Onkyo Network Reciever + (2) Onkyo M-282 Power Amps - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 04-21-2012, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to get any idea what any of you folks think about the new 2-channel audio setup I am considering.

At one time I thought about buying an integrated amp and using Squeezebox with it.

Then I thought that instead of buying both an integrated amp and a Squeezebox, why not just buy a Network Stereo Reciever such as the Onkyo TX-8050. Basically an integrated amp with the capabilities of the Squeezebox already built into it. Sounded like a great idea to me.

Until I realized that the Onkyo TX-8050 only puts out 80 w/ch RMS @ 8 ohms. Well, I need to power a pair of Polk RTi A7 front floorstanders and a pair of Polk RTi A3 bookshelf rear speakers. That might be a little too much for the amplifier in the TX-8050 Network Stereo Reciever to power (4) 8 ohm speakers very well.

So ... Now I am thinking about buying (2) Onkyo M-282 Power Amplifiers. This 2-channel amp is rated at 100 w/ch RMS @ 8 ohms. So what we would have is 100 w/ch powering the front speakers, and another 100 w/ch from the 2nd power amp powering the rear speakers.

The Onkyo TX-8050 has Pre-Out Lft / Rt RCA jacks, so they can be directly connected to the 1st power amp's Lft / Rt Audio-In. Then that 1st power amps Lft / Rt Audio-Out can be connected to 2nd power amps Lft / Rt Audio-In ... thus just eliminating the TX-8050 Network Stereo Reciever's power amp section.

Just wondering what you folks think of this 2-channel audio setup?

Thank's .. Ron

BTW ... I might buy an Onkyo C-7030 CD Player also, and connect it to the Reciever, but it's not a necessity.


Onkyo TX-850 Network Stereo Reciever




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post #2 of 28 Old 04-21-2012, 04:45 PM
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The Onkyo TX-8050 would have no problem powering four speakers - I currently have 2 4ohm (Polk LSi9) and 2 8ohm speakers hooked to mine and it doesn't skip a beat. That said, you do know that it's only a 2-channel receiver, there are no "rear speakers" hookups. You can set the bookshelf speakers to zone 2 or A/B configuration with all four (which is what I am doing).

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post #3 of 28 Old 04-21-2012, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post


.... you do know that it's only a 2-channel receiver, there are no "rear speakers" hookups.

You can set the bookshelf speakers to zone 2 or A/B configuration with all four (which is what I am doing).

Thank's for the info, and I see what your saying ...

But, if you look on the back of the TX-8050 Reciever, there are only 1 set of RCA Pre-Out jacks (Lft and Rt) like you said ... I thought I would connect these to the RCA Audio-In jacks (Lft and Rt) on the power amp powering just the 2 front speakers ... Then connect the RCA Audio-Out jacks also on that same amp to the RCA Audio-In jacks on the other power amp powering the rear speakers (you can see both RCA Audio-In and RCA Audio-Out jacks are available on the back of the power amp in the photo above).

As for speaker wires, the Front Lft and Front Rt speakers would be connected to the 1st amp's Lft and Rt speaker posts while the Rear Lft and Rt speakers would be connected to the 2nd amp's Lft and Rt speaker posts.

No speaker wires obviously would be connected to the Reciever.

Maybe I'm confused here ? ?
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post #4 of 28 Old 04-21-2012, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW ... Do you think that the TX-8050 Network Stereo Reciever will do about the same things for me that a Squeezebox Touch can do? (again, this system will only be used for music .. not hooked up to a TV)

Of course, I will need to buy a Dual Band Wireless-N Router too .. something like maybe a Linksys EA2700


Internet Radio and Music Streaming Service Connectivity (vTuner, Last.fm, Sirius-XM, Mediafly, Pandora, Slacker, Napster, Rhapsody)

Direct Digital (USB) connection of iPod / iPhone

Compatible with the Onkyo DS-A1 Remote Interactive iPod Dock

Compatible with the Onkyo UWF-1 Wireless LAN USB Adapter

Universal Port for Onkyo Peripheral Devices

Sub-Woofer and Zone 2 Pre-Outputs

Phono Input

Headphone Jack

Remote Control

.
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post #5 of 28 Old 04-21-2012, 06:53 PM
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I'd probably start with one amp and see how it goes. Not much difference in 80 watts to 100 watts if both units are accurately spec'd.

