Integrated CD player / amp with digital optical input

Buffo

Novice Member
Hello.

Most of my music in on my media pc (connected to my telly) and i'm looking for a solution to get better quality stereo sound than I can from playing music through my tv. I'd also like the option to play CDs directly. So i think what i'm looking for is an all in one CD player and amp that will be able to take the optical digital output (SPDIF) from my pc.

Any recommendations, or am I barking up the wrong tree (eg do i need separates, or an a/v receiver, or an external soundcard)?

Thanks, Matt
 
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Ben Jammin

Active Member
Your budget would be helpful :) But i'l ramble on anyway.

What sound card does your PC have? If it's decent you may not need worry about optical input/output, in which case the all in one system will work out cheaper. If you are set on using optical output, seperates will give a better sound for just a little bit more money.

All in one system wise you could get the Denon DM38DAB for £200ish and decent speakers for £100ish. This won't take optical so you might want to consider a DAC (Digital Analogue Converter) for £150ish. The DAC is entirely optional and depends on the quality of your sound card and of what you will be playing from your PC. If low quality MP3's / Spotify it's not going to make a difference, if your sound card is £100ish it's not going to make a difference. Onkyo did do an all in one which took optical input, the CS-515, but it seems to have been discontinued.

Going down the seperates route you could get a normal very good quality integrated Hi-Fi amp for £300ish and a CD Player which takes optical input for £350ish. (which is exactly what i do.) Plus speakers at about £200. (Only a few CD players at that price have optical input, I reccommend Harman/Kardon HD 990 combined with Rega Brio 3 plus speakers of your choice) :)

Alternatively you could get a squeezebox which will allow you to steam music wirelessly at CD quality from your PC to any amp of your choice, but something like the Denon DM38 would suit because it has CD built in for when you don't want to turn on PC. Again, the squeezebox is a DAC so depends on the quality of the music you are playing from the PC on whether it's worth it or not. If it's only Spotify you can get wireless streamers for £30ish which will sound about the same!
 
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CJROSS

Well-known Member
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Buffo

Novice Member
Ben,

Thanks for the informative post. I use a squeezebox type solution already (bluetooth from my pc to a bluetooth receiver (Motorola DC800) connected by phono to my integrated cd player / amp). Quality is meh, and it cuts out regularly (probably a feature of using bluetooth). Unfortunately my pc doesn't have analogue outputs (apart from headphone - it is one of these small cheap boxes (revo r3610)) which leaves me with the digital out to utilise.

I think my solution might be to get a DAC or a better squeezebox solution. The squeezebox solution seems daft though, they're right next to each other!

Thanks again,

Matt
 

Ben Jammin

Active Member
Check out Beresford DAC's or the Cambridge Audio DACMagic.

You must have USB output on the PC right? If so consider the HRT Music Streamer.

DAC's can get expensive, i'm no expert on them but reckon the above should be good unless your Amp/Speakers are very expensive.

Quick check of my local audio shop also reveals the Project DAC Box FL: £205.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Buffo what is the rest of your system?
 

Ben Jammin

Active Member
He's playing sound through TV speakers no? If so, getting an Amp/Speakers is vital, DAC is secondary.

But seeing as no analogue output from PC then DAC (internal or external) is pretty necessary too! Could go PC -> TV -> AMP. That might work ok but probably not better than using headphone socket and would need to keep TV on to play music.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
PC can route via USB or Toslink normally. Thus a DAC, TV usually has a toslink SPDIF output. Before he even gets there, I'd suggest an amp + speakers, then add a DAC eventually, if budget allows get a stereo amp with DAC facility. Paramount is speaker upgrade from TV ones though. Budget idea would be good.
 

Ben Jammin

Active Member
Yes, agreed. Maybe active speakers? Anything is going to be a million times better than TV speakers.
 

Buffo

Novice Member
Budget is around one hundred pounds - sorry I didn't post this earlier.

I was hoping for something that would give me a good improvement on the tv speakers given my existing audio kit (good quality budget kit which is lying around not doing much) but not something disproportionately sophisticated (given where i'm at, i was hoping i could get a big bang for my buck).
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
What kit do you have Buffo?
 

Buffo

Novice Member
Ahem, unfortunately it's all still in a box as we moved house recently. Off the top, an integrated cd player / amp by TEAC (circa £200) and some decent budget speakers (£100 a few years ago).
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
If that little Teac has an "aux" I'd just route a set of cables from the TV to that. If you want to spend £100 odd pounds I'd suggest saving up your money and getting better speakers, I think you are hindered with the cd/amp device from Teac in what you can do TBPH.
 

Ben Jammin

Active Member
So you already have an amp + cd player + speakers.

im confused :)
 
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Buffo

Novice Member
It's an integrated amp + cd player. Unfortunately it does not take a digital input so I can't hook it up to my pc (which only has the spdif output).
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Does it have an "Aux" input? If it does, you simply run a 3.5mm - 2RCA cable from the SC of your PC to the amps Aux input - you can even hook up to any tape inputs on an amplifier too if you are short of inputs.
 

Buffo

Novice Member
CJCROSS - you mean hook up the headphone output of my pc to the aux of my cd / amp?

Formbypc - a digital to analogue converter is definitely a possibility I think. Any recommendations?
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Buffo you are making this really hard - it would be a lot better if you posted model or types of kit you have included your PC so people can ascertain a solution you!! big hint!!.....around the back of your PC there is a SC, you should see a little green 3.5mm minijack output, this is the anlg output of your PC (a model would be handy).
 

Buffo

Novice Member
Sorry, I know i'm not being very clear. I posted the model of my pc above, it's the acer aspire revo r3610. Although I don't have model of my cd / amp, it definitely has an aux input round the back. I've not seen a 3.5mm jack around the back of my pc though, other than the headphone output?
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member

mrbenn

Member
if you want a cheap solution - attach this to your revo optical out (£land do optical cables):

CYP AU-D3 Black | DAC | Richer Sounds


then phono in to your aux in on the teac amp

this dac will not be earth shattering, but will be more than sufficient!

ps: check if your tv has RCA phono out - then you can just attach rca cables from the TV to your Amp
 
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Ben Jammin

Active Member
I agree with CJROSS. Spend 88p on that cable, vastly improve sound over TV speakers. DAC will be waste of money with £100 speakers.
 

Buffo

Novice Member
88p, now that's what i'm looking for. Thanks for the advice - i'd have hated to have gone out and spent a lot of money only to not notice any difference due to another element in the chain.
 

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