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Need help to buy a good music system to play digital music files from NAS and iPhone

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spenugon

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Hyderabad
Hi,

I am keen to have a good music system to listen to good quality music from predominant digital sources like NAS (I have a Synology 413J NAS), iPhone/iPod. My current music files are all MP3 128 Kbit/s to 224 Kbits/s and most of these I listen to on my iPhone. Many of these are ripped from my original CDs several years ago and later files are bout from iTunes store/downloaded from web. I have never tried Lossless formats, but am keen to try Lossless formats from now on to listen to high quality music.

Last year I bought a Denon AVR 1213 for my living room to use it as a music/HT system. But this is sparingly used now. However I want to keep a good music/LED TV (60:40) listening system in my bed room of size 15 ft x 15 ft. Few weeks ago I bought KEF Q100 book shelf speakers to try out these speakers with my Denon AVR as a trial. The music from the Denon in a stereo mode is OK, but I am still exploring if I can get a much quality quality music from a separate Stereo Amp. My home has WiFi and I am also keen if I can use Wifi to connect my iPhone/NAS/my Apple TV etc thru a home media network.

Any suggestions to get a high/good quality music setup especially within a home media network and intention to explore high quality lossless music formats.

Thanks in Advance.
 

Acuity

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Re: Need help to buy a good music system to play digital music files from NAS and iPh

Welcome to HFV.

I have been there: trying to stream music from my NAS as well as iPhone. Unfortunately I could not find any such device (that does Airplay as well as stream from NAS), so I had to choose one. I finally got an Apple TV. My newer music resides on my iPhone and my older music is on my NAS. So now I play music like this:

Newer music: iPhone -> Apple TV -> Receiver
Older music: NAS -> Laptop (iTunes running) -> Apple TV -> Receiver

This means whenever I listen to my collection on my NAS I need to turn on my laptop and ensure iTunes is running. This iTunes accesses the folders on my NAS and makes it available to Apple TV.

Its a great solution, as browsing and accessing musing through the Apple TV is such a pleasure. The only (minor) drawback is I need to turn on my laptop when I'm having a long listening session.

Since you already have an Apple TV, I would encourage you to go this route.

Alternately if your AVR and NAS both have DLNA, you can stream NAS content to your AVR. But personally I would prefer One single interface (Apple TV).

On your other question, sure you will get a better music experience by going with a decent integrated stereo amp.

Choice depends on how much you want to spend and what kind of a sound you are going for.
 
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koushikp

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Re: Need help to buy a good music system to play digital music files from NAS and iPh

there are so many ways to do it, difficult to suggest something without a budget and level of complexity that you are comfortable with...but...here goes an attempt to explain some of the options and factors...

first off...low quality files will sound horrible in a very transparent hifi setup, don't try it, you wont be happy with the result..a simple solution to this can be subscribing to itunes match at 1200 rs. a year, even if u do it just once for 1 year, all the songs that they already have in their store gets matched (as long as your files are named correctly), and you get a free upgrade to 256 kbps aac itunes plus files, which are of far better quality, and possibly even better encoded and error free compared to your version

"if" you subscribe to itunes match your nas will become redundant for streaming music as you can simply use the iphone to stream from icloud...its extremely painless and seamless, but u will incur data charges when you are streaming..

now the most painless way of streaming if are not an audiophile or are not looking for a very refined setup is getting a high quality bluetooth speaker. I have experienced both, and can vouch that people who aren't audiophiles and gearheads will be satisfied with a full sized high quality bluetooth speaker for most kinds of music...here and i dont mean the palm sized small ones, the high quality ones like jbl onbeat xtreme, bose sounlink ii etc....all depends on your budget...what u get is convenience and simplicity what you miss is stereo imaging and refinement that comes from a component based hifi setup...i will say this better than the apple tv route because apple tv has a very bad DAC...the bluetooth speaker eliminates that by transmitting the signal digitally..

of course you can achieve the above by buying a bluetooth music streamer also and connecting it to any setup that you choose to have, just make sure the streamer uses aptx technology to ensure compression free bluetooth streaming.. sadly the only decent one available in india is the belkin streamer which doesn't have aptx, they do have an hd version which isn't sold in india, u will have to import this

now let's say you don't try the above solution and are more inclined towards streaming lossless files in a true hifi setup from your NAS (i am doing this right now), the other solution which achieves the best quality at minimum cost is a raspberry pi with raspify connected to the home network+dac>hi-fi system, many forum members including me have done this, the result is very satisfactory..

if you do subscribe to itunes match though, the apple tv will also become very convenient as it will access your music from the same id from the cloud, but as mentioned before, the apple tv DAC isnt great (at least to my ears)...but whether you will notice the difference or not is difficult to say, sadly unlike the pi solution adding a decent dac to the apple tv is far more expensive as there aren't too many good dac with an optical input below rs. 10k, but when it comes to an USB dac, there's a whole army of it which are good from 4-10k
 
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GeorgeO

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Re: Need help to buy a good music system to play digital music files from NAS and iPh

My audio server is a Synology 213 with a 3TB drive, connected to Squeezebox media players, all in a wifi environment with all my music is in flac. There are a lot of media players available but you need a display unit to navigate-the SB has its own display unit. You need to do some research.You can also use a Networked Audio player a feature on some AVRs.
 
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jsmithe

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Re: Need help to buy a good music system to play digital music files from NAS and iPh

I believe the Pioneer Elite N-50 Network Audio Player will do Airplay as well as stream from NAS.
No idea of SQ or availability in India.
Pioneer Network players - Pioneer
Pioneer Elite N-50 Network Audio Player | AudioStream

Yes, it does stream nicely from NAS via DLNA. SQ appears better compared to the DVDP/BDP sources I used earlier even through a very non resolving setup or perhaps that's just my head justifying the expense. :confused:

It is not available via Pioneer, India, so it's goodbye to the warranty if imported. It has gotten rather expensive on Amazon US and on Ebay too. Amazon DE, ES, IT are other sources shipping to India, but prices are beginning to creep upwards there too.

The N30 is also an an option with the same DAC but at a bit lower price if one can do without dual transformers, the weight and a few bits that enhance lo-fi audio. It too has begun to get rather expensive of late though.
 
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rahuln

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Re: Need help to buy a good music system to play digital music files from NAS and iPh

I have two setups and one matches your requirement quite well. I have a Synology NAS and my music is combination of FLACs and VBR-MP3.

In the setup with TV/Bluetooth of iPad/NAS, I am using Onkyo LS3100 2.1 system with Squeezebox Touch for playing music of NAS. The iPad play over bluetooth to Onkyo. The TV also works quite well as the Onkyo is controlled by the TV remote directly. This is good compromise between quality, looks, easy of use, features and price. I paid 30K for the Onkyo system.

For pure music listening, I use Norge 2060 with Polk floor-standers. Again here the source is older Squeezebox. The audio quality is much much better than the Onkyo. Its even better than HK 5.1 with Polk speakers in my home theater.

HTH.

_Rahul.
 
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