Mid-level AVR for streaming - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-11-2019, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Mid-level AVR for streaming

Will be replacing an AVR, will be for ‘non-critical’ HT viewing and music/listening. For this location/application not looking for high end avr and dedicated streamers. Versatility and user-friendliness rank higher than ultimate audio/video quality. Wondering who has the best interface for streaming apps - SiriusXM, Amazon, Spotify, Tidal - and pulling music off a NAS. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-11-2019, 09:01 PM
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I understand that Yamaha has one of the best apps available and is known for reliability. Denon makes a great HT receiver but even their lower level models are now full of nice features. Onkyo and Pioneer are now under the same umbrella.

You do not need to buy from these guys, but they have a great search function. Here is a list of all of the Yamaha and Denon receivers starting with the lowest price so you can start with these and go from there. https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...Lw_wcB&brand_f[]=DENON&brand_f[]=YAMAHA



Good luck!
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-11-2019, 09:08 PM
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that is a great question. I have yet to see any sort of bake off / shoot out for wireless ecosystems / apps. I use Denon/HEOS. not bad. if you are budget concious, check out accessories4less. the Denon avr 730 for 209 and free shipping is hard to beat. but you will find models from each ecosystem near that price point.

of all the ecosystems, play-fi (pioneer/onkyo/integra) is the most open. I played (pun intended) with a bit at a dealer showroom. still not enough exposure to make a good comparison

good luck.

Main: Sony XBR75900E, Denon AVR-x4400, Denon POA-5200 (L/R(a) Goldenear supersat 60, (b)FW Boston acoustic Bravo 2. C Goldenear supersat 60C,
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-11-2019, 09:48 PM
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For streaming music I would look to something dedicated for that purpose like Sonos or Bluesound as the apps for these receivers are loaded with functions that can get in the way of just controlling your music. Find the streaming device that has the services you most require and go from there. You may also prefer using AirPlay and your phone to control the native apps if you are an iOS guy.

I use the excellent Squeezebox system that has ended production but is still maintained and very relevant. It is very easy to build a music player and server for very little money with a Raspberry Pi computer that will give you access to Spotify, Tidal, Tunein, Slacker and of course your local music. It will also act as an AirPlay target giving you access to other services supported on iOS devices. Attached are some screen shots from the iPad app I use to control my system. Let me know if you want more info on how to set it up as there is a great and active community still supporting this system.Click image for larger version

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Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-12-2019, 02:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eriksells916 View Post
I understand that Yamaha has one of the best apps available and is known for reliability. Denon makes a great HT receiver but even their lower level models are now full of nice features. Onkyo and Pioneer are now under the same umbrella.

You do not need to buy from these guys, but they have a great search function. Here is a list of all of the Yamaha and Denon receivers starting with the lowest price so you can start with these and go from there. https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...Lw_wcB&brand_f[]=DENON&brand_f[]=YAMAHA



Good luck!
Thanks!
Over the years I have owned Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, and Newcastle ... the former the only of late with network capability and graphical UI, and the latter with best audio quality - but typically fairly subtle differences among them. But I could envision the UI now being a more readily apparent differentiator.
I’ve browsed the A4L site in the past, but never have bought refurbs ... and usually shy away from brands/models that have a large ‘refurb presence/supply as an indicator of poor reliability.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-12-2019, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithsabom View Post
that is a great question. I have yet to see any sort of bake off / shoot out for wireless ecosystems / apps. I use Denon/HEOS. not bad. if you are budget concious, check out accessories4less. the Denon avr 730 for 209 and free shipping is hard to beat. but you will find models from each ecosystem near that price point.

of all the ecosystems, play-fi (pioneer/onkyo/integra) is the most open. I played (pun intended) with a bit at a dealer showroom. still not enough exposure to make a good comparison

good luck.
Thanks!
A few features that would probably convince me to go for the X series rather than S, but maybe ...
I presume that HEOS and MusiCast both - unlike Bluetooth - are not compressed?
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-12-2019, 03:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by usc1995 View Post
For streaming music I would look to something dedicated for that purpose like Sonos or Bluesound as the apps for these receivers are loaded with functions that can get in the way of just controlling your music. Find the streaming device that has the services you most require and go from there. You may also prefer using AirPlay and your phone to control the native apps if you are an iOS guy.

