Sound Quality using Line in on Sonos Connect Amp


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I am hoping that someone can give me a good technical response to this question. I am certainly not a techie. I am becoming more and more immersed in Sonos gear. I have a couple Play 5s a Play 3 and some other peripherals. I am thinking of going the Sonos Connect Amp route to connect to some really good speakers for a listening room.

The question or query I have is how good will the sound quality be using the line in connection at the back of the Amp. So if I connect a cd plyer to it, will I get top quality sound or is their some technical reason why this sound will be compromised. I ask because I have a whole lot of cds and was wondering if I wanted to enjoy high quality sound from them instead of a compressed version from itunes, would I be able to achieve this.

I ask because I was getting the sense from a forum on another site that you will not get the best sound quality from this connection.

Can someone please clarify? I would appreciate some information on this.

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I cannot answer you're question regarding the connect as I'm similar to you regarding still learning all this stuff, but from what I've read you could store your CDs as flac files to retain the sound quality.
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I am hoping that someone can give me a good technical response to this question. I am certainly not a techie. I am becoming more and more immersed in Sonos gear. I have a couple Play 5s a Play 3 and some other peripherals. I am thinking of going the Sonos Connect Amp route to connect to some really good speakers for a listening room.

The question or query I have is how good will the sound quality be using the line in connection at the back of the Amp. So if I connect a cd plyer to it, will I get top quality sound or is their some technical reason why this sound will be compromised. I ask because I have a whole lot of cds and was wondering if I wanted to enjoy high quality sound from them instead of a compressed version from itunes, would I be able to achieve this.

I ask because I was getting the sense from a forum on another site that you will not get the best sound quality from this connection.

Can someone please clarify? I would appreciate some information on this.


Burt,

Do you have a computer with a CD drive?

If you do then you can rip the CD's to your computer in a lossless format and enjoy all the ease of use that Sonos offers.

Connecting a CD player to the connect amp would certainly work, but you would be giving up a lot of what makes Sonos so special.

With your CD's ripped to your computer in lossless format, you will truly have your entire CD collection in the palm of your hand using Sonos.
BurtBushell,

As the others say, re-rip your CDs to lossless. ALAC would be your likely choice as you're an iTunes user. Disk space is cheap.

Note that you cannot simply take your current compressed files and recover lost quality by converting them to lossless. The additional audio information is gone for ever.

Once the CDs have been ripped to an archival format you can put the CD player away for good. In the meantime the quality via the Sonos Line-In connection will be okay, but of course the audio will have been through a double D/A conversion: D/A (CD Player) -> A/D (digitised at the Sonos Line-In) -> D/A (Sonos).

Use the Uncompressed setting for the Sonos Line-In for better quality.
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In the meantime the quality via the Sonos Line-In connection will be okay, but of course the audio will have been through a double D/A conversion: D/A (CD Player) -> A/D (digitised at the Sonos Line-In) -> D/A (Sonos).


Ratty, what do you mean with "ok"? Is there any quality loss? The double D/A conversion will be present in any media, correct? If I plug an iphone there, it will have the same pathway?
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I take the points that you guys made. From this thread I realized that I am struggling with how to relate to my large cd collection. I am trying to still use them somehow. But I figure what I will do is instead of ripping over all my CDs in a lossless format, I will select those that I rate highly for such re-ripping.

I had ripped my collection at bit rates between 256 Kbps and 320 Kbps. Decent quality but nothing beats lossless and that is what I am aiming to enjoy in my listening room.
Ratty, what do you mean with "ok"? Is there any quality loss? The double D/A conversion will be present in any media, correct? If I plug an iphone there, it will have the same pathway?
Anything which starts off digitally will have to undergo DA conversion, then be re-digitised at Line input to the Sonos. So there will inevitably be slight quality loss, but whether it's noticeable is another matter.
But I figure what I will do is instead of ripping over all my CDs in a lossless format, I will select those that I rate highly for such re-ripping.

I had ripped my collection at bit rates between 256 Kbps and 320 Kbps. Decent quality but nothing beats lossless and that is what I am aiming to enjoy in my listening room.


Nothing beats lossless? In theory, but in practice there is no audible difference by going lossy to 256kbps. Below 192kbps, people say there is, but I haven't done the blind testing.

