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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:55 pm 
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Any of these from Zotac would also work, just decide and pick one. Some of their stuff is similar to the Intel Nucs.

They also have some bare bones options too. 8)

https://www.zotac.com/us/product/mini_pcs/all


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:01 pm 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
tardis26 wrote:
Any of these from Zotac would also work, just decide and pick one. Some of their stuff is similar to the Intel Nucs.

They also have some bare bones options too. 8)

https://www.zotac.com/us/product/mini_pcs/all


The NUC also comes in a case-less option (just the mainboard and a power supply) and I always thought if I was just a bit more handy and had some free time I could bodge it into an old and tired piece of audio gear with some cool blinky lights. The case is small enough but it isn't particularly pretty beside my nice shiny audio gear!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:05 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Netbook with Windows XP pared down for music playing only. It's small, holds all my music, has a screen to see my music, trackpad to move though my music, it just works. Could I get something that sounds better? Maybe, but what I have works great and I don't see any need to change that. There are so many good options out there that something will click with you.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:32 am 
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
Sony's HAP-Z1ES

http://www.sony.ca/en/electronics/audio ... s/hap-z1es

Even gives the option for USB-out if you want to look into higher-end dacs later, something a lot of players don't have.

I'm saving up for this once my headphone setup is in order. It's expensive but the flexibility, upgradeablility (ModWright is already working on one) and, IMO, slick design and intuitive interface make this thing a winner. Plays basically all the formats you want and even upscales if you want that.

I did a lot of looking around and for what you get in this thing, I really like it if you don't want an actual computer in your living room.

From a pure audio perspective, something using HQPlayer to a high-end dac is likely the best avenue.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:35 am 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
I'm using an 2011 Mac Mini with Audirvana Plus.... feeding into my W4S DSDse.

The Mac Mini is cheap enough to acquire and set up is easy. Audirvana Plus sounds great with DSD up conversion + Direct + Integer mode.

But I couldn't help wonder all the time if an appliance's like solution like the Sony / Auralic / Bluesound will give me better sound, but I haven't tried it yet.

Btw, that Bryston BDP-Pi, selling for well over a thousand dollars... based on Pi 2 + Hifi Berry that's combined < $100.... really?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:19 am 
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chuttt wrote:

Btw, that Bryston BDP-Pi, selling for well over a thousand dollars... based on Pi 2 + Hifi Berry that's combined < $100.... really?

Add a nice case, screen, better PSU, support and warranty.
I have a Pi + hifiberry dac and like to tinker, for those that do not want to learn how this is a great choice.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:59 pm 
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msommers wrote:
From a pure audio perspective, something using HQPlayer to a high-end dac is likely the best avenue.


+1 If you want to get the best from your digital setup, you need to invest into a dedicated playback computer. All digital players (Bryston, MiND etc.) are in fact computers built with the standard components at best. The pros are that they are all plug'n'play. Building your own audio PC requires some knowledge but it gives you opportunity to choose the best sounding hardware and software components. The result is rewarding.

I personally think that the computer connected to your DAC is the most critical component in the digital setup. This is why I took time to research and built my playback PC by carefully selecting the components. You don't need to go crazy by buying a very expensive USB cards or SATA cables. But you need to have a dedicated playback PC in order to get the full potential from your DAC. Before I built my new playback PC, I used my old Lenovo laptop. I must say that it was night and day difference.

Here are the details of my playback PC hardware:

-- HDPlex H1.S fanless case
-- GA-H170N-WIFI motherboard
-- Core i5-6600T CPU (only 35W TDP!)
-- Samsung 850 EVO 120GB M.2 SATA3 Solid State Drive (SSD)
-- Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16G 2X8GB 2133MHZ DDR4 Non-ECC CL14DIMM Dual Channel Memory
-- HDPLEX HiFi 250W DC-ATX
-- HDPLEX 100W Linear Power Supply

I should say that I'm happy with the HDPlex components. Larry, the owner of HDPlex is a very nice guy and provides his customers with the top level support.

I use ROON to manage my digital collection and also give me access to Tidal HiFi service. Everything is controlled remotely from iPad

My ROON setup consists of:

1. ROON Core running on QNAP NAS (TS-453S Pro with 8Gb RAM)
2. Playback PC with HQPlayer. HQPlayer is used as a playback engine for ROON. It allows you to upsample your digital music using a very nice set of filters.

Here are the details of my playback PC software with HQPlayer connected to my DAC:

I run a single PC with WIN2012 R2 in Core Mode, AO 1.4, Fidelizer Pro, Process Lasso and JPlay. The PC is headless and controlled from iPad through TeamViewer. I have no dedicated audiophile USB card. A USB cable goes: JitterBug > UpTone Regen > Musical Paradise tube DAC (MP-D2). It sounds fantastic. You don't have to go to the extremes by using Win2012 as your operating system. Windows 10 + AO 2.0 + Fidelizer Pro is reported to be a very good alternative.

