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  1. I'm pretty certain that some wifi implementations generate its own noise as well, but Auralic does recommend using wifi over ethernet. My experience was that the ethernet still sounded better. However, to achieve that, I had to isolate the circuit from other ethernet connections.
  2. The conclusion I've derived from my experiments is that grounding and analogue circuitry are hugely influenced by wifi and ethernet. If the source has analogue out, differences could be heard between the two, neither of which was satisfactory. Wifi modules, ethernet port, and network switch all contributed to the negative impact on the sound as they went from selectively distorted frequencies to grayness to buzzing. Having an amplifier with a source ground switch and built-in DAC helped me figure out these wide variables. I think many of the tweaks we use don't eliminate the problem, but only introduce new variables. Once I switched to optical connection with the source on a separate ground, the differences have mostly vanished.
  3. Nah, this guys is kinda funny. Anyways, to answer the OP's question, the Elac's did take some power to bring the volume up to level. I tried a 40w "consumer grade" amplifier on them, and it just was not enough. It's not that hard to reach listenable volume. What comes after that is a problem. I'm a big fan of amplifiers with integrated DAC's. Setup can be more flexible this way. My preferred way right now is a streamer via toslink to the DAC of my integrated amp. Its electrically isolating advantages far outweighs the downside of supposedly inferior optical connection in my system. And it's a point that cannot be overlooked in digital music. I would do Bluesound Node + DAC Integrated amp.
  4. If it's your first time, I would strongly suggest buying used, as you will almost invariably want to upgrade right away. You don't need the latest at their highest prices. The Elac's are actually not that easy to drive. I would do away with the amps you listed and go for the best quality and amount of power. If you can stretch, a used Hegel would be perfect with its plethora of digital inputs. Cambridge CXA60 is really good as well. NAD C368 I auditioned was a huge disappointment. Keep an open mind, and enjoy the process. Find joy in fitting your system into your living space. Don't put it on a pedestal. It's just electronic equipment.
  5. iPad gone. Works great on my android phone, too!
  6. A properly designed amp should be mechanically silent. There's just no getting around it. If you have to do the mods to the unit to make up for its deficiencies, it's not such a sweet deal, is it?
  7. The redesign is just beautiful on my Macbook with many considerate features to make it a great experience. For some reason I feel more comfortable on it than on the iPad. I see no reason to have my iPad Air 2 around any longer. Any takers? It's going to Best Buy to be traded in, in about...30 minutes!
  8. Yes, dealers make money off you. That's the idea. When you are selling your used gear you are trying to make money off other people. I can't imagine otherwise. Used market is currently full of people trying to make money off others. I definitely spent my money in the right way for the enjoyment of music. That makes me happy, and even more so because it was at the price I want and could afford. I definitely lost money. No doubt about it.
  9. I've had absolutely no problem selling my gear. I've only sold the flavors-of-the month and the well-reviewed's. And that in itself is an irony because I almost never end up keeping them. Funny how some people think just because it was marked 50% down from MSRP they are getting a steal and show their prowess in bargaining skill. Maybe the joke is on YOU. Maybe you are still overpaying for what it is. Now that I've found speakers that I intend to keep for life and an amplifier that complements them, from local dealers, who appreciate my not auditioning there then buying online, I can go on and enjoy music. Getting sweet deals for taking the demo didn't hurt either. I love the demo models. It means it hasn't broken down yet and if it does it will be fixed. Yeah, building relationship works.
  10. I've had Sotm as well, and it's a fine piece as long as you are happy with the apps that you will be using. I wasn't. You can start with Bluesound and perhaps expand it with a DAC like a Chord. What I've learned from going through all of those streamers/renderer was that USB or Coax is very hard to get right. The electrical isolation of optical connection is easier than the supposedly superiority of USB/Coax. Naim amplifiers don't play well with multiple sources or sources without ground because of this reason. That is also why some Naim gear have chassis ground/float switch. Also, the Sotm I had wouldn't connect with any of the generic USB cables I had. There was some kind of ground funk going on between it and Meridian USB input and my Naim amplifier. When I solved that issue, the iFi adapter I was trying was causing my speakers to buzz like crazy. When I reached out to iFi, their answer was buy another product to fix grounding. That's when I threw my hands up in the air and got out while I could. Now I have a different integrated amplifier and the Node 2. No issues.
  11. I've lived with both, and I have to say, the Bluesound plays really well on its own. Obviously the Mini is the way to go if you would like to utilize its USB output. A $700 DAC isn't going to make that much of an improvement.
  12. Auralic Mini would be a terrific solution. If you prefer the Bluesound OS, the Node is good too. I've owned both. I've also owned the SOtM. Less boxes just sound better to me.
  13. So that's it? Those people have lost their money just like that?
  14. Nice gear. Great music. Enjoy until the next itch...
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