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Hello, I'm new and looking for system improvement advice


Chris
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Hello everyone,

 

First I'd like to say that thank you for such a great site. I found it a few weeks back, having been looking for something similar for a long time and have spent the last few weeks addicted to the many pages of information and discussion.

 

As a result, in the last few days I have upgraded to an 3G iPhone, bought an Airport Express and realised my dream of having two remote controlled systems, one in my lounge and one in the bedroom.

 

Last night was a long one, setting up the Airport Express with windows was a tough challenge (and I now know a little more about wireless security!), but at 3am this morning the green light came on and it all started working.

 

I have a couple of questions regarding the set up of my systems. If you'll bear with me its probably worth going though them.

 

Central System:

PC with XP

itunes (music ripped to apple lossless)

500Gb External Hard Drive

belkin wireless network

 

Bedroom System:

Airport Express (analogue audio out)

Linn Kolektor

2 x LK100s

Linn Keidigh (active)

 

Lounge System:

Laptop Soundcard analogue output :-(

Dynaudio Acoustics BM15A (active monitors)

 

Obviously there are some short comings here, not least using the laptop soundcard in the Lounge. I'm looking at an external DAC with a volume control or the devilsound DAC. My previous attempt to improve this section used an m-audio audiophile usb external soundcard but the usb support on my laptop is poor and it regularly refused to work.

 

Questions:

 

1. What settings are best for using iTunes/Airport Express? the connection seems to be quite tempremental.

 

2. Should the m-audio audiophile express usb work from the USB output of the Airport Express?

 

3. Has any tried using a Linn Numeric DAC with the Airport Express (i'd quite like to keep an all Linn system)

 

4. Can you recommend a DAC to use in the lounge system between the computer and the BM15As, I probably have a budget of 500$ (although I'm UK based). Options I'm considering are another AE, the DevilSoud DAC, my m-audio audiophile usb (if it will work) or another recommended DAC possibly with level control.

 

Thanks again for the really useful information on your site.

 

Any general information on improvements to my system would be much appreciated

 

Thanks

 

Chris

 

PS I've just noticed on the itunes v8 there is an option in 'Advanced' to 'Create Apple Lossless Version'. Presumably if i convert a 128kbps mp3 to apple lossless it will remain at 128kbps quality? or have i missed something?

 

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Chris,

 

Rather than answer any of your questions I am going to ask you one !!

 

Are you getting audio dropouts using your Airport Express with iTunes 8 ?

 

HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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Hi Beemb

 

Once itunes has recognised the AE it seems to play fine with no interuption to the audio. There is a slight delay when i play/pause which means I sometimes miss the first second of a track. The only other interuption is when switching from system to system.

 

If that what you mean by audio dropouts then no I don't get any.

 

Chris

 

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Chris - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. Hopefully we can get all your questions answered!

 

"1. What settings are best for using iTunes/Airport Express? the connection seems to be quite temperamental."

 

I've had good luck disabling encryption on my wireless network. Other than that the combination just works.

 

 

"2. Should the m-audio audiophile express usb work from the USB output of the Airport Express?"

 

No. The USB on the Airport Express is crippled by Apple and won't work with much other than a printer.

 

"3. Has any tried using a Linn Numeric DAC with the Airport Express (i'd quite like to keep an all Linn system)"

 

Have not tried this nor have I heard anyone who has tried it.

 

"4. Can you recommend a DAC to use in the lounge system between the computer and the BM15As, I probably have a budget of 500$ (although I'm UK based). Options I'm considering are another AE, the DevilSoud DAC, my m-audio audiophile usb (if it will work) or another recommended DAC possibly with level control."

 

The Devilsound DAC is really a unique product and I recommend it pretty often for certain situations. It's the simplest DAC around and it limits the interconnects & wires you'll need in the system. Much better look if you're concerned about that :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Chris,

 

I guess I launched in with a lot of questions upfront. Sorry about that.

I'm just pretty excited about getting things up and running.

 

Many thanks for you answers.

 

The AE is working much more smoothly now and I like the wireless approach so I think I'll look a DAC between that and the dynaudio speakers. Also I'd like to take advantage of the balanced input on the dynaudios. Maye I'll save up for the PS Audio DLIII.

 

Anyway, thanks again

 

Chris

 

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Hey Beemb,

 

So I've been doing a bit more experimenting and listening since i set up my Airport Express and I started to experience to some audio dropouts. I was getting maybe a couple of 3 to 4 second breaks in the middle of the track. Very irritating.

 

So i tracked back what had changed with my system to make it dropout and it seems the only real change was installing MediaMonkey and setting the Output Plugin to out_wave.dll.

 

The dropouts started when playing in itunes 8 after using MonkeyMedia without restarting, even though MonkeyMedia was closed.

 

Anyway, I'm gonna play around with this some more and see if I can isolate the cause.

 

Have you had similar experiences?

 

Cheers

 

Chris

 

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