32 posts / 0 new
Last post
fr0g's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 07/01/2008 - 18:38
Posts: 3033
RE: Which network audio player?

eggontoast wrote:

fr0g wrote:

If I were to lower myself to your level of debate I might say something I shouldn't, but believe me, there is only one chump in this conversation, and it isn't me.

Is that the best you can do......what's your next line 'I know you are I said you are but what am I'. I thought we were back at school.......only were not learning anything just going over old, mundane ground.

fr0g wrote:

The "poor information" being spread is that listening to HQ MP3 is somehow second best. It isn't. And no, people don't have to sit there and do the 5 minute test, but it's quite illuminating and somewhat of an epiphany when you do. 

Um, yes it is second or possibly third at best. For the record I have done the test sometime back when there was a similar debate on a different forum. There was nothing illuminating and I didn't have an epiphany either, it just confirmed what I already knew, you can tell the difference.

fr0g wrote:

And my hearing is excellent too, thanks for your concern.

Unfortunately the results of your Foobar test and postings on this thread would beg to differ.

 

We shall have to beg to differ. Both on the validity of what you believe and as to the origins of the schoolboy style ad-hominem.

It would be nice to discuss such things without such petty insults in future.

And remember, nothing is "old ground" really. There are people new to the discussion arriving all the time.

Good day sir.

 

relocated's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 17 hours ago
Joined: 20/01/2012 - 12:40
Posts: 1258
RE: Which network audio player?

White,

I have recently moved all my cd collection to computer hard-drive [and backup drive] and I have used Apple Lossless because with @ 600 discs I had more than enough room.  

Irrespective of what we can and can't hear, I calculated that losing nothing in the beginning of the process was better than having some loss when originating my collection.  I calculated that once it is gone it's gone.  That doesn't stop us moving music across to limited capacity devices in MP3 when we want to or indeed transcode if Apple Lossless turns turtle in the future.

Welcome to the Forum.  I trust that some of the exchanges on page 1 will not put you off the Forum and that you will share your experiences with us as you move through the miriad of choices we have nowadays.

:cheers:

Apple lossless - Netgear Nighthawk - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40.  

AVI ADM 9T used in my wife's system

fr0g's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 07/01/2008 - 18:38
Posts: 3033
RE: Which network audio player?

relocated wrote:

White,

I have recently moved all my cd collection to computer hard-drive [and backup drive] and I have used Apple Lossless because with @ 600 discs I had more than enough room.  

Irrespective of what we can and can't hear, I calculated that losing nothing in the beginning of the process was better than having some loss when originating my collection.  I calculated that once it is gone it's gone.  That doesn't stop us moving music across to limited capacity devices in MP3 when we want to or indeed transcode if Apple Lossless turns turtle in the future.

Welcome to the Forum.  I trust that some of the exchanges on page 1 will not put you off the Forum and that you will share your experiences with us as you move through the miriad of choices we have nowadays.

:cheers:

 

Well said. And as I said also, I recommend ripping losslessly. I dual rip with dbPoweramp to FLAC and MP3 for portable use.

 

Ragworm's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 1 hour ago
Joined: 24/07/2007 - 19:28
Posts: 85
RE: Which network audio player?

fr0g wrote:

I dual rip with dbPoweramp to FLAC and MP3 for portable use.

I've recently ripped my CD collection to FLAC using Sony's Media Go. It has a nice feature which is that you can then specify multiple target devices (such as phones and USB sticks) and the encoding to be used for each of them. So I've got FLAC on the PC and NAS and 320kbps on the phone, all from within the same app. Cool!

White Lightning's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 11/03/2013 - 21:33
Posts: 2
RE: Which network audio player?

Thank you for all the replies and input here.  Smile

As it happens, since my first post I have done a lot more reading up on loseless ripping and decided that I am going to start ripping my collection again and this time to FLAC. The reason for this is, as others have said, I can rip loselessly and then convert to whatever format in the future. Also, I have a 1TB HDD in my NAS and have plenty of disk space. I will probably invest in dBpoweramp to do the ripping as it seems to get a lot of praise. The only thing that is a shame is that I was about two thirds of the way through my collection, but hey ho, these things happen. 

