I am completely lost ! (streaming music & so)

BaldwinC

Member
Hello to all of you!

New on this forum it's nice to find an active forum of audiophiles. I'm a "young" Frenchman passionate about music.

I will surely write a lot of questions at the beginning of this message (which may be long sorry) then refine my questions, I hope that the reading will not be too complicated.

I own an Atoll IN100se amplifier (made in France) for about 5 years. Unfortunately, living on the African continent I could not bring my amplifier, column speakers etc..

The lack of listening to music in good conditions led me to think about buying bookshelf speakers and I just discovered amplifiers that can play live streaming applications. So I'm thinking of changing all my equipment but I have a lot of questions!!!

So I want to turn to a streaming amplifier and bookshelf speakers but there are many questions:

- Do I need to have a wifi connection to use this type of device? Currently in Djibouti (East Africa) for 2 years I have no wifi and use only 4g via my phone.

- Living in countries with fluctuating electricity is it risky to bring this kind of device? Does the use of an inverter take away the interest of an audiophile system?

- Finally, I already own an Atoll IN100se amplifier which I am satisfied with, is it just enough to buy speakers and a DAC? Does a DAC necessarily require a wired connection?

I want to be able to stream music from Spotifiy, Tidal, Roon etc, connect to my TV for movies/video games.

I hope I haven't lost you! Let's move on to the products I found interesting.

For the amplifiers:

  • NAD T778
  • Naim Uniti Atom HDMI.IMPORTANT: is it possible to connect a turntable in any way?) - My choice for the moment
  • NAD M10
  • Lyngdorf TDAI-1120
  • Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Silver
  • Cambridge Audio CXA81
  • Any Advance Paris (?)

Are all these amplifiers better than my Atoll?

For the speakers:

  • KEF LS50 Meta - My choice for the moment
  • B&W 606/607/707 (are they enough or the KEF sound much better?)

I fell in love with the design of the KEF and the Naim Uniti Atom (I also read that the two coupled well?)

BUT, for about 4000 euros I also saw the Bouchardt A500 active speakers, completely different but they look very good and are all in one (which can be good in my situation).

As you can see I'm lost! I love music but I don't have a good enough ear to distinguish a high end product from a very high end one I think. Is it necessary to put 4000 euros? I mean I don't have the precision of the reviewer online but I appriciate very good quality music.

Anyway, for those I haven't lost I'm very interested in your opinions about my situation (geographical, current equipment, streaming and vinyl listening)

Thank you very much! I'm thrilled to join this forum which looks to be amazing with information and advice.

A great evening to you,

Clément

ps: sorry for my English!

ps2: So great to be digging this subject again !
 
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you can certainly use a turntable with the Atom but you willl need a phono pre-amp. I use the Musical fidelity LX2-LPS and it sounds great. The atom in general sounds fantastic. the most musical amp ive ever heard irrespective if im listening to cd, turntable or streaming from my NAS or on Qobuz.

Cant comment on the KEF speakers as ive never heard them but i use my Atom with Monitor Audio BX5 and love the sound
 

BaldwinC

Member
Thank you for your quick answer !

I think I made my mind the Naim he looks amazing and has great reviews !

On phono pre-amp I have seen the Cambridge Solo but the Musical Fidelity you mentioned seems more complete.


The only thing I am concerned about is with electricity (see my first message). If anyone lives in a country with fluctuous electricity rates and lots of cuts, that would be great to have a feedback on how to avoid to destroy your equipment or if it is not possible...

Thanks again !
 

BaldwinC

Member
Thank you for your quick answer !

I think I made my mind the Naim he looks amazing and has great reviews !

On phono pre-amp I have seen the Cambridge Solo but the Musical Fidelity you mentioned seems more complete.


The only thing I am concerned about is with electricity (see my first message). If anyone lives in a country with fluctuous electricity rates and lots of cuts, that would be great to have a feedback on how to avoid to destroy your equipment or if it is not possible...

Thanks again !

