Advice on High-Res Audio player or Hard Drive connecting to existing Hi-Fi.

Dec 6, 2019
1
0
20
Hello all,
New to the forum so please be gentle!!

I am finally ripping all my CD's, and looking to buy all future music in the High Res format, but still play through my existing system - Arcam Solo and Monitor Audio Silver Speakers.

To that end I'm considering either a Network Streamer such as the Pioneer N30AE and connecting a Hard Drive with all the music on; or a (portable?) High Res Audio Player.

Not looking to spend more than £400 at the moment.
Has anyone any recommendations regards Network Audio players that one can connect a Hard Drive to?
Alternatively, has anyone recommendations for (possibly portable) Hi-res Audio players that use a line level output to enable me to connect the my existing system?

Thanks in advance.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Welcome to the Forum.
I looked at a Pioneer model when I was considering a streamer. They get good reviews, don't look bad and, as you've no doubt found, cost a fair bit less than some you can buy.
However, many people will tell you that a streamer is only as good as its control app - and I did see a few moans about the Pioneer app.
Had it been (what I call) a sensible price, I might have gone for a Cambridge CXN.
Eventually, I saw someone on this Forum recommending a Raspberry Pi.
I thought this would be a geeky option and far too much hassle. Don't write it off, that's all I can say. I've been happily using one for some time, with the Volumio Operating System.

OK, it's not much to look at (but then you don't have to look at it as you can control from Phone, tablet or PC).
It does all that you require: Connects to Hard drive via USB, Plays High-Res. PCM (or DSD) files and connects to a USB Digital To Analogue Converter (DAC) of your choice.
Also makes a good internet radio streamer.
I'm using a Pi3B (not sure Volumio is compatible with the latest (Pi4) version yet, but it will be).
If you've ever flashed an SD card (I hadn't) then you're 'clever' enough to set yourself up ready to go. Volumio is free and excellent and a Rpi is famously cheap.

Have a look at this link:

I've also seen some good, portable Hi-Res players with line out / touchscreens etc. Depends on the size of your music collection though as, with most you're limited to SD storage.
 
Last edited:

Ronald Villiers

Active member
Nov 4, 2019
4
2
25
You can pick up a Bluesound Node 2 2nd hand for 200-300 £ or a Teufel Connector 2 new for £110. Both have well regarded control apps & have RCA out. You can connect USB hard drives to both.
 

newlash09

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2015
220
45
10,820
Hello all,
New to the forum so please be gentle!!

I am finally ripping all my CD's, and looking to buy all future music in the High Res format, but still play through my existing system - Arcam Solo and Monitor Audio Silver Speakers.

To that end I'm considering either a Network Streamer such as the Pioneer N30AE and connecting a Hard Drive with all the music on; or a (portable?) High Res Audio Player.

Not looking to spend more than £400 at the moment.
Has anyone any recommendations regards Network Audio players that one can connect a Hard Drive to?
Alternatively, has anyone recommendations for (possibly portable) Hi-res Audio players that use a line level output to enable me to connect the my existing system?

Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the forum :)

As already stated the control app makes or breaks a streamer. I have tried a Yamaha wxc50 and a bluesound power node, and can vouch for the robustness of both their control apps. Though I've shifted to roon now, running off a headless Intel NUC.

Regarding plugging hard drives, it is advised by bluesound to add external NAS , rather than external hard drives. The reason they state, is that a NAS does the local caching of the library for speedy browsing. Where as a hard drive necessitates the streamer to do the browsing and catching and can lead to delays in searches and playing. I personally use a western digital my cloud 4 TB Nas, which was easy plug and play for a computer noob like me. And always works a treat with super fast browsing times and never dropped a connection. Just my 2 cents
 

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