Some help needed with my first seperates system

maxmelvin19

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Sep 16, 2011
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Hi all,

I'm completely new to all this (both hifi and general techinical sound considerations) and I'm a little confused about DACs and what they can and can't do.

I'm going to trial the following system at a hifi shop today - marantz cd6003, yamaha as500 and monitor audio bronze bx2s.

I also want decent sound from my macbook pro - nothing fancy just through the best quality cable output possible.

So will a usb line from my laptop into a DAC like the HRT Music Streamer IIallow me to play any audiofrom my laptop? - like an external sound card? Can I play:

1. spotify,

2. itunes,

3. live sound from BBC iplayer or online BBC radio,

4. and even youtube audio through it?

Thank you in advance for any advice. I'm clearly a little ill-informed but that's why I'm here...

Cheers,

Max
 

ReValveiT

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Aug 2, 2010
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Regarding the DAC question:

Yes. When connected via USB, a DAC is just an external sound card. So anything you would normally hear coming out of your laptop would also be output via the DAC.

Have fun!
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Would be worth trying the same system but with the Marantz PM6003 instead of the Yamaha as well. Personally, having owned both, I feel the Marantz is the more capable amp of the two. Which is best for you, only you can decide on hearing them.

If the dealer is a Mordaunt-Short dealer I'd also be inclined to try the Aviano 2s as a possible alternative to the BX2s. I love the BX2s but I also have some Aviano 2s and the two models offer different qualities to each other. One might suit you better than the other. The other speakers to audition would be the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 and the Dali Zensor 1.
 

Blackdawn

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May 7, 2010
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To the OP - It would probably be a good idea to leave some £ aside for speaker stands/filler. Also, I've not found changing cables to make a huge difference. I use some thick copper cable and am happy with the results. Do you know which DAC you are going to buy? I think the HRT DAC is USB only? If you go for a DAC with more types of inputs e.g. SPDIF and Coaxial you can connect more sources instead of just the PC/MAC.
 
And you may not have realised that the Marantz 6003 series is being replaced with the 6004 range. So either be sure you pay a fair price for the outgoing model or try to hear the 6004 too.

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/marantz-pm6004

Welcome to this place, Max!
 

maxmelvin19

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Sep 16, 2011
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Thanks for all your help.

I had a listen to the set-up today. My impressions were that it was clean, warm and detailed but I was aware that I was listening to a pair of speakers and not a convincing sound stage but I guess I might be expecting too much from a hifi at this price? I think I will wait to try the Marantz cd6004

I think I might stick with the yamaha amp because I want something flat and detailed for getting the most clarity from acoustic mid twentieth century jazz - isn't that what yamaha is known for?

As for a DAC I'm actually just after one with a usb input as I don't really have any other sources. I tried the the Marantz NAD7004 but the user interface was just awful - both on the component and on the accompanying iOS app. I think I'll leave apple to do what they do best - interface - and hifi companies to focus on sound quality. The HRT Music Streamer II seems to be a very good chip with a simple input for about £150 - perfect for my budget. The guy who gave me the demo suggested the Music Fidelity VDAC as an alternative. Any thoughts?

Thanks again.

P.S. how much should I be worrying about a hifi rack at this price point? can I get away with not having one?
 
A

Anonymous

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maxmelvin19 said:
As for a DAC I'm actually just after one with a usb input as I don't really have any other sources.

P.S. how much should I be worrying about a hifi rack at this price point? can I get away with not having one?

1) Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Marantz cdp have a usb-connection? That would be the obvious solution for you.

2) Don't worry about a rack. Find the amp, cdp and speakers that work well together in your room and then spend some time on positioning your speakers. You may find that this makes all the difference.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
maxmelvin19 said:
Thanks for all your help.

I had a listen to the set-up today. My impressions were that it was clean, warm and detailed but I was aware that I was listening to a pair of speakers and not a convincing sound stage but I guess I might be expecting too much from a hifi at this price? I think I will wait to try the Marantz cd6004

I think I might stick with the yamaha amp because I want something flat and detailed for getting the most clarity from acoustic mid twentieth century jazz - isn't that what yamaha is known for?

What you are hearing is what I heard with the Yamaha A-S500. All there but somehow it doesn't envelope and draw you in to the music. That is what Marantz amps are superb at so I'd still suggest auditioning either a PM6003 (if you can still find one at £219ish) or the new PM6004. Marantz amps are also superb at getting instrumental timbre right which would be ideal for the music you are listening to.
 

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