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Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

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AlmaataKZ's picture
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I want to update my ancient music system in the kitchen.

The objective is to improve sound quality while maintaining (or improving) the ease of use.

Must haves: The system must be able to play all music from a macmini itunes library (which includes DRMed and not DRMedAACs, mp3s,mostly ALAC up to 24/96 (down sampled playback or skipping a track is OK but just stopping is not). The user should be able to easily select any music (by artist, album or playlist) and play it with minimum number of steps – not exceeding the current. Particular focus is on this aspect – the new system must not complicate the process and preferably simplify it. If the system powers down automatically it should wake up by itself if music is sent to it. If it does not power down it must have very low power consumption when not playing.

Nice to haves: Preference for active speakers. White/silver sleek modern styling. Least number of boxes and cables, including power supplies.

Budget: Unlimited, but the less the better, other things being equal.

Currently, the music is played locally from an 3rd Gen ipod (which has all music library copied to it) via a small speaker dock. The current operation is: the dock is permanently plugged in, the ipod is permanently in the dock. 1. Switch dock on, 2. Wake ipod by a touch, 3 select music (maybe several steps here). 4 press play. To sitch off: 1. Press stop 2. Switch dock off.

Ideally, I want a system with two speakers, with own amplification and own touch screen which can pull music from the library wirelessly and play all of the files (i.e. no need to bring in and use additional hardware e.g. iphone to control it and/or send music to it).

What currently available systems will allow the above?

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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed
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bigboss's picture
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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

AlmaataKZ wrote:
Ideally, I want a system with two speakers, with own amplification and own touch screen which can pull music from the library wirelessly and play all of the files (i.e. no need to bring in and use additional hardware e.g. iphone to control it and/or send music to it). What currently available systems will allow the above?

This is a difficult one.

This system will satisfy most of your requirements, except for the fact that you need a controller:

http://www.teufelaudio.co.uk/raumfeld-audio-streaming/raumfeld-speaker-s-(sog)-p6709.html

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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

BronC's picture
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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

What about connecting your ipod to a denon DM39 with a decent set of small speakers?  That way you get a decent radio as well.

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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

It's probably totally wrong for you, but just in case it isn't:
http://www.whathifi.com/review/linn-kiko

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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

Surely the obvious choice for you is ADM9s (I think gloss white is an option). Just plug in the Mac Mini to it's onboard DAC.

There are the Dynaudio Xeo 3s but they have a seperate DAC/transmitter that needs it's own mains connector. (Gloss white though.)

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AlmaataKZ's picture
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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

 

just looking at these. They all need an additional base and a controller - eitherva dedicated one or an idevice. Additionally, with the separate speakers options, which I would prefet and put high on cupboards, the volume control knob cannot be reached.

otherwise quite good products.

AlmaataKZ's picture
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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

BronC wrote:

What about connecting your ipod to a denon DM39 with a decent set of small speakers?  That way you get a decent radio as well.

I actually have a dm38. Just tried but it does not power or playback from the old ipod via usb. The ipod is too old.

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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

CnoEvil wrote:
It's probably totally wrong for you, but just in case it isn't: http://www.whathifi.com/review/linn-kiko

I think it is a good system. Especially neat is that speakers are active but do not need power cables. But its tiny screen is hopeless so it needs an additional controller. Also it has loads of stuff that I do not need. 

AlmaataKZ's picture
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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

chebby wrote:

Surely the obvious choice for you is ADM9s (I think gloss white is an option). Just plug in the Mac Mini to it's onboard DAC.

There are the Dynaudio Xeo 3s but they have a seperate DAC/transmitter that needs it's own mains connector. (Gloss white though.)

macmini is in a different room, so I would need an airport express to feed them + a controller. Still, this is an option.

xeo 3 needs a usb sender to which I think I will have to manually switch macminis output every time I want music in the kitchen. And then back. Not suitable. EDIT unless i connect the transmitter to minijack while normal macmini output to usb. I hope the analog out of macmini always outputs the same signal as goes to usb??

another workaround for xeo would be feed the transmitter from an airport express and use airplay. But it is clumsy.

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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

Maybe use a ipad mini as source, using Home Sharing so you  can stream all your tunes from the mac mini. You can then use all the other apps it has as well, like Tune in and iplayer etc . It has a nice display and perfect for the kitchen. It can also be wall mounted.

Take a mini jack lead straight into  something simple with one input like a hidden mini T amp which use EDITED all power. Then connect to some speakers of your choise for the kitchen.

 

My kitchen system is Ipad> T amp> KEF 2001.5.        simples 

All my speaker cables are hidden in the walls

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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

moon wrote:

Maybe use a ipad mini as source, using Home Sharing so you  can stream all your tunes from the mac mini. You can then use all the other apps it has as well, like Tune in and iplayer etc . It has a nice display and perfect for the kitchen. It can also be wall mounted.

Take a mini jack lead straight into  something simple with one input like a hidden mini T amp which use EDITED all power. Then connect to some speakers of your choise for the kitchen.

 

My kitchen system is Ipad> T amp> KEF 2001.5.        simples 

All my speaker cables are hidden in the walls

yes, this is a very good and straightforward option. But I want to avoid having to bring idevices into the kitchen to be able to play music there. The kitchen system should work on its own.

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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

these might or might not be rubbish but do have lots of inputs and come in different colours

 

http://www.rothaudio.co.uk/docs/products_09/OLi_POWA-5.shtml

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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

It seems to me your major limiting factor is the desire for a touchscreen on the unit, and consequently not controlling it by a remote such as an idevice. So SBT plus actives of choice?

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moon's picture
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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

AlmaataKZ wrote:

moon wrote:

Maybe use a ipad mini as source, using Home Sharing so you  can stream all your tunes from the mac mini. You can then use all the other apps it has as well, like Tune in and iplayer etc . It has a nice display and perfect for the kitchen. It can also be wall mounted.

Take a mini jack lead straight into  something simple with one input like a hidden mini T amp which use EDITED all power. Then connect to some speakers of your choise for the kitchen.

 

My kitchen system is Ipad> T amp> KEF 2001.5.        simples 

All my speaker cables are hidden in the walls

yes, this is a very good and straightforward option. But I want to avoid having to bring idevices into the kitchen to be able to play music there. The kitchen system should work on its own.

yeah I see, but I am suggesting having the ipad permanently in the kitchen, wall mounted and all futuristic like. Smile.  like mine is

will try and post a photo

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AlmaataKZ's picture
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RE: Looking for a kitchen system - options and advice needed

moon wrote:

AlmaataKZ wrote:

moon wrote:

Maybe use a ipad mini as source, using Home Sharing so you  can stream all your tunes from the mac mini. You can then use all the other apps it has as well, like Tune in and iplayer etc . It has a nice display and perfect for the kitchen. It can also be wall mounted.

Take a mini jack lead straight into  something simple with one input like a hidden mini T amp which use EDITED all power. Then connect to some speakers of your choise for the kitchen.

 

My kitchen system is Ipad> T amp> KEF 2001.5.        simples 

All my speaker cables are hidden in the walls

yes, this is a very good and straightforward option. But I want to avoid having to bring idevices into the kitchen to be able to play music there. The kitchen system should work on its own.

yeah I see, but I am suggesting having the ipad permanently in the kitchen, wall mounted and all futuristic like. Smile.  like mine is

will try and post a photo

wow. I am not sure I can afford that! :-)