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Streamer newbie (maybe) seeks advice

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Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
newlash09 said:
6and8 said:
Thanks, this has been really helpful.

If I've got it right, my current set-up - MacBook Pro to Audiolab 8200CD, connected by a USB cable, does the basics of what a separate streamer would do? And a Chromecast Audio does the same job for about 30 quid? Or I can spend £3k on a Linn streamer. Presumably there are significant improvements soundwise the more you spend?

Some of you have mentioned ripping CDs and storing files, don't think I need that. While storing my LP and CD collection takes up most of a back bedroom, I'm not (yet) ready to let go of the hard copies of my music collection. With Spotify I have a further 700 albums saved online, as long as I keep up the subscription.

Adding a streamer to my set-up means another box on the equipment rack. Would you say that one of the main benefits of getting a streamer would mean saving all that space used storing albums and CDs, and that it's a more convenient way of listening to music?

At this point I'm not sure it's for me but you've given me something to think about, I shall explore some more. Really appreciate your help.
I've been shot before for saying the below in the past. But I will repeat again. And please bear in mind, that all the below is from reading alone, and none is from my own experience :

1. CD rips sound better than a CD transport through the same DAC. A CD transport has to read the CD and send the bits in real time. So if the CD is in less than pristine condition, it can't read some bits off it. And it skips these missing bits when sending the signal out.

When we Rip a CD, the drive goes again and again reading the missing bits, as it can take it's own time , and doesn't have to complete reading the disc in the exact track time of the song. So this gives you a more accurate rendering of what is actually on the disc.

2. CD players have spinning mechanisms. Which cause physical vibration and EM interference. This carries on in the translated signals.

So having said the above, if Spotify is your own interest, then as insider9 correctly mentioned, you probably don't need to spend more than a Chromecast audio. And at most an external DAC if you are not happy with inbuilt DAC of the audiolab.

I will stop here, because I don't want to start confusing you with all the options. The next step of choosing streamer will depend on whether you want to rip your CD's or not. And then next step will be, if you want the streamer to rip your CD's or will you rip on your Mac and upload them. All the best and take your time :)
yes I agree because it can get really confusing so think about what you want to do and what purpose you want the streamer to do