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About Me

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  1. I bought my first high end products - a NAD receiver, turntable and wonderful speakers from a company whose name I do not recall -- in 1980. I have owned good stuff ever since. I bought the good stuff to enjoy even more the passion of my life -- music. I bought my first computer, an Osborne 1, about the same time. Back then, computers were for spreadsheets and wordprocessing. The Osborne and its PC successors have been used a lot for that. I installed one of the first Novell networks in 1987 in my small CPA office betting the farm that the increased efficiency would justify the cost. My bet paid off big time. Finally, I built a music computer in the early nineties using the highest rated sound card at the time (and again its name has been forgotten). I ripped my CD collection to wav files and used iTunes to play them. (Unfortunately, a crash disconnected the files from the metadata in iTunes and the files were pretty much lost. But that's another story.) The point of the foregoing is to establish that I know a little bit about both high end audio and computers. I got a divorce a few years ago and pretty much lost all of my equipment. I am only now getting back on my proverbial feet. I am installing a TV system in my house that I will hopefully also be able to listen to music on. I want to be able to play ripped CDs from an NAS as well as stream music. I am currently using Spotify which is OK. I hope to try out Apple Music and Tidal in the near future. Based on what I have read, I see Tidal as my future streaming service. My new system will be centered around a Marantz AV8801 processor/preamp. My question is what additional hardware I need to play files and stream music. I have spent a fair amount of time on the Internet and particularly on this site to answer this question. But I must say that I am overwhelmed by all of the technologies discussed in this forum. I know that one way to go would be to buy a Mac Mini and a DAC and plug the analog outputs of the DAC into the Marantz unit. It also appears that I could plug the Mac Mini directly into the Marantz and use its internal DAC. Finally, the AV8801's documentation says that I can stream using the unit by using a router that supports audio streaming. But I have no idea what that means. My reading seems to say that while a computer and a DAC will work fine, an "appliance" might sound a lot better and would cost about the same. I wouldn't be using the Mac for anything other that serving as a music server. My budget for this project is $100k. Just kidding. Actually, if I could start off kind of inexpensively and then build more quality and capability into the system over the next year or two, that would be great. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Happy New Year! Tim
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