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Hello all,
I've been trying to figure it out but currently drawning in the overflow of information, so I figured putting out the question on a forum with skilled people.
Any insights are greatly appreciated!!!


I have a Yamaha R-N420D (very basic) audioreceiver. Up to now I used this receiver to receive audio coming from a computer (Jriver software) through an ethernetcable (AudioQuest CAT00 Pearl) and to power 2 KEF LS50 speakers. Now recently I was given a Cambridge Audio - Azur 840A V2 Amplifier which is a higher quality amp than the Yamaha, but it is an older beast and doesn't have an ethernet receiving port capable of receiving media from a computer.  So Im trying to figure out what my are my options to connect the ethernetcable to the Cambridge Audio Azur 840A v2.


1.  Is it possible to use the simple (and only output) 'line out - full powered' of the yamaha receiver to connect the Cambridge amp and will it sound any good?

2. Is it a better (soundquality) option to buy a new AD converter (budget 600euro) and sell the Yamaha Receiver?
3. If option one is not possible or will cut on soundquality, what AD converters would you advise (that have an ethernetconnection) and are within a budget of +-600euro?


Thank you for your time!!!
Wim

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Reviews of the time are very complimentary of the Cambridge amplifier but does look like its sans any DAC section. The Yamaha has record  out (essentially pre out) but the sound quality of that is likely marginal. You have coax and toslink digital inputs on the Yamaha, not outputs so an external DAC won't help.

Regards,

Dave

 

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What you may want to consider is building a cheap Raspberry PI streamer (~$100 USD) to replace the Yamaha for UPNP streaming use  from JRiver

and buying a USB DAC. Soekris is what I usually see mentioned in your price range.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/7/2021 at 9:46 PM, davide256 said:

What you may want to consider is building a cheap Raspberry PI streamer (~$100 USD) to replace the Yamaha for UPNP streaming use  from JRiver

and buying a USB DAC. Soekris is what I usually see mentioned in your price range.

Hello thanks for your reply!  Is a raspberry PI streamer really capable of doing the same quality streaming job as i.e. a bluesound node or volumio primo or something like the cambridg CXN?

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On 2/7/2021 at 9:46 PM, davide256 said:

What you may want to consider is building a cheap Raspberry PI streamer (~$100 USD) to replace the Yamaha for UPNP streaming use  from JRiver

and buying a USB DAC. Soekris is what I usually see mentioned in your price range.

I've been looking at DAC's for a while now. If I get it right I best buy a USB dac + a seperate streamer.
Concerning the dac's ive been looking at Shiit Multibit. For the streamer I was looking at the Volumio Primo.  Would this combi give better results than a Cambridge CXN V2 that is both dac and streamer?

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2 hours ago, wimaudio said:

I've been looking at DAC's for a while now. If I get it right I best buy a USB dac + a seperate streamer.
Concerning the dac's ive been looking at Shiit Multibit. For the streamer I was looking at the Volumio Primo.  Would this combi give better results than a Cambridge CXN V2 that is both dac and streamer?

If you are willing to spend the money, the Cambridge units software support has dramatically increased and the hardware quality will be much better than something like an RPI + LPS+ Schiit MB modi. I checked, the CXN V2 now supports Qobuz and is a Roon ready endpoint, two essential things

for many audiophiles. So should be a future proof purchase where you could later use a separate Roon server or upgrade later to a better 

external DAC connected via coax/toslink.

 

If you go this route, after you have gotten Jriver setup and working, I'd suggest you give minimserver/minimwatch a try on your PC, it doesn't have

the eye candy of Jriver but I liked the sound quality better

 

https://minimserver.com/downloads/

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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2 hours ago, davide256 said:

If you go this route, after you have gotten Jriver setup and working, I'd suggest you give minimserver/minimwatch a try on your PC

 

You likely meant the optional MinimStreamer transcoder module, as that is what is normally paired with the MinimServer UPnP media server application, not MinimWatch.

 

The MinimWatch application is only if you require remotely configuring MinimServer and/or viewing its status, from another device on the network - eg, useful if MinimServer is running on a headless device. So MinimWatch is not usually necessary if MinimServer is on a PC & it is definitely not necessary on the same PC.  

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

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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1 hour ago, Cebolla said:

 

You likely meant the optional MinimStreamer transcoder module, as that is what is normally paired with the MinimServer UPnP media server application, not MinimWatch.

 

The MinimWatch application is only if you require remotely configuring MinimServer and/or viewing its status, from another device on the network - eg, useful if MinimServer is running on a headless device. So MinimWatch is not usually necessary if MinimServer is on a PC & it is definitely not necessary on the same PC.  

ehh... i found minimwatch indispensable. Kind of an on/off light for is minimserver running and an easy way to restart and check error msg when there was a problem. But towards the end I was running minimserver on a NAS, so point taken about local PC. And yes one does need to add the transcoder module + add the config line for DSD transcoding if your DAC is PCM only. I do see that they are at a version 2 now,

anything significantly different from version 1?