And have you looked at other amps? The Crown pro amps get a lot of attention on AVS, and the Crown XLS 1000 Power Amplifier has a built in crossover. That means you'd be able to set the crossover on your sub higher than the low end roll off of your towers, and then use the high pass filter in the amp for the speakers to integrate them with the sub. Might be worth researching and asking the amps and receivers forum about it.

And if it's serious power you want from a home audio amp, the Emotiva XPA-5 is more in cost than two M-282s, but it can put out 200 watts per channel into 5 channels. Nice thing about the XPA-5 is if you ever wanted to go 5.1, you've got the amp for it.

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post #6 of 28 Old 04-21-2012, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I'd probably start with one amp and see how it goes. Not much difference in 80 watts to 100 watts if both units are accurately spec'd.

Cel ... What the system I am proposing here consists of 2 power amplifiers. Each power amp delivers 100 w/ch (2 speakers) @ 8 ohms.

So, since we have 2 power amps ... that's 100 w/ch into the 2 front speakers, and another 100 w/ch into the 2 rear speakers.

Really the same thing as driving a set of 4 speakers with a 200 w/ch amp.

Ron,
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post #7 of 28 Old 04-21-2012, 09:48 PM
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You are right. I'm in multi-channel thinking mode

Still, with one of the amps driving one pair of speakers and the receiver itself driving another pair of speakers, you would be getting 180 watts per channel (assuming the receiver specs meet the amplifier). And with that XPA-5, you would get 400 watts per channel.

Also, see this criticism of the Onkyo TX-8050. The song volume leveling and crossfading on the Squeezebox during playback is nice to have. And as they point out, the Logitech Squeezebox server is continuously under development for improvement. I used to have a Squeezebox a few years ago before going with an HTPC, and the server for it was fairly robust at that time. They did release upgrades fairly often for it and firmware updates for the unit. Probably what you get with the Onkyo might be all you ever get.

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post #8 of 28 Old 04-21-2012, 11:49 PM
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I agree with getting a stronger amp if you are going to spend the money. 80-100 watts is basically the same. More sensitive speaker is always an option, ok, just joking. Good Luck!

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post #9 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 06:46 AM
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If you read through the criticism thread linked it becomes apparent the poster purchased the Onkyo with the impression that it supported something that was not included. The other criticism of network connectivity, while valid across most HT devices, is not as bad as described. I use mine almost every day, and in a few months have only had to power down twice due to network connectivity.

Logitech Squeezebox will provide a much broader set of features, with better support.

I would try the receiver without amps first, if displeased you have a wider choice of options. If pleased you've saved some money.

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post #10 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 06:51 AM
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PS - there's been no mention of size of room, distance from speakers to listening position or indication of typical listening levels. These should be factored in, as they're much more accurate than your supposition that you need external amps.

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post #11 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank's everyone for all your input. It is much appreciated.

Let me ramble on a bit about my situation and what I'm attempting to do.

I have another home in the Philippines that has a moderate 2-channel audio system cosisting of an Onkyo A-9555 integrated amp, a Pioneer CD player and a set of Mission (UK) speakers. I was very happy with the modestly priced 100 w/ch Onkyo amp, so that's kinda why I am now considering buying another Onkyo amp for this new house I am buying here in Florida (I haven't bought any audio equipment yet).

I wanted to buy another Onkyo A-9555, but unfortunatly that model has been discontinued.

Then I found out that Onkyo was to be introducing a new model of integrated amp very soon. It's a pricey $1,200 model called the A-9070. Well I called Onkyo USA a couple of days ago, and they told me that the A-9070 will not be sold here in the US. It is available in Europe however. Seems like Onkyo is convinced that Americans only watch movies and buy Home Theater Recievers, and could care less about 2-channel audio ... oh well

To tell you the truth, all I ever used the 2-channel audio system in the Philippines was to play MP3 CDs. There was just not a good selection of regular music CDs for sale over there. Most CDs being sold were just Chinese pirated stuff of very poor audio quality. There was no XM Radio. Streaming audio was worthless due to the slow speed of the internet in the Philippines ... and, no Squeezebox for sale anywhere. So, for me, about my only option was to download MP3 songs off Limewire and burn them to CD. Of course, that was until the US government shut down Limewire.

