First time Hi-Fi setup: Playing local Hi-res files on Marantz processor

jamtare

Novice Member
Looking for some advice from the experts on this forum!

<sorry for the long post, but wanted to give all my info in one shot>

I am setting up a Hi Fi system (setup given above), and I would like to play my local MP3 and FLAC files on the new Marantz. I want to play them in the highest quality possible (Marantz supports 24/192) ie. retain whatever resolution either the MP3 or FLAC file has.

My soon-to-be setup:
--------------------
HT configuration 7.1.4; Stereo using 'Direct' mode
Speakers - GoldenEar - Triton Two (LR), SuperCenter XL (Center), Triton Seven (Surr), SuperSub XL and Klipsch In-Ceiling
AV Proc - Marantz AV7703
Amps - Monolith 7x (for 7.x) and Rotel (for .4)
CD Transport - Marantz CC4003
Audio Streaming services - Tidal HiFi

Currently I have:
-----------------
NAS - QNAP TS-251
Local 24bit/192Khz Hi-Res and 320kbps MP3 files stored on a QNAP NAS TS-251
Media server - MediaMonkey installed on a Virtual PC running 24x7 on a NAS
MediaMonkey app on Android plays songs on my AVR via Bluetooth AND stores files on my phone for offline playing


My criteria:
------------
1. I have 1000s of music files, and have painstakingly edited metadata, created many dynamic playlists etc. So I really want a solution that can do all these jobs centrally (currently I have MediaMonkey) regardless of how the songs are 'consumed' by different devices.
2. I'd like to store all my music files in only one location and have ability to access them through one type of app (e.g. HEOS, JRiver etc) on ALL my devices - AVRs, iPhone, Android, Tablet, Windows Desktop etc.
3. I've tried DLNA on my old receiver, but felt the UI was not intuitive and less fun to navigate. So I need the song browsing and playing experience to be rich (like any native smartphone app like Spotify)
4. Having ability to take my files on my phone for offline use would be a plus (and thats why #2 i.e. using the same app for offline use, would be great)
5. I can spend additional ~ $1000 or so, not more than that

What I have noted so far (but unsure what's best route to take):
--------------------------------------------
1. Use Marantz HEOS app for streaming services AND my files on the NAS (i.e. use NAS as DLNA server using MinimServer or equivalent). Q - Will it retain the Hi-Res quality? Will it show me files' metadata, album art etc?
2. Continue using Media server like JRiver/ MediaMonkey/ Audrivana on a dedicated Mini PC. Use the software's app to 'push' media to Marantz. Q- will it play it with Hi-Res quality?
3. Buy a network streamer e.g. Cambridge Audio CXN V2. Use its UI (or its own app) to browse through songs on NAS or JRiver. Q- this seems similar to #1, so do I really need this duplicate setup? I'll be happy with Marantz's DAC.
4. Buy a separate device with local Media storage e.g. Bluesound VAULT 2i. Bring all my files to this device and rip new CDs directly on this device. Q- Will it allow me to enjoy music in other rooms or stereo systems?
5. Anything that I haven't thought of? Maybe Roon???

Now, in short, my Question is this:

What solution (combination of devices/ software) will give me Hi-Res audio quality & most flexibility given my criteria above?
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
Roon will pretty much do everything that you want. Only new hardware would be a second hand intel i3 or i5 NUC to use as the Roon Core (the brains). It also supports .m3u playlists. Maybe download a trial and have a play.
 

jamtare

Novice Member
Roon will pretty much do everything that you want. Only new hardware would be a second hand intel i3 or i5 NUC to use as the Roon Core (the brains). It also supports .m3u playlists. Maybe download a trial and have a play.

Thank you mushii. Please validate if I got this right:

1. I'll have Intel NUC running Win 10 and on it will be Roon core.
2. Roon will be configured to fetch Hi-Res FLAC files from my QNAP NAS.
3. I will connect the NUC's HDMI out to one of Marantz's HDMI ports.
4. I will use Roon app on Android as a 'control' or remote to Roon core to browse media and see the album artwork.
5. Marantz will use its DAC to decode digital input on HDMI and I will get hi-fi audio quality.
6. Because Roon integrates Tidal, I can use the same Roon app to stream Tidal.. no need to play Tidal separately with HEOS.

Is this the right way to do it? Will this setup play either FLAC or Tidal with highest quality?

However, in this setup, I loose the ability to take audio files on the go on my phone since Roon doesn't 'sync' files to the phone for offline use. Correct?
 

jamieu

Active Member
Thank you mushii. Please validate if I got this right:
1. I'll have Intel NUC running Win 10 and on it will be Roon core.
2. Roon will be configured to fetch Hi-Res FLAC files from my QNAP NAS.
3. I will connect the NUC's HDMI out to one of Marantz's HDMI ports.
4. I will use Roon app on Android as a 'control' or remote to Roon core to browse media and see the album artwork.
5. Marantz will use its DAC to decode digital input on HDMI and I will get hi-fi audio quality.
6. Because Roon integrates Tidal, I can use the same Roon app to stream Tidal.. no need to play Tidal separately with HEOS.

That is all correct and everything will be at the highest quality, but a couple of points:

1. I'll have Intel NUC running Win 10 and on it will be Roon core.

Rather than installing Win 10 on the NUC. If you're only intending to use it as a Roon server you'd be better off installing Roon's own ROCK OS which is a combined OS and Roon Core. That way it just takes case of itself.

You can find a list of recommended NUCs at the bottom of this page. You certainly don't need to buy this years model, the older ones are more than powerful enough to handle several streams and DSP.

