Old HiFi system and Spotify

jeepsterboy

Standard Member
or to put it more succinctly, if i were to ignore the CD aspect of it, just remove my CD player entirely from the equation, what device should i get to run spotify thru my nad and missions...

trying to bring it 'down to pure'....
 

larkone

Member
And you can buy secondhand Chromecast Audios and they would solve your Spotify streaming problem for less than £30. They are perfect for this as they are capable of better sound quality than Spotify Premium can deliver
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
There are lots of different ways to achieve the aim and in part, it depends on how much you're willing to pay.

From a phone with Spotify using the headphone out to rca of an amp, through to dedicated streamers and outboard dacs.
100% agree with phil t and the decision/choice rests somewhere between cost and usability.
The last thing I want to do is to add even more choices to a confused situation but I am sitting here listening to my Raspberry pi, connected to my DAC and then my analogue amp - producing SQ which is, I believe, far in excess of what you could reasonably expect from such a reasonably priced device. I am listening to FLAC files but I have tried streaming in the past with equal
‘success’.
What I don’t know is whether you have the desire/know how to be able to go this route. When I say “know how”, I’m referring mainly to the need to load software onto an SD card for the Pi and some basic choices within the chosen software. It really is a lot less “scary” than it might at first sound and, in my opinion, well worth the small effort.
Controllable from my IPAD or phone.
Let me know if you need any more info.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
And just to say, I didn’t start off with a Raspberry Pi. As Phil t mentioned, I started off with a phone and headphone socket/cable to my amp. From there I added a small “ dragonfly DAC” to my phone, then on to the Pi. And from there, I’m now on my 6th DAC, but in all honesty, I could probably have stopped at number three and been quite happy!!
 

jeepsterboy

Standard Member
many thanks indeed for this.... i suppose i should come clean and say i don't have a smartphone, nor an IPAD. i have a dumb phone because i only text or make calls; i'm on a pay as you go system, and don't really intend to change that....

because of my work i use a laptop all the time, so that would be my device. my router is in the hall, the nad and missions in a spare room, the laptop on, well, my lap...

re 'know how', my problem most likely stems from having walked away from smart technology when it really took hold. before that i was grand... a little nokia mobile phone, fine.... a computer at work and emails, fine... it was the invasive onslaught, especially from mobile tech and social media, that drove me away. many many people found it liberating; i found it overwhelming; i have no desire to romanticize the frustrating days of dial-up connections, but they were certainly simpler times!

add to that the fact that i'm useless with tech stuff, and not especially patient, and i would have to say that my chances of success would be fairly slim.

so i'm going to have to say that i'm going to try and think thru the options as best i can. maybe start with the little chrome cast or the yamaha suggested earlier, and see how i get on! probably best if i keep it simple. just something to plug in........ fingers crossed!
 

jamieu

Well-known Member
I know everyone wants to keep there options open esp. if spending £££. But a useful question to honestly ask yourself is what music services you really need to support right now.
  • If you only need Spotify then you can be up and running with 'decent enough' quality for >£40 via a used/refurbished Chromecast audio or a cheap Spotify Connect device.
  • If you just need to stream from a Apple device (iPhone/Mac) and don't mind keeping your phone / desktop / laptop on you can do that for £10 with a used AirPort Express using Apple AirPlay.
  • A cheap Bluetooth adaptor with RCA outputs, while not ideal, is nowhere as bad as some people on here would have you believe and can be had for <£20.
If you want to spend a bit more and buy from a known HiFi vendor then the Yamaha WXAD10 should fit the bill — you'd hope it would have a better DAC/analog output stage than the low cost devices. But equally don't dismiss all those low cost devices as utter rubbish, a lot has moved on in technology/electronics, so nowadays even low cost devices can now have surprising good SQ given their price point.

After that the Bluesound Node 2i or Cambridge Audio CXN V2 would likely be the next steps up.

If you have £500 going spare the Bluesound Node 2i will have you covered with everything you need, but in all likelihood you'll be paying a lot of money for features you'll never use.

The nice thing about the 'cheap' devices is that they will do most of what you need now and aren't too expensive to let go once you know what you're missing (or maybe not missing) then you can better decide where to spend your money (ie. a better control interface, a display or hardware control on the device, a physical remote control for skipping tracks, support for a particular music service, a better DAC). Also the whole online music and streamer market is still moving rapidly.