So, now I am in the US, but I have no knowledge of how a Squeezebox works, or how to play music I have stored on my laptop to play on a 2-channel audio system, or how to listen to streaming music, or how to use Pandora and Rhapsody.

Since all these new technologies are now being used in home audio systems, I guess I need to get something more than just a CD player hooked up to an amp. I was happy with my MP3 CDs, but even though it sounded good to my ears, I guess there is much better ways to achieve higher quality sound.

So, that's why I was thinking about this Onkyo TX-8050 Network Stereo Reciever. To me, I was assuming it was basically an integrated amp and a Squeezebox all rolled up into 1 component ... No need to buy an amp and a Squeezebox unit.

Now, as for using me wanting to buy a pair of separate power amps ... well, that 100 w/ch integrated amp I have in the Philippines was ok, but I always felt I needed a little more power. So, since the size of the listening room I have in the Philippines is basically about the same size as the new house I'm buying here in the US, I thought that connecting this Onkyo TX-8050 Reciever to a pair of Onkyo power amps might be a good idea. And the Onkyo M-282 power amps are cheap at $200 a piece.

However, I am questioning the quality of the Onkyo 100 w/ch M-282 amp. At a price of $200 for a 100 watt amp, I am thinking it might not have that great of sound?

Anyway ... Sorry for the long-winded explanation here. I just wanted to tell you my situation.

Again, I don't have a clue about all these new formats of digital audio ... but I think it's time for me to go a little further than homemade MP3 CDs with 60s era classic rock and old-time country songs.

Anyone else besides me like Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys?

Ron,
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post #12 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 08:36 AM
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Flt Simulation has had external amps before, so he knows that he wants them.

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post #13 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 08:43 AM
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A reasonable approach, considering buying at least one amp seems like a foregone conclusion, is to use the separate amp for the larger speakers and the amp in the receiver for the smaller ones.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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post #14 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Yup ... Hard to find audio equipment made today that's built like a tank.

Big big mistake that I ever gave all that stuff away before I left for the Philippines 6 years ago.

Back in the late 70s (the hay-day) for 2-channel audio, it was alot simpler then. Just had to hook up a nice real to real tape player, a good turntable and you were in business.

No WiFi modems, ethernet, iPod docking stations, laptops, firmware updates, strings and mirrors or any of that confusing stuff!
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post #15 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post


A reasonable approach, considering buying at least one amp seems like a foregone conclusion, is to use the separate amp for the larger speakers and the amp in the receiver for the smaller ones.

Good point .... Use the Reciever's internal amp for the rear bookshelf speakers, and the more powerfull power amp for the larger front floorstanders.
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post #16 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 08:53 AM
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As far as higher quality sound, if you rip new CDs to your computer, use a lossless format. If a PC, flac. If Apple, use the Apple Lossless. Then you get CD quality.

If you use a PC, then the Squeezebox makes sense to me to consider. But if you use Apple and/or iTunes, you should look into AirPort Express. The AVS network streaming forum people might could help you with deciding on the solution that best fits your needs for streaming. There are also other devices which can be connected to a receiver or pre-amp to stream audio (and video).

Then figure out your amplifier setup separately. There is a reason, though, why those Onkyo power amps are priced the way that they are.

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post #17 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank's again cel ...

The real deal is ... I don't really know what I want. And to be honest, I don't know a thing about all this internet streaming music stuff.

Prior to leaving for the Philippines 6 years ago, I did buy one of those little XM radio devices, pay the subscription fee and hooked it up to my home 2-channel audio system in Arizona.

But, I really never felt the quality of the music was really any better than listening to commercial radio on a tuner with an external antennea. Finally got rid of the XM.

In fact, I was so unimpressed with XM, that I didn't even activate the free 3 months trial offer for it when I bought my new Corvette after returning 10 months ago from the Philippines.

Is that Pandora or Rhapsody internet radio any better? Is this what they now call "streaming music"?

Ron,
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post #18 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

Is that Pandora or Rhapsody internet radio any better? Is this what they now call "streaming music"?

I think Pandora's bit rate is 192kbps, and lower bit rate for the free service. Not great for critical listening. Better for just discovering new music. Think of it as the 21st century version of the FM radio.

That's one form of streaming; the other is streaming music from your laptop over your network. If you use a lossless format (flac, Appple lossless, or wav) then you get CD quality sound. A lot of us now on AVS have our entire music collection ripped to lossless, and then our computers act like jukeboxes. The lonely CD then sits in the closet.

