Home Streaming Solutions - Help please

Flipper71

Novice Member
Hi all, hope your all well, I've got a bit of a (first world) streaming problem and was hoping the collective knowledge of these boards would be able to help me. I'll try to keep it brief*, but I'll list my set-up first so you can understand what I'm trying to do. Are you sitting comfortably, right.....

Ok, I have the following set-up..

Cinema Room (Room 1) - Kef R7 Front, R3 rear, R82c centre, SVS 3000sb, 85" Samsung q70T, Denon AVR4300, Cambridge CXA81 and Cambridge CXN V2 (R7s run through the Cambridge CXA via the pre-out on the AV processor)

Garage (Room 2) - Monitor Audio Bronze 2, Cyrus 2, Bluesound Node 2i

Lounge /Kitchen (Room 3) - Sonos 3 x2, Sonos Playbar, Sonos Playbase Sony 55"
Sonos Play 5
Please note the lounge is a fairly large open plan room (38'x18') that has the kitchen at the far end with the sonos 5 in it.

I want to change room 3 to a higher quality 2ch set-up and still be able to stream over the all rooms, but I also want to rip my CD collection (approx 300 that are currently in a box).

I also have plans to eventually change the pair of Cambridges in room 1 to better suit the R7s.

My current way of thinking is to buy a Naim Uniti Atom for room 3 and pair them with something like Monitor Audio Silver speakers, then buy a Bluesound Vault for room 1 to rip my CDs. The problem I would face is the Uniti isn't BlueOs compatible and I couldn't stream my CDs in Room 3. The only solution I can see is to back the rips up, stick them on a thumb drive and plug it into the back of the Atom. This is a bit clunky and I've been searching for a more cohesive solution, but I'm a bit stuck.

I did find a 'Brennan B2 which doubles as a NAS Drive but that is about it. I know there's Roon, but I don't want to go down that route. I know I could go BlueOS throughout the house, but that would mean the Nad M10 instead of the Naim and I don't necessary want to be confined to one system. I'm also keen to avoid buying a NAS drive which I appreciate would solve this.

So, am I being bloodyminded for not wanting the M10? Is there anything I am overlooking? Am I overthinking this? Are there any other solutions I missed?

TL;DR - How can I rip my cds and play them around my household without being confined to BlueOs?

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I look forward to hearing your solutions.

Flipper
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Roon is the obvious choice. Why dont you want to go down this route? I think that you need to be clearer with your thinking and explain why you dont want certain choices. Everything that you have or want to upgrade to fits perfectly with a Roon solution.
 
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larkone

Distinguished Member
If you want multi-room then you need a common solution across all rooms, if you do not want multi-room then any streaming device that can access whatever you have stored your CDs onto - normally a NAS but then your screwed because you don't want a NAS
USB drive connected to your router - not elegant
Really don't understand why you post specifically rejects all of the common solutions
 

Flipper71

Novice Member
Not sure if serious??!!
If you want multi-room then you need a common solution across all rooms, if you do not want multi-room then any streaming device that can access whatever you have stored your CDs onto - normally a NAS but then your screwed because you don't want a NAS
USB drive connected to your router - not elegant
Really don't understand why you post specifically rejects all of the common solutions
Thanks for your reply Larkone, I know I am making it awkward for myself, I have a wife who really isn't tech savvy and I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for her.

I know I want to have my cake and eat it. By staying within BlueOs I am limited to what I can get; I get the Nad M10 and can stream throughout the house, or get the (better reviewed) Uniti Atom and not be able to stream my cd collection seamlessly.
 

jamieu

Active Member
Roon? Not sure if serious??!!

Why wouldn't that be a serious suggestion? It ticks all your boxes and is specifically designed to solve the issues you outline — central management and storage of your music / easy CD ripping / playback to multiple audio devices independent of vendor.

A Nucleus + a lifetime Roon licence would still come in cheaper than the M10. Although I'd actually suggest an Intel NUC running Rock (which is basically a DIY Nucleus) with an external USB CD drive if you want 1-click ripping.

