....high performance yet inexpensive

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AmpDesigner333

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....high performance yet inexpensive
« on: 11 Sep 2017, 01:45 pm »
A friend of mine asked me over the weekend if I could tell him how to put together an inexpensive, high performance, audio server.  He has a large CD collection. This information is only a suggestion, and there are many other ways to do the same thing....

What you need.  The simple list:
    Computer running Win10 (notebook or tablet)
    SD card or ext hard drive for music
    JRiver SW
    USB to SPDIF conv

The rest is just DAC, amps, speakers.

Well, I also recommend wifi in your house and have your phone on the wifi too, so you can get an app (JRemote) for your phone to control the audio system from your chair.  You can also use an old iPad or even iPod touch for that if you don't like using your phone.

You can use any PC to rip your CDs to any storage device, preferably the one you'll place in the audio computer. Plus, with an external USB connected CD/DVD drive, you can use the audio computer itself for this and then even use the external CD drive to play discs.  I recommend setting up media player to rip CDs losslessly automatically when a disc is inserted and to eject when done. This way, you can leave a stack of CDs by the computer and just feed it a new disc when you pass by. Before you know it, you will have ripped all of them.  To play a disc from the drive, you'll need to turn off the auto-rip.

You can configure JRiver to output any rate/type for a given file rate/type.  So you can convert DSD to high res PCM.  You can also upsample 44.1/16 from your ripped CDs.  From what I have read, you can rip SACDs, too, but some other SW might be required. JRiver has a large support base for information about such things.

There's also SW out there to "fix up" existing music libraries, eliminating duplicates, leaving only the highest quality version, and even "shazaming" files to properly name the files and folders.  I'll try to find the name of that (there are a few programs for this).

Thanks for reading this.  Comments and suggestions welcome (:

-Tommy

witchdoctor

Re: ....high performance yet inexpensive
« Reply #1 on: 11 Sep 2017, 02:10 pm »
A friend of mine asked me over the weekend if I could tell him how to put together an inexpensive, high performance, audio server.  He has a large CD collection. This information is only a suggestion, and there are many other ways to do the same thing....

What you need.  The simple list:
    Computer running Win10 (notebook or tablet)
    SD card or ext hard drive for music
    JRiver SW
    USB to SPDIF conv

The rest is just DAC, amps, speakers.

Well, I also recommend wifi in your house and have your phone on the wifi too, so you can get an app (JRemote) for your phone to control the audio system from your chair.  You can also use an old iPad or even iPod touch for that if you don't like using your phone.

You can use any PC to rip your CDs to any storage device, preferably the one you'll place in the audio computer. Plus, with an external USB connected CD/DVD drive, you can use the audio computer itself for this and then even use the external CD drive to play discs.  I recommend setting up media player to rip CDs losslessly automatically when a disc is inserted and to eject when done. This way, you can leave a stack of CDs by the computer and just feed it a new disc when you pass by. Before you know it, you will have ripped all of them.  To play a disc from the drive, you'll need to turn off the auto-rip.

You can configure JRiver to output any rate/type for a given file rate/type.  So you can convert DSD to high res PCM.  You can also upsample 44.1/16 from your ripped CDs.  From what I have read, you can rip SACDs, too, but some other SW might be required. JRiver has a large support base for information about such things.

There's also SW out there to "fix up" existing music libraries, eliminating duplicates, leaving only the highest quality version, and even "shazaming" files to properly name the files and folders.  I'll try to find the name of that (there are a few programs for this).

