Hi! Can I connect the NP30 Network Music Player to the AUX In of a stereo amplifier that feeds my real world dynamic speakers?
Sounds great - better than my Squeezebox, but the big let down is the random play. It doesnt. With 8000 tracks to select from I get one of about 4 sequences every time I switch on - unless I add new CDs that change the order. Even if I select Random again when switched on the sequence is predictable i.e. If I switch on and get sequence A then selecting random again will give me sequence C then J etc. I have 2 NP30s and get the same sequences on both. This is poor programming - I've reinstated my Squeezebox for now until this is fixed.
I purchaced one of these NP30's about three weeks ago, just to see what music streaming would be like on my system. I must say I am impressed with the quality of the sound it produces using FLAC files, add to this the endless radio stations you can recieve and the Uuvol app, it is very good value for the money.
I've had a few problems with the USB connections, with it not recognising some pen drives and hard drives, but I assume these may be USB 2 devices and it cant read them?
I originally tried to rip my music using itunes in WAV format, but soon discovered that the NP30 see these files as unknown artists and they were all together, this was no good for searching and playing particular artists. I have since placed my streaming music onto a NAS in FLAC format using another companies and the NP30 recognises the artists and I have proper search facilities that are usable.
All in all, for my mid range Hi Fi system £400 for this streamer is a steal.
I often wonder why manufacturers can't get it quite right with digital hi-fi - no gapless playback, no built-in amp, USB 1.1 in this day and age? And it's fussy about lossless formats? I think I'll wait quite a while until the "killer product" piece of kit arrives that just works, plays anything you throw at it and most importantly, doesn't cost the earth.
I bought this box 3 weeks ago and feel a bit disappointed:
good build and finish
easy to use menus via the IR remote
won't play correctly uncompressed FLAC files (stops 2-3 seconds every 30seconds), I had to convert all my music to FLAC compressed .
UPNP servers detection: on my network I have 5 PC 2 NAS and 2 sonos ZP90. the NP30 reports each sonos 3 times each !!! + all the pcs and NAS. as the player has a limit on how much UPNP server it can display sometimes I cannot even select the NAS where my music is stored.
I left a support request on the Cambridge audio web site let's wait and see..
conclusion : potentially nice machine but the software definitely needs improvement.
USB 1.1: why? USB 2.0 has been around for more than a while. what's the reason for choosing the old and very slow USB version?
anyone know when an upgraded version of this device will be offered?
Haven't seen it mentioned, but ripping your CD's with a bit-perfect ripper such as EAC(PC) or XLD(MAC) to FLAC files and then playing them with the NP30 directly into your preamp beats or rivals just about any CD player/DAC as they have error correction/jitter to deal with.
Just bought one of these along with a dacmagic and a pair of aktimate mini speakers and I have to say through the dac it sounds superb.
However I'm using a small powered 320 gb hard drive as my source directly connected to the rear of the unit. This gives much better sound quality than the wireless solution.
It does work fine wirelessly and streams the radio very well.
The app needs a bit of work though. When I first used it, it kept crashing, now after an update it doesn't crash but I find after a while it seems to slow down. It also doubles tracks up in files for some reason! Not sure why it does that and it will not display any album art. Inhale of course made sure all my music is embedded with album art in metadata using media monkey.
Still needs some work but as a compact media player it beats a cd player hands down.
Thus set up has just replaced a B&W Zeppellin iPod dock due to it breaking! Be aware zeppelin buyers, all that stands between you and your unit breaking is a small sticky pad underneath the plinth!
Just played some flac files on it and now it sounds even better! Very impressive! Tried wired / wireless again and I can still tell the difference in favour of wired. It maybe a problem with network so will look into it.
Does it really sound better using the hard drive as opposed to wireless, because there is no reason why it should? I would almost go so far as to say that if there is a difference, something is not right somewhere. You're still playing the exact same file (bit for bit) through the same hardware (same DAC) to the same speakers. It shouldn't matter one jot where the file orginates from. I just don't get it.
Wireless introduces noise, it's unavoidable. Routers operate in the same frequency range as other routers, wireless phones, etc. In fact, NAIM recommends that you disconnect the wireless antenna on their media players if you are using ethernet, as they say that just having the antenna hooked up will introduce noise.
OK - so it sounds good. But does it support gapless playback? This is a key feature for many listeners which not all quality streamers (think Marantz NA7004) can offer.
No, at the moment it doesn't, but CA is believed to be working on a future upgrade to correct this.
Looks good, but...
There needs to be a version with a built-in amp. CA should be able to do this for around £600 all-in.
Login or register to post comments
The AVR-X2000 brings Denon back to the AV receiver top table in this ultra-competitive price category
A decent, affordable effort from Otone but sound quality is tainted by a distracting brightness
Chord’s QBD76 HDSD is a top-class converter that delivers a brilliant sound from a well-built package. It has plenty of visual appeal, too
© 2013 Haymarket Publishing