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media hub

Hi!


 I'm looking for the best solution for harddisk based music playback. I own a Advance Acoustic MAp105 amp and a pair of Tangent Clarity 8 speakers - and a laptop pc.


 At this point I play music from my laptop through my amplifier, interconnected via the MIC outlet on the laptop and appropriate connectors of the amp. The result is not really satisfying.


 Currently my main options is to buy a DAC (such as the DACMagic) to interconnect laptop and amp or to buy a separate harddisk based media player to connect with the sound system, but any other decent advices will be regarded.


 A dedicated cd player (without possibility to connect with external usb devices or similar) is not an option.


 I want easy access to my music library and I don't want the performance of my fine hifi system to be restrained by any poor solutions. And, of course, as much bang for the buck as possible.


 Any ideas?


 /Regards Anders

idc
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Re: media hub

Laptop to DAC to amp to speakers will improve on your present setup. If you are happy having your laptop on when you want to listen to music then it and a hard drive (if needed) will serve as your media player. When you say a hard disc based media player I think of media servers such as the Naim HDX at £4500 and the AVA RS3 at £820. Is that what you mean?

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Re: media hub

"When you say a hard disc based media player I think of media servers such as the Naim HDX at £4500 and the AVA RS3 at £820. Is that what you mean? "


Apart from the price tag, yes. Smile


I don't have £4500 to spend. I'm willing to spend up to about £200-250 (I don't have current exchange rates as I live in Sweden).


I'm really not at home in the hifi market. Is there anything such as a cd player with built in harddisk or simply a hard disk media player? Whenever I shop around in HiFi stores or browse the web, the only thing I find is traditional cd players with or without usb ports and they usually only seems to support .mp3 or other compressed audio formats, which would prevent me from playing about 1/3 of the music (.flac) I've got stored on my harddisk at the moment.


 Have you got any personal experience from DAC:s?


I will, however, have a new laptop pc within a month equipped with this sound card:


 



Realtek ALC272-GR
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Type of Sound Chip
Software Sound

Connected BUS
High Definition Audio Link

Type of Codec Chip
ALC272-GR

Compatibility
Intel High Definition Audio 1.0

Support Audio Format
Stereo(Playback)=16/24bit, Stereo(Capcure)=16/24bit

MaxSampling Rate
192kHz(Playback), 192kHz(Capcure)

Full Duplex Support
Yes

1 bit digital amplifier


I don't have a clue whether or not it would influence the end performance (speaker sound) in the event that I buy myself a DAC, would it?


Cheers!


 Anders 


 


 

idc
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Re: media hub
simonthesaint:

I don't have £4500 to spend. I'm willing to spend up to about £200-250 (I don't have current exchange rates as I live in Sweden).


I'm really not at home in the hifi market. Is there anything such as a cd player with built in harddisk or simply a hard disk media player? Whenever I shop around in HiFi stores or browse the web, the only thing I find is traditional cd players with or without usb ports and they usually only seems to support .mp3 or other compressed audio formats, which would prevent me from playing about 1/3 of the music (.flac) I've got stored on my harddisk at the moment.



All I can think of is the Brennan JB7 here


 http://www.brennan.co.uk/?gclid=CIbnuNmfuJ4CFVtn4wod6BIzlw


which is a CDP with a hard drive. But it is over budget at £400 plus from what I can see.


simonthesaint:

 Have you got any personal experience from DAC:s?


I will, however, have a new laptop pc within a month equipped with this sound card.......


I don't have a clue whether or not it would influence the end performance (speaker sound) in the event that I buy myself a DAC, would it?



If you get a DAC it bypasses the computers sound card and takes a digital signal which it processes. So the soundcard is not relevant with a DAC. But your new soundcard, which is the computers own DAC, may be brilliant for music and you could connect your PC to the amp with a minijack to phono cable.


The good news is that with your budget there are a number of DACs which you can get. The general consensus is that lossless files via a DAC in the £100 to £250 budget is the equivalent to a £1000 CDP. You mention the DACmagic and it is well rated and about £200 ish.



 


 

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Re: media hub

It seems to match my criterias in terms of functionality, although the price tag seems a bit high. Unfortunately, I could'nt find any Swedish suppliers. Great tip though, thanx!


 


Now, I'm trying to find out whether the sound card specified below supports TOSlink or not, as the DACMagic features TOSlink. Can you tell from the specs below?