As GGN says, you can also go down the DIY rabbit hole with Raspberry Pis (which I am a particular fan of) for maximum flexibility. But unless your the sort of person who likes tinkering maybe best hold off till you have your head around how the various options/architectures work ie. some of the setups work much better for multi room audio etc.
 
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jeepsterboy

Standard Member
thanks for this.... yes, i think you're right: a bit like my washing machine, lots and lots of programs that i never use, just the same 30 minute wash!

no, i would not want to go up to the bluesound node you mention, and in any case i really don't think my old hi fi system could justify that sort of expense.

but can i ask you this: are these cheaper devices similar to, let's say, my roku box that i use for netflix?... i'm not sure if this is correct or not, but i see my roku as just making the connection between netflix and my telly, with no qualitative input whatsoever. ... a connection and nothing more.

but is that the same with the audio devices? does the little yamaha, for example, present better sound than a chromecast...? or is it the case that these devices are mainly distinguished in terms of their functionality? a chromecast will run spotify more than adequately, but is limited in other ways... or to put it another way, does the Sonos (which i see discussed in lots of places, not all of it positively), give better sound, than a chromecast, or just more options?

i may be oversimplifying...
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
...............
so i'm going to have to say that i'm going to try and think thru the options as best i can. maybe start with the little chrome cast or the yamaha suggested earlier, and see how i get on! probably best if i keep it simple. just something to plug in........ fingers crossed!
Quite understand. Best of luck with whatever you decide.
 

jamieu

Well-known Member
thanks for this.... yes, i think you're right: a bit like my washing machine, lots and lots of programs that i never use, just the same 30 minute wash!

no, i would not want to go up to the bluesound node you mention, and in any case i really don't think my old hi fi system could justify that sort of expense.

but can i ask you this: are these cheaper devices similar to, let's say, my roku box that i use for netflix?... i'm not sure if this is correct or not, but i see my roku as just making the connection between netflix and my telly, with no qualitative input whatsoever. ... a connection and nothing more.

but is that the same with the audio devices? does the little yamaha, for example, present better sound than a chromecast...? or is it the case that these devices are mainly distinguished in terms of their functionality? a chromecast will run spotify more than adequately, but is limited in other ways... or to put it another way, does the Sonos (which i see discussed in lots of places, not all of it positively), give better sound, than a chromecast, or just more options?

i may be oversimplifying...

Yes, very similar, although the Roku devices tend to be setup/designed for video (not audio) and even if the device has RCA audio outputs they tend to need a display (at least for setup/configuration) and often do internal resampling of audio which isn't ideal. In short they're more aimed at video than audio.

If you're using the DAC in the device — ie. connecting it up via RCA (rather than digitally) — then you'd expect the better (more expensive?) devices to have better DACs/analog output stages built in. But equally don't expect a night and day difference. The Chomecast etc. all have fairly good DACs (at leasts for the price) built in. Like most audio products, the law of diminishing returns kicks in pretty quickly.

If you think about the headphone output of your phone ie. powered by a low cost, consumer DAC chip/output stage — sure you could get better SQ with a dedicated external DAC/analog output stage — but equally millions of people connect their expensive headphones to their phone's headphone socket and most — and I'd include myself in there — don't complain about the sound quality on a day to day basis.

Sonos, is of course another popular option and it's inbuilt DAC is pretty good, but Sonos makes more sense if you have other standalone Sonos smart speakers / want multi room audio, as the Port (which is the Sonos device you'd use to connect your amp) is quite expensive otherwise. But the Sonos device are well built and their software is pretty well designed / easy to use.

If you're mainly interested in Spotify and want cheap and simple (and can hold your nose to it being an Amazon device) then an Echo Dot connected to your existing amp via it's AUX output is another option, as it includes both a Spotify Connect and Bluetooth client and also adds in voice control.

Sorry that's probably adding options / confusion. But like cars, they all (hopefully) get you from A to B. After that it's all down to budget and individual needs / wants / desires, rather than a single metric.
 
