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Thinking About a Brennan

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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby JoeE SP9 » 13 Aug 2017 00:16

I use a laptop running Windows 10 with an external 1TB USB HDD that has all my music files (FLAC) on it. The laptop is connected to an Emotiva XDA-2 (DAC) which is connected to my main system. I can stream anything I want from any source available on the internet.

The laptop and USB HDD were less than $300.

FWIW: I use Music Bee in WASAPI mode to play any of my FLAC files which include a few hi-definition files.
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby Hanuman » 16 Aug 2017 02:14

You know, we're getting to the point where the dilemma of using a proprietary compression like Apple Lossless is moot, because storage costs are dropping to the point where simply going with uncompressed files like AIFF or WAV (both de facto standards) is feasible.
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby ChrisfromRI » 13 Jul 2018 01:55

Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about the Brennan B2? It looks really interesting to me, and I would appreciate hearing from an actual owner of one.
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby JDJX » 14 Jul 2018 20:24

Forgive my ignorance but, what the purpose of that?
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby ChrisfromRI » 15 Jul 2018 08:00

JDJX wrote:Forgive my ignorance but, what the purpose of that?


It's an all-in-one Internet linked CD "jukebox" that you rip all your CDs into using lossless FLAC, that takes around 1 minute per CD for ripping with its own internal drive. It has an internal 2 TB hard drive and holds 5000 CDs using FLAC.

You then connect it to a DAC input on your audio system, and use any Internet capable device to access and play any of your ripped CDs, songs, playlists, via their web based GUI which being Internet based doesn't require some special app that will not stay current with the OS version of your Internet capable device (typically a Smartphone or Tablet).

It also avoids dedicating a computer, server (NAS), etc. as it does everything in one small box that you can take with you to the office to play your CD collection there, or anywhere else you have another system to play your CDs on. You periodically back up its hard drive via USB to an external backup drive to avoid loss of your files or even to shadow a second unit from.

I don't have one yet but it is very compelling to me as it is an all-in-one way to access your whole CD collection without any fancy dedicated computing stuff. It costs around $700 and is small self-contained approach, and requires zero IT knowledge or favors from friends with such knowledge. I am wanting to get one to bring order to the hundreds and hundreds of CDs I have all over the place in various stacks and racks.

The website is listed earlier in this thread, and I am hoping to hear from someone actually using one, and to hear how they like it and if it is doing the job for them. I am totally uninterested in hearing how to use computers and other apps, etc. as alternatives to buying this specific device and simply would like to hear from an actual Brennan B2 user.
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby Marvk » 15 Jul 2018 21:46

I own a 2Tb Brennan and can say that I enjoy it. It is a “jukebox” as Chris said. The unit itself has a footprint about half again the size of a cd case. Once the cd is ripped, it is converted from wav, to the lossless flac format. Comes with a WiFi and Bluetooth dongle. It can hold up to 5000 cds in lossless format. MP3’s can hold much much more.

Has a web ui that can be accessed from a pc, tablet, or phone. The wife and I love it. As you build your library, you can back it up to a usb external hd.

I use mine with the spdf optical output to a Schitt modi dac and Magni headphone amp. It’s also connected to a pair of Edifer 1280 bookshelf speakers.

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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby ChrisfromRI » 16 Jul 2018 01:51

Thank You So Much Marv! I really appreciate hearing that the B2 has been a good experience for you, and I truly thank you for taking the time to respond!! Chris
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby fscl » 21 Jul 2018 03:42

Marvk,

How does the B2 work as an internet tuner / radio..... :-k

Concurrent topic here:

viewtopic.php?f=112&t=97645

Inquiring minds want to know, TIA

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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby Marvk » 21 Jul 2018 15:02

Fred,

The B2 uses an online database of over 40,000 internet radio stations provided by www.vtuner.com, according to their website.

You can save up to 10 presets. Quality is dependent on the data stream and your internet connection. That being said, it works well. Just be aware that internet radio will be nowhere near the quality of a cd, wav, flac, or high bit mp3/aac file.

