New to streaming & ripping

Hi I am new to the forum and am looking for some advice in respect of moving my system into the digital streaming age. I currently have two aging systems in different rooms. The first in the lounge comprises a Linn Classik (amplifier/CD/tuner) powering Focal Chorus speakers. The second system in the spare room is a Linn Sondek (currently at the dealer having a Lingo 4 upgrade) partnered with Naim 42/110 and Arcam delta CD player. The dealer is recommending replacing the Linn Classik with a either Naim Uniti Atom adding an Innuos Zen Mini to rip/ play the CD collection or alternatively purchasing the cheapest Naim streamer to feed the 42/110 combo relocated to the lounge (which would be serviced by Naim) again alongside the Innuos Zen Mini. What are people’s thoughts on these systems?

Additionally, I should add that to position the Zen Mini next to either system I would need to use powerline adapters for an internet connection though the dealer seems keen to position it near the router attached to the network but this would mean it being in the hall next to the telephone which seems counterintuitive to me. Again any thoughts? Will it actually work?

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I’d ask your dealer if you can compare the 42/110 with a streamer to an Atom. Also, it would depend upon whether you have upgrade plans for the future.

Remember the Linn Classik in a positive way. It is (was) a cracking little “one box” system.

Also possible to Knekt to other Classik’s for multi room. Or part of a wider Knekt solution.

While ever it continues to give good service, I would be tempted to hang on to it :+1:

Unsure why dealer is suggesting using the Zen Mini with an Atom. As the ZM will work directly with your existing Classik. No problem. The ZM will stream from both streaming platforms and also its internal HDD music archive.

That gets your started for not much :+1:

Maybe a little more feedback (or explanation on thinking) about this option?

Maybe budget is a consideration. Is it suggested the newer Atom might prove more able than your older Classik. Have you tried a demo and compared ?

I might keep the LP12 paired with the Naim 42 / 110 combo for now. That looks like a lovely matched system. You could improve over time, but this would involve moving away from a “classic” vintage approach.

Classic vintage is fine, as well as cool :sunglasses:

Just a few Sunday thoughts to muse

Good luck

KR
R

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Further thoughts for …

Innous Zen Mini in one room
Innous Pulse Mini in the second room

Also, keep network connected items close to amps / system controllers. Keeping analogue connections to a modest length. The idea to place a server - remotely - near to network hub maybe only works if your are streaming (from a server) to a local streamer, such as ND5 XS2 or Pulse Mini.

Again, good luck
R

Thanks for the replies.
Budget is definitely an issue. I had myself wondered about using the Zen Mini straight into the Linn Classik as a streamer and ripper but I think the dealer has some reservations about the dac in the Innuos and the outputting to the aux in of the Classik. Does that sound right? What about the use of powerline adapters to ‘feed’ the Zen - would this work ok? We currently use these with our smart tv successfully.
I will of course be auditioning all the options but wanted to know about any obvious problems with the proposed systems

Okay, few issues raised in that last post…

I can’t think of any technical reasons why the Zen Mini and Classik shouldn’t work. The Zen Mini has an analogue line output. (Via its internal DAC). The Classik Aux line input should be okay to connect these two items. Same as any other analogue source input.

Sure, the ZM internal DAC might be a consideration, compared to routing streamed music via an Atom. So, demo’ to compare and find out. Make a judgment on that.

My experience is the ZM internal DAC works fine (for our needs) and is actually decent enough. We were pleasantly surprised.

Other thoughts for you…

Zen Mini, by itself, is okay
Zen Mini, with LPSU, is noticeably better
Zen Mini, with the LPSU and external DAC is best.

But this can be done in stages, if you wish to. So there’s an upgrade path, in increments. Depends on where you aim to go for your “end game system” ?

Adding an external DAC, such as the very capable, diminutive Chord Qutest. That becomes a great combo’.

