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jjgreenwood's picture
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High Fidelity Streaming
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I recently changed some of the gear I listen to from a bantam class T amp supplying Kef Cresta 2 speakers to a Marantz PM6004 supplying some PMC DB1 speakers, to be honest I was surprised at the difference it made to the sound quality. The dynamics and bass of the system have improved particually. 

 

As I was impressed with this change I decided to see what changes I could make to the source componants. I was listening to CD's on my BDP-s590 as a transport and that is sent to my Beresford Caiman Gator via a coax cable which is then fed into the Marantz. I changed this by buying a WD my book live and ripping my CD's to flac files and then streaming those through my Panasonic TV to the Beresford. That has resulted in a slight reduction is background noise and a bit more detail. 

 

So far I've done most of this on the cheap with only the speakers costing more than a couple of hundred quid (I bought it all secondhand). I'm curious with the improvements made what would happen if I spent a reasonable amount. Would the sound be clearly a night and day difference if I spent somewhere between £1500 - £2000. I spoke to my local hifi shop who were surprised to hear that I used the TV for streaming and they seemed convinced that would hurt the sound quality.

 

So I've been investigating a few options. I'm happy the speakers are good so considering either a Naim unitilite, the musical fidelity clic and power amp, the linn sneaky dsm and the cambridge streamer with 851a amp. All of these options weigh in at a similar amount of money. Do you think this would give me appreciable better sound quality. Am I looking at spending far more than any gain will be worth here. 

 

Also what is the best way to buy this. As far as auditioning this stuff is concerned my local shop only stocks Naim and Cyrus, the linn stockist is fairly close and richer sounds is 40-50 miles away. There is nobody close that does the musical fidelity stuff. I could buy the linn sneaky ds secondhand for 30% less than list. The naim seems impossible to buy discounted and the musical fidelity combo can be had with £600 off but the dealer is in hull which is hours and hours away.

 

So if you were in my position what would you do and why?

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

Good, used NaimUniti or a new Unitilite.

Either will make your DB1is sound even better. (An excellent match.)

If it were me, i'd get a UnitiQute and save a little cash, but I hesitate to recommend it to others because I never listen at loud volume levels and I typically listen from about 9 feet distance. I am not sure if the 'Qute's power would be up to the task of playing loud in a large room.

 

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

Room is 3x5 meters and I listen across the 3m wall so it doesn't need to be window shaking. I do use it for TV and films as well though. I did briefly play with the idea of the unitiqute and the naim power amp (np100?), issue is I can't audition the unitiqute cos local dealer doesn't have one. I'm guessing its similar to a unitilite.

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

jjgreenwood wrote:

I do use it for TV and films as well though. 

The Linn Sneaky and Majik DSM have HDMI ins.

Poor man wanna be rich / Rich man wanna be king / And a king ain't satisfied / Till he rules everything. 

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

matt49 wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

I do use it for TV and films as well though. 

The Linn Sneaky and Majik DSM have HDMI ins.

 

I'm a little put off at the power rating of the linn & cyrus (which I forgot to mention), would that not be a concern or am I worried about nothing?

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

jjgreenwood wrote:

matt49 wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

I do use it for TV and films as well though. 

The Linn Sneaky and Majik DSM have HDMI ins.

 

I'm a little put off at the power rating of the linn & cyrus (which I forgot to mention), would that not be a concern or am I worried about nothing?

A perfectly legitimate concern. I think you'll only find out by doing a home demo. 

Poor man wanna be rich / Rich man wanna be king / And a king ain't satisfied / Till he rules everything. 

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

jjgreenwood wrote:

So if you were in my position what would you do and why?

I'd get a pair of ADM9s and the matching sub (you might not feel the need for the sub, but I included it for completeness), keep your sources and sell the rest.

Failing that, I'd replace the amp before considering a different source. As you like second hand, why not look out for a good used MF A308 or A5 integrated amp. (I'd link to the A308 for sale, but unfortunately it's just been sold).

Why, because you have the budget and want better sound quality, these will give it to you.

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

Overdose wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

So if you were in my position what would you do and why?

I'd get a pair of ADM9s and the matching sub (you might not feel the need for the sub, but I included it for completeness), keep your sources and sell the rest.

Failing that, I'd replace the amp before considering a different source. As you like second hand, why not look out for a good used MF A308 or A5 integrated amp. (I'd link to the A308 for sale, but unfortunately it's just been sold).

Why, because you have the budget and want better sound quality, these will give it to you.

I hadn't considered those speakers, you don't think the tv as the source would cause a problem. If I spent £2k on those speakers I wouldn't have another £600 left for a hifi streaming device for example.

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

jjgreenwood]</p> <p>[quote=Overdose wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

So if you were in my position what would you do and why?

