Need advice on best way to play Hi-Res files

J

JamtaRe

Audiophyte
Looking for some advice from the experts on this forum!

<sorry for the long post, but wanted to give all my info in one shot>

I am setting up a Hi Fi system (setup given above), and I would like to play my local MP3 and FLAC files on the new Marantz. I want to play them in the highest quality possible (Marantz supports 24/192) ie. retain whatever resolution either the MP3 or FLAC file has.

My soon-to-be setup:
--------------------
HT configuration 7.1.4; Stereo using 'Direct' mode
Speakers - GoldenEar - Triton Two (LR), SuperCenter XL (Center), Triton Seven (Surr), SuperSub XL and Klipsch In-Ceiling
AV Proc - Marantz AV7703
Amps - Monolith 7x (for 7.x) and Rotel (for .4)
CD Transport - Marantz CC4003
Audio Streaming services - Tidal HiFi

Currently I have:
-----------------
NAS - QNAP TS-251
Local 24bit/192Khz Hi-Res and 320kbps MP3 files stored on a QNAP NAS TS-251
Media server - MediaMonkey installed on a Virtual PC running 24x7 on a NAS
MediaMonkey app on Android plays songs on my AVR via Bluetooth AND stores files on my phone for offline playing


My criteria:
------------
1. I have 1000s of music files, and have painstakingly edited metadata, created many dynamic playlists etc. So I really want a solution that can do all these jobs centrally (currently I have MediaMonkey) regardless of how the songs are 'consumed' by different devices.
2. I'd like to store all my music files in only one location and have ability to access them through one type of app (e.g. HEOS, JRiver etc) on ALL my devices - AVRs, iPhone, Android, Tablet, Windows Desktop etc.
3. I've tried DLNA on my old receiver, but felt the UI was not intuitive and less fun to navigate. So I need the song browsing and playing experience to be rich (like any native smartphone app like Spotify)
4. Having ability to take my files on my phone for offline use would be a plus (and thats why #2 i.e. using the same app for offline use, would be great)
5. I can spend additional ~ $1000 or so, not more than that

What I have noted so far (but unsure what's best route to take):
--------------------------------------------
1. Use Marantz HEOS app for streaming services AND my files on the NAS (i.e. use NAS as DLNA server using MinimServer or equivalent). Q - Will it retain the Hi-Res quality? Will it show me files' metadata, album art etc?
2. Continue using Media server like JRiver/ MediaMonkey/ Audrivana on a dedicated Mini PC. Use the software's app to 'push' media to Marantz. Q- will it play it with Hi-Res quality?
3. Buy a network streamer e.g. Cambridge Audio CXN V2. Use its UI (or its own app) to browse through songs on NAS or JRiver. Q- this seems similar to #1, so do I really need this duplicate setup? I'll be happy with Marantz's DAC.
4. Buy a separate device with local Media storage e.g. Bluesound VAULT 2i. Bring all my files to this device and rip new CDs directly on this device. Q- Will it allow me to enjoy music in other rooms or stereo systems?
5. Don't know much about how USB option on Marantz works. Other than inserting a USB drive with bunch of files, how else can that medium be used for playing local files on it?
6. Anything that I haven't thought of? Maybe Roon???

Now, in short, my Question is this:

What solution (combination of devices/ software) will give me Hi-Res audio quality & most flexibility given my criteria above?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
If you're already using jriver, I'd continue to do so and just hook an HDMI cable from your PC to the marantz. Done.
 
J

JamtaRe

Audiophyte
If you're already using jriver, I'd continue to do so and just hook an HDMI cable from your PC to the marantz. Done.
Thanks for the reply. I don't have JRiver right now, but I'm thinking of moving from MediaMonkey to Audirvana or JRiver.

Please validate if I got this right:

1. I'll have Intel NUC running Win 10 and on it will be JRiver / Audirvana.
2. JRiver will be configured to fetch Hi-Res FLAC files from my QNAP NAS.
3. I will connect the NUC's HDMI out to one of Marantz's HDMI ports.
4. I will use JRiver's app on Android as a 'control' or remote to JRiver MC to browse media and see the album artwork.
5. Marantz will use its DAC to decode digital input on HDMI and I will get hi-fi audio quality.
6. If I go with Audirvana, I have an advantage of integrating Tidal, and use the same app to stream Tidal. If it is JRiver, I will have to use HEOS to play Tidal on Marantz.

Will this setup play the FLAC files with highest quality? Or will either JRiver or Marantz down-sample it somewhere in between?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
Thanks for the reply. I don't have JRiver right now, but I'm thinking of moving from MediaMonkey to Audirvana or JRiver.

Please validate if I got this right:

1. I'll have Intel NUC running Win 10 and on it will be JRiver / Audirvana.
2. JRiver will be configured to fetch Hi-Res FLAC files from my QNAP NAS.
3. I will connect the NUC's HDMI out to one of Marantz's HDMI ports.
4. I will use JRiver's app on Android as a 'control' or remote to JRiver MC to browse media and see the album artwork.
5. Marantz will use its DAC to decode digital input on HDMI and I will get hi-fi audio quality.
6. If I go with Audirvana, I have an advantage of integrating Tidal, and use the same app to stream Tidal. If it is JRiver, I will have to use HEOS to play Tidal on Marantz.

Will this setup play the FLAC files with highest quality? Or will either JRiver or Marantz down-sample it somewhere in between?
That should work just fine depending on the config. Just use WASAPI that way you bypass the Windows mixer and you're good. Should get you perfect playback. As @Pogre said he uses foobar2000 and I do as well to accomplish the same thing. Jriver is very capable of the same thing, but I've never used Audivana so I can't speak to what it's capable of.
 

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