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Raumfeld Connector as a hifi source

thewinelake.

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Jan 22, 2016
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So I'm going to be getting one of these Raumfeld Connector devices tomorrow and thought it might be useful (to myself and others) to start a little thread about it....
 

tino

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Sep 29, 2011
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thewinelake. said:
So I'm going to be getting one of these Raumfeld Connector devices tomorrow and thought it might be useful (to myself and others) to start a little thread about it. Just wondered whether to put it here or in the "Network Players" sub-forum of Computer-based media (which I only just discovered the other day)?

Seems that the latter is the most obvious place, but it seems rather dead over there!
I'd leave it here, but retitle your topic to something like "Raumfeld Connector as a hifi source"
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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It is the cheap, currently £119, German equivelent of the Sonos Connect.

I use mine to stream Spotify (Connect), a source I consider sub optimum. I use the variable analog outs though I have made no attempt to compare the quality of this with any other option.

Functionally the Connect 2 is excellent, setup was a doddle using an early iPad (retina), and the interface is pretty much seemless. A bonus (for me) is that once set up, the Connector 2 is seen by my Spotify desktop client on my Macbook, allowingme to use the superior interface of Spotifys OSX client rather than the iOS version.

Performance is difficult to judge, in it's normal setup the hi-fi qualities are not exceptional, the soundstage is two dimensional but the 'live' qualities of my Adam Active speakers are more important to me.

So far, I am totally knocked out, the performance has the qualities I had hoped to get and the difference in different recordings is very obvious, even on Spotify.

Hi-end? No, not by a long stretch, but for my requirements? Spot on.
 

thewinelake.

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Jan 22, 2016
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Thanks for that. I'm thinking that I will use it for streaming lossless CD rips from a plex (or similar) server as well as streaming services.

I might see if quality is helped by using a cheapish DAC (eg DAC Magic 100 or Abrahamsen DAC), although I suspect not much (maybe a dejitter device might also help). However, the rest of my system is likely to be the limiting factor.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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That I particularly wanted a streamer/dac/pre-amp with comprehensive remote control. This 'total' functionality is pretty rare, The Sonos Connect does not have built in support for Spotify Connect, my straming service of choice so not for me. The Cambridge CXN does everything I want but I consider it's pricing to be obscene.

The new Yamaha WXC50 looks good but is still £300, still 'rip off' territory in my mind though the sub output and Airplay might be useful.

Were I using, as you are, an integrated amplifier, I might look elsewhere, there are often decent offers on conventional streamers and some CD player/streamers are well priced.
 

thewinelake.

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Jan 22, 2016
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Cheaper than £120?!

Or better?

I will be interested to see if my kit (and hearing!) is good enough to tell the difference between Spotify, Tidal and lossless CDs. I think I hope so. I need to get the kids to assist with some blind testing... As it is, I do think I can tell the difference between an iTunes MP4 rip at 262k and an XLD FLAC rip at 1415k.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Some years ago I learned 'tricks' that enabled me to pick reduced bit rate mp3s from 'original' CDs with reasonable certainty, this was mainly by listening to the sustain and decay of instruments deep in the mix.

Modern codecs, such as Apple AAC and even the now quite old Ogg Vorbis used by Spotify can be picked but only with some difficulty. Without knowing the 'tricks' it is very hard to pick them indeed.

The major issue appears to be when you know you are listening to a reduced data stream, expectation bias seems to give some listeners a sense of 'unease' which is interpreted as fatigue or a 'lack of musicality'.

This is all variable of course, classical recordings tend to fair less well than pop recordings when the data is reduced, but as I said, it does vary as do listeners responses.

I have done enough blind testing to know that any difference is pretty small and that other factors, such as selecting the best 'release' (original, remastered, special edition etc) makes a much bigger difference.

I am, for the moment quite comfortable with the Connector 2, I might check out the Yamaha when it becomes available but then again, if I am still happy, I might not...*unknw*
 

thewinelake.

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Jan 22, 2016
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So it is here...

