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JonFo

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HTPC still better value

While these look good for 'black box' approaches to the usability issue, they are probably still barely disguised PC's.
In my book, a good HTPC with FooBar2K upsampling player and an M-Audio Audiophile (or similar) audio card is a better solution.

The 10' UI of most HTP front ends makes disc / playlist selection so much easier when trying to navigate 1,000 of CD's.

I also like Visualization and other graphics tricks possible with a full on A/V HTPC.

From a purely audio perspective, an EAC ripped Redbook CD, upsampled to 88/2/16 via FooBar and fed to a processor like my Meridian 568, is a noticeable step up from just spinning the RedBook CD in a player, or even the HTPC rendition of the 44.1/16 stream. You really can hear an improvement in 88.2/16.

So whether you get a ZeroOne or use an HTPC, this approach is highly recommended. Your MartinLogans will surely resolve the differences.
 

sleepysurf

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I would suggest seriously looking at the Squeezebox2, streaming FLAC files from a remote hard disk/network storage. It has a large display, and simple yet functional remote. Many audiophiles are raving about it elsewhere (Audio Asylum, Audio Circle, etc.) See my system link for more details.
 

Spike

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HiFi blackbox vs HTPC

Thanks for the responses and suggestions on the HTPC & Squeezebox. I have considered these options before but shy away from them because I'm specifically looking for a...non-PC interface. I work with computers all day and the last thing I need is to have to...boot up my Windoze PC in order to relax and enjoy the music. Furthermore, the current offerings of HTPC requires some sorts of menu-driven interface (TV, PDAs, PC-server software, etc...) in order to navigate through the music list, and that is kinda cumbersome. I really don't want to lug my wireless laptop to my chair and zoom around with the mouse to select the music tracks, nor do I want to strain my eyes looking at the PDA screen to look for track titles. What I'm looking for is quite simple: being able to select a music list, and then dim the light and enjoy. Occasionally, hitting the remote control to skip forward/backward to a certain tracks. I can see ripping a large selection of music onto my storage networks in my home-office and transfer a subset of these lists to a local hard-drive machine once in a while depending on the music flavors of the month, but not constantly tied to my PC and storage network just for music. This is where the ZeroOne and Olive Symphony come into play to fit the bill nicely.

Thanks again
Spike
 

sleepysurf

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Spike, if you are fairly computer saavy, you can actually run Slimserver off a network storage device (Buffalo Linkstation, some others), WITHOUT a PC! Info about how to do it for the Linkstation, can be found here...
http://fieldnetworks.com/slim/linkstation.html

I was actually PLANNING on doing that, but it seemed a little too daunting for me, and I was afraid of hosing my 300 GB Linkstation. So, I just run Slimserver in the background on my home office laptop, and don't even know it's there. I easily control all my CD , playlist, and Favorite Internet Radio stations playback directly from the Squeezebox2 remote in my listening room, doing exactly what you want... turning down the lights, sitting back in my easy chair, and listening to an endless stream of incredible music. with no PC noise or TV display to distract me.
 

Willy

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M-Audio Works Well

JonFo said:
While these look good for 'black box' approaches to the usability issue, they are probably still barely disguised PC's.
In my book, a good HTPC with FooBar2K upsampling player and an M-Audio Audiophile (or similar) audio card is a better solution.

I am using the m-audio firewire and very happy with the results just to echo Jon's comments.
 
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