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What is thenBest way to hook up an HTPC to Marantz 8801 AV processor for the best quality sound HDMI, AirPlay or any other? Majority of files are WAV, ALAC AND some Hi Rez. I also have some SACD'S. System consists of Aragon 8008 amp 3 channels x 200 watts for front left, right and center channels. I am using Marantz MM8807 amp 7 channels x 150 watts for the side speakers, rear speakers and the high speakers. Front speakers are Polk SDA SRS 1.2TL, center channel Definitive Technology C/L/R, Side speakers are Celestion A3, Rear speakers are Definitive Technology BPX, High speakers are M&K S90's and Sub M&K MX 200.

Source equipment consists of Enlightened Audio Design, (EAD) CD player, Denon DP 50L turntable, Oppo 103 Blue Ray player and it's all plugged in to an Equitech Son of Q power conditioner which is plugged into separate 20 amp circuit just for the system. Right now I am using computer in my office which is upstairs to stream music via AirPlay to Marantz AV processor. The computer is also hooked up to the Marantz processor via Ethernet cable if that matters. Right now I am using iTunes and the remote app for iPad to control music. If I buy another computer, thinking of the Era or the Maven by Steiger Dynamics and hooking it up to processor via HDMI. Will it sound better. Will I get a better sound stage. I am also thinking of using Jriver or maybe roon. I am looking to get the absolute best sound possible. I appreciate any help and guidance. Please if there is a better way or other media servers to consider that will sound better please let me know which ones you like and use yourselves. Thanks for all your help. I just want the best sound possible.

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HDMI and Airplay will work but are not the best for sound quality.

With the network features you might want to try using the ethernet ports as well.

Which sounds best will depend on the gear you have.

 

However, I believe you might get the best quality with a USB cable into your AVR.

Specially with a good audio sound card with USB output like a Paul Pang or SoTM.

 

All the best!

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

 

 

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Rear Panel View Marantz AV8801

 

I see a USB port on the bottom left of the rear panel.

You also have a USB input on the front panel.

Those USB ports are not designed for connecting a computer to. They will be for connecting an iOS device and/or connecting memory sticks to.

 

If you are happy with using iTunes, then AirPlay can be good. HDMI is the alternative and as both are free to try you should compare them and make your own decision.

 

You may get better sound quality adding in a USB to SPDIF converter.

 

You could also install a UPnP / DLNA server on your computer (such as Minimserver of Serviio) and use the Marantz control app on a tablet; or you can use J.River or Foobar to send audio via UPnP / DLNA.

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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Audio Elf thank you the problem is that the computer is upstairs and the system is downstairs. The computer is heavy and huge and can't be brought downstairs. What I want to know if I will get bette SQ with an HTPC or am I better off getting a music server. I just want the best sound that is possible. Thank you.

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It sound like you already have networking in place.

 

Do you have an iPad?

 

Take a look at Computer Audiophile - The Complete Guide To HiFi UPnP / DLNA Network Audio "system one" as this should be a good option without spending much money.

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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I don't mind spending money. I don't want to have the music audio files on my computer that is upstairs in my office. Want separate HTPC or Music Server whichever will give me the best SQ, sound stage. Want to copy ALAC files and Hi Rez files to new machine. I have almost 2,000 albums in ALAC. I have also ripped about 100 vinyl records? Need some recommendations for best audiophile sound using my current Marantz 8801 AV processor. Believe DAC multi channel 32 bit per channel /192. I believe it ai also capable of DSD would like to convert PCM TO DSD. IS This possible? How is it accomplished. Does it sound better. Right now using AirPlay sounds ok. Trying to improve SQ and sound stage. It is not warm sounding. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Right know confused which way to go. Steiger Dynamics or is there. Better way for best SQ possible. Thanks for all your help.

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I don't mind spending money.

Sorry I misunderstood slightly from the starting point.

 

I don't want to have the music audio files on my computer that is upstairs in my office. Want separate HTPC or Music Server whichever will give me the best SQ, sound stage. Want to copy ALAC files and Hi Rez files to new machine. I have almost 2,000 albums in ALAC. I have also ripped about 100 vinyl records?

