Hello All - this is my first post and I am new to all this. I have played guitar for 30yrs and I work in IT. I think this combination of attributes will help me dial in what my ears/mind wants to hear and be able to digest some of the technical spec that gets thrown around in these matters.
My situation/requirements are:
- streaming FLAC from my NAS
- full Apple app control: power, volume, EQ, balance
- amp needs to have optical input
- probably prefer a super integrated
The gear is going to be located in a separate room from the speakers. I require full app control as I just want to be able to turn on the system, start playing my FLAC files, and make any desired adjustments on the fly from my phone.
It appears there is much debate about "all in one" solutions vs separates (https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/pros-cons-of-buying-an-integrated-with-built-in-dac
). Given that I'm not a real audiophile and that I don't plan on multiple upgrades over the coming years, I think the super integrated is the way for me. I am in favor of the lack of complexity, cabling, component matching, and space savings that the all in one solutions provide. I do recognize and appreciate the input of those in favor of separates: DAC upgrades, internal power sharing considerations/sacrifices made by all in one devices, etc....
I am thinking for a guy like me, it's probably not worth it to get into the complexities of separates. However, if I could achieve better sonic results and spend less money...that's where separates could create value for me. I have no idea if that's possible or likely - that I would get better sonic results and spend less on separates. There's also the issue of listening before I buy. Assuming for instance I could save on used separates, I would not have the opportunity to demo before the purchase. That's a bit unsettling as I'm new and I can't tell how something's going to sound based on the specs on paper.
So far, I've demoed two devices that have impressed me:
Moon Neo Ace: http://www.simaudio.com/en/product/102-all-in-one-music-player.html
Classe Sigma 2200i: https://www.classeaudio.com/products/sigma-2200i.php
The Moon is more straightforward I think, but the Classe has the advantage/disadvantage of a very power and flexible onboard DSP. The DSP can do great things with it's PEQ, and it has simple bass/treble adjustments that can be made on the fly. This type of flexibility really appeals to me because I feel I can really tailor the sound to my speakers (which may change over the years) and to my room. I can make quick bass adjustments from my phone when switching from Deep Purple to Dr. Dre - which I do very often. My tastes are all over the place.
I wonder though, is there any detriment to this kind of processing? The hi-fi world seems to be largely opposed to any type of EQ adjustments. What am I missing? As I guitar player, I adjust my amps EQ all the time, depending on what I'm playing or where I'm playing. Is EQ/processing really a bad thing?
This is my first post. I think I'm on the right track, but I posted this to invite discussion. So anyone has tips, recommendations, comments on the aforementioned amps, comments on Moon vs Classe, etc... I want to hear it. Ultimately, I'm smart enough to use my ears, but I think it's wise to gather input from others where possible.