Best Way to Stream Music to my PreAmp?

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  • ClosetSciFiGeek
    Senior Member
    • Oct 2009
    • 247

    Best Way to Stream Music to my PreAmp?

    I want to be able to stream Apple Lossless music files that I have ripped to my laptop to my "good stereo" in the living room. I have a WiFi set up in the house already. My system consists of an Outlaw 970 Preamp(like everyone else I am waiting to upgrade to the UMC-1 if it ever is released) and an UPA-7 Emotiva Amp. The sources I am using are DVR, Samsung BDP-1500 Blu Ray Player and Xbox 360. I have asked for the Emotiva ERC-1 for Xmas to play CD's(I am pretty sure I am getting it-if not that jewelry is going back, just kidding my wife rocks).

    I am MOST interested in getting the cleanest input into my preamp not a lot of bells and whistles.

    What is the best device to do this with?

    I am considering the following:

    Roku Soundbridge
    Apple TV
    Squeezebox

    I am open to any and all ideas.
    "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
    -Hyman G. Rickover
  • Industrial
    Senior Member
    • Mar 2009
    • 213

    #2
    Squeezebox works pretty well, except when you do an update. I just did one and now I cannot control my squeezebox from my iPhone (using Ipeng). However, as a backup under my Squeezebox I have a very nice looking HTPC that blends in too well into my setup. I have it connected via USB to a Benchmark DAC1 and the sound is amazing. Sure a squeezebox is nice and convenient but I have to learn to stop updating because I see an update (why fix what isn't broken). My HTPC connected to my pre/pro displayed on my plasma TV and audio connected into my DAC1 is much more reliable. For me, the only nice thing about the Squeezebox is being able to control it with the TV off and one handed.

    Comment

    • ClosetSciFiGeek
      Senior Member
      • Oct 2009
      • 247

      #3
      Questions about HTPC

      How is your HTPC set up? Where are you outputting from? A sound card? How is the sound quality compared to the squeezebox?
      "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
      -Hyman G. Rickover

      Comment

      • Audiophiliac
        Senior Member
        • Apr 2006
        • 346

        #4
        I like the Sonos system. The AppleTV is nice if you are a Mac head, but IMHO not as flexible as the SONOS or even Squeezebox. Looks like any of them can be controlled by an iPhone now. All have digital outputs. Add a nice simple DAC, and you have it made. All boils down to which interface you like best. The only thing I wish Sonos' controller allowed was learning IR commands for the volume controls so you could control your preamp/receiver/integrated volume with the Sonos controller.

        Comment

        • ClosetSciFiGeek
          Senior Member
          • Oct 2009
          • 247

          #5
          Tell Me More about this Sonos, Please?

          What do you like about it? Which version do you have? How does it hook up? How is sound quality?
          "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
          -Hyman G. Rickover

          Comment

          • Industrial
            Senior Member
            • Mar 2009
            • 213

            #6
            Originally posted by ClosetSciFiGeek
            How is your HTPC set up? Where are you outputting from? A sound card? How is the sound quality compared to the squeezebox?
            Well my Asus MOBO has HDMI out so I use that into one input in my Pre/Pro for movies and Divx etc. Then I also have the audio going out via USB into my Benchmark DAC1. I could also use Optical out from my HTPC but I find USB more convenient. I don't use the onboard pc sound much, I let my DAC do most of the work. I find if I use Foobar and programs meant to bypass all the windows sound processing it sounds just like my Squeezebox which is supposed to be bit perfect. When it does work my squeezebox controlled via my iPhone is amazing. SQ is the same but the control on the fly is fun. I think Im just bitter towards my Squeezebox at the moment because the creator of it stayed on after Logitech bought the company. Well they kept the creator with them for a while and he recently left. And they seem to be taking a slightly different approach and I have to adapt my system towards this even tho I have quite figured it out (im pretty computer literate)

            Comment

            • Industrial
              Senior Member
              • Mar 2009
              • 213

              #7
              Originally posted by Audiophiliac
              Looks like any of them can be controlled by an iPhone now. All have digital outputs. Add a nice simple DAC, and you have it made. All boils down to which interface you like best.
              ^^^^ Bingo!