And this is why the volume leveling is important to me (and why I wouldn't go with the Onkyo). I rarely listen to a whole CD now, but use playlists with mixes of songs. My media server estimates a loudness adjustment for each song so that they play roughly at the same level. It does this without actually changing the original music file; it attenuates the volume on playback, much like DJs do for you on the radio.

Since you sound a little uncomfortable with this new technology, I would suggest investigating a solution that seems most user friendly in terms of what you already use. So if you look at AirPort Express, for Apple people it's really easy to use. Control your "jukebox" from within iTunes or your iPhone.

If Squeezebox Touch, you can control it from the display near your stereo, from a phone, or you can access the media server through an Internet browser over any computer in your house.

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post #19 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 09:35 AM
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The online services available through the 8050 is impressive - Pandora, Slacker and Spotify, along with others, is supported. I'm also pleased with DLNA capabilities (this is how you would share your laptop music). Since the Onkyo is cheaper than the Squeezebox, and you're just getting your beak wet, I'd say start off with it for awhile and then expand if you want. Having no experience with any of it you'll be impressed. Being able to control it all via smartphone or tablet was just icing on the cake for me.

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post #20 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


i think pandora's bit rate is 192kbps, and lower bit rate for the free service. Not great for critical listening. Better for just discovering new music. Think of it as the 21st century version of the fm radio.

Well, I would like to get some type of music service like Pandora since I want to listen to more music than just the songs I have stored on my laptop over and over again. Just hoping that Pandora or any of the rest of these services are better than that XM Radio was.
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..... the other is streaming music from your laptop over your network. If you use a lossless format (flac, appple lossless, or wav) then you get cd quality sound. A lot of us now on avs have our entire music collection ripped to lossless, and then our computers act like jukeboxes. The lonely cd then sits in the closet.

My laptop uses Windows, so I guess the FLAC format is what I would need. The problem is that all the songs I have on my laptop are MP3, so they have already been compressed. No way to make them better by converting these songs to FLAC format. Where do most people get the FLAC songs they have stored on there laptop in the first place?
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..... volume leveling is important to me (and why i wouldn't go with the onkyo). I rarely listen to a whole cd now, but use playlists with mixes of songs. My media server estimates a loudness adjustment for each song so that they play roughly at the same level. It does this without actually changing the original music file; it attenuates the volume on playback, much like djs do for you on the radio.

That's important to me too. When I would play my MP3 CDs I burned from Limewire, some songs would play loud, and some quiet. I would always be needing to change the volume control on the amp to adjust the loudness of each song.
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since you sound a little uncomfortable with this new technology, i would suggest investigating a solution that seems most user friendly in terms of what you already use.
If squeezebox touch, you can control it from the display near your stereo, from a phone, or you can access the media server through an internet browser over any computer in your house.

That's what I am thinking too. I should just forget about buying a Network Stereo Reciever like the Onkyo TX-8050, and just buy a regular 2-channel amp, and then the Squeezebox unit. Of course I will need to buy a WiFi router like maybe the Linksys EA2700 since there is not an internet connection in the wall near where the stereo system and the Squeezebox will be placed.
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post #21 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post


The online services available through the 8050 is impressive - Pandora, Slacker and Spotify, along with others, is supported. I'm also pleased with DLNA capabilities (this is how you would share your laptop music).

Since the Onkyo is cheaper than the Squeezebox, and you're just getting your beak wet, I'd say start off with it for awhile and then expand if you want. Having no experience with any of it you'll be impressed.

Being able to control it all via smartphone or tablet was just icing on the cake for me.

Unfortunatly, I don't have an iPad tablet, and my wife keeps her iPhone in her purse all the time, so I would not be able to control the 8050 with these items ... I guess it could be controlled by just the 8050 itself?

BTW ... I am really happy that you kind folks are taking so much of your time trying to answer these questions which I am sure seem silly to you. But, unfortunatly I don't have a clue about all this networking stuff as it pertains to 2-channel music.

A week ago I had not even heard of Pandora, or Squeezebox, or FLAC music files, or Remote Interactive iPod Docks, or DNLA ... or anything else relating to this stuff.

