Help out an audio Luddite?

emerson

Top Veteran
Location
Maritime Canada
Real Name
David
Hi, everyone. I know there are some audio enthusiasts here, so here goes.

My name is David, and I’m an audio Luddite. [response: Hi, David…] I need your help.

I have an older 2-channel system I like [NAD receiver and CDP, Canton sub/sat speakers] but I would like to move from CDs to playing digital files. I find that I am only accessing a portion of my CD collection, and I think the convenience of streaming would encourage me to listen to wider range of my music. I have yet to find any gear with sound I prefer more, so I would prefer to keep the components I already have in place.

I have a home wifi network in place.

Preliminary research has left me more confused than when I started. So I am turning to the forum for some guidance and suggestions. Please, speak slowly and in really simple words. Seriously, I can’t even keep the terminology straight. <g>

I get the ripping and lossless files. NAS I get, sort of. But I think what I need are specific hardware recommendations, and an overall blueprint.

Here are the parameters that will influence my decision making:

a] It needs to be affordable. I have other pressing financial priorities, like a bunch of kids who expect food and shelter every day. And cameras.

b] Simple is good. By this, I mean easy to operate and maintain, minimum number of components, as few wires as practical. Spouse-friendly would be a big plus.

c] I would like it to be discrete. Big PCs with noisy fans, monitors, etc are unwelcome.

d] I’d like to operate with a remote, not a tablet or computer. I get enough of that stuff all day.

e] I’d like to do this change one, not every time tech changes. I’m 25 years+ on the current system, so you get the idea.

f] I don’t want to lock in to a customer-client relationship, such as Spotify. I like owning my media and locally storing my own files.

g] I may want to stream music to other parts of the house, but we can get to that once this first issue is squared away.

Basically, I want the equivalent of a 500+ CD jukebox, without the big component and all the associated noise. Basically a Squeezebox, if it still existed. I can't imagine I am the only one looking to move this way, but I don't see [current] threads on this question on audio fora.

Ideas?

Thanks.
 

hannahntilly

Regular
Location
Surrey, UK
Real Name
Peter
This is a fairly large subject so I'll limit my reply to my own experience and solution. I have a very good quality Naim amplifier from the 1980s and Mission loudspeakers which I now use to listen to my own music collection. My music files are all ripped in a "lossless" form - I use the iTunes ALAC format but I believe that FLAC is more popular. The files are stored on a WD Mycloud which is a fairly cheap NAS with 3tb in my configuration. It cost me about £75 here in the UK. This acts as an "always-on", very quiet, low power media server and is able to serve the audio files using DLNA. To stream the music to my amplifier, I use a QED Uplay stream. It cost me about £40. I control the streamer with the Bubble uPnP application on my android mobile phone. It all sounds splendid to me and was a surprisingly cheap solution to my own requirements.



Peter
 
Last edited:
Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
Hi David,
I also love having a "traditional" two channel stereo set-up and wanted more options. After a bit of research a few years back spurred on by this thread.... A completely spontaneous NON-Photo gear endorsement...
I ended up buying some Sonos gear. I won't try to explain too much of it, because I don't want to confuse you, but in your case, it would be as simple as buying two pieces from them. Most people know their business model as selling "network attached" speakers for wireless music distribution throughout the home.....and you may take advantage of that further down the road.

To get started, all you need is their Bridge and Connect units. One of them (I mix up all the terms all the time) connects to your router (I think) and the other connects to your home stereo just like a regular stereo component. Through the Sonos, I can access and play my personal library of music that I ripped and store on a network attached storage drive, but I also play internet radio and stream music through the Deezer streaming service....I'm sure you can use Pandora or Tidal or whatever streaming service you are currently using.

The pieces aren't exactly cheap, but they really work great. The only thing that MAY be a hang-up for you is that years ago they stopped making their own smart remote control........seems once they created a remote "app" for people's phones, tablets and laptops that sales of the remotes just plummeted. You can still find the remotes on eBay, but they are continually updating and upgrading the app.....and honestly, I always have my phone handy anyways.

And if you love the system...down the road, you can buy a powered speaker and add it to another room....and you can play different stuff on it, or stream the same things. I wasn't excited about the expense up front, but having lived with it a few years, I can't imagine NOT having a Sonos sytem in the house. I'd read through the thread up top and poke around their website and let me know if you have any questions.
 

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