Realtek ALC272-GR
Type of Sound Chip Software Sound
Connected BUS High Definition Audio Link
Type of Codec Chip ALC272-GR
Compatibility Intel High Definition Audio 1.0
Support Audio Format Stereo(Playback)=16/24bit, Stereo(Capcure)=16/24bit
MaxSampling Rate 192kHz(Playback), 192kHz(Capcure)
Full Duplex Support Yes
1 bit digital amplifier  


Regards,


Anders


 

idc
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Re: media hub

Sorry Anders I cant help regards TOSlink, but you can connect via USB from PC to the DACmagic. USB connectivity is now on most DACs as their use with computer based music has increased.


 


PS - Swedish Prog Rock and bands such as Anekdoten are my big thing. Have you got any recommendations for similar music. I use the Swedish music service Spotify most of the time. It alone has made PC based music my best ever hifi change.

Anonymous
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Re: media hub

I would go for a computer based solution rather than an (expensive) audio hd player: the flexibility and tagging options are so much better.  I chose a dedicated netbook+(V-)DAC because of value for money, a netbook is very quiet, and my daughter of 8 also knows how to use it to find and play her favourite songs. I ripped my cd's with my normal laptop. I might hook up a NAS drive to my network if a need more space, 

 

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Re: media hub

 


Hi there!


 I must admit I haven't listened very much on modern Progg Rock Bands.


However, Trettio†riga Kriget (Thirty Years War), S”rskogen (South Woods, Žnglag†rd (Angels Yard), Peps Blodband, Bl† T†get (Blue Train) and Nationalteatern are Swedish Progg Rock Bands, both contemporary and 70s bands.


(I couldn't resist translating the band names within paranthesis) Smile


Please note that you may replace Swedish letters Ž™/†„” with AAO/aao.


A few links:


http://www.anglagard.net/


 http://www.progrockrecords.com/shop/view.php?id=66


www.lastfm.se


Cheers!


 Anders

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Re: media hub

Ok, so basically, all I would need to interconnect my laptop with my audio equipment is a DAC with a USB port, such as DACMagic or the V-dac?


What are your perception of the performance of the V-dac, considering the output/sound quality?


/Anders

Anonymous
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Re: media hub

Indeed. And some USB cabling of course.

I am quite happy with the VDAC, although the only direct comparison was with my previous (very good) Philips SACD player (also using 24/192 upsampling), and I could not hear clear differences in SQ (this was with my previous NAD amp.). You can tuck it away behind  the amp.  If you do not need volume control/headphone output (like some other DACs) it is certainly worth considering. I ordered it from the UK.

idc
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Re: media hub

Thanks for the prog bands to check out Anders. The V-DAC and the DACmagic are both well rated on the forum, though What Hifi in their review preferred the DACmagic. But other magazines prefer the V-DAC! Musical Fidelity who make the V-DAC emphasise the musicality and try to reproduce sound as it was recorded with an emphasis on the midrange. That is how I find the DAC in my MF amplifier. That DAC is also USB and uses the same Bur-Brown DAC in the V-DAC. I have only heard a DACmagic in a setup in a Richer Sounds shop where they are sold. In that setup it sounded great, but it is not a real test as all of the components have their own effects on the sound.


I honestly dont think that you would go wrong with either sound wise.

Anonymous
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Re: media hub

Well I have a wireless Media Hub. Vaio, PC, PS3, Printer.

If you buy yourself a PS3 and wireless router you will be able to stream all your music through it. Also if you fit a bigger Hard drive to it rip your CD's onto it and enjoy really excellent sound quality.

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Re: media hub

Sorry for the late answer,


 Thanks for all the advice. I've done some research concerning "hi-fi" sound cards. I'm not certain whether a dedicated sound card would have any affect to, or even improve, the output if one has already got a dac, any ideas?


 

idc
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Re: media hub

This question soundcard vs DAC has been coming up regularly recently. I feel a new thread coming on for that issue. I assume that is what you mean? Otherwise a DAC bypasses the PCs soundcard, so the soundcard is irrelevant.

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Re: media hub

Regarding Swedish prog bands, I would say that Nationalteatern probably is the most main stream oriented, or at least the most widely recognized one, of the bands listed in my previous post. The song Livet „r en fest (Life's a feast - word-by-word translation) was a world hit (in Sweden, that is) in the mid seventees.


 

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Re: media hub

Yes I do.


So basically, even if I run an E-mu 0404 (which seems to be a decent sound card) the sound card does not add anything to what is coming out through the speakers?

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