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Streaming advice needed please, it's all too complicated...

Davywhizz

Active member
Sep 30, 2020
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Hi all. This is my first day here and I'm relatively new to serious hifi, though I've been involved in live sound and recording most of my life, which sometimes helps.

This is my issue: I want to upgrade my amp, which is more of an all in one system, the Marantz MCR 611. The only thing I use it for now, apart from as an amp, is Spotify Connect. So I've been looking at powered streamers like the Quad Vena 2 Play and Bluesound Powernode 2i. But then I started thinking maybe I should just get a better amp with Bluetooth and see if it can be good enough to reproduce the quality of Spotify Connect. I'd get more amp for the money with no need to connect yet another wifi device or learn to use another app. The plan is only to use Spotify for finding new music rather than serious listening, then buy what I like on CD, though I haven't ruled out a higher res streaming subscription in the future.

I've read a bit about higher quality Bluetooth and this morning managed to open the developer options on my phone, select apt-x (other acronyms are available) and use it to play some tracks on the desktop speaker system in my office. So far so good.

I can't afford both an amp and dedicated streamer right now, in terms of marital discord more than cash, but it's certainly an option later.

All thoughts very welcome...
 

Simon 13th note

Well-known member
BANNED
Jul 27, 2020
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I think that streaming built into integrated amps of the type you are looking at, is so normal nowadays that, a consideration between better aptx Bluetooth and good quality streaming is not there. You'll tend to get both on lots of good amps, like the Marantz pm7000n I looked at.

All Bluetooth options are compressed to a degree and I think the option of better quality streaming gives you the option to consider it in the future, as the plans for cd streaming are good nowadays and getting cheaper and cheaper.
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
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I would certainly consider the NR-1200 if I didn't own a Yamaha R-N602 already. I really like that the NR-1200 has got HDMI inputs and an output. I would miss the stereo analogue out though for digitising my LPs.
 

jonboywalton75

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2012
113
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I would certainly consider the NR-1200 if I didn't own a Yamaha R-N602 already. I really like that the NR-1200 has got HDMI inputs and an output. I would miss the stereo analogue out though for digitising my LPs.
I have a Rega fono mini which has the ripping connection
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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....All thoughts very welcome...
Welcome Davy.
I'm one of those who prefer keeping devices separate, but must say the Quad and Powernode you've mentioned both look good. You've probably seen the Audiolab 6000A Play too, just reviewed by WHF.
Given the choice I'd like a decent colour screen to display artwork, but as most of the control is done by phone, tablet or laptop, a basic / non-existent display is not the end of the world.
(I should know, being a Pi user).
With the Quad and Audiolab (and maybe the Powernode) you'd get the benefit of a decent amp.
You're looking at the right time for choice / value (although that's likely to get better).
 

Davywhizz

Active member
Sep 30, 2020
14
4
25
Thanks everyone

I'm trying to stick to small format rather than full size, partly because I've just built a nice mini hifi rack. The size factor limits the choice or I'd definitely be looking at Marantz.

I'm also looking at the NAD D3045, just as an amp/DAC. This would fit my rack but obviously isn't a streamer, I'd have to add a separate one, hence my question about using higher quality Bluetooth for the short term. As I reflect on it though, the combined amp/streamer makes a lot more sense.
 

jonboywalton75

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2012
113
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18,595
Felt a bit bad for you Jonboy.......until I saw who was doing the cheap price. I was once a customer of theirs and was treated with utter contempt. Trading Standards were 'aware' of them and forced them to refund me. Buyer beware.
I thought it might be to good to be true.
If you think they are bad, dont buy from Hashtechguy on the onbuy website.
I bought a JBL flip 5 in August.
Its a useless brick
PayPal have interceded to get my £85 back.
Moral of the story, if its cheap, there's a reason
Also, Gray, you've made me feel better now knowing its not a bargain 👍👍
I bought my Marantz from a quality hifi dealer 😁
 
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Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Also, Gray, you've made me feel better now knowing its not a bargain 👍👍
The idea was to make you feel better. I can't be sure that isn't the bargain it appears to be - I feel sure they must have benefitted from Trading Standards' education but I wouldn't touch them with the world's longest bargepole.
(After I posted, it occurred to me that you may have used them for the original purchase - glad to hear you didn't (y) ).
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
1,133
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...I'm trying to stick to small format rather than full size, partly because I've just built a nice mini hifi rack.
This might be worth a look. Would certainly fit your rack.
No built-in amp or option to use an external DAC, so would be analogue out into an amp of your choice.
A couple of members have discovered / recommended it. Nice price too:
 

Davywhizz

Active member
Sep 30, 2020
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Interesting, thank you. I think I'd be concerned about the lack of a digital out. However there is one, and much more, in the S50 version. More expensive, of course, but still looks like a bargain. And at the price I could get one and a good, separate amp/DAC for the same cost as the streaming amps I'm looking at.
 
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jonboywalton75

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2012
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The idea was to make you feel better. I can't be sure that isn't the bargain it appears to be - I feel sure they must have benefitted from Trading Standards' education but I wouldn't touch them with the world's longest bargepole.
(After I posted, it occurred to me that you may have used them for the original purchase - glad to hear you didn't (y) ).
Am i allowed to mention dealers specifically on here, anyway i bought it from a well established shop in Warrington.
In fact I also bought my 1st hifi there 40 years ago
Cant beat a knowledgeable dealer eh!!
 
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jonboywalton75

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2012
113
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Interesting, thank you. I think I'd be concerned about the lack of a digital out. However there is one, and much more, in the S50 version. More expensive, of course, but still looks like a bargain. And at the price I could get one and a good, separate amp/DAC for the same cost as the streaming amps I'm looking at.
Funnily enough I'm purchasing the S10 for a spare room system
 

record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
61
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I bought the Arylic S10 a few weeks ago for much the same reasons. Brilliant little device and terrific app. For the £50 I paid, it's a steal and the sound quality is better than it has any business doing.
 

record_spot

Well-known member
May 30, 2015
61
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I bought the Arylic S10 a few weeks ago for much the same reasons. Brilliant little device and terrific app. For the £50 I paid, it's a steal and the sound quality is better than it has any business doing.
As I posted in the S10 thread, I'd not recommend this unit if it's Bluetooth you're planning to use. Very compressed sounding and a difficult listen, but this may be down to whichever implementation of Bluetooth they've used. That's my only caveat on this otherwise great device.
 

jonboywalton75

Well-known member
Jan 11, 2012
113
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As I posted in the S10 thread, I'd not recommend this unit if it's Bluetooth you're planning to use. Very compressed sounding and a difficult listen, but this may be down to whichever implementation of Bluetooth they've used. That's my only caveat on this otherwise great device.
I'll be plugging an ethernet cable in and using the app on my phone to control the s10, probably not much use for the bluetooth
 
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TomC

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2017
25
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If you are satisfiedwith current setup maybe HEOS link can help? It has small footprinte and bluetooth is also here...with many other capabilities which comes with HEOS.
 

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