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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:11 am 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I'm thinking of replacing my Acer PC with a music server computer to front my system . I dont need it to have a DAC as i will keep using my Weiss 202. So, as in all things audiophile, prices can escalate rapidly for dedicated servers. What is a meaningful/reasonable $$ ceiling when it comes to these things where sonic gains will be noticeable?


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:38 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
WD Mycloud 3 TB NAS Server, less than $200. Comes with Twonky Server software.


Last edited by kteo on Sun May 07, 2017 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:44 am 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
What server software?

Processing power requirements are often dictated by the software.

As a Logitech Media Server user, I favor used $100 netbooks with 2GB of RAM.

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Give me a musical system and a PC front end

Mark in Burlington


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 9:48 am 
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Location: Victoria, BC, CA
Without knowing what you have for a PC why not consider just adding an external hard drive to the PC and streaming/accessing it from that ? At the risk of heresy , if not in the immediate listening vicinity , should work just fine . There is so much mumbo-jumbo and mis-information on computer audio it is unbelievable . A USB to SPDIF converter might be an asset.
IMHO a "music server" is a matter of function first over something purpose build. If your Acer doesn't have an SSD in it I would do that first , get a decent external h.d. and invest in good playback software and/or the single most neglected element a router with both dual band and AC capabilities with enough RAM onboard to meet all your internet needs if you are going to stream to other devices. Use ethernet or dual band AC wireless where possible to maintain the quality of the stream and minimize dropouts- way more important than obsessing over "jitter".
If you want to stream to multiple devices a small microcomputer can do all this with aplomb , I have a variety of devices ranging from Squeezeboxes to a couple of laptops and a Surface all streaming from a dedicated desktop box with a small SSD and a USB 3 three terabyte hard drive ( backed up to another one as insurance) in an inconspicuous spot which I leave on 24/7 with minimal energy cost. Way cheaper than an "audiophile " music server which in most cases seems to be a nice case, a ported/hacked or proprietary version of linux and not much else esp. if you are using your own dac(s) . You can use all sorts of variants of Linux on the box - or god forbid- Windows 10 and you have the added bonus of accessing video etc. + upgradable potential.
If you want to "bullet-proof" then a NAS might make sense ( Synology etc.) but is overkill for most folks .


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 10:15 am 
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Thanks for the input guys.

My Acer has an Intel core i3, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD windows 7, JRiver MC 18. I run a M2Tech Hiface 2 usb /spdif converter out to the weiss.

Not sure what sort of wireless setup it has, but I would want to stream Tidal or something similar. Too far way for an ethernet connection.

Based upon this, is there any point in upgrading? I suppose I could replace the HDD and add a SSD. What about external power supplies?


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 11:10 am 
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depending on what the wireless is in the Acer - you could add an external USB dual band if not present - pretty cheap. Asus makes good ones- just need to disable your onboard wireless . adding 5ghz band reduces interference - this assumes that you have an existing router that is dual band to start with.
https://www.lifewire.com/dual-band-wire ... ned-818279
I would go SSD - bonus is way quicker boot up time, less wear and reduced noise in most cases.
why external PS ? for what ? If you are worried about EMI /RFI Corcon filters or equivalent could be added by your wall outlet - but I think that is "boots and suspenders" stuff given that the power supply for the laptop probably has a built-in ferrite clamp already.
http://www.te.com/usa-en/products/famil ... =pgp-story


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 12:05 pm 
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buzzinghive wrote:
depending on what the wireless is in the Acer - you could add an external USB dual band if not present - pretty cheap. Asus makes good ones- just need to disable your onboard wireless . adding 5ghz band reduces interference - this assumes that you have an existing router that is dual band to start with.
https://www.lifewire.com/dual-band-wire ... ned-818279
I would go SSD - bonus is way quicker boot up time, less wear and reduced noise in most cases.
why external PS ? for what ? If you are worried about EMI /RFI Corcon filters or equivalent could be added by your wall outlet - but I think that is "boots and suspenders" stuff given that the power supply for the laptop probably has a built-in ferrite clamp already.
http://www.te.com/usa-en/products/famil ... =pgp-story


Thanks for the input. I guess by external, i really mean linerar. Is there any cred to the idea that the power supply of most computers adds noise to the digital signal?


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 12:28 pm 
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Other than the RFI/EMi which I addressed previously I don't know what else would be of significance esp given that you are converting the signal back to spdif with a well respected device and then reclocking it in a rather high spec. dac . The power supply for the laptop is designed for its specific application. I would not screw with it personally


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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 12:52 pm 
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buzzinghive wrote:
Other than the RFI/EMi which I addressed previously I don't know what else would be of significance esp given that you are converting the signal back to spdif with a well respected device and then reclocking it in a rather high spec. dac . The power supply for the laptop is designed for its specific application. I would not screw with it personally

Good to know. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Location: Saskatoon, SK, CA
A NAS can serve up your files using a fraction of the power of a desktop computer, and let your computer stay free to do other things.