I've done the network setup - that seems reasonably well thought through.

The first thing it did was offer to make my phone's (small) music library available. That seems to have worked.

For my next trick, I was hoping to get the connector to stream from the Plex server running on my MacBook Pro laptop. It did "see" it, but gets stuck "scanning...". I think this may be something to do with not having a profile setup in Plex for the Raumfeld, but I have no clue at the moment how to make one and install it!
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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davedotco said:
That I particularly wanted a streamer/dac/pre-amp with comprehensive remote control. This 'total' functionality is pretty rare, The Sonos Connect does not have built in support for Spotify Connect, my straming service of choice so not for me. The Cambridge CXN does everything I want but I consider it's pricing to be obscene.

The new Yamaha WXC50 looks good but is still £300, still 'rip off' territory in my mind though the sub output and Airplay might be useful.

Were I using, as you are, an integrated amplifier, I might look elsewhere, there are often decent offers on conventional streamers and some CD player/streamers are well priced.
Your sentence on the CXN could have been written by me - couldn't agree more. I wonder how many others are of the same opinion. Even though it's an award winner, surely it's exhausted its supply of punters willing to pay out £700 (evidently not). If that Pioneer N50A can be virtually half its price, the CXN's got some dropping to do.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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thewinelake. said:
Dave

Have you set it up with your own server?
It found the (now unused) itunes library on my laptop but I have no 'library' on my NAS, it is used purely for backup.

I am no exper in these matters but it is my understanding that any library on a NAS would need to be formatted in such a way that it is recognised by the streamer.

Email Teufel customer support, they have a very good reputation.
 

andyjm

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Jul 20, 2012
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davedotco said:
It is the cheap, currently £119, German equivelent of the Sonos Connect.
I have never understood how Sonos get away with selling their Connect for upwards of £275. Their later products (the Play1 for example) are actually pretty good value, but the Connect is old, poor performance, and over priced.

The connector 2 certainly looks better value, but for the keen amongst you, it is possible to build a very capable streamer for £30 using a Raspberry Pi. As a bonus you get a fully funtional computer with HiRes HDMI graphics that will stream video thrown in for free. There are a number of 'how to' descriptions of how to do this on the net, and system images to download with a choice of streamer front-end.

I am not suggesting that this will work for the majority, but it does give an idea of how cheap the innards of a streamer are to build. The Pi has many, many times the capability, power and performance of the Sonos or Connector 2, and for a fraction of the price. OK, it doesn't have a case or power supply, but you get the point.

Slightly off topic, but I saw that Eben Upton (man behind the Pi) was given a much deserved CBE for his work on the Pi foundation.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Are of course by far the most expensive components of any hi-fi and most electrical products.

The general pricing for streamers from 'brand' hi-fi companies is just ludicrous. As said above, the active components are minimal cost, case, connections and power supply are the expensive parts, the Connector 2 is pretty basic in all these respects but still costs £150 (regular price).

I see no need for an expensive case, the case on the Connector 2 is adequate but matters not as is well hidden in a cupboard with my router. Furthermore the power supply is 'generic', the features are primarily software implemented with 'hard' facilities and connections kept to the bare minimum.

The price of the Sonos unit is absurd, even when compared with other Sonos options, but it is the 'hi-fi' solution so appears to be priced accordingly.
 

thewinelake.

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Jan 22, 2016
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I know tastes vary, but the other small advantage that Connector has over DIY is a decent control app for smart phone.

Couldn't see one that I liked for Rune Audio.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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davedotco said:
The price of the Sonos unit is absurd, even when compared with other Sonos options, but it is the 'hi-fi' solution so appears to be priced accordingly.
There are as many people on the this forum complaining that the Connect is not "hi-fi", in part because it's not expensive enough, so can't possibly be good enough for amps and speakers costing thousands of pounds, as there are people saying it's overpriced.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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The_Lhc said:
davedotco said:
The price of the Sonos unit is absurd, even when compared with other Sonos options, but it is the 'hi-fi' solution so appears to be priced accordingly.
There are as many people on the this forum complaining that the Connect is not "hi-fi", in part because it's not expensive enough, so can't possibly be good enough for amps and speakers costing thousands of pounds, as there are people saying it's overpriced.
Sonos make no pretence of being interested in serious hi-fi. Their most useful, in hi-fi terms, product has barely changed in 10 years, they have upgraded the SonosNet multiroom software and that is it.

