Originally Posted by pjp
If you get something like Bluesound, it will never get outdated because the manufacturer will continually provide updates for whatever new services come along that the hardware is still able to support. NAD has a receiver with Bluesound built-in -- that will likely have longevity as long as it runs the same firmware/OS and standalone Bluesound devices -- but built-in proprietary streaming has a short shelf life.
I agree with you that there could be a better split of dollars, I only disagree about investing substantially in a preamp with built-in proprietary streaming. That is a dead end in the not very distant future in my book no matter what you choose ....
I tend to agree, personally I would be inclined to get a Separate Streaming Device.
The Yamaha WXC-50 Network Streamer/Pre-Amp is US$350 -
The Bluesound Node-2i Streamers is about US$550
Those are very well proportioned to the overall system, and are far less likely to go out of date.
And if they do go out of date, then you only need replace the streamer, and not the entire pre-amp.
However, if Streaming is built into the pre-amp and does go out of date, you can simply not use the internal Streaming aspect, and add an external Streamer.
There are solutions for those with a creative mind.
As to speakers wires and other cables, not a big fan of spending a fortune on these. You want to maintain a certain standard, but that's not really a very high standard and is easy to reach.
Mostly, for Speaker Wire, just attractive Oxygen Free Copper typically 14ga or 2.5mm².
For RCA and similar Cables, just make sure they are of decent quality, but decent quality need not cost much.
For Digital Cables, you want to be above the minimum standard, but again that does not have to be expensive. Since no sound travels over Digital Cables, they can't possible effect the sound. Though they can effect the accuracy of the Signal. But even cheap cables of reasonable length tend to be sufficiently accurate. Further if there is a error in the digital signal it has to be near catastrophic to be heard. I think something like 1,000 consecutive errors would be barely detectable, and the likelihood of that is virtually non-existent.
Mostly what you buy in expensive speaker cables is cosmetics and bragging rights, you have to decide how much money that is worth to you. For myself, I think for common length Speaker Cable, I would max out in the $50 to $100/pr
range, and a lot of that is pure cosmetics. But each individual can do as he pleases.
For RCA, I would say in the range of $25 to $50. Though many will say that is excessively expensive. Really $15 to $20 RCA, well chosen, are probably fine.
Just a few additional thoughts on an older thread.