Might be useful to outline what you see as an issue with Roon as it may help others make better suggestions.
 
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gava

Active Member
Idea 1.
=====
Seems obvious to me.

Upgrade Room1 now and redeploy the CA stuff to room 3 with new speakers. Perhaps something horn based if you need to fill a big room.

You are already familiar with the software to control the CA equipment.

I'm sure you know the CA AZUR line seems to be nicely discounted at the moment, likely they are preparing a new line, but the power amp at least is very nice. Obviously there are a lot of options for upgrades. :)

Idea 2.
======
You could use Heos for the multi-room stuff as you already have Denon in the mix. Deploy more Denon or Marantz gear - either into Room 3 or Room 1 as a Marantz upgrade.

Idea 3.
=====
If you can afford it have a look at the Buchard Active line - everything is built into the speakers.
 

Flipper71

Novice Member
Thank you all for taking the time to reply and challenge me, its much appreciated

Why wouldn't that be a serious suggestion? It ticks all your boxes and is specifically designed to solve the issues you outline — central management and storage of your music / easy CD ripping / playback to multiple audio devices independent of vendor.

A Nucleus + a lifetime Roon licence would still come in cheaper than the M10. Although I'd actually suggest an Intel NUC running Rock (which is basically a DIY Nucleus) with an external USB CD drive if you want 1-click ripping.

Might be useful to outline what you see as an issue with Roon as it may help others make better suggestions.
Initially Mushii replied with one word 'Roon', it did come across like my post hadn't been read, however the reply was kindly edited to give a fuller response, which in turn with your reply sent me further down the rabbit hole that is Roon. The idea of running an Intel NUC is pretty good, I'm technically not that savvy, but I can follow instructions and I would probably be able to create my own Rock. However, if I ran into problems I quite possibly would be stuck....

Saying that, I do still feel that Roon would be using a hammer to crack a nut for me. It's a very powerful tool, but as mentioned aboved, I only have approx 300 CDs and I just don't think its worth the money for me. As with all these things I have now had a chat with SWMBO and there are some developments..... See below!

Idea 1.
=====
Seems obvious to me.

Upgrade Room1 now and redeploy the CA stuff to room 3 with new speakers. Perhaps something horn based if you need to fill a big room.

You are already familiar with the software to control the CA equipment.

I'm sure you know the CA AZUR line seems to be nicely discounted at the moment, likely they are preparing a new line, but the power amp at least is very nice. Obviously there are a lot of options for upgrades. :)

Idea 2.
======
You could use Heos for the multi-room stuff as you already have Denon in the mix. Deploy more Denon or Marantz gear - either into Room 3 or Room 1 as a Marantz upgrade.

Idea 3.
=====
If you can afford it have a look at the Buchard Active line - everything is built into the speakers.
Thanks Gava, you have come up with some interesting ideas. I was mostly taken with idea no1.

Having said above I didn't want a NAS, things have developed on that front. I spoke with SWMBO about all the options and she was quite taken with no1 too. regarding the ripping of my CD's she has said that she would quite like to have a NAS to back up her work. We're both lucky to work from home and whilst I don't need a comp, she spends all of her time at it and although most of her work is in the cloud, she has started to store certain things on the work PC.

Clearly this is good news for me as it means I'd have somewhere to store my music. So now I need to research NAS drives and find what's good for us the business and find a new amp/streamer for Room 1. Hegel 190 has been the top of the list for that, are there any others that would be good too? (budget ~£3.5k)

Thank you all for your patience and taking the time for reading this.

Cheers

Paul
 

jamieu

Active Member
Saying that, I do still feel that Roon would be using a hammer to crack a nut for me. It's a very powerful tool, but as mentioned aboved, I only have approx 300 CDs and I just don't think its worth the money for me. As with all these things I have now had a chat with SWMBO and there are some developments..... See below!

