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I want to replace my Mark Levinson CD player, my RipNAS music store and Sonos streamer with a single box.
It will need to:
Store digital music files in high resolution
Look up artist information and other metadata - Roon
Play stored music
Have access to Internet Radio
Have access to streamed music - Tidal
Offer an intuitive user interface - as simple as Sonos
So what is there out there that does all this? I already have the excellent NAD M12 preamp / DAC. The new NAD M50.2 seems to fit the bill with its Bluesound Roon-ready streamer, but are there other player / ripper / server / streamer devices should I look at?
Budget around the NAD price of £3800 / $4000
I have a NAD C390DD with BluOS adapter which makes it RoonReady, and the M12 is also BluOS capable. So the M12 can accomplish #4-8 of your goals. Just do #1-3 on a computer on your network. BluOS will enable you to accomplish #5-8 and if you you like Roon you can download that on your computer or NAS. If you want to spend the money on the M50.2 go for it, but the ripping and storage can be done elsewhere for less without giving up efficacy.
I emphatically don't want a computer as part of my audio system, although a NAS is just about acceptable, provided it's hard wired into the rest of the equipment!
My M12 has a BluOS card already fitted so I'd sell this if I bought an M50.2.
My existing NAS is a RipNAS that has software to look up metadata, artwork, etc and the precise bit count for each track. It will scan the CD multiple times if necessary to extract that bit count. However it's several years old and its hard drives are almost full
The M50.2 will replace this with additional benefits - real-time CD playback so I can sell the Mark Levinson CDP, upsamples CDs to 24/192, stores on twin 2GB drives, outputs via AES, etc etc. It could also digitise analogue inputs, although I'm unlikely to need this
So I could sell my ML CDP, my RipNAS, my BluOS card and my Sonos. This starts to make the M50.2 look attractive. The M12 will revert to its standard purpose - digital and analogue preamp and DAC. A single remote control will operate both the M12 and M50.2 with help from a tablet for access to music library.
I was asking if there is an alternative single box that offers the features of the M50.2 but at a better price.
sounds like you have found a good solution in the M50.2 that meets your requirements. The NAD already offers good value so trying to find something cheaper may be asking too much of a one box solution particularly given the mechanically functions involved (ripping, etc.). One suggestion: Try finding a dealer in Canada that will ship to the USA to take advantage of the attractive exchange rate. Oops, I just checked your geo and see that you are in the UK (that might be tough with VAT).
Thanks again Rio
Yes the UK suffers from Rip-Off Britain prices. That said, our published prices include 20% VAT whereas US prices exclude Sales Tax. I have considered buying from US but that often presents another problem - voltage. Our amps need 240 volts and US ones would generally be most unhappy with that voltage plugged into their back ends.
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