Need advice on dealing with retailers.

Not as sinister as the title (might) suggest.

I've booked an appointment on Saturday to listen various digital set-ups (ripping, streaming, storage etc) in direct comparison with the CDP (probably Arcam CD17).

Given that retailers, naturally, need to make a profit can anyone give me some pointers of what to look and listen out for in terms of what's necessary and what isn't?

When I phoned him this morning he was talking about NAS drives then immediately went onto Naim and Linn brands. Didn't seem keen on DACs. I emphasised I needed a set-up that produced UNCOMPRESSED files.

Any advice will be appreciated.
 
A

Anonymous

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As well as being clear on budget, you should also be very clear on your requirements and if the dealer is worth his salt, he should match potential solutions to your requirements. If the dealer is talking about NAS boxes one minute and NAIM type solutions the next, then he's simply outlining different solutions that may or may not meet your requirement. There tend to be two types of solutions: one box (NAIM, Linn, Olive etc) and muti box solutions (NAS, Squeezebox/SONOS/other pure streamer etc). For example, do you need music in more than one room, a nice user interface, fleixible/expandable or massive storage capacity depending on the size of the ripped files? Are you able to use a PC/laptop to store the files or do you need dedicated or ultra quiet storage?
 
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Anonymous

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Sticking to the budget is the most important bit. Many dealers are perfectly reputable I have found. I got some kit for as cheap as off the internet with a bit of haggling. This was good as it broke after a month and their after sales service was very good in getting me a replacement.

The one box solutions like Olive, Naim are a great idea and are very convenient for some but they are a bit on the dear side when you take them apart and see what's inside. But if that's your thing - convenience etc- then there is a place for this stuff.

I started one box Olive 4HD but ended up the DIY route using laptop to rip CD's, Buffalo NAS drive etc and it was half the price of the one box solution. Can be done but of course its more hands on, although in the end no less time consuming methinks.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Sticking to the budget is the most important bit. Many dealers are perfectly reputable I have found. I got some kit for as cheap as off the internet with a bit of haggling. This was good as it broke after a month and their after sales service was very good in getting me a replacement.

The one box solutions like Olive, Naim are a great idea and are very convenient for some but they are a bit on the dear side when you take them apart and see what's inside. But if that's your thing - convenience etc- then there is a place for this stuff.

I started one box Olive 4HD but ended up the DIY route using laptop to rip CD's, Buffalo NAS drive etc and it was half the price of the one box solution. Can be done but of course its more hands on, although in the end no less time consuming methinks.
 
John Duncan said:
Where abouts, PP?

Tell you on Saturday...:silenced:

Since starting this thread I've also contacted Infidelity (they know me well, for their sins), and he does the Linn streamer which retails around £1880. Way beyond my budget. More in my price league is a Sonos streamer.

Let's see how I fair on Saturday, but apart from MP3s, I've not heard any digital music (CDPs aside).
 

BillDay66

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Have you got a lap top to take with you?

If so why not rip a couple of your audition cds into FLAC or probable easier ALAC, then obviously take the cds and cdp to compare?

If no lap top put the digital files on a USB stick - a good retailer should be able to stick them on their system.

Personally cant recommend a Sonos zp90 highly enough, one of them and a NAS added to your Leema would be fantastic (and wallet friendly compared with Naim Linn etc)
 

CnoEvil

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plastic penguin said:
John Duncan said:
Where abouts, PP?

Tell you on Saturday...:silenced:

Since starting this thread I've also contacted Infidelity (they know me well, for their sins), and he does the Linn streamer which retails around £1880. Way beyond my budget. More in my price league is a Sonos streamer.

Let's see how I fair on Saturday, but apart from MP3s, I've not heard any digital music (CDPs aside).

PP, bring your own favorite CDs that they should be able to rip, and then allow you to compare directly to the CD.

The Linn they are quoting you for is the Majik DS (which I have). This is well worth hearing (if they don't have a Sneaky), as it gives a very good idea of what the Sneaky will sound like......it is better than the Sneaky, but not by miles (maybe around 15-20%)
 
CnoEvil said:
plastic penguin said:
John Duncan said:
Where abouts, PP?

Tell you on Saturday...:silenced:

Since starting this thread I've also contacted Infidelity (they know me well, for their sins), and he does the Linn streamer which retails around £1880. Way beyond my budget. More in my price league is a Sonos streamer.

Let's see how I fair on Saturday, but apart from MP3s, I've not heard any digital music (CDPs aside).

PP, bring your own favorite CDs that they should be able to rip, and then allow you to compare directly to the CD. The Linn they are quoting you for is the Majik DS (which I have). This is well worth hearing (if they don't have a Sneaky), as it gives a very good idea of what the Sneaky will sound like......it is better than the Sneaky, but not by miles (maybe around 15-20%)

This is the plan to take one or two cds so he can rip 'n' compare.

Yeah, the one mentioned by Infidelity was Majik (i think).
 
