Would You Trust An 8-Year Old? Or, the Longevity of Modern Gear


Known member
Coming from my perspective of the "budget" realm of audio components, I think the idea of an all-in-one solution works well. Take the AVR I had; Denon AVR-590. I paid less than $300 for it, and at the time it decoded all the latest surround codecs and supported the current HDMI version. It just didn't have the number of inputs, as many bells and whistles, or the amplifier power of the pricey models. So it was not too painful to retire it. But like MikeyFresh mentioned, ask anybody who bought a pricey AVR at the time how they feel about retiring a $3,000 piece of equipment because they want the latest Dolby Atmos and HDMI support. Works the same for me with looking at all-in-one solutions for a small bedroom system (e.g. streaming/DAC/Amp or active speakers). Keep the cost reasonable, and the pain of wanting to upgrade will be somewhat less severe.


No longer a junior member
@jhoyt I've been seriously considering modern NAD offerings for my future living room rig to power the Phils... For an avid Bluesound user like me it just seems to make sense. We should hang and talk about it.

- Woody

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Try to hunt up a B Stock online somewhere. Often used as displays, but with full warranty. And a nice discount off the price.
All modern electronic equipment is more susceptible to failure due to the Switch Mode Power Supplies (SMPS) and also the very high impedance that they usually have in their control circuitry. They don't have those big heavy expensive transformers and over designed capacitors that the vintage stuff had.

I have found that removing any and ALL SMPS's can result in multiple SQ improvements in our audio playback systems.
In my AOIP setup alone, I have yanked out all 5 of them and replaced them with LPS's and yes the results were most welcome.
I have even found that turning off ones that aren't being used but are plugged into the AC mains can 'help' the SQ as well.

Are these individual differences all that significant?
No, but collectively they are quite noticeable, such that I turn off the router, modem, screen, ancillary USB chargers etc, when late at night I want to get carried away with 'kick-ass' tunes.
And granted I'm listening to headphones not speakers and so the resultant added clarity, focus and inner detail make all this fussing well worth while.


For digital music streaming, I believe the future no doubt involves some version of AoIP, but it is still an emerging technology with no clear winner in the AES67 sweepstakes just yet. It is wise then to keep the digital board both as separate and inexpensive (within reason) as possible, so that future changes and upgrades can be more cost effective and easily made.

AOIP is much more complicated than simply shoving in a USB or SPDIF cable and as such is not 'plug-N-pray'.
But thus far I have not heard ANY other digital audio feed that is it's equal (let alone is 'better') in terms of SQ.

Yeah it can be expensive, and complicated and the setup requires learning a whole 'nuther set of terms and concepts etc, not to mention getting it all dialed in…
And the '$ of admission' for a 'simplified' AOIP has come down considerably such that for under $1K, and with a SR limited to 96KB, the results can simply be astounding, but there is still the 'learning curve' of setup and operation (which for those who are not 'technically challenged') isn't really all THAT complicated…

But for me in my setup, it is so superior to any and ALL other digital audio feed setups, that there is no turning back nor regrets at tackling this means of getting the digital audio stream out of the computer and fed into the dac and bypassing USB or SPDIF etc.

Yes AOIP has massive overkill functionality well beyond my use of just single stereo pair of channels, but the SQ alone makes it a must do at least for me.