There is no provision for an antenna like a traditional radio. But, I think you might be able to feed the B2 through the aux in connection if you want.

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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby ChrisfromRI » 24 Jul 2018 01:45

Pulled the trigger on my Brennan B2 tonite!
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby Marvk » 25 Jul 2018 04:02

ChrisfromRI wrote:Pulled the trigger on my Brennan B2 tonite!


Congrats! :D Let us know how it works out for you. If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer as best as I can.

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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby ChrisfromRI » 26 Jul 2018 00:41

Marvk wrote:
ChrisfromRI wrote:Pulled the trigger on my Brennan B2 tonite!


Congrats! :D Let us know how it works out for you. If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer as best as I can.

Marv


THANK YOU MARV!
I really appreciate your offer.

I ordered a couple of optical SPDIF cables with it because I realized their cable has a Toslink connector on one end and "Mini Digital" connector on the other end for the B2. I have never even seen a "Mini Digital" connector before, so that will be new. I plan to connect it up to high quality external DACs which have Toslink optical inputs. I am excited to get going with it, but imagine there will be an immediate lull as I have a lot of CDs to rip. Chris
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby ChrisfromRI » 31 Jul 2018 22:12

Marv,

My Brennan B2 arrived and I have ripped a bit over a dozen CDs into it. It goes pretty quickly and I'm getting the hang of it. Do you have any tips on loading artwork thumbnails? Many were there when I hit the "Art" button on my Mac but a number weren't, so I took a picture of the CD cover and then attached it via the Mac, but in some cases they came out sideways even though the image seemed perfectly upright when I saved the file on my Mac, and I don't see a way to right them like a quarter turn arrow.

I played a couple of tracks from the B2 into the same external DAC as my CD Player is connected to, and it sounds as good as I had hoped played over a good system, but the files I listened to are still sitting there as WAV and haven't been converted to FLAC yet. When does that actually happen? Is there any difference you see or hear?

I am learning more every day! One really nice thing I learned is that I can play/listen to other music I already ripped onto the B2 while ripping a new CD onto it. With some less popular CDs there is a little housekeeping with naming songs and so forth, but on the computer it's pretty easy so far.

Thanks for your suggestions Marv!
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby Marvk » 01 Aug 2018 01:55

For the cover art, I do it in this order. Insert the cd, once it's recognized, click the art button. It should search and find one 9 out of 10 times. Then I rip it. If it doesn’t find one, rip it anyways, and make a note of the album name. You can always go back and find the album art by going to the album, and click on the 3 dots next to the album name. You should have an option to obtain it from Amazon, or Musicbrainz.

Usually takes between 4-7 min for mine to rip a cd. Then it saves it to wav format. When the B2 sits idle for about 5-10 min, it will then start to convert all of the wav files to flac files and then delete the wav files. If I rip a bunch of them, it may take 1-2hrs to convert all of them. I also leave mine on all the time so it will convert after I go to bed.

I guess I should have asked first, if you have gone through all the menu settings and set them to the way you want them? Also, I’m assuming you have it connected to your home network? Makes a web upgrade much easier, and to get any album art.

It’s a little overwhelming at first going through the menus, but once you have, I find I don’t need to very often. Find and use the scan disk button often, and it will keep things nice and tidy.

Sounds like you are getting a little more comfortable with it. :wink:
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Re: Thinking About a Brennan

Postby ChrisfromRI » 01 Aug 2018 02:54

Thanks Marv.

Yes, I have it set up on my home's WiFi which is fiber backhauled, and updated the software version right away. Mine only seems to search Musicbrainz for cover art and I'm gonna say I have maybe a 60% success rate, and then I have been giving up and taking pictures of the cover art and uploading it.

I am finding it easy and beneficial to doctor up the song and even album descriptions. For example I have compilation CDs like the VH1 Storytellers and in addition to the song names I want to see the performing artists' names - rather than guessing. They're easy to add. If the CD is recorded live at say Carnegie Hall, I like to add that detail - instead of just "Live".

I'll have to try leaving it on overnight - and find the scan disk button!
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