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Puzzled (possible idiot content)

Yimkin_FJ

New member
Aug 15, 2016
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I have a Denon Ceol N7, with Tannoy bookshelf speakers, through which I mostly play Spotify high quality via AirPlay.

It sounds, well... 'meh'. Nothing special. What I'd expect from what was a 200 quid system with reasonable budget speakers.

However, I also have a rega rp1 turntable connected via a Cambridge audio phono amp. Vinyl sounds amazing? Yes, I realise this probably means I'm naturally attracted to a 'warm' sound, but any other ideas?

In time I would be attracted to the Kef LS50 wireless or the Naim Uniti atom (probably with normal LS50 speakers), but realistically that isn't going to happen for a while. So how can I cheaply improve digital delivery? I have an unused chrome cast audio - try that instead of airplay? Or change the denon for whatever marantz amp is out at the moment (6006?)
 
Feb 18, 2015
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Having been down the upgrade path and a good few box swaps along the way...I think you should keeps your hard earned and wait for the system you really aspire to in your post....it's achievable and in the end it will be a far better light bulb moment as opposed to a little change here and there over the comming months/years whatever your time frame is when upgrades become just a small improvement here and there but when you finally achieve your end system......it's not such a massive leap and overall a bit of a anticlimax.

Just my 2cents though.
 

Yimkin_FJ

New member
Aug 15, 2016
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Appreciate that reply Mark - it's kind of what I was thinking, and when I do upgrade I'd like to see a notable change (I'd keep the Denon and tannoys as a bedroom system, and also that would remind me why it was worth spending the money in the upgrade - I'd be able to almost directly compare).

Realistically, 2-2.5k is my Max point for a 'dream' system, and as you point out it would be very easy to spend far more than that gradually upgrading and never really feeling the 'wow'.

Maybe my ultimate upgrade should be getting my ears syringed!
 

Yimkin_FJ

New member
Aug 15, 2016
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Hi nopiano - I haven't played a cd through it in years, but by happy coincidence I did a back to back (curiously, on AC/DC back in black, so there's some poetry there) last week. I didn't notice a difference. I know my ears aren't totally uncultured, as I had a mid level system about 20 years ago which I demoed comprehensively. Having said that, all the demo emphasised to me was the difference speakers can make, even at the same price point - all personal preferences I guess?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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Yimkin_FJ said:
Hi nopiano - I haven't played a cd through it in years, but by happy coincidence I did a back to back (curiously, on AC/DC back in black, so there's some poetry there) last week. I didn't notice a difference. I know my ears aren't totally uncultured, as I had a mid level system about 20 years ago which I demoed comprehensively. Having said that, all the demo emphasised to me was the difference speakers can make, even at the same price point - all personal preferences I guess?
Ok, so how about LP versus CD or Spotify then? I think you're saying the LP is much warmer or richer sounding? Or is it louder, because of his the phono stage matches?
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
Isn't airplay effectively a compressed format but a chromecast audio plays natively from the device. So if you send music from your tablet etc to your denon it goes over airwaves via router etc in this compressed way. But with the cca is native, so in theory it could be better. At £30 I wouldn't spend much more, but it could be just the dacs in your denon that is letting it down. The cca dac using analogue out could possibly be better (but try using the optical by pass socket too if you can). But if you start spending more on a new streamer you can add onto the denon, that's eating into your budget for your ls50s. The wireless ones are favoured by most over the passives it seems.

So in summary I think you've done what you can and I agree with mark. Spend your money on your main upgrade when you can, and if the cca doesn't work it doesn't matter for £30
 

Yimkin_FJ

New member
Aug 15, 2016
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LP sounds a million times better - far more detail, and it feels like the music surrounds you (with the codicil that my system overall is bottom end). The Cambridge phono amp was about £80 for example.

There is no comparison to Spotify, airplay, Bluetooth etc through the same system. In fact, it's also a mile better than Spotify through my Bose QC25 with dragonfly black (I'm dangerously starting to sound like I know what I'm talking about here), but I've never been a fan of headphone music and only have that for interminable train journeys.

In terms of loudness, at same volumes LP sounds better than Spotify and CD through what is theoretically a digital system, albeit an out of date one. Everything is on a rock solid sideboard (took 4 people to lift it when I moved), I've got the speakers blue tacked down etc, but the only difference is source. I'm just confused that the 'amp' (aka 'system') actually delivers analogue music (albeit through the phono amp first) way better than digital.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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Also as qfttn mentioned..I would try that chromecast audio in place of airplay....I didn't like the sound when I used it in the past as you're effectively streaming from the mobile device to the receiver end...chromecast uses Spotify connect which gets the stream first hand and imo sounds far better than airplay also Spotify connect allows you to use your phone for other tasks and airplay if I remember correctly was more of a screen mirroring application (with atv).I wasn't a fan and I do use a iPhone.probably the reason I stayed with Spotify and not apple music.
 

