I've been researching more options for storing my music library over the last several weeks. Not that I need something different, but it's just what I do. I want to know every option that's available, how the options work, what components they work with, etc... I love this stuff and I love writing about it.
Last week while searching for a USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps external drive, I discovered a fantastic product from a company called Yottamaster. This product isn't a USB 3.2 Gen 2 × 2 drive, but after doing way too much homework on that specification, I concluded it doesn't matter at all. Let's dig in.
Yottamaster HC1-C3 | What is it and why does anyone need it?
The Yottamaster HC1-C3 is the product you didn't know you needed, until today. Technically it's called an M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Duplicator, but it's so much more than this for music lovers. It's an external enclosure for NVMe SSD drives that connects to Windows, macOS, or Linux computers or audio components via USB 3.1 Gen 2 (a 10Gbps interface). It has a DC power input, which is great for audio components that may have trouble sending much power out a USB port or for those who like to power everything with linear supplies (switching supply included).
The all metal enclosure ships without drives and has slots for two M.2 NVMe SSD drives (older M.2 SATA drives not supported). I currently have a couple Samsung 970 EVO NVME drive in for testing. The drives can be configured any way the user likes vie Windows, macOS or Linux. There is no onboard RAID controller or configuration to be done.
I configured one of the two NVMe drives in the HC1-C3 as a single FAT partition from my MacBook Pro. I left the other drive untouched. I then connected it to an Auralic ARIES G2.1 and copied many GB of data to it over the network. Granted I could have copied this music while it was connected to my MacBook Pro, but ideally this drive is left connected to an audio component and I wanted to make sure this was possible. Once my music was on the drive I scanned it using Auralic's Lightning DS and used the drive like any other hard drive.
Now for the good part. Once I was satisfied I had all the music I wanted on the drive, I used the one touch clone feature to make an exact 1 for 1 duplicate of the drive, on the identical NVMe drive I also put into the enclosure. Seriously, one touch and I had a perfect backup of my music library. There's nothing to configure, no backup schedule, no RAID1/RAID5 etc... It's a hard drive that can be cloned with the single push of a button.
What's so cool about this is that it works with Windows, macOS, and Linux music servers. As long as the user knows how to work the included screwdriver, s/he will have no problem using the enclosure. I can see many people using this enclosure connected to Auralic ARIES, Bryston, and all the other components that accept USB drives for music library storage.
There is no longer a need to disconnect one's hard drive from the audio component in order to make a backup of the music. Just press the single button on the Yottamaster HC1-C3 and it's done. The HC1-C3 even has cloning status indicators to show the status of the cloning process. Even better is the fact that this enclosure has no proprietary format or RAID controller making the data locked into a Yottamaster HC1-C3 format. If, for example, the unit dies or one wants to move music to another enclosure or move the NVMe drive inside one's computer, one just has to remove the drive and use it elsewhere. It's seriously that simple.
I'm so in love with this enclosure that I have a feeling my writing about it is a little scattered. I just want to get the word out to the Audiophile Style community about how cool the HC1-C3 is, that I thought I'd write something up quickly.
There is one potential downside to this drive that doesn't really concern me, but may be concerning to some. Because the HC1-C3 does a 1 for 1 clone of the drive every time, there will be more wear and tear on the drive versus an incremental backup that only copies the changed / added music. However, the 2 terabyte Samsung 970 EVO NVMe drives are warranted for 1.2 Petabytes written (officially 1,200 TBW) with a 5-year limited warranty. Technically, this is 600 (if my math is correct) full clone operations of the 2TB drive over 5 years. Depending on how often one adds music and wants to run the cloning operation, this may be a factor. My guess is that this won't come into play for 99.9999% of people.
The enclosure supports up to 8TB according to Yottamaster. This means the largest single disk it can support is 4T. Based on most people's library size, this isn't an issue.
Anyway, I hope you guys see the value in this and how cool it actually is. It's full backup that works like a toaster, just push a button!
Where to Buy*
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