So if I was ripping CDs for the first time, I would do it lossless as much for psychological reasons as because HD space is cheap now. But I would not waste time redoing CDs ripped at 256kbps. Use the time saved to listen to music!

Btw, this is very easy to verify. Re rip one of your CDs in lossless and compare it the version ripped in lossy, making sure you are doing a blind comparison, with someone else doing the switchovers. See if you can reliably be correct in spotting the different rips,
say around 8 times out of 10 attempts. As a minimum, establish this before making the huge time and effort investment.
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Kumar I will have to do the test as you suggest but I would be surprised...shocked even if I can't tell the difference between lossless and 256 kbps. I kinda did that test already a few years back. I had compared songs on my itunes ripped at 256 kbps with ALAC. To me the differnce was quite apparent. Some of my friends claim to hear nothing. For instance I pick up very obvious differnces between 320kbps and 224 kbps. I experienced it just this morning. I was listening to some tracks today and when I reached a certain track in my Queue I noticed a distinct drop in quality. So I walked across to my computer to confirm and sure enough all the previous songs were 320 kbps and that one was 224 kbps. Now maybe 256 is some sort of threshold where you stop hearing the difference. But my hypothesis is for me that threshold is more likely to be 320 kbps and even at that level I have my doubts. But i will take your advice and do more extensive testing before I expend the effort.
Kumar I will have to do the test as you suggest but I would be surprised...shocked even if I can't tell the difference between lossless and 256 kbps.

If you can make out the difference, the re ripping is certainly worth the effort!

But do test rigorously - which means blind testing, with file change the only variable. Same CD/track, same set up, same volume levels, same listening position - even the same time of the day which it will be if you get some one to do switchovers back and forth so you don't know which file you are listening to.
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Is there some information how the Connect amp is build. I know Sonos uses a class D amp for his connect:amp. I like my playbar, but I hear the big difference in my shop (HIFI Klubben) when they connect a set of Dali speakers to a the connect:AMP for comparison with the playbar.
Try the Dali IKON 1 MK2 (with the Sonos Sub) and you fall off your chair in amazement. I know that techincal specs does not tell you anything about the quality of the sound, but I am very curious how it is working (how the powersuply is build and the amplifier it self).
mmuetst,

Offhand, I don't recall any similar articles on the ZP120/CONNECT:AMP, but here is a tear down of the earlier ZP100.

The CONNECT:AMP is different. The most obvious difference is the use of a switch mode power supply.
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mmuetst,

Offhand, I don't recall any similar articles on the ZP120/CONNECT:AMP, but here is a tear down of the earlier ZP100.

The CONNECT:AMP is different. The most obvious difference is the use of a switch mode power supply.


Hi Buzz, there is a teardown on Flickr. The hart of the amp is build on a Tripath chip (the picture is not clear but I see some tekst IC2001 ETAAC2AA0750)
I cannot see what type of mosfets are used (the IC has 28 pins)
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Hi Buzz, There is a teardown on Flickr. The photo shows a Tripath IC (tekst on the chip is not easy to read). I see TC2001 and ETAAC2AA0750 (but I can be wrong) Chip has 28 pins. A search on google shows that Tripath makes very good audio chips. I cannot find a picture with the mosfets for the amplifier. They do not use the STA505 (this chip supplies 50 watts and the Sonos ZP120 does 55 watts) The DAC has a MC34067P chip.
So looking for a couple of amplifiers working with the TC2001 and gives 55 watts
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Some research and I think Sonos uses the STA506 or the STA508, but not using the full power of these chips. They tuned the chip for maximum 55 watts. These chips have better spec than the STA505 used in the ZP100.
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any one take a look inside the amp and can tell us the used chips?
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A while back I had to make a similar choice and decided on the Sonos connect and play this through my Marantz Class A amp the sound quality is extremely good when playing Spotify in extreme quality. I also have 4 x Play5's which sound great but the Connect through the separate system sounds utterly amazing through floor standing speakers and a Monolith + Sub!!!
I also have 4 x Play5's which sound great but the Connect through the separate system sounds utterly amazing through floor standing speakers and a Monolith + Sub!!!
The speaker quality is the difference. Sonos source quality is consistently good in all their units, but what the speaker makes of that quality is what you hear.

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