Replacement for Sony Giga Juke

iansaundersfoot

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I am looking for something to replace my beloved Sony Giga Juke, which stores and plays music I own on cd after it is ripped to it. I would ideally like something equally self-contained and easy to use with a capacity of up to 50,000 compressed tracks which can be played randomly.

I could buy a Brennan B3, but am concerned that I might find it very complicated to use and would prefer something that isn’t dependent on a strong wi-fi signal and is operated by remote control rather than an app.

I have subscribed to ‘What Hi-Fi’ for a few months, hoping to find something suitable. A few streamers have looked promising, but, as far as I have been able to tell from the manufacturers’ websites, they don’t support the use of a portable hard drive with the capacity I’m looking for.

I have very limited technical understanding of this sort of equipment, which complicates trying to find something.

I have ripped about 95% of the cds I own to my pc over the last few weeks and have them backed up on a portable hard disc drive.

Would someone please be able to advise me?
 

Gray

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I have ripped about 95% of the cds I own to my pc over the last few weeks and have them backed up on a portable hard disc drive.
...then your technical understanding is good enough 👍

Whichever format you've ripped the CDs to (hopefully FLAC), there will be something that will play from your hard drive.
The way things display, will depend on how you've tagged any cover art / metadata.

If the Sony is still working and has line inputs, it might still be perfectly useable - fed by a streamer.
But if you really have decided to replace it, state your maximum budget and you will get some good suggestions from the people here.
 
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iansaundersfoot

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...then your technical understanding is good enough 👍

Whichever format you've ripped the CDs to (hopefully FLAC), there will be something that will play from your hard drive.
The way things display, will depend on how you've tagged any cover art / metadata.

If the Sony is still working and has line inputs, it might still be perfectly useable - fed by a streamer.
But if you really have decided to replace it, state your maximum budget and you will get some good suggestions from the people here.
Thank you very much for replying. I have ripped my cds in MP3 format using a mixture of CDex and the Windows Media Player legacy edition, but I don't mind starting again if doing this wasn't sensible.

The Giga Juke is about 15 years old, but still works fine. I checked out with Sony whether I could attach a big enough hard drive to it to hold all of my cds and I can't. It does have an Audio In jack, which I've never used or thought of using.

It has a capacity of about 20,000 tracks in MP3 format, but has been full for many years and I have bought hundreds of cds since it became full. I've got a couple of other cd players, but what I'm looking for is some way of randomly listening to tracks from across the whole of my cd collection.

I could spend up to about £900, which is a bit more than a Brennan B3, new speakers and a new hard drive would cost.
 

Gray

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I could spend up to about £900
Well the good news is that you've got more than enough to do what you want and make even your compressed files sound a lot better.

Have a look at the £300 Wiim Amp and see what you think. It's a 'just add speakers' unit that comes with a remote control.
It would play your files from a USB stick (a 128GB SanDisk Cruzer Blade is currently £11).

You'd have plenty remaining budget for some very decent speakers.

It's up to you whether you eventually re-rip your CDs to an uncompressed format - but, in the meantime, you'll get an instant jump in sound quality by changing from the Sony to something like the above.
 

iansaundersfoot

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Well the good news is that you've got more than enough to do what you want and make even your compressed files sound a lot better.

Have a look at the £300 Wiim Amp and see what you think. It's a 'just add speakers' unit that comes with a remote control.
It would play your files from a USB stick (a 128GB SanDisk Cruzer Blade is currently £11).

You'd have plenty remaining budget for some very decent speakers.

It's up to you whether you eventually re-rip your CDs to an uncompressed format - but, in the meantime, you'll get an instant jump in sound quality by changing from the Sony to something like the above.
Thank you very much for your suggestion. I've had a good look at the manufacturer's website and think it looks like exactly what I've been trying to find for ages.