              Comment

              • ClosetSciFiGeek
                Senior Member
                • Oct 2009
                • 247

                #8
                Thanks, maybe I'll just build a HTPC. What would be your dream build if you could?
                "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                -Hyman G. Rickover

                Comment

                • Industrial
                  Senior Member
                  • Mar 2009
                  • 213

                  #9
                  Doesn't have to be very expensive. Mostly low powered CPU's so they stay cool and don't need loud fans to cool them down. Mine has a ASUS mobo with HDMI out. Two Scyth slipstream air outtake fans (very very quiet). Western Digital Caviar green 1T drive (so quiet you cant even hear if if you put your ear to the case). I use a dual (2600ghz) AMD CPU that runs off of 45watts versus the usual 90+watts. Case is a Antec Fusion remote silver which mixes in very well with my Rotel 15 series gear. Corsair HX Series 620W Power Supply. Only thing I would change now would be to add a small Solid State Drive to speed up booting and app loading. I'm going to add that last thing when I buy Windows 7, I'm running the test version at the moment and its running pretty amazing so far. All this goes out to a Benchmark DAC1 when I'm playing 2 channel stereo music. It is pretty much my dream HTPC, anything more powerfull would be too noisy for my applications.

                  Comment

                  • ClosetSciFiGeek
                    Senior Member
                    • Oct 2009
                    • 247

                    #10
                    Thanks for the help

                    I haven't built a computer for about four years now and didn't even think about that option. Thanks for all the help. Guess it is time to get on pricewatch.com and see what I can find out.

                    Anybody else out there got a take on commercial off the shelf options?

                    Here's the list of options I could find quickly:

                    AppleTV - ($229)
                    Squeezebox - Transporter($1800)/Duet($375)/Touch($300)/Classic($279)
                    Linksys by Ciscso - DMP100($300) or DMC250($450) with DMWR1000 Controller($349)
                    Sonos - Zone Player 90($350) with CR100 Controller($200)
                    Yamaha - MCX-P200($400) with MCXRC100 Musicast2 Remote($500)
                    "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                    -Hyman G. Rickover

                    Comment

                    • mjb
                      Super Senior Member
                      • Mar 2005
                      • 1483

                      #11
                      The AppleTV is an extremely good option, particularly if you have anything to with iTunes already, and they are NOT just for Mac Heads! The internal (160gig) HD also means the PC doesn't have to be left on either. The best way to think of AppleTV is like an iPod for a TV screen with digital out, that does music and videos/films. They run almost silent, and have a small footprint.
                      - Mike

                      Main System:
                      B&W 802D, HTM2D, SCMS
                      Classé SSP-800, CA-2200, CA-5100

                      Comment

                      • Audiophiliac
                        Senior Member
                        • Apr 2006
                        • 346

                        #12
                        I should have used better words than Mac Head.

                        It would not make much sense for me to use one. All my tunes are in FLAC format. Something Apple will not support for some self-serving reason.

                        The GUI leaves something to be desired, but URC has a module for their remotes with "shortcuts" that makes it much easier to navigate. Also those little things run HOT! I imagine it is because of everything they were able to pack into that tiny chassis. Nice piece of engineering for sure. Apple always has been on top of hardware design.

                        Comment

                        • aarsoe
                          Senior Member
                          • May 2004
                          • 795

                          #13
                          Would suggest that you purchase the Ipod Touch instead of the sonos controller. Works just as well and can do a lot other things as well. The app is the same anyway so in the end you are better off. If you already have an Iphone then use that for controlling the sonos

                          Comment

                          • Hammie
                            Senior Member
                            • Oct 2005
                            • 304

                            #14
                            Since you said you have everything already ripped in ALAC, I think Apple TV is your best bet. I stream my music through an Apple TV and love it. I've recenty been getting drop outs but I'm not sure if that is my network or the Apple TV. I plan on moving my LinkStation network hard drive to the same switch as my Apple TV to see if that helps.

