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  • #61
    Dedicated music servers, like the Aurender N100H, N10, and W20, are really just Linux-based computers with internal fixed drives controlled by an iPad App that offer better sound than multipurpose computers like desktops and laptops. Aurender doesn’t support Roon, which is a bit of a bummer, but you can use Roon ready streamers like the Bryston Pi with a separate NAS from Melco or Synology. See www.dspmusiclabs.com.
    Transrotor Rossini Turntable w/Jelco SA-750DB
    Audio Note Io Gold Cart. w/AN-S9 SUT
    Audio Note CDT-Four Transport/Woo WDS-1 DAC
    Ayre QX-5 Twenty Dig. Hub & 13” MacBook Pro w/Roon w/Melco N1A NAS
    AN OTO Phono SE Signature Int. Amp w/AN-E SEC Silver Speakers w/Murata Super Tweeters
    Purple J-Corder 1520 R2R and Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck
    PSAudio P10 AC Regen./Equi=Tech Bal. Transformer
    Harmonic Technology, Audio Note, Kondo Sound Labs, Stealth, AQ Cables
    Woo GES w/Sfax SR-507 Headphones

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    • #62
      I now have Roon up and running as well as JRiver over my Mytek Stereo 192. That headache is now gone until I remove the server in for review and get to start back over with my server which leads to my next question about servers. I know Al and some others are hot on custom built servers, but aren't most of them using commercial PC motherboards? Alex on the other hand advocates the use of servers built by companies that specialize in high end audio.

      It would be great to jump out of the Windows world, but it doesn't seem that we have much choice unless you use an Apple device as a server. I know some people are using Intel NUCs. Are there LPS available for them? Are they worth owning or are they a minor step up from using a laptop as a server? Laptops have fans and fans run and you can hear them. I think laptops also generate more noise than audio purposed built servers and that noise finds it way into the signal path to some degree. You don't notice it until you don't hear it anymore, but after that noise is gone, you damn sure don't want it back.
      SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, Zesto Andros 1.2 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, NOLA KO speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs, and a pair of JBL 4345 speakers.

      Comment


      • dsnyder0cnn
        dsnyder0cnn commented
        Editing a comment
        Reading this again...I don't think I would ever connect a DAC directly to an Intel NUC. I believe all of the NUCs have fans and anyway are mechanically and electrically noisy devices and would continue to be even if powered by an LPS, capacitor bank, or battery.

        The NUC makes a fine media server, but it has no place in the listening room or especially connected directly to your DAC.

    • #63
      A few options -

      From Small Green Computers - https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/c...s/audio-server

      From Salk Sound - http://www.salksound.com/streamplaye...Player+Gen+III

      Then of course are the highly thought of products from Auralic, Aurender, and several others.
      Steve Lefkowicz
      Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
      --------------------------------------------------------
      http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...ounding-system

      Comment


      • RandyRobinson
        RandyRobinson commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for this Steve, I'm contacting Small Green Computers. Do you have any first hand experience with either of these vendors?

      • Steve Lefkowicz
        Steve Lefkowicz commented
        Editing a comment
        No, other than they replied really quickly to an email I sent them last last year. Michael Lavorgna had very nice things to say about their sonicTransporter i5. I've been eyeing one of those for a bit.

    • #64
      I had an informative conversation with an audio buddy while listening at my house today. He made 2 points I find interesting. The first is, in the last couple years there has been a shift in the quality of digital. So much so that in the past, you had to spend more money on a digital setup than your vinyl setup to get the same quality of sound. In the last year or so it has flipped. It takes more money invested in a vinyl system to get the same quality of sound you get from Digital. His other comment was about a friend of his with a nice audio system. His friend bought an expensive DAC that paired with a Mac Mini with a high end linear PS did not get him where he wanted with digital. Something was lacking. When he finally got a real server, his whole digital game took a big leap forward. Enough so that his friend wishes he started with a better server. If he had, he believes he would have spent less on the DAC for a lower overall cost system that would achieve the quality of playback he was looking for.
      Pure Audio Project Trio 10/Voxativ, 811A Triode monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI, Custom TT with Vertere tone arm, Allnic H1201, RT Audio Ultra USB Orpheus EX, Mojo Audio Server with remote Illuminati power supply, Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis Interconnects.