Although by the time you get to ZM - LPSU - Qutest - you might then look at the rest of your system. With such a capable digital source, you may wish to add in a better amp such as Nait XS3 or higher.

Same approach works with Innous Pulse (streamer only). That is, add an external LPSU. Also, add an external DAC.

Lastly, can’t really comment on Powerline implementations for network connectivity. Although have read lots of forum users get along fine with this.

As it doesn’t cost much, try it and test. Then compare a long network cable, say 10m length - or whatever length - back to your network head end. Just temporary for an experiment. Compare and contrast and make a judgement.

My only thought (bias ) is to get decent cat6 or even cat7 everywhere in your home. If you can. You won’t regret this modest cost. Wired networks always out perform wireless and are generally bomb proof.

Hoping all this is helpful
Again, good luck

Ideal situation.
Twin RJ45 faceplates in rooms where anything might be streamed, such as video or music.

Although appreciate it’s not always practical.

Other, simpler, surface mounted solutions are possible too.

Further along, consider different switches and splitting AV from computing. One good one for AV. Anything you like for computers.

A decent switch dedicated to streaming (music) duties makes a modest difference to SQ.

Thanks
In the first instance I think I’ll see if the dealer can arrange a home demo of the Zen Mini and the power supply with the Linn Classik and take it from there. In time a Naim amp might be the end game to replace the Classik.

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Forget the ripping. Buy a streamer and subscribe to Qobuz.

In recent years quite a few people have asked the same question, indicating they intend ripping. Most have been very happy they took advice not to bother with ripping.
Unless you have a very eclectic collection of CDs, there is no point ripping.
I have 600 CDs ripped onto a NAS, hardly ever use it, all I need and more is on Qobuz.

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I have ripped over 10,000 CDs to my streaming NAS set-up. Plus I have the Qobuz Sublime subscription. I like to own music and there is no guarantee that Qobuz will hold the license for the music forever. A number of albums I have downloaded from Qobuz are no longer available to stream or download now!

On the question of Powelines yes (despite what you might read) they do work not ideal and as a last resort they are OK. I bought the BT top of the range (about £100) and they did the job. One disadvantage is they may not be able to cope with big Hi Res files such as 24/192kHz and you may get a drop out in the music.

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Thanks for the input.
Like you I do worry that either the streaming platforms may disappear ot become more expensive over time. Similarly artists do withdraw their catalogue from time to time (Neil Young & Joni Mitchell on Spotify spring to mind). Plus our internet suffers outages on a basis that means I’d never consider going over to Hive or Nest control!
On the question of powerline adapters they currently handle our TV’s sound & vision. Would higher quality music streams have a higher data/speed requirements? Perhaps this why my dealer suggests locating the Zen Mini in the hall by the router!

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Yes companies like Qobuz have Hi Res streaming and downloads and these higher data requirements can cause drops on a powerlines adapter. But if you are listening to CD rips or 16bit downloads or streaming at that quality they will be fine - well that was my experience.

As mentioned it is not an ideal Hi Fi solution but they do work. I bought the BT 1000 pair which retail around £90.

As an aside I am buying more Hi Res downloads with my Qobuz sublime discount so I took the decision to go Hi Fi with a wired connection instead of the powerlines. Using a good quality external CAT cable which goes outside and around my cottage.

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Which external cable did you go for Andy?

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I was out cleaning the gutters at the weekend and could have given you the exact spec.

It is Cat6 external grade. Neat as it is black hidden behind the drainpipes and tucked in the top of the gutter. Some parts are buried with an additional protected covering all unseen.

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Thanks. That’s what I assumed.
I’ll up date the forum when I’ve auditioned.

Bandwidth and speed is not the issue. Powerline adapters can work if you are prepared to have your entire home filled with a high level of RFI. They don’t conform to Ethernet standards, and Naim support staff often complain of the large number of issues they are asked to investigate which turn out to be caused by them. If you have audio dropouts and discovery issues be prepared to replace them with something more reliable.

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