I use the excellent Squeezebox system that has ended production but is still maintained and very relevant. It is very easy to build a music player and server for very little money with a Raspberry Pi computer that will give you access to Spotify, Tidal, Tunein, Slacker and of course your local music. It will also act as an AirPlay target giving you access to other services supported on iOS devices. Attached are some screen shots from the iPad app I use to control my system. Let me know if you want more info on how to set it up as there is a great and active community still supporting this system.Attachment 2579014Attachment 2579016


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Thanks!
I did a little looking at the Pi a while ago. Undeniably attractive value. Not sure if a little too much ‘computer’ - need to try to keep this downstairs system simple enough for a caveman (cavewife, actually). Not sure if an extra device makes it more complicated for her, or that with a more intuitive UI actually makes it easier?
Will be using a dedicated streamer in the upstairs system that is audio-centric. Have 3 squeezebox classics in a closet, and have had a bluesound node 2i in my cart for several months.

Last edited by TimB; 06-12-2019 at 03:10 AM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-12-2019, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimB View Post
Thanks!
A few features that would probably convince me to go for the X series rather than S, but maybe ...
I presume that HEOS and MusiCast both - unlike Bluetooth - are not compressed?
re: HEOS

fyi: Audio Formats Supported
WMA: Up to and including 192kbps
AAC and MP3: Up to and including 320kbps
WAV, ALAC and FLAC: Up to and including 24-bit/192kHz.
DSD: 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz

Musicast:

All MusicCast devices support Apple® Lossless (ALAC) up to 96 kHz / 24-bit as well as WAV, FLAC, and AIFF up to 192 kHz / 24 bit. MusicCast AV receivers, Hi-Fi components and powered monitor speakers support DSD up to 5.6 MHz.

Select MusicCast devices support even higher-resolution audio up to 384 kHz / 32-bit and DSD up to 11.2 MHz for single-room streaming. See individual product specifications for details.

Main: Sony XBR75900E, Denon AVR-x4400, Denon POA-5200 (L/R(a) Goldenear supersat 60, (b)FW Boston acoustic Bravo 2. C Goldenear supersat 60C,
SSR DIYSG Volt 6v2. RSS Volt 6, Atmos(.4) Boston acoustics soundware XS
HSU research ULS -15, Episode ES-IW-Dual 8 / Monitor audio IWA 250 amp 2nd Rm: Visio E55, Denon avr730H, Boston Acoustics CR8, cr400 sub.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-12-2019, 08:15 AM
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Not an AVR, but i use the Yahama NP-S303 as dedicated streaming device. Great app "MusicCast" for controlling the streamer.

Plays Deezer (Hifi too), Spotify, Napster, Qobuz, Tidal, NAS server, etc
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-12-2019, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimB View Post
Thanks!
I did a little looking at the Pi a while ago. Undeniably attractive value. Not sure if a little too much ‘computer’ - need to try to keep this downstairs system simple enough for a caveman (cavewife, actually). Not sure if an extra device makes it more complicated for her, or that with a more intuitive UI actually makes it easier?
Will be using a dedicated streamer in the upstairs system that is audio-centric. Have 3 squeezebox classics in a closet, and have had a bluesound node 2i in my cart for several months.
I use a Harmony remote and with the activity "Listen to Music" I can turn on my AVR and set it to the right input for my music with one button push. I then open the Ipeng app on either my iphone or ipad and choose from a list of favorite radio stations and playlists or whatever app and music I want to listen to. Since you already have some Squeezebox classics it would be simple to revisit the system. For me, Ipeng really makes the system easy and pleasant to operate as it is very simple with an enjoyable UI and is readily available on all of my devices. The most challenging part of the Squeezebox system to me has always been maintaining the server. Since I have abandoned Windows for the Raspberry Pi as a server my life has been much easier as it always seemed that Windows updates would interfere with my server's performance. Setting up piCorePlayer as both a server and a player is very easy and the system has been rock solid stable for me over the last two years since I switched. I never interact with the 'computery' side of the system unless I choose to as everything I need to do can be accomplished from the UI in Ipeng or the piCorePlayer maintenance page when it is running. Here is the website for piCorePlayer if you want to consider it https://www.picoreplayer.org/ If you are not an IOS guy then I hear the "OrangeSqueeze" app on Android is very good but I have no experience with it. Good luck with whatever you choose.

One final note, the easiest way of interfacing with your music that you may not have considered yet is with an Amazon Alexa speaker with a line out such as the Echo Dot. You can tell Alexa to play music from Spotify, Pandora, Sirius XM, podcasts and TuneIn and maybe other sources as well. You can also use Alexa and a Harmony Hub to turn on your AVR and start the Listen to Music activity as well. The sound quality from the line out sounds just fine to me and would be more than sufficient for this setup focused on ease of use over top quality. As much as I love my Squeezebox system when the Squeezebox Radio in my master bathroom went out I replaced it with an Echo Dot and a powered speaker with a line in and haven't looked back. The main shortcoming I have found with the Amazon Alexa is that I haven't figured out a great way of streaming my local music but considering just about everything I regularly listen to is on Spotify it isn't that big of a deal.

Last edited by usc1995; 06-12-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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