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Wireless options?


Neil

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Evening all..trying to answer a lot of questions and getting ready to build my system. But one question I have is that my Modem/router computer is in another room from my listening system. Don't really want to run cables over 40ft so do I send it wirelessly with something like the Audio Engine or do I just buy a Mac mini and sit that with my audio system and hook it up to my modem/ router when I need to download, rip music. My router is a Cisco / linksys ea 4500.

 

thanks as always!!

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Hi Neil - what is it you are trying to accomplish? I read your post but it is less than clear to me (apologies). Do you already have a computer to run your digital audio from and associated DAC?

 

If it helps my cable modem is located downstairs, I have a wireless router attached to it (Airport Extreme Base station), and use my Mac Mini (and other computers) wirelessly upstairs. The Mac Mini is used to house my digital media and to playback my music into a DAC which is in turn connected to my stereo. I could in turn use the Mac Mini to rip my music and/or download purchases from sites such as HD Tracks if so desired.

 

Hope that gives some context.

 

 

Barr

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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Evening all..trying to answer a lot of questions and getting ready to build my system. But one question I have is that my Modem/router computer is in another room from my listening system. Don't really want to run cables over 40ft so do I send it wirelessly with something like the Audio Engine or do I just buy a Mac mini and sit that with my audio system and hook it up to my modem/ router when I need to download, rip music. My router is a Cisco / linksys ea 4500.

 

thanks as always!!

 

The Mini option gives lots of flexibility provided you either don't have a lot of music already stored on your computer or you can move it to your new Mac.

David

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Thanks Barr and David always useful in this never ending quest for knowledge! Barr do you have a screen / mouse connected to your mini? How do you access the music? I have a new iPad could I use that? Like as a remote? I dont really want a screen and mouse next to my audio system ! So far this would be a new build, my pc is dated by about 8 years but just got a new router so at least I can beam stuff pretty well throughout the house. Also assume i would need a apple super drive to rip CDs ?

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Thanks Barr and David always useful in this never ending quest for knowledge! Barr do you have a screen / mouse connected to your mini? How do you access the music? I have a new iPad could I use that? Like as a remote? I dont really want a screen and mouse next to my audio system ! So far this would be a new build, my pc is dated by about 8 years but just got a new router so at least I can beam stuff pretty well throughout the house. Also assume i would need a apple super drive to rip CDs ?

 

Neil - I do not have either a screen or mouse connected to mine. When I first set it up they were required, but that was so I could boot the system for the first time, after that I enabled screen and file sharing in system preferences so I could access it from a different Mac I have.

 

As to how I access music, et al. First since the machine is mostly dedicated to playback of audio, I have it start Audirvana when the machine is booted (you can have it automatically start whatever music player you use, Pure Music, J River, etc).

 

So I push the power button, it boots and then I can access my music library using either my iPad or iPhone (Apple has a free application called Remote) that lets you access and play songs from your iTunes library). Alternatively I can use screen sharing with my second Mac and select the music from there.

 

And alternative to using a second Mac, if you are running your Mini headless without a monitor is to use an application such as Splashtop on your iPad which would allow you to control your Mini without a monitor.

 

The only reason I do not use a monitor/keyboard/mouse with the Mini is because for my needs I dont require one, and having a second Mac very easy to do whatever "chores" I need done on that system via the second Mac.

 

And yes, unless you have a second computer that already had a CD drive you would need to order an Apple USB Superdrive ($79 list).

 

Let me know if you have other questions, I am very happy with my setup. And just so you know, if it was the only Mac I ad, it would still be a great solution.

 

Barr

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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Thanks Barr, I will definitely check out Splashtop as I would love to be able to control the Mac mini through my iPad. One question seeing as I don't have a Mac keyboard, monitor mouse could I set the Mac mini up with my iPad? Noob question but I have no clue!

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Thanks Barr, I will definitely check out Splashtop as I would love to be able to control the Mac mini through my iPad. One question seeing as I don't have a Mac keyboard, monitor mouse could I set the Mac mini up with my iPad? Noob question but I have no clue!

 

It's not what you want to do. Not even sure you can set it up with out those. After setup, using one of the desktop control apps that are out there is fine for occasional control but you want to be able to easily access your music so using either a UPnP server with its partner app or using Apple's Remote app are by far the preferred method. You mentioned downloads and purchasing music also and in my experience trying to do that without a monitor, keyboard and track pad is an exercise in frustration. Others may have better luck but I have used four different ones so far and I have yet to feel comfortable enough with any of them to use them on a regular basis. All of my customers have had the very same experience and all have migrated to using either a UPnP app or Remote for their music playback.

David

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Evening all..trying to answer a lot of questions and getting ready to build my system. But one question I have is that my Modem/router computer is in another room from my listening system. Don't really want to run cables over 40ft so do I send it wirelessly with something like the Audio Engine or do I just buy a Mac mini and sit that with my audio system and hook it up to my modem/ router when I need to download, rip music. My router is a Cisco / linksys ea 4500.

 

thanks as always!!

 

I guess it depends on how much you want to push for perfection... I had a similar challenge as my server was not near an ethernet outlet... I made the choice that I did not want to have an wireless antenna in the server and bring all of the negative RF noise into the chassis. In the end, i just bit the bullet and ran a 50 ft ethernet cable around the outside of the house to the server as it was too much of a pain to do anything else. If you dont mind the wireless antenna in the server, its easy to put one in a CAPS and still get the other benefits of this design over a mac mini (eg picking low noise components, separate SOTM USB card, separate power supplies etc). If you dont care about trying to squeeze the last ounce out of the quality, then the mini seems like a super convenient approach.