Now, back to the network players. Firstly, I am not really bothered about multi-room capability. Whilst it is a cool feature I expect to do the majority of my listening to music in our lounge, where the hifi lives. Also, I have quite a nice Creative Labs speaker setup (with a small sub) on my desktop PC upstairs and that is very nice for listening to music whilst upstairs. I had looked at the Sonos gear, and it looks good, but a) I don't need the multi-room capability at this time, b) I don't really like the look of the white boxes and c) I am not sure I want to get locked into their solution.

Having spent a few more hours reading up on everything I was nearly ready to bite the bullet and buy the Pioneer N-30 a couple of nights ago (I decided that spending the extra £140 on the N-50 was really not worthwhile seeing as I was not going to utilise the digital inputs, and I didn't need the features that improve lower quality rips, and the money would be better spent on a sub (which I don't have currently)), but then whilst searching for a promo code for AV-land I stumbled across a "hot deal" for the Pioneer VSX-922 AV receiver at £239, the same price as the Pioneer N-30 network player. I liked the look of this as not only could it access my NAS in the same way as the N-30 but also I could replace my existing Technics amp, graphic equalizer and tuner with just one box. Something the wife really liked the sound of. 

So, I started reading up on the VSX-922 and it sounded like a really nice bit of kit for the price. However, I realised after a while that as it is an AV receiver, I was paying more for features which I do not need at this time (and would likely not use) and therefore I am probably comprising somewhat on the audio quality when listening to music. Also, it is not obvious that you can access the media server on the NAS via a smartphone app using this AV receiver and as my wife and I both have Android phones (I have an HTC One X and she has a Samsung Galaxy S3) that was a concern.

Anyway, I then started thinking a bit more outside the box and started thinking about one box that could potentially replace most, if not all, of my existing hifi separates (which to be fair are probably all about 15 years old). This led me to thinking about the Onkyo TX-8050 network stereo receiver. My brother bought one of these last year and having heard it (coupled to some nice floor standing speakers), I have to say I was very impressed with the sound and at £339, it is only £100 more than the Pioneer N-30 and potentially I could get that £100 back if/when I sold my Technics seperates on eBay.

Right now then the Onkyo TX-8050 is probably top of my list. However, I do want my final solution to sound really good. So, I have a question for the audiophiles on here: which of the following would you expect to sound better (assuming the same speakers are used and both are hard wired over Ethernet to my NAS):

a). The Onkyo TX-8050 network stereo receiver.

b). The Pioneer N-30 (or N-50) connected to my Technics SU-A600 stereo amplifier via good old RCA (red/white) cables - this Technics amp has no digital input.

I have read somewhere that ideally you should keep the sound digital for as long as possible, so that logic suggests that a) will sound better and if that is the answer then I think I may have made my choice. The wife would also be very happy to replace 3 (if not 4) seperates with just one - depending on whether I kept my CD player, for the time being.

Finally, don't worry about the 'discussion' over FLAC and MP3, it's all cool and hasn't put me off the forum at all. :cheers:  

relocated's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 17 hours ago
Joined: 20/01/2012 - 12:40
Posts: 1258
RE: Which network audio player?

Finally, don't worry about the 'discussion' over FLAC and MP3, it's all cool and hasn't put me off the forum at all.  beauty, eh  

 

Well that is good and a shame that you have to redo your ripping, do remember to engage 'error correction' [I'm sure you do, I forgot for the first ripping session   :doh: ].

Of your two choices I would go for the Onkyo solution.  I have no personal experience of either pieces of gear, they are from similarly respected manufacturers and would see you good service.  However, moving on from your old Technics will be a nice step up in quality and one can never under-estimate the brownie points for getting rid of boxes in the partner dept.  Quality aside, there is always the consideration of life expectancy of the Technics given that you will probably listen to a lot more music now you have a new and convenient way of listening.

Best of luck with what you decide and keep us up to date.    

Apple lossless - Netgear Nighthawk - ATV3 - AVI ADM 40.  

AVI ADM 9T used in my wife's system

The Fat Priest's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 16/03/2013 - 15:21
Posts: 7
RE: Which network audio player?

I am in a similar position, in that I am researching how to have online music storage - I'm buying a house which has got CAT 5 wiring, and as I have been ripping CDs and (more laboriously) vinyl to USB discs for some time it just makes sense. So I'm thinking I will invest in a NAS and a replacement for my very old Denon. I like the Denon small boxes, so a Ceol or a Ceol piccolo might be right up my street, as I can't afford Naim! Or a Marantz.