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      • dsnyder0cnn
        dsnyder0cnn commented
        Editing a comment
        The quality of digital certainly has improved dramatically over even just the last couple of years. The next big increase in performance and decrease in cost comes from removing that media server from the listening room and replacing it with a completely silent bridge/renderer/streamer. It's less expensive to build a high-performance bridge that does essentially no processing to the stream than it is to build a media server with similar low noise characteristics.

    • #65
      Originally posted by mep View Post
      I have asked numerous times for members who are way into digital audio to diagram out all of the digital dingle berries you need to have in your chain to achieve a high level of SQ for playback of files and streaming. No one has addressed this yet. I'm trying to see if there is any consensus on the devices that are needed vice brand names that you are using at this point. I am beginning to understand that my choice of using a laptop for a server is not an optimized solution.
      You asked for a diagram...here goes...

      Click image for larger version

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      You are absolutely correct that connecting a general purpose laptop or desktop PC/Mac (no matter how optimized for low noise and good sound quality) directly to your DAC is no longer considered the best way to go. If you are using Roon, there's lots of great information in their knowledge base that explains why this is the case. The TL;DR is that laptops, desktops, hard disks, and NAS devices are all noisy beasts that have no place in your listening room! Have a look here: http://kb.roonlabs.com/Sound_Quality

      The diagram above includes a NAS, but you could replace that with storage attached or internal to the Roon Server machine (an Intel NUC in my case). The dashed lines around "Flac Files" and "TIDAL HiFi" in the "Roon Server" box just indicate that Roon is indexing this content.

      I like to have a separate Ethernet switch (fanless) in the listening room since that provides some electrical isolation between the audio system and house wiring by way of transformer coupling within the switch. I doubt this makes a big difference, but for $65, it seemed worth it to try.

      I'm currently running Roon Bridge on an Allo.com USBridge. It's a great little device for $149 (+ s/h) that was a significant upgrade from the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B that I was using before. It arrives completely assembled and reasonably well configured. Recommended if you don't feel like flashing your own microSD card and digging into Linux set up.

      Although the upgraded USB port on the USBridge is already low noise (so I'm told), I'm running that to the popular iFi Audio micro iUSB3.0 power/signal regenerator via an XLO USB cable. Like others here, I've tried a bunch of different USB "decrapifiers", but this one sounds the best so far in my system. I have an iFi Audio Gemini3.0 dual-head USB cable between my DAC and the micro iUSB3.0. I'm not a big cable geek, but I really like this cable. You can see my review on MusicDirect.com.

      Comment


      • mep
        mep commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply. Whatever network that is powering my digital rig has to be wifi based because I have no Ethernet connections in my upstairs room. I have the latest Comcast/Infinity modem/router wifi installed in my house. The Comcast router does have Ethernet ports, but it located on the first floor in the house and I have no way of running a cable from the router to my room.

    • #66
      I'm looking for servers that can be run by WiFi and don't require a hard wired Ethernet connection. It seems that many of the servers and other digital dingle berries require Ethernet cables which makes those devices a no go for me.
      SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, Zesto Andros 1.2 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, NOLA KO speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs, and a pair of JBL 4345 speakers.

      Comment


      • Steve Lefkowicz
        Steve Lefkowicz commented
        Editing a comment
        Have you read Dave Clark's articles in PF about setting up a dedicated server? Lot's of good info there.He has several about Auralic, Aurender, and various other things to go with them.

