good idea! i notice you have the marantz cr603 which was recommended earlier in this post..... do you think i'd be better off going with these 'active' speakers and foregoing the amp etc...??
I do, but opinion is divided. You might find a greater selection of actives in a pro-audio outlet. Have a look at sites such as Dolphin Audio or DV247 for ideas.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
There's the little Genelecs, 6010A, which sound amazing for the size. Have a listen to them - was thinking about them myself before deciding to go DIY. you'd need a preamp or DAC with preamp facilities, but. Behringer make some inexpensive preamps.
Active speakers have amplifiers built in to them. The ones mentioned earlier have quite powerful class a/b amplifiers built in. This means the backplates of the amplifiers act as cooling panels.
So far, so what?
Well, you have said you intend to house speakers within/between bookshelves that are fixed 28cm apart. I foresee cooling/ventilation problems with powerful amps tucked away behind a speaker and in an enclosed space between shelves.
Normal speakers don't require ventilation for cooling.
I suppose all it depends on how 'enclosed' the shelves are (whether they are 'open' shelves with adequate gaps for air flow, or if they are in a cabinet or fitted unit.)
None of the above is meant to promote the M-CR603 by the way. (In case any of the other members take offence.) If your shelves have sufficient gaps between them and the wall - to allow airflow - then I am sure there won't be a problem.)
Marantz M-CR603 + AirPlay • Rega R3 loudspeakers • iPhone 5 • iMac • Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n • Apple iPad Mini • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390 • Ruark Audio R1 Deluxe • Humax HDR-Fox T2
Why should they? It's your opinion based on experience. Perfectly valid.
Edit: and the little Marantz is supposedly very good.
If considering active speakers, you need to bear in mind the depth of the shelves and think about how to run the power cables and the interconnects. The supplied ADM cables, for example, stick out of the back of the speaker so you need to allow for that (although you can get right-angled plugs for the power cords).
Main: SqueezeBox Classic>AVI ADM40
Second: SqueezeBox Touch>AVI ADM9RSS
ok so having slept on all the information you've given me it seems that based on the fact the i have itunes, apple TV (through which i can stream itunes) a dvd player & sky what i probably need is an amplifier and speakers? does that sound right? i've decided against the 'active' speakers as i just don't have the space for them in my bookshelves. right now i i'm thinking maybe the Q Acoustics 2010i or Focal dome are about right. I don't want full on cinema sound i'm particularly interested in listening to music... Just need to figure out which amplifier if that is in fact the way to go.......
If you want to go the amp&speakers route, it might not be quite that simple. Which Apple TV do you have (1,2, or 3)? Only the ATV1 has analogue outputs for sound, so will work fine for plugging into an amp. The ATV2 and 3 both have optical out only for sound, so will require a DAC to convert the digital optical out into analogue so you can run it through an amp. Some amps have a DAC built in, but this will limit your choice. You can also buy standalone DACs quite cheaply - example.
Synology NAS + ATV2 > ADM9RS
The newish Teac range may fill the bill as it comes with a DAC and optical inputs: http://www.teac.com/product/a-h01/specifications/
There's also the NuForce range.
I think that the Marantz MCR603 is probably the simplest and best solution. It's an 'all in one' box that includes everything you will need apart from the speakers. It has an amplifier, Apple airplay, a CD player and both digital and analog inputs which allows it to be connected upto just about anything that you want such as computer or TV.
Try it out with a few different speakers in a shop to see which ones you like the best. There are lot of small bookshelf speakers availabe from companies such as Q Acoustics, Tannoy and Acoustic Energy to name but a few.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
as i work through all the options i think how nice my very first stereo setup was that had the stereo amplifier where i could adjust the bass / treble / balance ..... i guess that just means another piece of kit though right? that stereo was gigantic! (Rotel!)
I don't know if the Marantz MCR603 has bass and treble tone controls built into it.
Maybe Chebby will be able to let you know as he owns one.
Yes, bass & treble & balance adjustments. Also DBB - dynamic bass boost - (or 'loudness' if you like) for when you play music at a very low volume and want to add a little 'body' to the bass.)
All easily accessed and quickly tweaked with use of the DBB/Tone button and the left/right arrows. There is also an S.Direct setting ("Source Direct" for the purists.)
These were thoughtfully provided as knobs on the fascia once upon a time...!
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy Revolution DC4 (bi-amped)
AVI Laboratory Series CD Player
And 'once-upon-a-time' the (usually) dirt-cheap components behind the knobs started making crackling noises and contact cleaner sales flourished.
The ones that have knobs are usually analogue tone controls which are worse for sound quality than digital tone controls. Analogue tone controls have a side effect of messing up the phase a bit. Digital tone controls are better because they're able to alter the sound without effecting the phase.
I apologise for going off topic a bit here.
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