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fatherstench

New Turntable and Streaming setup

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Hello Everyone. Being a longtime record collector I've reached the point in my life that I'd like to get an actual turntable setup going. Something compact for the time being but down the road i'd like to have something multi-room. Nothing multifloor or anything extravagant like that but just maybe some speakers in my office,kitchen and living room. Basically the entire downstairs as it's all an open layout anyways. In addition to a vinyl setup i'd like to also incorporate digital streaming into this system as well being that's my main source of music listening these days. I'd want everything to stream from  itunes(not apple music) as I have a vast library of music I ripped from CD's  as well as a lot of music I've downloaded along the ways.  Spotify pro or anything of that nature doesn't interest me as there music selection is very limited in my humble opinion. That, and I'm happy with the iTunes interface and have everything over the years organized the way I want it. Any suggestions on gear to look into would be greatly appreciated. As far as Turntables go I think i'm going to go with either a Rega6 or the new technics 1500c. I want to kind of start small basic office setup and overtime branch out into the living room and kitchen(downstairs is only 3 rooms) Basically first pieces of equipment I want to get is the turntable,amplifier,and speakers that I can use for the turntable and stream iTunes from my computer/iphone. I'm guessing I'm going to need some sort of streaming device to get the full benefit of decent streaming quality over my wifi network. The speakers i've been looking at are a pair of midsize audioengines,kef, or klipsch. I've also been toying with the idea of getting the kef LSX speakers as they'd have all the streaming capabilities i'd need built in and from what i've read they are good at improving the audio of bad quality source material which I have a lot of!  Any advice or input is extremly welcome. Please help me!

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If you're playing from iTunes (are you playing from a Mac or PC?) you can do your streaming to an Airport Express, which costs under $100, and will basically allow you to use Airplay from your phone. It will be by far the easiest thing you can use (Google Chromecast Audio is even cheaper, but now no longer for sale, but you may be able to find one for cheap - will be ideal if you run a PC).   The Airport Express can go direct into an amplifier, or even direct into a DAC. There are also tons of great streamers out there, but seems like you have a lot of files on your computer. Focus on sweet speakers and a turntable, and you can always upgrade the streaming device in time.

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Hi Sidney! I'm a Mac man all the way. I do all my streaming/music listening  from either my MacBook Pro that's used in desktop mode with a usb-c monitor,Ipod touch and a 512 gig iPhone. All my downloaded music is constantly rotated between these three devices with a backup 1tb external ssd holding the bulk of my library. I'll look into an airport express for airplay, thank you. I've never really experimented with airplay at all really since my only wireless listening device right now is the JBL 2+ that just supports bluetooth functions. I'd like to get an IPAD down the road to use as a multimedia controller but I'm ways away from implementing that and my current budget is better served on some actual equipment I can stream/play records with. One thing I'd like to mention about the KEF LSX speakers is that they are airplay 2 ready out of the box which would one less thing to worry about initially. How I'd implement the KFX LSX speakers  if I wanted to add active or passive bookshelf style speakers down the would be anyones guess. I imagine  I'd be need an airport express or something similar  connected to an amplifier with some sort of airplay compataible streaming module being the go between for the whole rig. However with apple discontinuing support for iTunes who knows if the airport express devices are soon to follow?  Is using a streaming device strictly with audio files on a computer/phone/tablet more of a problem than say someone who uses Apple Music or Spotify? That would be a big dissapointment as any of the streaming services that I've encountered aren't within my area of interest in the slightest. Both in terms of library and format.

 

Thanks for the help as I'm very green to all of this.

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Streaming is just as easy from physical audio files as it is from services like Apple music or Spotify. In fact, if you're ready to get more ambitious, you can start to turn your external hard drive into a server, and have access to all files on it without them physically being on any phones or laptops. I'm not great at that kind of thing but take a look online for things around making your own NAS storage for streaming. 


Even if iTunes died, you could still Airplay music to anything that receives it (including Airport Express). There are also a lot of other devices that will receive Airplay as well. I use an integrated amplifier from NAD that I have a BluOS module - this is the same more or less as the Bluesound Node 2i, which allows for streaming services to be connected, but also receives Airplay 2 and bluetooth. So let's say iTunes stops existing, and you purchase a third party music management tool (Foobar2000, Vox, JRiver, etc.), you could still stream to Airplay 2 directly via the laptop or phone. 

 

The good news is you actually have a ton of options regardless of whether Apple shutters iTunes, you can still send your music to any device that accepts Airplay 2.

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That's good to know. I actually ended up looking at NAS last night after our conversation about Airport express. It seems like an interesting setup but being as I always would be streaming from either my computer or laptop I don't think it would benefit me right now. Like I said before I like the idea of using an ipad as a controller to stream music from either my laptop or phone but from what I read so far it sounds like something I'd be able to do without the addition of a nas server. One thing that I'm curious about is what are the added benefits of dedicated streaming systems like the Bluesound Node2i you mentioned vs a much cheaper alternative like the google chromecast audio? Do the higher quality units have better streaming quality options and more stable wifi connections or does it go deeper than that? 

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