If I didn't buy a Brennan, my Plan B was a FiiO R7, which I came across when it was offered as the crossword prize in 'Mojo'. It looks, as far as I understand it, as if the WiiM Amp does the same thing at a much lower price.

I greatly appreciate your advice and am sorry that I didn't find this forum earlier!
 
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Gray

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Thank you very much for your suggestion. I've had a good look at the manufacturer's website and think it looks like exactly what I've been trying to find for ages.

If I didn't buy a Brennan, my Plan B was a FiiO R7, which I came across when it was offered as the crossword prize in 'Mojo'. It looks, as far as I understand it, as if the WiiM Amp does the same thing at a much lower price.

I greatly appreciate your advice and am sorry that I didn't find this forum earlier!
You're welcome.

You do get a display as part of that Fiio, but it wouldn't power passive speakers without a separate amp of course.

Try to compare some speaker options if you can - there are some great options, but their sound signatures vary significantly - and you need to be sure they suit your taste.
(Your Sony speakers could be a stop-gap option).

If you do buy the Wiim Amp, maybe you'll return, as a few of us would like to read what you think of it 👍
 

iansaundersfoot

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Thank you. I opened a support ticket with WiiM late yesterday afternoon and have got clarification that random/shuffle play is possible and that it does support a 2TB USB hard drive and copes with up to 50,000 tracks, so I'm 99% sure that I'll buy one and I'll post here again once I've got used to it to let you know what I think of it.

I'm just making sure I know what else I need to buy from the start - it seems to be a USB socket adapter and new hard drive only - and whether my old Sony speakers might work, so I can delay buying new ones for a month or so.
 
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Juzzie Wuzzie

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Not sure why you need a "USB socket adapter" but that must be an Amazon purchase if necessary. Theoretically, you could try it out with your PC as the music server and then "build up" from there - i.e. then onto a USB hard drive in order that you needn't keep the PC on at all times.

The Sony speakers might work as an interim solution, but the WiiM probably deserves a little better.
 
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Gray

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.....and whether my old Sony speakers might work, so I can delay buying new ones for a month or so.
They will work.
You've got proprietary connectors at the Giga Juke end of their cables at the moment.

Cutting the connectors off would leave the cables unusable for somebody's future Sony use - so best to use two different bits of bare-ended 2-core cable to temporarily connect Wiim to Sony speakers.
The cable will need thin enough conductors to fit the speakers' springclip terminals.

With the eventual new, better speakers, best to use thicker cables, ideally terminated at both ends with 4mm banana plugs (checkout the Fisual brand which you can easily fit yourself).

Ensure correct polarity otherwise all effort and expense will be wasted.
 
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iansaundersfoot

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Thanks very much for the further suggestions and advice which are greatly appreciated.

The USB socket adapter was something I read in the specification or manual on the wiim website, I think. I've asked their very helpful customer service team to confirm this is needed, in case I read it somewhere else.

I'll try using the Amp with my PC, but will often use the Amp for fairly short periods and feel it would be quicker to set up and use with the USB drive.

Thanks very much for the advice about speaker cables. I still love the Giga Juke and will set that up in a different room and still use it sometimes. I've got another pair of Sony bookshelf speakers which don't have the proprietary connectors and have the thin, bare-ended 2 core cables you mention, so I'll use these speakers instead to get the Amp going before buying new speakers with decent cables and banana plugs some time next month,
 
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iansaundersfoot

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Thanks very much for the further suggestions and advice which are greatly appreciated.

The USB socket adapter was something I read in the specification or manual on the wiim website, I think. I've asked their very helpful customer service team to confirm this is needed, in case I read it somewhere else.

I'll try using the Amp with my PC, but will often use the Amp for fairly short periods and feel it would be quicker to set up and use with the USB drive.