I'd get a pair of ADM9s and the matching sub (you might not feel the need for the sub, but I included it for completeness), keep your sources and sell the rest.

Failing that, I'd replace the amp before considering a different source. As you like second hand, why not look out for a good used MF A308 or A5 integrated amp. (I'd link to the A308 for sale, but unfortunately it's just been sold).

Why, because you have the budget and want better sound quality, these will give it to you.

jjgreenwood wrote:

I hadn't considered those speakers, you don't think the tv as the source would cause a problem. If I spent £2k on those speakers I wouldn't have another £600 left for a hifi streaming device for example.

Well, the ADM9s are £1250 -£1400 depending on variation, but the BDP does do streaming if you need.

You could then add a Sonos and attach it to a NAS for your FLACs and other streaming options.

What other IT equipment do you have?

A good DAC will deal with any jitter from digital sources and the ADMs do have a good DAC inside, but the TV might be perfectly fine anyway. At least you have several input options open to you.

 

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

Overdose]</p> <p>[quote=jjgreenwood wrote:

Overdose wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

So if you were in my position what would you do and why?

I'd get a pair of ADM9s and the matching sub (you might not feel the need for the sub, but I included it for completeness), keep your sources and sell the rest.

Failing that, I'd replace the amp before considering a different source. As you like second hand, why not look out for a good used MF A308 or A5 integrated amp. (I'd link to the A308 for sale, but unfortunately it's just been sold).

Why, because you have the budget and want better sound quality, these will give it to you.

Well, the ADM9s are £1250 -£1400 depending on variation, but the BDP does do streaming if you need.

I hadn't considered those speakers, you don't think the tv as the source would cause a problem. If I spent £2k on those speakers I wouldn't have another £600 left for a hifi streaming device for example.

You could then add a Sonos and attach it to a NAS for your FLACs and other streaming options.

What other IT equipment do you have?

 

 

The bdp won't stream flac sadly, the TV does. Got loads of iPads and computers etc. just ripped all the CDs to the nas. I actually really like the interface on the TV which is why I was looking at the mentioned solutions as they all come with ipad apps. I don't know if changing the source from the TV will actually do anything but keep reading that the optical cable isn't ideal.

 

after your post I've been reading the adm forum and its the polar opposite to what I read on the linn forum. It's hard to have any clear idea what to do when two groups of affluent, intelligent people can't even agree if a digital signal can degrade or not.

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

jjgreenwood]</p> <p>[quote=Overdose wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

Overdose wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

So if you were in my position what would you do and why?

I'd get a pair of ADM9s and the matching sub (you might not feel the need for the sub, but I included it for completeness), keep your sources and sell the rest.

Failing that, I'd replace the amp before considering a different source. As you like second hand, why not look out for a good used MF A308 or A5 integrated amp. (I'd link to the A308 for sale, but unfortunately it's just been sold).

Why, because you have the budget and want better sound quality, these will give it to you.

Well, the ADM9s are £1250 -£1400 depending on variation, but the BDP does do streaming if you need.

I hadn't considered those speakers, you don't think the tv as the source would cause a problem. If I spent £2k on those speakers I wouldn't have another £600 left for a hifi streaming device for example.

You could then add a Sonos and attach it to a NAS for your FLACs and other streaming options.

What other IT equipment do you have?

 

 

The bdp won't stream flac sadly, the TV does. Got loads of iPads and computers etc. just ripped all the CDs to the nas. I actually really like the interface on the TV which is why I was looking at the mentioned solutions as they all come with ipad apps. I don't know if changing the source from the TV will actually do anything but keep reading that the optical cable isn't ideal.

 

after your post I've been reading the adm forum and its the polar opposite to what I read on the linn forum. It's hard to have any clear idea what to do when two groups of affluent, intelligent people can't even agree if a digital signal can degrade or not.

All signals can degrade, but you need to be aware of what happens when it does. A degraded digital signal results in dropouts and very obvious clicks and pops and not any other change in presentation of the sound like less bass for example, digital transmission doesn't work that way.

FWIW, I have a cheapy optical connection between my Mac mini and the ADMs, I have never experienced any problems.

Speakers aside, you could look at something like a Raspberry Pi running XBMC, for which there is an app, or if you had a spare laptop, use that with whichever software and app you felt happy with. I guess the main advantage is perhaps using less power than having the TV on to stream.

 

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

Overdose wrote:

Well, the ADM9s are £1250 -£1400 depending on variation, but the BDP does do streaming if you need.

You could then add a Sonos and attach it to a NAS for your FLACs and other streaming options.

