External music servers vs a PC?

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BigChubby

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #20 on: 13 Nov 2017, 03:17 am »
You can still control a streamer via uPnP in most cases so the interface shouldn't be an issue for most.  This requires a little more work but can get you where you want and get the computer out of the way.

For what its worth, the noise of a computer might not be apparent in some systems.  I used a generic PC for about a year, but it took me a while to find a DAC that actually sounded better than the Pioneer BDP-51fd I was using at the time for CD playback.  I felt like it was the best I could do at the time, but this was also before decent 'budget' streamers were on the market.  You couldn't hardly find one under four figures at the time.

To the OP - have you considered a Raspberry Pi solution?

Perhaps I'm a bit slow, but how does controlling a streamer via uPnP eliminate the need for a smart phone or a tablet?  And making music selections and building playlists via a touchscreen may be second nature for some, but it's not particularly appealing to me or "most" of the other old guys I know, at least.  I don't see it as a trivial aspect of playing stored digital music.  I realize using a PC is not necessarily "cool" or trendy, but it's still much more convenient and efficient for some of us.

As to the DACs in the two Player/streamers I have used, both were passable but my other standalone DACs sound considerably better to me.
So, I guess it's just a matter of personal preference based on experience and background.


JohnR

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #21 on: 13 Nov 2017, 08:34 am »
You can use a UPnP capable player on your computer e.g. JRiver. Or (depending on your setup) a UPnP controller like Linn Kazoo or Kinsky.

wushuliu

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #22 on: 13 Nov 2017, 01:50 pm »
Avoid putting a computer in your system if you can.  A few years ago I kept looking at streaming devices and what they were comprised of and thought to myself that I could build a better solution for the same or less with much higher grade components.  I tried it.  I was happy with it.  Over $2,000 invested in a dedicated PC with 1.5 TB SSD storage, no moving parts/fans outside of the BD-ROM, and an external power supply.

After 18 months, I decided to pick up AURALiC as a product line.  I put the Aries in my main system and it was like a revelation.  The electrical noise floor dropped so substantially that I couldn't comprehend what was going on.  I still use my PC, but I don't use it in a 2 channel system.  It was a big waste of $$$ and I tell customers constantly to avoid making the same mistake.

Not every streamer is a good fit though.  While the AURALiC gear does exceptionally well with the noise, I have not heard the same about another big entry-level streaming device on the market.  Their device was a direct competitor to the Aries Mini and I've had nothing but complaints from those who have owned the 'other' brand.  Unfortunately the Mini is discontinued so the 'other' brand has no direct competitor on the market at that $500 target.

If you are thinking like I did and believe you can best a well designed, well thought out and optimized streamer, please, PLEASE get that idea out of your head.  It will only lead to a poor investment that you will regret if you ever get a dedicated streamer in the system.

The lesson isn't avoid a PC. The lesson is focus on the power supply. A dedicated streamer isn't any better unless its power supply is better.

zoom25

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #23 on: 13 Nov 2017, 02:50 pm »
Power supplies are important in how much noise they generate and put back in the mains, but that's not the only thing important thing for a streamer, especially that will be near a DAC and other sensitive components. EMI is also of concern. For example, putting a linear power supply on my iMac or Macbook Pro will be helpful, but it still won't solve EMI. Traditional computers will put out quite a bit of airborne interference.

rollo

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #24 on: 13 Nov 2017, 05:40 pm »
The lesson isn't avoid a PC. The lesson is focus on the power supply. A dedicated streamer isn't any better unless its power supply is better.

 Agree 100%. If you can find one with linear power supply and SS drive check it out. INNOUS anybody ?


charles

slash71

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #25 on: 13 Nov 2017, 07:56 pm »
Power supplies are important in how much noise they generate and put back in the mains, but that's not the only thing important thing for a streamer, especially that will be near a DAC and other sensitive components. EMI is also of concern. For example, putting a linear power supply on my iMac or Macbook Pro will be helpful, but it still won't solve EMI. Traditional computers will put out quite a bit of airborne interference.

I starded made usb cables wit EMI filter and ESD protection with a small circuit it will become parts of cable merged and soldered inside  the A plug.







This eliminate , if exist, spurious ELectomagnetic interference and eventually protect devices unwanted electrostatic discharge

It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on in the following comparison, but as far as I can tell the effects of this seemingly simple circuit are quite significant.




Unfiltered  plug have lot of noise on the left.

HAL

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #26 on: 13 Nov 2017, 08:19 pm »
Buying a linear power supply to run a PC will have mixed results with the overall system.

The motherboard has built in switching power supplies to run anything that needs less than the 12VDC-19VDC the external power supply needs.  Typically they have 5VDC, 3.3VDC. 1.25VDC and others depending on the CPU and memory used. 

It is more about the motherboard power supply design, power requirements and grounding.

An aluminum chassis usually helps a lot with EMI with good grounding.   

