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I have an older stereo system but still sounds great - adcom amplifier & receiver, b&w floor speakers, velodyne sub. My old faithful cd player died (RIP) and I am now looking at converting my cd's to FLAC encoding on a NAS. My question is how to get from the NAS into the stereo? It has been suggested that I use a Sonos to connect to the stereo which will give me the ability to create playlists and see & organize my catalog of music on an ipad, iphone or tablet. Is there something better? The Sonos on the surface seems to be the answer and will allow me to expand wirelessly to other rooms but will I get good sound through the system?

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Hi base_camper and welcome to CA.

 

Ripping your CD collection lossless to FLAC and storing this library on a NAS drive is already a good start and will take some time depending on the size of your collection, so pls go ahead ...;-)

 

Meanwhile you might want to detail your idea on the expected quality level of your future system.

 

Will CD quality be enough to satisfy your needs now and in the next future or is hires stuff from various download sites a tempting idea?

If so, I would recommend to abandon the idea using Sonos as they are pretty much limited here.

 

The NAS is only the storage for your library and not directly relevant to the sound quality you will experience with your files.

 

However the client = streamer (1) and integrated or separate DAC (2) determine pretty much the ease of use through a good controlapp or operation concept (1) and the sound quality (2).

 

You then pass the signal into your existing amp/speaker combi and are ready to go.

 

You will find various threads discussing streamers here in this forum and you might want to tell us more what budget you are ready to spend to give a few recommendations.

 

As you see from my signature I am in Germany and pretty satisfied with the Pioneer N-50 (600 EUR retail) as a all-in-one solution for my streaming set. It outperforms Sonos in sound quality, supporting various formats including highres, and the convenient AirPlay function easily, but your needs may vary.

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Being new to this I have seen some reference to hires which was got me looking for other solutions beyond the Sonos. As far as a price range for the equipment/bridge to get from the NAS to the stereo I am looking in the $500 - $1,000 range I think? I am trying to figure out what I need, then what's out there, and finally what is the high and low price range and what do I get for the extra $$'s and then make an informed decision. From what I see the apps to access the music catalog is just as important as the equipment, if you can't find it you can't play it.

 

Hi base_camper and welcome to CA.

 

Ripping your CD collection lossless to FLAC and storing this library on a NAS drive is already a good start and will take some time depending on the size of your collection, so pls go ahead ...;-)

 

Meanwhile you might want to detail your idea on the expected quality level of your future system.

 

Will CD quality be enough to satisfy your needs now and in the next future or is hires stuff from various download sites a tempting idea?

If so, I would recommend to abandon the idea using Sonos as they are pretty much limited here.

 

The NAS is only the storage for your library and not directly relevant to the sound quality you will experience with your files.

 

However the client = streamer (1) and integrated or separate DAC (2) determine pretty much the ease of use through a good controlapp or operation concept (1) and the sound quality (2).

 

You then pass the signal into your existing amp/speaker combi and are ready to go.

 

You will find various threads discussing streamers here in this forum and you might want to tell us more what budget you are ready to spend to give a few recommendations.

 

As you see from my signature I am in Germany and pretty satisfied with the Pioneer N-50 (600 EUR retail) as a all-in-one solution for my streaming set. It outperforms Sonos in sound quality, supporting various formats including highres, and the convenient AirPlay function easily, but your needs may vary.

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Although I haven't seen many reviews for them, it looks like the company Bluesound is positioning itself as an alternative to Sonos- provides complete "ecosystems" as far as amps, network receivers, etc- but with more high-res playback capability. Might be worth looking into? Here's a link

Office: iPod classic/iPad -> Shure SE425 IEM Home: Oppo BDP-83/Synology DS211j -> Integra DTR-7.8 -> Revel speakers

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I have an older stereo system but still sounds great - adcom amplifier & receiver, b&w floor speakers, velodyne sub. My old faithful cd player died (RIP) and I am now looking at converting my cd's to FLAC encoding on a NAS. My question is how to get from the NAS into the stereo? It has been suggested that I use a Sonos to connect to the stereo which will give me the ability to create playlists and see & organize my catalog of music on an ipad, iphone or tablet. Is there something better? The Sonos on the surface seems to be the answer and will allow me to expand wirelessly to other rooms but will I get good sound through the system?

 

There are dozens of ways to get the job done but Sonos works fine, sounds good and is readily available. It all depends on what you want to spend and how much time and money you want to invest. I am curious though, why not just replace the cd player?

