Guys I picked up a Sonos connect system and bridge today after much deliberation having started building a flac / lossless database of music because I had heard my recently acquired cyrus CD player put my 320 rate mp3 collection to shame when playing through my cyrus amp but, longed for the flexibility of being able to play this new database of files with the freedom and convenience that iTunes and the like affords without having to burn it to cd first!
I am surely not alone in this?
i regret my ears appreciate a quality I refuse to afford and so my cyrus kit was acquired at much reduced rates as ex demo models and whilst the stream Xp would, i am sure, look and sound perfect, I refused to stretch to £2k+ especially whilst they are still new to the game and bugs and usability issues are still talked about.
Every hifi shop I visited assured me that I should consider the Sonos connect and, as it was relatively inexpensive, I relented; it proved to be very easy to set up and as easy as iTunes to use, if not more so and plugged into the Cyrus amp it does not sound terrible but, it is very boomy and unresponsive and not at all dynamic, you would never know it was great sounding lossless files being played through my super responsive and tight cyrus amp!
Even playing my 320 mp's files from my iPhone through my Onkyo dock sounded infinitely better!
so... i need help, quick, before I take the sonos back!
Perhaps I have the set up wrong?
I have set the sonos to not compress the files on transmition and to fix the volume though truth be told I don't want the files to go through the sonos amp at all!
I suspect that an outboard dac would be the largest issue to resolve but, which one, at what cost and would I have been better picking up the £400 Marantz streamer and a wifi relay or even a demo cyrus streamline at £700 and ignore it's built in amp?
My fear is that If i add a two or three hundred pound outboard dac and still don't get close to the Cyrus cd sound quality that I am addicted to that I could have then an expensive digital system that i was trying to avoid which I cannot even bare to listen too!
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated?
Updated ... I used Cyrus website and took their advice to use DBpoweramp to rip all my CDs again using FLAC and thereby preserving the metadata. Always rip highest res files, don't use WAV. Quite annoyed that v2 models now support ALAC. I'm not spending £320 to upgrade.
I actually have the Stream X within a Cyrus CD transport and 8xpdQX system.
The wireless receiver was hard to connect to the unit and never connected to my modem router(. Wired is the better option via a network splitter so this is how I do it.
The remote is beautiful but infuriating. Too slow to navigate, it won't look for new firmware unless connected by USB to a PC!!!, it crashes the Stream X when pressing input buttons to control a connected amp, it gets muddled and has to be placed back on the charger and left to reset, I've had to reset back to factory mode twice. Ahhh well!!
The internet radio is good and I enjoy searching for new stations. But you have to search on a PC, save these favourites to the Tune-in account and then go back to the Stream X. It all updates in one minute though.
FLAC files sound great but my CD transport is clearly better.
I prefer to play a CD than find the album on the NAS drive, but Stream is well suited to randomly selecting tracks, artists etc.
Rather than go this route (which I seriously considered...), I opted to upgrade my current Cyrus and Sonos set-up with the addition of a Cyrus 8XPD-QX. Current system consists of the 8XPD-QX plus PSX-R, with Gallo ref 3.1 speakers driven by Cyrus Power amps in mono configuration. The Sonos adds the streaming functionality via the main amp digital input, and I have to say, both in functional and musical terms, the system sounds great! OK, the Sonos doesn't fit in with the Cyrus components as well as the Stream XP, but the functionality of the Sonos far outweighs this, in my view (so easy to control via a very nice Sonos GUI App on the ipad...)
The Stream X has been by far the most disappointing piece of hifi equipment I have ever owned. There have been 5 main issues.
1. The original purchased unit suffered from numerous drop outs and resetting of both the controller and the main unit. The radio channel sound quality, particularly the BBC, was appallingly bad and the BBC metadata never displayed properly.
2. When working from the NAS the sound quality is/was barely any better than the Sonos unit it replaced.
3. Reliability - I am now awaiting replacement of the unit for the 2nd time, the first unit I returned for repair (see 1 above) but was lost by Cyrus and the replacement they sent failed the first time it was switched on...
4. Functionality - Far inferior to Sonos. For example, there is no ability to queue tracks, you have to select a single track or a complete album. The radio favourites can only be set using a computer on the internet by visiting the TuneIn web site. The controller is covered in tiny buttons most of which have no function whatever, other than for crashing the controller or main unit or, sometimes, both.
5. It requires frequent updates to keep its firmware up-to-date but there is no provision to do this over the internet. It has to be taken or sent to a Cyrus reseller.
I couldn't recommend the Stream X to anyone.
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