Ab-so-lute-leh nuthin' (say it again!)
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Original post should have read...
I can’t help but think I'm missing something....
I've been reading Linn's and Cyrus' web sites to learn more about their respective streamers.
Currently I connect a MacBook Air via USB to an async DAC. This obviously allows me to play Spotify and my iTunes library etc and it sounds great.
I can't see what extra a dedicated streamer would offer?
Surely a laptop connected to a DAC (via async USB) is a very similar solution and generally cheaper (assuming you already own the DAC)
Am I missing the point?
I'd be interested to hear different views....
True, but in my opinion I'd rather not be tethered to the stereo by a USB cable. How much value one puts on that is up to the individual I guess.
I'd just rather not have to have my laptop or any other computer running to listen to music.
No signature worth mentioning...
no, you're not missing the point. A streamer is basically a computer, probably running a version of linux in a box without all the keyboard and mouse gubbins and only does one thing.
Some people have computers that sound like jet enginges when they turn them on, so it's understandable they don't want them running to listen to music. For some people it's conceptual barrier - ie computers don't play music, that's what stereos do. For others they may use both, for some it's costs etc. It just all depends on what you want and how you want to do it.
We find the Airport Express very useful. My Mac Mini, with the iTunes library is in another room. We can use the iPad as a remote control for the iTunes library or stream Spotify directly to the Airport Express. My ripped CDs sound better than any of my previous CD players.
In our previous house I had the computer in the same room as the stereo and had it connected with long RCA cables. Not a very good solution and it caused all sorts of ground loop problems.
I definetly recommend getting some sort of streamer if you have music library on a computer.
Mac Mini (2013), iTunes (ALAC), Airport Express, Cambridge Audio DACmagic, Yamaha R-S500 stereo receiver, Infinity Overture 1 speakers, Sony KDL40HX750, Sony BDP-S-590, Humax iHDR 5200c, Pro-Ject 1Xpression III Comfort with Ortofon 2M Red, Logitech Harmony Touch, Atacama Eris Eco HiFi stand
As a regular visitor to the USA over the last 37 years, I have enjoyed their radio stations - classic rock in particular. Now I can stream them here, I rarely listen to Uk stations on FM and dont bother with low bit rate Dab rubbish. SBT feeds the HiFi, ATV and AV amp the lounge and iMac to headphones via rPac. Downloaded podcasts can be streamed to the TV and old favourites checked out on youtube.
In addition, Marantz UD7007 lives up to the universal banner by streaming Netflixs in excellent, near BluRay quality, sound and vision - check out Breaking Bad and House of cards.
I still prefer the silver disc including SACDs and BluRays for movies, but streaming is a major boon for AV enjoyment. Whats not to like?
Good post cheeseboy.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
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Provided you connect your computer to the stereo using a digital cable (or Airport Express) you won't get any of those issues . The sound quality would probably be better by using the DAC in your hifi to convert the digital signal too.
Thanks everyone for your comments.
It sounds like I did understand streamers after all!
I enjoy the way I stream music using my laptop at the moment.
The MacBook Air is completely silent so I don't have any of the noisy computer issues sited as a reason to use a streamer (and it sounds great)
The only drawback I do have is when my computer is attached to my hifi I cant use it as its no where near my listening position. (Although I often prefer to just sit and listen). If I were to work round this, I think I would prefer to buy a used MacBook purely for permanent audio duties rather than a dedicated hifi streamer.
Sonos Connect would probably be a bit cheaper than a 2nd hand MacBook. So simple to set up and use too!
Synology 212j, Sonos Connect, Leema Elements Dac, Pro-Ject Debut, Arcam A38, Kef R100, Chord cables
IMO. The only way to know if a streamer has something extra, is to listen to a well designed one.......and I (unsurprisingly) recommend a Linn DS, which starts off with the Sneaky.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
But the bit of the streamer that makes the difference sound quality wise is the DAC anyway - witness the number of Naim users who first buy a £3000 streamer and then feel the need to add a £2000 DAC (plus a £3-6000 power supply). To me a typical streamer is an internet tuner which can also get music from file storage which I don't actually have. If I want to play music on computer I'd plug a laptop into a DAC. The internet tuner bit is usually well-implemented with vTuner and thus easier to use than a puter but that's about it. Expensive streamers = large white elephants. I've owned a couple and have often felt 'what's the point?'
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@ jerry klinger - I tend to agree with you about white elephants so far...
@ CnoEvil - it was reading your previous posts and enthusiasm for Linn streamers that pricked my interest today and led me to their web site and to start this thread.
@ p_m_brown - thanks for the recommendation. I've just briefly checked out the Connect and I'm disappointed to see that it doesn't have a USB output. I know I could connect it to the DAC via optical but I have a real preference for using USB as I get such a great result at the moment.
I currently have an Apple TV connected to the hifi so I can stream to it via my phone, iPad and computer wirelessly if I want to. I'm guessing the Sonos would offer exactly the same functionality?
When I run Spotify on my laptop and connect it to the DAC via USB, it sounds MUCH better than airplaying to the Apple TV.
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