I have found this on the electricity problem:


But I don't if it would work as it seems to target little fluctuency and mine can be big aha
 

Apollo83

Active Member
Bonjour Clément.
(Do not apoligise for your English after that essay :) )

With only 4G phone I think you have 2 streaming options:
1) Stream the music from the internet via 4G to your Phone and then aptX Bluetooth to your hi-fi...
2) Setup your phone as a wireless hotspot and then use a network attached streamer (sometimes built in to an amp) to stream the music from the internet to your hi-fi.

The first is possibly the easiest to use.
The second possibly has the better sound quality and does not consume as much of your phone's processing power.

Normally with home wi-fi I would always recommend the second, but with the phone hotspot the first may be acceptable too.

For a 2 year assignment I would be tempted to just buy a good pair of active speakers with network and bluetooth streaming built in.
KEF LSX and Dali Rubicon 2C are often recommended, but I have no experience of either and I'm sure there are other worthy candidates.
I don't know the Bouchardt A100 but on an internet description I see only Bluetooth which would limit your connection method... But still, maybe that is fine for you.

Actual Speaker choice will come down to your room size/furnishing and sonic preference (neutral, bass boosted, clear, warm, and other ambiguous English adjectives... :) ). Feel free to clarify these and others may be able to recommend...

Bon chance.
 

BaldwinC

Member
With only 4G phone I think you have 2 streaming options:
1) Stream the music from the internet via 4G to your Phone and then aptX Bluetooth to your hi-fi...
2) Setup your phone as a wireless hotspot and then use a network attached streamer (sometimes built in to an amp) to stream the music from the internet to your hi-fi.
Thanks for the response Apollo !

So if I understand you well, it is not possible to stream music offline from my phone to an amp? There is no "local wifi" connexion between my phone and an amp possible?

AptX Bluetooth (I think my phone support it) means that I only can stream via bluetooth but I will lose some sound quality.

For the second option, do you know if the Naim Uniti Atom has a attached network streamer? If yes that would mean that I can use my phone as a wifi hotspot to stream my music directly to the amp?

Thank you for the speakers proposition but I will work abroad for a loooong time I think (loving it) so if I can buy the best thing for my wallet that would be great :)

Thanks again for your response !! Merci beaucoup ;)
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I think rather than a mains conditioner I would be looking at a UPS that will give you both conditioning and also backup if the power drops right down, for the same price as a Taga you,can get a line interactive one (lowest level of protection) rated at around 1kW and giving about 10mins backup. The gold standard seems to be a double conversion one that turn the ac into dc and then back into ac but unless you can find a second hand one these seem to be expensive.

Heres a simple guide to the different types.

 

BaldwinC

Member
I think rather than a mains conditioner I would be looking at a UPS that will give you both conditioning and also backup if the power drops right down, for the same price as a Taga you,can get a line interactive one (lowest level of protection) rated at around 1kW and giving about 10mins backup. The gold standard seems to be a double conversion one that turn the ac into dc and then back into ac but unless you can find a second hand one these seem to be expensive.

Heres a simple guide to the different types.


Hi !

Yes I thought about using an UPS but was quite confused thank you for the link ! The main issue is do you lost lot of sound quality by going through an UPS ? I think that's a yes but is it notable or not... Questions never end with hifi that's what makes it great aha

That's my only choice I think but that's interesting to know :)
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
The use of a UPS or conditioners should not (and in my experience do not) affect the sound, remember the mains has to go through the equipment power supply inside the box before poweringthe circuits which, independent of it being a SMPS or a traditional transformer/capacitor/rectifier power supply, will smooth out the signal and also the equipment is designed to operate at a range of voltages/conditions. I think protection against really big swings or total loss of power is probably the thing that needs protecting against as opposed to a slightly dirty supply or minor fluctuations in voltage.

In most countries (this is a UK dominant forum, and your case is a bit of an exception, and I understand having spent time in Nigeria) the main supply is stable enough that a conditioner will do nothing to the sound as the mains is clean enough, similar to boutique mains cables, save the cash and spend it on stuff you like doing/owning.

Just my thoughts and other more knowledgeable may be able to confirm or amplify.
 

BaldwinC

Member
The use of a UPS or conditioners should not (and in my experience do not) affect the sound, remember the mains has to go through the equipment power supply inside the box before poweringthe circuits which, independent of it being a SMPS or a traditional transformer/capacitor/rectifier power supply, will smooth out the signal and also the equipment is designed to operate at a range of voltages/conditions. I think protection against really big swings or total loss of power is probably the thing that needs protecting against as opposed to a slightly dirty supply or minor fluctuations in voltage.

