Cambridge AZUR 640H; Yamaha CDR-HD1500 or just use a HTPC

bogie

Standard Member
Choices, choices,

What is recomended as the best all rounder for music.

I have seen the thread for the 640H and I hate bad customer service and / or products with bugs!

The HTPC will be able to do many more things than either of the other 2 but will it be as good quality for sound?

Any help / comments really appreciated (or is this a can of worms)

Cheers

Ewan
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
If you get a decent (and i mean decent, £200+) sound card or even an external dac the HTPC will sound as good or even better than a external unit. However an external unit is easier to use and generally boots up a lot quicker.

A lot of the external ones also allow you to install huge harddrives like a HTPC and a digital output in my opinion is again a must.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
p.s. another advantage of a htpc is that it can also stream video.

Just make sure you kit it out with quite fans.
 

alexs2

Distinguished Member
I've used an HTPC as one of my music sources for a few years now,and whilst the transport doesnt come close to a dedicated CD transport for quality and sound,it does make a pretty decent job when given a decent DAC to work with,plus the versatility is undeniable,esp when combined with the ease of storing vast amounts of music on a hard drive.

Given a good soundcard,the performance can be excellent,and those from RME and Lynx,whilst very expensive,will give very good off-board DACs a very close run,and exceed the quality of many.

Quiet or "silent" cooling devices are a necessity,but there are plenty of options available,from a huge range of makers....my own uses a Zalman CPU cooler and thermostatic PSU cooling,and is pretty near silent in use.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Depending on the actual quality of your speakers / amp a htpc internal soundcard will never compare with a half decent dac, because of the amount of digital noise a pc generates. Digital noise doesn't really effect digital data (can effect sync with dac's, but unlikely) but has a huge effect once the music has been converted to analog. This can be overcome by using an external soundcard and keeping it as far away from the pc as you can.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
p.s. don't forget you also have to get around your mediaplayers (itunes, WMP, etc ) irritating habbit of applying digital volume correction to any thing you play.

A possible solution would be a htpc with a airport express or a squeeze box.
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
p.p.s if you use a htpc don't use itunes or WMP to rip the tracks, there are a lot better programs out there that do a much, much better job.
 

bogie

Standard Member
Thanks guys.

I currently use iTunes on my current PC, but it's not connected to any of my AV stuff. Also Nero for some jobs.

My amp is a Denon 2805 and speakers are Acoustic Energy 3B which aren't the best but not not too bad either.

Ideally, I'd have a HTPC and one of the other 2 but the other half won't see it that way!:nono:

Ewan
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
Yes, this does seem the best option.
 

rowlandhills

Active Member
I've got a hacked Buffalo Linkstation, which I'm using to serve audio, video and photos. Currently that's going to a Snazio, but I plan to add a squeezebox (or two) to get music too.

It's a really nice system to use, but a bit of hassle to setup. Always on (no need to wait for PCs to boot up) and good quality sound/vision too. Definately the way forward. I just need to add a couple of big external HDDs (I only bought a 120Gb Linkstation, and that's way too small for HD video!) and I'll be completely sorted...
 

bogie

Standard Member
The Squeezebox looks quite smart, oh no not another choice into the pot.

Does the squeezebox give good sound quality?
 

andrew1810

Active Member
Yes, the sound quality of the Squeezebox is excellent, especially if your music is in FLAC format. The components used are very high quality and designed with sound quality in mind.

I have one myself and it has really changed my listening habits, it is so much easier to simply press random play and get on with things.

They offer a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not entirely satisfied, so there isn't much to lose!

If you have any questions about it, just let me know

Andrew

p.s. If you wanted to get a feel for it, simply download the server software (www.slimdevices.com) which comes with a program called softsqueeze, this is a squeezebox emulator which is identical in behaviour/menu's etc. to the squeezebox.
 

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