 

But one thing which doesn't really seem to ever get considered in What HiFi or in most discussions I have read online is the interface. I don't have a smart phone to control anything, and I realise I may have to invest in one but I'm reluctant to. I had a Squeezebox Touch at one time but sent it back because it didn't do the interface at all well. I prefer using a laptop and a DAC connected to the Denon so I can use VLC as the interface - there's none of this limit of 128 songs in a playlist nonsense. I just want, for example, to let all the Motown I have play in a random order.

 

So is there any player which has a good interface, straight out of the box, on its remote? Or am I really looking at a NAS, a player and phone or tablet as a controller?

 

Phillip

Fred_Barker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 17/02/2013 - 21:46
Posts: 100
RE: Which network audio player?

eggontoast wrote:

fr0g wrote:

As for ripping. 320 Kbps MP3 is as good as anything for listening. The quality of the mastering is important, not bitrate once you get above about 190 Kbps. I don't believe anyone here could tell the difference.

(You can try for yourself if you download Foobar2000 and the ABX comparison tool - It takes minutes to realise that a 256 Kbps MP3 sounds identical to a WAV or a FLAC).

:roll:  Here we go, there's always one on every forum dictating what people can and can't hear.

I was waiting for that; haha!! - personally, I can't notice any difference, but my age and too many live concerts have taken their toll on my ears!

I ripped most of my CD's years ago and the thought of going all through them to re-rip seems a daunting task!

I don't think that even a £20k hifi could improve the sound quality on some of the tracks that I really like, and they sound like they were recorded on Dictaphone.

 

bigboss's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 43 min ago
Joined: 25/03/2009 - 21:40
Posts: 13664
RE: Which network audio player?

The Fat Priest wrote:

I am in a similar position, in that I am researching how to have online music storage - I'm buying a house which has got CAT 5 wiring, and as I have been ripping CDs and (more laboriously) vinyl to USB discs for some time it just makes sense. So I'm thinking I will invest in a NAS and a replacement for my very old Denon. I like the Denon small boxes, so a Ceol or a Ceol piccolo might be right up my street, as I can't afford Naim! Or a Marantz.

 

But one thing which doesn't really seem to ever get considered in What HiFi or in most discussions I have read online is the interface. I don't have a smart phone to control anything, and I realise I may have to invest in one but I'm reluctant to. I had a Squeezebox Touch at one time but sent it back because it didn't do the interface at all well. I prefer using a laptop and a DAC connected to the Denon so I can use VLC as the interface - there's none of this limit of 128 songs in a playlist nonsense. I just want, for example, to let all the Motown I have play in a random order.

 

So is there any player which has a good interface, straight out of the box, on its remote? Or am I really looking at a NAS, a player and phone or tablet as a controller?

 

Phillip

With the popularity of smartphones, a lot of products do not come with a remote. Sonos eventually stopped making a remote controller. It is the best multiroom solution currently.

This is a very good option, with a remote controller.

chebby's picture
Online
Last seen: 1 hour 18 min ago
Joined: 02/06/2008 - 09:40
Posts: 16449
RE: Which network audio player?

I have two seperate iTunes 'repositories'.

One is all music and all ALAC (lossless) rips from CDs on an iMac.

The other iTunes - on my laptop - is all documentary, drama, comedy, history and all ripped from CD @320k AAC (error correction and VBR enabled). This is the one I sync my iPhone to hence 320k AAC.

I stream from both 'sources'  (iMac and iPhone) using AirPlay and both sound excellent.

I have experimented in the past with 256K AAC, 320K AAC and ALAC rips from speech and music CDs (all from the iMac and connected with optical to a DAC and a Naim system back when I had one).

In my opinion 256K AAC was just a tad on the thin side (but still far better ripped from CD than any equivalent 256K  iTunes download of the same track).

320K AAC seemed to be the 'magic number' where it became, to me, practically indistinguishable from ALAC.

From that point on I have kept all music 'mastered' in ALAC and everything else in 320K AAC VBR (mostly to make the best of the room on my 32GB iPhone and to leave enough space for more as I go along).

I won't say that someone with 'trained' ears (or 'golden ears'?) couldn't tell a difference with my files playing through much better system, but that's not my concern really. It all sounds great to me.