This PC is completely silent and capable of converting everything to DSD256 on the fly without any problems.

Overall, I'm really happy with the setup. Does it sound the same as my vinyl setup? No, but it's really enjoyable and produces a very nice natural, dynamic and clean sound.

Cheers!

_________________
Digital:
Roon > HQPlayer > Musical Paradise DAC (MP-D2) > Bel Canto XLR cables > Accuphase E-470 Integrated > Focal Electra 1038 BE II
Vinyl:
Rega RP6 + Dynavector 10x5 > GCPH


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:24 pm 
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Location: Vernon, BC, CA
Here is what the inside of the Bry-Pi looks like:
Image

That is not your standard HiFi Berry dac!

Taken from:
http://www.canadahifi.com/meet-the-manu ... tory-tour/


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:37 pm 
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Location: victoria, BC, CA
Jared Rachwalski wrote:
Here is what the inside of the Bry-Pi looks like:
Image

That is not your standard HiFi Berry dac!

Taken from:
http://www.canadahifi.com/meet-the-manu ... tory-tour/


Interesting article. Good to see not everything is made off-shore these days.

Those familiar with the Techmoan Youtube channel may have already seen this (his channel also features a lot of vintage hi-fi content)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_iimJwkZRA


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:11 pm 
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Location: Brantford, ON, CA
+1 on the Intel NUC

I went from a Bryston BDP-1 to the NUC with JRiver a couple years ago...sounds excellent. The Bryston GUI sucked...JRiver flexibility won me over...R128 algorithym brings your digital library into the 21st century. You can run play doctor and enjoy your entire collection at optimal volume track to track.

Not sure if Bryston ever did add R128 industry standard, but overpriced IMHO...hard to see the value in some of their products these days. Especially when you can build a BerryPi that will run bit-perfect and work with any tablet/phone for <$200 CAD.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:51 pm 
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
As I've done more reading, and am becoming a bit neurotic about things, I've realized that USB is not the best medium for computers. But it definitely is most convenient and plays the highest resolution in most cases.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:46 am 
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Location: Windsor, ON, CA
+1 on the mac mini.

Running jriver hooked to a dac and preamp. Analysis plus cables throughout.

Get a good dac and preamp and you'll be happy with the results.

There is a how-to guide on audioquests website that I stumbled accross yesterday. Could be helpful for someone with unanswered questions.

Have fun!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:26 pm 
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Location: North Vancouver, BC, CA
A bit late to this thread but I thought I would offer that I have another solution to play. An older dual core Atom based PC on a mini motherboard. Four GB of memory, no SATA devices enabled, onboard video, no networking ... about as minimally configured as I can get it. Everything is on the USB bus.

The operating system is a very lightweight Linux variant called WTFPlayer, it resides on a 4GB USB memory device. Music in the form of wave files is stored on 5 Lexar 128GB USB memory devices. The only fan is in the power supply. Video is output over HDMI to a panel and the keyboard is supported by a USB wireless dongle, very compact, quiet and the power consumption is about 20W after booting and everything is settled down and playing.

The player is quite crude by modern standards but is very efficient and will instantly feel familiar to those that have any DOS experience. My setup sends digital output by USB to a NAD amp that has an onboard DAC. I can select multiple files or whole albums of files for playback. Very simple and very good audio playback for very low cost, but not a Pi. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:39 am 
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Location: Gatineau, QC, CA
I am interested by the NUC of Intel. To use it headless,

1- how do I insure that it boots automatically with the remote app

2 - how do I insure that it will boot with the right monitor resolution (and not in safe mode) since there is no monitor connected

3 - any other consideration I should look at

I am planning to continue using Foobar. Will 32G of flash memory will be sufficient for Win 10 and Foobar


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:25 am 
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alain59 wrote:
I am interested by the NUC of Intel. To use it headless,

1- how do I insure that it boots automatically with the remote app

2 - how do I insure that it will boot with the right monitor resolution (and not in safe mode) since there is no monitor connected

3 - any other consideration I should look at

I am planning to continue using Foobar. Will 32G of flash memory will be sufficient for Win 10 and Foobar

1. There is iPad software that can use WOL(Wake On LAN) to boot your PC remotely

2. Why do you care about the monitor resolution if it's headless? You can use TemViewer to control your PC without monitor

3. 32G of disk space might be very limiting.

_________________
Digital:
Roon > HQPlayer > Musical Paradise DAC (MP-D2) > Bel Canto XLR cables > Accuphase E-470 Integrated > Focal Electra 1038 BE II
Vinyl:
Rega RP6 + Dynavector 10x5 > GCPH


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