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To answer a few questions - 1. My thinking is that with the NAS all my music is available without having to find & load the cd or cds each time, 2. the NAS runs in a raid array which means that once loaded it is mirrored on the NAS itself so if one drive goes down it can be replaced without having to reload the cds, 3. I looked and it appears to me that there are fewer and fewer quality cd players out there - so I ask myself is this going the way of the VCR?, 4. with the network music device I can also get internet stations, for the price of a decent cd player I get more flexibility, 5. I never considered a computer as my server but in my search I came across a site where they customize the system for you - still looking at that option. So many options, so much information to process!

 

I looked at Sonos - not convinced it was way to go, looked at Bluesound - appears a better quality product which surpasses Sonos. This is all new to me and in fact what started this journey was the limited number of CD Players available today but I am listening and I appreciate all your comments and suggestions. I recently spoke with a "high end" audio store person and snob comes to mind as a description of this connoisseur of fine music about the possibilities and well was left with the feeling I could be a redneck if only I had my pickup on blocks in the front yard. For those who commented here without the attitude I thank you again it has helped as I continue to get valuable knowledge.

 

My last concern is AIFF or FLAC? which is better?

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There are various discussions here about sound differences between both file formats - the debate whether they exist and are audible and to which extend in reality this might matter will continue ...

 

Fact is:

AIF or AIFF is mostly used in Apple environments and is recently supported by more and more network players, but some legacy units and even up-to-date ones of some companies don't. The files are lossless and uncompressed and can store metadata like artist, track info, album art, which is essential for handy navigation with your players app.

 

FLAC is widely supported by many devices, but not much under Apple. You will need extra tools under Apple to play it. FLAC keeps metadata like the other format, is lossless as well, but compressed, which saves you approx. 30-40% of disc space compared to the other format, but needs real-time extraction during playback.

 

Both formats are good for CD quality standard resolution up to highres.

 

I am on Apple and use AIFF.

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base_camper,

 

Do look at computer audio as a serious option. I was in your position a few months ago.

Here is what I use now ...

 

Control PC with JRiver Media Center > wifi > Audio PC with JRMC > DAC > Audio Rig

 

The Control PC via JRMC handles all network duties to your NAS including library functions with ease.

A good quality DAC into your rig is the key component in addition to the Audio PC transport.

A high quality clock between your Audio PC and the DAC will go a long way in fixing jitter.

 

Hope this helps ...

Custom Win10 Transport | Mutec MC-3+ Smart Clock USB | Lampizator Amber | Acoustic Portrait Thiyaga | ATC SCM20 PSL

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
You have a NAS, all you need is a remote control app and a streamer with DAC. This and an iPad may be all you need to be happy, although I would always recommend wired over wireless connectivity between streamer and NAS

 

Amazon.com : Cambridge Audio - Stream Magic 6 - Upsampling Nework Music Player - Silver : Streaming Media Clients : Electronics

 

Upvote for the Stream Magic 6. However, if it is too much money this is an excellent alternative:

 

Amazon.com: Cambridge Audio NP30 Network Music Player, Silver: Electronics

 

Cambridge Audio has a remote app for both that works with apple or android phones/tablets.

 

Jim

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Great question!

 

Some of my thoughts as someone who is slowly moving up the food chain on audiophile-ness.

 

I have a Sonos system and have had it for some time. Really can't be beat for convenience and especially if you want to have multiple locations. If you are looking at just one location there are other options that are probably better. I have six of them around the house and it is great to be able to control them from any location and stream anything to anywhere. A big limitation (and it is becoming bigger as I go up the food chain) is that it only does CD quality nothing higher quality. It does have great support for streaming services which is the direction they seem to be going.

 

I have been looking at the BlueSound option recently. It looks VERY similar to the Sonos but with the addition of supporting hi-res and better sound quality. There are some downsides to it though such as not as good support for streaming services and it uses regular WiFi whereas Sonos uses its own proprietary WiFi like network.

 

If you are interested in multi-room I would highly recommend these. If not, probably the most flexible route is to buy/build a CAPs or CAPs-like computer and a DAC and connect it to your NAS with all your music on it. Too many options to list and they are all good with their own individual pros/cons. I am personally in the process of making this move. Great thing with using the computer option is that I have JRiver Media Center running on it and my main listening system and it also sees all my Sonos boxes and can control them as well so it is all fully integrated. There is also an excellent app that runs on iphones and ipads which controls everything as well. I choose to build a computer based on the Intel NUC platform which has its own pros/cons. The CAPs servers are purpose designed to be music servers and should be relatively easy to build and can also be purchased. By going this route you will have the best flexibility to grow and upgrade accordingly.

 

I have an old Adcom CD player that I haven't touched in years now since I now rip my CDs as I buy them and they only ever hit my computer's DVD drive once. You will want to read up on the whole ripping strategy. There is an excellent discussion paper on this site. Lots of religious fervor on that topic out there. As long as you do lossless you are in good shape.

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