3. I will connect the NUC's HDMI out to one of Marantz's HDMI ports.

That's the easiest way to set it up, especially if you don't mind having the NUC sitting next to your HiFi. The NUC units are pretty small, sleek and quiet, so it's certainly not a bad idea.

An alternative would be to install Roon on your QNAP NAS and then use a small Raspberry Pi + Digi-hat running Roopiee connected to your Marantz's (via an optical or coax cable) to act as a 'bridge' or 'Roon RAAT endpoint'. You can buy a kit/bundle with all the parts you need for ~£100. btw. you don't need the additional remote, cables or switch in that bundle. This is actually the architecture Roon recommends, but if you're happy with having your NUC sitting next to the HiFI then that might be the easiest route. Sound wise, there shouldn't be any difference as the Marantz is doing the digital to analog decoding in both cases.

However, in this setup, I loose the ability to take audio files on the go on my phone since Roon doesn't 'sync' files to the phone for offline use. Correct?

Yes, that is a downside of Roon and a long overdue feature request.

There are also various threads on the Roon forums re. using a VPN to remotely access the Roon Core but none are what I'd call easy to setup. It guess it depends on how heavily you need your music on the go and if you need the files downloaded for offline use or not. But you could use some third party software to sync your Roon playlists back to Tidal and then use the Tidal app for offline access as a workaround.

---

Other than the offline access (and maybe price), Roon will do everything you want and has by far the best interface of any of the music management software I have used. The way it integrates with Quboz and Tidal is also a step up from how other software handles that integration, the nicest feature being that you can 'add' a Quboz and Tidal Album to your main Roon library as if it was part off your local music collection.

The nice thing about Roon is you aren't tied to single vendors hardware. It's also free to low-cost to add additional zones or speakers in future, from any vendor, if you ever wanted to move to a multi-room setup.
 
Last edited:

KevinWoodward

Novice Member
Looking for some advice from the experts on this forum!

<sorry for the long post, but wanted to give all my info in one shot>

I am setting up a Hi Fi system (setup given above), and I would like to play my local MP3 and FLAC files on the new Marantz. I want to play them in the highest quality possible (Marantz supports 24/192) ie. retain whatever resolution either the MP3 or FLAC file has.

My soon-to-be setup:
--------------------
HT configuration 7.1.4; Stereo using 'Direct' mode
Speakers - GoldenEar - Triton Two (LR), SuperCenter XL (Center), Triton Seven (Surr), SuperSub XL and Klipsch In-Ceiling
AV Proc - Marantz AV7703
Amps - Monolith 7x (for 7.x) and Rotel (for .4)
CD Transport - Marantz CC4003
Audio Streaming services - Tidal HiFi

Currently I have:
-----------------
NAS - QNAP TS-251
Local 24bit/192Khz Hi-Res and 320kbps MP3 files stored on a QNAP NAS TS-251
Media server - MediaMonkey installed on a Virtual PC running 24x7 on a NAS
MediaMonkey app on Android plays songs on my AVR via Bluetooth AND stores files on my phone for offline playing


My criteria:
------------
1. I have 1000s of music files, and have painstakingly edited metadata, created many dynamic playlists etc. So I really want a solution that can do all these jobs centrally (currently I have MediaMonkey) regardless of how the songs are 'consumed' by different devices.
2. I'd like to store all my music files in only one location and have ability to access them through one type of app (e.g. HEOS, JRiver etc) on ALL my devices - AVRs, iPhone, Android, Tablet, Windows Desktop etc.
3. I've tried DLNA on my old receiver, but felt the UI was not intuitive and less fun to navigate. So I need the song browsing and playing experience to be rich (like any native smartphone app like Spotify)
4. Having ability to take my files on my phone for offline use would be a plus (and thats why #2 i.e. using the same app for offline use, would be great)
5. I can spend additional ~ $1000 or so, not more than that

What I have noted so far (but unsure what's best route to take):
--------------------------------------------
1. Use Marantz HEOS app for streaming services AND my files on the NAS (i.e. use NAS as DLNA server using MinimServer or equivalent). Q - Will it retain the Hi-Res quality? Will it show me files' metadata, album art etc?
2. Continue using Media server like JRiver/ MediaMonkey/ Audrivana on a dedicated Mini PC. Use the software's app to 'push' media to Marantz. Q- will it play it with Hi-Res quality?
3. Buy a network streamer e.g. Cambridge Audio CXN V2. Use its UI (or its own app) to browse through songs on NAS or JRiver. Q- this seems similar to #1, so do I really need this duplicate setup? I'll be happy with Marantz's DAC.
4. Buy a separate device with local Media storage e.g. Bluesound VAULT 2i. Bring all my files to this device and rip new CDs directly on this device. Q- Will it allow me to enjoy music in other rooms or stereo systems?
5. Anything that I haven't thought of? Maybe Roon???

Now, in short, my Question is this:

What solution (combination of devices/ software) will give me Hi-Res audio quality & most flexibility given my criteria above?
Won't using mp3 files already not be Hi-Res? Hi - Res files/music has more information than a CD (correct me if I am wrong). No matter how you play your CD's they will not be the highest format available. Storing them as mp3 has reduced them.
 

rpr

Active Member
I have all my music stored on a Synology NAS, a mixture of lossless and mp3 stored in seperate directories. I access them via Heos and find it very straightforward showing artwork etc. I use Mediamonkey myself on my PC & laptop and am a tad fussy when it comes to tagging files, in fact I seem t ospend half my life re-tagging advance albums I'm sent.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
320kbps MP3 has lost around 80% of the data compared to CD - 1411kbps
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Best Home Cinema Sources and B&W 805 D4 Speaker Review and more...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom