Whats the best option for sound quality here?

Viking

New member
Dec 21, 2013
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Hi, I've been thinking of upgrading my hifi system a bit and am wondering if anyone has any experience, with regards to useability and sound quality on the following options I'm thinking of. I'm currently using a Brennan JB7 for my music through a Nad C356BEE amp connected to a pair of B&W 683 speakers. The Brennan only allows for mp3's and I'm thinking of upgrading it for either a Cocktail audio x30, or a Bluesound Vault with the addition of a tablet, as they both support WAV and FLAC. I have noticed that both of them do not support Spotify which seems a bit strange as this is one of the most widely used streaming services, but am hoping they come up to date soon. I'm looking for something with a very good sound quality without the inclusion of a computer. They both seem to have good DACs built in but if I were to connect either one to my existing nad amp, would this bypass their DACs and how would this (if at all) effect the sound quality? If anyone has any ideas or experience on these two divices I'd be grateful if you could share them.
 

jerry klinger

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Jun 26, 2010
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I was at the Bristol show and heard the Cocktail X30, and I was very surprised at how good it sounded, into Kef R500s. Of course the X30 is an all-in-one including an amp, but you can use it as a source component. The NAD amp comes in two versions, with and without a DAC, so if you have the DAC one you could try both.

You could use a streamer but the Cocktail's built-in storage is very attractive. As far as Spotify is concerned, Qobuz now seems to be flavour of the month for downloading.....
 

Viking

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Dec 21, 2013
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Thanks for that Jerry. The Nad I have is the one without the dac. I bought this one as I wasn't sure if the dac specially designed for the nad was as good as other external ones of a similar price. That's another thought for a later date. At the moment though I'm really wanting a machine I can rip my CD's to, record my vinyl and stream music, all at a higher quality than mp3. The only other question is: are the Nad amp and B&W 683's up to the job. What I mean is would they be able to carry a higher quality which could be noticed by the listener?

Cheers for any advice.
 

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