Thanks very much for the advice about speaker cables. I still love the Giga Juke and will set that up in a different room and still use it sometimes. I've got another pair of Sony bookshelf speakers which don't have the proprietary connectors and have the thin, bare-ended 2 core cables you mention, so I'll use these speakers instead to get the Amp going before buying new speakers with decent cables and banana plugs some time next month,
I was asked to provide an update on how I’ve got on with using the WiiM Amp with a portable hard drive to play all the music I own on cd .

It’s taken a while as I planned to buy the Amp from Richer Sounds, but they were out of stock for ages, with new stock expected this month. After following a link on the recent What Hi-Fi review, I decided to buy it from av.com instead which had it in stock.

It’s all set up and all the music I own has been copied to a 2TB hard drive, but I’m being held up by something that I don’t understand. According to WiiM's website, I need a USB socket adapter that has a 5v - 1a output to use a hard drive of this size with the Amp.

When I asked WiiM support what I should buy before purchasing the Amp, I was told to get what I needed from Amazon. There are dozens of products on Amazon which look as if they are what I need, but they all seem to be just plugs with a USB port. I've bought one, but can't see how I can use it.

I assume what I need is something that will be used instead of the power cable provided and is called a transformer or switching adapter on other products I own, but these have always come with the product and I'm very unsure what to get that will be compatible with the WiiM Amp.

If this makes sense to anyone who is able to advise me, that would be great
 

Gray

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It's a Western Digital one - WD Elements Portable HDD. It just comes with a cable to plug into a USB port.
Whereas the WD Elements desktop version has its own power supply, your 'portable' version gets its power from the device that it is giving data to.

What Wiim are saying is that their socket cannot provide the current that your drive requires.

The necessary 'adaptor' would allow your WD to get its 5volt supply from a separate mains PSU - while still being able to pass its data to the Wiim.

Can you show what you've actually bought from Amazon?
 

iansaundersfoot

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Whereas the WD Elements desktop version has its own power supply, your 'portable' version gets its power from the device that it is giving data to.

What Wiim are saying is that their socket cannot provide the current that your drive requires.

The necessary 'adaptor' would allow your WD to get its 5volt supply from a separate mains PSU - while still being able to pass its data to the Wiim.

Can you show what you've actually bought from Amazon?
Thank you for posting again and for the explanation. This is what I bought on Amazon without giving it too much thought:

 

Gray

Well-known member
Thank you for posting again and for the explanation. This is what I bought on Amazon without giving it too much thought:

That is a power supply with a USB socket - but, unfortunately, it is only power and not data related.

Have a look at powered USB hubs*.
They allow for external 5v power supplies to supply them - whilst also handling data.
Some come supplied with the PSUs, others need you to provide your own.

I'd recommend going for one supplied with its own 2 amp (or even higher) mains PSU.
All USB power is 5 volts.
It's the amps that vary - for example your Wiim socket can probably only give out 500 milliamps (mA) which is half an amp.

*All you really need, if you can find one, is a single plug / socket version of the hubs.
Where data passes in / out, but a DC socket allows external power input (from the mains adaptor).
 
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iansaundersfoot

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That is a power supply with a USB socket - but, unfortunately, it is only power and not data related.

Have a look at powered USB hubs*.
They allow for external 5v power supplies to supply them - whilst also handling data.
Some come supplied with the PSUs, others need you to provide your own.

I'd recommend going for one supplied with its own 2 amp (or even higher) mains PSU.
All USB power is 5 volts.
It's the amps that vary - for example your Wiim socket can probably only give out 500 milliamps (mA) which is half an amp.

*All you really need, if you can find one, is a single plug / socket version of the hubs.
Where data passes in / out, but a DC socket allows external power input (from the mains adaptor).
Thank you very much for the further advice. So something like this would work?:


Just to make sure I understand. The hub would be connected to the mains adaptor and would also connect to the usb slot on the WiiM and the hard drive would then be slotted into one of the usb slots on the hub using the cable supplied with it. Is that right and that ideally I would have a hub with just one slot rather than the four shown here?
 
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