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Budget Hi-Fi recommendations: streamer, amp, speakers, sub

Discussion in 'audio' started by TheAuthor, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    What kind of problems are you getting with the Pi? Mine is quick and not buggy? I have a screen and Hard drive attached as well. I also don't recognise the condescension you speak of.I'd go for a Pi every time but I recognise it's different for others.
  2. EIffel

    EIffel Cereal Killer

    I'm also very happy with my PiCorePlayer systems, which I've found to be very reliable and with better (IMO) long term support than the commercial solutions I'm aware of. A Squeezebox touch, possibly with the USB firmware hack for DAC compatibility, is a viable alternative in my experience (The server should run on another device, such as a home computer, NAS or Pi in this case)

    I have tried the some chromecast audio devices (which can be made to work with a LMS/PiCore system), but they didn't pass the MDAC bit perfect test in any configuration I've tried
    Del monaco likes this.
  3. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Squeezebox Touch is still very good.Got into Darko’s Top ten of the decade.With its continued support and new OS it is still a very viable alternative.
  4. Allaboutmusic

    Allaboutmusic pfm Member

    If your looking for a decent system and starting out. I'd look at rega brio 2016 version, bluesound node 2i and speakers will depend on your own preferences but if looking at new maybe b&w 606, I had the 685 s2 and they are good all rounders which will fill a decent sized room and do bass well and the rega drive them really well.
  5. TheAuthor

    TheAuthor pfm Member

    Allaboutmusic, B&W (after listening and taking advice) are a tad bright for me, I prefer a more mellow sound.
  6. TheAuthor

    TheAuthor pfm Member

    At the moment I'm leaning towards and all-in-one solution, rather than amp, streamer separately. Either a Linn DSM or a Naim Unitilite or Uniticute, latter as I don't need a CD player. Any recommendations/suggestions on all-in-one amp/streamer? Figured I could go to about £1,350 for a unit (excluding speakers/sub of course).
  7. Allaboutmusic

    Allaboutmusic pfm Member

    You could get a used Atom for around 1500 if you can stretch to that. It's a nice looking and sounding all in one, the amp inside isn't as good as the brio I will say though and there are some complaints about the software. Unitiqute is also good and I preferred it to the Atom when I heard them but there are issues with the screen longevity and is expensive to fix.

    Marantz also do a nice all in one for around £600 I think, which would leave you plenty for speakers.

    If it were me though and you value maximum sound for the money I would go with the brio. For style and convenience the Atom.
  8. TheAuthor

    TheAuthor pfm Member

    Naim Atom is a tad expensive, don't really like the look of it, especially if screens cost 'Naim' money to fix. In hindsight, Brio would be no good as it does not have a single digital input and I need to put my TV through it.
  9. Allaboutmusic

    Allaboutmusic pfm Member

    If you were to buy the brio or any amp for that matter and get a bluesound node 2i, you can use the digital inputs to the node 2i for your TV. I'm told the dac in the node is very good but you could add an external dac further down the line.

    Another option is the Cyrus One, not as well reviewed as the brio but one of the versions has chromecast built in so you could just stream from your phone and it would be a tidy one box solution.
  10. Robert M

    Robert M pfm Member

    The cyrus one looks very interesting and would get my vote.
  11. TheAuthor

    TheAuthor pfm Member

    Thinking Linn Magik DSM with Linn Ninka speakers and a REL Strata 3 or 4 sub is the way to go.
    Allaboutmusic likes this.
  12. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Not heard the Ninkas with MDSM but they were good with Majik Kontrol and Majik 2100 power amp. You can then add a 2100 and go aktiv later, if you want. Ninkas are dead easy to convert to Aktiv by swapping around the back plates so no need to access the speaker internals.

    The upgraded Ninka polymer stands are worth getting if you can find them.

    There are at least 5 variants of Majik DSM. I can't find a list now that the Linn forum is gone, but the very first version was called the DSi, not DSM. They later added newer HDMI standards as time went on, along with Exakt outputs and improved clocking architecture. You'll need to do some digging to check what you need.Very early DSi models 'might' not have the Dynamik PSU which is well worth having - can't recall for sure if they were shipped from day 1 with Dynamik. The Linn Helpline is pretty quick to answer product questions if you email them a serial number of a prospective purchase.

    Looks like the clocking architecture upgrade was 2015:

    I don't mix HiFi and TV but won't you need a centre speaker for dialogue? The model that matches the Ninka is called the Trikan but I think they are quite rare these days. Not sure how that would plug in - I'm thinking you'd need a 3100 to run it passive or 4100 to run it aktiv (along with the aktiv Ninkas) if that makes sense. I'm sure others can clarify.
  13. TheAuthor

    TheAuthor pfm Member

    Thanks for all the advice guys. Decided on Linn Majik DSM/1 (about £1,100 used) and Ninka speakers and Rel strata 3 or 4 sub.

    Thanks again.
  14. markharro

    markharro pfm Member

    Can I resurrect this thread. I am trying to work out how to set up a multi-room audio solution that will be mainly for playing FLAC tracks stored on an external hard drive. Ideally I would like to have central hardware ie amplifier and streamer and possibly a speaker switcher located in our utility room and control the music from an iphone app and crucially control volume from the app as well as it wouldnt be practical to keep going back and forward to manually turn the volume control on the amp - so I guess I would need some sort of digital volume control.
    I am thinking that I would hardwire maybe 3 rooms from the utility location with speakers but I will generally only want one room to have music at a time so another issue is how I switch between speakers...not sure that there is any way to automate this? For the avoidance of doubt I am not interested in wireless speakers/bluetooth etc - I am looking for full fat FLAC through conventional speaker cable to speakers.
    Would one option be a Plex server on a raspberry pi? Does the free Plex app provide a volume control function?
    Or use a Bluesound Node player? I think its app does provide a volume control? And it seems to allow Alexa voice control but does anyone know if they will extend that to Apple Homepod control which is what I use?
    Or an Innuos Zen? The Innuos Sense app though doesn't provide volume control though does it?
    Finally, it would be good to have the option to stream Qobuz at some point in the future.


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