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Best way to run this system? Need advice.
Best way to run this system? Need advice.
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Old 13th February 2018, 07:32 PM   #1
jeffrey88 is offline jeffrey88  Canada
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Join Date: May 2012
Default Best way to run this system? Need advice.

Hi everyone,

I'm currently transforming my system and I'm trying to figure out a few things, and I think this is the appropriate forum for this question.

To explain what I'm doing, it would help to explain my setup currently.

What I am running:

-KEF LS50 Wireless Speakers
-Custom-made media PC, running Equalizer APO with measurements taken with a miniDSP UMIK-1 and using REW to design the Parametric EQ. This is used to address frequency deviations below 150Hz.
-Distributed bass system with three subwoofers, EQ'd as per the method described above
-Source of music is Apple Music streaming

My objective: Remove the PC monitor in my listening space and go headless.

It is bright and annoying when listening to music, and shutting it off is a nuisance because the monitor is at a distance and also I would need to get up and turn it back on when I need to change something. I've tried using a program where you can press a key to put the monitor into standby, but if something happens on the computer the monitor wakes up, and this happens in the middle of a song all the time which is very annoying.

The main problem here is Apple Music and its lack of a remote interface. Other streaming services like Spotify and Tidal have remote capability, so reasonably, I could turn my set-up headless with either one of those. BUT - here is the problem - I find Apple Music sounds the best and has an excellent music catalog. Roon was one solution I looked at but it does not support Apple Music sadly.

In doing some research, it appears that a Sonos Connect would rectify my remote capability problem, and I could even remove the PC completely. However, now I will lose the Equalizer APO software and my parametric EQ. I've been doing some research, and there do not appear to be any elegant solutions that I've found so far.

First and foremost I want to use the DACs inside the LS50 wireless speakers. Lots of the EQs I found employed DACs, and I want to use digital to digital to avoid the amount of conversions taking place. miniDSP has the Nanodigi, but it uses SPDIF coax outputs. The LS50 Wireless has Digital Optical and USB. Luckily the Sonos Connect has both optical and coax outputs so that is flexible.

However, I have to ask, am I asking too much here? Is this the right approach or should I just accept multiple conversions anyway?

Secondly is the cost. There are definitely some solutions out there but they cost an arm and a leg, and that's mostly because they use automatic correction. I don't really need that. I want to utilize my miniDSP UMIK-1 and take my own measurements, and create my own filters. Automatic would definitely be nice but I just don't have the cash, and my main objective here is to remove the monitor.

So, with that said, do you know of any solutions or ways I can go? To summarize:

-I would like to continue to use Apple Music if at all possible, as I like it the most. However, I might be willing to change services if there is a much more elegant solution.
-If I remove the PC, I need to be able to have a parametric EQ in the chain that I can program myself.
-I want to avoid conversions throughout the chain - ideally, it would be digital all the way to the LS50 Wireless speakers.
-I want to remove the monitor as a display, and use my phone as the device to select music. The experience I am going for is I walk into my listening space, turn on the speakers, open up an app on my phone, and start listening.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

Thank you.
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