 

mdean109

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #27 on: 13 Nov 2017, 08:41 pm »
With all of these choices and considerations to think about, I probably should have just purchased a good pair of headphones and plugged them into my iPhone. (just kidding  :green:  )

Phil A

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #28 on: 13 Nov 2017, 08:48 pm »
I should note (in a post on the previous page) that the two dedicated music servers I have were built by HAL.  So he really knows his stuff.

HAL

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #29 on: 13 Nov 2017, 08:59 pm »
Phil A,

Thanks! 

Glad you are still enjoying them!   :D

wushuliu

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #30 on: 13 Nov 2017, 11:27 pm »
I power my os and music SSD with lt3045s and use SSD to m2 adapter next to cpu. The rest is off seasonic smps. It's certainly possible the auralic sounds better but...I doubt it. The problem with PCs is you have to keep updating and comparing hardware. Kaby lake and new W10 creative drivers alone outclass previous generation.

Tubeburner

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #31 on: 14 Nov 2017, 03:08 am »
First of all, I believe people are making this too hard and expensive. Your PC can be in another room and use JRiver as a server as long as you have an Ethernet connection. You can use a Raspberry Pi as a renderer with Rune Music Player.  http://www.runeaudio.com/

The Raspberry Pi is cheap and you can add a iFi power supply. The usb out from the Raspberry Pi to your Pre/dac. You get rid off all the PC noise. This works extremely well and will sound better than you PC usb out to your Pre/dac. You can also upsample from JRiver to the Pi. You can control your JRiver server from your listening chair. Total cost under $150. You will notice a instant difference and your PC/Server is still being used.

I have owned 3 different servers and they are over rated IMO. My laptop/JRiver server always works and sounds good. My 2 cents.....





mdean109

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #32 on: 14 Nov 2017, 01:05 pm »

Well, I certainly like the price compared to a dedicated music server! I am using JRiver with my tablet to control the music. The other night I signed up for Roon and I'm assuming that too can be controlled via a tablet.

First of all, I believe people are making this too hard and expensive. Your PC can be in another room and use JRiver as a server as long as you have an Ethernet connection. You can use a Raspberry Pi as a renderer with Rune Music Player.  http://www.runeaudio.com/

The Raspberry Pi is cheap and you can add a iFi power supply. The usb out from the Raspberry Pi to your Pre/dac. You get rid off all the PC noise. This works extremely well and will sound better than you PC usb out to your Pre/dac. You can also upsample from JRiver to the Pi. You can control your JRiver server from your listening chair. Total cost under $150. You will notice a instant difference and your PC/Server is still being used.

I have owned 3 different servers and they are over rated IMO. My laptop/JRiver server always works and sounds good. My 2 cents.....

Tubeburner

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #33 on: 14 Nov 2017, 02:16 pm »
You can use a microrendu or ultra Rendu if you want to spend more. I'm sure the urendu will sound better. Digital is an ever changing world right now.

mikeeastman

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #34 on: 14 Nov 2017, 02:40 pm »
mdean109, I just move to the latest Roon and the improvement in SQ from the others I tried was very nice. I started with Pure Music then went to JRiver then  HQPlayer with Roon than to Daphile and now the latest Roon each one was a step up in SQ with the latest Roon  being a real step up. Yes you can control Roon with a tablet.

mcgsxr

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #35 on: 14 Nov 2017, 02:44 pm »
If one is using a dedicated streamer, does this matter as much?

I would think it does not.  I may be quite wrong.

I get that the power supply for the streamer, and the architecture of the streamer matters.

I am using either a Logitech Touch (with LPS from Channel Islands Audio) or a hacked Pogoplug (running a Linux distro that fools it into thinking it is a Touch) as my streamer.  I use an external DAC.  I use a dedicated netbook for my "server" running Logitech Media Server.

mdean109

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Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #36 on: 14 Nov 2017, 02:57 pm »

MikeEastman,
I'm glad you mentioned about the SQ with Roon. I experienced the same effect - going from JRiver to Roon - but thought I was just imagining it. Since I wasn't expecting it to sound better - just easier to use - I dismissed the idea of the placebo effect very quickly.



mdean109, I just move to the latest Roon and the improvement in SQ from the others I tried was very nice. I started with Pure Music then went to JRiver then  HQPlayer with Roon than to Daphile and now the latest Roon each one was a step up in SQ with the latest Roon  being a real step up. Yes you can control Roon with a tablet.

mikeeastman

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #37 on: 14 Nov 2017, 03:37 pm »
The thing I really notice with Roon, is how clean my system sounds now, it's like a veil was lifted. If you had told me that my system sounded even a little veiled before I won't have believed it, even my wife noticed the difference.

Tubeburner

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #38 on: 14 Nov 2017, 06:10 pm »
Prior to Roon, we're you using a bridge or Renderer?

mikeeastman

Re: External music servers vs a PC?
« Reply #39 on: 14 Nov 2017, 09:46 pm »
For Pure Music and JRiver I was using a  modded Mac mini feeding an exasound dac. I now have a complete Mivera front end. Server running Linux with ethernet to optical coverer to streamer to Dac. This set up blows away anything I had before.