Regards,

Dave

 

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The main change has actually been the introduction of a licence fee for some advanced features, including MinimStreamer, that were previously free (voluntary donations accepted) - see:

MinimServer 2 Starter Edition

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

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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23 hours ago, davide256 said:

If you are willing to spend the money, the Cambridge units software support has dramatically increased and the hardware quality will be much better than something like an RPI + LPS+ Schiit MB modi. I checked, the CXN V2 now supports Qobuz and is a Roon ready endpoint, two essential things

for many audiophiles. So should be a future proof purchase where you could later use a separate Roon server or upgrade later to a better 

external DAC connected via coax/toslink.

 

If you go this route, after you have gotten Jriver setup and working, I'd suggest you give minimserver/minimwatch a try on your PC, it doesn't have

the eye candy of Jriver but I liked the sound quality better

 

https://minimserver.com/downloads/

Thank  you again for the useful info!   I stumbled upon a second hand Cambridge Audio Azur 581n. I think I'll go for thisone rather than the CXN V2. Seems like it is the big brother of the cnx v2.

 

About the minimserver, how is it that its soundquality is higher than JRiver? What do they do 'better'? 
 Do   I see many audiophiles choosing 'Roon' but I find its monthly fee really high.

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23 hours ago, davide256 said:

If you are willing to spend the money, the Cambridge units software support has dramatically increased and the hardware quality will be much better than something like an RPI + LPS+ Schiit MB modi. I checked, the CXN V2 now supports Qobuz and is a Roon ready endpoint, two essential things

for many audiophiles. So should be a future proof purchase where you could later use a separate Roon server or upgrade later to a better 

external DAC connected via coax/toslink.

 

If you go this route, after you have gotten Jriver setup and working, I'd suggest you give minimserver/minimwatch a try on your PC, it doesn't have

the eye candy of Jriver but I liked the sound quality better

 

https://minimserver.com/downloads/

Thank  you again for the useful info!   I stumbled upon a second hand Cambridge Audio Azur 581n. I think I'll go for thisone rather than the CXN V2. Seems like it is the big brother of the cnx v2.  I think its going to be a good match with the KEF LS50's / Arcam FMJ A39. 

 

About the minimserver, how is it that its soundquality is higher than JRiver? What do they do 'better'? 
I see many audiophiles choosing 'Roon' but I find its monthly fee really high and I'm wondering if it's that big a difference with i.e. Jriver or minimserver.

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2 hours ago, wimaudio said:

Thank  you again for the useful info!   I stumbled upon a second hand Cambridge Audio Azur 581n. I think I'll go for thisone rather than the CXN V2. Seems like it is the big brother of the cnx v2.

 

About the minimserver, how is it that its soundquality is higher than JRiver? What do they do 'better'? 
 Do   I see many audiophiles choosing 'Roon' but I find its monthly fee really high.

JRiver is a great Windows program for local music playback but its network playback capabilities were a graft onto the original program UI,

not well thought out / integrated. The Mac version may be better but I don't have a Mac, haven't tried it.

 

Minimserver was a community based effort to build a quality UPNP server, relies on open standards so can be used with many UPNP controller apps

and the largest number of available endpoint devices. It's resource footprint is light which IME improves transparency vs JRiver running under Windows. And its a common app for NAS so that you can run it  24x7. Doesn't do "value add" like Jriver does for GUI, library info.

 

Roon makes me think of a network designed answer to JRiver, provides the eye candy +library information along with easy streaming setup,

good remote control apps. and there are many devices that can act as a Roon endpoint. Makes it easy to research your music, artists, albums.

Uses what it calls RAAT protocol, not UPNP, but also supports Squeezelite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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  • 2 weeks later...

As an alternative, and in line with your budget: have a look at Volumio:

https://volumio.org/product/volumio-primo/

 

The player/dac (with ethernet and a DAC able to decode anything) is 499 euro.

 

The software / library management system is open source. You can control the player (and the library) from any device.

 

Both have gotten favorable reviews, for ease of use as well as sonics / bang for the buck.

Get this, keep the Cambridge, sell the Yamaha. Job done :)

volumio 3.JPG

volumio 2.JPG

volumio 1.JPG

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And FWIW: I am not a Volumio shill. I am a lifetime Roon member but I have been doing a lot of reading about Volumio's software and player. Had I not bought Roon 2 years ago (with NUC, Devialet amps supporting RAAT, etc...), this would definitely get a try-out in my system.

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