Equipment:

Auralic Vega DAC, Auralic Taurus Preamp, KEF LS50 Speakers, Hypex Ncore400 monoblock amps, CAPs V3, Paul Hynes SR5 (12v and 9v rails), Audioquest King Cobra XLRs, Signal Cable speaker cable, Furutech power and USB cable

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It's not what you want to do. Not even sure you can set it up with out those. After setup, using one of the desktop control apps that are out there is fine for occasional control but you want to be able to easily access your music so using either a UPnP server with its partner app or using Apple's Remote app are by far the preferred method. You mentioned downloads and purchasing music also and in my experience trying to do that without a monitor, keyboard and track pad is an exercise in frustration. Others may have better luck but I have used four different ones so far and I have yet to feel comfortable enough with any of them to use them on a regular basis. All of my customers have had the very same experience and all have migrated to using either a UPnP app or Remote for their music playback.

 

To David's point, and your question, if you do not have a mouse nor keyboard nor display for your MINI you will not be able to perform initial setup. Further, if you did have these for initial setup and you were ONLY going to use your Mini as a music server then you could get by without having it attached to Monitor/Keyboard/Mouse. I can do so because I have another Mac to do everything else like ripping CDs, etc...

 

If you want to use the MINI for a bunch of stuff, as David noted, an investment in a mouse/keyboard/monitor is worthwhile.

 

Hope that has not made things more confusing.

Silver Circle Audio | Roon | Devialet | Synology | Vivid Audio | Stillpoint Aperture | Auralic | DH Labs

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Thanks for all the help guys, I like the idea of the mini and have an old aged dell dimension desktop in another room but wanted to set up the mini as my music server next to my audio system and didn't want a redundant screen , keyboard and mouse. But thanks for the Splashtop idea Barr, I see they also have software that converts your iPad into a screen for the mini too so this could be an option. All Ill need is a mouse and keyboard which is cheap enough, I can then use these to set up the mini and put them away for normal use of music listening. So how about this for my first system ! New Mac mini, audirvana, Musical Fidelity VLink USB/ spdif, peach tree DAcIt or Schiit BiFrost into my Denon AVR which feeds a pair of Statement speakers......what am I missing?

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Lets step back a minute Neil. What is your current music collection comprised of?....is it ripped CDs to lossless?, MP3's or do you have a need for hi res content? The Apple architecture and an iPad offer tremendous flexibility for remote audio so it's important to discover your needs first. You mentioned Statements and a Denon AVR....is the system a dual purpose stereo/ht?........with a flat screen or projector?

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Hi Mayhem, not a huge selection of CDs and some mP3 on an old Dell so I kind of see this as a clean slate to move forward. What CDs I have I will rip. and althought the Denon is hooked up to a plasma I very rarely watch movies so the system will be primarily music. Currently i love the ease of Pandora which i stream blue tooth to my receiver, awful sound quality and bad range but love the convenience. will look to move to MOG for my ' background' music and cookout tunes for the better sound quality, but looking forward to discovering quality music through a computer as i have no doubt this is where the future is! so really just looking to buy the right ' building blocks' to move forward. Ay advice is greatly appreciated.

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What you need is an Apple TV hooked up to your Denon. Here's some advantages

 

Pandora on the iPad...streaming directly to the Apple TV via Ethernet, not Bluetooth. SQ is MUCH better.

 

The Apple TV can access your entire iTunes library using the iPad as the interface. No need for the Plasma to be on.

 

No need to purchase a Mac Mini and install it in an awkward setting for your purpose. Keep your PC where it is or build/buy a new one. My main machine acts as an iTunes server for 6 additional zones. You don't need to use it this way, but the flexibility is nice to have.

 

You don't have to rely solely on wireless. Some of my zones use Powerline Network Adapters. They work flawlessly and are simple plug and play. I like Netgear if it matters.

 

The ATV also brings streaming video and Airplay streams from your iPad to the table. They're great entertaining options when music isn't enough...which sometimes happens.

The IPad allows you to use some apps in the background while listening/watching so you can still use the iPad as a surfboard while listening to music. I'm doing so right now listening to some Coltraine since its snowing here....Bummer.

 

So the only downside is......as far as SQ goes, the ATV isn't exactly hi end gear.....but for CD ripped lossless content it does an excellent job. If you want/need improved sound quality, you can add a stand alone DAC in between the ATVs optical output and your Denon. I have one connected to a Benchmark DAC and there is a subtle, but noticeable improvement in the sound.....not quite as 'edgy' as the ATV by itself. But as a standalone player, the ATV serves my needs just fine.

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Thanks Mayhem, definitely food for thought! You mention running Pandora via Ethernet to the ATV forgive my ignorance but is this wired? Can I stream Pandora wirelessly to ATV. I may just replace my old Dell with a Mac mini anyhow, I don't have an issue with wireless thought my house the signal is strong everywhere.

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A slightly different approach. I've been using my little Dell Inspiron Mini Netbook as a server lately. All my music is on a NAS and streamed wirelessly to the Dell, running JRiver, then outputting (bitperfect) to my USB DAC. I leave it closed most the time and run everything from my phone or iPad, so it is unobtrusive, but I just have to open it when I need a screen or keyboard. Sound quality is fine, to my ears and I even have the theoretical advantage of being able to unplug it from the mains while playing music.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

- Einstein

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Thanks Buddy, I'm sure it's going to be better than my crappy little Bluetooth that drops out if you move the iPad a couple of inches! For my strive towards 'Audiophiledom' I'm sure I'm still heading towards a Mac mini and DAC just have to keep reading to figure out what else I need.

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