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Spotify system

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Confession time first, I am one of those wierd individuals who really does not like listening to the same music over and over again. Hearing the same thing played in exactly the same way every time is so irritating that I rarely listen to purchased recordings more than a handful of times.

So for me, Spotify is a real delight, new (to me) music for the asking, wonderful.

Currently I stream Spotify premium from an iPad to an AEX to a small pair of Seiwin active speakers and I want something better. In many ways a pair of latest spec ADM9's are the obvious answer, improves everything from the dac onwards and with a remote control analogue volume they allow me to set the iPad / AEX to output a bit perfect data stream.

Before I head off down that route, I am wondering if there is a different way to approach this, a higher performance media player and / or a separate dac for example, opens up a much wider choice of speakers and, quite important to me, makes the addition of a headphone amplifier much easier.

I want to keep the cost to around £1500, (ie ADM's and stands) though I am prepared to take this in stages if a slightly higher expenditure is needed but that said, I am going to be using Spotify for the vast bulk of my listening and do not wish to over stretch the source.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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If I remember right Kef make some nice actives for around £800. You could add an MDAC or one of Musical Fidelity's smaller Boxes for a neat active system. The ADM's seem nice too.

regards
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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richardw42 said:
[LINK REMOVED - house rules]

might be a good place to start.
Done all my homework with regard to the ADMs, I am quite sure they would be an excellent solution for my requirements.

But since I have focused quite tightly on ADMs as a solution I was mostly wondering what other options I might have missed.

Furthermore, getting a headphone amplifier into an AEX / ADM system is something of a issue, not sure if I am comfortable using some kind of splitter in the optical lead having gone to the trouble of ensuring that the AEX is outputting a bit perfect data stream.
 

John Duncan

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Jan 8, 2008
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How about a pro audio interface (eg Roland) which often have headphone outputs for monitoring purposes, and which would open up a larger number of powered solutions (eg Dynaudio, Focal, Yamaha, Genelec, the interesting looking Morgans etc).

The ADMs are a good solution to your problem (if you like them when you hear them, which you should do) but if you don't like the look of them or their topology doesnt give you what you want you're a bit stuck.

The KEF X300As are another idea but they're USB or 3.5mm jack only if I recall, no DAC.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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drummerman said:
If I remember right Kef make some nice actives for around £800. You could add an MDAC or one of Musical Fidelity's smaller Boxes for a neat active system. The ADM's seem nice too.

regards
The Kefs appear to be predominantly geared to a USB input with on board dac, only a mini jack for line in, makes them look quite pricy for the application I am planning. Properly set up in a non desktop application to take advantage of their imaging ability I feel they need a sub.

Though you are not to know, I am not a big fan of the Mdac, I find it system dependent with a tendency to sound a bit 'flat' and sometimes a bit harsh which is a shame as it has an ideal feature set for my application, balanced outs, headphone amp and remote volume, ideal should I choose a pair of 'normal' active monitors, Adams for example.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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John Duncan said:
How about a pro audio interface (eg Roland) which often have headphone outputs for monitoring purposes, and which would open up a larger number of powered solutions (eg Dynaudio, Focal, Yamaha, Genelec, the interesting looking Morgans etc). The ADMs are a good solution to your problem (if you like them when you hear them, which you should do) but if you don't like the look of them or their topology doesnt give you what you want you're a bit stuck. The KEF X300As are another idea but they're USB or 3.5mm jack only if I recall, no DAC.
Pro-audio interfaces tend to be USB, rarely do they use toslink which I would need should I continue with the AEX. As I said above, the Mdac has the features I require, I just do not like the sound of the audiolab.

A dac with the sound of the Rega and the facilities of the Mdac would do nicely, any suggestions?

Alternatively what about a xstreamer/Spotify player with pre outs?
 

richardw42

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May 2, 2010
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Why would you not plug headphones straight into your iPad ?

Theres always a lot of chatter on headphones on the AVI forum, why not ask how they go about it ?
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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richardw42 said:
Why would you not plug headphones straight into your iPad ?

Theres always a lot of chatter on headphones on the AVI forum, why not ask how they go about it ?
The iPad headphone amp is limited in both volume and quality with some of the more difficult phones, for example, making the more expensive Sennheisers sound too dark for my taste. I use a modest Fiio for portable use and it does help considerably so I am hoping a desktop amp will be even better.

As I said, I am comfortable that I know how to get the best from the ADMs, so what I am really looking for are suggestions of how I can spend a similar amount of money and get a similar lift in performance by perhaps going a very different route.
 

altruistic.lemon

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Jul 25, 2011
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Try these: http://www.thomann.de/gb/adam_artist_6_glossy_white.htm. Also available in glossy black. They'll do decent bass, you don't need a stand plus they're an awful lot cleaper.

They look stunning, too.
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
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An ex-dem Linn Kiko ... in fact there's one available right now on a well known auction site that is within your budget.
 

John Duncan

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Jan 8, 2008
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altruistic.lemon said:
Try these: http://www.thomann.de/gb/adam_artist_6_glossy_white.htm. Also available in glossy black. They'll do decent bass, you don't need a stand plus they're an awful lot cleaper.

They look stunning, too.
(note that that price is each, not for a pair)
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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altruistic.lemon said:
Try these: http://www.thomann.de/gb/adam_artist_6_glossy_white.htm. Also available in glossy black. They'll do decent bass, you don't need a stand plus they're an awful lot cleaper.

They look stunning, too.
I am pretty familiar with Adam speakers, for just under £1k the Artist 6 is a very nice option, a little less forthright than the A5x and A7x monitors though I feel they may still benefit from a sub.

Still leaves the issue of the dac / preamp though, anyone have any experience of the Matrix Mini I, has the facilities I need and is available from online retailers for around £250 with remote. Used to be available from Audio Sanctum but they appear to have ceased trading.

The Matrix Mini I, Artist 6 , BK XLS200 or XLS 400 combination can be had for under £1500 with the smaller sub, a very different option from the usual suspects at this sort of price level but all components that are difficult to get to hear individually, let alone as a system.

Anyone had hands on experience of these components?
 

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