                            It does it for both my laptop connected wirelessly, or my desktop which is connected via wire. My whole network is a D-Link Gig-E switched network.
                            Panasonic TC-P65VT30
                            Onkyo Pro PR-SC5508 | M2Tech Young DAC | Emotiva XPA-1 (x3), XPA-2
                            Oppo BDP-93 | DirecTV HR23-700 HD-DVR | Pioneer PL-670 Turntable
                            Sony Playstation 3 | Nintendo Wii | Apple TV 2, Mac Mini (iTunes Server), iPad
                            B&W 804S, HTM3S, CWM DS8 | SVS PB12-NSD | Denon AH-D2000 Headphones
                            Tripp Lite HT1210ISOCTR Power Conditioner, SMART1000LCD UPS System
                            My Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Setup
                            Next Upgrade: Cables

                            Comment

                            • aarsoe
                              Senior Member
                              • May 2004
                              • 795

                              #15
                              I have to say that one thing the sonos have in it's favor is that you can create a dedicated network for it. That way there will be no bandwidth issues with your existing wifi cloud.

                              Comment

                              • ClosetSciFiGeek
                                Senior Member
                                • Oct 2009
                                • 247

                                #16
                                Nobody Out there wants to brag about their HTPC?

                                Anybody want to send a picture or describe in detail their HTPC? Still undecided.
                                "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                                -Hyman G. Rickover

                                Comment

                                • NonSense
                                  Senior Member
                                  • Nov 2003
                                  • 138

                                  #17
                                  I built a home made audio server which I am getting outstanding results with sonic quality.

                                  I built it to take advantage of my audio system architecure. The PC is a fanless Mini-ITX platform from Via with a single PCI expansion slot. The power supply is a fanless switching supply. The storage media is a 2.5" ultra low noise samsumg 160GB drive. (If I were to build the system again I would use a solid state hard drive, or boot from flash media card.) EMU PCI sound card. USB wifi. That's the hardware.

                                  The EMU sound card was chosen as a suitable match to the external DAC that I am using. My external DAC has a reference clock output to phase lock the SPDIF data stream between the two devices. The EMU supports this feature. The EMU device also has ASIO drivers for bit perfect playback using Foobar. Lastly the EMU requires no silly breakout cable and provides galvanic isolation from the PC.

                                  Any drive Vibration is controlled by Spectra Dynamics material and Focal Pods. The chasis is silent from approx 12" distance. At very close distance, there is still a tiny noise from the platter rotation of the hard drive. That's why I would choose a solid state drive the next time.

                                  Note: I use a second PC for adding files to the system and transfer via WiFi. This keeps the music server lean.

                                  I cannot tell the difference between the server and cd playback. Having my whole collection of music available at a moments notice is amazing. I am enjoying my system more than ever.


                                  Cheers,
                                  Bruce

                                  Comment

                                  • aarsoe
                                    Senior Member
                                    • May 2004
                                    • 795

                                    #18
                                    I dislike the idea of connecting a PC directly to your home stereo. There is still to much of a chance for something happening that will make my speakers or amp unhappy.
                                    So instead I use a server based on windows home server that is accessed by Sonos, Itunes, Apple TV, mac mini and the Logitech Squezebox systems I have.. and yes I have them all.
                                    So far Sonos is the better system, but still sounds much better with an external dac compared to the line out from it. So it is not perfect as well..

                                    Comment

                                    • ClosetSciFiGeek
                                      Senior Member
                                      • Oct 2009
                                      • 247

                                      #19
                                      Excellent Feedback and 2 Points of View

                                      Thank you both for interjecting two entirely different points of view. The HTPC that was built seems to be really well thought out for audio purposes. On the other hand it is great to have a reply that is from an owner who has compared virtually all commercially available sources. I will have to choose between a well thought out HTPC or the Sonos with a DAC. Thank you very much this is exactly the feedback I was hoping for when I started this thread.
                                      "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                                      -Hyman G. Rickover

                                      Comment

                                      • Industrial
                                        Senior Member
                                        • Mar 2009
                                        • 213

                                        #20
                                        This is what mt HTPC looks like.

                                        Comment

                                        • wettou
                                          Ultra Senior Member
                                          • May 2006
                                          • 3389

                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Industrial
                                          This is what mt HTPC looks like.

