Alternatives to Airport Express
Feb 24, 2006 at 10:39 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Vicks7

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Hi All,
I have a Laptop which runs with Windows XP and I am considering the options available to me to get a bitperfect stream from my laptop to MicroDAC. I have done a search on the forums and using the Airport Express seems to be one way. If, like me, you are not bothered about it being wireless (or even if you are) can you recommend other options that would be worth considering.
Many thanks
James
 
Feb 25, 2006 at 12:42 PM Post #2 of 19

FloydCouncil

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I don't know if you're worried about Airport Express's sound quality, but if u are, Stereophile did a article on it and I think they concluded that Airport Express transmits sound bit to bit...

I'm probably going to get an Airport Express for myself too and connect it to my next Yamaha 5.1 amp along with full range speakers
biggrin.gif
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 11:47 AM Post #4 of 19

Vicks7

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thanks. Would you mind giving me the lowdown of how the Airport Express works with the laptop and how you connect it all up to work with a MicroDAC. Do I need to buy additional cables other than those supplied with the Airport Express?
Thanks
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 11:52 AM Post #5 of 19

Banach

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Do you know if airport express can be succesfully used with all type of files like ape, flac,...from foobar?
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:03 PM Post #6 of 19

Vicks7

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Not sure to be honest. I woud be using Apple Lossless files. All I want to do is get a bit perfect signal to the DAC and avoid Windows kernel streaming etc. The solution does not even have to be wireless so perhaps there are other options?
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 1:37 PM Post #7 of 19

Elephas

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I use a mini-optical to toslink cable with the AirPort Express. If you have a regular toslink cable, a toslink to mini-optical adapter can be used.

(click thumbnails to view)



 
Mar 3, 2006 at 3:23 PM Post #8 of 19

RockinOut

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I have a iBook laptop, a Dell XP PC, and AirPort Express.

The Micro DAC itself is what's truly important.

Itunes for Mac OS X is bit perfect, but Itunes with Micro DAC on the non-bit-perfect XP/USB really doesn't sound that differently to me.

On my XP, again USB vs. AirPort Express sounds pretty darn close. Maybe a little clearer, but not by much.

I just happened to have an AirPort Express before I got into HeadFi.

As long as you don't have power/ground noise issues with USB, then your improvement with AirPort Express may be very slight as long as Itunes is setup correctly (max volume, no sound enhance/check, no equalizer).

That's just me and my ears. I just think the Micro DAC itself is an exceptional product that is extremely flexible. I think USB and Micro DAC is underrated perhaps because it's so easy to use, so accessible, flexible, and relatively cheap.

Bit-perfect is important, but it's how it sounds to your ears. It would also depend on your rig itself.

I would guess that your improvement won't be that great. Again, you'll have to try it yourself. I don't know if any retailers have a refund policy with AirPort Express. If they do, just try it. If you don't like it, get your money back.

eggosmile.gif
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 3:58 PM Post #10 of 19

tyrion

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Vicks7
Not sure to be honest. I woud be using Apple Lossless files. All I want to do is get a bit perfect signal to the DAC and avoid Windows kernel streaming etc. The solution does not even have to be wireless so perhaps there are other options?


The AX is bit perfect from an xp computer using iTunes. You can only use the file types that iTunes lets you use. I use an AX with Apple Lossless to a Bel Canto DAC2 using a mini optical to toslink cable using my wireless internet connection. It sounds great. I just ordered the Squeezebox 3 which is more flexible with file types. You should have no problem with an xp computer, AX and Microdac (I had that combination for a short time).
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 5:50 PM Post #11 of 19

The Monkey

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Excellent thread. I just got a Mac and want to replace my Linksys wireless base station. I also want too be able to send my itunes to my stereo. Sounds like Airport Express is the way to go, no?
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 6:49 PM Post #12 of 19

tyrion

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Quote:

Originally Posted by The Monkey
Excellent thread. I just got a Mac and want to replace my Linksys wireless base station. I also want too be able to send my itunes to my stereo. Sounds like Airport Express is the way to go, no?


You still need a wireless router. It works great. Your receiver has have a toslink or mini optical input.
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 7:29 PM Post #13 of 19

The Monkey

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tyrion
You still need a wireless router.


Really? I thought I would be able to plug my cable modem into the Ethernet port on the airport Express. Or in the alternative, plug the cable modem into a wired router and plug that into the AX. No?
 
Mar 4, 2006 at 7:49 PM Post #15 of 19

Vicks7

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Thanks again to everyone for the advice - on a related matter, if I just want to play CDs on my laptop through the CD-ROM, can the APX also be used to stream bit perfect to the DAC provided I am playing the CD through Itunes (I assume).
Cheers
James
 

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