It i also a very simple device compared to their Play speakers, some of which are substantially cheaper. It is overpriced because 'hi-fi' people will pay for it and, as you suggest, would probably pay more for an 'upgraded' 'hi-fi' model.
 

andyjm

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Jul 20, 2012
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The_Lhc said:
davedotco said:
The price of the Sonos unit is absurd, even when compared with other Sonos options, but it is the 'hi-fi' solution so appears to be priced accordingly.
There are as many people on the this forum complaining that the Connect is not "hi-fi", in part because it's not expensive enough, so can't possibly be good enough for amps and speakers costing thousands of pounds, as there are people saying it's overpriced.
The issue with the Connect has always been its jitter performance - when I last looked at it was one of the poorer performing streamers - and that was a few years ago.

As long as a separate DAC is used, and as long as that DAC has a design that mitigates jitter, then the Connect is as good as a streamer that costs £10,000 (or come to that, a Raspberry Pi at £30).
 

thewinelake.

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Jan 22, 2016
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Progress...

Well, no reply from Raumfeld tech support - other than (a rather tardy!) auto-response.

However, setting up a Samba share and using that seems to have proved rather more successful than a Plex server so far.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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I asked several questions on technical details before I purchased the unit.

My email was sent late in the afternoon and I got a reply before lunch the following day.

Perhaps your questions are a little more complex. Sorry I can not help further but I do not stream from a Nas so have not looked into it at all.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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thewinelake. said:
Progress...

Well, no reply from Raumfeld tech support - other than (a rather tardy!) auto-response.

However, setting up a Samba share and using that seems to have proved rather more successful than a Plex server so far.
That's how Sonos does it, it's far simpler than mucking about with server software and so forth, if that works as expected I wouldn't worry about investigating any other options.
 

thewinelake.

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Jan 22, 2016
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I'm coming to the same conclusion! I don't need a streamer, as all my devices can stream from connector or directly from the file server.
 

thewinelake.

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Jan 22, 2016
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I did eventually get a response

The suggestion was to use Minimserver if I wanted DLNA. So I tried it and it works. I'll have to see which works best with the app, but at the moment, it's looking as though a simple Samba share has the potential advantage of allowing me to create my own hierarchical structure.
 

expat_mike

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Mar 30, 2013
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thewinelake. said:
I did eventually get a response

The suggestion was to use Minimserver if I wanted DLNA. So I tried it and it works. I'll have to see which works best with the app, but at the moment, it's looking as though a simple Samba share has the potential advantage of allowing me to create my own hierarchical structure.
Any chance of an update on your experiences with the Raumfeld?

I was looking at their website last night, interested in the possibility of linking a Connector via optical to a mojo, and then on to my amp. Unfortunately it was not clear if there is an optical output from the Connector.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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expat_mike said:
thewinelake. said:
I did eventually get a response

The suggestion was to use Minimserver if I wanted DLNA. So I tried it and it works. I'll have to see which works best with the app, but at the moment, it's looking as though a simple Samba share has the potential advantage of allowing me to create my own hierarchical structure.
Any chance of an update on your experiences with the Raumfeld?

I was looking at their website last night, interested in the possibility of linking a Connector via optical to a mojo, and then on to my amp. Unfortunately it was not clear if there is an optical output from the Connector.
There most definitely is a Toslink output.

I thought about using this in a similar way but decided that the real value of the Connector 2 was it's functionality and the ability to control and set up everything from an iThing.

You will have to check but I am guessing that the Toslink output is fixed level so the app will not control volume, a real issue in my case.
 

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