Connect Sonos ZP90 to Arcam AVR350

John Duncan

Well-known member
I know users on here find the Sonos is no slouch, but personally I'd be inclined to take advantage of the DACs in the Arcam by connecting digitally.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're able to connect by both methods simultaneously though, so you can flip between the two easily to compare; if you can't tell a difference then use the one that's most convenient for you.
 

michael hoy

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John Duncan said:
I know users on here find the Sonos is no slouch, but personally I'd be inclined to take advantage of the DACs in the Arcam by connecting digitally.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're able to connect by both methods simultaneously though, so you can flip between the two easily to compare; if you can't tell a difference then use the one that's most convenient for you.

You can connect both analogue and digital on my Pioneer, did this for the same reason as you stated.

I find the digital connection sounds better.
 

scene

Well-known member
Well speaking as a man (sheep?) with a ZP90 connected to an AVR250 - the smaller brother to the AVR350 - I tested both connections - digital and analogue. I used a Chord Crimson (not plus) for the analogue and a thatcable TOSLINK cable for the digital.

Both were good, but I found the DAC on the Arcam much better than the one in the ZP90 - sort of unsurprising given the price differential and how good Arcam DACs seem to be (IMO). The sound was fuller, notes were clearer and better differentiated and the whole experience seemed much closer to a CD connected digitally to the Arcam. For the record, all my tunes were ripped losslessly to ALAC format via iTunes using my Dell Zino's blu-ray drive.
 

The_Lhc

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John Duncan said:
...and that's from the man I was thinking of when citing Sonos users on here...

Nah, I've always had mine connected digitally, even on my old av amp it sounded better, although I only used some free phono cables, don't know if some better ones would have made any difference.
 

scene

Well-known member
The_Lhc said:
John Duncan said:
...and that's from the man I was thinking of when citing Sonos users on here...

Nah, I've always had mine connected digitally, even on my old av amp it sounded better, although I only used some free phono cables, don't know if some better ones would have made any difference.

Funnily enough, before I tried the Chord Crimson vs. Digital compare, I was using cheap phono cables for the Sonos and thought it sounded pants. The Crimsons definitely improved the sound, but not sure if it would be worth going much further than something like that, I think the law of diminishing returns would apply pretty rapidly.

Though having said that I have some Chord Cobra IIs I could try for comparative purposes...
 

Andrew17321

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I preferred to connect my ZP90 digitally to my AVR300.

I have since added a Rega Dac, so my ZP90 connects digitally to the DAC and that connects to the AVR300 by analogue, and I use the direct audio in the AVR, bypassing all the digital circuits in the AVR300. Adding the DAC and using the direct audio path has made a considerable improvement to the sound: it is much more detailed. (I use Apple Lossless format and store my music files on a NAS.)

Andrew
 

brianmcr

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I'll need to try the digital connection from my ZP90 to my AVR300 tomorrow, always had it connected by analogue so I could use the direct audio in the AVR.
 

scene

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brianmcr said:
I'll need to try the digital connection from my ZP90 to my AVR300 tomorrow, always had it connected by analogue so I could use the direct audio in the AVR.

Actually, before my last reworking of the wiring of my kit, I had my zp90 wired in digitally and analogue so that I could have the better quality digital sound and the option to run the avr250 in direct mode, which I think is better for two channel sound from the arcam
 

ROB2009

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Right then folks....

Finally did an analogue v digital comparison, for the trial in analogue I used a pair of chord crimson interconnects and the "stereo direct" setting on the Arcam.

...And I prefer the analogue sound over the digital...

To be honest there wasn't much in it, but some tracks through the digital connection sounded too boomy, I know it may be a settings issue but I always did use the stereo direct setting before and just prefer how clean it sounds!

Each to their own I guess....and a big thanks to all who offered their thoughts :)
 

ROB2009

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Right then folks....

Finally did an analogue v digital comparison, for the trial in analogue I used a pair of chord crimson interconnects and the "stereo direct" setting on the Arcam.

...And I prefer the analogue sound over the digital...

To be honest there wasn't much in it, but some tracks through the digital connection sounded too boomy, I know it may be a settings issue but I always did use the stereo direct setting before and just prefer how clean it sounds!

Each to their own I guess....and a big thanks to all who offered their thoughts :)
 

scene

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No substitute for your own ears :)

And that's what I found - I've gone back to double connected (Chord Crimson + TOSLINK) and use the Chords (analogue) + Stereo direct for full on listening, and tend to only used the digital connects for parties, etc, when I want to surround sound. I must get round to trying Sonos -> DAC -> Arcam (in stereo direct) or even an Audiocom upgraded Sonos...
 
A

Anonymous

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Interesting to hear that you found the Arcam SonLink an improivement, as I have the same amp as you and was considering the same upgrade. I realise that it is eactly the same as the rLink, but it does come in a nicer looking box :)
 

ROB2009

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To be honest, I don't fully understand the technologies and just wanted something that worked and that matched the Sonos ZP90!

.... But I take your point that I could have bought something cheaper / maybe better...

I know a little nore now....maybe next time :)
 

The_Lhc

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ROB2009 said:
To be honest, I don't fully understand the technologies and just wanted something that worked and that matched the Sonos ZP90!

.... But I take your point that I could have bought something cheaper / maybe better...

I know a little nore now....maybe next time :)

On the upside, if you did want to use the other input or the hi-res capability you can just open up the SonLink case and you'll find the rLink hidden inside, complete and whole.

On the downside you've then paid £30 extra for a piece of plastic you're no longer using...
 

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