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What should I get to complete my stereo setup? Linton 85 + Pro-ject DC Evo + ???

derKoekje

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Jun 1, 2022
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Hi all,

Apologies if this is in the wrong forum, feel free to move if so. It's hard considering the question has to do with amps, streamers and turntables. It's also hard because I'm a bit of a noob. I'm currently trying to create a nice entry level-ish setup for the living room based around the Wharfedale Linton 85's and the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo series. Both seem great at their respective price points, the Linton sounds like it'll fit my taste and importantly: they look great. Of course, though, the setup isn't complete. I'll need a phono amp and an amp too. Ideally, I'd also want some way to stream music without sacrificing too much quality. This is a living room setup and we're not always going to be playing records. I'd also love to be able to hook the TV up to it. I mean, if you have the speakers then why not use them? So that means some kind of streamer or receiver, and a DAC.

I'm not trying to get four different things here. I'm hoping to get maybe one or two components that can serve double duty. On the low-end I saw the Sony STR-DH190 which seems to have everything but I'm worried it may be too cheap and the quality will suffer, and also it's EUR 300 here which just seems silly considering the US price when it's on sale. Also, it does Bluetooth but it doesn't seem to have a way to stream without it. On the slightly higher end I saw the Shanling EA5 which I can get for maybe EUR 200-300 more, though I would also need a phono pre-amp. That one does stream natively but at this kind of price you'd expect something like Roon support? I'm not currently using Roon but I might want to try in the future. Another issue is that the best budget phono pre-amp is the Schiit Mani and that's unavailable in Europe right now.

I could also just focus on getting a nice amp that includes a phono-in. For example, I have a vintage Sony TA-3650 lying around and I also have a Xiaomi MiBox S for a Chromecast-based solution (though I'm not sure how I'd connect the two). That'd be dirt cheap but maybe kind of low res? I could also go the Airport Express route and use an iPad as a remote which doesn't seem like a bad option either.

Honestly, I should set a budget but I'm not even sure what the appropriate budget is considering the rest of the setup. This isn't a setup that's meant for ultra-critical listening, I'll have headphones for that. It's more for warm, laid-back listening. Chasing a vibe and a moment of relaxation in our busy lives more than analyzing every little detail. But on the other hand, if I'm dropping EUR 2000+ on a setup then I should at least chase some type of standard? I think the important thing here is ease of use. It should be easy enough for my girlfriend to use, it can't feel too technical (once everything is set up initially). The world of streaming seems so complicated. It's 2022, how come I have to hook a raspberry pi to an audio system unless I want to drop a couple of grand?

Anyway, what would you guys recommend? Thanks!
 
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deniall83

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Aug 28, 2018
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Yamaha A-S301. Decent power, inbuilt DAC, phono stage etc. I have one and it drives my Denton 85's well.
 
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derKoekje

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Glad to hear you're driving your Dentons well. I took a good, hard look at Yamaha receivers after writing this post and I came across the newer RX-V6A which seems to offer AirPlay 2 and other streaming services natively without forcing you to get some kind of external module. I may go for that one though supply chains seem to be very limited. (Apparently all receivers are suffering from this?)
 

Snoopy

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Glad to hear you're driving your Dentons well. I took a good, hard look at Yamaha receivers after writing this post and I came across the newer RX-V6A which seems to offer AirPlay 2 and other streaming services natively without forcing you to get some kind of external module. I may go for that one though supply chains seem to be very limited. (Apparently all receivers are suffering from this?)
I would just get the A-S 301 or if you want to spend the money a more expensive version in the line up.and add a raspberry pi 4 as a streamer.

Airplay has its limitations. Like 48khz.
 
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