    • #67
      Originally posted by mep View Post
      I'm looking for servers that can be run by WiFi and don't require a hard wired Ethernet connection. It seems that many of the servers and other digital dingle berries require Ethernet cables which makes those devices a no go for me.
      I've know other folks who have said something similar, but unless you are renting and your landlord will not permit you to have an Ethernet cable run, it's typically not very expensive...usually less than $200. I have several friends who have had all of the electrical wiring in their listening rooms replaced by high-end in-wall power cabling and run to a dedicated circuit panel just for audio gear. Having an Ethernet cable professionally run to your listening room is going to be way less costly than that!

      If you really can't do audio any other way than over Wi-Fi, I recommend that you use 802.11ac. I had pretty good luck with this adapter for streaming H.264 video over Wi-Fi, so should it should be fine for audio...assuming that your Comcast equipment also supports 802.11ac: http://a.co/9J0MJLL

      If I can find mine, I'll give it a try with the Allo.com USBridge and a Raspberry Pi and report back on compatibility. Without testing, I'm about 80% confident that it will work. :-)

      Comment


      • dsnyder0cnn
        dsnyder0cnn commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh...in case I was not clear, you'd connect that USB to Wi-Fi adapter to the device running Roon Bridge. Again, not ideal since it's best to avoid sharing the USB bus with audio.

        It's best if the computer that you will be using to run Roon Server can be connected to your Comcast router via wired Ethernet (less packet loss, re-transmits, etc.). If that's not possible, I've had decent luck running the server over 802.11ac Wi-Fi as well. Newer Intel NUC computers have 802.11ac built-in.

    • #68
      Originally posted by dsnyder0cnn View Post

      I've know other folks who have said something similar, but unless you are renting and your landlord will not permit you to have an Ethernet cable run, it's typically not very expensive...usually less than $200. I have several friends who have had all of the electrical wiring in their listening rooms replaced by high-end in-wall power cabling and run to a dedicated circuit panel just for audio gear. Having an Ethernet cable professionally run to your listening room is going to be way less costly than that!

      If you really can't do audio any other way than over Wi-Fi, I recommend that you use 802.11ac. I had pretty good luck with this adapter for streaming H.264 video over Wi-Fi, so should it should be fine for audio...assuming that your Comcast equipment also supports 802.11ac: http://a.co/9J0MJLL

      If I can find mine, I'll give it a try with the Allo.com USBridge and a Raspberry Pi and report back on compatibility. Without testing, I'm about 80% confident that it will work. :-)
      I own my home so I can do anything I want. If I could pay someone to install the ethernet cable cleanly, I would. I just don't know how they are going to do it without tearing my house apart.
      SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, Zesto Andros 1.2 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, NOLA KO speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs, and a pair of JBL 4345 speakers.

      Comment


      • #69
        Originally posted by mep View Post

        I own my home so I can do anything I want. If I could pay someone to install the ethernet cable cleanly, I would. I just don't know how they are going to do it without tearing my house apart.
        Ah...that's good. I encourage you to have a qualified installer or two out to provide quotes. Companies that install security cameras and alarm systems have people who are highly skilled at this type of installation. I didn't think they would be able to run cables for me either, but they have all of these crazy tools that make just about any installation possible without having to open up walls.

        Comment


        • #70
          I’ll bet I am waisting my time but WiFi is fine for control and moving files and but lousey for playback. Having said this there are some severs that do better than others.
          also try a humming bird for a bridge and use an lps too.

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          • #71
            Originally posted by Alrainbow View Post
            I’ll bet I am waisting my time but WiFi is fine for control and moving files and but lousey for playback. Having said this there are some severs that do better than others.
            also try a humming bird for a bridge and use an lps too.
            I don't want PETA on my ass. Seriously, why isn't an Intel NUC with a LPS good to use as a server? This looks like a good one:
            Intel NUC NUC7i7BNH Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Dual-Core i7-7567U Upto 4.0GHz, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD Plus 1TB HDD, Wifi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt 3, 4k Support, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD)

            SP-10 MKII table with custom power supply designed and built by Peter Noerbaek with an SME 3012R with Dyna XV-1S cartridge, VPI Avenger table with rim drive and JMW -12-3D arrm with Lyra Etna SL cartridge, Zesto Andros 1.2 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, NOLA KO speakers with a pair of Def Tech Ref subs, and a pair of JBL 4345 speakers.

