iFi Audio iPower Power Supply For Bryston BDP-3 External Hard Drive - Review

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JohnR

That's good to know. How long have you had the Seagate 4TB and how, and how much, is it used?

Oh, just on a year. Same sort of use as you would be seeing (music files).

Krutsch

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Quite the write-up on the iPower. I have a few of these, myself.

However, if you are *that* worried about electrical noise from HDDs, a network attached storage (NAS) device is the ultimate solution.

They are relatively cheap now, with large, redundant storage capacity that may be aggressively cached by internal M.2 SSDs that will provide lag-free performance for any application (though I haven't found the need to use SDD-caching for audio, which has trivial latency and bandwidth demands compared with video or database applications).

And by redundant, not only will it protect your local copy from physical disk failure(s), but will "scrub" volumes in the background to detect and correct from "bit-rot" (i.e. random bit errors from software and/or physical media failure). These units are a little more expensive - look at Drobo for an example.

A NAS will *completely* isolate your sensitive electronics from heat, vibration, and electrical noise, as well as allow you to locate your nerd equipment away from your elegant stereo system (the pictures of your setup are epic!).

Ethernet, by design, is galvanically isolated to support massive concentration of ports in server farms without subsequent EMI/RFI from interfering with signal integrity (i.e. frequent retransmits from detected packet errors). If you still aren't convinced, and need to spend more money, you can also buy low-cost switches with SFPs to optically isolate the last segment from the switch to your BDP.

What do I use? I have a WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra (NAS) with a pair of 7200 rpm, 8TB disks in RAID 1 mode (mirrored), which are periodically backed-up to a direct attached Drobo RAID 5 array using software that enforces a CRC check on each sync, to detect bit errors on the source and copy.

The NAS is accessed via SMB 3 with wired Ethernet by a Mac Mini running Roon Server (1 Gigabit Ethernet), all located away from my audio gear (see photo attached). The Mac Mini w/ Roon Server connects to my remote BDP-1 via a wireless bridge (Apple Airport Express), which is itself connected to the BDP via 100Mb wired Ethernet. This is another way to achieve isolation between the BDP-1 and the remaining devices on my network.

I have my BDP-1 connected to the wireless bridge via a 3 meter Ethernet cable, so the wireless bridge (which itself emits a fair amount of EMI/RFI) is far away from my audio gear.

I find that even with 192 kHz / 24-bit audio tracks (Roon uses my AIFF lossless iTunes library and playlists), the 100 Mb wireless connection to the BDP-1 is *plenty* fast for lag free playback (i.e. tracks start instantly when I click on the play button, without any stutter, even skipping around my library as fast as the Roon user interface will allow). The Bryston RAAT implementation on the BDP-1 is quite good, compared to other devices I have auditioned (which *do* struggle with lag-free playback).



alinto

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I had received my ipower and have found that it had made a positive effect on the sound. To me, it seems to have made the background a bit quieter so that the details are more apparent. This is not a night and day effect but was noticeable never the less. I strange thing happened when i 1st used the ipower which may be just a coincidence. I could not find the bdp on the web browser ( i use the max interface). I could play song by using the buttons on the bdp to navigate the hard drive so the hard drive is recognized by the bdp. The internet was active since my computer and phone could access it. I tried to find the ip address by scrolling down on the bdp but got the message that i was not connected . Rebooted the bdp but no effect. I rebooted my google wifi and it seemed to have fixed the problem. I hope the ipower was not the cause of this problem.

DarqueKnight

What do I use? I have a WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra (NAS) with a pair of 7200 rpm, 8TB disks in RAID 1 mode (mirrored), which are periodically backed-up to a direct attached Drobo RAID 5 array using software that enforces a CRC check on each sync, to detect bit errors on the source and copy.

The NAS is accessed via SMB 3 with wired Ethernet by a Mac Mini running Roon Server (1 Gigabit Ethernet), all located away from my audio gear (see photo attached). The Mac Mini w/ Roon Server connects to my remote BDP-1 via a wireless bridge (Apple Airport Express), which is itself connected to the BDP via 100Mb wired Ethernet. This is another way to achieve isolation between the BDP-1 and the remaining devices on my network.

I use a Synology 918+ NAS in my home theater system with four 8 TB WD Red drives in JBOD configuration for my video collection (ripped DVD and Blu-ray). I use 8 TB WD Red drives in external enclosures for back ups.


An older picture of my home theater setup. The only thing different now is the Pioneer Kuro 60" plasma has been replaced with a 65" LG OLED television.
The entire system is controlled by a combination of a Harmony universal remote and the docked tablet computer on the coffee table.



The Synology DS918+ NAS is on the center right middle shelf.

However, if you are *that* worried about electrical noise from HDDs, a network attached storage (NAS) device is the ultimate solution.

The picture quality of my movies from the NAS is sharper and clearer than playing them from physical media. I realized a similar benefit when I ripped all my CDs and SACDs to digital files and abandoned physical media playback. I have wondered if there would be further audio quality improvement by serving music files from a NAS. It is definitely on my list of things to try...after I finish all my experiments with external drives, internal drives, external enclosures and enclosure power supplies. I like to try different approaches to see and hear what works best in a particular room and system.

I have added the WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra to the list of prospective NAS units for my stereo system.
« Last Edit: 3 Feb 2019, 07:03 pm by DarqueKnight »

Krutsch

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I use a Synology 918+ NAS in my home theater system with four 8 TB WD Red drives in JBOD configuration for my video collection (ripped DVD and Blu-ray). I use 8 TB WD Red drives in external enclosures for back ups.

...

The picture quality of my movies from the NAS is sharper and clearer than playing them from physical media. I realized a similar benefit when I ripped all my CDs and SACDs to digital files and abandoned physical media playback. I have wondered if there would be further audio quality improvement by serving music files from a NAS. It is definitely on my list of things to try...after I finish all my experiments with external drives, internal drives, external enclosures and enclosure power supplies. I like to try different approaches to see and hear what works best in a particular room and system.

Impressive system. I am in the same camp. I am constantly changing out gear and trying new things.

FWIW, for my ripped movies, I settled on Apple TV. The same MyCloud EXT2 Ultra is storing about 1,000 1080p movies, with storage to spare. The Apple TV appliances (I have 2 of the 4K versions and one of the 4th gen models) buffer aggressively, so Wi-Fi is all I need to smoothly feed my TVs.

I am curious, though, why is your NAS is configured as JBOD? You are losing the performance and redundancy benefits of RAID.

In your case, JBOD produces 4 separate 8TB volumes, for 32 TB of total storage, but requires you to manages content across separate volumes. With RAID 5, you can have a single volume with 24 TB of usable space, but protected against single disc failure and with better storage performance. Most people aren't aware of the performance benefits of multi-disc RAID configurations (especially with the nicer appliances, like your Synology).

DarqueKnight


I am curious, though, why is your NAS is configured as JBOD? You are losing the performance and redundancy benefits of RAID.

In your case, JBOD produces 4 separate 8TB volumes, for 32 TB of total storage, but requires you to manages content across separate volumes. With RAID 5, you can have a single volume with 24 TB of usable space, but protected against single disc failure and with better storage performance. Most people aren't aware of the performance benefits of multi-disc RAID configurations (especially with the nicer appliances, like your Synology).

My video library spans 22 TB and is arranged in alphabetical order, with each of the four 8 TB drives assigned a particular range in the alphabet. This makes backup management easier since each of the NAS drives has corresponding backup drives in external enclosures.

My music library spans 3 TB and is contained on one 6 TB drive with multiple 6 TB backup drives. When I set up the music NAS, I will use a mirrored configuration.