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Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

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ROB2009's picture
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Just wondering what the best way to connect a sonos zp90 to my Arcam AVR350, digital or analogue? Any thoughts greatly appreciated. 

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

I know users on here find the Sonos is no slouch, but personally I'd be inclined to take advantage of the DACs in the Arcam by connecting digitally.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're able to connect by both methods simultaneously though, so you can flip between the two easily to compare; if you can't tell a difference then use the one that's most convenient for you.

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The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

Yeah I'd go with digital with something like an Arcam as well.

John Duncan's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

...and that's from the man I was thinking of when citing Sonos users on here...

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michael hoy's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

John Duncan wrote:

I know users on here find the Sonos is no slouch, but personally I'd be inclined to take advantage of the DACs in the Arcam by connecting digitally.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're able to connect by both methods simultaneously though, so you can flip between the two easily to compare; if you can't tell a difference then use the one that's most convenient for you.

You can connect both analogue and digital on my Pioneer, did this for the same reason as you stated.

I find the digital connection sounds better.

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scene's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

Well speaking as a man (sheep?) with a ZP90 connected to an AVR250 - the smaller brother to the AVR350 - I tested both connections - digital and analogue. I used a Chord Crimson (not plus) for the analogue and a thatcable TOSLINK cable for the digital.

Both were good, but I found the DAC on the Arcam much better than the one in the ZP90 - sort of unsurprising given the price differential and how good Arcam DACs seem to be (IMO). The sound was fuller, notes were clearer and better differentiated and the whole experience seemed much closer to a CD connected digitally to the Arcam. For the record, all my tunes were ripped losslessly to ALAC format via iTunes using my Dell Zino's blu-ray drive.

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Hi Fi: Arcam A85, DV88 (CD only), Project Debut II, Sonos ZP90, AE Compact-1.  AV: Arcam AVR250, DV79, Sony BDP-S760, Monitor Audio Silver 8i, RS-LCR, RXFX, Sonos ZP90, Pioneer KRP500A.  2nd AV: Pioneer SX-SWR2, Dell Zino HD, KEF KHT2005.2 eggs, Sonos ZP90.  Cables: That Cable HDMI, Chord Crimsons, CAT6 backbone  Sonos S5s in the bedrooms

The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

John Duncan wrote:

...and that's from the man I was thinking of when citing Sonos users on here...

Nah, I've always had mine connected digitally, even on my old av amp it sounded better, although I only used some free phono cables, don't know if some better ones would have made any difference.

scene's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

The_Lhc wrote:

John Duncan wrote:

...and that's from the man I was thinking of when citing Sonos users on here...

Nah, I've always had mine connected digitally, even on my old av amp it sounded better, although I only used some free phono cables, don't know if some better ones would have made any difference.

Funnily enough, before I tried the Chord Crimson vs. Digital compare, I was using cheap phono cables for the Sonos and thought it sounded pants. The Crimsons definitely improved the sound, but not sure if it would be worth going much further than something like that, I think the law of diminishing returns would apply pretty rapidly.

Though having said that I have some Chord Cobra IIs I could try for comparative purposes...

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Hi Fi: Arcam A85, DV88 (CD only), Project Debut II, Sonos ZP90, AE Compact-1.  AV: Arcam AVR250, DV79, Sony BDP-S760, Monitor Audio Silver 8i, RS-LCR, RXFX, Sonos ZP90, Pioneer KRP500A.  2nd AV: Pioneer SX-SWR2, Dell Zino HD, KEF KHT2005.2 eggs, Sonos ZP90.  Cables: That Cable HDMI, Chord Crimsons, CAT6 backbone  Sonos S5s in the bedrooms

Andrew17321's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

I preferred to connect my ZP90 digitally to my AVR300. 

I have since added a Rega Dac, so my ZP90 connects digitally to the DAC and that connects to the AVR300 by analogue, and I use the direct audio in the AVR, bypassing all the digital circuits in the AVR300.  Adding the DAC and using the direct audio path has made a considerable improvement to the sound: it is much more detailed.  (I use Apple Lossless format and store my music files on a NAS.)

Andrew

ROB2009's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

Thanks for all the suggestions, greatly appreciated, think digital seems the way to go....

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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

I'll need to try the digital connection from my ZP90 to my AVR300 tomorrow, always had it connected by analogue so I could use the direct audio in the AVR.

scene's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

brianmcr wrote:

I'll need to try the digital connection from my ZP90 to my AVR300 tomorrow, always had it connected by analogue so I could use the direct audio in the AVR.

Actually, before my last reworking of the wiring of my kit, I had my zp90 wired in digitally and analogue so that I could have the better quality digital sound and the option to run the avr250 in direct mode, which I think is better for two channel sound from the arcam

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Hi Fi: Arcam A85, DV88 (CD only), Project Debut II, Sonos ZP90, AE Compact-1.  AV: Arcam AVR250, DV79, Sony BDP-S760, Monitor Audio Silver 8i, RS-LCR, RXFX, Sonos ZP90, Pioneer KRP500A.  2nd AV: Pioneer SX-SWR2, Dell Zino HD, KEF KHT2005.2 eggs, Sonos ZP90.  Cables: That Cable HDMI, Chord Crimsons, CAT6 backbone  Sonos S5s in the bedrooms

ROB2009's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

Right then folks....

Finally did an analogue v digital comparison, for the trial in analogue I used a pair of chord crimson interconnects and the "stereo direct" setting on the Arcam.

...And I prefer the analogue sound over the digital...

To be honest there wasn't much in it, but some tracks through the digital connection sounded too boomy, I know it may be a settings issue but I always did use the stereo direct setting before and just prefer how clean it sounds!

Each to their own I guess....and a big thanks to all who offered their thoughts Smile

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ROB2009's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

Right then folks....

Finally did an analogue v digital comparison, for the trial in analogue I used a pair of chord crimson interconnects and the "stereo direct" setting on the Arcam.

...And I prefer the analogue sound over the digital...

To be honest there wasn't much in it, but some tracks through the digital connection sounded too boomy, I know it may be a settings issue but I always did use the stereo direct setting before and just prefer how clean it sounds!

Each to their own I guess....and a big thanks to all who offered their thoughts Smile

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Sony KDL37W550, Arcam AVR350, Sony BDP-S5000ES, Sky+HD, B&W CM7's, B&W CM Centre, B&W FPM2's, Sunfire HRS-8, Sonos Play 5, Sonos Play 3, Sonos ZP90, Arcam SonLink dac for ZP90

scene's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

No substitute for your own ears Smile

And that's what I found - I've gone back to double connected (Chord Crimson + TOSLINK) and use the Chords (analogue) + Stereo direct for full on listening, and tend to only used the digital connects for parties, etc, when I want to surround sound. I must get round to trying Sonos -> DAC -> Arcam (in stereo direct) or even an Audiocom upgraded Sonos...

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Hi Fi: Arcam A85, DV88 (CD only), Project Debut II, Sonos ZP90, AE Compact-1.  AV: Arcam AVR250, DV79, Sony BDP-S760, Monitor Audio Silver 8i, RS-LCR, RXFX, Sonos ZP90, Pioneer KRP500A.  2nd AV: Pioneer SX-SWR2, Dell Zino HD, KEF KHT2005.2 eggs, Sonos ZP90.  Cables: That Cable HDMI, Chord Crimsons, CAT6 backbone  Sonos S5s in the bedrooms

ROB2009's picture
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RE: Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

Update....

added the Arcam SonLink dac to the Sonos ZP90, really nice upgrade.....very pleased  Smile

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