                                          Very nice
                                          Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field."Dwight D. Eisenhower

                                          Comment

                                          • Chris D
                                            Moderator Emeritus
                                            • Dec 2000
                                            • 16877

                                            #22
                                            Very cool, dude. :T
                                            CHRIS

                                            Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
                                            - Pleasantville

                                            Comment

                                            • ClosetSciFiGeek
                                              Senior Member
                                              • Oct 2009
                                              • 247

                                              #23
                                              What model is that
                                              "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                                              -Hyman G. Rickover

                                              Comment

                                              • Industrial
                                                Senior Member
                                                • Mar 2009
                                                • 213

                                                #24
                                                Like I said in one if my posts above describing what makes up my HTPC

                                                Antec Remote Fusion in silver. It comes with a remote which I have setup to work with my logitech ONE remote. The remote is kinda crappy tho but that's not why I got the case. coolest thing I do with the remote is open and close the optical drive. Anything else is a pain or a bother to setup and much easier to a keyboard. Case sure is pretty tho, I painted the top from Mate black to hammered silver.

                                                Comment

                                                • ClosetSciFiGeek
                                                  Senior Member
                                                  • Oct 2009
                                                  • 247

                                                  #25
                                                  That is awesome.
                                                  "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                                                  -Hyman G. Rickover

                                                  Comment

                                                  • ClosetSciFiGeek
                                                    Senior Member
                                                    • Oct 2009
                                                    • 247

                                                    #26
                                                    On the Subject of HTPC's Check out this Link

                                                    A buddy of mine just sent me this link if anybody out there is thinking about a HTPC. Good reading.

                                                    I hear a lot about those damned netbooks as hot buys this season, but Prof. Dealzmodo suggests getting something that's actually, you know...useful. HTPCs baby. There has never been a better time:
                                                    "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                                                    -Hyman G. Rickover

                                                    Comment

                                                    • Industrial
                                                      Senior Member
                                                      • Mar 2009
                                                      • 213

                                                      #27
                                                      http://www.computeraudiophile.com http://www.silentpcreview.com

                                                      Two wicked places to give you even more ideas. I used silentpc review to design my system. Each part of it gets good ratings there.

                                                      Comment

                                                      • NonSense
                                                        Senior Member
                                                        • Nov 2003
                                                        • 138

                                                        #28
                                                        Originally posted by aarsoe
                                                        I dislike the idea of connecting a PC directly to your home stereo. There is still to much of a chance for something happening that will make my speakers or amp unhappy.
                                                        So instead I use a server based on windows home server that is accessed by Sonos, Itunes, Apple TV, mac mini and the Logitech Squezebox systems I have.. and yes I have them all.
                                                        So far Sonos is the better system, but still sounds much better with an external dac compared to the line out from it. So it is not perfect as well..
                                                        These devices that are mentioned are virtually PC's. They may be running Linux or QNX operating systems, but will still be using a well known OS. This is how they can get these networked products to market quick, with minimal device driver development. It will also allow high level developers to write the code without detailed knowledge of the platform hardware. There are many embedded PC's operating reliably. If it has been designed properly, there is no higher risk than using one of the above mentioned devices.

                                                        Isolation is the key. You wouldn't want to run your telephone or cable directly as these provide a path for lightning strikes etc.

                                                        The real question is: If you need a home server to use a product like the Sono's, which sounds better with an external DAC. Why not just connect the server to the DAC? I looked at all the off the shelf products available at the time I built my audio server, and could not find a higher quality solution for my system. The only drawback is it's not an out of the box solution. It requires some effort. There are also many other features of these products, which were of no interest to me. But would be selling points for many customers.

                                                        Cheers,
                                                        Bruce

                                                        Comment

                                                        • ClosetSciFiGeek
                                                          Senior Member
                                                          • Oct 2009
                                                          • 247

                                                          #29
                                                          Industrial Thanks for the Links

                                                          I am deep in research right now. Lots of ideas. Being a hard-core DIY guy I lean toward the HTPC vice the limitations of a pre-built box like Sonos, AppleTV, etc... I am sure these are great products, but I tend to enjoy building almost as much as enjoying the outcome.
                                                          "You get what you Inspect, not what you Expect"
                                                          -Hyman G. Rickover

                                                          Comment

                                                          • impala454
                                                            Ultra Senior Member
                                                            • Oct 2007
                                                            • 3814

                                                            #30
                                                            Resurrecting an old thread here. I saw today that Sonos now has an app for Android. It peaked my interest in possibly getting a Sonos Z90.

                                                            My question to anyone who might own a Sonos player, is can it handle a very large library of music? I have well over 60,000 music files and would want the interface to be nice and responsive. Also I noticed in the thread people are mentioning external DACs. I've never used one before.. would that be effectively connecting the digital output of the Sonos to a DAC and then analog out to my receiver? Not sure I'd go that direction, just want to understand.
                                                            -Chuck

                                                            Comment

                                                            • impala454
                                                              Ultra Senior Member
                                                              • Oct 2007
                                                              • 3814

                                                              #31
                                                              Bueller?
                                                              -Chuck

                                                              Comment

                                                              • Chris D
                                                                Moderator Emeritus
                                                                • Dec 2000
                                                                • 16877

                                                                #32
                                                                Chuck, I think you've got that right.

                                                                60,000 files? Serious? Holy crap, dude. I have just over 10,000, and I thought I had a lot!!!
                                                                CHRIS

                                                                Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
                                                                - Pleasantville

                                                                Comment

                                                                • impala454
                                                                  Ultra Senior Member
                                                                  • Oct 2007
                                                                  • 3814

                                                                  #33
                                                                  Yeah... obviously I don't listen to it all, it's more of a hobby to collect any and every music I can get my hands on. Started in college just trading 2-3GB at a time with others, then I spent one summer, about two hours a day, and made every single tag correct with each other. The problem I've always run into attempting to build a music server is finding some nice looking software that doesn't choke on that many files. WMC is awesome but it just doesn't handle that amount of files well.
                                                                  -Chuck

                                                                  Comment

                                                                  • Armbender
                                                                    Senior Member
                                                                    • Jul 2005
                                                                    • 265

                                                                    #34
                                                                    Im using an Apple TV right now just hooked to my Classe 600 but my Wyred DAC2 is on route. This should be a huge improvement to an already awesome piece of equipment...the wife loves it which makes me love it even more...
                                                                    Samsung UN60C6300 | Primare SP32 | Primare A30.7 | Oppo BDP-103 | PS Audio Quintet | AppleTV | ELAC 247 Black Edition | ELAC CC 241 Black Edition | B&W DM 600 S3 | SVS PC 13 Ultra | Straight Wire Virtuoso | Harmonic Technology Pro 9's | Black Sands Power Cords

                                                                    Comment

                                                                    • Hammie
                                                                      Senior Member
                                                                      • Oct 2005
                                                                      • 304

                                                                      #35
                                                                      Originally posted by Chris D
                                                                      Chuck, I think you've got that right.

                                                                      60,000 files? Serious? Holy crap, dude. I have just over 10,000, and I thought I had a lot!!!
                                                                      It's very easy to get that many. Swap CD's with friends. Borrow CD's from the library.

                                                                      I only have about 8000 or so songs. I just stream my music from iTunes to my Apple TV and out the HDMI cable to my AV processor. Everything is in the ALAC format. If I have a choice of 24-bit FLAC or 16-bit ALAC! I will always choose the 24-bit FLAC and use Max on my Mac Mini to convert it to a 24-bit ALAC file.
                                                                      Panasonic TC-P65VT30
                                                                      Onkyo Pro PR-SC5508 | M2Tech Young DAC | Emotiva XPA-1 (x3), XPA-2
                                                                      Oppo BDP-93 | DirecTV HR23-700 HD-DVR | Pioneer PL-670 Turntable
                                                                      Sony Playstation 3 | Nintendo Wii | Apple TV 2, Mac Mini (iTunes Server), iPad
                                                                      B&W 804S, HTM3S, CWM DS8 | SVS PB12-NSD | Denon AH-D2000 Headphones
                                                                      Tripp Lite HT1210ISOCTR Power Conditioner, SMART1000LCD UPS System
                                                                      My Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Setup
                                                                      Next Upgrade: Cables

                                                                      Comment

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