New mini HiFi. Do I need a built in streamer?
Numpty question, obviously.
I want to replace an older Denon system, under the TV in the living room.
I want to connect it to the TV for enhanced sound (have speakers set up already) and use it for CD and DAB.
Denon DM41 seems the obvious choice, USB, Bluetooth, optical input for the telly. I know it will sound excellent, as I’ve already had a listen to one.
However, there’s also the Denon Ceol 11, which appears to do all the above, plus streaming too.
It’s nearly twice as much, has a plastic, not metal case and I worry it won’t sound as good as the DM41 for CD and DAB, which it will be used for most of the time.
Currently don’t use a music streaming service or have any smart home speakers and don’t have any intention of doing so, but this may change in the future.
Have no intention of ever using a multi room setup.
Don’t archive CD’s as they’re easily accessible.
If I go for the DM41 I could add a basic streamer later if needed.
This seems to be the most sensible option at the moment.
Anyone in the same boat?
Thanks in advance.Posted 7 months agoderek_starshipFree Member
Plug one of these into a spare RCA input:
EDIT: just noticed the DM41 has BT built in. So you can cast Spotify or other from your phone to the Denon.Posted 7 months ago
Presumably the DM41’s Bluetooth allows you to stream to it (via a smartphone or tablet with the streaming service’s app on it)? If so then the only issue would be if the the Bluetooth degraded the sound quality enough to be an issue for you (vs having a built-in streaming option and using WiFi) – that’s a personal choice really.Posted 7 months ago
I’ll have a think. 🙂Posted 7 months agodoris5000Full Member
The other issue with BT is, of course, when you wander off with your phone in your pocket to wash the dishes or go to the bog, and the music stops for everyone still in the room….Posted 7 months ago
Sounds like you’ve already pretty much decided – and nobody’s really disagreeing with you! DM41 is an excellent choicePosted 7 months agoscudFree Member
I’ve a DM41 with Q-Acoustics 3030i speakers in office and it is ace, i cannot fault it in any way, and just stream via Bluetooth from phone.Posted 7 months ago
I cannot think of a single development in the world of music playback and listening that has given me more joy than the ability to stream; my tastes run to high end audio playback so the quality of the playback is a key part of the listening experience and enjopyment (but I listen to music through a wide variety of sources including Apple Music via my phone and apple airpods and in my car).
I do have all 800 CDs now stored as soft copies on an internal drive on my streamer/server (the difference between streaming and serving is the difference between playing a source taken from an internet connection versus one from an internal hard/NAS drive), but that combined with subscription to Qobuz (basically a high res version of Spotify or APple Music), along with Roon as the interface, has vastly expanded my ability to discover and enjoy new music.
If you’re not interested in exploring new music (versus your existing library) there might still be benefits to having your CDs stored as soft copies but the value is much more limited (space, convenience, searching and finding what you want etc). Really streaming is about the ability to discover a whole new world of music you never knew existed; it really is a joy to behold!Posted 7 months agotimmysFull Member
If the TV is recent-ish it might have apps available for whatever music service you want to use.
If the TV is not recent-ish, then it might be worth considering a separate streaming box anyway (eg. Apple TV) to give you lots of lovely apps – which would include those for music streaming services.Posted 7 months ago
It’s a tough one…..
New LG C1 TV, so that’s covered.
I do listen to lots of new music, tend to buy the physical formats though.
Honestly no interest in ripping the collection, apart from a few bits and bobs for the phone, car etc.
We have a ‘proper’ system upstairs, which isn’t going anywhere.
NO MORE SUBSCRIPTIONS 🙂.
I forgot, I have Amazon Music via Prime, but don’t tend to use it much, I prefer the randomness of the ‘wireless’.
Have internet radio via the phone too, so if I hear something I really like I tend to buy the wax cylinder or 8 track, but I generally use it for speech broadcasts, tbh.
Still undecided, I’ll go and have a listen to the CEOL before I make up my mind.
Thanks.Posted 7 months ago
I replaced my Yamaha CRX N470-D with another Yamaha because I love the MusicCast app which makes everything so simple. The one I had has good sound, is small and has a built in CD player. Spotify, Tidal, internet radio, DAB, bluetooth streaming, all in one small box. And a really intuitive and simple interface for connecting to BBC radio which is something that other streaming amps tend not to have.Posted 7 months ago
The reason I swapped it for a Yamaha r-n803d is becaused I wanted an amp that would drive some big floorstanders but in fairness there’s not a lot of difference, except in size and lack of CD. Peter Tyson is where I got my big one from. Richer Sounds for the little one.phil5556Full Member
get the one without streaming, get something to stream music to that will plug in to it if you find you want something in the future.Posted 7 months ago
Out of interest, how intuitive is something like Spotify to use on a devine with it built in?
When I use Spotify, it’s via a phone or PC etc, so searches and browsing your playlists is easy. I can’t imagine it being so fluid built into a music systemPosted 7 months agoYoKaiserFree Member
Can you currently play Amazon music on your TV? Optical connection to the Denon unit would solve your occasional streaming problem. Invest the money you’ve saved in better speakers or a sub.Posted 7 months agoBikingcatastropheFree Member
This will be a personal thing but I personally don’t think the Denon stuff sounds that good. I have an earlier version of the DM41 that we use on our spare TV to get a better sound. It’s good (way better than the built-in speakers) but the sound quality just isn’t that great. Not likely to be improved with QA speakers either (not a big fan of them tbh). I would expect Yamaha to sound a lot better but it does depend on your budget and what you want to do. Another alternative might be to just go with some active or powered speakers. Edifier do some great sounding speakers that also do Bluetooth if you want to use your phone or a tablet to do the streaming bit. Not the greatest sound quality but (streaming over BT) but it might work well enough for you.Posted 7 months agomrmoofoFull Member
How much better is a dedicated streamer than using Apple Airport express ( which is Lossless if I use stuff off the laptop / external drive)?
