I find using a CD based system (Marant Peal-Lite), to be much more convenient. I listen to classical and buy CD's/SACD's, via recommendations in Gramophone magazine. I am interested in streaming, in order to not have so many Discs, but the solutions all seem too much hassle. For a start, many of the Gramophone choices are not even available as downloads and you don't get the colour information booklet about the composer and artist. Furthemore downloading is slow and means I have to use a computer, which after work I like to liberated from. I've used the USB on the Marantz, but in the end the quality isn't as good and it is easy to misplace, whereas i don't think I've ever managed to lose a CD. Finally, Hi-Res downloads cost alot more than CD's and need a reiable computer and constant updating, whereas the Marantz is totally reliable for at least 10 years, without any tweaking needed. I try and keep my CD collection down to around 250 and every now and again have a clear-out and take the ones that I no longer like and don't listen too very much to the charity shop or give to friend.
I have to agree with the guys that have knowledge of computer based music. I have heard very good cd players but XBMC (free media centre) on my pc with a decent DAC is hard to beat as a transport. OP, save your FLACs and give it a whirl - its free and you get artwork, library and convenience on top of great sound. I won't buy another cd player.
Ps, I've also tried J River (very good too but not better than XBMC and not as nice to look at).
Screen - Samsung UE46D8000. Sources - Dell Zino HD 410; Sky HD; Sony BDP S550; Wyred 4 Sound DAC1. Amps - Yamaha RX-A3010; SimAudio Moon I-3 RS. Speakers - Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand; Vienna Acoustics Waltz Grand centre; Proficient Audio W690 rears; Monitor Audio RSW12. Cables - Van Damme Blue 4mm speaker cable; Townsend DCT300 and Atlas Voyager interconnects; Van den Hul Optocoupler.
Hi Fi : ROKSAN KANDY K2 - PROAC STUDIO 140 MK2 - ROTEL RCD1520 - interconnects : Tellurium Q Black - Chord Chorus2
AV : YAMAHA RXV767 - WHARFEDALE 9.CM [C] / 10.2 [SR] / INFINITY PRIMUS PS8 [SUB]
I think we can all agree that there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a CD-based system. I love the packaging (maybe not jewel cases, but certainly digi-packs), the bookets, and the idea of having bought a physical 'something', instead of a virtual album via a download.
But, and it's a big but, the notion that CD based systems will sound inherrently superior to streaming/computer based systems needs to be taken outside and shot, right now. If anything, streaming/computer-based systems have the potential to sound superior to CDs, not the other way round.
Main gear: Mac Mini > HRT Streamer II+ > Marantz PM66 KI > Mission 794
Also cluttering-up the place:
Thorens TD160 no cartridge; Marantz CD63 mkII KI; Technics SL-P777; Cyrus 2 + PSX; Cyrus Tuner; Nakamichi DR-1
If you are hearing hi-ress files on high end streaming/computer/DAC based systems you may be correct
but to tell you the true I didn't demo such kind of a system yet .
Yes hi-res files, but not just hi-res files. Don't forget that Linn, the well-known Scottish HiFi manufacturer, recently discontinued all of its CD players because the sound quality of its network music players was superior.
ISAC - I think we should accept that cd and flac are different flavours and as Major says the quality on good eqipment will be similar. Benefits of each is clear tho digital files 'can' better cd's.
Mordaunt Short Mezzo System C - 8,5,1,9.Yamaha V2065. SonyS570. Panasonic 42in., Sky HD 1TB. Garrard 86SB. PF30. Wii. WDTV Live. Harmony One. STAX300. QED cabling. Galaxy Tab 10.1
System Photos - http://s1051.photobucket.com/user/robinkidderminster/library/?sort=3&page=1
Base trap Project - http://www.whathifi.com/forum/home-cinema/corner-base-trap-completed-project?page=1
I'm not happy with my "high end" PC based system. I have a problem with my laptop which is sick and throwing up all over my carpet. It is intermittently freezing or does a blue screen. Windows thinks it's perfectly healthy, but clearly it aint, and I am musicless until I can fix it. This is where the good idea suddenly is less so, I've never had a problem with any laptops or PCs of my own or used from an employer until now. Peed off is an understatement...
JRiver MC17 -> Cambridge Audio DACmagic+ -> Roksan Caspian M2 -> ProAc D18
One good thing Steve is that if your PC turns out to be unfixable, then assuming you've backed-up your files, you could be up and running with a cheap second hand one in no time.
Intetesting. I too was unimpressed with the sq of SBT, in fact, I preferred the sound of my modded duet.
I've been looking at various ways of eliminating the wireless part of streaming, and am (for now), happy with my netbook connected to my DAC via USB, running Winamp with a plug in that bypasses windows kernel mixer ( 5 minute install, 5 minutes set up, well, now I've done it, first time took a while to work out preferences in winamp and how to save them) - controlled via iPhone/iPad.
I'd say the sound was as good as my cdp, though admittedly its not a high end model.
Most of my pc based music is in FLAC file format.
I've been looking at various ways of eliminating the wireless part of streaming,
just out of interest, why?
Fair question. Whilst I really rate the SB and the media server and the user interface, the duet can be a bit of a 'mare if it suffers a disconnect or insufficient bandwidth.
it's not that much trouble to reset or restart the source machine etc for me, but there are others in the house who don't have the patience or wherewithal to have to re enter network passwordse etc., it can be a long winded process.
I know the touch is better in this regard, but as I mentioned I wasn't impressed with the sq. ( in comparison to my existing set up ).
Winamp/USB/DAC ensures no dropouts when I'm using my wireless network heavily, plays all my files and is quicker in respect of app control.
The windows mixer bypass does appear to up the sq to what I'm used to.
What I really want is a silent, ssd server with a quality digital out route with wireless network capability. Whilst I could get one made, larger ssd drives are expensive, and I do have a spare netbook, so hard to justify extra cost.
With regards to a silent server, you can have one pretty cheap if you look down the intel atom route. I think the acer revo has an optical out as well if you didn't want to build your own. Then you can just stick a nas in a cupboard and you're pretty much good to go.
But, if you already have a netbook, then you could just re-purpose that. Not sure how quiet your netbook is though.
For anybody who is interested in the whole mixer bypass on windows - if your soundcard doesn't come with it's own asio style drivers, try asio4all - iirc it's free
true, though one of the reasons for buying the Sony was the optical s/pdif out, and a 500G hard drive to store the music on the PC
Hi, Asus 1008ha, practically silent in operation and very low power consumption, probably less than a Nas. The Winamp .dll bypass plug in also free and a one step job, I think the Asio also needs a driver install?
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