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Put Together a $5k to $7k System?

red_kk

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Also i'm not sure if its even needed hence asked @MaxBuck if he can switch out Bluesound with Apple TV and see if there is any improvement
 

NiagaraPete

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i agree. do you have any recommendation on a good streamer which supports Airplay CD quality Audio? I don't need hi-res audio
I've tried a bunch and I ended up with Raspberry PI with HiFiberry DigiPro. It uses Sharirport for Airplay2 and connects to my NAS with GmediaRender. I also have a Nano3 (usb only) which does the same thing at 1/3rd of the price. I needed coaxial though so the HiFiBerry did the trick.
 

NiagaraPete

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Also i'm not sure if its even needed hence asked @MaxBuck if he can switch out Bluesound with Apple TV and see if there is any improvement
The problem with Apple TV is the TV. You're restricted to using the digital out of your TV. My audio and TV are in two different places.
 

red_kk

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The problem with Apple TV is the TV. You're restricted to using the digital out of your TV. My audio and TV are in two different places.
I have two Apple TV's the new 4k one is for Video and the old 1080p Apple TV i dedicated for streaming music.
 

red_kk

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This is how I achieve Music and Movies using my 3.0 setup:

music path: iPhone Apple Music (Airplay) -> Apple TV Gen2 (optical cable) -> Denon AVR (Pure Direct mode) -> SMSL DAC -> Parasound A31 -> R11
video streaming: Apple TV 4k (HDMI Cable) -> Denon AVR (Dolby processing) -> Parasound A31 -> R11 + R2C
 
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NiagaraPete

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Capitol C

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Here's what I've bought for my main system over the past 7 years:
Yamaha CD 600 CD player $330 in 2015
Yamaha RS 700 Receiver $500 in 2015
Thorens TD 328 MK II Turntable $450 in 1989
Ortofon 2M Red Cartridge $100 in 2015
Topping D10s DAC $104 in 2017
Raspberry Pi Server $40 in 2021
GoldenEar Triton 2+ Speakers $3710 in 2017
TOTAL $5234
All cables are basic, including zip cord for speaker connections.

The main point of this list is to recommend the speakers, and they are now $1500 cheaper than they were in 2017. I'd also say that Yamaha amplifiers and receivers are very good and compete with much more expensive stuff on specs.

I have a home-brew digital storage system where FLAC files derived from CDs are on OneDrive. They are accessed via the Raspberry Pi talking to a domain that I bought so I can play the files from anywhere. I don't recommend this for someone who isn't slightly demented.
 

cabacon

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Alrighty. Since y’all have killed my dream system with all your sciency facts and objective reasoning, what would you put together for a reasonably priced system for the average size living room?

Must have streaming capabilities since you disapprove of the shiny black circles I’ve collected…
Small to medium towers or bookshelf’s on stands with spouse friendly looks. Subwoofer if need be…I like bass, but I’m not an addict.
Amplification that can do late night, low volume, jazz and acoustics but still crank the occasional Pixies/Clash/Sabbath indulgence.
I’ll entertain suggestions for EQs like the Schmitt Loki…or something with Dirac…but let’s not get carried away.
Room is average carpeted box, with a window and a large black Labrador as a sound deadening device.

Whatcha got?

My pitch is:
* KH310 (call it $4000 if you shop around; definitely don't pay the 5K list). For spouse friendly setup, I recommend grabbing 2x neumann lh 25 and mounting them on your ceiling, if you can stomach the $200 that adds.
* minidsp flex balanced + umik-1 ($675) to handle your EQ and allow for future subwoofer integration if the kh 310 don't do it for you on the low end.
* cables ($150) - if you go for the ceiling mount, grab some 25' cables to connect to the minidsp, and some longer IEC power cables for the kh310.

That's about 5k, though I guess 6k if you're not willing to have the kh310 shipped from overseas or to negotiate a bargain with one of the places that carry them. If you assume it's 5k, you've still got the money + connectivity to add a Rhythmik F12 or HSU ULS-15 MK2 for ~1100 plus the DSP to integrate it into your setup. The KH750 just doesn't seem to have bang for the buck from my perspective, but that could remove the minidsp cost and add it to your sub instead; I like that this approach lets you mix+match and possibly get away without the sub for a while but still have room correction. You could add Dirac Live to the flex later for $200 if you decide that you care about what it brings above and beyond manual EQ work.

Use Room EQ Wizard + umik-1 to measure things, then load the DSP settings into the minidsp to fix problems at your listening position. Add a second DSP profile with a smiley graphic EQ for your low-volume listening to pretend you've got the Fletcher-Munson curve covered. As you might have guessed, this is my setup and I like it quite well. The one thing I did differently was have a passive DI box doing RCA->XLR conversion from my chromecast audio before I had the minidsp, so I bought the non-balanced flex and run it through the DI box. Also, while I'm positioned to add a sub, I don't have one yet.

I guess if you're into streamers as opposed to bluetooth or the sadly departed chromecast audios, you could put a streamer in front of the flex or upgrade the flex to the SHD? I dunno, I'm happy with chromecasting and bluetooth.
 
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dwkdnvr

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I'm a big fan of the newer MiniDSP products, and really think that at this price point having something like the SHD/Flex as a part of your system is something of an obvious choice - it seems to me to be the easiest way to get flexible EQ/crossover/room correction in a more or less neutral package. There are a lot of ways to execute a good system from that starting point. I ended up assembling my system a bit more haphazardly than might be ideal and if I had $6k lump-sum to restart I might make different choices, but no complaints about the result

Kef R3
Rythmik FM8 subs (as speaker stands, basically turning the R3 into tower speakers)
MiniDSP SHD
Neurochrome Mod86 (although I'd probably recommend a Purifi or NCore for additional power)
I'm using a Sabaj D5 to drive the mains but that's because I had it and it makes level matching a bit easier. not essential.

Roughly $6k, so in the middle of the range.
 

MaxBuck

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I have R11, SMSL SU9n DAC, Parasound A31 but my streamer is a very old Apple TV connected via optical cable to my receiver in bypass mode to my DAC. I just stream apple music via this setup. Do you think upgrading to Bluesound in my system will make significant difference in sound quality?
No.
 
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