A

Anonymous

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Love the Sonos. Dead easy to use and set up. Hard wire main box if possible. If you get a NAS don't get Iomega drives as they are not compatible apparently. Buffalo Linstation is fine and it has a spare USB so you can piggt back another USB drive (doesn't need to be a NAS) onto it for backup. Also bought the dedicatedSonos remote, not cheap but works really well.

I Rip with DBPoweramp (I bought the full version about £30 or so), easy to use and you can rip CD's sat in front of the telly, not much human intervention needed. Peachtree amps are very Sonos friendly with a slot in the back in which to park the Sonos, you can get versions with iPod docks as well. My whole system inc speakers cables etc came to £2050, admittedly speakers were second hand but good quality. That included the backup USB drive although as you know storage is pretty cheap these days anyway.

Sonos doesnt handly 24/192 Hi Res files though but then thats a personal preference. Peachtree doesn't have tone controls either but then thats another thread somewhere (tone controls etc)
 

CnoEvil

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plastic penguin said:
This is the plan to take one or two cds so he can rip 'n' compare.

Yeah, the one mentioned by Infidelity was Majik (i think).

IMO. The Linn Sneaky is noticeably better than the Sonos (which is good), so you need to see if that difference is worth the extra.........by the way, it is. ;)
 
CnoEvil said:
plastic penguin said:
This is the plan to take one or two cds so he can rip 'n' compare.

Yeah, the one mentioned by Infidelity was Majik (i think).

IMO. The Linn Sneaky is noticeably better than the Sonos (which is good), so you need to see if that difference is worth the extra.........by the way, it is. ;)

I'd be very concerned if the Linn wasn't better, given the price difference...
smiley-smile.gif


If the Sonos equals or betters a thousand pound CDP I'd be a very happy bunny.
 
CnoEvil said:
plastic penguin said:
This is the plan to take one or two cds so he can rip 'n' compare.

Yeah, the one mentioned by Infidelity was Majik (i think).

IMO. The Linn Sneaky is noticeably better than the Sonos (which is good), so you need to see if that difference is worth the extra.........by the way, it is. ;)

Cno. Where are you when you're needed!?:type:

Do you not think - be very honest now - that the Linn Majik or Pesky Sneaky:shhh: or whatever it's called is a massive overkill with my system?
 

altruistic.lemon

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I'm missing something here. Get yourself a mac mini, a Cambridge Audio or Musical Fidelity DAC, and AppleTV and you're there. It's simple, you don't need to spend thousands nor waste time at dealers trying to double your budget.
 

lindsayt

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Take your existing CD player along, and preferably your amp and your speakers. Take some CD's you've been playing a lot lately.

Use your amp and speakers to compare everything. Your existing CD player is the benchmark which the dealer challengers have to beat.

You set the volume levels. Set them to your normal listening levels.

Try to match the volumes of different sources as closely as possible. A sound meter would help. Or if you've got a CD with a steady test tone you could match volume levels by measuring voltage across your speaker terminals.
 

CnoEvil

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plastic penguin said:
Cno. Where are you when you're needed!?:type:

Do you not think - be very honest now - that the Linn Majik or Pesky Sneaky:shhh: or whatever it's called is a massive overkill with my system?

I'm back.

Your amp is one of the best £1200 amps around, and your speakers are competant enough to show up a good source........so I absolutely don't think that a Sneaky at £848 is overkill; especially as better speakers may be on the (distant) horizon. In the light of your budget, the Majik DS probably is OTT at the moment.

All I'm suggesting is that you listen to what a DS can do, before jumping to another solution. If you don't think its worth the money....at least you've checked it out. I wouldn't be banging on about it, if I didn't think it was the best way to spend £800.

Try to hear all the sources with Leema + MA (I don't like Linn's other kit), and also try to get a demo of some 24 bit stuff as well (Linn Records are particularly good).

I will be intrigued to hear how it goes.
 
CnoEvil said:
plastic penguin said:
Cno. Where are you when you're needed!?:type:

Do you not think - be very honest now - that the Linn Majik or Pesky Sneaky:shhh: or whatever it's called is a massive overkill with my system?

I'm back. Your amp is one of the best £1200 amps around, and your speakers are competant enough to show up a good source........so I absolutely don't think that a Sneaky at £848 is overkill; especially as better speakers may be on the (distant) horizon. In the light of your budget, the Majik DS probably is OTT at the moment. All I'm suggesting is that you listen to what a DS can do, before jumping to another solution. If you don't think its worth the money....at least you've checked it out. I wouldn't be banging on about it, if I didn't think it was the best way to spend £800. Try to hear all the sources with Leema + MA (I don't like Linn's other kit), and also try to get a demo of some 24 bit stuff as well (Linn Records are particularly good). I will be intrigued to hear how it goes.

I didn't know the Sneaky was about £800. Although quite steep, it's far healthier than £1800. I'll certainly give it a listen (if the dealer is banging on about the same model), and I'll certainly report back... don't hold your breath on a decision, though. It really is a 'Suck it and see' session - gather a few comparisons (respective prices) and then a deep breath...
smiley-yell.gif
 

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