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jeepsterboy

Standard Member
much obliged to you - and all the others - for chipping in... can't be easy having to steer us luddites through the maze! ... i'm thinking of going for the little yamaha.... not too much money, and just might bring a bit of fun to my old school system!.... might be a while before i've it bought and sorted out though (i'm in west cork, and all sorts of supply chain and postal issues between my side of the water and yours just now, in addition to the 'more obvious' horrors), but when i get it up and running i'll post a short note here to say if i succeeded. many thanks again for your help. cheers.
 

jeepsterboy

Standard Member
thanks for this Jason - yes, that does look very shiny! at least i now have options.... can't wait to hear how spotify might sound thru this old NAD amp, though. cheers!
 

nwhitta

Active Member
Hello to All,

I would appreciate any advice re the following, however modest.

I have a spare room with an old hi fi system that I am still happy with (and I might also add, sentimentally attached to). It started life as a set of Mission 700 speakers, a NAD 3020 amp, and a Dual turntable, courtesy of Sevenoaks many moons ago. As time went by the Dual was replaced with a Cassette Deck, then a Denon CD player.

As I have just recently become interested in streaming, I was hoping to add something like Spotify - or at a push, Tidal, to the NAD and Missions. I am happy to buy a new CD player with inbuilt DAC that will allow streaming.

Or, alternatively, retain the Denon CD player and add something like an Arcam irDAC or rDac.

My knowledge of streaming and DACS is nil, and I'm very much on the technophobe end of the audio spectrum, so my apologies if I'm asking the wrong question.

However, if I am making some degree of sense, can someone please let me know if it is indeed possible to 'upgrade' in this way, and if they have any recommendations re the best way forward.

Is there a 'streaming compatible' CD player that will work with the NAD and Missions and allow me to access Spotify?
Or should I retain the existing (old) CD player and consider an external DAC as a way of streaming?

many thanks for your time.
I faced the same problem myself. I have found that a Cambridge Audio Stream Magic V2 works brilliantly as a high quality streamer/DAC/pre-amp but I wanted to be able convert an old but competent hifi (similar vintage to yours) system in another room into a streamer to playback my now-digitised CD collection. However I didn’t want the expense of another Stream Magic. Amazingly the problem can be solved for less than £40 by buying a Tibo Bond mini from eBay.
It works effectively. The sound quality is easily good enough for the system it is driving. The Tibo app is a bit clunky but I now use JRiver to play computer files from my laptop through the Tibo into my hifi.
I imagine the Bluesound or Cambridge options are better but hugely more expensive. The Yamaha probably does a very similar job as the Tibo for a more modest price increase.
You pays your money and you takes your choice.
I would keep the CD player. Mine still gets used, especially by my wife who doesn’t like fiddling with computers to play records.
 

John3:16

Active Member
You could use an Amazon Echo Flex (as a cheaper option to an Echo Dot), with a 3.5mm to 2x RCA cable. Then you will have access to Spotify (assuming you have a Spotify account), plus all the advantages of Alexa. Amazon/Alexa knocks Google ChromeCast stuff into a cocked hat when it comes to voice interaction, plus the sound quality always seems better to me. 👍
 

johnfryett

Active Member
WXAD-10 is a great choice. Try eBay - there are usually a few on there.
 

Sweetnothing

Novice Member
Hello to All,

I would appreciate any advice re the following, however modest.

I have a spare room with an old hi fi system that I am still happy with (and I might also add, sentimentally attached to). It started life as a set of Mission 700 speakers, a NAD 3020 amp, and a Dual turntable, courtesy of Sevenoaks many moons ago. As time went by the Dual was replaced with a Cassette Deck, then a Denon CD player.

As I have just recently become interested in streaming, I was hoping to add something like Spotify - or at a push, Tidal, to the NAD and Missions. I am happy to buy a new CD player with inbuilt DAC that will allow streaming.

Or, alternatively, retain the Denon CD player and add something like an Arcam irDAC or rDac.

My knowledge of streaming and DACS is nil, and I'm very much on the technophobe end of the audio spectrum, so my apologies if I'm asking the wrong question.

However, if I am making some degree of sense, can someone please let me know if it is indeed possible to 'upgrade' in this way, and if they have any recommendations re the best way forward.

