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Help me set up my new stereo system


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Just bought Revel Studio2 speakers and a Hegel h300 integrated amp (has DAC).

 

I have a pretty big iTunes library and have no CD's at all. Not sure of the format of the music files when I put my CD's into iTunes. I'd really like to get great sound out of my system and would like NOT to re-buy hundreds of CD's.

 

I'm OK with buying a Mac Mini but not sure how to hook up everything. I'll transfer over my library to the Mac Mini but then I'm a bit lost. Best to hook the Mini up to the Hegel via USB? And then use something like jRiver to manage the music? What about wanting to buy new music that may not be available on a high resolution site, do I buy the CD and just import it to the iTunes library?

 

Thanks for the help..

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I have a pretty big iTunes library and have no CD's at all. Not sure of the format of the music files when I put my CD's into iTunes. I'd really like to get great sound out of my system and would like NOT to re-buy hundreds of CD's.
Legally, you may not have a choice in buying those CDs again, as you are supposed to keep all CDs that you have ripped (made copies of)!

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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I have an Oppo DVD/CD/DAC/everything else player that I use as a front end for a NAS device. You can also hook a USB drive up to it. The user interface isn't perfect, but it works. I'll probably move on to a Mac mini one of these days but it works well. And you can play CD's ,and movies in it. Basically, if the disk reflects light the Oppo will play it.

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I would just re-rip your CDs into a lossless format. Since I use iTunes I recommend Alac or aiff. Also recommend getting a software to play your music. I personally use amarra but there are others that plug in to iTunes. Honestly if you bought a lot of music on AAC don't worry about it, I have plenty of AACs, it is not the end of the world. I still enjoy them.

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I'm beginning to make sense of things now. Since there are a few absolute things on my listening list, I will purchase them on CD. I'll research on how to put these various recording formats (SACD, DTS, 5.1 mixes, etc) into my harddrive, whatever that may be in the future.

 

For now I am going to connect my computer via USB and use iTunes for playback. I will also connect my Oppo BDP83 via optical to the Hegel and listen to the CD's I just purchased. That will give me a bit of instant gratification and a few days to listen to the system and figure out what to do.

 

I'm really thinking of going the Mac Mini and external HD route and connecting via toslink optical to the Hegel. Then I will use Jriver and distance myself from iTunes.

 

Another questions. I keep reading about the ability to EQ and adjust levels...that is exactly what I do not want. I'd like to listen to the recording as intended, not with some wild personal house mix added. Will all my music be required to be EQ'd and thus changing the sound?

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Just looked and at least 85% of my library is AAC and purchased AAC. Then a combination of AIFF, Apple Lossless, MPEG audio.

 

 

Looks like I will be re-buying a lot of music??

Before you decide based on comments here that you just can't live with your music ripped (or purchased) as lossy AAC; I would actually listen to what you have. If you can buy a couple of CDs you really like and listen to a lossless ALAC or uncompressed AIFF rip and compare it to a 256k lossy AAC.

 

If you find the quality is acceptable to you (and even if not) then I would make a few recommendations...

 

1) any future CDs you buy you do rip in a lossless format. Its always worth storing the best quality possible as your future needs might change.

2) keep the original CD - even if you dump the jewel cases keep the disks in folders.

3) if you have a lot of music in less than 256kbps and you keep using iTunes, then might be worth paying for the iTunes Match Service where you get access to a 256kbps version of anything in your library.

4) if you decide you want to re-rip more of your music in a lossless format, search through charity and second hand shops where you can often pick up copies of older CDs for a couple of quid each.

 

Eloise

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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4) if you decide you want to re-rip more of your music in a lossless format, search through charity and second hand shops where you can often pick up copies of older CDs for a couple of quid each.

 

Following on to Eloise's excellent advice, if there's a CD you can't find in a second-hand store, flea market, etc., you can always try Amazon: I've had very good luck purchasing used CD's there. Rarity will partly determine the price, but a lot of titles are available at significantly less than the the price of an unused shrink-wrapped copy, and I've had no problems ripping (with XLD) any of the discs I've acquired this way. (Knock on wood.)

 

--David

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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