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What would you guys do?


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Hello all,


Recently I've been considering upgrading my CD player, but now thinking about a music server and DAC instead. Currently my stereo room doubles as my office, so I have a computer in here, but it is very loud (fan noise). One approach is for me to rebuild my Windows Vista computer system making it as silent as possible and stream my music to my stereo. Another I was considering is to buy a Mac Mini and external hard drive and just have a second computer for my stereo. The cost for the Max Mini seem about the same as 'upgrading' my computer. The one thing about the Mac Mini solution is it seems a little redundant to me to have two PCs in my office, one for music and one for everything else...


I was considering the Bryston CD player as my CD player upgrade, but now considering the Bryston DAC instead (I see it's own you CASH list). If I were to go the DAC/Mac Mini route is there any limitations I would have? Currently I listen to only regular CDs which are 16-bit I think. I like the idea of listening to higher resolution music and I'm not clear if this combination would allow that.


I'm still learning I guess and will continue reading the forums. Any advice is appreciated.


My stereo is as follows:


Parasound A21 2-channel amp

Parasound JC2 preamp

Vincent CD-S6 CD player (no digital inputs)

Columbia interconnects

PSAudio power cables/power conditioner

Focal 826s speakers




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I'm very happy with my Samsung Netbook/external usb drives/usb dac solution. A Mac Mini, with its optical output, would sit equally happily in there and opens up your dac choices to include those without USB inputs. I went for a Netbook solution because I am both familiar and comfortable with the 'quirks' of PC configuration and it comes with it's own screen. This is an extremely simple and straightforward approach. My system has replaced a £1000 CDP and, even with a low cost external soundcard, outperforms it by quite some margin.


If you foresee the requirement to stream stuff, perhaps in the future, then a fully networked set-up may well be better. Others can better advise you on that - my views of domestic wireless kit are not shared by most around here!


The redundancy aspect of the extra computer can be a blessing. Having a computer dedicated to audio may seem a little extravagant but it keeps it away from the daily use that tends to 'clog up' all computers.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I was recently in a similar situation. I was not so committed to the idea of computer audio that I wanted to give up my CDP. So, I sold my front end (Naim CDX2 & XPS2) and with the money I purchased a Cary 306 Pro and a refurbished MacBook. The Cary can be used as a DAC as well as a CDP. I am glad I did too, because as good as computer audio is, it is not as good as the Cary playing a redbook.


I love my set up, it has revolutionized the way I listen and rejuvenated my passion for music, but once a week or so, I still sit down and listen to a CD directly.


Good luck and enjoy the ride....John


[Outlet > Crystal Cable Reference Power Cords > Audio Magic Mini Stealth >] MacBook \"White\" (Sitting on Symposium Svelte Shelf and 3 Decouplers) > iTunes/Apple Lossless/iTouch Remote > Kimber Cable USB > Bel Canto 24/96 USB Converter > Cary 306 Pro SACD/CD/DAC > Crystal Cable Reference Connect IC >Pass Labs X1 > Crystal Cable Reference Connect IC > Bryston 28B SST Mono Blocks > Transparent MM Ultra Speaker Cables > Verity Audio Parsifal Ovations> My Ears.....ahhhhhhh

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