Yimkin_FJ

New member
Aug 15, 2016
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Appreciate those responses, and I will try the CCA (always nice to learn a new acronym!).

So I realise that both products are new, but all things even, what are people's opinion on the LS50 wireless vs Naim Uniti Atom (so 2K for the first, vs 1750 plus let's say 'normal' LS50 at £800 so a total of £2550)?

I know my own answer here, but I am lucky? enough to live near Carlisle, which is Peter Tyson HQ. I just don't want to waste their time by going in, making a choice and saying yes, I'll buy, but in a year when I've saved up.
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
If you are visiting a dealer to try these combos maybe feedback to people on here.
 

Yimkin_FJ

New member
Aug 15, 2016
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Will certainly do that. They have them set up on the shop floor (their new store is stunning by the way), but I plan on asking to hear them in a demo room, and also hopefully take the denon/tannoy system in for comparison. I do t want to spend 2-2.5K for a non measurable difference.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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I was disappointed after I demd a pair of kef ls50w...but I was already used to a certain level of Sq naim nait xs/Cd5i Italic and arcam ir dac with a amazon fire TV box for Spotify connect I bought a superuniti instead .you now know my answer.lol.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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Have a wee watch at "pursuit perfect system" on YouTube...(I do believe it is ellisdj from this forum) and scroll down for a 12 minute or so dem of the atom...try and listen through the hi-fi for a half decent interpretation though.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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12,570
Yimkin_FJ said:
Maybe my ultimate upgrade should be getting my ears syringed!
I know you were joking but.....I've been upgrading Hi-Fi for decades. My NHS ear blasting truly was the ultimate upgrade. I know that it wouldn't benefit everyone but I think some people would be amazed. It would certainly put the subtle differences experienced with, say, DAC comparisons into perspective for them.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
559
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19,270
Yimkin_FJ said:
Will certainly do that. They have them set up on the shop floor (their new store is stunning by the way), but I plan on asking to hear them in a demo room, and also hopefully take the denon/tannoy system in for comparison. I do t want to spend 2-2.5K for a non measurable difference.
There is lots more opinion on the LS50 and the W version on this forum. https://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/kef-ls50w-review

I think you'll find it hard to beat the Wireless version, but it depends what functionality you want. For example, your turntable is less easy to connect to an active system, and it might also sound less high quality than you'd hope. But the W is a superb system regardless of price, and the regular 50s are terrific with a decent amp.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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A apple lossless file is almost half the size of a like for like wav or full fat flac file....so no alac is definitely not a lossless file in the true sense of the word...and apple airplay is definitely compromised as a good listening source for music imho.
 

Craig M.

New member
Mar 20, 2008
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Mark Rose-Smith said:
A apple lossless file is almost half the size of a like for like wav or full fat flac file....so no alac is definitely not a lossless file in the true sense of the word...and apple airplay is definitely compromised as a good listening source for music imho.
Are you thinking of AAC? ALAC definitely is lossless.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Craig M. said:
Mark Rose-Smith said:
A apple lossless file is almost half the size of a like for like wav or full fat flac file....so no alac is definitely not a lossless file in the true sense of the word...and apple airplay is definitely compromised as a good listening source for music imho.
Are you thinking of AAC? ALAC definitely is lossless.
Not into things Apple but I thought airplay was a method of delivery.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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We'll agree to disagree on the alac issue . I'd rather just rip my cd's in lossless flac or wav files these days as space isn't as expensive as it used to be. but my point is that the way airplay is delivered can be bettered with a hard wired connection if possible and Spotify connect is better.I have a b'd both side by side and the results were easy to hear.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
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18,795
Al ears said:
Not into things Apple but I thought airplay was a method of delivery.
That's correct.

It's kind of like 'Apple wifi' which can be used to transfer all sorts of data (including both lossy and lossless audio files) wirelessly.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
Mark Rose-Smith said:
We'll agree to disagree on the alac issue .
Eh? *scratch_one-s_head*

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lossless

ALAC is definitely lossless. It's an unquestionable fact which can easily be confirmed with a quick web search.
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
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18,920
steve_1979 said:
Mark Rose-Smith said:
We'll agree to disagree on the alac issue .
Eh? *scratch_one-s_head*

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Lossless

ALAC is lossless. It's an unquestionable fact which can easily be confirmed with a quick web search.

 
Indeed.

I get the impression we have an Arse/Elbow situation here WRT his understanding lossy, lossless and uncompressed formats...
 

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