Thanks for reading this.  Comments and suggestions welcome (:

-Tommy

I think your method may have good SQ but is too complicated for a typical consumer. My advice is to just get a pair of Klipsch powered monitors and a bluetooth phone or tablet running Tidal and put his files on a NAS drive that can be accessed by the tablet/phone:

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-R-15PM-Powered-Monitor-Black/dp/B01A7J534G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505138858&sr=8-3&keywords=klipsch+powered

Good entry level system. If your friend wants SOA get the Kef powered LS50's:

https://www.amazon.com/KEF-LS50W-Powered-Music-System/dp/B01M65KZ5Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1505138938&sr=1-1&keywords=kef+powered+speaker


AmpDesigner333

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Re: ....high performance yet inexpensive
« Reply #2 on: 11 Sep 2017, 04:56 pm »
I think your method may have good SQ but is too complicated for a typical consumer. My advice is to just get a pair of Klipsch powered monitors and a bluetooth phone or tablet running Tidal and put his files on a NAS drive that can be accessed by the tablet/phone:

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-R-15PM-Powered-Monitor-Black/dp/B01A7J534G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505138858&sr=8-3&keywords=klipsch+powered

Good entry level system. If your friend wants SOA get the Kef powered LS50's:

https://www.amazon.com/KEF-LS50W-Powered-Music-System/dp/B01M65KZ5Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1505138938&sr=1-1&keywords=kef+powered+speaker
The target is very high performance.  Not the kind of thing you can do with lossy compression.  He has his own speakers, amps, and a DAC DAC.  He just needs the digital audio source and a way to rip his CD collection.  This guy is NOT a fan of mid-fi mass market stuff.  Thanks for your post.

charmerci

Re: ....high performance yet inexpensive
« Reply #3 on: 11 Sep 2017, 11:17 pm »

For the USB>SPDIF converter, there's this....


http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=142925.0

undertowogt1

Re: ....high performance yet inexpensive
« Reply #4 on: 12 Sep 2017, 12:36 am »
I run my DIGITAL system a very similar way.

i7 Laptop running window 10 / Foobar 2000 ASIO ifi Driver. USB out of Laptop to iFi DAC 2. Streaming from a 4TB NAS. Using Foobar 2000 controller on my phone. Works Great. I like the flexibility of a Laptop compared to a music server "Box". I also run surround 5.1 audio Disc Images from the Laptop to my system with a HDMI Audio Extractor.

witchdoctor

Re: ....high performance yet inexpensive
« Reply #5 on: 12 Sep 2017, 03:42 am »

AmpDesigner333

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Re: ....high performance yet inexpensive
« Reply #6 on: 12 Sep 2017, 04:07 am »
Maybe the Bluesound Vault?

https://www.audiostream.com/content/bluesound-vault
A DAC DAC TL customer is putting a system together with one of those as a source for digital streaming. The other source is a CD player.  He's using an auto sensing digital switch into the DAC DAC. I was looking at the Bluesound earlier today.  Impressive looking thing.  Seems feature packed as well.  From what I understand, you can use a player like JRiver to drive it/them.  You can also direct streams to multiple locations!  Like Sonos (sp?) but classier.  One really great device is the SBTouch!    It's a shame they don't make that anymore :.(

witchdoctor

Re: ....high performance yet inexpensive
« Reply #7 on: 12 Sep 2017, 02:18 pm »
A DAC DAC TL customer is putting a system together with one of those as a source for digital streaming. The other source is a CD player.  He's using an auto sensing digital switch into the DAC DAC. I was looking at the Bluesound earlier today.  Impressive looking thing.  Seems feature packed as well.  From what I understand, you can use a player like JRiver to drive it/them.  You can also direct streams to multiple locations!  Like Sonos (sp?) but classier.  One really great device is the SBTouch!    It's a shame they don't make that anymore :.(

The Bluesound Node works great, sounds very good, and I like the software BlueOS.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xbluesound+vault.TRS0&_nkw=bluesound+vault&_sacat=0

LarryD56

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Re: ....high performance yet inexpensive
« Reply #8 on: 13 Sep 2017, 02:06 am »
I bypassed the SPDIF/USB converter and just run a SPDIF cable from my Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card to my DAC DAC HS. I get excellent sound. It's the best I've ever had. I'm using JRiver with an iPad and have an 8TB LaCie hard drive. I bought an old Dell quad core with a full size card adapter for $145 which fits in nicely with my other equipment. I have another tall tower that I used before, but I did not like the look of it. Soon I'll have a Megaschino driving  RS 2.5s.

Larry D.