In most countries (this is a UK dominant forum, and your case is a bit of an exception, and I understand having spent time in Nigeria) the main supply is stable enough that a conditioner will do nothing to the sound as the mains is clean enough, similar to boutique mains cables, save the cash and spend it on stuff you like doing/owning.

Just my thoughts and other more knowledgeable may be able to confirm or amplify.

That's very clear thank you so much for your response.

Just need to clarify this offline/online connection between an amp and a phone/Mac when you don't have a wifi connection at your home and I'll be good !

Let's dive into this forum more deeply :)
 

Apollo83

Active Member
So if I understand you well, it is not possible to stream music offline from my phone to an amp? There is no "local wifi" connexion between my phone and an amp possible?

Thank you for the speakers proposition but I will work abroad for a loooong time I think (loving it) so if I can buy the best thing for my wallet that would be great.

Ah, apologies, I misunderstood; I thought by streaming you meant from the internet.
I believe you should be able to cast your music from an android phone across the WAN to the suitable wi-fi enabled hi-fi. (this is similar to option 2 but without retrieving the music from the internet).

If you have a computer you should be able to do it from that also.

And of course another option is to plug the computer or phone directly into the speakers...
Or maybebuy a dedicated music player with good DAC (e.g. Astell and Kern) and plug it in, so that the music is always available locally to play with its own 'controller' not taking your phone battery :)

As for the speakers, the KEF LSX are suppsoed to be good value at ~€1200.
LS50 are a little bigger and cost ~€2000.
Dali Calisto 2C are ~€4000

What is your budget and what sound do you prefer?
 

BaldwinC

Member
Ah, apologies, I misunderstood; I thought by streaming you meant from the internet.
I believe you should be able to cast your music from an android phone across the WAN to the suitable wi-fi enabled hi-fi. (this is similar to option 2 but without retrieving the music from the internet).

If you have a computer you should be able to do it from that also.

And of course another option is to plug the computer or phone directly into the speakers...
Or maybebuy a dedicated music player with good DAC (e.g. Astell and Kern) and plug it in, so that the music is always available locally to play with its own 'controller' not taking your phone battery :)

As for the speakers, the KEF LSX are suppsoed to be good value at ~€1200.
LS50 are a little bigger and cost ~€2000.
Dali Calisto 2C are ~€4000

What is your budget and what sound do you prefer?
No worries I think I am not very clear as I am starting with this kind of topics.

I have not yet suscribe with Tidal/Qobuz etc. so my example will be with Spotify:
- Can I stream music from Spotify that I have not downloaded on my phone to the amp if there is no wifi in the house (so streaming on my phone and send it to the amp)? Is it only via bluetooth or is there a wifi connexion possible bewteen the amp and the phone (who works like bluetooth if that's more understandable). I think that's a yes if I understand well your first paragraph.

LS50 Meta are 1200 euros in France :)

On budget for the amp the most I can do is the Nain Uniti Atom (2800e) but if there is a "equivalent" cheeper I'll take it ;)

For example: Cambridge CXA81 + Cambridge CXN V2 (about 2100e for both) or the Cambridge Evo 75 ou 150 (last one come close to the Naim in term of price)

The best I can do for amp+speakers is 3500/4000e I will say. That's not a very audiophile statement but I pay attention to the "beauty" of the equipment as well.

I listen mostly to nusoul, soul, funk, jazz, R&B, rap, electronic music (ex: Shai Maestro, Childish Gambino, Erykah Badu, Roy Hargrove, Anderson Paak, Kanye, Portico Quartet, Prince, Kool and the Gang etc.). I mostly listen to music with vocals. So I'd say that I'd love a warm trumpet, voice, as well as nice drums and deep bass if I try to describe the full range.
 
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psikey

Distinguished Member
I have LSX and just got a set of LS50WII today and all I can say is wow! Just a stunning sounding, neat solution.

Just get these and a 4G Router with good data allowance (sub too if hooking upto TV for movies).
 
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Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
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