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Questions about upgrade path


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Morning all,

I wanted to seek the collective SNA wisdom for a bit of direction before seeking input on actual devices. My system has recently had some deletions and I'm looking at reinstating an integrated and upgrading streaming sound quality.

 

System is currently CD and Sonos connect -> RCA -> AVR-> Speakers. It also doubles as the AV system which in turn is connected to google chromecast/home. The Sonos unit supplies Spotify and locally stored music only, no other streaming services. I don't know much about Roon and very little about dedicated streaming amps. Vinyl is not a consideration

 

Most obvious thought is to grab an integrated but that raises other questions:

Should I pursue an integrated with its own DAC? - limits options and increases cost of amp

Is a built in DAC going to be as good as a standalone? - possibly, but it depends

Is a dedicated streaming amp such as Cambridge CXN, NAD 368 etc, going to deliver better results more simply than separate devices

 

Competing priority - Sonos

The boss likes being able to play the same music through various parts of the house via sonos endpoints (sonos 1, play 5 etc). Is it possible to incorporate sonos speakers into the main system with or without more sonos 'connect' units? Actually Sonos is used mainly when entertaining or doing housework. It would be simpler to pursue a 'quality' streaming solution for the main 2 channel rig alongside the existing multiroom Sonos setup, to do so I would need a 'Spotify Connect' device up front. Could I leverage off some kind of google compatible device to feed the line in on the Sonos 5?

 

At the moment the budget is a tick over 2k for integrated +/- Dac. Unless there is a compelling reason not to I would prefer to buy used. My current speakers (VAF DCX-35) won't be my last, so my preference would be for the amp not to have limitations in what it can drive. Was thinking something along the lines of a MF M5/M6, Roksan Kandy, Peachtree Nova, Hegel etc, not endgame for many here but should keep me happy for a good while. End result must be able to be powered on/off via remote.

 

Keen to hear your thoughts. Anything i've missed? Any other options I should consider?

 

 

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I did see them, one just sold. They should suit the speakers too as I know VAF used them for a time. Unfortunately I don't think they have HT bypass , which i need

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IMO the Vincent’s are well built but generally bland sounding so MF, Roksan, Yamaha AS 1100 or 2100 and similar would be better.

 

Another way that has much more potential is to look at the post on the giant killing Stereo Coffee preamp for $500 built or $250 kit, add a $700-1500 used true audiophile class power amp and DAC or the CA streamer and similar. The preamp and power amp will be as good as nearly a $6-10k rrp integrated. This would be a good amp platform for future upgraded speakers.

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You can consider the Marantz PM7000N if you want an all in one. Sound is on the warmer, relaxed side. 
 

Parasound Classic 200 integrated. More muscle but lacks a streamer. 
 

Cambridge CX series are very good. Fast amp. Offers good PRAT. 
 

 

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Cheers guys.  I'm after ideas on with options to take note than devices themselves.  That is: should I get a dac to go with the sonos connect?  should I forget the connect and go all in one streamer? Should I just get the best integrated and not care about whether it has a dac? 

 

I'm not that familiar with streaming outside of Spotify to sonos but that's the future in this house so it might as well sound as good as it can.  I need your help on how to make that happen 

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If you're mainly streaming spotify, I would think the devices that make a difference will be those after the streamer. I'm sure others will disagree but I don't think the streamer means much if its spotify. And I'm not dissing spotify coz I'm a spotify user and I like it. 

 

If you like the connect, then get stuff after that. A good integrated will do the job. Of course, it depends on your taste and how demanding you are. I think getting separates allow you to shape your music or compensate if that's how you want to play the game. 

 

 

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I dint particular like the connect, but I don't know of another way to have Spotify through the main rig and the other sonos devices

Edited by Jone5y
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  • 4 weeks later...

Update for anyone following this thread:

 

I went down a very large and potentially pricey 'streaming integrated' rabbit hole for a while there in an effort to reduce the overall box count. Have since come full circle and back at the original Integrated with DAC idea. After looking into Roon I have discovered that it can take control of the various sonos devices throughout the house. That has removed one of my concerns re flexibility. The Sonos Connect can perform streaming duties for the time being.

 

Due to the time taken to come to a decision the budget has now risen closer to $3k

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hegel H300 has been sourced from SNA classifieds. Now on the lookout for a Roon core streamer/CD ripper under $2k. As far aas i can tell the Innuos Zen mini is the only thing that fits the bill

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