In fact, the first thought I had about digital music when I was going to start looking for a new system was .... Hey, I should find an amp that has a USB port on it so I can just stick a memory stick in there and listen to my songs stored on the memory stick instead of fiddleing around with CDs all the time.
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post #22 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 11:21 AM
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I think cel already answered, but the majority of flac sources in our collections come from ripping our CD's to computer. There are places I believe that flac downloads can be purchased, but with most now offering 240k-320k MP3 the difference for most isn't worth it.

You can listen to Pandora, Slacker, etc. on your computer. Just go to their website and create a free account, then start exploring. Way better than XM in my opinion.

By the way, you can set volume leveling with some DLNA media servers. I used Mediamonkey in this configuration for awhile but the only files I had this issue with were 128k mp3, so I axed all of them and turned it off.

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Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

Well, I would like to get some type of music service like Pandora since I want to listen to more music than just the songs I have stored on my laptop over and over again. Just hoping that Pandora or any of the rest of these services are better than that XM Radio was.

I don't really use them. I used to have XM Radio, but then found I wasn't using it. For whatever reason, I don't use the subscription services.


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Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

My laptop uses Windows, so I guess the FLAC format is what I would need. The problem is that all the songs I have on my laptop are MP3, so they have already been compressed. No way to make them better by converting these songs to FLAC format. Where do most people get the FLAC songs they have stored on there laptop in the first place?

Right. What Nethawk said. Flacs come mostly from when people have ripped their CDs to their computer (EAC is a great option for that). I prefer flacs to mp3s, although the difference is slight when you get up to 256 or 320K mp3s. Amazon (256K mp3s) and Google Play (320K mp3s) are a couple places to buy them as an alternative to iTunes (which I don't use). Although if you look, lot of times you can get a used CD of good quality off Amazon for a decent price and then rip it once you get it to flac. Flac files are a lot bigger than mp3s, though.


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Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

That's important to me too. When I would play my MP3 CDs I burned from Limewire, some songs would play loud, and some quiet. I would always be needing to change the volume control on the amp to adjust the loudness of each song.

Exactly. Same problem with making mix tapes for the car, too, back in the day.

The other feature I didn't like at first but learned to love is the crossfading. It will bleed in one song into the last couple of seconds of the previous one so that there is no gap. At first I wasn't used to it, but now I find I'm annoyed when music doesn't do that


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Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

That's what I am thinking too. I should just forget about buying a Network Stereo Reciever like the Onkyo TX-8050, and just buy a regular 2-channel amp, and then the Squeezebox unit. Of course I will need to buy a WiFi router like maybe the Linksys EA2700 since there is not an internet connection in the wall near where the stereo system and the Squeezebox will be placed.

It makes sense to get the integrated amp or amplifier/pre-amp combo that you really want.

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post #24 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Got another stupid question ...

Seems like everyone is converting there store bought CDs to FLAC files when downloading the songs to there computer hard drive.

Why convert them to FLAC? Do FLAC music files just take up less space on your hard drive, or is it that FLAC files play better from your computer when listening to them over your home audio system?

Another question please ... For people that don't want to use a CD player anymore ... Instead of using something like that Squeezebox to wirelessly listen to your music files you have stored on your computer over your home audio system, couldn't you just put those music files on a memory stick and plug the memory stick into your home audio system's reciever (as long as it has a USB port) ... and then listen to them?

Ron,
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post #25 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


It makes sense to get the integrated amp or amplifier/pre-amp combo that you really want.

That's the underlining problem ... I am at the point, I don't even know what I really want.

The only thing I know is that I want to be able to listen to more than just those MP3 songs I burned to CDs.

But, I think I will still buy a CD player nevertheless ... whether or not I use it that much ... don't really know
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post #26 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 04:09 PM
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I use a BD player with Allshare and serviio for internet media and streaming. This is a cheaper and good way to get into streaming and media sharing. Pandora is excellent quality in my setup and you can't beat free. The BD player is also great for cd's. Good Luck!

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post #27 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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... The BD player is also great for cd's. Good Luck!

If you are not going to use the Blu-Ray player for movies, is there any benifit of buying a Blu-Ray player instead of buying a regular CD player if you only listen to music?

They both play CDs ... either one better than the other?
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post #28 of 28 Old 04-22-2012, 11:17 PM
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There was a recent discussion on here regarding DACs (start here). Those that understand the electronics pointed out that most DVD/CD players have excellent audio output these days, enough that the differences can be sonically transparent. No need to spend a ton of money on one. I was on the fence before, but they convinced me

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