Whole-in-one setup for wireless small "audiophile" unit (based on Hifimediy products) - diyAudio
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Old 27th January 2012, 04:04 AM   #1
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Smile Whole-in-one setup for wireless small "audiophile" unit (based on Hifimediy products)

Hi everybody here at diyaudio!

I'm fairly new to writing in this forum, but I've been reading here for a while, and now I feel ready to post questions, for what I couldn't set my mind straight on. I currently listen to music through my macbook's speakers, so I'm desperate to upgrade!
What I seek to build, is a wireless as-much-as-possible-audiophile compact budget stereo audio system - all good things in my book

I study architecture, so I have an interest in designing and making my own audio system + casing. This means I know some woodwork, laser cutter, plastic and soldering skills. However, I don't have any technical knowledge about soldering, amps or power supplies.
That's why I've researched the diyaudio forum a lot the last couple of weeks, and it seems to me, the Hifimediy products looks like a fairly assembled class-D solution, to which I only need a few cables, plugs and a power supply.

My imagined "pipeline" from my source to my ears:
All sorts of mp3 bitrates on Macbook Pro/iPhone - through Airplay (WiFi) to Airport Express - optical output jack to Hifimediy DAC - wired to Hifimediy AMP - connected to two bookshelf speakers.
This means, I imagine building a unit housing the DAC, the AMP and the power supply in order to make it as minimalistic as possible (maybe even put the airport express in there).

So here goes the questions:


1. I wan't to get as good quality sound from my laptop, and I read a DAC creates a digital input for an amp. Does the DAC makes a difference in my setup, or is it unnecessary?

2. From what I understand, the Hifimediy amps are the "T-product" series on their website (and they're Class-D and stereo). I understand it's possible to put even better "stuff" on the unit, by de-soldering and modifying it. However, I think it seems too much work to change the caps - for now at least.
Can you recommend what Hifimediy amp (T1, T2, T3 etc.) I should choose (it has to be able to fill up my room of approximately 20 m2)?

3. I need to buy RCA plugs and speaker terminals. Can I use any wires I have laying around and do I need any other small "peripherals"? Volume knob/buttons separately?

4. What connexelectronic product should I use to supply my unit(s) with power? And just as important, is it just mounting a few cables stands to a socket, or is there a plug to disconnect a power cable from the unit?

5. Just curious.. Will my imagined setup leave me with multiple input ports (example for connecting occasional additional units without Wi-Fi directly through mini-jack)?

Just to point it out again, as little modding as possible please - I mostly just want a unit, connect the power, jacks, plugs and volume pot to, and voila! it should be able to play "audiophile" sound . At least compared to my current solution of macbook pro speakers...

I'm not native english, so please feel free to point it out, if my questions are unclear

Best regards,
Esben
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Old 27th January 2012, 05:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esbensjensen View Post

So here goes the questions:


1. I wan't to get as good quality sound from my laptop, and I read a DAC creates a digital input for an amp. Does the DAC makes a difference in my setup, or is it unnecessary?
DAC-Digital to Analog Converter , as fully digital amplifiers are not mainstream , the signal at a certain point needs to be analog ,i.e. variable in time thru level ,frequency and phase

2. From what I understand, the Hifimediy amps are the "T-product" series on their website (and they're Class-D and stereo). I understand it's possible to put even better "stuff" on the unit, by de-soldering and modifying it. However, I think it seems too much work to change the caps - for now at least.
Can you recommend what Hifimediy amp (T1, T2, T3 etc.) I should choose (it has to be able to fill up my room of approximately 20 m2)?
I don't know , I've been using always solid state amplifiers , class A , AB ,B.
T comes from Tripath ,it's a proprietary technology that combines to an RF modulated signal a processed analog one

3. I need to buy RCA plugs and speaker terminals. Can I use any wires I have laying around and do I need any other small "peripherals"? Volume knob/buttons separately?
Peripherals are not allowed in audio ,as the signal passes through some stages ,mainly amplification . If you feel comfortable by using computer's volume control ,you don't need any extra controls . If you want to do a compact box where everything is engineered from start to end , you can display the set of input and output pins that are needed

4. What connexelectronic product should I use to supply my unit(s) with power? And just as important, is it just mounting a few cables stands to a socket, or is there a plug to disconnect a power cable from the unit?
At this point ,some warning may be advisable :
Do not 'play' with mains !! It may kill you ( and others ). Once you get started with basics , you can put plugs ,sockets ,switches ,fuses and everything needed to safely turn on and off.

5. Just curious.. Will my imagined setup leave me with multiple input ports (example for connecting occasional additional units without Wi-Fi directly through mini-jack)?
See 3)

Just to point it out again, as little modding as possible please - I mostly just want a unit, connect the power, jacks, plugs and volume pot to, and voila! it should be able to play "audiophile" sound . At least compared to my current solution of macbook pro speakers...
Aren't there on the market some products available ?
Have you listened to the Imac ? I find it very audiophile and well done.
Also ,there is the Airport ....
Note that the term 'audiophile' is related now to a highest level; CD quality with 44 KHz and 16 bit resolution is oooold , bitrate being 1,5 MB/s ,now the must is 192 KHz / 24 Bit resolution ! So you may look for new products that allow this resolution.


I'm not native english, so please feel free to point it out, if my questions are unclear

Best regards,
Esben
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Old 27th January 2012, 03:30 PM   #3
Dimonis is offline Dimonis  Russian Federation
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esbensjensen View Post
All sorts of mp3 bitrates on Macbook Pro/iPhone
If you want to create a 'audiophile' hi-fi system , first Stop listening all lossy formats , for the begining try *.ape or *.flac conversions ,(aka CD quality with 44 KHz and 16 bit).
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Old 30th January 2012, 09:27 AM   #4
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Well done lossy compression can still hold a lot of information. 320kbps vorbis files are for me indistinguishable, even on B&W 800 series speakers. Audiophile is ok. Audiophool is not.
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Old 30th January 2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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Well , just imagine a turntable ( or any other analog source ) playing at the
other side of the room , and transmitting wireless .
How would you implement the wireless transmission ? Via FM waves or through digitalizing and send packet data ?
Or when sending data ,would you prefer it straight or encoded and compressed ?
It's just a matter of the band requested or available .
Talking about 'bands' or whatever music played , if you feel there's
something missing ,then you can be called audiophile ,i.e. not mainstream target but a thinking human (being). Audiophoolery is inside you even if you don't listen to the music ,it's an attitude that disregards of the original concept, it's not just 'information' ,that is what phones and tvs are for ...
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Old 30th January 2012, 03:31 PM   #6
Dimonis is offline Dimonis  Russian Federation
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picowallspeaker View Post
Talking about 'bands' or whatever music played , if you feel there's
something missing ,then you can be called audiophile ,i.e. not mainstream target but a thinking human (being).
Preferences "of thinking humans" vary much. Each can feel many opposite things.So not all can be called audiophile if smth is missing for them
Audiophile is a part , best part of audiophoolism.
Not acquainted with vorbis , but mp3 vs CD format (wav) make big difference to me , though i'm not an audiophile.
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