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Music The Hi-Fi thread!

Discussion in 'General' started by Edge102030, 30 Dec 2009.

  1. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    So I have a wee query.... I'm currently using a Harmon Kardon BTA10 Bluetooth receiver connected via 3.5mm to Phono into my (20+ year old) amp. It sounds alright, but I find myself wanting more.... MORE!!!!

    I've been looking at Airplay as I have an iPad and me and the missus both have iPhones.

    Currently I listen to either Spotify or I connect to my NAS to stream a mixture of lossy and lossless audio (Buffalo Linkstation running Debian) using the Filebrowser apps for iOS.

    I like to enjoy music mostly from my lounge but having it play simultaneously throughout the house would be a major plus.

    I don't want to change my Hi-Fi, I don't want to buy a Wireless speaker system. I just want to update the existing Bluetooth receiver with something that can support Airplay, and give me to option playing throughout the house (party mode?) or out via alternative an system (daughter's hifi for example)

    Please heeeyalp!!
     
  2. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I know little of Airplay, so can't necessarily make any suggestions there... however if you want Spotify and NAS based music, I'm not sure Airplay needs to enter into it, which opens up options considerably.

    Sonos for instance (not necessarily saying that's the answer) does the whole multi-room thing better than anyone, can play from Spotify or other streaming services and local music. The only difference from Airplay is that instead of using Spotify or Filebrowser on your phone, you use the Sonos remote app. I'm sure that there are a fair few other music systems which are largely comparable - I've only brought up Sonos as it's what I know.

    You get all of the same stuff, a single point of entry for all of your devices (i.e. control via a PC, phone, tablet) and you've not bought into a system which ties to you Apple devices to control it.
     
  3. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    So something like the Sonos Connect? It's quite a bit more than the Airplay Express which surprised me somewhat! I know I'm probably comparing apples to oranges but I can't really see where the extra money is going.
     
  4. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    And there you've stumbled upon the major downside - Sonos is fairly expensive.

    The benefit of Sonos grows greater as the system does, but for a single zone it's a fairly large pill to swallow.

    The upsides:
    - Usability, a great app control across all platforms. My wife loves it, my 60-something in-laws have kitted out most of their house and my 3 year old daughter can use it.
    - Comprehensive streaming service support, multi-service search is great.
    - Support - the 10 year old ZP80 still gets all of the latest bells and whistles and Sonos have been very clear that they're not leaving anyone behind, ever.
    - Scalability, which is important if you're thinking you may want to have 10+ rooms/devices at some point in the future. Sonos can build its own network, so you can move the traffic to another channel from your main wifi.

    If you can't tell I'm a fan, and the Connect does everything you want it to do, but it's £280 - there are far cheaper options for one or two rooms. So whilst it is an answer, it may not be the answer. I bought into it when the options were only Sonos or Squeezebox - I used the latter for a bit on account of the cost of the former, but ended up with Sonos in the end anyway. There more options than you can shake a stick at these days, but having been using it for 8 years and not once been disappointed, I'm fairly certain I'd chose the same again in today's landscape.
     
  5. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    I appreciate your input Mister_Tad, you've pretty much sold me! the cheapest I've seen them for is about £264 and I see they do a 100 day money back offer too, but by the sounds of it, I probably won't need it.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Another option is sniffing out demo units, even calling around some hifi shops to see if they have anything kicking about in a back room. I've had one of my connects for a complete bargain - I called somewhere I bought an open-box model from before, and as luck would have it they had a ZP90 sitting on a shelf in a back room that they were happy to let me have for £150. Residuals are so strong that if you were to find such a deal and didn't get on with it for whatever reason, you would easily make your money back selling it on.

    European Amazon used to be a good call for Sonos as well with the euro rates (and still might be, just less so) so worth looking at Amazon.de/es/it/fr too (edit: noooooope, don't waste your time)

    That's not to say it's not worth full RRP, but who doesn't like a deal?
     