            Comment


            • #72
              Originally posted by mep View Post
              ...Seriously, why isn't an Intel NUC with a LPS good to use as a server? This looks like a good one:
              Intel NUC NUC7i7BNH Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Dual-Core i7-7567U Upto 4.0GHz, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD Plus 1TB HDD, Wifi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt 3, 4k Support, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD)
              Because that NUC has fans and is super noisy (especially the i7 models). Even if you have a large listening room that is very well treated, you will easily hear it hissing away across the room. A higher noise floor in your room means reduced dynamics. Fans also create physical vibrations that have to dealt with. Powering the NUC with an LPS might help a little, but I suspect that NUC uses switched mode DC to DC converters (have not confirmed), so an external LPS does not eliminate switching noise. The only good thing about the NUC is that they generally use SSD's rather than spinning hard disks.

              I'm not sure if you are using Roon, but please read about their architecture and intended deployment. Even if you are using JRiver, you can use DLNA to stream to a purpose-built renderer like the SOtM sMS-200, SONORE microRendu, or aforementioned Allo.com USBridge and related products.

              Comment


              • mep
                mep commented
                Editing a comment
                I am currently running both JRiver 23 and the latest and greatest Roon on the server under review.

              • dsnyder0cnn
                dsnyder0cnn commented
                Editing a comment
                Great...both support running the media server, renderer(s) and remotes on physically separate networked devices. If you're serious about getting your digital source up to the level of the best vinyl playback, this separates approach is the most cost-effective way to get there. Get that house wiring professionally installed and then get those digital dingleberries going.

            • #73
              Originally posted by mep View Post

              I don't want PETA on my ass. Seriously, why isn't an Intel NUC with a LPS good to use as a server? This looks like a good one:
              Intel NUC NUC7i7BNH Mini PC/HTPC, Intel Dual-Core i7-7567U Upto 4.0GHz, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD Plus 1TB HDD, Wifi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt 3, 4k Support, Windows 10 Pro (32GB Ram + 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD)
              Want an Honest answer for a few reasons.
              One is an I5 that is not an x and new model is bare bones
              a Nuc is not fast it’s a low power desk top for kids at
              school. It’ can be uSed as a bridge but not a server as some claim. A much better naa or bridge is a humming bird it’s what a rendu is at a much higher cost
              fans I love it when people say they are noisey lol. You can get a larger fan that makes no noise you can here right next to it.
              A good min server setup is an I7 4900 K the k is a must and it does use more power but this is fine. An lps is a must too.

              Does the sever your reviewing have an lps and AO ?
              Roon in gui is a pig in resources and no Nuc is good and most all servers either. Wnat to really here the review product run roon server. You will
              shake you’re head of the leap in sound no matter what serve your using. Give them a better review lol

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              • #74
                Wrong info
                Last edited by Alrainbow; 02-16-2018, 07:24 PM.

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                • #75
                  What do you know. I met a guy who is a technician for SOTM here in Seattle. He also works with Thelinearsolution. They make audiophile Ethernet switches. I am scheduling a time to take my server to his place to do a little listening, comparing and research on bettering the overall performance of my digital system - overall. It will be interesting to sit head to head with 2 fine servers.
                  Pure Audio Project Trio 10/Voxativ, 811A Triode monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI, Custom TT with Vertere tone arm, Allnic H1201, RT Audio Ultra USB Orpheus EX, Mojo Audio Server with remote Illuminati power supply, Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis Interconnects.

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