What is the advantage of a streamer?Posted 7 months ago
What is the advantage of a streamer?
It’s a great question, one I asked myself two years ago when I built my current system. The answer is genuinely very simple; a dedicated streamer is just like a CD transport and on that basis the question makes more sense. How much does a good/great CD transport make to the overall fidelity of a system? A great deal (sorry to use the term ‘transport’ but it’s needed because most streamers don’t output an analogue signal so you still need a DAC).
I order a dedicated custom built streamer/server when I built my system and it was the last piece to arrive. I waited for about six months for it to be built and in the interim I used my Macbook pro with a digital output into my DAC. The difference that adding the dedicated streamer/server made was huge, about the same as adding a £20k pre-amp did (the server was £7k).
A streamer/server (they usually do both jobs and both jobs are the same, just from different sources, one being the internet, the other a hard drive but ostensibly they are retrieving data and making it ready for a DAC to decode into an analogue signal), is a source component just like any other, and just like any source component, a dedicated unit, or one built very carefully into say a pre-amp (and there are some amazing pre-amps with both streaming and DAC module built in), improves things vastly over a more compromised design. Noise is the principle problem to overcome, then the power supply but the software used to run the process make a huge difference.
My own streamer/server gets regular firmware tweaks from the designer (IT genius who runs his own business building dedicated servers for HiFi geeks like me) and the improvements are always noticeable.Posted 7 months agoreggiegasketFree Member
If you can live without the CD player aspect, or add a separate CD player, or use a DVD player to play CDs, then you could use a Yamaha network streaming amp that will do musiccast streaming, bluetooth, DAB, USB etc. I have a RN402 in the garage and it’s decent kit.Posted 7 months agoboriselbrusFull Member
I’ve just done this (sort of, I have no use for streaming so that wasn’t an issue).
Good luck finding the Denon in stock. I tried to order it from Richer sounds 3 weeks ago and the salesman told me it could be months before they got new stock.
Looking at alternatives I found a Panasonic PMX 802. It does all the streaming stuff as well as everything else I wanted. It also has a Technics processor which is supposed to be very good.
In the end though I went with the cheaper Panasonic PMX92 without streaming. To my ears it sounds fantastic and that’s coming from a very good Technics seperates set up. My version doesn’t have the Technics processor which does apparently sound even better.Posted 7 months ago
Out of interest, how intuitive is something like Spotify to use on a devine with it built in?
When I use Spotify, it’s via a phone or PC etc, so searches and browsing your playlists is easy. I can’t imagine it being so fluid built into a music system
I imagine it varies a lot based on manufacturer but I have a Naim Muso 2 and it natively supports Spotify, Qobuz and Tidal – the Naim app (installed on an iPad) I find is pretty crap though (at least using it with Tidal). It’s like a weird cut down version of the actual Tidal app where I can’t find anything I want so I end up going into the Tidal app, creating a playlist with tracks I want to listen to and then playing the playlist via the Naim app (which syncs to my Tidal subscription). It’s a lot of faff just to avoid Bluetooth or Air Play 2 compressing the tracks further (by streaming from my iPad to the Muso) and I’ll be honest I can rarely tell the difference.
I might try a Spotify subscription to see if the integration is any better and if it is if the tracks sound as good as those from Tidal Hi-Fi Plus – if I can’t tell the difference I’ll be switching.Posted 7 months ago
Playing through the Spotify app (to your device) is pretty intuitive – you hit play as if you were just playing on your phone, then select a speaker to ‘send’ it to. Even for devices like Sonos where the OEM app (ie Sonos app in this case) is fine, sometimes it’s easier to find and play through the Spotify appPosted 7 months ago
With Yamaha the Spotify integration is seamless.Posted 7 months ago
Ah, right, so you still use your phone etc, it’s just controlling the device, rather than sending the stream over BT?Posted 7 months agotoby1Full Member
Ah, right, so you still use your phone etc, it’s just controlling the device, rather than sending the stream over BT?
Yep, phone/tablet acts as the controller, but the amp hooks straight into network/wifi, so if you go out of range it carries on playing.
MusicCast is a mixed bag for me, it can feel flaky at times. Something I noticed the other day, the net radio has a ‘track timer’ associated with it, so if you leave your net radio streaming for 1000 minutes, it just stops! It’s still better than Sonos was when I tried it so now have streaming across the house, just not in the garden yet.Posted 7 months agorobolaFull Member
Yeah, I never felt MusicCast is very slick.
The in built apps which you should use in preference to BT/airplay are basic. As somebody mentioned above you end up creating a playlist in the actual app and playing that. Another limitation is if you rip CDs to a NAS or whatever then it can’t do gapless playback, very annoying on a mix CD.
The cost of some high end streamers is mind boggling, all this was nailed with a 30 quid chrome cast audio with optical out.Posted 7 months agomrjmtFree Member
I’d get the one without streaming built in, then add an echo dot to the aux in and just use thatPosted 7 months ago
the Naim app (installed on an iPad) I find is pretty crap though (at least using it with Tidal)
It is indeed pretty rubbish! This is where Roon scores so highly as the interface is brilliant – extremely rich in data, easy to navigate and flexible across devices so you can control everything from your phone, tablet, laptop etc.
Posted 7 months ago
@FuzzyWuzzy the Muso 2 is Roon ready so you always have the option of using that as an interface controller.StainypantsFull Member
If your hifi is under the TV use the TV as a steamer. Coincidently I watched this. this morningPosted 7 months ago
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