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Thread: New Amp connection advice please

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2012

    Location: Glasgow, UK

    Posts: 1,934
    I'm Tony.

    Default New Amp connection advice please

    Hi guys, I've radicalised my hi-fi system and I'm now in the process of buying an amp to suit and have narrowed the choice down to two (below) but I'm not sure if those amps are suitable for connecting my Zen Music server Mk1.

    Both amps have USB inputs which the Zen needs to connect to and both have DACs but I'm not sure if I can connect the Zen up to those or I'll need to use a convertor to SPDIF or similar?

    My other sources are covered by both of the amps' inputs ie TV, Freeview HD recorder and TT, the Onkyo even has HDMI inputs and outputs which is pretty good but I'm unsure about connecting the Zen to the amps' DACs via USB, I can just access the files on the Zen via the network or possibly via USB but I don't think that will let me hear the Zen via the analogue outputs of both of the amps?

    Thanks

    Tony

    https://europe.yamaha.com/en/product...l#product-tabs

    https://www.eu.onkyo.com/en/products...70-138381.html

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Kent UK

    Posts: 260
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    They should both work to play from the Zen via USB and they should both utilise the inbuilt DAC in the process.

    However i dont know how good the USB inputs are they may not be optimal vs the other digital inputs. If this was going to be your main front end it may pay you to do a bit more digging on this.

    One of them has USB input on the front panel so you can just use a pen drive , but that may bug you aesthetically as a permanent wired input.

    Hope that helps


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 57,408
    I'm Grant.

    Default

    Should work OK but no idea how good the dac is or how good the amp etc is... Or price. The new quad vena2 is worth considering. It works pretty we'll
    Regards,
    Grant .... ؠ

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  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2012

    Location: Glasgow, UK

    Posts: 1,934
    I'm Tony.

    Default

    Thanks guys, I pulled the trigger on the Yamaha, the guy in Richersounds said that the amp will pick up the Zen with DNLA and play the files and that there's no need to physically connect the Zen to the Yamaha

    I can send the Zen files to a wireless speaker via my iPhone & Ipeng and I can presumably do the same with the Zen as Ipeng see it as a media player on the iPhone so presumably the Yamaha will do the the same via it's music cast app.

    I'm presuming that the Zen connected to the internal dac in the Yamaha produces better audio than wired/ethernet or streamed audio via either airplay or bluetooth?

    If I don't have to connect the Zen to the Yamaha amp then I can connected it direct to my router via usb which is in another room in the house and the Yamaha should be able to play the files that way too via ethernet.

    BTW the Dac in the Yamaha is an ESS SABRE 9006AS 192 kHz / 24-bit DAC

    Tony

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Kent UK

    Posts: 260
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    The dac is going to be in play in the chain which ever way you use it.

    It is generally reccomended that hard wiring is better quality than Wi-Fi. Especially if you can turn the Wi-Fi off within the receiver as it can add rfi to the system even if you are playing other sources.

    I would have a play around with the different set up options when you get it and see what you like best.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2012

    Location: Glasgow, UK

    Posts: 1,934
    I'm Tony.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Discopants View Post
    The dac is going to be in play in the chain which ever way you use it.

    It is generally reccomended that hard wiring is better quality than Wi-Fi. Especially if you can turn the Wi-Fi off within the receiver as it can add rfi to the system even if you are playing other sources.

    I would have a play around with the different set up options when you get it and see what you like best.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    Thanks Martin, I'll report back once I've had a play with it.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jan 2012

    Location: Glasgow, UK

    Posts: 1,934
    I'm Tony.

    Default

    Hi guys, just a wee update I'll do a fuller review later on.

    The amp is superb and it picked up the Zen no problem, I've not hooked the Zen up to the Yamaha yet just used the Yamaha to play files from the Zen via the network but I'll try the USB connection on the front of the amp over the weekend.

    The Yamaha got a pretty poor (4 star) review sound wise on Whathifi but they must have listening to a different amp cause this amp is probably the best amp I've had and I've had a few, it's musical and the timing is brilliant as is the bass.

    I bought a pair of Dali Oberon 1 stand mounters with the amp and they too are superb so maybe it's a synergy thing but I am delighted with the amp and the speakers.

    BTW, this amp plays absolutely anything and plays it fantastically well.

    Tony

  8. #8
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 2,324
    I'm Phil.

    Default

    dali seem to make some cracking stuff , thanks for the update
    1]bel canto pre 3 vbs /MSB s200 , /rotel cd/ bel canto fm1
    sonos, . tannoy eaton legacy 2]arcam a75 marantz sa8005 jolida modwright dac and RFC impulse ta`us , track audio stands

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2012

    Location: Glasgow, UK

    Posts: 1,934
    I'm Tony.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hifinutt View Post
    dali seem to make some cracking stuff , thanks for the update
    Yes excellent speakers for the money I think, I paid just over 300 them cause I bought the amp too, Richersound are very good and accommodating.

    I bought a USB>USB 3.0 cable to hook up the Zen to the Yamaha but the Yamaha doesn't see any music on the Zen, there are about six USB ports on the Zen and I tried them all but none worked although I did use one of them to connect to the Caiman SEG but that has a different USB connection it has one of those square sockets like those in a printer.

    The Yamaha display says 'No device' when I select USB as the source.

    Its not really a big deal as I can play the music via the network and this means that I can put the Zen in the same room as the router and away from the lounge where it is now as it's not the nicest looking bit of kit that I own

    I was kinda hoping that I could hook the Zen up to the Yamaha to see if the sound was better than the streamed output, I suppose I could buy a USB>SPIF convertor and use that to connect the Zen to one of the optical inputs on the Yamaha amp but I've no idea if that will be an improvement, anyone have any idea?

    Thanks

    Tony

  10. #10
    Join Date: Jan 2012

    Location: Glasgow, UK

    Posts: 1,934
    I'm Tony.

    Default

    Hi guys, thought I'd update this.

    I contacted Innuos today regarding connecting the Zen Mk1 to the Yamaha via USB>USB and also the analogue out on the Zen to a line input in the Yamaha and I had a reply from them which is below (great customer service BTW).

    I also hooked the Zen up to the Yahama via an old Maplins Dac that I have lying about from USB output maplin>CD line in Yamaha and it sounds surprisingly decent but in all honesty I think that the streamed output from the ZEN>Yamaha sounds better or at least just as good so there's no real advantage in using the DAC to physically connect the ZEN to the Yamaha amp IMO.

    Probably a much better DAC would make a good bit of a difference but I'm happy with what I have and I'm delighted with the Yamaha, it sound great with my speakers and it's just so convenient to use via the either the remote or the iPhone Yamaha app however the only thing with the app is that you can't search so you have to browse through albums and artists and genre and so on or you can just let it play all tracks in a random fashion if you like.

    Thanks.

    Tony

    Hi Tony,

    The USB port on the Yamaha is what i believe is referred to a Dynex connection, meaning it is a protocol that only works with iPods and certain portable devices, rather than computers or larger machines.
    The green analog output also is not enabled for audio, leaving you with two options - continue to stream via the network, or use a USB to SPDIF converter such as the M2Tech HiFace Two.
    There is not really a right or wrong answer in terms of sound quality, that aspect is more determined by the implementation on the Yamaha. I would not expect there to be a great difference in quality between its SPDIF inputs and its streamed input.

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