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4x stereo output network streamer


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I currently use a dedicated pc with multiple sound cards. These sound cards connect into a multi channel amp which feeds my speakers in four different zones. I'm about to replace the PC with a NAS and so will lose my soundcards. What I'm looking for is a device that can stream audio files stored on my NAS over the network and output to 4 stereo channels in my existing amp. I don't want an integrated amp as I'm trying to keep costs down and I've got a perfectly good amp already! I would want to be abel to stream different music on each channel or link zones and would like to control via iOS. I don't need video, purely audio.

 

I've trawled the internet but, to my surpirse, I can't find anything that fits the description. Any suggestions?

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In my experience you are limited to either 4x 2 channel devices or a PC based system.

Eloise

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...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks for the reply. That was what I feared having looked around. I'm really surprised though that nobody has come up with a multichannel solution!

You could look at companies such as RussSound; AMX and Crestron but I fear they will be very expensive...

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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You could look at companies such as RussSound; AMX and Crestron but I fear they will be very expensive...

Far cheaper, but still not exactly cheap, is Sonos. They have an amp-less (stereo line out) player, it will play media from your NAS, and if I recall correctly, multiple players will all sync for some sort of party-mode, or play different media or network streams. They operate on either a wired or wireless net, but they are not technically Wifi, but use their own wireless protocol, supposedly better. Sorry I can't speak from hands-on experience, just a product I've thought of carrying in our business. Never pulled the trigger because they are discounted on-line and sold in big box stores, which doesn't fit our product profile. Looks decent though.

 

By the way, realizing you already have your electronics, but many current AVRs will do multiple zones and include a DLNA player built in that can find a NAS with DLNA or UPNP running. We just whipped up a Plex server here and it streams to a Denon AVR just fine. One small advantage to that is the system handles high-rate audio files, where Sonos wouldn't.

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Why not a silent PC running J.River with a multi-output soundcard?

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks for the ideas. Seems like the only options will be an array of single zone players or get rid of my current amp and replace it with a multi zone dlna amp. Shame but that's life!

You might try to define your usage and zones first before deciding. For example, for a DLNA AVR to provide different content to different zones, that content must come from separate sources. Many AVRs won't deal with digital-only sources Zone 2 and up. Digital content depends on D/A conversion somewhere, and some AVRs don't provide dedicated D/A converters for zone outputs. A few do, but usually high-end units. This impacts your usage. If you want one thing playing in the main zone, but something else in Zone 2, you have to pay close attention to what those sources are.

 

By comparison, Sonos players are autonomous by nature, but can also play with each other in sync. So if you primarily want individual content, they might be the choice, and still provide play of zones in unison if you need that.

 

 

Why not a silent PC running J.River with a multi-output soundcard?

Not familiar with JRiver, but it would be a bit unusual for a media center to play separate streams to different output pairs of a multichannel card. Not impossible, just unusual. A quick check of their website and Wiki didn't show that function. They may play the same stream to multiple destinations, though. For example, Apple's AirPlay function will stream content to multiple AirPlay "speakers" (actually destinations would be more accurate). So with one source you can play to dozens of AirPort, Apple TV, or AirPlay capable AVRs or other devices. Each can have it's own volume control at the server, or local. What you can't do is play separate streams from the same server. From multiple servers, sure.

 

Just have to analyze your needs carefully. It turns out most people want the same audio everywhere so they follow it around the house. Isolated local audio usually is provided by a separate device so the user there has complete control.

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Not familiar with JRiver, but it would be a bit unusual for a media center to play separate streams to different output pairs of a multichannel card. Not impossible, just unusual. A quick check of their website and Wiki didn't show that function.

J.River definitely allows multiple independent zones...

 

Zones - JRiverWiki

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...
I've trawled the internet but, to my surpirse, I can't find anything that fits the description. Any suggestions?

 

Hi, the AdioVibe will do exactly what you wanted, it is a multiroom device, you can play one song on many devices in synchronization, it streams over WiFi, support 24bit/96kHz high-res music files and bit-perfect playback. We will also release a Digital version so you can stream high-res files wireless to your DAC. Check out the demo video: https://www.facebook.com/AdioVibe

 

AdioVibe has 3.5mm analogue output, you can buy four and connect one to each of your amp's four channels, and control them use your smartphone or tablet. It is compatible to DLNA and Airplay.

 

900x900px-LL-8b4f65e8_AdioVibe-internal.jpeg

 

900x900px-LL-251a29f6_VP16.jpeg

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19D9iGOP9zE

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