The biggest advantage — more than the CD ripping/storage — I'd see to you using Roon would be that it could stream to all your different devices from a single app/interface/library. Rather than having to use different apps depending on what system you were playing music back to or having to swap out an existing streamer in order to move to (and chose upon) a single vendor.

You can also setup multiple user accounts (under one Roon subscription) so you can each have your own view on the library — the Roon library can be made up of both local 'ripped' CDs and music you add to it from Tidal or Qobuz. It also supports internet radio stations.

That would also allow you to go with any device that supports Roon which could just be a simple headless network streamer/endpoint. In other words you can spend your money on the audio hardware rather than the bundled software/interfaces that come with more expensive devices as you won't use them with Roon. Roon also wipes the floor in terms of it's apps and interface compared with all other streamer apps I have tried (and I have tried/used more than a few over the years).

Many Roon users combine a low-cost network bridge/transport (ie. a simple ethernet/wi-fi in and USB or S/PDIF out device) with a standalone USB DAC or a digital S/PDIF input on an AVR or amp. That allows you to use the DAC in your your existing Amp/AVR or allows you to spend your money on an external USB DAC — where you may see some difference in audio quality vs the network transport where you won't. The network transport is just recieving the data from Roon and sending it straight out, bit perfect, to the DAC. A tiny Raspberry Pi running Ropieee (or Ropieee XL which also supports AirPlay, Bluetooth and Spotify) is a common option for doing this, although commercial options are available too. You could even connect a USB DAC directly to the NUC (or Nucleus), but that means having the NUC on display.

You can actually run Roon on a NAS although it need to be a moderately powerful one. In terms of a NUC/Rock, once it's setup there's really is nothing to go wrong. Rock is an operating system that only runs the Roon Core (rather than an app you install on top of Windows/Linux etc.) and allows local storage of music files over the network. You install it via a USB stick and self updates. The configuration of Roon itself is done via the Roon desktop or mobile app, there are no settings of note to edit or mess up on of the Rock server itself — it really couldn't be much more foolproof. An older/used NUC i3 7 or 8 is more than powerful enough and can easily be hidden out of sight in a cupboard/room elsewhere in the house. If you want to add CD ripping then almost any external USB CD drive will be supported out of the box.

You can download and trial Roon on a desktop PC or Mac (as a standalone app ie. the core and desktop remote app in one) to see how it works. It's much easier to see what it does — and why it may be a good fit — by using it, than reading about it.

In terms of your original question "TL;DR - How can I rip my cds and play them around my household without being confined to BlueOs?" having a centralised muti-room music management platform independent of any audio hardware/vendor is, I would have thought, the answer to that question. A NAS will only give you somewhere to store your files, so only solves part of that problem.

But I guess if you have won the NAS battle better to go with the flow :)
 
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gava

Active Member
Hegel 190 has been the top of the list for that, are there any others that would be good too? (budget ~£3.5k)

It's a nice budget. There's no doubt that they H190 is a very classy piece of kit. The only thing that puts me off is lack of room correction.

Some views I have recently come to hold:
1. At this sort of budget there is no longer any reason to play the manufacturers game where enough power = lots more money. That makes sense with class AB, but not nearly so much with class D.
2. It's better to have way more power than you think you need.
3. Room correction is something I definitely want to try and is almost certainly better than not.
4. It has to measure excellently over at AudioScienceReview. Why buy something that measures like crap?

The default item in that price range for me has to be the NAD M33. Ticks all the boxes. Doesn't measure quite as well as it should but it's a great single box solution. It also allows Roon if you ever wanted to. [I don't like Roon though.]

However I think I am more in the experimental stage so most likely my next upgrade will be one of the Nord Acoustics power amps, (around £1,000-£2,100). Combined with a miniDSP SHD (around £1,700) for streaming/preamp/room correction. Combo in the 3k-4k range.

After that one final speaker upgrade - I seem to have 5-7k as an idea in my head. Barring any horrible events (or winning the lottery) that will probably be my endgame.
 
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