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post #1 of 20 Old 02-06-2012, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,
I have recently moved over from the UK and am looking for a 2-channel bedroom system. In the UK I had a Denon DM38 system connected to some Mordaunt Short Alumni 1 speakers which I liked but decided to give the amp away to my parents before I left.
I am looking to replace this system and potentially upgrade. I still have the Mordaunt Short speakers so am looking to keep them for now (similar to http://www.mordauntshort.com/summary.php?PID=56). I would go for another Denon DM38 but it seems a bit overpriced here ($400), mainly becuase I seem to have to but it with the speakers that I don't want.
I definately want at least one input as I plan to steam music to the amp. I'm not bothered by a CD player.
One option I am thinking about is buying something like a Boxee to stream music via DNLA so that then opens up the possibility of something like the Wadia 151 PowerDAC mini. I have no experience about this system btw, I just fell upon it after some random googling. The Wadia is obviously a lot more money.
So can anyone recommend a small bedroom system thats going to work with an external source for streaming. I looked at the Denon NR7 & Marantz equivalent, but the reviews are mixed and I'm not sure if I want to part with $700 for them..
I did consider the Yamaha CRX-332 but there isn't any external imputs from what I can see. The Onkyo CS-445 CD Receiver seems to be a cheap solution with 1 input so I'm swaying with just giving that and the boxee a go..

I'm swaying all over the shop here so very interested to hear peoples thoughts & experiences in this area..
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 20 Old 02-06-2012, 06:04 PM
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you could look at the harman kardon hk3490 $280 on amazon it has built in dac

i'm so laid back,i'm laid out
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post #3 of 20 Old 02-06-2012, 06:13 PM
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You'll need to back up a bit. You need three things:

1. source(s)
2. amplification
3. speakers

You have speakers. I don't know what "I'm not bothered by a CD player" means. Is your source a computer? If so, then all you need is the amplification. Most cost-effective would be a stereo receiver, and the one smasher recommended has the advantage of an internal DAC, so you can use a digital connection from the computer.

A receiver is a full-size component, however, and your old Denon is what we call a minisystem over here. If you really want something with a small footprint like that, you'll probably have to settle for something with integral speakers, like that Onkyo, rather than something designed to hook up your own speakers. (The integral speakers may be no worse than the ones you have however.)

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post #4 of 20 Old 02-06-2012, 06:15 PM
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The HK 3490 is a great option. You might also consider an AVR with Airplay or the Decco2 from Peachtree Audio if you plan on using a laptop.

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post #5 of 20 Old 02-06-2012, 06:34 PM
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Yeah. Do you need the small size? There are HT surround receivers that will produce equivalent or better audio than the Denon DM38 you had, and they have built in networking capabilities. You might want to research this year's Denon and Onkyo models.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-07-2012, 08:54 AM
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The Cambridge Audio 350 amplifier is around $350 and would be nice, but you would need an external DAC, apparently.

Actually, I have a like-new 340 that is essentially the same that I am not using. If that interests you send me a PM.




Quote:
Originally Posted by kerednai View Post

Hi,
I have recently moved over from the UK and am looking for a 2-channel bedroom system. In the UK I had a Denon DM38 system connected to some Mordaunt Short Alumni 1 speakers which I liked but decided to give the amp away to my parents before I left.
I am looking to replace this system and potentially upgrade. I still have the Mordaunt Short speakers so am looking to keep them for now (similar to http://www.mordauntshort.com/summary.php?PID=56). I would go for another Denon DM38 but it seems a bit overpriced here ($400), mainly becuase I seem to have to but it with the speakers that I don't want.
I definately want at least one input as I plan to steam music to the amp. I'm not bothered by a CD player.
One option I am thinking about is buying something like a Boxee to stream music via DNLA so that then opens up the possibility of something like the Wadia 151 PowerDAC mini. I have no experience about this system btw, I just fell upon it after some random googling. The Wadia is obviously a lot more money.
So can anyone recommend a small bedroom system thats going to work with an external source for streaming. I looked at the Denon NR7 & Marantz equivalent, but the reviews are mixed and I'm not sure if I want to part with $700 for them..
I did consider the Yamaha CRX-332 but there isn't any external imputs from what I can see. The Onkyo CS-445 CD Receiver seems to be a cheap solution with 1 input so I'm swaying with just giving that and the boxee a go..

I'm swaying all over the shop here so very interested to hear peoples thoughts & experiences in this area..
Thanks in advance.

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post #7 of 20 Old 02-07-2012, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
Thanks for the reponses.
The source I am considering is a Boxee Box (http://www.boxee.tv/buy#content) or a small form factor PC with XMBC or equivalent installed.
After some thouhgt, the base size isn't that much of an issue, its more the height. I have a DVD player and cable receiver in the area already so I could stack the systems.
Hmm - I guess I would want the DVD player and Cable box to output to the amp so now I have the following sources:
DVD (Optical / HDMI)
Cable Box (Optical /HDMI)
Boxee (Optical, phono)

Looking online I don't see many systems that support more than 1 optical input which seems to push me to a fully fledged surround sound amp. Even the HK mentioned above only supports one optical & 1 coaxial connection. I was assuming that a surround sound system would be overkill here, but maybe its starting to make sense.

The Cambridge Audio is a good size, but doesn't have DAC. Is there anything out there that is a similar size with DAC, & a good number of optical or HDMI inputs?
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-07-2012, 09:36 PM
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Well, one option is the Marantz NR1602? It's a little pricey, but it's low profile, has multiple HDMIs, and airplay and networking built in. It also has Audyssey MultiEQ. Accessories4less does have a factory refurbished NR1602. Two of my family members have used them for refurbed Marantz. Good vendor.

Then again if you were considering the HK 3490, that's about the same size as a full surround receiver. The Denon 1912 has networking and is cheaper than the Marantz.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-10-2012, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Cel4145.. The marantz looks interesting as its slimline but doesn't support dlna which is a must for me as I'm streaming from twonky media. Now the NR1402 could be a good option though. It doesn't have network streaming but I'm thinking of opting for something like the boxee box to do that for me instead. I figure that has better upgradability than an AV receiver.. Thanks for the tip - can't believe I missed these guys before :-)
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-10-2012, 02:39 PM
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Then definitely get the 1402 over the 1602. Looking at the specs, it seems that both are 50w with 2 channels driven. Seems like you would get the same amplification.

If you do go for the Marantz, let us know how it works out for you with the Boxee

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #11 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm still in 2 minds - considering blowing the boat out on this if the Boxee will support the USB connection...
http://signalpathint.com/index.php/m.../musicBox.html
The Peachtree is only 2x 25w though.
There is also a Teac A-H01 (http://www.teac.com/consumer_electro..._series/a-h01/) that has a similar connection.
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post #12 of 20 Old 02-15-2012, 11:46 AM
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If you only need one set of analog inputs the Emotiva a-100 could be a good choice. It's a 60 watt power amp with just a volume knob.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #13 of 20 Old 02-16-2012, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks..
Apparently the Peachtree usb doesn't support Linux which isn't great. I don't think the Teac does either but I've put in a question to their support team..
Today I started looking at these systems:
NuForce Dia
NuForce Icon2
Again The Icon2 doesn't support Linux but there is a link to someone that has managed to get it working.. The nice thing with the Dia is that it has 2 optical inputs & 1 coax input which is good..
Now my cable box, blueray & Boxee can all connect to the TV, which can then output a digital connection to the amp.. So technically I just realised I may only need one optical input after all.. I'm not sure if the TV's output will work if its turned off so 2 is always going to be nice as I may choose to turn off the TV once I have something like the Boxee / Apple TV running Pandora etc.
So I'm edging towards the NuForce Dia.. There seems to be some good reviews, just wish I could audition before buying..
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post #14 of 20 Old 02-17-2012, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerednai View Post

So I'm edging towards the NuForce Dia.. There seems to be some good reviews, just wish I could audition before buying..

Research on head-fi.org if you haven't already. It's the equivalent of AVS--only focusing on headphones--and they love to discuss anything that can be used as a portable headphone amp.

Meanwhile, Crutchfield carries it, it has a 60 day money back guarantee, and they are a good vendor. The NuForce is so small, it couldn't cost you much to return ship it if you didn't like it.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #15 of 20 Old 02-17-2012, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I received confirmation that the Teac A-H01 does NOT support Linux.
I decided to try out the NuForce Dia so will let you know how I get on. Co-incidently I ordered it from Crutchfield so pleased you recommend them and that they have the 60-day money back guarantee.. I also ordered the Boxee Box to go with it (from Amazon).
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post #16 of 20 Old 02-17-2012, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerednai View Post

I'm still in 2 minds - considering blowing the boat out on this if the Boxee will support the USB connection...
http://signalpathint.com/index.php/m.../musicBox.html
The Peachtree is only 2x 25w though.
There is also a Teac A-H01 (http://www.teac.com/consumer_electro..._series/a-h01/) that has a similar connection.

Cool. Let us know how it sounds.

And be sure to read the fine print on the 60 day guarantee. Some of the Internet vendors require you to have it shipped back to them--they have to receive it--by the end of the return period, not merely file an RMA by then.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #17 of 20 Old 02-25-2012, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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The NuForce DIA is very nice. Plenty of volume for what I need and it doesn't sound distorted at high volumes - although to be fair I haven't taken it to its maximum yet.
The Boxee Box has a few issues - the most annoying being that the streaming stutters/buffers very frequenly - to the point its annoying in a single song. I'm hoping that can get resolved, but in terms of the NuForce Dia with my Mordaunt Shorts - Alumni 2 speakers I'm very happy :-)
I guess if I'm being picky the only thing I don't like with the NuForce is the volume control.. The dial is not motorised & the only way you can tell how high you have it is by a set of LEDS on the front.. As they only go up in large increments you have to really crank it up or down to make a difference... they don't really buy you much visually.
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post #18 of 20 Old 02-25-2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerednai View Post

The Boxee Box has a few issues - the most annoying being that the streaming stutters/buffers very frequenly - to the point its annoying in a single song. I'm hoping that can get resolved, but in terms of the NuForce Dia with my Mordaunt Shorts - Alumni 2 speakers I'm very happy :-)

Glad to hear everything sounds good except for the Boxee problems.

Is it that the wireless on it is too weak? If so, a bridge/router plugged in the ethernet jack on it would help.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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post #19 of 20 Old 02-25-2012, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Not sure - I'll try it wired over the weekend. If that solves the problem I'll probably just add a wired connection in the bedroom as I need to redecorate anyway.. In the meantime I could use a spare router as you suggested.. Just trawling through the boxee forums..
Streaming Pandora is fine though, so I'm suprised I see an issue with one and not the other if it is the wireless.
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-25-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerednai View Post

Not sure - I'll try it wired over the weekend. If that solves the problem I'll probably just add a wired connection in the bedroom as I need to redecorate anyway.. In the meantime I could use a spare router as you suggested.. Just trawling through the boxee forums..
Streaming Pandora is fine though, so I'm suprised I see an issue with one and not the other if it is the wireless.

If you are using the free version of Pandora it is 128K mp3; the paid version is 192K. So it doesn't use as much wireless bandwidth as higher bit rate mp3s, and much less than flacs, Apple lossless, or wav files.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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