...and I would like to do it hardwired for better resolution if the resolution via wireless is not optimal
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Squeezebox is a great little product that can be used wireless or with Ethernet cable and is only $300. Resolution is pretty good, but not quite CD quality. The new Duet, also by Logitech, is similar, but with the display on the remote, $100 more. The Slim Devices Transporter is reputed to be much better, though I haven't heard it, at $1995, I believe. You might try the Squeezebox through a DAC, assuming you have one.
NCarv, thank you for responding. My Conrad-Johnson PV11 tube preamp, which I assume the ethernet cable you mentioned in your response needs to attach to, does not have ethernet input jacks, and it is 80 feet away!!! Does the SqueezeBox have RCA jackets, and what how expensive will it be for 80 feet of ethernet cable versus doing the distance worelessly?
I second the Squeezebox. It's a great little product.
Yes, it does have (analog) RCA outputs. It also has optical and coax digital outputs for using your own DAC.
Wired will always be more reliable/secure, etc, and 80 ft of cable should cost less than $20. (See http://www.pacificcable.com/PatchCables.htm, for example of Cat 5e cables in long lengths.) However, depending on the situation with walls in between receivers, distance, etc, you might find wireless to work very well for you, too. And it's no extra cost with a cable. The Squeezebox will do both wired and wireless.
I have been using a Red Wine Audio modded SB2 for about 3 years and streaming it wirelessly with no issues. If you rip cd's to a lossless format, it is impossible for me to tell the difference between it and a Musical Fidelity cd player I used to have. In fact it might be better. This is recorded audio's future.By the way I use an outboard tube DAC in the chain.
Sar, I'm not sure I understand your question. You want to find a cable that has an ethernet jack on one end and an RCA on the other? That's won't happen, because it's vastly different signals that are transmitted by each of those types of connections. (Ethernet works by sending data through 4 pairs of wires.) That's where the Squeezebox comes in to play. It acts as the interface between your music server (your computer) and the stereo (by offering analog and digital outputs that your preamp or DAC can understand).
There are also USB DAC's, which is also an option, but not if you're going to be 80 feet from the computer. Ethernet, on the other hand, has a range of 100 meters.
Sar67, I think what you may be thinking is to run a "Y-cable" from your PC to your pre-amp. All you need is a cable with a mini-jack on one end that you plug into a line-out on your computer sound card, eg. speaker or head-phone output. The other end of the Y-cable has a pair of RCA jacks that you plug into your pre-amp. It's not real hi fidelity but it's fine for casual listening. Otherwise, the option would be soemthing like a Squeezebox, with or without an external DAC.
Markphd, Your input is helpful as I am now building various music genres at Pandora.com for when I get the PC to feed into the sound system. I assume the use of a "Y-cable" would have a volume limitation as well lower resolution than what the SqueezeBox would provide? With a Magnum Dynalab FM receiver that costed BUCKS years ago, I hate to see the need for an FM receiver go away! I appreciate you taking the time for me here.
If you use a "Y-cable", you certainly have some resolution loss comnpared with an audiophile set-up. As for volume limitation, you shouldn't have less volume than what you can comfortably listen to. You can also buy audiophile grade sound cards as an upgrade to your computer; however, I think a Squeezebox would be an economically better option than spending what a good sound card costs, and it would be more versatile.