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Big Aura's picture
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Considering Sonos
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Hello - I'm considering entering the Sonos fray (but this will require some negotiation the better half..)

I've got a few questions, and I would appreciate some views from WHF staffers or those who live with these systems on a daily basis...

1. The ZP120 (renamed something else now) - in terms of "musicality" what what does it sound like, and what price range will give me an equivalent stereo amp;
2. What speakers are best paired with (It will be used in the bedroom and I've got about £150-200 to spend - I was thinking Q Acoustics 2020i).
3. How fast is it - I've attached my iPod to my Denon 3312 AVR and use the USB link. It's good, but painfully slow to use. Will the Sonos respond as fast as using my iPod via the click wheel, or is it somewhere in between?
4. Internet Radio - I take it I can store favourites etc (so it will be as simple to access as my preset stations on my current bedroom mini system?)
5. Connections - do I simply dump all of my music on a hard-drive and connect that to a £39 zone bridge and connect the zonebridge to my router?
6. I realise people love these systems, but are they really THAT good?! put it another way, where do they fall down (even the most minor niggles!).

thanks for your time.

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RE: Considering Sonos

1 & 2) I don't have any experience with ZP120, but I have connected the ZP90 to powered speakers & the results are very good. With the money saved by going for ZP90, you will have enough budget to go for some very decent ones, like Audioengine A5+.

3) It is very fast. There is a bit of lag (between choosing the song to play & the song actually playing), but not by much. The lag is a bit more when accessing internet radio.

4) Yes you can.

5) Store all music on a NAS drive. Connect the NAS drive to your router, & the ZoneBridge to your router as well.

6) They really ARE that good! Smile I haven't noticed any problems yet.

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RE: Considering Sonos

thanks for the fast response!

A friend of a friend is selling a ZP90 (which would attach to my AVR) a ZP120 (which would go in the bedroom) and a touch-screen controller as a bundle for £300 less than retail, so am sorely tempted.

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RE: Considering Sonos

Big Aura wrote:
Hello - I'm considering entering the Sonos fray (but this will require some negotiation the better half..) I've got a few questions, and I would appreciate some views from WHF staffers or those who live with these systems on a daily basis... 1. The ZP120 (renamed something else now)

Connect:AMP

Quote:
- in terms of "musicality" what what does it sound like, and what price range will give me an equivalent stereo amp;

Sorry, no idea, I've never had a stereo amp and terms like "musicality" really don't mean anything to me. Sounds good to me though.

Quote:
2. What speakers are best paired with (It will be used in the bedroom and I've got about £150-200 to spend - I was thinking Q Acoustics 2020i).

8Ohm, decent sensitivity ones I'd suggest. I'm using Roth Oli 2s but only because they were dirt cheap on Play a while back (50 quid).

Quote:
3. How fast is it - I've attached my iPod to my Denon 3312 AVR and use the USB link. It's good, but painfully slow to use. Will the Sonos respond as fast as using my iPod via the click wheel, or is it somewhere in between?

It's certainly not slow but again I've never used an iPod, so I've no idea how fast they are. My Sonos reacts when I tell it to, not sure what else I can say.

Quote:
4. Internet Radio - I take it I can store favourites etc

Err, I think so, you know I honestly can't remember, I use the radio quite a lot but I can't remember how you do it! I do see some people moaning that it's too many clicks to get to their favourite radio stations. IIRC you can specify favourite stations, I just don't think it calls them that, I know I've got a page on the controller with about a dozen stations listed that I use to select the usual suspects.

Quote:
(so it will be as simple to access as my preset stations on my current bedroom mini system?)

I don't know what that system is but possibly not quite as simple.

Quote:
5. Connections - do I simply dump all of my music on a hard-drive and connect that to a £39 zone bridge and connect the zonebridge to my router?

No, the Zonebridge doesn't have that functionality, do you have a NAS? If so just put the music on there, share it and point Sonos to the share, if not you'll need a computer running to provide the shared location. What you don't need is any special server software running, just a straight network share, so from that point of view it's much simpler. Just bear in mind that one zone device MUST be wired to your router (or a switch that's wired to the router), if you can't wire one of your Zoneplayers then you'll need the bridge to do that but as you say they're only £39 and in fact they're being given away for nothing with almost every ZP now, so you shouldn't need to pay for one.

Quote:
6. I realise people love these systems, but are they really THAT good?! put it another way, where do they fall down (even the most minor niggles!). thanks for your time.

The biggest problem people seem to have is wireless interference but that can be a problem with any wireless based music system. But you can wire all your Zoneplayers if you wish (if practical), other than that complaints are, no 24bit support, errm, I can't think of anything else right now. Oh the desktop controller seems to give some people trouble under Windows 7 and you need a relatively recent version of MacOS to support the latest version which seems to have annoyed some people but you don't really need it. Don't know if any of that's relevant to you though.

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RE: Considering Sonos

Big Aura wrote:
thanks for the fast response!

A friend of a friend is selling a ZP90 (which would attach to my AVR) a ZP120 (which would go in the bedroom) and a touch-screen controller as a bundle for £300 less than retail, so am sorely tempted.

That's a decent price but be aware there have been a lot of issues with the touchscreen controllers, which is probably one of the reasons why they're discontinuing them. If you have an Android device it can now connect directly to the Sonos mesh network, so you don't need to worry about your home wi-fi's range so much (and you can use it for non-Sonos network stuff on the Android as well).

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RE: Considering Sonos

purchased - £599!  Now I think I need to get some new speakers...  Dali Zensor 1 or KEF Qi30 (£189 in the Unilet Blue Murder sale) are the forerunners...

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RE: Considering Sonos

I've got a follow-up question, but think the answer won't be to my liking...

I've got a Western Digital external hard drive - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Western-Digital-Elements-External-Desktop/dp/B003IPC21Y/ref=pd_cp_computers_0. which I though I could use as the source, but it seems from The_lhc's reply above, this isn't the case.

(Bearing in mind I'm not exceptionally/moderately computer-literate), can this be used, or will I have to purchase a NAS?  Other than leaving my laptop running 24/7 (not an option) is there anything else I can do? 

And if I do need to buy a new NAS drive, can you please advise a cheap, but reliable one?  Shouldn't need more than 1TB....

thanks.

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RE: Considering Sonos

The only way you could use that is if you have a router that can accept a USB hard drive and share it out over USB, I know some people do this without too much trouble but there's only certain routers that have that functionality. There's nothing in the Sonos range that can help, so it's either a computer or a NAS.

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RE: Considering Sonos

thanks The_Lhc.... prompt as ever!

So is this what I'm looking for:  http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/17814672/Western-Digital-My-Book-Live-2TB-Home-Network-Drive/Product.html?_%24ja=tsid:11518%7Ccat:17814672%7Cprd:17814672

Seems a good price, and as my hard-drive is unused, I can probably flog it on eBay for not too much of a loss....!

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RE: Considering Sonos

Yes, although I think that's only a single disk device, so if the drive fails you've no redundancy but it would definitely work with Sonos.

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RE: Considering Sonos

thanks - I owe you one (or two).

 

BA

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RE: Considering Sonos

Think seriously about a NAS with two drives in RAID configuration so that in the event of a drive failure you don't lose all your music. As the_LHC says/implies, a single drive is vulnerable.

It (drive failure) has happened to me but because there were two drives the data was safe. Would have been very annoying else

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RE: Considering Sonos

thanks, good point.  I may hold on to my "dumb" harddrive and use it as the back-up back-up...

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