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audio/music server to DAC to Rotel RA-01 Amplifier

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by fastkam, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. fastkam

    fastkam
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    Hi there,

    I have bought a Rotel RA-01 amplifier and apart looking for some speakers, I need a solution to have all my CDs in one place like an audio/music server.

    I am aware of the following servers:

    Sony HAR-LH500

    Yamaha MusicCast MCX-1000

    Imerge S2000 and S2003

    There is the issue of sound quality. I would be storing most of my music uncompressed so I retain the original CD sound quality. But, I believe the sound quality suffers unless you use a DAC.

    Which audio/music server and DAC combination will work best with my Rotel RA-01 amplifier and is value for money too.

    Any advice and/or solutions please.

    Many thanks,

    Kam
     
  2. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Bit of a late response here, but found this in a search, as I'm doing the same thing (looking for DACs).

    I tested the Imerge a year or so ago, and while I liked the look of it, I was very unimpressed with the price, sound quality, HD space and usabilty (I only became unimpressed with the usabilty after I'd tried the Slimp3 - now the squeezebox).

    For a lot less money, you can have a simple PC in a cupboard somewhere, with as much HD space as you like, streeming audio to a squeezebox or equivelant (do a search, lots here), which can output digitally to DAC. Not sure which DAC though, that's what I'm trying to find out.
     
  3. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    I use an RA-01 as well, but I'm not sure if its worth the bother for a music server when you can use a PC and have much more flexibility in your options. I use my PC with an EMU 0404 soundcard and the sound quality is excellent to my ears. Using a PC, you are not restricted to what sized hard drives, what formats, players or anything else you want.

    [sarcasm]
    But of course, some people wont give a PC with a soundcard a chance, because with all of that RFI and whatever floating around, how could you possibly achieve a decent sound. :rolleyes:
    [/sarcasm]

    If however, you can think for yourself and make your own decisions, then a PC is a very real and viable alternative.

    Stick a cheap PC with a big hard drive, and all passive cooling into a HTPC style case, and buy a good keyboard that doubles as a media control (logitech do one IIRC), and a cheap small flatpanel monitor to sit on top, and you have a very nice little music server there that is upgradable when you desire without having to replace a whole box.

    I've got my Rotel plugged into some very nice Rega speakers and the result is just wonderful to my humble ears.
     
  4. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Indeed, the sound quality from a decent card will beat all mid priced hi fi equipement, and if you only want the server to be accessed from one room, that would be a good option. However, that solution is only suitable for 1 room (ie, you can only control the media when viewing the monitor). And a monitor in your listening room may not be ideal. You could use wifi, and a pocket PC to control the server, and then stream it to other rooms, but the result would be no cheaper than using Squeezebox's or equivelant, and less user friendly. With this option, your PC doesn't need to be silent (as it can disappear under the stairs for example) and you don't need wireless keyboards or flat monitors.

    You could have touch screen panels around the house, providing video as well as music, but that would be an entirely different ball game.

    So:
    Server for 1 room, where you can use a tv or something to select the songs/playlist, I'd go for a PC with a wirelss keyboard/mouse and decent soundcard (RME etc), and output direct to the amp.
    Server for several rooms, I'd go (well, I am going) PC to Squeezebox or equiv (Roku), which can't be beaten within double its price.
     

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