Is there a 'streaming compatible' CD player that will work with the NAD and Missions and allow me to access Spotify?
Or should I retain the existing (old) CD player and consider an external DAC as a way of streaming?

many thanks for your time.
I also have an old NAD 3020i amp, and recently I bought an ifi Zen Blue, plugged it into Aux and am super impressed. This is such a bargain, I paid 130 euros for mine and it works like a dream. As soon as it is plugged in it automatically recognizes my phone and I can stream music or internet radio without problems. In my experience, this Ifi product is the best quality and value proposition on the market for this purpose.
 

Veneer

Member
I have connected a cheap android TV box to my old receiver. I have installed spotify and tidal and it works perfectly. You also need a screen to do this.
 

Tazman46

Novice Member
When you go down the streaming route, I think you will negate the need for the CD player at the level your system is at, so buying another CD player with the facility you want is a false economy imo.
In your position, I bought a streamer and stand alone hard drive. I copied my entire CD collection to the hard drive which is plugged into the USB port on the streamer. That gives me access to that library or Spotify (and others) at the touch of a button.
For the 2nd system I bought a Chromecast Audio, more than adequate, small and easily portable. I found this a lot better than Bluetooth SQ wise, unless you spend big money on a Bluetooth receiver. I have the same NAD amp as you in my 2nd system and I have to say I think it’s superb. As an aside, try some Tannoy Mercury (M50’s I think) with it, massively greater than the sum of their parts.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
You have got some good advice already, I agree with @Tazman46 , you'll probably never use cds once you use Spotify.

A cheap option for you would be to buy a cheap tablet (new or even second hand) , set it up, put spotify on it and turn off all notifications for emails etc and use it primarily for spotify. Buy a bluetooth receiver (a well reviewed one off Amazon for 30 or so quid) and your good to go.

Even though bluetooth is sometimes tut tutted regarding sound quality, there is an upside. First it's probably as good as spotify to start with, second, if your internet goes down you can still listen to saved music
 

KevinWoodward

Novice Member
Hello to All,

I would appreciate any advice re the following, however modest.

I have a spare room with an old hi fi system that I am still happy with (and I might also add, sentimentally attached to). It started life as a set of Mission 700 speakers, a NAD 3020 amp, and a Dual turntable, courtesy of Sevenoaks many moons ago. As time went by the Dual was replaced with a Cassette Deck, then a Denon CD player.

As I have just recently become interested in streaming, I was hoping to add something like Spotify - or at a push, Tidal, to the NAD and Missions. I am happy to buy a new CD player with inbuilt DAC that will allow streaming.

Or, alternatively, retain the Denon CD player and add something like an Arcam irDAC or rDac.

My knowledge of streaming and DACS is nil, and I'm very much on the technophobe end of the audio spectrum, so my apologies if I'm asking the wrong question.

However, if I am making some degree of sense, can someone please let me know if it is indeed possible to 'upgrade' in this way, and if they have any recommendations re the best way forward.

Is there a 'streaming compatible' CD player that will work with the NAD and Missions and allow me to access Spotify?
Or should I retain the existing (old) CD player and consider an external DAC as a way of streaming?

many thanks for your time.
If the budget can afford the 550 BlueSound Node T1 you will love it.
 

CrispyBacon

Novice Member
Depending how tech savvy you are I recommend utilising a raspberry pi with a DAC. I got a decent DAC module over at HiFiBerry (these guys also supply a bespoke operating system for the raspberry pi which configures the raspberry pi and DAC for you its pretty simple)

I can select my raspberry pi as an audio out device within spotify, this then takes the digital audio, runs it through the DAC module which is connected to my amp and outputs via the HiFi speakers.

Its worth checking them out ;)
 

r21442

Active Member
Depending how tech savvy you are I recommend utilising a raspberry pi with a DAC. I got a decent DAC module over at HiFiBerry (these guys also supply a bespoke operating system for the raspberry pi which configures the raspberry pi and DAC for you its pretty simple)

I can select my raspberry pi as an audio out device within spotify, this then takes the digital audio, runs it through the DAC module which is connected to my amp and outputs via the HiFi speakers.

Its worth checking them out ;)
Think it’s clear the OP is not tech savvy.
 

r21442

Active Member
Bought one of these Audioengine B1 for its range and the kids can use their fav apps on their phones to play through the sonos. Quoted range 30m but I practice it is way more and covers all 3 floors of a 5000sq ft house through the walls with ease. Has worked seamlessly for years with zero intervention.

Amazon product
 

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