Mine works perfectly after a tweaked a few settings.
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Pal - According to Stereophile review it is not so great on analog outs and pretty good (low jitter) on optical one.
If you decide to use it with DAC be sure that your DAC won't cut off few seconds of next songs since AE cuts off clock between songs. When you install - be sure to select "join existing network" option instead of creating separate one. Ideal would be to use 802.11n (5GHz) but if you end up with standard 2.4GHz make sure to select best channel (far away from microwave oven frequency).
My experience is that the problem with the stream cutting out is because of interference from other devices, microwave ovens and cordless phones in my case. That's a problem that is easy to fix by choosing a different channel in the Airport Utility software that comes with the device.
With so many devices competing for wireless frequencies it's inevitable that there may sometimes be conflicts. Fortunately, the utility software makes it easy to switch to a clear channel.
The quality is excellent using the optical output to an external DAC.
Sounds like I will try one. I am not a computer tech kind of guy so all I need a wireless card in my PC and the AE?
I am going to run it to a DAC that I am already using the toslink input on. Would I be better off using the usb to the DAC or use something to convert the optical output to coaxial for input to the DAC?
the AE is a simple device that works either wired or wireless. i have mine hooked up both ways without any delays or dropouts. if you are getting delays wireless, try changing the channel. i had to do that a few years ago and haven't had any issues since. if you get an AE, get a newer unit with 'N' capability. also, get a good glass toslink cable with a $2 mini extender for use of the digital out. this is a much better than going the monster cable route with the extender built in.
i share a printer using the usb connection, can't use it for anything else.
i have been swapped out a couple of AE's for Apple TV's with better results. you can pickup a used 40GB apple tv for around $100 used, compared to $100 for a new AE. When using an AE, you need an extender for digital out. the Apple TV has a true toslink out along with rca for audio. i don't store any data on the internal drive but you can sync up your photos, videos, and your audio from your itunes source. your apple tv can be a front end to your music server. you have the option of communicating to the apple tv with its simple menu system and have the apple tv talk to the music server to stream. you could download songs/videos/photos to the apple tv and just access them from the apple tv instead of using the server. plus you can hack the apple tv to get many other feeds on it and to allow the connection of an external hard disk. this opens it up to hulu and many other sources.
another big benefit is flexibility using the apple tv. when using the AE, all destinations with AE's have to listen to the same source. using apple tv's, each room can listen to another song than the others off the 1 music server. i can listen to jimi hendrix in my audio room while my listens to celine dion in the bedroom, off the same music server. and you can do this without storing any data on the apple tv.
i never go directly from the AE or apple tv into the preamp. i always use a jitter device 1st, then go into an external dac, then into the preamp. if your preamp has a good dac built in, then still use a jitter device between the 2.
The Apple airport express is a router! It certainly can set up a WiFi network to support one to seven computers!
The current airport express supports "g" and "N" standards.
Wireless is the best way to go in normal sized house or apartments. Why hassle with cables? Works fine through normal walls and floors, but has less range through concrete or brick.
ok, it is a cheap mans router. it is a very limited router. if you compare the apple extreme router to the airport express,there is no comparison. will the airport express get by, sure if you want to call it that and in limited cases, will it ever replace the apple extreme router? no way.
also, wireless is the worst way to communicate device to device compared to using a cat 5e cable. with wireless, you have interference issues, you have degradation, and you have slow speeds.
as for wired, i have a gige network using switches. no dropouts, no interference, and i'm 100 times faster. how can you say wireless is the best way to go?
i do use 'n' wireless for my iphone and ipad since i can't hook them up to my patch cables.
wifi is a distant 2nd choice when comparing wired to wireless. you claim the AE is the same speed as the extreme: for wireless sure, but how about wired? you can't compare that because the AE doesn't provide that functionality. also, with any wireless, the further away you are from the router the more signal degradation you will have. i can go further distance over wire with 'NO' degradation. 'N' wireless speed is very slow compared to gige. why would anyone want to go 'n' wireless over gige wired? security can be an issue with wireless, along with interference, connection times, etc.. every room in my house has a ethernet drop and i have multiple apple extreme\WAP devices. you are doing people an injustice to say that you can use the AE as a router when you only gat a portion of the router functionality in the AE.