No objection to the ADMs at all, but Sonos is quite a dirty source IME, and even a very good DAC (e.g. Audiolab M-DAC) can't clean it up fully. So if you were going to invest in a fine pair of speakers like ADMs, you'd either want to run a computer source through asynchronous USB into a DAC (Sonos only has optical and S/PDIF) or get a higher quality all-in-one streamer (e.g. Linn/Naim/Cyrus) or go for Sonos but with an after sales mod package (which will add a few hundred to the cost).

Poor man wanna be rich / Rich man wanna be king / And a king ain't satisfied / Till he rules everything. 

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

matt49 wrote:

Overdose wrote:

Well, the ADM9s are £1250 -£1400 depending on variation, but the BDP does do streaming if you need.

You could then add a Sonos and attach it to a NAS for your FLACs and other streaming options.

No objection to the ADMs at all, but Sonos is quite a dirty source IME, and even a very good DAC (e.g. Audiolab M-DAC) can't clean it up fully. So if you were going to invest in a fine pair of speakers like ADMs, you'd either want to run a computer source through asynchronous USB into a DAC (Sonos only has optical and S/PDIF) or get a higher quality all-in-one streamer (e.g. Linn/Naim/Cyrus) or go for Sonos but with an after sales mod package (which will add a few hundred to the cost).

 

I wouldn't use sonos, what would your opinion be of my tv as a source - it outputs PCM.

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

matt49 wrote:

Overdose wrote:

Well, the ADM9s are £1250 -£1400 depending on variation, but the BDP does do streaming if you need.

You could then add a Sonos and attach it to a NAS for your FLACs and other streaming options.

No objection to the ADMs at all, but Sonos is quite a dirty source IME, and even a very good DAC (e.g. Audiolab M-DAC) can't clean it up fully. So if you were going to invest in a fine pair of speakers like ADMs, you'd either want to run a computer source through asynchronous USB into a DAC (Sonos only has optical and S/PDIF) or get a higher quality all-in-one streamer (e.g. Linn/Naim/Cyrus) or go for Sonos but with an after sales mod package (which will add a few hundred to the cost).

I have read conflicting reports regarding the jitter from the Sonos, ie is it actually audible, but a good DAC should deal with it regardless. I'm suprised that you consider the M-DAC limited in this regard, but have heard neither to confirm. I would say that I have never had a problem with the Mac mini, but that is with a different DAC and source.

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

Overdose]</p> <p>[quote=jjgreenwood wrote:

Overdose wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

Overdose wrote:

jjgreenwood wrote:

So if you were in my position what would you do and why?

I'd get a pair of ADM9s and the matching sub (you might not feel the need for the sub, but I included it for completeness), keep your sources and sell the rest.

Failing that, I'd replace the amp before considering a different source. As you like second hand, why not look out for a good used MF A308 or A5 integrated amp. (I'd link to the A308 for sale, but unfortunately it's just been sold).

Why, because you have the budget and want better sound quality, these will give it to you.

Well, the ADM9s are £1250 -£1400 depending on variation, but the BDP does do streaming if you need.

I hadn't considered those speakers, you don't think the tv as the source would cause a problem. If I spent £2k on those speakers I wouldn't have another £600 left for a hifi streaming device for example.

You could then add a Sonos and attach it to a NAS for your FLACs and other streaming options.

What other IT equipment do you have?

 

 

The bdp won't stream flac sadly, the TV does. Got loads of iPads and computers etc. just ripped all the CDs to the nas. I actually really like the interface on the TV which is why I was looking at the mentioned solutions as they all come with ipad apps. I don't know if changing the source from the TV will actually do anything but keep reading that the optical cable isn't ideal.

 

after your post I've been reading the adm forum and its the polar opposite to what I read on the linn forum. It's hard to have any clear idea what to do when two groups of affluent, intelligent people can't even agree if a digital signal can degrade or not.

All signals can degrade, but you need to be aware of what happens when it does. A degraded digital signal results in dropouts and very obvious clicks and pops and not any other change in presentation of the sound like less bass for example, digital transmission doesn't work that way.

FWIW, I have a cheapy optical connection between my Mac mini and the ADMs, I have never experienced any problems.

Speakers aside, you could look at something like a Raspberry Pi running XBMC, for which there is an app, or if you had a spare laptop, use that with whichever software and app you felt happy with. I guess the main advantage is perhaps using less power than having the TV on to stream.

 

 

im not too worried about the power, it's an led TV so not exactly a hog on power. What is your opinion on the cyrus streamers without dac and other such products. 

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RE: High Fidelity Streaming

@Matt49

interesting thoughts about the Sonos being a "dirty" source. Do you mind elaborating as Ihave not had the benefit of your experience comparing it to other sources?

FWIW I find it works extremely well with a decent dac and could be a great solution for the OP.

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