Which way to wireless wonderland?
Current living room system
- Musical Fidelity A1 amp
- Cambridge Audio 640C CD player
- Monitor Audio Silver 8i speakers
- Synology DS209 NAS streamed to the hi-fi via iTunes and Apple Airport Express, controlled using Apple remote via an iPod touch
After many years of sterling service, my Musical Fidelity A1 finally stopped producing sounds last week, though it can still toast crumpets! As repairs (and most other things) in Norway are prohibitive, this gives me a good excuse to upgrade my living room hi-fi, and I am very interested in making full use of wireless streaming technology (without having to start up my PC every time I want to listen to music).
My question is whether the sound quality of the Sonos Zone Player 120 is good enough for mainstream hi-fi, or whether I would be better off paying the extra for the Arcam Solo Neo. How much of this extra cost goes into sound quality vs the additional CD and tuner section, which is of less interest? Can you recommend any alternatives, from manufacturers such as Naim, or perhaps the Zone Player 90 and a good, simple power amp? Target maximum price is around £1350 (Arcam Solo Neo price).
My music on the NAS is mostly burned from my CD collection at 250 kbps, though I would plan to re-burn CDs in apple lossless format. Sound quality and software upgradeability are of greatest importance. It would also be beneficial to be able to hide the amplifier / unit on top of a cabinet, which means that a good remote control is also of benefit (which can be iPod touch based).
I hope to hear from you and wonder whether this set of options is interesting enough for you to test out (eg Arcam vs Naim vs power amp plus Sonos)...
(Question also sent via e-mail)