In that case you might want to take a look at Chris's (the site owner) CAPS articles (links on the front page of the site). A lot of people find the best method is to have a music playing computer with a small HDD and then separately have a NAS where you store the actual files, the alternative method would be either an external USB drive or a large enough case for a second internal drive - I would estimate you have around 750GB-1TB of ALAC and around 500GB of vinyl rips (depending how you ripped them)? So adding a 2 or 3 TB drive would give you sufficient storage plus plenty of excess space.

 

Need some recommendations for best audiophile sound using my current Marantz 8801 AV processor.

If you wish to connect digitally from the computer to the Marantz then the ideal would likely be a USB to SPDIF converter - these range from £100 upto £1500 (approximately) and generally follow cost = quality. There is a big thread comparing various converters -- http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/15-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-spdif-converters-shootout-15327/ -- though it is a little dated.

 

Believe DAC multi channel 32 bit per channel /192. I believe it ai also capable of DSD would like to convert PCM TO DSD. IS This possible? How is it accomplished. Does it sound better.

As far as I know, the DAC in the AV8801 is quite accomplished but there is no way to get DSD into the processor except for HDMI; and there is no way of using HDMI to output from a PC. So converting to DSD would be a nonstarter with your existing hardware. Some people do feel that its better sounding on certain DACs.

 

Your alternative to the USB to SPDIF converter would be to buy a stand along USB connected DAC - again there is a vast range of options. Many of these will support DSD.

 

Right now using AirPlay sounds ok. Trying to improve SQ and sound stage. It is not warm sounding. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Right know confused which way to go. Steiger Dynamics or is there. Better way for best SQ possible. Thanks for all your help.

A bit of patience and lots of reading should get you there...

 

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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there is no way of using HDMI to output from a PC.

 

I must miss something as this can definetely be done (why else have Home Theater PCs?). If a PC / add-on video card has a HDMI port then you can transmit the sound over HDMI. In sound settings select the HDMI port as the sound output. The sound format (16/44 or 24/96 etc) will depend on the HDMI version.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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there is no way of using HDMI to output from a PC.
I must miss something as this can definetely be done

Sorry ... I missed an important part out of my statement...

 

It should have said

there is no way of using HDMI to output DSD from a PC

 

Thats for bringing my error to my attention!

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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Thank you. Is the sound quality using HDMI the same OR, just as good as using USB or SPDIF? The most important thing is the sound. Using AirPlay in my system is just ok. Not amazing. I am looking for warm spacious open sound. Using the Equitech Balance Power conditioner has help some. I'm thing that if I add either an HTPC or a Media Player the sound would improve greatly. Which do you think would improve the sound quality the most. I have been looking at an HTPC by a company Steiger Dynamics in particular the Maven. I have also been looking at the Aurender N100H. I know that the N100H is for USB DAC's. Is it possible to us an SPDIF converter. Is it even worth it sound wise. The difference in cost is appropriately $1,500 will the sound quality be improved that much or am I better just using an HTPC via HDMI? Thank you everyone for taking the time to help me. I am just looking for the best sound quality without spending money and not improving the SOUND. I look forward to hearing from everyone.

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Is the sound quality using HDMI the same OR, just as good as using USB or SPDIF? The most important thing is the sound.

Pretty much every combination is different ... but HDMI is generally considered a low sound quality solution.

 

I have also been looking at the Aurender N100H. I know that the N100H is for USB DAC's. Is it possible to us an SPDIF converter. Is it even worth it sound wise.

Yes, you can utilise a USB to SPDIF converter with the Aurender N100H

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
Sorry ... I missed an important part out of my statement...

 

It should have said

there is no way of using HDMI to output DSD from a PC

 

Thats for bringing my error to my attention!

 

Ah, ok. Gotcha. To be fair, I didn't read the whole thread in detail so it was not immediately clear that the need was DSD.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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