But then what do I know?   I love using AirPlay for almost everything I play (except an occasional CD or a bit of FM now and then) so that makes me a 'Pariah' anyway.*

* AirPlay, iTunes, my iPhone, my iMac and even my AirPort Extreme have put me so far beyond The Pale that  I'm positively bright again 

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

amcluesent's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/03/2009 - 08:53
Posts: 429
RE: Which network audio player?

>The wife would also be very happy to replace 3 (if not 4) seperates with just one - depending on whether I kept my CD player, for the time being.<

2nd hand Naimuniti?

Dutus's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 26/01/2013 - 12:26
Posts: 3
RE: Which network audio player?

I have also been thinking about a Network Audio Player and have been looking at various players, including the Pioneer N-50 and the Marantz NA-7004.  Regrettably the Naim offerings are way beyond budget.  The ability to play Spotify is vital, as is gapless playback (Spotify now has that as an option, thank goodness!).

Currently I listen to Spotify via my laptop which is hooked up to my Cyrus II (+ PSX) via a Tascam US-144 MkII usb audio interface.  This is a relatively cheap way of getting good quality off your computer (in my bedroom, the computer is hooked up to a Musical Fidelity V-DAC which feeds a V-CAN II headphone amp, one of the outputs of which goes to an ancient Altec Lansing set up comprising a subwoofer and two satellites - sounds far better than I expected it to - one of these days I'll treat the two MF units to a V-PSU!).  I subscribe to Spotify Premium which has the double benefits of 320kps and offline mode, so you can avoid breaks in the internet.

As regards ripping CDs, I saw DB Poweramp mentioned in one of the posts.  I can heartily recommend this as it gives lots of ripping options including checking your CD for errors.  I think FLAC is the only way to go.

As regards the ability to hear differences between different formats etc, everyone has his own opinion.  I recently did a test comparing a 2008 Ondine CD/SACD release of Sibelius's "Kullervo Symphony" played on my Pioneer DV-LX50 with a 1971 recording of the same symphony on an EMI pre-recorded tape played on my Nakamichi Dragon.

The tape was more musical and more involving.  In short, it sounded better...

Kelvin1969's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 19/05/2013 - 20:13
Posts: 1
RE: Which network audio player?

Hello. I am going to give you a completely different solution. Put the qnap on the hi fi (if you use wired network there will not be no difference). Buy a good dac and hook it to one usb of the qnap (check compatibility list) load audiostation software from the qnap site and use it with a smartphone/tablet. It can manage radio, any music and also serve net player in other rooms! ( i have a sinology that is similar to the qnap)

With half of the money that you want to spend you are going to have a better result.

Note: i have a marantz na7004. It is a good player but it is not supported anymore by marantz (no gapeless no alac ecc ..i have called them and they said me that in their planning there are no na7004 firmware updates) so i think that it is not a good choice.

 

Bye 

alex

ebr9999's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 01/06/2013 - 15:07
Posts: 1
RE: Which network audio player?

In my opinion, ripping 350 CDs implies storing of large quantity of info, which for easier listening needs some categorization and multimedia support (i.e. sorting by tags and navigation by covers). If I am not wrong, of the players mentioned in this thread only Sonos has these capabilities. I see these features are present in Multimedia player, so I would not exclude them from the games, provided that a good DAC is used as entry point to the WiFi system and these players are noiseless and support gapless. As acceptable ones I see Popcorn, NTV550 (even if EOL and with many flaws). Many are asking for other players like WD live stream to support for gapless.

csaboo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 12/07/2013 - 12:06
Posts: 6
RE: Which network audio player?

Hi Guys,

A new topic for this question seemed unnecessary, so I ask it here:

Sonos Connect, or Teufel Raumfeld Connector 2?

Which one would you recommend? I have a NAD C316BEE amp with a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze BX2s, and currently using a WD TV Live as source, which is obviously the weekest link in the chain. A lot of people have suggested that I should get a Sonos Connect, but I'm not sure about it...Teufel's solution is cheaper, and I've heard good things about the SQ of the DAC inside. I'm sure that the app to control the Raumfeld isn't as sophisticated as the one Sonos has, but I really don't care, if the sound quality is better.

So what do you guys suggest? Does anyone have experiences with the Raumfeld Connector 2? If you have, please share it, and of course I'm interested in other alternatives as well! 

Thanks in advance!  :rockout:

Pages

Log in or register to post comments