New memberUsername: N_a_c
Post Number: 2
* good sound
* internet radio capability, like Pandora, etc.
* something that doesn't take up a lot of space
* interesting looking would be a bonus
* iPod hookup was optional we tend to use our ipods out and about, the existing radio / ipod dock we have is a pain because inevitably our ipods are in a bag or somewhere else in the house, or with someone outside of the house. I'd even consider buying an iPod just for the room, but it would inevitably be taken away at some point.
* Good value
I decided that with almost any choice the speakers would go on top of the cabinets. Not ideal for good sound, but probably comparable to mounting speakers under the cabinets. And just putting them on the counter would take too much space.
I considered a few choices:
* a Marantz M-CR603 paired with quality speakers perhaps B&W 685 which I've often read about. About 1400 total. Would take up a about a square foot of countertop space. Looks ok, but just like a hi-fi component.
* Denon M38 $400. Would require iPod. Would want to upgrade speakers later.
* Fatman iTube Doc Mk II or similar about $600. Good looking, but would take even more counter top space. Would require iPod. Would want to upgrade speakers later
* Squeezebox touch with an amp & speakers. Seems a bit pricy for what it is, I'd basically rather just buy another iPod touch and try really hard not to let anyone take it from the room.
With some creativity, I've upgraded audio in the TV room, office and kitchen. I love the solution so far:
* Grace Digital Solo IRA500. $75 from Amazon. Very small. I haven't used the Squeezebox Touch but the Solo is very easy to use. It is internet radio focused rather than focused on pulling mp3s from the computer, a big plus for me. My wife made a little wood box to put it in and mount on the wall under a cabinet. Wires run through the wall into a pantry. Amp is in the pantry. Speaker wires run through the pantry to the top of the cabinets. In other words, takes up no counter space, just a little box hanging on the wall. Awesome.
* New speakers for the TV room (Pioneer FS51-LR). I then took my Wharfedale 8.1 bookshelf speakers for the kitchen. The Wharfedale are more musical than the Pioneer's after a quick test I prefer them. But the Pioneers have more range down low and therefore are better suited for movies.
* Topping TP30 USB DAC / T-amp for my computer, then I took my analog T-amp from the computer for use in the kitchen. The USB DAC should have more clarity than the RCA out from the motherboard.
Total cost - $400. The Grace Digital, t-amp and Wharedales sound terrific. Better than I expected. And delighted that I take up basically no space. And the Grace device has better features and is easier to use than I expected. Very very happy. Even if I wasn't taking pieces from the other rooms, you could replicate my setup for about the same $400 with a regular t-amp, the Grace device, and a decent pair of bookshelf speakers.
Silver MemberUsername: Nency
Post Number: 199