i have bought all of this stuff over the last couple of months.
first off the speakers,
these things sound great, they have bass almost like having a small sub. i no longer use my sub since i got these speakers. these things sound great, my only complaint is the tweeter and hi hat cymbals could be a little more crisp. i have had a few different sets of speakers and the only speakers i have liked better were my old mirage 590i bipolar apeakers. but so far i love these and i got them brand new for 200.00 each which is a amazing deal. they sound good for all kinds of music..
very natural sounding IMO and a very powerful 80 watts per channel, the built in DAC is descent but nothing special but definitely better than no DAC at all, very strong warm mids, the bass is a little airy i guess you would say and pretty tight, not as boomy as i am used to but after a day or two i got used to that. my old onkyo was awesome, my old harmon kardon was very good and my old denon was descent but this is probably the nicest amp/receiver i have owned and i am very happy with this thing. it reminds me of the way some of the older receivers from the 70's and 80's sound. the old vintage ones sounded good and so does this amp. i play all of my music on the computer, i have moved from regular WMA files over to FLAC, recently i have re ripped all of my CD's to FLAC and they sound great, on my denon lossless rips sounded harsh and that is why i went with WMA, those rips sounded softer and warmer but you do loose some detail in the music. but the lossless files sound great on this amp and i think this was a great purchase.
The Sonos Connect
Cleanest sounding Music i have heard in a long time, so much better than running a USB cable from the computer to the DAC, the sonos is ran into the DACMagic with a optical cable, not sure how it sounds with out the dacmagic, i think this thing was a huge improvement over playing the music off the computer which i though sounded good. the only thing that sucks is you must have one Sonos unit wired to the router. so i had to spend 50 bucks on a sonos bridge, i have that wired to the router and it connects the Sonos connect to the network wireless all the way across the house, my router is older technology and slow 54Mbps but it broadcast a signal 50 yards from my house, even with 4 other computers running in the house i have not experienced any dropouts in the music, well once or twice but nothing to really speak of. at fist i did not like the sonos unit's sound but after using the " EQ " in the sonos connect ( just a bass and trebel slider) after i turned those 2 sliders down a 2 or 3 notches i thought it sounded amazing, this unit is definitely worth buying IMO
The DACMagic Plus
that thing brings out so much detail its not even funny, i have seen many post saying it makes music sound dead and clynical, Not on my Cambridge AMP it doesnt, i tried to go back to using the built in DAC on the amp and i though WOW that sounds like crap, and i thought it sounded great when i got the amp and did not have the dacmagic plus yet. good recorded music especially the slower clean stuff sounds like the singers in the living room, cymbal crashes sound very realistic on most of my Music tracks where they seemed a bit harsh before, the bass is extremely tight, i think this unit took away a little bit of the warm mid range this receiver had but all i need to do is turn the bass knob up about 1/8th of a turn past center and it all comes back. so maybe that is why some say its clynical sounding, but a quick adjustment on the bass knob fixed that, i know allot of you like to use tone defeat or direct mode but i dont like using those modes and i always adjust the bass and trebel on the receiver so that is not a issue for me. IMO this DAC was a major improvement, i was quite happy with my stereo before i bought it but the more i kept reading about how much people love using a DAC i just had to try it out for my self, i got this one because i figured i would stick with the same brand of DAC as my amp. if it would have sucked i probably would have went out and bout a different DAC and tried that out but I am definatley sticking with this one..
Last and least the Sony BDP-S590 blueray player with built in Wifi
movie sound quality is awesome for 2 channel audio, it has lots of great applications and programs on it. for a move player the thing is great and for a hundred bucks you cant beat it. now here is where i have a major issue with this thing, it streams music just like my sonos but the sound qualty for music is absolutely horrible using the analog outputs or the optical output. i even hooked it up to my DAC and it still sounded very distorted and horrible, Playing a Audio CD is the same way, terrible sound quality, I am not sure how it sounds so good for moves but cant play music worth a darn. but i got it so i could watch moves and net flix and such crap any ways. i have had older sony DVD players and they always sounded great for playing a audio CD so i expected that this one would also but i was wrong. i am happy with the purchase since i did not intend to play CD's on it often any ways but it would have been nice if it had descent sound quality for CD or Streaming music
so there is my review on my stereo set up and for the money i have spent i do think this thing sounds like a much more expensive stereo system. and i listen to many different types of music like bluegrass, punk rock, country, slow acoustic stuff, some electronic stuff like Owl City and what not, old 50's tunes, Rockabilly and so on. and they all sound great..