeo alone would sort. I set out with a budget of £1200 and do wonder if a CD/amp combo for £900 plus the rDac might beat the Mini but scaling down size was the main factor. I'd be interested to hear any amp/CD suggestions for this and I will go off and give them a listen.

Finances does come into it as well as I am just about to move into a new house and we hadn't budgeted for £2000+ for the Naim set up and prob can't get it past the wife at this point!

  

Anonymous
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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

I may have had the breakthrough I needed, how about going for the Cyrus 8 XPD so I can plug my PC straight in then save up for the Linn CD6SE? I can do without a CD player for a while. Sounds like it fits my current needs and will be a lot better than the mini sonically!

 Any thoughts? 

Anonymous
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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

I went and had a listen to the Mini and the Neo, the Neo sounds tons better but also has a lot of kit that I don't need so I am now looking at amps and specifically the Cyrus 6X or 8XP. They both have great reviews on here so the only thing left is for me to go and give them a listen.

I can then add functionality as needed and upgrade as I go along.

Anonymous
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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

If anyone is interested, I went for the Myryad MI plus the bluetooth dongle to stream directly from my PC.

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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

Always interesting following the progress. It's interesting how often the OP ends up with something they weren't even considering in the beginning and often increasing the price they are willing to pay once they hear something better.

Also good to have a conclusion to the story. I wish more posts asking for advice finished up with the OP telling us what they got, and giving a little review.

What was it about the Myryad MI that did it for you? 

Stuff.

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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

+1 for that ID.

Anonymous
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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

I got an ex-demo one for £700 so now have money to put towards a new Sony Google TV. My wife wants CD and tuner as well and as I can put my PC into it (and the TV digitally) we are getting a lot of bang for our buck. I haven't actually listened to it which is a shame but I think I will be happier with the sound as described in preference to something more analytic like the Cyrus where I'd then be wanting to spend another £900 on the matching CD player, our new house is small so space and style are an issue. Also have a baby on the way so money for hifi gets harder to justify Smile


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Re: Arcam Solo mini + rdac + rdock or Solo or possibly Uniti

Nice one. It looks the business- compact with great functionality. I understand about the need in some households to go for an all in one solution. My RZ-1 is a CDP/DAC/Amp all in one (I will at some point do a verbose review for posterity one of these days, once I think my set up is complete).

Hope it brings you much joy 

Stuff.

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