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In Reply to: RE: CD Player and Ripper - Ideas Please posted by PAR on March 02, 2017 at 02:55:04
I visited tha Naim stand at the Bristol Show last week but they offer no product that suits my needs. The Uniti Star is an all-in-one box with preamp, DAC and power amp - none of which I want. I don't think it plays CDs in real time either. For not much more, I could get the NAD M50.2 which is probably higher quality, doesn't have a DAC or amp, but it still has for more than I want!
Hello PAR - Yes, there are lots of simple rippers (including the RipNAS that I already have) that will accurately rip CDs onto one or two hard drives, but few that offer CD real time playback as well.
The reason I want this is simple. If visitors bring their CDs, we'll want to listen to them without waiting for them to be ripped, I probably don't want to keep their CDs, I'd be infringing copyright laws. Also Sonos or Bluesound would require a re-index before they can find new music - another unnecessary wait. Budget is anything significantly less than a NAD M50.2 - about £3800 list.
I'd like identical copies of all my music files on two HDs in case one fails. Yes, a failed drive would need to be replaced and have the other one's contents copied to it, and yes, one should ideally take a further copy and store it in another house, but RAID is an instant backup that so many of us neglect to do on as regular a basis as we should!
What's out there?
" If visitors bring their CDs, we'll want to listen to them without waiting for them to be ripped".
I am very sympathetic to this need and it is one of the reaons why I keep a CD/SACD transport (the other is playing SACDS of course).
I have spent a lot of time looking around for you and one of the main blocks is that direct CD replay need. If you think about it for a music file server ( which is what we are talking about), the ability to play rather than just rip CDs is logically redundant. One other factor related to this is my expectation that the optical drive, should such a machine exist, will primarily be intended for ripping and it is not likely to be of much higher quality than a 25 quid external optical drive of the kind you can get from Samsung etc. It is most unlikely that you will find the equivalent of a transport as found in a high end player.
According to the current version of Naim's webpage devoted to the specs of the Uniti Star, it does indeed play CDs directly but I appreciate that the amp facilities are not relevant to you so sorry for the ill thought through suggestion.
Frankly I really do not believe that you will find a one box solution with the quality of CD replay that is commensurate with the quality of your system.
As the need for the facilty will be occasional when guests bring their own CDs I think that the most realistic strategy is to bite the bullet and buy a decent quality transport (Cambridge?) and feed it throught your DAC. Otherwise look at decently good CD players. Regard it just as an occasional piece so don't devote too much money to it. No guests? Put it away in a cupboard :-)
As for the RAID as a backup idea that it is not advisable. Please read the piece linked to. OK, the writer is dealing with a library of photos but the same applies to music.
In my own case all of my ripped and downloaded music is kept on external 3 inch HDDs. Should the one in use fail then all I do is unplug it and plug in a replacement (I keep three of them ). A 60 second job unless I need to change the drive letter in my file player.
I wish you every success in your search.
Realized it was silly to run two spindles simultaneously for many reasons. Unlike a business application where data is constantly changing, digital libraries are pretty static.
Rather than burning through the MTBF of the mirrored drive, I now keep multiple offline copies via USB hard drives. Each one is used once per month for about an hour for incremental changes. They should last a whole lot longer. :)
Thanks Pete. Casting our minds back to the early days of transistors, we loved the fact that we could turn on the wireless or a cassette or reel-to-reel machine and enjoy immediate music. Valve sets needed warming up!
That was great during the last few decades of the last century and continued to offer immediate satisfaction with CDs and even DAB radio.
Then along comes the bloody internet and even more bloody mobile phones and we all think they have to be used for everything including our music listening. We invest in router-connected streamers that are controlled by our loathsome phones or a PC. Now we can't just turn a knob and listen to the news or a CD of Beethoven. We have to fart around with multiple devices before we can hear a thing.
My equipment rack is already over-packed with equipment and I want to reduce it but without losing quality. I prefer a power amp to an integrated, but I'm happy with the preamp handling digital sources as well as analogue (which I now have none of), so it includes a DAC - and a streamer module, so I have a single box that includes streamer, DAC, analogue and digital preamp - the NAD M12 which I'm very pleased with.
I need to coax my PC into action, load Bluesound or Sonos software and then select radio or music library or streaming service, etc even before I choose radio station or what to listen to. Maybe I'm impatient but we never had this hassle in the "good" old days!
I like to listen to borrowed CDs or those of visiting friends. A CD player is the obvious choice but it gets infrequent use that certainly doesn't justify a machine as costly and comprehensive as a Mark Levinson 390S CD player - and I don't want the thing cluttering up my rack. My NAS is playing up so the obvious solution is a new ripper / player / music store. I've found the NAD 50.2 does this but an awful lot more that I don't want. However it matches my NAD preamp so is an obvious choice. However as real time CD listening is an occasional occupation as is ripping, I'd be happy with another make of kit if it saved me a grand or two! Nothing yet has come up apart from the all-in-one Naim you found costing nearly as much, but probably not as good as the NAD. What else is there? I appreciate your concern regarding the CD drive's ability to plays in real time, but that should not be the case with a product with a £3800 price tag - but worth checking out! The RAID is valuable to me despite the article your provided from a photographer. I earned my living as a photographer but gave it up just in time to avoid the switch to digital by professionals. The gist of his article is that you need an independent backup AS WELL AS a RAID offering 2 identical copies of your images / music as soon as you save / rip it. Backup externally every month or however often you feel happy with, but RAID will save some of your bacon if a drive happens to fail between backups.
I do have a Teac CD player, but even using its digital output, it's not up to the quality I'm used to - and it's a box I don't want. So the search continues - or I just cough up and get an M50.2! Happy days. Peter
If size of the CD player is the issue, consider the Bel Canto CD3t player. It's half the size of most other CD players and the company has a reputation for good sound. Retail is $1,500 and you can find them used for less.
If the CD player is only present for occasional use when visitors come over, perhaps that's not the spot to obsess too much over whether you have the ultimate piece of gear in that spot.
My CD ripping station is separate from my playback system so no extra clutter there (and the server is in the basement, also away from the stereo.)
Sadly I think you've completely missed the point of my posting. If the Bel Canto also ripped and stored CDs it would be worth considering. As I said, I want a single box that will play CDs, rip CDs and store ripped or otherwise obtained music files on built-in hard drives - any suggestions of equipment that does these jobs and preferably nothing more? Thanks
Sorry I misunderstood your goal. Several of your comments had to do with your stereo cabinet being too crowded, hence my suggestion.
My server in the basement is a Vortexbox which has a CD drive that will rip to its hard drive, but other than checking it out once to see if it worked, I've never used its ripping feature. All my ripping is done from my office computer where it is easy to fine-tune the tagging and then transfer the files to the Vortexbox over the network. I don't want either the server or ripper in my stereo cabinet.
Sounds like your goals are completely at odds with my view of things. Good luck finding what makes you happy.
In fact I'd be very happy to get my router and NAS away from the equipment rack. My new-build flat has miles of Cat 5 and Cat 6 cabling but none of it is connected to sockets! I should get someone in to find these cables and fit sockets so I can have the router and NAS is a storage cupboard and just an Ethernet socket by the rack. Peter
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