  7. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Accidentally Funny

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    Good plan, will have a fish around to see what's about.

    I was in Sainsbury's yesterday and noticed that they had vinyl for sale, nearly picked up a copy of the Specials for £14but then realised I don't have a turntable anymore!. I heard vinyl was making a revival and that hi-res vinyl is also on the way.

    Anyone else looking to get back in to vinyl?
     
  8. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I was romanticizing the old days a few weeks back so I decided to download a few Vinyl-FLAC ripped albums. Just to see if vinyl really did sound as good as I thought it did.

    It didn't. I certainly wouldn't put loads of money into a decent turntable tbh.

    Mrs V-T has one of those retro modern 50s things that the kids got her for Christmas and she has a few albums but yeah, nothing really beats crisp modern music through a DAC.
     
  9. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Maybe not sound-wise. But there is something very relaxing and more hands-on when you actually have to get up and turn the record around after 3-5 tracks. It is more intimate somehow.
     
  10. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    Vinyl-FLAC loses something in the conversion, it could be the kit used or the low dynamic range of the ADC people use but it loses its charm, pure vinyl (setup correctly of course) has a really nice warm sound.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  11. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Lunatic on the Grass.

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    An article here from WhatHiFi about "HD Vinyl", they don't seem greatly impressed by the prospect.

    http://www.whathifi.com/news/hd-vinyl-promises-better-sound-and-cheaper-production
     
  12. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    It's definitely a lot more fun and more tactile than just double clicking a file that's for sure :) I do miss my old vinyl days. But then saying that, I also miss tapes, but that doesn't really make me want to start taping things again :D

    Yeah it does sound warmer but it just doesn't sound anywhere near as crisp.
     
  13. freshsandwiches

    freshsandwiches Can I do science to it?

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    I'm in the market for a pair of headphones. Could probably spend about £150. This seems like the place to ask.

    I have no Hi-Fi but would like to expand to this in future. Only PC audio with an Asus DX2 soundcard.
     
  14. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I think about the most popular are the Beyer in that price range.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyerdynami...eyerdynamic&qid=1458988889&ref_=sr_1_3&sr=8-3

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyerdynami...eyerdynamic&qid=1458988889&ref_=sr_1_8&sr=8-8

    But so much of it depends on what you are looking for.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grado-SR125...?ie=UTF8&qid=1458988968&sr=8-5&keywords=grado

    Are also affordable (one pair left in stock)
     
  15. freshsandwiches

    freshsandwiches Can I do science to it?

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    I've had a look a the suggested headphones. I'm interested in the Beyerdynamic DT990 PRO Headset - 250 OHM. I'm a bit concerned about what appears to be a design flaw.

    Also, would my Asus soundcard power these? I think it would since the card has power from the PSU. Just want to check.

    Should I purchase an amp if listening on other devices? Thinking of my Surface 3 here and mobile phone. If so, can you recommend one?
     
  16. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    IMO the next most important thing is a DAC of some kind. Your sound card should be fine I mean I have an Asus (mid range) and it's quite meaty but I would much rather pair my 'phones with a half decent DAC-Amp.
     
  17. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I love how 10 years ago a dedicated DAC was just about he most esoteric thing you could think of with regards to hifi, and now it's nearly a staple bit of kit for your hifi, pc and even phone.
     
  18. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    It's still pretty esoteric for most people. I don't use a standalone DAC with my laptop most of the time and no longer bother with one for my phone (which has finally gotten to the "good enough" point.
     
  19. Spectre

    Spectre New Member

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  20. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Okay, perhaps I overstated things.

    What I mean is, ten years ago a standalone DAC was almost certainly an item with a 4-5 figure price tag that only a very serious enthusiast would consider pairing with a high end hifi.

    The days it's a legitimate low cost upgrade for a mobile phone, laptop, etc.


    Just a receiver? You might be well served by attaching some speakers and sources as well ;)
     

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