I did a fair bit of research on this before going the route of getting a proper NAS. I did take a close look at MyCloud, but it had three big problems: 1) a critical security flaw that last time I checked was still not fixed, 2) it's not a real RAID setup, and even if it is, it's half of what they advertise the capacity as, and 3) for a little more capital, you can build a far superior system by getting a proper NAS. There are alternatives to build RAID NAS setups with old computers, but the power overhead can actually accumulate to a pretty significant cost with this approach, and it just did not seem ideal.

In my case, I got a 2-bay QNAP, 16GB of RAM to replace the stock 2 GB, and 2 4TB WD Red drives. There's a zillion QNAP models, I got the 251A because its hardware is pretty decent, and it turned out that I knew a couple guys who had the same model.

Total cost was under $1000 for 4 TB of true backup. It would be 8 TB if I didn't set them up in RAID 1. If one of the drives ever dies (always a risk with hard drive storage), it's basically a pull and plug fix.


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:12 pm 
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apparently works under wine

-- 15 May 2017 03:12 --

apparently works under wine


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:42 pm 
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buzzinghive wrote:
Without knowing what you have for a PC why not consider just adding an external hard drive to the PC and streaming/accessing it from that ? At the risk of heresy , if not in the immediate listening vicinity , should work just fine . There is so much mumbo-jumbo and mis-information on computer audio it is unbelievable . A USB to SPDIF converter might be an asset.
IMHO a "music server" is a matter of function first over something purpose build...

If you want to "bullet-proof" then a NAS might make sense ( Synology etc.) but is overkill for most folks .


Yes, there is a ton of mumbo jumbo about computer audio. And that's in the audio world, which is kind of saying something.

Hey BH, if you have any recommendations on things I could read to learn more (besides these threads), I'd be all for it. You seem to be pretty up on the learning curve in this area.

I had taken things to the SSD C: with SATA and USB HDs as storage, and finally took the next step to NAS, and now I want to tie it all together with a good player/server setup.

I've been disappointed by kodi's handling of large music libraries, something which Plex does with ease, but then Plex doesn't handle FLACs well. I've tried a few other common player apps (VLC, ES, etc) and now it's time to take a good shot at the niche players.

The list of platforms I'm planning on looking at is:

Audirvana
Musicbee
Plex
Qmusic
Foobar
Roon
Logitech
JRiver

Any other suggestions or discussion in this area is quite welcome. As you correctly note, the volume of disinformation on audio gear is pretty high. In these types of challenges I've found it is useful to basically write yourself a short handbook explaining the entire system architecture and part functions, and at the end of the day, you have half a clue about the application.


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 10:12 pm 
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ToddSecksington wrote:
A NAS can serve up your files using a fraction of the power of a desktop computer, and let your computer stay free to do other things.

I did a fair bit of research on this before going the route of getting a proper NAS. I did take a close look at MyCloud, but it had three big problems: 1) a critical security flaw that last time I checked was still not fixed, 2) it's not a real RAID setup, and even if it is, it's half of what they advertise the capacity as, and 3) for a little more capital, you can build a far superior system by getting a proper NAS. There are alternatives to build RAID NAS setups with old computers, but the power overhead can actually accumulate to a pretty significant cost with this approach, and it just did not seem ideal.

In my case, I got a 2-bay QNAP, 16GB of RAM to replace the stock 2 GB, and 2 4TB WD Red drives. There's a zillion QNAP models, I got the 251A because its hardware is pretty decent, and it turned out that I knew a couple guys who had the same model.

Total cost was under $1000 for 4 TB of true backup. It would be 8 TB if I didn't set them up in RAID 1. If one of the drives ever dies (always a risk with hard drive storage), it's basically a pull and plug fix.


I have been using a WD MyCloud for over 3 years now, and quite happy with it. My requirements are mainly for music (about 24,000 tracks, mainly ALAC and FLAC) and my photos. I ripped CD's directly from my desktop computer to the NAS. So far, access from by Yamaha CD-N500 through the DLNA Twonky Server never misses a beat. 3TB cost my all of $179. It is the size of a thick paperback that sits quietly on my window sill.

I liked it so much that I bought a second shortly after the first, and set it to automatically back up the first nightly - a poor man's RAID 1. So for a total cost of $360 I get 6TB of storage space.

Lately, instead of my Yamaha network player, I have been using a Lenovo tablet to access the NAS wirelessly with the BubbleUPNP app, and connecting the output, through an OTG cable to my Async USB DAC. That works out quite well too. I get gapless playing as well. Basically, the tablet is a network player with a nice UI and display.

There are better NAS available, but for music the WD MyClouds' serves me very well.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 5:52 am 
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Location: London, ON, CA
I use a Synology Diskstation with a 3tb WD red drive. The speed of my searches for music increased over using a USB attached external drive as well as the WD my cloud I used for a short time before it gave me problems. I know others that use the WD cloud with no problems maybe I got a lemon. Also using Logitech Media Server. No WiFi all Ethernet.

stereo3


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 5:55 am 
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$0 on the music part. I just load LMS, which is free.

The video part is another story. This years upgrade was a Seagate IronWolf 10TB, over $600. Music storage is negligible compared to the video.


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